Archive for January, 2009

Super Bowl Prop Bets Add Spice to Sunday’s Big Party

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Proposition — or “prop” bets for short — have become big business in the world of sports wagering.  These are special bets attached to a big event and run from the mundane (“What player will be named the Super Bowl MVP?”) to the decidedly exotic.

Here are some examples of the latter from Bodog Sportsbook:

– “Which Super Bowl commercial will have a higher rating on USA Today’s annual Ad Meter?”

– “Who will be tackled by his hair first in the game?”  Troy Polamalu (+450) or Larry Fitzgerald (-650)

– “Which QB Will John Madden mention by Full name first after the Opening Kickoff?”

– And my personal favorite, “What four songs will make up Bruce Springsteen’s half-time playlist?”  (The current front runner is “Glory Days”, “My Lucky Day”, “Badlands”, and “Born to Run.”)

Bodog also has a fun “Super Bowl Prop Sheet” that you can use at your party on Sunday.  Just print out as many copies as you need and have each of your guests fill one out with their predictions.  At the end of the game, while the Cardinals are celebrating their victory, you can tally up the sheets and name a ” Bodog Boss of the Props” winner.  Maybe even throw in a special prize like a Kurt Warner Cardinals jersey for the victorious prognosticator.

Kurt Warner Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl Red Replica Jersey

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Deep-Stack Extravaganza Kicks Off at Venetian Poker Room

Friday, January 30th, 2009
Check out the "Deep Stack Extravaganza" poker tourney at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

The "Deep Stack Extravaganza" poker tournament starts soon at The Venetian Las Vegas.

The highly successful “Deep Stack Extravaganza” poker tournament returns February 2 to The Venetian Las Vegas poker room.  Appearing on many “Top 10 Poker Rooms in Las Vegas” lists, the 11,000 square-foot Venetian room will host this well-attended event for the third consecutive year.

– Starting chips for the $330 NLH event will be $10,000 and an additional $2,000 in chips with an optional $10 staff bonus.

– The $550 and $1,070 NLH events will begin with $12,500 in starting chips and $2,500 additional chips with an optional $10 staff bonus.

– The $2,500 NLH event will begin with $15,000 in starting chips and $5,000 additional chips with an optional $10 staff bonus.

Total cash prize: Payouts are based on the number of participants that enter the tournament. 3% of prize pool is withheld for poker room staff.

All participants must be at least 21 years of age and have a Venetian players club, “Club Grazie,” card.  You can find all the details plus the results from both the 2007 and 2008 tourneys here on the Venetian’s website.

The poker room offers a special hotel rate available to anyone who plays in a DSE event or plays at least six hours of live play in the poker room. Rates are based on prevailing rate and availability.  Contact The Venetian Poker Room to inquire: 702-414-1000.

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Ride the ACES Train to Atlantic City Fun

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Out of the “Why didn’t they think of this sooner file?” comes word that the new ACES train will begin shuttling weekend passengers from New York’s Penn Station to the casino resorts of Atlantic City beginning February 6.  The train will also make a stop for passengers in Newark.

ACES stands for Atlantic City Express Service and is a joint venture with partners Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa.  Upon arrival in AC, shuttles will ferry riders from the depot to any one of the three casinos.

Train service will be offered on eight multi-level rail cars designed with upgraded leather seating, a private lounge, custom-designed food and beverage kiosks and both first and coach class travel experiences.

Introductory ticket prices — on sale now — will start at $50 for one-way coach seat and $75 for one-way first class seat.  Get additional ticket pricing and purchase information at the well-designed website. Visitors to the website will be able to reserve their seats and book hotel stays at Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa.

Search Here for Best Hotel Deals!

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Snag Great Las Vegas Show and Dining Discounts from TIX 4 Tonight

Monday, January 26th, 2009
Las Vegas show and restaurant discounts are posted each morning at TIX 4 Tonight.

Las Vegas show and restaurant discounts are posted each morning at TIX 4 Tonight.

One of the best deals in Las Vegas for discounts on popular shows and restaurants — including one of the best buffets in town — is TIX 4 Tonight.  With five locations dotting the Strip plus one downtown, you’re sure to find one convenient to your hotel.

