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Poker / Gambling / Gaming / Bellagio / Venetian / Rio Las Vegas / The Mirage / → All Tags
VegasChatter reader Jim L. recently asked a question about which casinos in Las Vegas use different chips in their poker rooms than in the rest of the casino. The question stemmed from his discovery of the cream-colored $1 chip (seen below) during a visit to The Mirage poker room. This chip differs from the blue $1 chip which is found elsewhere in the casino.
When it comes to $1 chips, to the best of our knowledge, The Mirage is the only casino in Vegas that uses a specific chip set just for the poker room. If you were to play blackjack or other table games at The Mirage, you would see the blue chips. In the $3-$6 limit game that regularly runs in the poker room, you would see the cream-colored chip.
Bellagio / LAGO / Restaurants / Openings / Eating / Dining / Fine Dining / Julian Serrano / → All Tags
While small, sharable plates fill the menu of the Italian restaurant, the decor is being described as inspired by Italian Futurism, "the sweeping artistic and cultural movement of early 20th century Italy." What that translates to in real life can be seen in the photographs above and below.
Poker / Venetian / The Strip / Orleans / Caesars Palace / Harrah's / Wynn Las Vegas / Bellagio / Binion's / Planet Hollywood / WSOP / Golden Nugget / → All Tags
Christmas will be coming a bit early for poker players at the Venetian next month. Beginning May 1, the Strip's largest poker room will begin offering a $2 max rake on all poker games 24 hours a day through May 24. The normal rake at Venetian is a $4 maximum.
To the uninitiated, the rake is, basically, how poker rooms make money. Because poker players do battle with each other instead of against the house, the poker room takes a percentage of the money in each pot. In most poker rooms, the rake is 10% of the pot up to a certain amount and it is taken in $1 increments. The first dollar is taken out when the pot reaches $10, the next dollar is taken out at $20, and so on until the maximum rake is reached. The $2 maximum rake at Venetian is a 50% drop from what they usually take and players will see a nice increase in their bottom line because of it.
Openings / The Strip / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Bellagio / Lago / Julian Serrano / Circo / → All Tags
This year, there's not too many restaurant openings on the Strip to get really excited about. Bellagio, however, will offer one of the exceptions to the rule when Lago by Chef Julian Serrano takes to the Vegas dining waters in April.
Always an enchanting experience, Bellagio's Conservatory has gone zen for spring. The resort's annual spring exhibit usually has a decidedly Dutch or Americana feel, but 2015 brings a departure from that with a display inspired by a Japanese garden.
Already a massive, labor-intensive undertaking (it takes 100 people more than 140 hours to change out each show), Bellagio's horticulture and design staff flew to Tokyo and Kyoto for inspiration. A 26-foot temple replicates Japan's Golden Pavilion Temple while turtles, cranes, parasols, bonsai trees and cherry blossoms can be found throughout the exhibit. There's so much to see we apparently missed the 75 Koi exploring their temporary new home. #NextTime
Shopping / Bellagio / The Strip / Guerlain / → All Tags
What is Guerlain? What is this thing being built right at the parking garage entrance into Bellagio with an ornate bee-adorned golden bottle printed on the plywood? Is it liquor? Honey? No, it is perfume and makeup, and some of the fanciest of both in the world.
Poker / MGM Resorts / Aria / Bellagio / The Strip / → All Tags
It looks like the days of poker players being able to have stacks of cash on the table alongside their chips may be coming to a close, at least at some casinos along the Strip.
Chris Grove of Online Poker Report broke the news last week that MGM Resorts has made the decision to no longer allow cash to play on poker tables at any of their casinos as of April 1. MGM currently operates nine poker rooms in Las Vegas. Among them are two of the most prominent rooms on the Strip at Bellagio and Aria.
