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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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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…)

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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’s.com “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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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…)

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Las Vegas Casino News — Economy Spurs Sales, Changes

Friday, January 9th, 2009

All day today, I have been thinking about a quote from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  That’s how I feel about all the news flying out of Las Vegas lately.  I guess I just needed a little time to absorb it all, cut the wheat from the chaff, and then make a few observations in a post.

Here’s a run-down on the current highlights (and lowlights) of life in Las Vegas for some of the major casino industry players:

From MGM Mirage:  “CityCenter Holdings, LLC, a joint venture between MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM) and Infinity World Development Corp, today announced certain scope changes related to The Harmon Hotel & Spa which include postponing the opening of the hotel to late 2010 and cancelling The Harmon residential condominium component.”  The press release cited “contractor construction errors” as partially to blame for the reconfiguring of the project.  All other components of CityCenter remain on schedule for a December 2009 grand opening.

Speaking of CityCenter, it began taking applications Monday to fill the approximately 12,000 jobs available at the new property.  Myriad positions from food and beverage service to hotel and casino operations, retail help and more will need to be staffed before the December grand opening.  Check the CityCenterCareers website for more information.

In mid-December, while we were all busy buying gifts at the local mall (or maybe Walmart this year,) Phil Ruffin, former owner of the New Frontier, was busy getting his own bargain – Treasure Island from owner MGM Mirage for a reported $775 million.  Ruffin, a Wichita, Kansas businessman, sold the New Frontier in May 2007 for more than $1.24 billion. That casino was closed shortly thereafter and demolished in November 2007.  The deal on TI is expected to go through in early-summer.

Are there more property sales ahead for MGM Mirage?  The answer “possibly” is leaning more and more toward “probably.”  See what you think after reading  this article at Bloomberg.com based on an interview with new MGM Mirage CEO James Murren.  The reporter says that Mr. Murren “plans to “dramatically” reduce debt and will consider further casino sales as he overhauls the company’s balance sheet.”

One question we can easily answer is “Will there be more massive changes in Las Vegas this year?”  And that answer is a resounding “most definitely.”

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Casino Resolutions for 2009

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
Gifts are great...just not mittens and backpacks.

Gifts are great...just not mittens and backpacks.

Lists, lists and more lists!  Best of, worst of, most notable, most notorious.  So as not to be left off the year-end bandwagon, this week we are going to list some New Year’s resolutions we’d like to see the casinos make for 2009.   (Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section.)

To all casinos both large and small; please resolve to stop giving away dumb stuff.  I love “gifts” – quote marks used because we both know I have more than paid for them with my play — but puh-leeze make it something I would even remotely consider using.

For instance, I am the proud owner of Casino Arizona’s latest marketing giveaway — mittens and a scarf.  Uh, did someone miss the Arizona in that name?  If you’re trying to make an impact, wouldn’t you want to give a gift that has some sort of relationship to your business?  Yeah, black mittens and a fuzzy scarf immediately say “Let’s go to the casino…in sunny Arizona” to me.  The month before, a thin “stadium blanket” was the featured free gift.  (This fascination with cold weather is really starting to make me wonder if they know something we don’t and the newest Ice Age is upon us starting in the Arizona desert.) (more…)

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Gifts for Casino Fans, Poker Players & More

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

*** Check out our current Gift Guide for the most up-to-date holiday gift ideas and prices. ***

We’ve got a few things to pick up in the stores this holiday season but most of our shopping is being done online this weekend.  Easy on the budget and the feet plus we can buy lots of unique gifts without ever leaving the couch!

So, sit back and relax, pour yourself a cup of cocoa, and shop for all the casino fans, poker players, and slot players on your list with our tailor-made gift guide.  We sorted through tons of items and websites to bring you our “Best Gifts for Casino Players.”

I’m giving P.B. a watch this Christmas and in my search found a great site with a huge selection of the most popular watch brands including Fossil, Citizen and more — both men’s and women’s — at phenomenal prices with free shipping and a 110% price guarantee.  Be sure to use the special coupon code “10off” to save an additional $10 on any watch purchase.

Here’s the link:
Watchco.com- HOLIDAY SPECIALS- BRAND NAME WATCHES- 40%-70% OFF!

A custom thermal from Bad Beat Clothing for the poker player on your list.

A custom thermal from Bad Beat Clothing.

Also, check out the custom-designed tee-shirts, thermals and more at Bad Beat Clothing.  This stuff rocks!  Speaking of poker, great article at Poker Listings about the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic that starts today at The Bellagio.

And here’s a quick-click way to access all of our holiday gift posts so far this season:
Gifts for Poker Players Gifts for Slot Players/Casino Gamers Holiday Gifts for Players JAQK Wines

Happy Shopping!

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Busted — Nevada Posts Big Drop in October Gambling Revenue

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

You knew the October numbers weren’t going to be pretty but I’m not sure anyone guessed that Nevada gaming revenue would be down – are you ready? – 22.3% as compared to a year ago.  That is the single largest monthly drop in reported “win” in state history and the 10th straight month that gaming revenues have declined.

Here’s how the numbers released today by the Nevada Gaming Commission played out in the Silver State:

Nevada as a whole brought in $905 million for a 22.3% drop.