How it works:  This is a “same day” ticket service.  Each morning at 9:30 a.m., the TIX 4 Tonight booths begin posting the shows available for that night (with prices) on screens at each location.  When the booths open at 10 a.m., customers who’ve gathered in line can (more…)

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Breakfast and a Stroll Through the Gardens at The Bellagio Las Vegas

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Sliced apples atop perfect puff pastry from Jean-Philippe at The Bellagio.

As much as I love the hustle and bustle of the Strip in Las Vegas, it’s kinda’ nice to also find a quiet spot and just kick back, relax and soak in the atmosphere.  If you’ve been reading this blog, you know of my fondness for all things sweet — be it a five-star dessert, a humble cookie or a morning pastry — so it will come as no surprise that this little respite from the action included a visit to Jean-Philippe Patisserie at The Bellagio.

While P.B. was enjoying breakfast and the newspaper back at our hotel’s all-day café, I took a walk over to Bellagio to see the latest transformation of the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, pick up a light breakfast and simply enjoy the morning. (more…)

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CityCenter, Cosmopolitan Put Futuristic Face on Las Vegas Strip

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
January 2009

A view of the new CityCenter project in Las Vegas. (Click on each photo to enlarge.)

Check out these latest photos from two new construction projects happening on the Strip in Las Vegas.  With soaring glass towers in shades of cool blue and chartreuse, wickedly-angled walls and sharp points define some structures while sinuous curves soften and enrich others.  These are the elements that define the new CityCenter project and its neighbor to the north, the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino.

CityCenter, from MGM Mirage and partner Infinity World Development Corp, a subsidiary of Dubai World, (more…)


Play Wizard of Oz Slots And More on The Strip in Las Vegas

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
The hot new "Wizard of Oz" from WMS Gaming.

Find Wizard of Oz slot machines at the Flamingo Las Vegas.

While this wasn’t a “game-finding” mission to Las Vegas, we did keep our eyes peeled for some of the most popular slot machine games out there; the ones we get asked about a lot.

The most convenient, most accessible “Wizard of Oz” slots are at the Flamingo.  Located at the very front of the casino, right near the interior walkway to Flamingo’s Steakhouse46 and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, they usually had a crowd gathered each time we walked by them.  (According to Harrah’ “slot finder,” they have them at Harrah’s Las Vegas, Imperial Palace and Caesars Palace as well.)

Wynn Las Vegas has a cool “assorted” group of these popular WMS Gaming machines — including Dirty Harry, Top Gun, and Wizard of Oz™— near the main “Red Card” players club booth. (more…)

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Boulud Brasserie at Wynn — The Lobster Did It

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
Daniel Boulud at Wynn Las Vegas failed to impress this diner.

Daniel Boulud at Wynn Las Vegas failed to impress this diner.

Our favorite food writer visits Daniel Boulud Brasserie at Wynn and comes away with a less-than-stellar impression.

Not even the crustiest critic goes out looking for a bad experience.  Au contraire! Hope springs eternal that each new restaurant just might be the one that delivers a great meal with adept service in a charming environment.

Naturally, the more high profile the eatery,   the more the diner is led to expect and if the name Daniel Boulud is not emblazoned in the culinary firmament, I don’t know what is.

Boulud’s Vegas home is at The Wynn, tucked downstairs with a view of the lagoon (they actually call it a lake) and its always-surprising conceptual sound and light show. The room is narrow, sinuously curved and with a palette of grays, coolly cozy. Cool might best describe the staff as well, at least until an issue arises. (more…)

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Change Can’t Come Quick Enough for Vegas

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
The entrance to the Monorail station at MGM Grand in Las Vegas shows the lack of riders.

What's missing from the entrance to the Monorail station at MGM Grand in Las Vegas? In a word - riders.

Having just gotten back from almost five days in Las Vegas, I have been puzzling over what subject to post about first in regards to this trip.  We visited the new Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, ate at a number of good and not-so-good restaurants, traipsed up and down the Strip, traveled to a couple of outlying casino properties, played a lot of games including a video poker tournament and indulged in my favorite activity – the always interesting Las Vegas people-watching.   All of these experiences and more will be subjects for future posts.

