Wynn Las Vegas to reopen its poker room at Encore on Sept. 30
Wynn Las Vegas to reopen its poker room at Encore on Sept. 30
Las Vegas Poker Room Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Resort
Wynn Poker Room Making Some Major Temporary Changes
Wynn Macau poker room
Wynn Poker Room in Las Vegas Will Soon Return to Action
Encore poker room temporarily returning to Wynn side of casino
Wynn poker room - Wynn Poker Room Review by mahir
Las Vegas: Wynn Pokerroom muss umziehen, Encore nur noch ...
ADDICT - Wynn Poker Room Review by anubis1
Wynn Poker Room – Play and Enjoy Legendary Casino in Las Vegas
My experience staying on the strip last weekend
Hey Vegas! I forgot I wanted to make a "trip report" style post, but it may be a little late to do so and probably didn't take enough photos. I live in Phoenix so I end up going roughly 4 times a year or so. I referenced this sub quite a bit over the past couple months as I was eager to get back, and wanted to stay informed with the local happenings. Figured I'd share my experience with anyone that may be lurking and wanted to get a lay of the land, if anyone has any questions, let me know! I drove out Friday evening, and arrived around 6pm. I stayed at Caesar's Palace, and was able to get both Friday/Saturday night comped, just had to pay resort fees. I'm sure if you're reading this you already know this, but you should ALWAYS have a players card and use that card when booking rooms. I'm not a high roller by any means, but I do play regularly while i'm there and almost always receive comped rooms at mid range Caesar's properties. They are encouraging using self check in kiosks, and you need to have your temperature taken when checking in, I passed the test, and went off to the room. The rooms have roughly 6x6 square stickers that they place on the crease of the door after it has been serviced, indicating it has been cleaned and is safe to enter. The room seemed to be as clean as normal, but it is my understanding they are sanitizing high touch items (phone/glasses/remotes) much more thoroughly. Seemed good to me. The only downside of the room was the screaming infant next door (I will never understanding bringing small kids to Vegas). Showered up and changed, threw some beers on ice, and hit the casino floor. I was happy to see that masks were required at BlackJack, and tables were limited to 3 people. I was not thrilled to lose a few hundred bucks in 15 minutes. Decided to try my hand at some video poker, I always play $5 credits and play max. No luck, and dusted off another few hundred pretty quickly. I was down to my last $300 I was willing to risk for the night, and started to make a mini comeback on video poker. I switched to $10 credits, played max bet, and drew 2 4 5 6 spades and an offsuit king........held the 4 straight flush cards and BANG, nailed the 3 of spades for a straight flush, my first ever on VP, and nailed a $2,500 jackpot. Got the hand pay and promptly cashed out. Ran back to the room to drop most of my winnings in the safe and heard the small infant was still crying. Time for tip #2, which I'm sure most of you know, "the $20 trick". I think being friendly and casual with the staff is most key with this. I approached the front desk, and explained to the gentlemen I just checked in to Julius tower, but there has been a child screaming consistently next door and I'd like to change rooms. I put my ID and my room key on the counter, along with $30 and said "If there is anything you're able to do in terms of a complimentary upgrade, I'd greatly appreciate it, I am not concerned about which tower i'm in". He spends some time on the computer and says he found me a Jacuzzi room with a view of the pool, and he thinks I'll really like it. Grab ID and new room key, and leave the $30 on the desk for my new friend at the front desk. Get to the room and it is a massive upgrade from the one before. It is palace tower, Jacuzzi in the bathroom, and easily twice as much room with a big L couch in the corner, with a great view of the pool. Thankful for the screaming kid, and you should ALWAYS tip your front desk! Back to safety of the strip, got caught rambling there, had a great time. I think Vegas is doing a good job of enforcing safety for COVID19. There are masks available, sanitation stations everywhere, and most games offer physical distancing. I will say that craps and roulette at Caesar's were both very full, with no effort other than sanitizing dice. The Wynn did much better with plexiglass everywhere. As an avid poker play, I have never seen casino chips this clean. It is clear they're cleaning them often, as they should. Caesar's will not clean your room while you are there, however they will deliver towels or toiletries upon request. Room service for food was unavailable. Restaurants were limited, but still plenty of good options, and dining felt very safe with staff wearing masks and social distancing. TLDR: My opinion is that of a healthy 20s male with no underlying conditions. I use PPE in public more for the safety of others than myself, as I have a strong likelihood of being okay if I contract COVID. I feel Vegas is doing a good (not great) job of cleaning protocols and enforcing social distancing. If you are on the fence about going, and you are healthy/do not come in regular contact with those at risk, I suggest you go. As always, practice good hygiene and respect distance. There is still plenty of fun to be had in Vegas. Enjoy yourself, and tip your front desk agent!!
ENCORE BOSTON suspends peak hour tournaments for the foreseeable future
Friday night, all Saturday and Sunday afternoon poker tournaments canceled due to revenue goals not being met and issues with parking. No major events on March's calendar either. When the Wynn group struck a deal with the city they agreed that no above parking garages would go up around the casino. This is killing the place. The below ground parking lot is filling up Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. They're supposedly working on the issue however it is just kind of depressing that poker rooms don't generate enough revenue for a casino to care that much about them. The way Massachusetts taxes Encore literally makes the room a break even venture at best. There is a ton wrong with how Encore is being managed right now as it seems like everything is a barrier to entry with them. The table games you want... they either don't have enough of them or the limits are too high. The parking issues. Hell the ATM locations are even annoying. Just sucks the poker room gets the shit end of the stick. Encore should work deals with the private lots across the street to get poker players out of the garage and across the street. Until this is worked out, I have no other options but to win the $500k multi day $600 buy in this weekend. I'm sorry, my hands are tied. I will post pics of the W late Sunday night / early Monday Morning.
Las Vegas Sands Macau Money Laundering USD$1 trillion a year!!!!
The US casino operators (Las Vegas Sands, Wynn, MGM), use 'junket' companies (essentially triad/mafia) to launder corrupt Chinese politicians cash out of China. They set up rooms above the casino floor (think Tony Soprano running an illegal poker game) for the 'junket' companies to use. The casino operators take 3% (baccarat house edge) of the laundered money = USD$30bn a year in Macau gaming revenue. Once it is out of China it is in the international financial system as gambling 'winnings' = money laundered The President of the United States gave Sheldon Adelson's (Las Vegas Sands) wife the Presidential Medal of Freedom!!!! LateStageCapitalism????
Went there for the first time tonight. From what I've heard Aria has the best poker room in vegas, hands down. Arguably the best room, period. While I can definitely see the positives, I don't quite understand the hype. It's cramped, and still on the casino floor. Sure, there are plenty of games and players, but it's not the nicest room I've ever been in. Not like people make it out to be.
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms OR Fluffy's Birthday Party
Saturday, December 18th I wake up and my back is fucking killing me. Megan closed the spa last night and she's quitting her (shitty) second job and her last day is Saturday so she's gone in early to get everything wrapped up and her exit interview. I decide to clean up my garage a bit and get some work done around the house. The morning starts off with some eggs and breakfast sausage with a tall glass of simply grapefruit. Life isn't great, but it could be a lot worse. We are all having a little chat about life, weekends and women as I move charcoal and my dads tools around the garage when suddenly my good buddeh u/fluffy_butternut tells everyone that regular women are not damaged enough for me to enjoy. Not only is this HIGHLY insulting to me, but it reflects poorly on Megan as well. rewind to several months before Mrs. Fluffy emailed the whole reddit gang and told us we are invited to a surprise birthday party for the big guy. She gave us instructions/time/place, etc and everything. She did a TON of work to plan this and it shows. I was under the gun at the courthouse with a trial and I wasn't able to commit to the event and all of us have stuff going on so the odds of anyone being able to make it were not good. However, I kept her email, and her cell number on a burner. cut to present https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyLdtG7KZvw Did he really go there? He really went there. It's fucking on like Donkey Kong. I pull out a burner and send a message to Mrs. Fluffy asking her if the plans are still the same. She tells me when he will be arriving at the venue and I tell her I'm gonna make a big fucking scene. She is ecstatic at this idea. I grab my packed bag from the closet and jump in the F350. I grab two organic bean to bar 88% endangered species chocolate bars for Megan and I stop by her work. She's busy, so I leave the chocolate for her at her station. I give her co-worker a note to hand to her when she gets out. "Dear Megan, out for revenge. Back tomorrow - Will." I start driving to MSY and traffic down I-10 isn't bad for a saturday. I phone Delta on the way there and book tickets for the flight. The only thing available is MD88 service connecting in Laguardia. In First. Being no stranger to the slightly elevated service and highly elevated price business model, I book the flight. I'm a little early so I make my way to the nearly brand new Delta Sky Club at MSY. It's new, the gumbo is tasty, the wifi is fast. Life isn't bad. Until I get the phone call from Megan. Me: Hi sweetie Megan: what the fuck does "out for revenge mean?" Me: It means I'm out for revenge. I gotta do some things. Megan: What things? We're supposed to have dinner with my brother tomorrow night! Me: Uh. It's a long story. How was your exit interview? Megan: It was fine. I'm leaving early today. Me: Did you go back to your station yet? Megan: No Me: You should stop there again before you leave. Megan: Why? The airport PA screeches boarding announcement for my flight. Me: They're calling my flight. I gotta run. Megan: Flight? What? Me: Gotta hop. Buy potatoes. See you tomorrow night! I hang up and hightail it for the gate. I pop in and see the pilots before we leave and ask them what are the odds we get 31 via the expressway today. He says he was just loading it into the box. I tell him the last time I did 31 via the expressway into LGA at the Delta Museum sim, it was not good. In fact it was the worst thing to hit new york since a bunch of muslims on a tuesday in September. He laughs. The ride into LGA is smooth as the HMG STG delivery schedule. New York is WINDY as fuck today and bumpy. I peer out the window of the left side of the plane and I get a beautiful close up photo of the statue of liberty and Ellis island. Wait. We're supposed to get 31 via the expressway. We should be on the localizer for LGA runway 4. That puts us right over my aunts place in Bay Ridge looking at the Verazanno. We're not getting 31, they're probably going to take us up over central park, back over da bronx and then in via 22. Sure enough, we land on 22 and I ask the pilots what happened and they said the winds shifted and they had to turn the airport around. Eh, no biggie. I've seen it once, I'll see it again. It's a great approach to fly and if you ever get to experience it, it's fucking magical. We land at LGA a few minutes late and the weather is cold, crisp and windy. I have a short connection but I head to the LGA sky club in terminal D. Life is good. I crack the laptop and do some work and as I close the laptop as they call my flight I see the very beginnings of light snow. I'm from Louisiana. I've never seen snow before. This scares me. I walk to the gate and I board in group 1 and take my first class seat. The plane is half empty. I walk up and chat with the pilots and they tell me that with the snow we are going to deice with type 1 fluid and anti ice with type 4 fluid. We will be a little delayed. As I gaze out the window from my seat, it's snowing and blowing even more. Ten minutes later, the boarding door closes and we start to push back. Conditions have worsened significantly. We can't see the next plane in front of us, things have turned into not quite whiteout but very concerning to this southern boy. The pilots tell us we are number 3 for the deicing truck and I gaze out onto the runway. It's whiter than an Ohio MAGA rally. Fuck me to tears. We deice as I check the weather in Pittsburgh. Rain/Freezing rain/Snow/wintry mix. I've never driven in snow. Fuck. Pucker factor increasing. I pull out my burner and send a message to Mrs. Fluffy and tell her I'm at the deice pad and will be there soon. We have a bumpy ride all the way across Pennsylvania and land about 30 minutes late. Hertz has me in the presidents circle but there is not a single car with local plates. I downgrade to a 2020 white Toyota Corolla since it's the only thing with PA plates on it and I hightail it to the venue. I talk to the waitstaff and tell them I'm crashing the party and ask them to get me a tray and a vest with a nametag. The staff is laughing their ass off at my idea. I message Mrs. Fluffy and she thinks the idea is HYSTERICAL. She can't wait. I tell her I'll be there at 645. T minus 60 minutes until Fluffy Arrival I've never been to this part of Pennsylvania. To be honest, I am a Philly guy. The people there are angry, drunken, profane and love cheese steaks. They're my kind of people. I've never been to a Sheetz or Primanti Brothers. However, fluffy tells me some stories about how he and his wife have a good time over at the meadows. I have NEVER been to a racino before, and ever since I was nearly arrested at Wynn Las Vegas - I've been a little scared. However, it's just down the road and as some of you know, I just came into a shit ton of money. This is not going to end well. I drive down interstate 79 and whip into the north parking garage at The Meadows. My pre-packed bag has four days of clothes, underwear, socks and PJ's, two kruggerands and $10,000 in cash just in case i need to flee the country. I pull out the ten dimes and make my way into the racino. The Meadows is HUGE. I get past the security checkpoint and walk around and I don't see any table games. I see a large well appointed poker room and see two craps tables working at the other end of the hall. I have no idea what table limits or odds are. I saunter up to the table. Me: How's the temperature guys? Degen1: Eh it's up and down. Me: As long as it's not as cold as outside amirte? Degen2: haha yeah yinz been outside today? freezing rain and that! Me: I don't know these words but whatever. The point is on 6. I drop $10,000 on the table. Me: Change only. Gimme 1 small and 9 thousands. Pit Boss: do you have a players club card? Me: never played here before, don't worry about it for now. Pit Boss: Okay! The dice come out, it hits jimmy hicks and the dealers pay out all the bets. I look at the table, the minimums are $5 and everyone has pass line and numbers. NOBODY has true odds. Fuck it. Time to show them how it's done. I drop $10 on the pass line. Dice are out. Point is four. I look up and down the table and nobody is making odds bets. I look down at my rack and drop $100 behind my bet. Dice come out. Six hard. Me: Hey pit boss! How much can I put behind the line? Pit Boss: We'll let you go to 10x, so we can take $100 on your pass line. It looks like you got $100 there but we'd count it out and if you were over we'll give you the extra back. Me: solid, thanks! I look down at my watch. Fluffy is due to arrive at 1900hrs. I told Mrs. I would be there at 1845. It's 15 minutes to drive from the garage to the party which means I need to be on the highway at 1830 which means I need to be out of the casino and cashed out and walking to the garage by 1825. She sends me a message asking me where I'm at. I tell her I'm at the meadows and.....fuck it's 1821. Fuck it. Go big or go home. I take my pass line up to $500 and shove $5000 behind the line. Everyone at the table is looking at me funny. I give $2400 to the dealers and tell them to split me the 6/8. Pit Boss: are you SURE you don't want a players club card? Me: no time! throw them bones! The whip slides the dice over to the fella next to me. He throws. Dealer: Four hard, four the hard way, four. Everyone at the table is looking at me funny. My $500 pass line bet has paid even money. The $5000 behind the line pays true odds on a 4, at 2:1. I look down at my watch. 