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Just One Dish / The Strip / Venetian / Otto / Pizza / → All Tags
Sometimes, a full restaurant review just won't do. Perhaps, there wasn't time for an A-Z meal. Maybe we just don't want to spoil it all. Or, a dog ate our good pictures. There may still be that one dish worth writing about. A new one, an old one. A newsworthy one or a memorable one (for better or worse). It might be the one dish, or drink, out of the whole experience that gets us to return. Or, stay away.
I’m not usually one for frou frou pizza. Dough, sauce, cheese and a couple of standard toppings and I’m happy. Pizza has gone off the deep end lately as chefs try to one-up each other and put a four-course meal on top of some crust. It turns out a couple of outlandish pizza ingredients aren’t anything to be afraid of.
Poker / The Strip / Venetian / Caesars Palace / Golden Nugget / Bellagio / Fremont Street / → All Tags
What is it like to be a professional poker player in Las Vegas? What it is like to make your living on the felt, doing battle with tourists and locals alike, fighting and clawing for fiercely contested chips in pot after pot, suffering through the bad beats, basking in the glow of making your opponents fold their superior hands, raking in the spoils of your victories, shrugging off the hands that got away, then racking up your soldiers and doing it all again the next day?
Tim "The Trooper" Watts (the nickname is a reference to one of his favorite Iron Maiden songs) knows exactly what it's like.
Since moving to Las Vegas from Jacksonville, Florida last June, Watts has been living the life that many poker players from all over the world have only fantasized about. It is in the poker rooms up and down the Strip where Watts goes about the business of grinding out his living by playing a card game.
Although he did line-up a part time job at a restaurant when he first came to town, Watts recently took a leap of faith and said goodbye to the day job so that he could concentrate fully on poker.
Now with no bosses to answer to and no schedules to follow, each day is an open book. Whether his office is Caesars Palace, the Venetian, or perhaps downtown at the Golden Nugget, Watts enters each day in full control of his own destiny.
Poker / Venetian / MGM Resorts / Wynn / WSOP / Rio / Caesars Entertainment / → All Tags
As of May 1, the Venetian will be the latest casino to disallow cash from being used to wager at the poker tables. The move comes several weeks after MGM Resorts announced it would be banning cash from the tables at all nine of its Strip poker rooms. The Wynn has since instituted the same policy. Under these new guidelines, players will be required to convert their cash to chips before the money is considered in play.
As we outlined in our previous report, the reason casinos are moving toward cashless tables is so that they can more closely track how much players are buying in for at the tables. The Bank Secrecy Act requires casinos to file a Currency Transaction Report for any player who buys in for more than $10,000 in chips. At table games such as blackjack and roulette, casinos have required that bets be placed with chips rather than cash for many years now. This makes it easy for casino personnel to track how much a player buys in for. At poker, however, the permission of players to bet with cash has made it easy for individuals to slip under the radar and conceivably go over the $10,000 threshold without the casino being aware of it.
A sign in the Venetian poker room (seen below) states that anybody purchasing $2,000 or more in chips will be required to do so themselves at the casino cage rather than using a chip runner. It is likely that players who approach the $10,000 threshold will be asked for identification, including a social security number, if they do not already have one on file.
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.
Vegas News / SLS Las Vegas / Silverton / Openings / Pool Scenes / Pools / WuHu Noodles / Pizza Forte / Sunset Station / Hard Rock Hotel / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Off Strip / The Strip / Penn And Teller / Rio Las Vegas / VOM FASS / Venetian / Drinking / → All Tags
There's a lot of sh*t that happens in Vegas and not all of it can make it on our site as a full report. So, every Friday, we take note of some of the smaller announcements around town that may be of interest, too. Here's the rundown for the week of April 6:
WuHu at Silverton: The off-Strip hotel-casino will add a new restaurant, WuHu Noodle, this June.
Presented without comment: SLS is hosting an 18+ pool party Thursday, April 16 at Foxtail. Doors will open at 8 p.m. for what's being called "the sexiest new pool club in Sin City."