But today, as I sit here this morning organizing notes and photos, trying to make some sort of logical sense of all the information and images we collected, I am watching and listening to today’s remarkable historical event – the inauguration of our 44th president, Barack Obama.  As we all know (unless you’ve been living under not only a rock but a virtual boulder these past few months,) this is the candidate who ran on an almost single-word platform:  change.  Speaking in economic terms, for Las Vegas that change cannot come quickly enough. (more…)

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Las Vegas, Atlantic City Gambling Revenues Show Continued Downward Trend

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
You'll have to wait awhile to book a stay in the new Octavius Tower as Caesars stalls the project.

Caesars Palace will wait to add 660 more rooms as Harrah's puts hold on new tower.

When it comes to gambling revenues these days, if there is any bright spot to be found for Las Vegas casino managers it could be — “Well, at least we’re not Atlantic City.”

The numbers coming in from the two biggest gaming Meccas in the country aren’t pretty and certainly serve to justify all the recent changes and holds* we’ve seen on several casino construction projects.

Gambling revenues for the state of Nevada fell 14.8 percent in November compared with a year ago according to figures released last week by the state’s Gaming Control Board.  Within the state, LV Strip properties recorded a 16.02% drop while North Lake Tahoe casinos fell a whopping 26.94%. (more…)


Clams, Chowder Star on RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Menu

Monday, January 12th, 2009
Rick Moonen's RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas will satisfy your seafood cravings.

Rick Moonen's RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas.

It may seem odd to go to the Nevada desert to indulge in your favorite seafood dishes but that is exactly what P.B. and I set out to do when we dined at RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino. RM refers to Chef/Owner Rick Moonen, a former New Yorker who previously helmed the kitchens at two of our favorite NYC seafood restaurants – The Water Club and Oceana. Because we were familiar with his food, we were expecting excellent meals and weren’t disappointed.

Occupying a back corner of the casino, the two-story restaurant is near the Mandalay Bay theater. Upstairs is the high-end more formal restaurant complete with chef’s tasting menu, Hudson Valley foie gras and an assortment of caviars. Downstairs, where we ate, is a seafood joint that would be perfectly at home on any street corner in New York or San Francisco.

White leather banquettes, teak chairs and table tops — plus a few TV screens perched over the bar — let you know you’re in the “slang” portion of the restaurant. While the setting and menu may be more casual, the attention to food and service is most decidedly not. (more…)


The Venetian Las Vegas Links “Jersey Boys” to Popular $119 Room Deal

Friday, January 9th, 2009
The Venetian offers a great room deal with a little bit of Jersey on the side.

The Venetian offers a great room deal with a little bit of Jersey on the side.

Check out the February offers for The Venetian and The Palazzo.

It’s the new year and the great Las Vegas hotel deals just keep rolling into our virtual mailboxes.  The Venetian is again offering their $119 weekday suite special plus more than $150 in resort credits per stay.  Those credits include a $40-off deal on certain tickets for the outstanding musical “Jersey Boys,” at The Palazzo theater.  You can also book a room at The Palazzo or for weekends at a higher rate.

From only $119 per weeknight, your package includes:

  • A luxury suite at The Venetian
  • $40 off front orchestra seating at Jersey Boys at The Palazzo*
  • Complimentary passport to Canyon Ranch SpaClub (a $40 value)
  • $30 off services at Canyon Ranch SpaClub
  • Half off a bottle of wine at Double Helix Boutique with purchase*  (The wine bar there is one of our favorite spots to grab a drink.)
  • $30 dinner credit per night at Woo with $70 minimum purchase
  • $25 daily slot credits

This exclusive offer must be booked by January 19th.  Ask for Offer Code:  EVOJANY.

While at The Venetian, check out The Grill at Valentino and their perfectly-sauced array of pasta dishes or the Chef’s fresh seafood choice for the night.

*As always, check the “fine print” for offer details, exclusions and requirements.


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