1829. The dealers are stacking and distributing chips with a fervor. Me: Take down my 6/8 and color me up. Dealer: You got it boss! As they color up my chips, I tell Mrs. fluffy I just won a ton of money at the meadows and I'm cashing out now. I take a $100 chip, hold it up and ask if the dealers want to play it or drop it Dealer: It's up to you man, we don't mind. I plant the chip down on the pass line and tell them put half on the pass line ferda boys, drop the other half. They all LITERALLY clap and thank me. Me: One more thing, where's the cashier? They point me to the cage with the aplomb of a new airport ramper. I leave the casino with a giant wad of cash bulging in my jeans. There's no line and they count out all my cash quickly. I look down at my watch as she's counting out the last of the small bills. 1835. Fuck. I'm going to be late. I hate being late. I jog out to the north garage and hightail it back up interstate 79. I have never driven in snow, at night, or for that matter driven in Pennsylvania before until now. It's snowing, it's dark, the speed limit is 55 and I am the SLOWEST guy in the right lane at 80 and people are passing me going WTF ARE YOU DOING GET OFF THE ROAD judging by the horns and the flashing headlights. I am HAULING ass back up to the venue and I park the Toyota in a handicapped spot as I race into the venue. I find Harriet, the party planner she hands me a vest with a nametag. My transition from Will the gun dealer to Mario the waiter will completed as soon as he arrives. I get fluffy's favorite drink and a plate of some food set up on a tray and I hide in the back waiting for his arrival. Here's a photo. https://imgur.com/yZP2FuI As if it were choreographed to the minute, Mrs. Fluffy walks him in the front door at 7PM to a room full of people as a birthday surprise. He had not seen it coming. He begins making the rounds seeing everyone and saying hello. It's a big party so it takes some time. I hang back for a few minutes and let him do his thing and I give my phone to one of his friends and tell them to get this next part on video as I put on the vest and adjust the nametag. Friendo: Sure thing "mario" Me: shut up and just do some good camera work! I take the tray of beverage and minature charcuterie plate over to fluffy as he's greeting the party guests and sneak up behind him. He's taking his grand old time working the room. In my best italian Pittsburgh native accent I can muster, I'm holding the tray and I walk in front of him and put on a great big smile. Me: Can I get yinz something to drink? Or some charcuterie and that? Fluffy: ....... (I now feign anger) Me: OR IS THIS FOOD AND BEVERAGE NOT DAMAGED ENOUGH FOR YOUR LIKING?!?!?!??!?!?! YOU FAT DIABETIC OLD FUCK! Fluffy: What.....are you.........doing here? Me: Mrs told us about it and I figured I should give you a hard time after your comments this morning. Would you like some food? You know, airplane noises make the food taste better. Or are you a little too old for that? Lets give it a try! (I grab a carrot stick and fly it into his face by making very loud airplane noises in a ballroom full of fluffy's closest friends and family making a gigantic scene with people wondering is this a joke or what horrors are about to come next. No, this is not a joke, this really happened. Ask anyone who was there.) Fluffy: I'm good thanks Me: you sure? (more airplane noises followed by a carrot slice raping his mouth) Fluffy is shocked and awed. I tell him to go work the room and to have a happy birthday party. There's an open bar and I help myself to a double ginger ale, neat. I find some millennials and we chat about Hawaiian shirts and stuff and they think my comedy is HILARIOUS. Unlike most of reddit. Fluffy saunters over and we chat some more and he's wondering WTF. I told him the wife planned it all months in advance. Fluffy: You know u/xxxwirtydhorexxx is here. Me: That's really funny. Fluffy: No, he's really here. Me: Bullshit. Then where is he? Fluffy: He's right in front of you, 12 o'clock. I don't see him. Then I look down and there's a guy in a boonie hat. I didn't recognize him without the dress. Me: Oh dear god. He's really here isn't he? Wirty gets up and walks over and he's like HI! I THOUGHT IT WAS YOU! We have a bunch of really really awkward conversation that involves him inviting me to sit next to him and me running over to Mrs. Fluffy asking her to save me from wirty. She finds a spot at her table by her kids for me. I forget his present, even though his wife said no presents and there's a table full of booze, scratchers, and gun stuff. I drive back up to the hotel to grab it and give it to him. He has no idea what it is. You all should ask him about it. I give it to him and Wirty starts complaining about normies. Fluffy: Where are you staying? Me: The Hilton just down the street Fluffy: Oh, the one on the top of the hill? Me: That's why it's the HILL-ton. Everyone groans. Me and wirty talk and he weirds me out and demands to stand next to me in the group photo. I tell more jokes and the millenial group loves me. We close the place down and head back to fluffy's hotel. BOY HOWDY LET ME TELL YOU.........if you thought MY stories were longwinded and pointless you have not met some of fluffy's friends! His local raconteur buddy was telling us at 145AM his story about being fucked by the Virginia state police for speeding. Yeah. I dump him off at his hotel and I head back up to my room. It's 3AM by the time I shower and sleep. SUNDAY JANUARY 19TH 2020 My alarm wakes me up at 9AM. My back is killing me. My head is pounding. It's 21 degrees outside. Fuck this noise. I go back to sleep. The hotel phone rings. Me: Go for Hayden Operator: I have a fluffy butternut on the phone for you. Me: Go ahead and connect us Operator: Thank you (sound of dial tone) I'm not making this up. I grab my phone and call fluffy and we have brunch at the meadows with the mrs. It's fun, we talk guns, life, liberty and the pursuit of extra sides of marinara. I hang out with them at the slot machines until it's time to head to the airport. I gas up at the sheetz next to the racetrack and I fly back home in coach since my status on delta is radioactive dirt. The incoming flight is late from Atlanta which means we leave late for Atlanta and i get back home 2.5 hours later than I expected. Laundry is running and I am unpacking as Megan walks in the door. Me: Hi! Megan: Hi. Back from revenge so soon? Me: Yeah. I'm actually late. How was dinner with your brother? Megan: Good. He took me to olive garden. So tell me what was so important you had to go out for revenge and come back the next day? (I tell her the story) Megan: Wait a minute. Your friend insulted you as a joke, so you bought a last minute first class ticket to new york and pennsylvania to fly to his surprise birthday party to yell at him in person, in january in 21 degree weather? Me: Yeah. Megan: Why would you do that? Me: Well he said that you're damaged goods. He wasn't insulting me, he was insulting you. I didn't like that. Megan: You cannot be serious. Me: I am serious. Megan: and don't call you Shirley? Me: You're weird. Megan: I'm not the one that just flew across the country to go "out for revenge", and I'm the weird one? Me: (goofy smile) Megan: (goofy laughter) Have a lovely holiday weekend everyone!
Anyone disappointed that the Encore has very little entertainment options?
Kinda seems to be a theme in Boston. Big project, ends up looking out of place, isn't that fun. The casino floor and poker room are beautiful and the poker room is massive, so they did great there. But no pool?? No theater for shows?? One nightclub and one bar? I expected them to have a sick pool area and big blow-out pool parties all summer. Ehh, better than nothing, but definitely disappointing that it's not cool like the wynn or cosmo in vegas.
Inside Boston Underground Poker Part 5: Bubbles Goes Busto
Previous Post: https://www.reddit.com/pokecomments/bg7xox/inside_boston_underground_poker_part_4_bubbles_in/ So there I was, walking to the Wynn craps table with about $38k in cash in my pocket. I was up $30k for the day in poker, but as always, I had to push my luck. There's a table off to the side with only one player at it, while the rest of the tables are pretty packed. I prefer a relatively empty table, so I head over there. The guy at the table has weirdly colored chips in front of him, and I realize he's some mega-whale with over a million in chips in his rail. I walk up to the table and he stays sitting, staring into his rail of chips. The table is $100 minimum which is why no one else was there, and I buy in for $10k. The guy is just starting a new roll, so I put $600 each 6 and 8 and $250 on the 5 and 9, and he instantly 7s out. I'm down $1700 already in about 3 minutes, shit. I throw $100 on the line, throw a 6 on the come out and put $600 on the 8, $250 each 5 and 9 again. The other guy started the roll with $12k each 6 and 8, $10k each 5 and 9 and $5k each 4 and 10, plus $1000 each on the hardways. I end up going on an insane roll. I'm throwing hard 6s and 8s like crazy, the guy has pressed up to $5k each on the hard ways and $30k each 6 and 8, and I just keep rolling them. I'm pressing my bets as well, and I'm up like $20k plus I have my bets up to $1000 each 5 and 9 and $3000 each 6 and 8, and I'm still going. At one point I bounce one of the dice off the table, and the other guy turns his bets off, and I roll back to back hard 6s, so he missed out on $160,000 from those rolls, it was pretty sick. I think in total I made something like $35k off of my roll, and the other guy made over a million. The sickest part was that he barely even looked up from his chips, and he never said a word to me or tipped the dealers at all. He went to the bathroom at one point and I made a comment to the dealers, and they said he was still down overall on the day... What a sicko. I played for a bit longer and ended up with $90k in my pocket, a profit of over $52k in a couple of hours of craps. I went into the Wynn with $8k in the morning and was leaving with $90k about 12 hours later. It was absolutely insane. I walked outside to wait for my car at the valet, and I had stuffed all 9 of the $10k "straps" into the pockets of my jeans. My jeans were busting with all of the cash, and these old people who were waiting at the valet noticed it and were staring so hard, it was hilarious. Between my cash, bank accounts and investments, I had about $350k to my name at that moment, less than 3 years after moving to Boston with a roll of around $1500. As you can imagine, I felt absolutely on top of the world. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head. Should I go buy a Porsche in cash? Should I listen to my mom and go to school in Santa Barbara, and use my money on a down payment on a house there? What was certain was the first thing I should have done was taken a bunch of that cash to the bank and gotten it out of my degenerate hands. Instead I drove to the Bellagio, got a room, got some room service, and went to bed. I woke up in the morning and had lost the $90k at the craps table before lunch. Now you might be thinking that this was the start of my spiral down, that I went and cashed out my investments, got it all in cash, and blew it all at the Bellagio craps tables, but that would have been too simple. Instead I went back to grinding $10/20nl like nothing had happened. I had lost 2 buyins, oh well. I took a few more shots at juicy $25/50nl games that summer, and like the lucky asshole I was, I never had a losing session in the 5 I played of that game. The other 4 were all at Bellagio, and usually only ran because a couple of specific businessmen wanted to play. They were bad, the games were great, I was still on top of the world in terms of poker. One session in particular stood out. I sat down with $10k and was on a roll again, running it up to over $20k within a couple of hours. I had maybe $24k in front of me and was the big stack at the table, it was early and there hadn't been too many rebuys yet, and in walks Viffer (David Peat). Viffer was apparently down a few buyins in Bobby's Room and only had enough for our game, so he sat in with $50k. Being the biggest stack at the table besides him, as well as a 21 year old dressed like a complete douche, Viffer instantly focused on me. He was sitting all the way across the table from me (I was in seat 3, he was in seat 8), but as he sat down he called across the table to me, "hey kid, ever lost a $50,000 pot before?". "Not yet, but I look forward to it!", I retorted. Not my greatest comeback ever, but oh well. I continue working up a stack without playing any big pots with him, and I'm at close to $30k and Viffer is still around $50k when a big pot happens. Since it was a $25/50nl game with $100 dead on the button, a typical raise was $300-350. In this hand, UTG raised to $350, Viffer called from the CO or HJ, the button called, the SB called, and I woke up with KK in the BB. There's over $1500 in the pot already, so I make it $1500 total and everyone calls. There's over $7500 in the pot preflop. The flop comes KTx rainbow, and I'm trying to figure out how long I should wait before checking, and if I should ham it up, when instead the SB open jams for around $8000. I have nearly $20k behind, and I wasn't sure what to do. UTG had about $12k, Viffer had me covered, and the button had under $10k, so raising vs flatting only really mattered significantly vs Viffer. I decided he didn't have much that could have hit this flop strongly, I wasn't getting paid unless he had KT or obviously TT or bottom set, and I didn't want to let him have pot odds with QJ, so I just jammed. UTG snap folded and Viffer stared me down for a minute before folding, and the button folded as well. We didn't flip our cards up, and the turn came an A and Viffer cursed to himself. He admitted later to having AT. River came a blank and the SB flipped up QJo to ship the pot with his straight. Bye bye $24k pot. I shake it off, I still have around $20k in front of me, and I run it up a bit once again, sitting with