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One was supposed to open downtown in June 2013. The other, just off The Strip, in August 2013. Months later, we're still waiting on both. And, the party line remains "soon."
In Downtown Vegas, the new rumor on Fremont about Slotzilla looks as if it may come true. In February, we shared whispers that an opening wouldn't happen until at least April. Today, the Fremont Street Experience Facebook page showed fans the view from Slotzilla's highest zipline level (the one folks will ride "Superman"-style) while keeping a specific launch date on the down low.
The 45th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) officially begins the day after Memorial Day on Tuesday, May 27 with an expected $200 million in prize money up for grabs. The schedule is similar to last year’s WSOP with a few changes here and there to spice things up. The biggest difference in this year’s WSOP, however, isn’t even in the schedule. It’s that the winner of the WSOP Main Event will take home a guaranteed prize of $10 million!
The 2014 WSOP begins with a new $25,000 buy-in Mixed Max No-Limit Hold’em tournament which offers the first open bracelet of the year on opening day, May 27 at 4 p.m. The 4 p.m. start is notable as its an hour earlier than events began last year. This high-roller, four-day event plays nine-handed on the first day, six-handed on Day 2, four-handed on Day 3 and Heads-Up matches on the fourth and final day to ultimately crown poker’s best all-around No-Limit Hold’em player. This is the first of 16 different high roller events on the schedule, with 13 $10,000 buy-ins, the above $25K, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, and the $1,000,000 buy-in, Big One for One Drop.
Rio's VooDoo Zip Line has a new opening timeline, if not an actual ride just yet.
Today, a hiring call went out for the sky high attraction that has struggled to get off the ground. Originally scheduled to open in August 2013, reps say early March is now the ticket.
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Well, that was fast.
In celebration of its arrival, and to mark National Pancake Week at the same time, all of the Las Vegas Hash House locations will offer a special Mardi Gras flapjack (pictured below), stuffed with M&M's as well as dark and white chocolate chips and dusted with powdered sugar for $8.99. You'll get some beads, too, for the price. No flashing of breasts needed. In fact, that would probably be discouraged. We'll have to remember that. Order your Mardi Gras pancake anytime between February 10-16.
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It feels as if the World Series of Poker just ended, but it's already time to get ready for this year's WSOP. The 45th World Series of Poker begins Tuesday, May 27 at the Rio. This year's WSOP schedule includes gold bracelet events, satellite tournaments, cash games and three daily deep stack tournaments over 49 consecutive days.
The most popular tournament of the WSOP, The Main Event, will once again begin with three starting flights July 5-7. The first phase of the WSOP will conclude with the final nine players of the WSOP Main Event on Monday, July 14.
On Monday, Day 1 of the final table of the World Series of Poker took almost 10 hours to go from the November 9 to the November 2. The WSOP final last night was a heads up showdown between 23 year old poker pro Ryan Riess and 29-year-old Las Vegas club promoter Jay Farber. The last two players went heads up for almost 3 hours until Ryan Riess came out WSOP Champion. He’ll take home a prize of over $8 million dollars and a $500,000 gold bracelet. Jay Farber, who rocked a Hakkasan lid during both nights of the final table, will receive over $5 million as runner up. Not too shabby.
Ryan Riess, from East Lansing, Michigan, becomes the sixth consecutive player under the age of 25 to capture poker’s top crown. He also becomes the sixth consecutive poker professional to win the title. Michigan seems to be a hotbed of poker stars as this is the third time a player from Michigan has won the event, the most recent being Joe Cada of Shelby Township in 2009. Poker Hall of Famer and Grand Rapid’s Tom McEvoy was first to accomplish the feat in 1983.
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We’re still waiting on Rio’s new VooDoo Zip Line. Originally scheduled to open in August, VooDoo’s most recent projected opening date was early November. Confident that this time they finally got it right, we made a trip over to Rio to have a look (and catch a little WSOP action). What we found didn’t surprise us, but left us disappointed once again.
For a zip line that is supposed to be opening right now, there’s a discouraging lack of line upon which to zip. The latest construction update is full of flashy cuts featuring people using tools, telling us that something is happening, but what? Where are the ride vehicles? Where is the zip line’s line?
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The field is comprised of eight professional poker players and one amateur player. The oldest (36) and most famous poker pro at the final table, JC Tran, has the chip lead with 38 million. The winner of the WSOP this year will earn a prize of $8,361,570 while the top seven finishers will become millionaires as well. The first player to lose at the final table at the WSOP tonight will earn $733,224. Not too shabby for a couple months of work.
The other week we told you about the only tower we thought you should book at Rio, with a mention that the newly introduced Samba Suites would be the ones to seek in the Masquerade Tower. Well, seek them out, we did. For just $49 for the night, we were safely ensconced in one of these "festive" suites. Which is good because elsewhere in the Rio is kind of dull.
We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon, just a few minutes past the 4pm check-in. (Valet drop-off, too.) Good thing, otherwise we would have had to pay $20 to request an early check-in. The line moved pretty fast and soon we were on our way to the 12th floor.
The Samba Suites feature brand new carpeting and some new furniture, including a pull-out couch but there isn't much else that's new or innovative here, particularly on the tech front. For instance, we had to unplug a floor lamp to plug in our laptop. Always a pain. We also didn't see any of the fancy new plug panels that allow you to charge multiple gadgets or use a USB port. The rooms still use the old phones (which come with instructions on how to use voice mail), but there are flat-screen TVs in place. Phew!
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We joked about SkyVue offering pre-sale tickets as a way to finish funding a second observation wheel in Vegas. Little did we know that we'd be writing about this seriously just a few days later. Not for SkyVue, though, but for Rio's VooDoo Zip Line.
Yes, the sky-high, sit-and-ride attraction once due to open in August (and then September and now November from the sound of things), has fired up an indiegogo crowd-sourcing page for "final funding," as first reported by Vegas Rover on Facebook.
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Recently, we looked at Caesars Palace and explained how to choose the right tower when booking a stay. Now, we turn our attention to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and put its two towers up against one another in attempt to determine which is best. Is it the hotel’s original Ipanema Tower which opened in 1990? Or, is the more recently added Masquerade Tower the better bet? And, when staying at a hotel that boasts that all of its 2,500+ rooms are suites, does it even matter?
Well, choosing the right tower absolutely does matter because, at Rio, a suite is not always a suite. Rio was the first hotel in Las Vegas to utilize the “all-suite” concept and, during its opening run in the ‘90s, it was the place to be. Its standard accommodations were nearly double the size of typical Las Vegas hotel rooms and were appointed with things like double vanities, living room areas, and refrigerators that were hard to come by elsewhere. Jump ahead to today and many of the amenities remain unchanged. The all-suite concept is no longer exclusive to Rio and competitors in the suite-hotel marketplace like Venetian have surpassed Rio with larger sizes and more luxurious furnishings. Today, it’s arguable as to whether Rio’s oldest rooms really deserve the “suite” designation. They are still spacious but, after more than 15 years without significant upgrades, they're rooms you want to avoid.