The Las Vegas Strip was hit hard with its $475 million take which represents a 25.8% drop compared to a record “win” in excess of $637 million in October of last year. (more…)

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Harrah’s Casinos Team Up with WMS Gaming for New Hot Slot Game

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Here’s a very smart move from Harrah’s Entertainment.  They’ve collaborated with WMS Gaming, makers of the wildly-popular Wizard of Oz machines, (you know, the ones I can never play!) and will introduce a special TOTAL REWARDS® version of WMS Gaming’s new Star Trek machine beginning this week in Las Vegas. 

Here’s the skinny from a joint press release dated December 1, 2008 (Emphasis mine) – “Players who are members of Harrah’s TOTAL REWARDS® program will be able to use their cards to create a personalized and differentiated gaming experience on the STAR TREK themed gaming machines at most of the company’s casinos in North America, as Harrah’s moves forward with a market-by-market implementation plan, subject to additional jurisdictional regulatory approvals.

“This server-enabled, networked gaming platform provides players with the unique ability to personalize their game play, allowing them to save their play status and unlock additional bonus rounds and game episodes over time.(more…)

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Best Holiday Gifts for Slot Players

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

*** Check out our current Gift Guide for the most up-to-date holiday gift ideas and prices. ***

The slot-playing casino kings and queens on your shopping list will simply love receiving one of these great holiday gifts.  We’ve chosen the best gifts for casino lovers in a wide range of prices ($10 to $299) that will keep them organized, entertained, on time and more while you get all the credit for your gift-giving savvy.

    

I love a compact wallet or little case that can hold all my players club cards, my room key, some cash, my credit cards and keep everything perfectly organized.  These all fit the bill and do it stylishly to boot!  Left to right:  I love this Colorful Credit Card Holder.  Check out the rainbow of hues on this one — from basic black to “Pumpkin” and “Ocean,” $14.88.   Pictured in the center is the sleek little Metro Mini Designer Card Case which will hold all the necessities and comes in ten great colors/textures.  At just $9.88 each, this hard case makes a great stocking stuffer. The zippered leather case on the right is perfect for my sweetie. He can pack it with all his club cards, stash it in a pocket and off to Vegas we go!  Leather Credit Card Holder, $25.50. (more…)

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First In, First Big Win at Slots

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Yesterday I told you all about P.B.’s memorable $1,000 Royal Flush at The Rio and today I want to tell you about my first big hit in a casino.

Mine is a classic story of beginner’s luck.  This happened more years ago than I’d like to count while I was on my honeymoon with P.B.  We were in the Bahamas staying at what was, at the time, the Paradise Island Princess Resort & Casino.  After a full day of sight-seeing and snorkeling, we had dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants and headed for the casino.  We walked around the crowded gaming floor for quite a while before deciding on which machines to play.  Because it was so packed, we weren’t able to find games next to each other but we were at least in the same general area.  I sat down at a multiple-line fruit and 7’s slot machine and started feeding quarters in and pulling down the lever.  (Told you it was a while ago!)  I went through one roll of quarters and had just cracked open the second roll when I hit a bunch of red sevens.  I didn’t even know it was a big hit until the lights started blinking and the bells started ringing!  In my excitement, I left — yes, left — the machine to find my new husband who immediately told me to go back to my machine and wait for the attendant.  NOW!  I still laugh when I think about it.  (Smart man.  No wonder I’m still married to him.)

My total win was 2500 quarters — $625 — which went toward our hotel bill for the week and toward my enduring fascination with casinos and casino gaming.

Now, I open the cyber “floor” for the story of your first big win.  Check out our “Post Contest” for your chance to win a copy of the new 2009 American Casino Guide. 

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And It Feels Like the First Time….

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Everyone who enjoys casino gambling can remember — always in great detail — the first time it happened.  Where you were, what you were playing, who you were with.  I’m talking about your first time.  The very first time you hit big in the casino.

For video poker players, it was no doubt their very first Royal Flush.  For slot players, maybe it was three Triple Diamond symbols or three Blazing 7’s appearing like magic across the screen.  I will always remember my friend, Mark, calling me on his cell phone from the California casino in downtown Las Vegas to tell me he had just hit for $10,000 on the Triple Double Diamond dollar slots.  Cha-ching!  For blackjack and poker players, craps and roulette fans, it was that first “streak” that just went on and on until your bankroll looked like nothing you’d ever seen. 

Here’s a “first story” for P.B. and me.  While it wasn’t his first $1,000 Royal, it was the first one he got while he and I were playing together.  We were sitting side-by-side at the bar at The Rio in Las Vegas sipping wine and playing Double Double Bonus video poker, quarters, when P.B. nudged me and said “Look.”  That’s it, just one word – “look.”  When I glanced over, all I saw was the “Call Attendant” notice on the screen so I thought his machine was broken.  I was saying something dumb  like “Oh, I’m sure someone will come and FIX it” and he said … “No, LOOK!”  That’s when I saw the Royal Flush and the big fat $1,000 JACKPOT sign!  It was a very fun hit with everyone at the bar coming to look and even the bartender calling people over to see it.  (By the way, he hit it in diamonds and he held the Ten, King and Jack and drew the Ace and Queen.  See what I mean about remembering in great detail!)

Tomorrow — My first big hit in slots PLUS the announcement of a fun new contest for our readers.

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