around $25k when I get into a big pot once again. This time I raise to $300 with J9s from the CO and one of the donkey businessmen that the games run because of reraised from the blinds up to $900. I called the $600 more, he had around $13k in his stack to start. The flop comes QJ9 and I'm loving life again. He could have QQ, but JJ is unlikely since I have one, and I had only seen him 3 bet once in around 4 hours. Great chance he had an overpair. He instantly bet out $1500 into the $2000 or so pot, and I reraised to $4000, he went all in pretty quickly, and after a little bit of thought I made the call and he proudly flipped up KK. He had a decent number of outs with his gutshot, another K or a Q giving him the pot, but instead the board ran out 5, 5 to give him higher 2 pair in a different way. Bye bye $26k pot. Those were 2 of the biggest pots I had ever played where it actually went to showdown and I hadn't gone all in with 100% to win. I had around 62% equity with the J9 and 74% with the KK, so it was a less than 10% chance for me to lose both. I ended up leaving the table up $7k, which was awesome after having lost my only 2 all ins for the night, but I was feeling negative, and of course went to the craps table. I lost my $7k profit and went home even for the day. Another of the biggest pots I ever played was actually at $10/20nl at the Wynn vs another pro who liked to try to make huge bluffs sometimes and had a habit of overthinking stuff in my opinion. I was sitting with over $15k from $8k in buyins, and was having a pretty great session overall, and the other pro had around $10k. I don't remember the action nearly as well in this hand as the others, but I had KTss in a 3bet multiway pot to the flop, and it came KT7 with 2 hearts. Someone bet, the other pro raised, I 3bet, the original better flatted, the other pro 4bet for like 40% of his stack, I shoved, the original raiser folded after tanking, and the pro went into the tank hard. Now this was a guy whose game I respected. He was facing a bet of another $5500 to win a pot of about $23000. When he went into the tank, I figured he had a non-nut flush draw and was trying to figure out if I had some pair and higher flush draw combos or nut flush draws in my range where he'd be way behind. He tanked for nearly 5 minutes and eventually called, the board ran out A, 5 and he said "you've probably got me". I turned over my KT and he goes "oh holy shit I figured you had a set!" and turn over A5hh. I'm not sure why he tanked so long getting over 3:1 with a nut flush draw, even if he put me on only sets, he still had the odds to call, and I'm playing QJhh and 98hh the same way, hands he is ahead of. I didn't mind losing 2 pair vs flush draw as much as I minded that he had me convinced I was good with his tank, and then even more when he said "you've probably got me". I had to leave the game because I was close to tilt after that one. The WSOP ended and the games dried up a bit. There were still $10/20nl games going at Bellagio usually, but with more grinders and fewer donks per table. Throughout the post- WSOP summer, many of my friends came out to party, and I spent a lot of time with Ashley, growing closer with her. At the end of the summer I decided not to stay in Vegas full time, moving to Berkeley, California, near my hometown and where several of my friends went to university. I played some of the juicy $5/10nl and $10/20nl games in the Bay Area with a medium amount of success, and partied a bunch with friends in frats at Cal. I made lots of trips out to Vegas, usually just for degenerate gambling and not a ton of poker. I had taken some losses in the market, but was still sitting with around $300k between cash, accounts and investments. When Bank of America dipped in November, I bought some for under $12. I still had Jetblue stock which wasn't doing great, and a handful of other stocks which were all struggling in the bear market, but I was convinced it would turn around. My host at the Bellagio was always inviting me to special events, and 2 stood out. A $1 million freeroll heads up blackjack tournament was the first. It was 128 players, so nearly $10k in value. If you won your first 3 rounds, you were in the money and guaranteed $50k. After dominating my first 2 opponents who knew very little about blackjack tournament strategy, I was feeling confident. Blackjack tournament strategy is very different than normal blackjack strategy since your objective is to beat your opponent, not the dealer, and there are weird rules like blackjack paying 2 to 1. There are a set number of hands you play, and whomever has the most money after those hands wins. My first opponent went broke, so I automatically won that. My 2nd opponent just bet small every time, and didn't compensate when I took a lead, so on the final hand he didn't even give himself a chance to win with his bet. My third opponent was semi competent, he at least knew basic blackjack strategy, but his betting was wrong and he still played as if he was trying to win chips from the dealer, not merely outplay me. I managed to make it so that on the 25th and final hand of our game, if both me and my opponent won the hand, I won, if both me and my opponent lost the hand, I won. Outside of making it impossible for them to win at all, which is very hard with correct strategy, this is about all you can ask of in a blackjack tournament. Me and my opponent both received face cards first, a great sign for me. For my 2nd card I received another face card, great news, until my opponent was dealt an A and got paid 2 to 1. My only chance was to split my face cards and try my luck to still end up on top, but it didn't work out and my opponent was the winner. A few months later I was invited to a free $1 million poker tournament. This was it, my ultimate chance. It was 100 invited players only and based on pit and slot play, not anything to do with poker. It was going to be me vs a bunch of degens without any poker skill! The time for the big tournament came, and there was a twist. There were actually 110 players, 10 of whom were MGM executives and had cash bounties on their heads between $1000-$10k depending on their level at the company. They couldn't cash the tournament, they were just there to have fun and add a wrinkle to the game. I easily navigated the field to start, although someone else at my table got the $2k bounty for knocking out our MGM employee. As the tournament progressed, it became clear the structure wasn't great, especially with so many inexperienced players taking a long time to make decisions. We were down to about 14 players including 2 executives left. Once only 10 real players were left, all of the executives remaining would be removed and their bounties would be put into the regular prize pool. Top 10 got paid, so there were essentially 12 left plus 2 fake players. I don't remember the action too well for this hand either, but I believe I was about 30 bbs deep to start the hand and raised with AJ from the button and got called by both blinds. The big blind was a $5000 bounty and she only had about 5bbs left after the call. The flop came KJ4 and they both checked, and I bet the 5bbs that the bounty had left. They both called. Turn came a T and after the other guy checked, and I thought I had him beat, so I went all in for the remaining 20 or so bbs. The SB tanked and was talking about how he really wanted the bounty. He ended up calling, he had about 1bb behind, and we all showed our hands. The SB had T9 with no flush draw, and the bounty had QJ, so I was 81% to scoop the hand, and only 11% to bust. River T and I'm done. The worst part was that the guy who stacked me with T9, having called with just a gutshot on the flop, managed to lose all of his chips on the bubble and go out in 11th place. He got his $5k cash bounty though... The stock market continued to crash, and I went harder and harder in on the stocks I thought would bounce back, still investing on margin. Eventually I lost it all in February/March of 2009 when Bank of America stock dropped to $3. I had bought in more at $7, then even more at $5, and when the margin call came in I lost nearly $200k just on that one stock. My average buy price was a mere $6 since I had bought in huge at $5. If I had been able to pay the margin call and hang on, by August of 2009 my 50k+ shares would have netted me a profit of over half a million dollars. Instead I was completely broke. My losses in the market for 2008 and 2009 were nearly $400,000, and I later found out my casino pit game losses were nearly $200,000. If I had been patient, diversified, not on margin, and kept out of the pit, I would have been a 22 year old millionaire. Instead I was busto. I continued on in poker for several years after that, but unfortunately my persona of trying to seem like a rich kid wasting daddy's money had left me without many poker friends, and without many people who respected my game enough to stake me. I ended up turning to online SNGs and being moderate successful, but still lazy and not putting in the hours I should have. Ashley and I tried to make it work, but she wanted me to move out to Vegas for good, and I was afraid being in Vegas would end in disaster for me as I'd continue to waste a huge amount of money on gambling, money I no longer had. My high school sweetheart came back into my life at that point as well, and I pushed Ashley aside for nostalgia, ignoring the reasons the high school gf and I had broken up several times in the past. In the end, I wanted to be more serious than she did, and I haven't spoken to the high school ex in 10 years. Ashley moved on quickly as she always did, and already had a serious boyfriend by the time I came around and realized I wanted to be with her. She ended up becoming a stripper in Vegas, and the last time I saw her she was a bit of a mess. She moved out of Las Vegas these days and I think she's doing better, but we don't keep in close touch. By Black Friday I had joined a good staking group and was successful at online SNGs, making a nice hourly, coaching other players, and generally doing well at poker, although in my personal life I was a mess after losing both girls I loved in close succession. After Black Friday I made several stupid mistakes, alienating my backers and many in the poker community. I paid everyone back in the end, but I knew I needed to get out of poker. I went back to college, met my wife and we've been together for nearly 7 years now. I now work as a financial adviser. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed my crazy life journey! Some other crazy stuff happened along the way that I might throw together at some point, but those are more Vegas party stories than much to do with poker.
INTRO It was a completely spontaneous thing. I was in China on a 2-week trip to visit some relatives and had just arrived in HongKong when I realized Macau wasn't too far away and I had nothing planned for the next couple of days. A 2-hour bus ride later, I set foot in Macau for the first time in my life. The first thing that struck me was just the sheer number of casinos and the ease of access to them. Shuttle buses were everywhere (mostly free!) and taxis were quite abundant as well (started at 19HKD for the first bit, + 2HKD every 100m I think). I quickly made my way into a couple of the casinos in hopes of hopping into some Holdem. A few attempts later and it became apparent that Holdem was not a popular game in Macau at all and only a few casinos offered it (Venetian, Wynn Macau, and possibly some others). The lowest stakes offered were 50/100HKD (about 6.5/13USD), with the lowest rake being 5% capped at 200HKD. These stakes were a bit higher than the 1/3 and 2/5 I was used to and I didn't have that much cash on me, but I wasn't about to come all this way and not play poker, so I got some help withdrawing money from an ATM at the Wynn and walked in with 20K HKD hoping to not bust 2 bullets in what was likely to be a deep game (25K buyin cap). Some sidenotes before getting into the main action: 1/ The casinos were all really nice: very well designed, good service (people opening doors and greeting you), air-conditioned. 2/ Some potentially mafia-associated people would approach you on the casino floor quietly asking you if you needed HKD, but a brief shake of the head or ignoring them sent them on their way. 3/ Women would occasionally approach you on the casino floor asking you if you needed 'service'. 4/ No railing the tables if you weren't playing, and also no phones at the tables (you had to stand up to use a phone). 5/ No 1K chips were allowed to play at the poker table (not sure if for all the casinos or just the Wynn Macau). Had to use 100, 500, 5K, and 10K chips, with the dealers giving you 5 and 25 chips as change occasionally. 6/ Mandarin, Cantonese, or English were the only languages permitted at the tables. 7/ Good selection of beverage and food (drinks were free). 8/ No tipping! I tipped an extra 10 at the end of a session and got flashed a funny glance by a dealer. One of the regulars made a joke about me donating to Mr. Steve Wynn. 9/ Tables were all 10-handed. INTERESTING HANDS 1/ Battle with a Reg: Preflop Edition 18K effective. Good reg HJ opens for 300. I 3bet As4s to 1100 from the BTN. HJ makes it 2700. I 5bet to 5700. HJ tank folds. 2/ Funny Business with My Favourite Hand: Part 1 10K effective. I open from the HJ with JhTh to 300. SB weaker reg calls, BB folds. I cbet 400 on 9h7h5s. SB checkraises to 1300. I tank 3bet to 3300, hoping to fold out some pair or pair+sd type hands. He calls. Turn comes an As. He checks and I jam. He quickly folds. 3/ Funny Business with My Favourite Hand: Part 2 13K effective. I open (same orbit!) from UTG with JhTh to 300. Only a rec UTG+1 calls. Flop comes 5s5h5c. I cbet 200 and get snap called. Turn is the 9h. I lead for 800 and get called again. River comes the 2c. I overbet 5K and get a tank fold. 4/ No Fear 20K effective. Folds to me and I open 5s6s on the BTN. SB rec and BB good reg both call. Flop comes Ks8h9d. SB donks 300, BB calls. I make it 1500 and to my surprise, both call (slightly concerned about BB slowplaying a set but SB is FOS at this point). Turn is an inconsequential 3d, bringing a bdfd. I make it 2700, the rec calls rather quickly and the reg folds to my delight. The river brings the Js and the rec checks after a couple seconds. The best hand he can have here is a straight, but calling turn with a naked QT is unlikely even for this player, so with him holding so many 76, T7, JT, and possibly just Kx, I went for blood and went for a pot-sized 10K bet. My bluff gets through and after consoling the agonizing rec that I indeed had a set, I raked in my chips. CONCLUSION Poker in Macau is rather tough, and casinos don't seem super interested in promoting it, with a number of rooms being shut down over the past years. It might have been soft before, but not anymore. I assumed that sitting at the lowest stakes offered the games would be much softer than they were, but though there were still some weaker players, games were significantly tougher than the games I play in Vancouver, which aren't that soft compared to other places in the world. There were barely open limps except from one or two weaker recs, and for the most part, even the weaker regs were sizing and range aware. 3bets were also quite common and I suspect 4bet-bluffing was a thing among a number of regs as well. The overall vibe was more serious and competitive. I sat at 3 different tables over the course of 2 days, and the table composition was usually the same: ~3-4 tight weaker regs, ~1-2 good regs, ~2-3 recs, ~1-2 tight passive OMC, and me. It was an experience I'm definitely glad I had, but to maximize hourly, I'd for sure play elsewhere. In total, I played 10 hours, and was up +22600 HKD.
LONG write up - TLDR - I had a successful Macau trip. It's a little after 6pm in Macau and I've decided to shut the trip down and relax for the rest of the night. My flight back to Shanghai is tomorrow at 1pm. What an experience it's been so far. Day 1 - Wednesday I flew into Zhuhai on Wednesday night, and had hoped to catch people heading to the Macau bus, but everyone scattered and there were no tourists to follow. I went to the taxi line, got in a cab, and told the driver 'Macau, Macau'. He looked at me funny and after a minute of us trying to convince each other of something... he finally took off. An hour later, I'm dropped off at this train station looking place, where there's hordes of Asian people trying to cram through the gates. This is the Macau customs inspection point. I manage to get through and hop on a free shuttle bus to the Venetian. Upon my arrival, it's already past 10pm, so I take a look around and grab another taxi to head to my hotel, which is off the strip. Pretty uneventful day 1. I'm just glad I made it to my hotel in one piece lol. Day 2 - Thursday Couldn't sleep well last night. I woke up at around 8am and decided to head over to the Venetian. I ended up walking, but damn that was a mistake. It's a bit humid for the morning and I'm sweating by the time I get to the casino, which is about 2 miles away. I finally get to the Poker room at around 10am and there's a couple tables running and a list of about 10 people. That's not bad at all! I was expecting it to be busier. I get my name added to the list and now it's time to get some money out. There were 3 tables going with 50-100NL and 100-200NL. I think the USD to HKD exchange rate is about 1 to 7.85, so these are 6/12NL and 12/24 NL. Min buy for the 50/100 was 5K to 30K ($3,800 USD). The 100/200NL has a 20K min buy with no cap. I put my name down on the 50/100. I went to the ATM soon after and was only able to pull out 3k HKD at a time. After 5 ATM transactions, I manage to pull out 15k HKD and head back to the poker room, only to find out... I can't buy chips there. So back to the cage I go. LOL. Dammit. Ok, finally seated at the table after a short little wait. My first day can be summed up in 3 consecutive hands, which I'll get to. 50/100NL, Pre-flop action is typically 300 (first to act). I've seen a 3 bet go anywhere from 900-1.2k (this is HKD of course). I don't have too much experience playing 5/10 so I decided to play ABC and tight. Also, it was difficult to understand exactly how much $$ the pot was so I had to re-program my brain to just go off pot size rather than try to convert this to USD in my head. I think at my highest, I was sitting on 24k ($1.1K profit) and about 11k at the lowest. So all in all, not too bad. Next like 5-6 hours, I'm completely card dead and hovering around 16k. Then comes the trifecta of hands that make my evening. Hand 1 of 3 I'm starting to get tilted from no action, hungry because I haven't had anything to eat, and dizzy. Hero - 9s5s on button Villain - is on my direct right, and he's been a solid player all day. Pre-flop, 1 call, action around to Villain, who pops to the 300, Hero calls, SB calls, MP1 calls. Flop comes 6-6-10 (2 clubs). Checks to villain, who bets pot, 1.2k. I'm so bored out of my mind and energy fading at this point, I call 1.2k. Rest fold, it's heads up. Turn comes an off 8. He leads out for 2.2k. I realize I'm losing my mind, but I have no choice... I count out 2.2k, pause for a bit, then decide to go over the top for 5.2k. It's time to bluff this one or go home. He took about 30 seconds to think. I'm putting him on pocket Js or Qs. River is a off 2. Flush misses. He checks, I announce all-in for remaining ~9k. After about 2 minutes of making me sweat, he folds. I flip it up, cuz I'm feeling re-energized and the whole table explodes in laughter. Villain turns to me and says "a bluff?!" Then I can see his shoulders slouch and he avoids eye contact. Couple Chinese guys come over to give me a fist bump and start asking me where I'm from. I say California. This will be important later. Hand 2 of 3 Very next hand. Button is now to my left. UTG calls for 100, MP makes it 400 to go, I call 400 with Ad8d, UTG 3 bets to 1.2, MP folds, I call. It's heads up, and one of the Chinese guy says "bluff again!" in broken English. Flop Ah Qh 8s UTG Checks around to me, I put in a bet of 1.2k. He raises it to 3.75. I call. Turn is a off suit 7. No help. He grabs a stack and puts out 5.5k. He started with about 30k so he's got me covered. I take my time and put out 5.5k. Off to the river. River comes 6 off suit, no flush. He pauses for 5 seconds, then announces all in. I have about 12k in front of me and feel sick. I tank for a minute... then convince myself of a call because of one thing. When he sat down, his buddies ridiculed him in Cantonese (I think), which I couldn't understand, but picked up the words bluff, bluff, bluff over and over again. Just went with that piece of info as the icing on the cake and decided to call it off. He doesn't flip right away, so I flip A-8. He tables K-Q a second after. The entire table goes ape shit. My neighbor says "Hero bluff, Hero call!" One guy starts chanting 'USA, USA', LMAO! More people are talking in English now and interested in talking to me. Hand 3 of 3 It's the last of the 3 hands before I get up soon after... and it's a bit uneventful, but hilarious nevertheless. I'll make it short, but essentially UTG is tilted and decides to spew the rest of his 7.5k stack off pre-flop. I think he's small or big blind at this point and he goes all in when it comes around. I have pocket Jacks LOL. Insta-Call. The whole table erupts in laughter again. On a side note, the poker table vibe was very chill versus how it is in US. I don't know if they know each other or not, but the mood is very casual and people make fun of each other. It's hilarious. One guy who spoke poor English told me he thought I was a robot, because they were all crackin jokes and he said I never laughed. When he found out I wasn't Chinese, he was like OHHHHhhh. (I've been told I look Chinese) Anyways, everyone says face up, so I flip Jacks and UTG decides to play it down. Board runs out 10 high. He turns over pocket Queens! LMAOOOOOO... the mob says money back! money back! Everyone is happy. I can't remember if I play a couple more or not, but decide to color up soon after and go eat dinner. It's 6pm, raining outside... taxi line is about 200 people deep. I walk back in the rain. Day 3 (Today!) Not as exciting as yesterday, but was another good day. I took a cab to the Wynn... only to find out the Wynn near Venetian doesn't have Poker. The Wynn up north has the Poker room. I didn't know there were 2 Wynn casinos here LOL. WTF. Forget it, I decide to walk back to the Venetian again. Once I get to the Venetian, 10am and there's a list of 25 people for 50/100. Mother of God... By noon, they still haven't opened any new tables and the list is 60 people deep. Finally, dealers stroll in and they quickly open up 3 new 50/100 tables. I manage to get seated by 1pm. I was #27. The table today is a lot weaker than the one I played last night. Guys were doing funny things like doubling the blind by the big blind after it gets around, LOL (maybe it was just this one guy). Players had interesting bet sizings. very little aggression. No one tried to steal pots. It was very weak tight gameplay. I was able to push people off pots once my chip stack got bigger. I ended up cashing out positive again today for a short 3 hour session. For the trip, I played about 10-11 hours. Started with my original 15k HKD and cashed for 64k HKD, for a profit of a little over 49k HKD ($6.2k USD). On my walk back to the hotel, I managed to find this currency exchange window called P&W, and exchanged everything back to USD. They gave me a pretty good exchange rate, so I'm a bit confused how they make money... oh well. In summary... it was a good trip. Sorry the write up was long. If an idiot like me can make it to Macau, play poker and make it back... you can too. And you'll probably make money. I literally did little to no research.
Not talking about quality of action, but what are your most enjoyable rooms to play cards in comfort and service wise? I liked the old school Tropicana in AC... it had a series of rooms, so no matter where you played it seemed like you were in a private game. I hate the mega poker halls with echoes of slot machines from the casino floor... Currently I like MD live as it is separated from the floor, built in cup holders, great WiFi. I also have a soft spot for Borgata, but preferred when the room was downstairs. Wynn kinda reminds me of Borgata on that note. Any undiscovered poker rooms out there to check out?
Trip report: four nights at Encore for anniversary for $8500
My wife (32F) and I (31F) had our one-year anniversary at Encore for four nights. We had previously spent our honeymoon doing the same Encore trip. All together, we’ve been to Vegas five times and Reno two times since meeting a few years ago. Heaven on Earth Cost: all-in, including transportation, lodging, entertainment, food, etc, we spent $8500. That includes our bankrolls of $1600 each. My wife left with $400 of her bankroll and I actually won $500, but we don’t return any of that to offset the $8500, we just add it to next trip’s bankroll. Lodging: we went with Encore, our favorite casino resort in the world. We prefer it to Wynn because it’s more intimate, has the Players Lounge (a special casino pit with couches and dealers in classy black dresses), sometimes has lower limits than Wynn, doesn’t get much tourist traffic from the strip or Palazzo, and it has natural light from the pool and the atrium next to high limit. Both Wynn and Encore are on the quieter side, but Encore even more so. We got the Panoramic Suite, which is the same as the regular Resort Suite, just on a higher floor. Comps: at the end of the trip I spoke with the on-duty casino host about comps. He gave me $150 and my wife $100 off our bill. I felt that was more than generous. While we did give them a ton of play (maybe 6 hours a day), we’re low rollers. I play craps, blackjack, baccarat, pai gow poker, pai gow tiles, and three card poker. My wife plays craps, blackjack, pai gow poker, three card poker, roulette, and slots. She goes to sleep earlier, which probably explains the difference in comps. Sat: we landed at 2pm after a slight delay. My wife surprised me by having a black Escalade waiting to take us to Encore. I’m a sucker for SUVs. We were directed to the express (electronic) check-in, which couldn’t scan our IDs or find our reservations, but an attendant helped us. We opted to wait for a strip-facing room, and were rewarded with a top floor (63rd) room. We changed in the bathroom and gave our bags to the bellhop, heading straight to the pool. There was a great energy there, lots of people, very sunny. We played $15 craps and got in the water. Encore Pool Casino After changing we had a wonderful dinner at Andreas. My wife is allergic to shellfish so she loves their vegan sushi. I tried foie gras which was too rich. After that we gambled for many hours in the Players Lounge, playing $10 craps and $15 blackjack (6:5). The cocktail waitress was able to get me port wine for free by going to the bars. We tried out Night Swim at Encore Beach Club. Total disaster, I’ll spare you the full story, but they put us in the regular line (not expedited entry that hotel guests get), and the pool was closed. We left 30 seconds after getting in and a great floor manager at the casino later that night helped us get a refund and gave us a ticket for a free meal at Jardin. That’s Encore service :-) Sun: started the day at Jardin. A beautiful restaurant but I find their options a little bit limited. Subtract alcohol and eggs and half the menu is gone! After that we went to the spa. Super beautiful and relaxing. I got my hair cut and styled at the salon, followed by makeup. My wife got a blowout. We both felt great after that and took lots of pictures. We headed over to Bellagio to play craps and eat dinner at Prime. We were nearly alone on the patio facing the fountains. Prime's patio Food was just amazing. The filet we split was an earthy brown on the inside. I wonder if that’s from dry aging, or from doing it sous vide. Either way the best filet I’ve ever had. Filet at Prime After that we went to Caesars to see Absinthe. It was super loud, but the show was fantastic!! Beauty at Absinthe :P Absinthe performers After the show we met with a colleague of mine in Caesars who was in town for a conference and showed him how to play craps. We finished the night at Encore, gambling mostly in the Players Lounge. Mon: woke up a little hung over to a room service breakfast of bacon, hash brown, and beignets. We went to check out Red Rock Casino but left in a grumpy state after an hour because of how loudly they play country pop in there, as well as commercials for their Players’ Card, which sounds just like a bad radio station ad, and creates a terrible atmosphere. For lunch we ate at Charlie’s Bar & Grill, and checked out Wynn’s completely redesigned sports book. The hot dog was great. I decided to get my first ever massage at Encore spa. It was beyond amazing, so profesional, so skilled. I used the hot tubs and reading room too. My wife took the opportunity to nap. I was doing well on bankroll so I played some $25 at 3:2 blackjack (instead of $15 at 6:5). Then we went to the buffet. We ate too much! But it was amazing. I made sure to get plenty of crab legs this time, while my wife was given a personal tour from the chef to show her what was safe to eat. He even offered to personally cook any item separately to make certain there was no cross-contamination with shellfish. Wynn Buffet We both felt uncomfortably stuffed after that. Gambling in the Players Lounge rounded out a great day. Tues: woke up to a delicious mango from room service. The day before they said no mangoes were ripe. If they don’t have a perfect mango, they don’t serve it :-) We walked to to Venetian/Palazzo. We ate lunch at Grimaldi’s which served a wonderful thin crust pizza in a NY themed setting. Pizza at Grimaldi We toured the mall, got some Honolulu cookies, and gambled in the Venetian. It was a little hectic in there for my taste. However, you can play in the high limit room for only a $50 bacc bet, which I thought was a great value. Next we did the Star Wars virtual reality attraction, which we loved. After that we went to Palazzo. I liked that Palazzo was less crowded, with fewer tourists running through. I played some $25 Pai Gow Poker in the green chip pit next to the high limit room while wifey played slots--she was very excited to find a Casablanca machine. We canceled our dinner reservations at Lakeside and decided to get room service. I ate a delicious Reuben sandwich with chicken noodle soup and she ate a cheese melt with tomato soup. We finished the night in Encore’s Player Lounge as usual. Weds: we started with room service of scrambled eggs and english muffins. While my wife packed I talked to the casino host who gave us some great comps off our room bill. I played some bacc in the high limit room, winning $300 as a fantastic sendoff. My wife, on her way out, placed a single $100 blackjack (3:2) bet and got dealt a ten and an ace, blackjack! It was a great moment. The black Escalade took us to McCarran and we were on our way! Lessons learned: sleep in or you won’t feel right the rest of the day. Don’t try to eat too many high-end meals, they’re just too rich and leave us feeling overstuffed. Don’t go to the nightclubs if you’re expecting the same kind of personalized friendly service you get elsewhere on property. They’re pretty gruff, probably from dealing with drugged out 20-somethings. And the biggest lesson of all: spend a little extra to get exactly the trip you want. Encore charges a premium but to us it’s more than worth it. Thanks for Reading :-)
