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Itís not even Labor Day weekend, but itís already time to start planning for 2015. Whether youíre a bargain hunter or just a neurotic planner like this writer, youíre always looking for an excuse to plan your next fun experience. When it comes to planning Las Vegas vacations, there are always times when everyone knows it will be busy. New Year's Eve, The Big Game, March Madness, Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend are among the busiest. Cinco de Mayo weekend is also a big one because thereís usually a big boxing match and the Kentucky Derby†to go along with all the Cinco de Mayo parties.
In between these busy periods, youíll find some less expensive times of the year to visit Las Vegas. My favorite time of year is in between Thanksgiving and Christmas (not counting when National Finals Rodeo moseys into town). Itís relatively†quiet (for Vegas) and hotels are less expensive. Even living in Las Vegas, I†still take a few days off to enjoy the Strip while it isnít as crowded. I like when the hospitality industry isnít run so ragged by the constant barrage of tourists and they can pay a little more attention to me. Iím a real fancy boy like that.
Players are trading bluffs and deep penetrating stares on ESPNís World Series of Poker telecast, airing now through the final table of the Main Event in November.
But, what you see isnít always what you get. Televised poker often presents a rather misleading look into the world of tournament poker. In addition to some obvious differences, such as, you know, the fact that drunk who gave away all his chips in that $50 Flamingo tournament wouldnít ever play the $1 million buy-in Big One for Big Drop at the Rio, youíll find plenty of differences between whatís myth and whatís reality.
MyVEGAS / Slots / Slot Machines / Konami / Vegas Observations / MGM Resorts / Free Vegas / → All Tags
Now two years old, social casino game MyVEGAS continues to add new users, new rewards, and new mini-games. Earlier this month, PlayStudios unveiled its latest slot title, China Mystery. New ways to earn those valuable loyalty points are always welcomed, but we were even more excited by the addition of new dining rewards. As we took a closer look at whatís new, however, we were left wishing we could turn back the clock.
Anytime anyone criticizes MyVEGAS they are inevitably met with the same response, so letís get it out of the way. Yes, the game is free. Itís been possible to rack up free hotel stays, dining vouchers, shopping credits, show tickets, and more, all from day one without spending a dime. For those who joined early on, itís been a great ride. Many of us here at VegasChatter are MyVEGAS players and this writer alone has racked up at least $1,000 in rewards. Thatís the good, on to the bad.
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If we ask you to name the top destinations on The Strip for some low stakes gambling, what would you come up with? This writer would fire back Casino Royale before the question mark even makes it out. Pressed for more, Iíd name the new OíSheas, The Quad, and maybe Riviera. All fine picks for a gambler on a budget, but thereís a big one missing from my list. And, as a self-professed low roller, Iím ashamed to admit that I forgot about Slots A Fun.
Venetian / Palazzo / Technology / Mobile Phones / Video Poker / Slot Machines / Gambling / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
Tired of losing the charge on your mobile phone while wandering the Vegas Strip? Well, Venetian†has you in mind with the most recent addition to its casino.
VegasChatter reader Jeff C. recently spied the installation of Plug & Play mobile charging systems on some of the resort's video poker and slot machines. You don't even need a full charger to get your mobile phone some extra power while you gamble. Just plug a USB cable†into the machine and your phone will begin to charge.
With nightlife spots in its basement as well as on its rooftop is The Cromwell just a party hotel? Or, is it a convenient, boutique (by Vegas standards) hotel ideally situated on the center Strip?
Frequent Vegas visitor and VegasChatter reader Keith C. recently checked into The Cromwell -- a renamed and completely renovated Bill's Gamblin' Hall -- and fills us in on the pros and the cons, from the food to the service.
Generally, there are two types of gamblers. There are the serious gamblers who will only play casino games where they have an advantage on the casino or minimal disadvantage. There are also casual gamblers who come to Las Vegas for a good time and donít really care about the house edge. They just want to have fun. While not adversarial, the two types of gamblers donít always understand how the other thinks.
Casual gamblers are simply in the casino for entertainment. The money they are risking at casino games is thought of†similarly to the budget theyíd use†for dinner and a show, for example. Gambling is their way of having a good time. Instead of a good meal and Celine, theyíll find fun at 3 card poker or another game with a relatively large house edge for the casino. The fun gambler may even head over†to a bar and play the worst odds video poker games anyone will find just so they have a closer proximity to drinks.
By now, most Vegas visitors have been clued in to the long-hauling game. A simple ďno tunnelĒ as you enter your cab can ensure that your ride doesnít unnecessarily cost an extra 25% or more. Unfortunately, long-hauling isnít the only way to be ripped off. As this writer found out during a recent trip to Venetian, cab customers are sometimes being fleeced even before the ride begins.
My groupís night on The Strip concluded with a late dinner inside Venetian and, as we finished off a second carafe of sake at Noodle Asia, we decided on cabbing home. As a Vegas resident, I know how to avoid a long-haul and was expecting an uneventful ride. What I didnít anticipate, and was disgusted to discover, was a group of Venetian employees attempting to extort money from customers in exchange for bypassing an artificially inflated cab line.
While boobs, barely there bikinis, and beefcakes are the norm for the Vegas pool scene, we've begun to notice some extra special trends happening this season. A look through the various Facebook pages of Las Vegas' hottest pool parties revealed how widespread these trends really are. Here's what is hot right now in Vegas. Anna Wintour, shield your eyes.
The other day, however, this writer had a few too many beers and needed to use the restroom. After getting directions, I had to stop and chuckle after seeing the sign on the door:
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The American Gaming Association polls casino visitors every year to to see who they are and what they enjoy. One of our favorite survey questions focuses on what casino games people like to play the most. You can expect some differences than what you'd typically expect to see in Las Vegas since there are more slot machine-only casinos across the country. Here's how it breaks down:
Every year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority releases a profile on whoís actually visiting Las Vegas. No, this isnít you. This isnít any one person. This is a snapshot taken from polling 3,600 visitors. The goal is to†see who the typical visitor is and what it is that they do. We like random data so letís take a look:
Why did you†visit Las Vegas in 2013? (This includes first time visitors and repeat visitors.)
○ 41% were on vacation.
○ 15% came primarily to gamble.
○ 12% were visiting friends or relatives.