MGM Grand Review: Experience & Poker Offering

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The largest hotel complex in the world when it opened in 1993, the MGM Grand has enjoyed a number of refurbishments over the years. But it has continued to loom over the Las Vegas Strip for three decades now and is one of the most consistent destination hotel and casino resorts in Las Vegas.

Online poker sites like Americas Cardroom and sportsbooks like BetUS may have become even more popular in the years since the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking decision in 2018 to allow legalized betting. But, for many, Las Vegas remains the holy grail of casinos and gambling – and the MGM Grand is at the top of that list. Let’s dive deeper into what it has to offer:

MGM Grand Las Vegas In a Nutshell

The combined Venetian and Palazzo are now classified as the biggest hotel complex in the world. But the MGM Grand can still claim to be the largest single hotel, with an incredible 6,852 rooms. First built with a Wizard of Oz theme, only the green color of some main building gives away the original idea these days.

A six-story statue of Leo, the MGM lion, greets visitors at the front entrance. But even this piece of the Las Vegas skyline is an update. The original MGM Grand had a huge fiberglass Lion’s head at the front, with visitors entering through the mouth. But a review by the management of the casino found that the idea played very badly with Asian customers, as walking through a lion’s jaw was considered incredibly unlucky. Chinese visitors, in particular, avoided the place. The new look has been far more popular.

Now the 30-floor main building is just part of a complex that houses five pools, with rivers and waterfalls, a convention center, the MGM Grand Arena, and the Grand Spa. It is also home to the largest casino in Clark County.

Where is MGM Grand Located?

The MGM Grand can be found on the world-famous Strip, at the Tropicana-Las Vegas Boulevard intersection. There are no pedestrian crossings at road level, so the complex is linked to other casinos via overhead pedestrian bridges. Visitors can easily reach the Tropicana and New York-New York.

This location makes the MGM Grand perfect for visitors wanting to explore the big casinos in Las Vegas and acts as the center of all the action. Taxis and other lift services can be found practically around the clock.

What Are the MGM Grand Hotel Rooms Like?

With such a huge complex, guests have a wide variety of choices when it comes to accommodation. There are nearly 20 different room categories, and all are impressive thanks to an extensive – and much-needed – upgrade in 2012.

The main hotel building has rooms ranging from budget prices to suites that can cost over $20,000 a night. There are also Skylofts in the main building, providing a unique stay in Vegas. The Signature at the MGM Grand is located on the site of the original theme park that failed to bring in the intended family guests. The three towers are now home to condos and short-let rooms.

For the real high rollers, the Mansion at MGM Grand is a villa complex consisting of 29 properties exclusively reserved for VIPs and celebrities.

What Kind of Venues and Entertainment You Can Find at MGM Grand

The MGM Grand uses its size to attract all kinds of visitors and there is also a wide range of entertainment on offer. The David Copperfield Theater hosts nightly shows by the world-famous illusionist, and his affiliation just shows you how much the MGM Grand is entrenched in the personality and culture of Las Vegas.

There is also a theater that showcases dance troupes and a comedy club that features the biggest names in the stand-up business. For those wanting to dance through the night, there are a number of nightclubs, as well as day parties that take place in the adult-only pools.

The MGM Grand Arena is the centerpiece of the entertainment complex though. This 17,000-seat multi-purpose arena hosts all kinds of events and was used for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in 2022.

The biggest names in entertainment play at the MGM GrandThe biggest names in entertainment play at the MGM Grand

Shops and Boutiques at MGM Grand

It will come as no surprise to learn that luxury shopping at the MGM Grand comes in the form of some of the most prestigious brands in the business. Fashion, beauty and jewelry are all well covered and there are a number of MGM Grand retail outlets specializing in the famous brand, as well as some of the big names performing at the complex.

Restaurants at MGM Grand

With over 20 different restaurants and bars within the MGM Grand complex, visitors are never going to be stuck for choice when it comes to dining. Whether it is the TAP Sports Bar offering the perfect accompaniment to live sports, or the exquisite French cuisine of the Joël Robuchon restaurant – any hunger pang will be fully catered for.

Celebrity chefs offer up some of the most incredible food on the planet at the MGM Grand. But if you fancy something a little easier, there are also a number of fast food joints providing the tried and tested. There is also 24-hour in-room dining for those who want the food to come to them.

Gambling at GMG Grand: Slots, Poker & Sportsbook

This is what most people come to Las Vegas for and the MGM Grand has one of the largest gaming floors in the city. With more than 2,500 machines and almost 140 poker and gaming tables, covering 171,500 square feet, visitors will not be able to complain about a lack of choice.

Customers can stake as little as one cent to $1,000 in the general slots area, while high-rollers are accommodated in their own exclusive section where the payouts can be as large as half a million dollars.

For customers more interested in sports, the BetMGM Sportsbook can look after 104-seated guests, with 60 large-screen TVs simultaneously showing major events from across the world. There are also Skyboxes available to hire, that can take ten guests who will also enjoy complimentary food and drink while they bet on the sports.

Live Poker Cash Games at MGM Grand

When it comes to visiting the biggest and most well known casinos in Vegas, the MGM Grand is right up there – and many visitors will be wanting to fulfill a life’s ambition to play poker at this cathedral of gambling. The good news is that there are 13 tables in the poker room, with plenty of low cash games.

With a good mix of locals and tourists, the MGM Grand poker room has low cash games on offer with multiple tables for $1/$2 no limit hold ‘em, with a few $2/$5 tables thrown in as well. You may even be able to find a $5/$10 no limit hold ‘em game at times. This is certainly much more than you can expect at most casinos in Las Vegas and live poker rooms in different parts of US.

It just goes to show that you don’t need to be a high roller to enjoy poker at the MGM Grand. There will be those kinds of tables too, of course, especially when the World Series of Poker comes into town. But for a nice, relaxing game of low stakes no limit hold ‘em, the poker rooms here cannot be beat.

Poker Tournaments at the MGM Grand

If you are looking for a little more than low cash games though, you know that the MGM Grand has you covered. It has been a year since Justin Hammer was brought in to liven up the tournaments game at this casino and it is fair to say that he has been busy in his first 12 months in the job.

The inaugural MGM Summer Tournament Poker Series was launched almost immediately and it was a very good sign of exciting things to come at the casino. Over $9 million was eventually paid out throughout the series and poker players could just not get enough of the change in direction.

The 2023 Summer Festival was another huge success, with 58 tournaments in total paying out an incredible $3 million in prize pools. With side events, daily prizes and a crystal trophy for one lucky winner, the summer-long event turned the MGM Grand poker room into the place to be for anyone remotely interested in playing the game.

There are more $130 no limit hold ‘em tournaments scheduled throughout September – and the rest of the year – so don’t worry if you missed the summer extravaganza. Poker at the MGM Grand has always been a highlight for any visitor. But now the poker room has become a Vegas destination in its own right. If you want to play poker while you are on The Strip, you don’t really have to go anywhere else.

Summary

With everything under one giant roof, you may find that you don’t end up exploring the rest of Las Vegas at all once you stop at the MGM Grand. There can be a lot of walking involved – due to the size of the complex – but the services on offer more than makes up for that inconvenience.

This place is synonymous with Las Vegas and is a landmark destination. Even if you don’t end up staying in the largest hotel in the world, you should definitely check out the rest of the amenities – especially if you’re a fan of live poker action!

Author: Dennis Williams