The Strip / Venetian / Palazzo / Attractions / Fun Vegas / → All Tags
Chances are, you’ve probably seen the gondola rides at Venetian. If not, experienced one. But have you ever wondered about what it takes to be a gondolier?
During the rides, guests are transported through Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes and experience the scenic ambiance of a faux Venice. The gondolas float through a quarter-mile indoor canal. There's also an outdoor ride that showcases views of The Strip.
On Friday, April 3, Venetian began selecting new gondoliers to join its staff, and invited the media along to view the first portion of the audition: the jump test. That's when candidates jump in the water -- outside at 8 a.m. in 52-degree weather, btw -- and prove they can swim back to the gondola, pull themselves in, and regain control of the boat, all in a specific amount of time. No biggie, right?
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.
Events / UNLVino / Venetian / Palazzo / Paris Las Vegas / The Strip / Red Rock Resort / Off Strip / → All Tags
Oenophiles, rejoice! UNLVino, the mac daddy event for all things pressed out of a grape will be back April 16-18 for another fine year.
The first day of the three-day schedule is Bubblelicious, taking place in Venetian's Doge's Palace Plaza. The theme is obviously all things bubbly, so everything from Champagne to Prosecco will be poured, alongside with bites from various Venetian|Palazzo restaurants.
At this event, the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence will be bestowed upon Chef Daniel Boulud, and local singer Chadwick Johnson will perform as guests walk around trying as many sparkling wines as they'd like. Keep an eye out for some special bottles being poured as last year's event had some limited amounts of Beau Joie, Perrier-Jouët, and Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades)!
Resort Fees / Venetian / Palazzo / The Strip / Las Vegas Sands / → All Tags
If you've ever thought about suing over resort fees, a Southern California man may be your new hero.
The Associated Press is reporting Benjamin Brin has filed a class action suit against Venetian and Palazzo for failing to cite resort fees until after his June 2014 reservation was booked. While it isn't in extra large print nor included as part of the "starting from" costs, the websites for both hotels do list the fees. At least, they do now. The suit reportedly states that, until a warning letter and a site redesign late last year, the fee was not mentioned at all until after a reservation was submitted. (Venetian|Palazzo fans, feel free to weigh in on that one below.)
Poker / Aria / Binion's / Venetian / Red Rock / Wynn / March Madness / Events / → All Tags
Last-minute buzzer beaters, underdogs pulling off huge upsets, hitting that six-team parlay to make up for the money you blew at the craps table... these are all of the things that make March Madness one of the most exciting times of the year to be in Las Vegas. When you aren't busy hanging out at the sportsbook watching all of the tremendous basketball action, there will be plenty going on in the local poker rooms. Here's a look at some special tournaments series being offered this month:
Vegas News / Las Vegas Restaurant Week / Restaurants / Eating / Dining / Tony Bennett / Lady Gaga / Planet Hollywood / Concerts / Music / Entertainment / Rock in Rio / The Beatles LOVE / The Mirage / Diana Ross / Venetian / Vegas Residencies / → All Tags
There's a lot of sh*t that happens in Vegas and not all of it can make it on our site as a full report. So, every Friday, we take note of some of the smaller announcements around town that may be of interest, too. Here's the rundown for the week of March 2:
You've Got Some More Eating To Do: Las Vegas Restaurant Week returns June 15-26 and only for those dates this year. The event will no longer take place twice yearly with spring and fall dates. During the week, restaurants across the city join together to offer special prix fixe meals ranging from $20.15 to $50.15 with a portion of the proceeds benefitting local food bank Three Square.
Venetian / Palazzo / Grand Canal Shoppes / Shopping / Drinking / → All Tags
An interesting trend for some higher-end shopping areas around the country are "bottle it yourself" stores. Most sell different flavors of oil and vinegar and sometimes alcohol, but too many are dressed-up, get-rich-quick schemes that buy a couple industrial barrels of the base ingredient and inject artificial lab-grown "aromas" into them. This is very similar to the way certain vodka brands have every meme flavor under the sun (lol at bacon, maple, cotton candy, and bourbon flavored vodka) and generally has the same effect. However, it would appear these are all pale imitations of other enterprises like VOM FASS.