Yesterday I should have seen all the warning signs. I kept drifting out of it while doing research and eventually stopped entirely to scratch an itch to "finally watch Man of Steel" -a movie I've never before cared about and didn't care about as I watched it. For reference, my girlfriend and I don't even own a television. After about 15 minutes I realized I wasn't even watching the movie but just playing with my phone and more just listening to sound effects in the background. I had no idea what was going nor was I bothered to find out. Instead of realizing I was experiencing burnout and unregistering what I could and setting an ideal lineup for the rest, I instead decided that maybe it's for the best I haven't seen any of the modern Superman films and took a nap. None of this was typical behavior for me. I normally love researching sports data, in fact, I did it even before I ever played DFS. Fangraphs was my default landing page on my browser in college. I used to spend days on end projecting baseball outcomes just for fun. I'm the kind of guy who reads a biography on Napoleon, finds details lacking and then will spend 12 hours straight pouring through online archives of statistics compiled by battlefield surgeons during the Napoleonic Wars because the author didn't give me a satisfactory level of insight into how prevalent bayonets were in actual combat. See, I'm already getting off topic, the point is that I have basically no interest in films like Superman and love absorbing deep and nuanced data. I also never take naps. Something was clearly afoot but I failed to recognize it. Bayonet wounds compromised 2% of recorded wounds in Napoleonic warfare if you were wondering. What I should have noticed was days earlier I forgot to check in around lock for PGA to scour the site for overlay, bad players making h2hs, or generally weak fields as I normally do. I also ignored that recently I'd not been paying as much attention and doing things like forgetting to double check on guys who were probable. Tellingly, I also didn't know Boban was starting. I literally passed off all the Boban chatter as sarcastic and never bothered to consider people were being serious. And earlier that morning, I forgot to double check on my soccer lineups so had some guys on the bench on my team. All of this was ignored. Sure enough, still in this DFS malaise, I not only don't set a real dummy lineup but don't even bother to check in on it before lock. By the time I realize what's going on, some of the games had already started and sure enough, I had button mashed in the backup NJ goalie in my dummy lineup. I normally put in a strong dummy lineup because it helps introduce the upcoming slate to me before I start research in earnest. This phenomenon is called burnout. It costs me money every couple months when it appears. It likely does the same to you. You've probably often seen the gpp lineups that never got filled or when someone starts someone against you in h2h that was ruled out long before lock - that's almost always burnout you are witnessing. The key is catching it before it hurts you financially. This is easier said than done. Despite all the warning signs poking me right in the face, I just ignored a series symptoms as unrelated events. A few times I even asked myself if it was happening but convinced myself that wasn't the case. It wasn't until the financial consequences became meaningful that the gravity of the situation had set in and I was able to accept what was going on. Fortunately for me, the upcoming hockey and basketball slates are very weak so it's easy to fade. It'd be a lot more tempting to just continue playing through it if there weren't only 3 NBA games today. That's my first step in my process of getting out of burnout. I'm still going to play, but instead of having multiple lineups in each slate, I'll switch it up to a single lineup put in sparingly for a fraction of the amount I normally play. I've personally found it's best for me to stay involved, just not for stakes of any significance. I won't start playing with a normal amount again until I find myself naturally and eagerly wanting to research the upcoming slate. Burnout was always much easier to deal with during my poker days. In fact, it never was a major problem for me to the extent that it hurts my DFS. I think the reason for this would be that poker requires active involvement whereas DFS is more like a Ronco product with a set it and forget it. It allows you passively partake, something that enables you to keep going on when you really shouldn't. Playing shitty poker takes just as much effort as good poker, playing shitty DFS takes up no time at all whereas one could otherwise spend an entire day preparing for it. When I was playing online poker, it was a very simple matter, I'd realize I had no interest in what I was doing and just log out of each table once my big blind came around. I'd then try to spend a bit more time outdoors. I'd go for a walk or a hike and if that wasn't enough, the next day I'd pack up some things and go on a trip. However, with us all having 9-5 jobs, you can't just phone in to the office and say you need some time off to relax and confront your burnout :). So these days it's just a matter of staying involved by playing for like $1 and wait for the urge to research comes back. No road trips to Moab, Utah or days on the beach. Sooner or later I'd start feeling that itch again and things would be back to normal. When I was playing live it was another matter. Usually being in Macau, there wasn't really all that much for hiking or camping on a congested island. Furthermore, never being a permanent resident there, each day I was there I was paying for rent back home and a hotel room/airbnb over there - in essence, burnout simply ate into my ROI. I'd view time not spent at the tables as time that was wasted so I created a one day break with a test afterwards to determine whether I kept playing or packed up and went home. So when I began not feeling like myself at the tables from these constant high stakes sessions, I made a habit of hitting up the Clube Militar De Macau. This was a fascinating place, it used to be where the Portugese Military hung out during the colonial era and these days it's just an out of place building surrounded by the older casinos, an alley of Philipino tranny hookers and fake jewelry shops that pretend to sell you stuff but really just give you unofficial cash advances on your credit card. I always got a kick out of that, all the pomp and circumstance which used to encompass that building and the people who used to occupy it... always wondered what they'd think if they knew it's become a derelict just barely hanging onto survival with a very reasonably priced lunch buffet. Without fail, it's always empty. I'd sit down and order a Vinha D'Alhos along with a bottle of wine and just soak up the setting, think about my recent play and keep drinking until I thought about something else. Sometimes, I'd need to get a second or third bottle of wine. Then I'd go on a walk through the old city, see the free standing wall that remains of the old cathedral and then loop back around and hit up the evil empire of degeneracy that is the Cystal Palace Casino. Now Macau has many casinos, some were big in the past that are largely empty today, others are modern and luxurious ones that are crowded today. The Crystal Palace is neither of those. It's a tiny little place crammed into 2 rooms on the 3 floor of the Hotel Lisboa, not to be confused with the Grand Lisboa, which is across the street. While most of Macau is baccarat and high stakes (most places the min bet is over $50), the Crystal Palace fills a little niche of broke degenerates offering min bets for less than $10. This is where I'd happily take the amount I'd normally play in blinds in a single orbit and stretch it out over several hours of mindlessness. I'd start off with Blackjack and then once too inebriated to be counting accurately (like with burnout, probably never realized until well after it'd begun) I'd then switch it up and play baccarat as no amount of drunkeness can screw that up because there's no way to impact the outcome one bit. They will however let you touch, bend and play with the cards, which can actually be fun after a couple drinks. Afterwards, I'd head back to the hotel and lay down in bed listening to my current audiobook - usually science fiction. I'd drink plenty of water, eat some healthy food and get very well rested and sleep for a very long time. The next morning I'd again hit up the Crystal Palace, but this time go straight to the poker room and get on the list. After an hour or two playing the low stakes poker they offer, I'd make a decision over whether I was still feeling it or rather thinking of blackjack and baccarat. If I was back in the mood for poker, then I'd head off to the Wynn or another casino with a poker room. If I wasn't, then I'd cash out, book tickets home and play more baccarat and blackjack until it was time to leave for my flight. That's really how I could tell whether or not I was still going through burnout. If I felt more attracted to much more mindless and instant gratification pit games than grinding away at the poker tables. For DFS, there is no real active involvement, so I don't have that indicator. It's much more subtle. It's a lot harder to detect when burnout is occuring, and it's much more difficult to confront. Since poker is active, I just had to do something else and wait for my desire to return. But for DFS, there's always that "oh I should set some lineups" mentality that's basically automatic process for most people. For many of us, a day without setting lineups is like a day without lunch, it may happen, but it feels abnormal and while one can sit down and play poker when not into it, DFS is orders of magnitude easier to passively do and that's the danger, that you could be burning ROI before realizing you are burning. So whenever you start feeling different, be it getting bored while doing research, wanting to play some baccarat or oddly have a desire to watch Man of Steel, try to pay attention to it and reconsider whether or not you should be playing DFS for more than a token amount that day. It's easier said than done, but recognizing burnout and taking proactive steps to limit the damage are essential for any sustained DFS grind in which we all partake. I still have yet to find a new way to bring my mind back into the game, which is the primary reason I'm writing about it here. I'm hoping this can help. Most likely though, I'll just wait it out and sometime soon be thinking hard about researching Harden's game time status again, and then I'll know it's safe to play again.
Visiting Vegas next May looking for some recommendations.
Hi Everyone I am beginning to plan a Vegas vacation for roughly a year from now. My wife is about to give birth to our second child and I thought this would make a great mothers day present for next year. I am trying to start planning now to ensure the best deals. I wanted to ask a question about Hotels and Shows. I would like to stay around $300 a night and under $100 for a show. I have hard good things about the Cosmopolitan and also the palms place suites. Any other hidden gems? My Wife isn't a big gambler but she would love 1. A good massage 2. A good vegetarian friendly restaurant 3. A cool nightclub 4. A nice suite. This vacation is for her so these are my main concerns but I love to play poker so a good recommendation for poker rooms is appreciated as well. I know rooms are a lot cheaper mid week and we don't care about a party atmosphere but I would hate to get there and everything be closed till the weekend. What are your guy's opinions on what days to go?
Just got back from Vegas and wanted to share my experience for anyone coming since there always seem to be questions every week about similar stuff. Stayed at the Luxor for three nights Wed-Sat this past week on an mlife offer with Resort Credit and Freeplay. Staff was very nice at Luxor and we stayed in a Tower Premium Room with 2 queen beds. Room was very nice actually. We were on the 2nd floor and didn't have much of a view, however, this is probably the nicest room I've had in Vegas. To give some reference, I usually only stay at the lower end strip properties since I'm a low-roller and that's what I get comped. I've stayed in a Flamingo Fab Room, Excalibur Royal Room, Bally's basic room (Jubilee?), The Rio (Never again.), and the Linq. The only property that was close was the Flamingo. I will say that the Luxor's room isn't as nice as the Go rooms at Flamingo though. We were very happy with the room for a comp room though. If you do stay at Luxor just know this: You have to walk. A lot. I like MGM's Casino and the walk to there even though it's only a few properties down is about 20-25 minutes and you have to walk through Excalibur unless you take the tram. All and all though, wasn't a bad place to stay and would definitely take it over Excalibur by a mile. We hit up three buffets for brunch on our trip: The Aria, Bacchanal at Caesars, and Wicked Spoon at Cosmo. The Aria buffet was free from our myvegas points. (Facebook/Mobile game where you can earn some free stuff for your Vegas trip. Mostly buffets and free nights but there are some shows there too.) It was pretty good. Food all looked fresh and tasted good. Food is pretty standard buffet fare though which is where the other two buffets really shine. Purchased the unlimited drinks add-on for $19.99 for two people. We had margaritas and they were pretty good for 4 of them for $19.99, but beware, they are pretty slow bringing out drinks. I think brunch normal price is $28.99 which is a fair price I think for this buffet seeing as worse buffets charge that much. Friday we went to Bacchanal on a Groupon, $88 for brunch for 2 with two mimosas each. Simply put, this is the best buffet in Vegas I have been to. (I have not eaten at Wynn or Sterling Brunch though.) Worth the price. Mimosas were very good. They were not all orange juice like some places make them. The food though was all on point. Slab bacon and Chicken and Waffles were delicious. Meats from the carving station were good as well. Chilaquiles were amazing too. Decent selection of seafood, Lobster Eggs Benedict was a favorite. My wife is Vegetarian and she had a very good selection of stuff to eat here and she was very happy with her choices. Saturday we tried Wicked Spoon and we were really glad we did. We did the unlimited drinks and brunch buffet which worked out to about $115+tip. The service here was the best I've ever had any any buffet. Wife and I got through about 5 glasses of champagne each along with a 6th to go. He just kept bringing them out and was very fast to refill our water and clear our plates. Food was very inventive and delicious. Pork Pozole Sope and Gordon Ramsay style eggs were excellent which is saying a lot since buffet eggs are usually gross. The best thing I ate all trip though had to be this truffle pasta they had out. Normally when you get "truffle" dishes they're just made with truffle oil or something, however, there were decent sized chunks of actual black truffle shaved onto each dish. I love truffle and it was sooooo good. Now, where this buffet lacked was the carving station. I had some chewy beef that was the worst of the three buffets. However, I'd definitely go back here again even at the steep price since the drink service was so good and that truffle pasta was amazing. The other two places we ate were VegeNation and Primrose. Vegenation is a vegan restaurant downtown. Probably best Vegetarian/Vegan place I've eaten at. Had the meatball sub which was good and my wife says they're spaghetti and meatballs are delicious. She strayed from it this time and got the Veggiechanga which was a vegan chimichanga. She wasn't too happy with it. It was filled with a lot of meat substitute and not as much veggies as she thought it would have. She regretted the choice the whole trip since she loved the spaghetti and meatballs last trip. Primrose is a new restaurant in Monte Carlo/Park MGM. I had the Filet and frites and it was delicious. Decent size filet on top of bone marrow and mushrooms. The frites were ok, definitely not as good as Bouchon's, but good. My wife had the tomato pasta and it was very good. Kind of spicy with perfectly cooked pasta. Drinks were good and my wife ordered some lavender infused drink that was very tasty. All and all would recommend, dinner for two with drinks ended up around $120+tip. One thing to mention though is the Monte Carlo is a mess right now. So much construction going on and the entrances and exits are very inconvenient. We went and saw Brilliant at the Neon Museum downtown and it was a pretty good show. Show lasts about a half hour and they give you some time after the show to snap pictures with the signs lit up. If you like vintage Vegas stuff I'd definitely recommend it. I think tickets were $26/pp for the show and you could buy a ticket with a tour of the museum for $42/pp. Few other quick things: Go to the Cosmo's Chandelier Bar and order a Verbena ($16). It is the coolest cocktail I've ever had. You sip this cocktail after eating a flower than makes your tongue tingle and it is delicious. Even if you're not a big gambler I suggest you check out MGM and play Sigma Derby and/or Fortune Cup. They are mechanical horse racing games that are a fun way to kill time and you're money doesn't disappear instantly. Sigma Derby user quarters and Fortune Cup is a more updated version with a minimum bet of $1. The D on Fremont also has one of each machine and I saw the Fortune Cup machine at a few other casinos like the Cosmo. Hit a quinella for $150 on the Fortune Cup machine at the MGM and my wife who is not normally a gambler had a fun time picking horses to win. I also realized I don't think I like Fremont that much. Gambling is better downtown, but the whole atmosphere just isn't for me anymore. I think between the amount of non musician 'performers' and homeless beggars I saw and smelled on Thursday night I'm going to hit up the mob museum next trip then skip Fremont from now on. TL;DR Buffets: Bacchanal >= Cosmo > Aria, go see Brilliant, Luxor's Tower Premium room is an excellent choice for a budget room, Vegenation has great vegan food, Primrose is good but Monte Carlo is a mess, Play Sigma Derby and Fortune Cup, maybe skip Fremont? EDIT: Oh, almost forgot. The new Esports Arena at the Luxor looks awesome if you're into that sort of thing. $25 for unlimited play from 12PM-12AM. The setup there looked really nice. Thinking of trying to get my gaming group (Who are also really into Poker) to taking a trip for gambling and gaming.
Checked out The Venetian, they got a nice little poker room. around 8 tables playing all full. Two stakes 7/14 and 14/28 USD$ NLH. According to my research not too many other casinos have poker rooms either. Many have closed down. Only the Wynn and Venetian rep that shit asfaik. I'm too broke for this shit, I'd rather take a seat between an oxygen tank grandpa and megagulp fatass at planet hollywood nl200.
"I find your lack of faith disturbing" - Darth Vader Monero Meetup Report
Las Vegas, Defcon-26 9-12/8/18
Caesar's Palace DefCon draws crowds of 25,000 attendees over a 3 day period. This year, DefCon booked conference and banquette halls in both Caesar's Palace and the Flamingo. In addition to the Monero/BCOS Village, there were several other interesting villages such as the Biohacking, Ethics, and Car Hacking Villages. Unfortunately since I was using a crappy burner phone for the entirety of the conference, I didn't take any photos of the DefCon conference itself. Instead, I will take you on a journey through Las Vegas and tell you the story of the Monero meetup that extended well beyond the walls of DefCon. Main Entrance at Caesar's Tables in Caesar's When I arrived Thursday afternoon, the Monero Village was still being prepared but we all met up to grab some lunch and drinks at Carlos'N Charlie's. This was by far the hottest day during my stay in Vegas with temperatures ranging between 39-41 C (102-108 F). Umbrellas and drinks made sitting outside bearable. Carlos'N Charlie's Outdoor Seating It was great to meet in person so many of the people I respect and follow within the community. Certainly a little awkward at first but by the end of the conference, I felt quite comfortable with my new friends. Rehrar wrote a Monero Village Summary with a list of a majority of the Monero community members present. I was so jet lagged Thursday night I passed out before the Thursday evening festivities. Friday morning we started Monero Village presentations with talks exploring Inside Monero, Open Source Hardware, and Security Issues in Crypto Software Wallets. There was also a workshop for tinkering with the BitBox Hardware Wallet. Inside the Monero Village (photo courtesy of u/Rehrar) Friday night, 11 of us went out for dinner at Carmine's. At first they told us it would be a 2 hour wait but then got all of us seated in 15 minutes without a reservation on a Friday night. This restaurant is part of an entire eating/shopping center within Caesar's Palace that is designed to look like it is outside, with fake sky and exterior walls. Carmine's Fountain of the God's near Carmine's Above the Reflecting Pool further down in Caesar's After dinner, we moved to Paris Casino where we split into smaller groups to gamble. It was here that I first played Pai Gow Poker. Unlike trading Monero, you lose money slowly in this game. As the night went on, our group got much smaller and 5 of us followed u/needmoney90 back to his hotel at The Wynn. The Wynn Cool view while walking to the Wynn It was actually super awesome that u/needmoney90 rented this hotel room. It was about a 25 minute walk from DefCon but a great place for Monero social gatherings. Friday night after several drinks and gambling, the 5 of us discussed a wide range of topics relating to the development of Monero's community and various technical concerns, such as the potential pollution of Monero outputs. This brainstorm session was highly productive and fun. Saturday the Monero discussion continued with presentations from the VP of Security at Coinbase, u/fluffyponyza, u/SamsungGalaxyPlayer, and u/anonimal_0x914409F1. Michael (msvb) lead a workshop on programming your Monero badges and later a panel of several of the previous speakers took place. After Saturday's DefCon presentations ended, a few of us followed u/pwrcycle to begin getting several dozen gallons of ice to fill up two huge bathtubs with beer and ice in the Monero Party room. Several other people came to help set up various other party logistics like hanging signs, setting up tables, and arranging furniture. By 8 pm, we were all ready for the party which started at 9 pm. After helping set up, I walked over to the Wynn to meet up with u/needmoney90. When I stepped outside, it was now getting dark outside and there were very strong gusts of dust filled winds. A sandstorm had emerged. I made the exhilarating trek from Caesar's to the Wynn through 60 mph winds. (Source) Probably stupid, but hey that was one of the most exciting adventures I've experienced. When I arrived, u/needmoney90, oneiric, and I chilled for a bit as we waited for the storm to pass. After a bit we Uber'ed to Caesar's, where the Monero Party was being held. It turns out there was another DefCon party being held at Caesar's so the elevators were completely packed with long lines spilling out into the casino floor. We finally got through the line and arrived at the party. Upstairs view of the Monero Party (photo courtesy of u/fluffyponyza) Monero Party! (photo courtesy of u/fluffyponyza) In the style of the previous night, this party was highly productive for me. I had the opportunity to talk with several of the senior Monero core members about a wide range of topics from the impact of polluted outputs, to the Monero community, to the shared struggle of unfortunate life events. The night came to a close around 1:30 am when hotel staff came in to shut down the party. Myself and several other core Monero team members stayed for the next hour or so cleaning up the hundreds of beer cans and cups. I was very impressed with the way our team handled the hotel staff who insisted on kicking everyone out with no exceptions but managed to reach a compromise where those cleaning were not escorted out. It was nice to see the emergent teamwork and collective synergy that our group displayed. We represent the Monero community. It is of the upmost importance that we present a professional, respectful, and dignified image of the Monero community. We will be back at Caesar's Palace, let's leave a good impression. The night ended and I went home. Sunday morning Monero Village talks included a deep dive into crypto attack vectors with u/SarangNoether, an exploration of various groups within the crypto ecosystem with u/midipoet, and an overview of the Monero Community with u/SamsungGalaxyPlayer. I had a wonderful opportunity to continue the conversation with many of the people I spoke with at the party and expand on the Sunday presentations before DefCon ended at 2 pm. Several of us decided that we were going to first grab some lunch at In'N Out before heading to the Flamingo to hang out at the pool and play blackjack. The Flamingo Casino In-N-Out Pool at the Flamingo The Three Monero's chillin at the pool (I'm in the middle) Just before sunset we all headed back to u/needmoney90's hotel at the Wynn to grab some food and gamble since it turns out the blackjack table was closed at the Flamingo pool. Somehow we had perfect timing and caught this awesome view from u/needmoney90's hotel. Sunday Night Sunset (photo courtesy of u/SamsungGalaxyPlayer) Fluffy ponies at the Wynn Sunday Night Dinner at the Wynn We played Roulette for a while after dinner and I was too tired to continue the night but the rest of the guys played Poker until 4 am or something. There were plenty more pictures that I couldn't include in this post because Reddit has a max of 20 images per post and Imgur is being difficult. So, if you would like to see more pictures and stay updated with me and my Monero adventures, follow me on my new Twitter and Instagram accounts. I'll be adding content from my recent travels to Belgium and the Ukraine in addition to more Vegas photos. Until my next adventure... https://twitter.com/realXeagu https://www.instagram.com/realXeagu/
After banning 'Star Wars' slot machines, Disney spends millions to change Florida gambling law to "protect" its theme parks and properties - including Galaxy's Edge
Today, I heard about recent efforts by Disney against the gambling industry. I thought you guys would be interested in hearing about it, as it also heavily involves Star Wars...and particularly, Disney's plans in 2019 for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and the Star Wars hotel, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It also involves Disney's existing, popular offering "Star Wars Day at Sea", and other Star Wars-related plans for its cruises in 2019, which is parly based out of the Port of Miami in Miami, Florida, and Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida). The tl;dnr of it is as such: (broken down into smaller sections)
Before Disney purchased Lucasfilm, Lucasfilm had allowed the construction and use of character-themed slot machines, and other gambling aspects, as related to the Star Wars brand. This was presumably done for Lucasfilm to make money off of licensing fees and royalties.
Disney, after buying Lucasfilm in 2012, "phased out" (re: banned) Star Wars and Marvel slot machines at casinos, and online gambling games, after being "exposed" as [now] owning them by New York Times reporters Lizette Alvarez and Michael Snyder. They have done so to protect their "family-friendly" brand, of which they now consider Star Wars to be a part of.
Casino owners and online vendors were against the move, saying it would hurt their businesses by taking away some of their slot machines / online gambling games.
Casino owners in Florida, seeking to expand their business(es), formed pro-gambling-growth groups, designed to try and stimulate local economies and businesses by building new casinos across the state. This would presumably include in tourism-heavy areas, such as Orlando (of which Walt Disney World is a major feature) and Miami (which is a major port for Disney Cruise Lines).
Disney has now collaborated with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the latter of which is a major gambling monolith and owns the Hard Rock franchise, to try and pass law to change current Florida rules. The change would make it harder for people to build and open new casinos in, and around, their properties (including Disney's currently-in-production Star Wars Orlando theme park, Galaxy's Edge) by making it so that 60% of state voters would have to vote "Yes" on gambling and casino expansion in the future.
Disney has spent an estimated $17.5 million, in conjunction with the Seminole Tribe, since 2015 to combat gambling expansion in Florida. (Source) Disney donated $5 million to anti-gambling expansion efforts in April 2018, which the Seminole Tribe matched. (Source)
Disney also donated $400,000 to support the campaign of Florida governor candidate Adam Putnam, who supports Disney's anti-gambling expansion stance.
Disney has invested an estimated $1 billion in the construction of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. As the theme park is doing something never before done - building a land around an entirely new environment within the franchise, rather than an existing one - they are taking a huge financial risk. Their anti-gambling expansion efforts are also related to protecting their financial interests in Galaxy's Edge, as well as their planned Star Wars hotel and resort.
The Walt Disney Company is one of the most successful media conglomerate companies in the world. Just about everyone has heard of the Disney theme parks stationed in Florida, California, and abroad. Just about everyone has seen classic Disney films like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Not everyone knows about Disney's relationship with the gambling industry, however, and it is a noteworthy one. Over the years, Disney has acquired the rights to several major entertainment companies and their licensed characters. In 2009, Disney bought the Marvel Entertainment company, creator of the famed Marvel comic books and a slew of popular superhero characters. In 2012, it purchased all rights to LucasFilm, the parent company that created the Star Wars brand. Disney announced its plans to phase out all Star Wars and Marvel-themed casino slot machines in the United States last fall. The multimillion dollar company has the power to do this, because it now owns all rights to these brands. According to a Disney spokeswoman, the character-themed slot phase-out is not a new decision. As part of Marvel's “integration” with Disney, she said the decision was made several years ago to let the machines gradually fade out through attrition. Only a few Marvel license agreements remain at this point, and they are set to expire within the next several years. Star Wars-themed slots will also trickle away, but it will take a few more years for that process to complete. [...] Disney wields a certain amount of power over casinos, both on land and online, because of these acquisitions. Instead of promoting Star Wars and Marvel characters via slot machines, the company prefers to use their likenesses in movies that serve to perpetuate the Disney brand. As the owner of LucasFilm, Disney has another trilogy of Star Wars films currently in the works. [...] Fans can expect to see Disney continue to advance their brands through avenues other than the gaming industry. Disney has made its opinion of the gambling industry known in Florida: It does not support the addition of more resort casinos to that area. Not only does Disney plan to phase out Marvel and Star Wars-themed slot machines, it also hopes to prevent the development of new casino resorts in the state. As it stands today, Orlando's Walt Disney World is the top tourist attraction on the globe. Over 50 million people visit the entertainment resort every year and partake of theme parks like Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. From a business standpoint, it makes sense that Disney would not want another tourist draw infringing on its potential customer base in the Orlando area. Disney denies that self-interest is its main motivation for opposing new casinos. Andrea Finger, a spokeswoman for the company, said the corporation opposes casino expansion for “many reasons.” One of the primary reasons is the fact that Florida is a “family friendly” vacation spot; adding more casinos to the landscape would tarnish that. Finger lauded Florida's efforts in “research, innovation, and entrepreneurship” and indicated that adding more casino resorts would create an “inconsistent” atmosphere in the state. Finger made no statement suggesting that Disney is protecting its own interests by objecting to more casinos. This inference has been made, however, by critics based on the connection between Disney and its Marvel and Star Wars slot machines that recently came to light. Critics also cite the fact that increased Florida casinos might steal valuable convention contracts from the Mickey Mouse company. At this point, Disney hosts approximately 700,000 square feet of convention space in its Florida resorts. Disney's ownership of Marvel and LucasFilm slot machines was brought to the public's attention by New York Times reporters Lizette Alvarez and Michael Snyder. Critics immediately began shouting hypocrisy at the fact that Disney, a vocal gambling opponent, owns and profits from character-themed casino slot machines. The Times reporters asked Disney whether its ownership of the slots “undercut” its casino gambling stance. A spokeswoman responded that the company's affiliation with the casinos was only temporary, and that it would take a few years for current slot machine contracts to expire. [...] When Marvel and Star Wars-themed slots do eventually disappear from casinos, their absence will be a blow to the gaming industry. Casino patrons are drawn to the colorful games touting Spider Man, Darth Vader, and other exciting Hollywood characters. Until the machines are completely phased out, the characters will continue to entertain casino patrons both online and on land. The online gaming industry will definitely be affected by Disney's prohibition. The Spider Man Slot game, for example, is an enticing game for online gamblers that was introduced in 2012. Other Marvel-themed online slots include Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Thor, and Wolverine Slots. The eventual loss of these games will leave a gaping hole in customers' palette of gaming choices. [Possibly in response to Disney's decision], a group called the Associated Industries of Florida launched a new pro-casino campaign. This group is lobbying for more casinos in the area as a means of promoting jobs and stimulating the local economy. Analysts expect the battle between Disney and pro-casino lobbyists to become more heated as politicians compete for voter support in the upcoming election. (Source) [However, Orlando isn't the only city that Disney is engaging in anti-casino efforts with.] The biggest challenger standing between [the city of] Miami and casinos is a mouse. Walt Disney World, the giant resort near Orlando whose four theme parks draw more than 45 million visitors a year, has made preventing "destination" casinos a top priority. And few, if any, businesses carry as much weight in Florida as Disney, which employs more than 60,000 workers, generates nearly $600 million a year in tax revenue — and doled out more than $2 million to political candidates and causes during the past election cycle. Some analysts say Disney — and, by extension, Orlando's entire tourism industry — has good reason to be wary of casinos. Though adult-oriented resorts in South Florida are unlikely to appeal to Disney's core audience of families with young children, they could siphon away travelers in narrower segments that are also important to the resort, from South Americans to conventions to weddings. "Disney has lots of little pockets or niches that they're really good at getting market share in. And it adds up," said Duncan Dickson, a professor at the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management. "Disney doesn't want another Las Vegas anywhere close to them. Who needs the competition?" [Case in point, Disney also has Disney Cruise Lines, based in both Miami and Port Canaveral (Orlando).] Disney Cruise Line has revealed it will extend its popular "Star Wars Day at Sea" program through 2019, with the addition of nine cruises -- each of which will include a Star Wars-themed sea day, complete with special programming and restaurant menus. Family-friendly activities include Star Wars character meet-and-greets, movie nights (featuring new releases), Star Wars trivia, and a Jedi training show, where kids can learn lightsaber skills and battle Darth Vader. Throughout the day, restaurants and bars also will serve themed foods and cocktails. The sea day will end with a fireworks show and deck party, hosted by Star Wars heroes and villains. All cruises span seven nights and depart from Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida. (Source) [...] Disney has always opposed efforts to expand gambling, [citing it as being againts its "family-friendly" image]. The Walt Disney Co., one of the most brand-protective companies on the planet, does not want to jeopardize its kid-friendly reputation by any association whatsoever with casinos and the taboo images they often conjure. The company's cruise line is the only major operator to sail ships without onboard casinos, which are typically one of the biggest generators of on-board spending. "We've studied this issue carefully and remain opposed for many reasons," said Disney spokesman Mike Griffin, "including the fact that it is inconsistent with Florida's brand as a family-friendly destination, and with the efforts we've long supported to diversify Florida's economy through research, innovation, and entrepreneurship." The legislation to be considered in Tallahassee would authorize three "destination" casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Each would boast a luxury hotel, shops, restaurants, convention space and casinos with every major game, from blackjack to roulette and craps. Any company awarded a casino license would have to spend at least $2 billion building the facility. Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, both based in Las Vegas, and Genting, a Malaysian-based resort developer, are among the companies expected to seek licenses. Genting has already spent more than $300 million to buy bay-front property in downtown Miami and has announced plans for a $3.8 billion resort. All have promised they will create thousands of jobs in South Florida, making the deal attractive to lawmakers hoping to lower the state's 10.6 percent unemployment rate. Analysts say anyone that invests that much capital to build a resort also will have to spend lavishly to market the property. At a minimum, that will force Disney to ramp up its own spending on advertising, eroding its profit margins. "Anytime you've got to fight and compete with more marketing dollars, which you know these folks have in abundance, it makes Disney's job that much harder to battle against," said Vicki Johnson, a tourism-marketing expert in Orlando. More specifically, casinos could prove attractive draws in key markets for Disney. Executives at Genting, for instance, have said they would market heavily in Latin America. Latin America — particularly Brazil, its biggest country — has become one of Disney World's most valuable markets in recent years. This summer, even as overall attendance at the resort was about flat with a year ago, Disney officials said traffic from Brazil was up by a double-digit percentage. Though Disney doesn't disclose exact attendance numbers, national data show that visitation from Brazil is up 27% to more than 833,000 so far this year. And though Miami is the most popular destination for South American travelers, Orlando is growing more rapidly. Disney says its business from Brazil is predominantly family-leisure travel, the group least likely to be swayed by casinos. But some industry followers say lavish resorts, when combined with the boutique shopping already in Miami, might be enough to peel away some of that business, especially Brazilians with older children or none at all. "All of a sudden, it really cuts into their [Disney's] South American markets," Johnson said. Group meetings and conventions business is also a growing profit center for Disney, which has nearly 470,000 square feet of meeting space spread among its hotels. It also routinely picks up lucrative private parties and other business tied to shows using Orange County's massive, publicly owned convention center. Finally, allowing casinos in South Florida could lead to pressure to build more in other parts of the state. Already, some hoteliers in Orlando — led by Harris Rosen, owner of three major convention hotels — have made rumblings about bringing casinos to Central Florida. And officials at Port Canaveral — Disney Cruise Line's home port — are interested in casinos, too. "Once they get their foot in the door, what's next? Orange County is going to say, 'Well, if it's legal in Dade County, why isn't it legal here?' " said Dickson, the UCF professor. Disney has worked to enlist broader business groups to fight the casino legislation, most notably the Florida Chamber of Commerce, even though more than half of the businesses represented on the chamber's board of directors say they are neutral on the issue. And the opposition from Disney has put casino boosters on the defensive during the past few days. "Florida's identity cannot be changed because one casino or two destination resorts open in Miami-Dade County," said state Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, who is sponsoring the casino legislation in the Florida House of Representatives. "Florida will always be the Sunshine State," he added. "The dominant trademark of Florida will always be Disney World. I don't think they have anything to worry about when it comes to that." (Source) There have been multiple attempts to garner support in the state legislature for non-Native American casinos and other forms of gambling expansion in the state. Currently, the Seminoles control the ability of Florida to expand full-fledged casinos per their current compact. And the power of the Seminoles in the state is substantial. In order to change current law, there must be a constitutional amendment backed by the voters of Florida. There is one such opportunity on the ballot for the November 6, 2018 election. The Casino Gambling Initiative, if approved, would give voters the exclusive right to authorize casinos going forward, casinos being comprised of card games, slot machines, and other casino-style games. All ballot measures in the future would then require a citizen-initiated process by which a number of signatures of registered voters must be obtained for ballot consideration. Currently, however, the Seminoles reserve the exclusive right to offer blackjack, craps, and roulette in Florida, which would present a problem that would have to be addressed. The agreement with the Seminoles was signed by Governor Rick Scott in 2015, and is effective for 20 years. While this may end up in a legal fight, poker rooms are not an exclusive right of the tribe, and would not be an issue. If Amendment 3 passes in November by 60% or more of the popular vote, a new day may begin for casinos in Florida. This will also drastically increase the opportunity for poker rooms throughout the state. (Source) The US Supreme Court repealed the longstanding federal sports betting ban known as PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). The landmark decision allows states to dictate their own sports wagering laws. That means sports betting could be coming to Florida casinos, should the legislature pass market regulations. But Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam said this week that if he’s elected, he would oppose such legislation. [Putnam also echoes Disney's reasoning.] “I’ve always been one who has said we don’t need to expand the footprint of gambling in Florida,” Putnam declared at a campaign stop. “It’s not who we are as a state. We’re a family-friendly vacation destination. We’re a small business-oriented state.” “If I lived in the middle of the desert in Nevada, [like Las Vegas], maybe I would grasp onto whatever straw or life raft somebody threw me,” he continued. “But we live in Florida, and we’ve got unlimited opportunities, and we don’t need to sell our state short.” (Source) Earlier this year, Disney also gave $400,000 to Florida Grown, a committee supporting Putnam's gubernatorial bid. [...] Disney officials would not agree to an interview, but in a statement, Jacquee Wahler, vice president of Walt Disney World Resorts, wrote, “We support candidates who understand issues important to our company, and demonstrate strong support for business and tourism in Florida.” (Source) [Meanwhile, Disney is busy constructing what it hopes will be its next big moneymaker: Galaxy's Edge, a Star Wars-themed land in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Disney also plans to construct a Star Wars-themed hotel and resort adjacent to Galaxy's Edge.] The ongoing success of high-profile films, like the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, can play a big role in the theme parks ability to tap into new characters and storylines for rides and shows. Experts have said the success in theme park rides today are built on characters and properties that resonate with visitors outside the park. Thus new lands themed after popular franchises have proven to be a boon — like Disney's Star Wars and Frozen attractions, and Universal Orlando Resort's success with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. [So far this year], the theme parks division for the quarter saw a 13% increase in revenue to $4.87 billion, up from $4.29 billion for the same time last year. The division also saw a 13% increase in revenue for the first six months of the year to $10.03 billion, up from $8.85 billion for the year-ago period. According to the earnings report: "Results included a benefit from a shift in the timing of the Easter holiday relative to our fiscal periods. The current quarter included one week of the Easter holiday, whereas the entire Easter holiday fell in the third quarter of the prior year. Higher operating income at our domestic parks and resorts was primarily due to increased guest spending, attendance growth at Walt Disney World Resort and higher sponsorship revenue, partially offset by increased costs. Guest spending growth was due to increases in average ticket prices, average daily hotel room rates and food, beverage and merchandise spending. The increase in costs was primarily due to labor and other cost inflation, an increase in depreciation associated with new attractions and higher technology spending."(Source) [Driving this growth are Disney's planned new additions, including Galaxy's Edge, which is currently under construction ("labor costs").] Disney’s new Star Wars land won’t open until next year, but it is not too early to declare that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be the most ambitious theme park land ever built. The numbers alone might justify the claim. At 14 acres each, Disney’s twin Star Wars lands will be the largest the company has built at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts. Disney has not confirmed a budget for Galaxy’s Edge, but the project is believed widely within the industry to be costing at least one billion dollars. (Source)
I went on vacation to Las Vegas with my wife from July 2nd-7th. This was my 5th trip and our 3rd together. Here's my (excessively long) trip report: Hotel This time we stayed at the Cosmopolitan, and we had a Terrace Studio Fountain View room. It was our first stay at Cosmo (I'd been to Wynn, Luxor, Aria Sky Suites, and Bellagio previously), and the hotel was great. I thought our room was nicer than the one we had at Bellagio last year and for a cheaper price (friend who is a travel agent got us a pretty good deal). Literally the only downside I can think of is not being able to listen to the fountain music on TV. We were in the Chelsea Tower (which is larger than Boulevard), and had a great balcony view. Cosmo definitely attracts a younger crowd than some of the other casinos on the strip- lots of people in their 20s and 30s staying here. There are two main pools, one in each tower. When we went down to the Chelsea Pool around 11am on the 3rd, literally every seat was already taken. Note: Chelsea Tower is much larger than Boulevard, but its pool is much smaller. We hiked over to the Boulevard Pool and settled in. Great view looking over the strip with a livlier atmosphere than you'll find at the Bellagio's pools. Also worth noting the water is pretty shallow- no more than 4' deep. The most amusing part of our swimming experience was watching an Asian kid, probably 10 years old, swim all around the place, bumping in to every other group there, and saying hi. Seemed odd that he was basically on his own at that age, but he was clearly having a helluva time. One of the best parts about Cosmo is its location- right in the center of the strip, which makes an easy walk to most of the other casinos. It has a great selection of restaurants (see below) and modern decor as well. One notable omission in my opinion is it doesn't have any shows/productions in house. The casino also doesn't have a poker room, but I didn't end up playing during this trip anyhow. Easy walk to the Bellagio or Aria poker rooms regardless. Checkin to the hotel was very easy. Our flight got in to Vegas at about 8am on Sunday, so the room wasn't ready yet when we arrived. They took down all my info, and we left our bags with the bellhop. They sent a text message when the room was ready around noon, and they brought the bags up to our room. I used the online checkout on Friday morning. Easy peasy. Uber Side note- I'd never used Uber before this trip. Definitely recommend it for others in the same boat. Cheap/easy to use, and I liked riding with the average Uber driver more than the average cabbie. Each hotel has its own pickup/dropoff location for UbeLyft- just ask any employee, and they'll point you in the right direction. I never had to wait more than five minutes to get my ride. Shows/attractions The only show we saw on this trip was Ka at the MGM Grand. I'd pretty much recommend any Cirque du Soleil show on the strip- they're all pretty amazing. O at the Bellagio is probably my favorite, but Ka was great in its own right. Supposedly it's unique among Cirque shows in that it has a big storyline, but uh... I'd just say there's not much of one. Amusing moment before the show: I get a text message from my wife, who is sitting right next to me. "Am I sitting next to a drag queen?" I looked over. Yes, yes you are. We also made a trip to the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. I felt like the line for tickets was pretty absurdly long. I realized the reason for that when we got in- the whole aquarium was about half as big as I expected, so they needed to keep the flow of people in fairly slow. Having said that, the exhibits they did have were great, and there was no shortage of staff floating around to answer any questions you might have. Definitely a good spot to bring the family to in Vegas. Food The biggest reason we love Vegas is the food. Yes, my wife and I are the annoying people who post pictures of thier food on Facebook. The great thing about Vegas is there's multiple restaurant for just about any cuisine you can imagine right on the strip. Wicked Spoon Buffet at Cosmopolitan (7-2-17 brunch): I like to hit up a buffet once whenever I visit Vegas, and none have disappointed. These places definitely aren't the Golden Corral. Our flight got in pretty early Sunday, so stuffing ourselves at the buffet and having extra time before dinner seemed like a good idea. To start things off, I'm a sucker for an omelette station, so I grabbed a Denver style omelette. Added some cheesy hash brown casserole (one of the best things I had), and a verrine. I have no idea what a verrine is, but it was basically a shot glass filled with mashed avocado, grapefruit, and a bit of crab. Good stuff. Had I stopped here, I would have had a normal sized brunch by most people's standards. Of course the entire point of a Vegas buffet is getting full value by stuffing yourself so full you can't walk, so I made more trips. Next up I grabbed a jerk chicken thigh, a few pieces of spicy tuna sushi, some house-made italian sausage, and yogurt/fruit. The jerk chicken was perfect in that after the first bite I thought- that's not that spicy. 3 bites in, I'm feeling it a bit. By the end, I'm chugging my coffee/juice. Finally it was time for dessert. When I first visited Vegas back in 2005, my friend informed me that the #1 rule of Vegas buffets is that you must try the bread pudding. You are not supposed to question the reasoning behind the rule, nor are you supposed to debate whether it's necessary. You simply do it. Wicked Spoon featured a bourbon white chocolate bread pudding. It was good, but I wasn't sure what to make of it since it tasted more like butterscotch than bourbon to me. I also had half a mango danish and some little chocolate tart. I thought I was done at this point until my wife brought back some gelato. I couldn't sit there and watch her eat, so I ended up getting some coconut-lime gelato for myself. The selection is pretty ridiculous- about 18 flavors to choose from. After the gelato, I finally waved the white flag. Picasso at Bellagio (7-2-17 dinner): We've been wanting to visit Picasso for a while now. I was going to book a reservation here for our honeymoon back in 2014, but as it turns out they typically take a 2 week vacation in July every year. We ran into the same problem last year, but they were open on Sunday the 2nd this time before closing. Finally, we had our chance. Picasso is basically fancy-pants French fine dining at its best. If you've ever seen the movie Ocean's Eleven, the restaurant scene was filmed there. We were seated at a table next to the window with the Bellagio fountain outside, and my wife had a real Picasso painting above her shoulder. So uh... not bad. I wore a suit and tie, but you really don't need to- wear khakis and a nice shirt, and you'll fit in fine. We both ordered from the four course prix fixe tasting menu. My goal when eating out at nice places is to get stuff I don't cook myself / haven't tried much before. First course I got the poached oysters. The dish was basically smooth, melt-in-your-mouth like butter. Next up was the foie gras. This was the second time I've foie gras, and I've decided it's just not my thing. I could tell it was prepared properly, but I just don't think it has much flavor. The rhubarb chutney on the side was good, though. For the entree, I had the roasted milk-fed veal chop. After the first bite I literally started laughing, basically thinking, "Where has this been all my life?" Literally one of the best things I've ever eaten. If I had to nitpick, it was cooked a touch rare for my liking. But it was amazing. I wanted a lighter dessert given how much food I'd stuffed myself with that day, so I got a pineapple tart with prickly pear sorbet. Almost too pretty to eat. Picasso is definitely the type of restaurant you take your date to if you're wanting to impress them. I like Le Cirque a bit more based on my two trips there previously. Le Cirque is a much smaller restaurant, just feels like a more intimate setting, and the service seemed a little more personal. But really you can't go wrong either way. Also, it was a nice touch seeing the chef, Julian Serrano, as we left the restaurant. China Poblano at Cosmopolitan (7-3-17 lunch): The best way to explain China Poblano is that it seems like one person wanted to start up a Mexican restaurant at Cosmo, one person wanted to start up a Chinese restaurant, and then some executive asked, "Why don't we have both?" There are literally two different kitchens in the same restaurant, and the food is served tapas style- dishes just come out one by one whenever they're ready. We started off with the queso fundido for an appetizer- pretty standard stuff. I ordered two tacos from the Mexican menu, one taco suadero (brisket), one carnitas. The brisket was good, the carnitas was great. Because if eating a taco with pork rinds on it is wrong, then I don't want to be right. I decided to get Mongolian beef lettuce from the Chinese menu, because I remember reading an IAMA from a Chinese restaurant owner a while back who said that was one of the best things on the menu that people rarely ordered. And he was right. We skipped dessert since our stomachs were still half full from eating the day before. Estiatorio Milos at Cosmopolitan (7-3-17 dinner): Milos is proof that food doesn't have to be fancy to be fantastic. They just use high-quality ingredients, use a simple preparation, and let the food do the talking. The neat part about this place is that they really don't have specific fish on the menu. Instead you walk up to the fish case, pick out the one you want, and let your server know how you want it prepared. And marvel at the produce while you're at it. We ordered the tzatziki as an appetizer, and at first I wasn't going to take a picture of it since it's just tzatziki. And then I tasted it. And I decided it deserved a picture- the best I've ever had. Next up was a Greek salad which was ridiculously good. Those definitely aren't the tomatoes you buy at Kroger. We chose lithrini, which seemed like a generic white fish, for our entree. Pan-seared with lemon, capers, and herbs. Some basic potatoes and broccoli for our sides. Milos is one of our top recommendations for people visiting Vegas. Milk Bar at Cosmopolitan (7-3-17 dessert): We skipped dessert at Milos because we wanted to try out the Milk Bar. I grabbed one of the much-hyped compost cookies, which I actually thought was nothing special, and a spiked chocolate malt milkshake. The shake was awesome. I ended up coming back later in the trip and got a spiked coffee shake as well. Not sure they're worth $12 apiece, but you're in Vegas, so what the hell. Eiffel Tower Restaurant (7-4-17 lunch): My wife had put this on the list of places to visit a month ahead of time, so we ended up going here for lunch. You enter the restaurant by going up an elevator in the main floor of the casino, and the doors open to give you a nice view of the kitchen. I always like restaurants where you can see people work in an open kitchen, so I thought this was a nice touch. We had reservations for when the restaurant opened, so we managed to snag one of the best tables in the place with a great view of the strip. We started off with the cheese tray as an appetizer, which was most notable for the honeycomb. I think that's the first time I've ever had real honeycomb, and it was delicious. I decided to go brunch-ish for my meal and order the lobster eggs benedict, which was easily the best eggs benedict I've ever had. We shared a frozen strawberry souffle for dessert, and the best compliment I can give about this is that we immediately began looking up recipes to make our own when we got back to our hotel room. Overall a great meal, and I think we'll head back here for dinner during our next trip to Vegas. Tetsu at Aria (7-4-17 dinner): I'd wanted to visit a Japanese steakhouse while in town (especially since the favorite place in my town was run down by new ownership and closed), and I was a little surprised to find there weren't many options. Tetsu is actually a sectioned off portion of the BarMasa restaurant in Aria, and you can order sushi from BarMasa's menu while there. Which I did. I'm far from a sushi connoisseur, but I thought it tasted like a standard salmon roll- good, but I wasn't blown away by it or anything. As far as the hibachi grill itself goes, the first thing to note is that the chefs basically just prepare the food in front of you but don't put on any sort of show. So if you're wanting to impress the family with a flaming onion volcano and eggs juggled on a spatula, this isn't your place. It's about the food, and the food was fantastic. I had the whole lobster, which is every bit as good as it looks. The chili shrimp cilantro fried rice was as good as the lobster, and I had some brussels sprouts on the side. My wife got the fingerling potatoes as a more photogenic side dish to her chicken. They also serve prime A5 Japanese Ohmi beef, but I couldn't justify spending $132 on a 4 oz steak. We had chocolate sesame ice cream for dessert, and the sesame was actually a lot stronger than I thought it would be (might actually put some people off). Of course one of the fun parts of eating at these places is talking to people seated with you at the table. One of the ladies next to us teased a server, trying to get his name badge, Harvey (definitely not his given name), since apparently a guy named Harvey founded the golf club she worked at. Even went so far as to summon the manager to see if she could get the badge, but ultimately she failed in her negotiations. Everyone at the table had a laugh about the situation. Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay (7-5-17 lunch): We were looking for a lunch spot down on this end of the strip before heading to the aquarium, and the Burger Bar (actually located in a walkway between Mandalay Bay and Luxor) came recommended by several people. To start with, they had a great beer menu. I ordered the classic bacon cheeseburger with onion rings. Great burger, cooked perfectly. I know there are several excellent burger joints on the strip, so it's probably not worth making a special trip far out of your way to come here. It's a great option if you want a burger and are on the south end of the strip, though. Lemongrass at Aria (7-5-17 dinner): Next up, some Thai food. We had some pot stickers for an appetizer, which I thought were pretty average. Nothing to stand out here from your average takeout in either taste or presentation. My wife decided to order some wonton soup to share, and I'm glad she did. It was freakin' amazing- easily the best part of the meal. I wanted something light for my meal, so I ordered the garlic and lime steamed cod. The surprised reaction of the waitress seemed to imply that nobody ever ordered that. It was good, but you better love lime if you get it. As luck would have it, the one time we received poor (exceptionally slow) service on the trip was when we had our meal before a show. We had to skip dessert so that we could make it down to MGM Grand in time to see Ka. Olives at Bellagio (7-6-17 lunch): We thought about hitting up Lago for lunch, but since we were headed to Sinatra for dinner we wanted to avoid back to back Italian. Olives had a nice deal on a 3 course prix fixe lunch menu, so we ordered from that. I had the Caesar salad to start, followed it up with fish and chips, and finished it off with tiramisu. A bit of an odd combo, but a good meal. Nothing exceptional. Great server, though. Sinatra at Encore (7-6-17 dinner): Another place we'd wanted to visit on previous trips but never had a chance to. There's tons of Frank Sinatra themed memorabilia in the place, including a Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar as you walk in the door. I'd describe the place as lively but classy as hell- which is pretty much what you'd want when going to a Rat Pack themed place. To start off with, I ordered an Old Fashioned. It's one of my favorite drinks to order because everyone does it differently, and you never know what you're going to get. Well, it was the best Old Fashioned I've had in my left. I meant to ask the waiter what type of boorbon they used, but ultimately forgot. We ended up sharing the estiva for an appetizer, which is basically a watermelon salad. I ordered the gnochetti for my entree, which tasted great, but the portion size kind of left me wondering where the rest of it was. We shared the panna cotta for dessert, which was as good as it looked. Eggslut at Cosmopolitan (7-7-17 breakfast): Eggslut is a casual stand at Cosmo that pretty much sells egg sandwiches all day long. I had the Fairfax with bacon, which is pretty much what they're known for. I think the reason why it was such a great sandwich was they kept the eggs inside creamy, whereas most breakfast sandwiches have the eggs cooked hard as a rock. When you walk up to the place your first thought is- whoa! Only $8... finally a reasonably priced meal. And then you realize they charge $5 for a cup of coffee or orange juice, and you remember you're still in Vegas. Regardless, this place is a good stop for breakfast or a late night snack. Overall a great trip. Can't wait to go back again and try some different places.
Can any Vegas local give some insight on which casino gives the best rewards (free rooms, slot play)
I’ve been out of the game for 3 years but I’m moving to Vegas in a couple weeks and want to know which casino gives the best rewards to poker players. I’ll have a day job but I know I’ll hit the felt every chance I get. I’ll be playing mostly 1/3 to start and hopefully get back to 2/5 - 5/10 when I build up a roll. I’m interested in free rooms (to hook up friends when they come to visit), free slot play, and I don’t really care too much about points per hour but I guess that’ll be nice to know. If someone can breakdown the rewards between Mlife, Total Rewards, Wynn, Venetian, and Boyd it’ll be much appreciated
Week of 9/9 Vegas Tournaments in Review - according to bravo poker app
Hey poker, Same intro as last week's post... I'm a longtime lurker, sometimes contributor on this sub. Aside from the hand analyses, BBVs, and memes, I see the occasional "heading to Vegas" post asking for tournament options. Over the past two weeks I've been keeping an eye on the Bravo Poker App for tournament information and logging them in hopes that this will help make visitors' decisions easier on when/where to play. Disclaimer: Only daily/weekly tournaments are logged. i.e. Venetian is currently running one of their Deepstack Extravaganzas and none of their events were logged. I also only log tournaments that poker rooms update through Bravo. Tournaments for Station Casinos (Red Rock, GVR, etc.) and a number of other poker rooms were not logged since they do not list their live tournament clocks on the Bravo Poker App. I could also only log live tournament clocks when I was not working nor asleep, so some tournament information may be missing. Raw Data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eG3PqxVXfMuuvVWfKSoHoCkiWqDfpaBgEXMhwOW6r1E/edit?usp=sharing Tournament w/ Largest Prize Pool: Wynn's Weekly | $25k GTD | Saturdays @ 12pm | $225 Entry: $29,952 Tournament w/ Largest Player Pool: Orleans' Weekly | Fridays @ 7:05pm | $125 Entry: 139 Entries Daily/Weekly Tournaments Summary: Only tournaments that have a sample size of four (4) or more are included. As mentioned above, I'm not always able to log every tournament of every day.
ynn Las Vegas announces Friday the reopening of its Poker Room located in the Encore casino. Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 30, at noon, guests can enjoy their favorite poker game seven days a week, 24-hours a day. "We are thrilled to welcome guests back to the Poker Room," said Ryan Beauregard, executive director of poker operations at Wynn Las Vegas. "Our team is looking forward to delivering ... The length of time in which the poker room will remain in the Wynn casino is unknown. That will depend on when customer demand increases. Given the global health pandemic doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, you can expect the Wynn poker room to remain in its temporary spot for quite a while. Las Vegas poker update . The Las Vegas poker scene has come a long way since the initial ... If the Wynn Poker Room were a person, it still wouldn’t be old enough grab a beer or place a bet on a craps table, but in the 15 years since it opened its doors, it has quickly become an institution to locals and tourists who are looking to strike it lucky in Sin City.. I visited the Wynn on my first trip to Vegas in late 2018, and being a poker fanatic, the Wynn Casino and especially the ... Wynn Poker Room One of the Best in Town. The Wynn poker room moved over to the Encore side in 2016, and is widely considered one of the top places to play poker in Las Vegas. But for a while ... The casino boasts 501 table games, 375 slot machines, in a 205,000 sq. ft. gaming area. The Wynn Poker Room is the only poker room left in the north part of Macau. The room is not only known for having the widest and most consistent spread of games and limits, it is also the place to go for daily high stakes cash games, like NLH HKD500/1000. The Wynn Poker room is excited to welcome guests back for cash game play beginning Wednesday, September 30 at noon. Our expansive poker room will continue to offer a superior playing experience while maintaining guest safety as our top priority. Tournament Schedule. Structures. Frequently Asked Questions. Where is the poker room located? The poker room has temporarily moved the Wynn casino ... We’re headed back to our roots by temporarily relocating the poker room to the Wynn casino. Visit us 7 days a week, just outside of Allegro and the Wynn Race and Sportsbook, starting on Monday, October 19th, 2020. Wynn Poker Room Another Step in Right Direction for Las Vegas Poker. The live poker scene in Las Vegas took a nap during the early days of COVID-19. Every casino closed in mid-March and none ... Wynn Casino Write Review; Post TableTalk; Add Favorite; Check In; Overview. Tournaments. Cash Games. Reviews. mahir. mahir wrote a review about Wynn in Las Vegas, NV 5 4 3 2 1. Nov 18, 2020. Wynn poker room. Very nice poker room. Cash games and tournaments are unique. Otherwise the casino is beautiful. I'm always happy to be there. It's a shame that it didn't work out this year. Let's hope it ... Wynn Casino Write Review; Post TableTalk; Add Favorite; Check In; Overview. Tournaments. Cash Games. Reviews. anubis1. anubis1 wrote a review about Wynn in Las Vegas, NV 5 4 3 2 1. Jan 30, 2020. ADDICT. If you must play poker this is the most comfortable, pleasant room in town. That being said LV is by far the worst tourist trap in the world. You get zilch for your money. Lines, lines, lines ...
Superchat Alternatives: https://paypal.me/TheTrooper97 Venmo: @Timothy-Watts-1 Cash App:$TheTrooper97 Lady Trooper's Jewelry Shop: http://sprkli.com Things w... The casino is slated to have a 90-table poker room, a plan that was originally hinted at last fall. With that many tables, the casino's poker room would be one of the largest in the country. Card Player's own Kristy Arnett visits the Wynn's poker room for our newest show, 'Strip Poker'. The Wynn hotel-casino in Las Vegas says its poker room will reopen on Wednesday, Sept. 30. In this poker vlog I visit the Wynn poker room that is actually located at the Encore Casino. I play a $230 rebuy no limit texas hold'em poker tournament at the Wynn casino. The New Wynn Poker Room - Duration: 10:03. TheTrooper97Vlog 44,964 views. 10:03 . Buddy picking on the fish. 5/10NL Poker cash game - Duration: 4:26. trippyboyyy 56,384 views. 4:26. Drunk poker ... Took a direct flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Slept on the plane which primed me for an all night session at the Wynn Macau. Navigated the public trans...