There was a time in Las Vegas when cash was king. Although, chips have long been the preferred currency when it comes to table games, it was once quite common to see bets placed in the form of $100 bills. Gamblers used to be able to throw a stack of bills down on the felt, the dealer would announce "money plays," and the bet would be considered live. There is a legendary story of a player walking into Binion's Horseshoe back in the 80s with a suitcase containing $777,000 in cash, which he promptly bet on the don't pass line. He won the bet and walked out onto Fremont Street with his winnings, no questions asked.
The next time you visit the sportsbook at Bellagio you'll see a different space then you’re used to. The sportsbook just wrapped up a renovation in time for one of the busiest sports betting weekends of the year, March Madness.
Much of the older desk seating that was used for horse bettors has been removed, allowing for a more lounge or living room-type atmosphere with couches and comfortable leather chairs and couches like you see at The Mirage and Aria. In addition, Bellagio's sportbook is the next within the MGM Resorts family to install the InteractivePro tables. They were introduced to The Mirage sportsbook last year and also can be found at MGM Grand now.
Vegas News / MGM Resorts / Shake Shack / Prime / Bellagio / Gaming / New York-New York / Monte Carlo / Nine Fine Irishmen / Resorts World / Frontier / The Mirage / Future Vegas / Luxor / Excalibur / → All Tags
In our book, MGM Resorts' quarterly earnings call is a must listen. Beyond a reciting of dollars and cents, it's always filled with fascinating insight into what's really popping for the gaming company, and what's on the horizon. Here's what we learned from the latest call that took place earlier this week:
Shake Shack is so money: Everybody knows cult burger fave Shack Shack opened at New York-New York late December. You may have even stopped in by now. What you probably don't know is the Las Vegas location is "already the highest-grossing Shack Shack in the portfolio's history, second only to Times Square."
Vegas For Beginners / Poker / Gambling / Tips / The Strip / MGM Grand / Excalibur / Monte Carlo / Mandalay Bay / Caesars Palace / Aria / Bellagio / Venetian / Survival Strategies / → All Tags
There are many factors you should consider when deciding where to play poker during your time in Vegas, such as what games and stakes are offered, how much you receive per hour in comp dollars, tournament offerings, the level of competition, and so on.
Another factor that should not be overlooked is what promotions a given room offers and how much value you are likely to get out of those promotions. Most poker rooms in town offer some sort of incentive for players in the form of high hand bonuses, bad beat jackpots, "aces cracked" bonuses, or hours-based free rolls. What many people don't realize is that the house isn't giving away free money with these promotions, they are simply taking money that players have contributed to a fund and giving it back out in the form of a bonus.
Poker / Gambling / Tips / Survival Strategies / The Orleans / Boulder Station / Suncoast / Bellagio / Aria / Venetian / The Strip / Off Strip / Rio Las Vegas / → All Tags
Ever since the start of the "poker boom" back in 2003, when an unknown accountant from Tenessee with the unlikely name of Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker, no-limit Texas Hold 'Em has been the game of choice among poker players everywhere.
It's easy to forget that, in the grand scheme of things, no-limit hold 'em is a relatively new game. If you were in Las Vegas back in the 90's or earlier, you would be much more likely to be playing a game like 7 card stud or even a variation of draw poker. While most poker players today are content playing no-limit, there are many who long for the days when this variation of the game didn't have the near monopoly it seems to have on the poker world today. The good news is, if you look hard enough, there are still places in Las Vegas where you can find some alternatives. Here's a look at some poker rooms around town that offer up a bit of variety for those looking to mix things up:
Vegas For Beginners / Tips / Survival Strategies / Caesars Palace / Valet / The Mirage / SLS Las Vegas / Bellagio / Planet Hollywood / → All Tags
Not all Vegas hotel porte cocheres are created equally. Sometimes, you can leave your car with valet, grab your bags and quickly get where you need to go. Sometimes valet is on the opposite side of the property and entirely inconvenient for your visit. It's not fun lugging yourself through the casino until you get to whichever part of the property you want to be in. Here are some valet tips for visitors who prefer to drive themselves, but don't know Vegas quite as well as they'd like to yet: