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Viva Las Business

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce is launching a campaign in Las Vegas for Las Vegan’s to help keep money in the city.  This is something that many cities try to do.  For an economy that was hurt a lot by the bad economy, this can only help.  I’m curious to see how this has an effect on local businesses.  Here’s a report from KNTV, channel 13 in Las Vegas

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Plaza Closing For A While

This shouldn’t be too surprising, but the Plaza is closing for a while before undergoing renovations later this year into next year.

More than 400 employees of the Plaza Hotel & Casino face layoffs in the next 60 days as the downtown Las Vegas property closes its 1,037-room hotel and portions of its casino in early November…

…”In fact, we anticipate that many employees from the Plaza will be offered jobs at the Las Vegas Club, which during this renovation period will be handling future room reservations, bingo and some other amenities formerly housed at the Plaza,” (Kenneth) Landfield (COO, Tamares) said in the statement.

The poor economy hit all of Las Vegas hard, but the older downtown properties were hit very hard.  This is a way for the owner of multiple downtown properties to save money in the short term.  Consolidating rooms downtown should be a good thing as there are just so many rooms in Vegas, overall.

I expect this closing to last a little longer than the company is telling the public.  Renovations might be “delayed” and “take longer” just to keep the rooms off the market a little longer in hopes of a better economy.

Photo: Las Vegas Sun

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Vegas Chatter

If you follow me on twitter you’ve probably noticed that I’ve contributed a bunch of stories from my last trip to Las Vegas to Vegas Chatter.  In case you missed any of the action, here are all of the stories together.

I had a great time putting these together for someone else and it was nice to have editing by people that know how to write. 🙂  I hope to do more guest blogging in the future.

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9/6 Jacks or Better In Las Vegas

9/6 Jacks or Better Video Poker is my video poker game of choice.  It’s almost impossible to find 9/6 JoB on the Vegas strip in a denomination I’m comfortable playing – less than $5.  I prefer to play $1 JoB, if possible.  That’s still a $5 bet so its not like I’m playing peanuts.

On my last trip to Vegas, at Planet Hollywood, I thought that if I played 1 credit on a $5 9/6 JoB machine it would be similar to playing five credits on a $1 machine.  Similar…not the same.

Of course, the main difference here is that a Royal Flush pays 4x the bet when playing full credits.  According to Wizard of Odds the probability of getting a Royal Flush is only .000028.  I’m not sure how much this brings down the payback percentage, but I’ve only gotten two royal flushes in my life so I never expect one.

I’m pretty sure that the difference is 1% over playing 8/5 vs. 9/6 this way.  It may not be the best strategy, but I felt more comfortable playing this game instead of playing Double Double Bonus Poker.

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Discounts at Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops

One of my favorite, if not favorite, place to watch football in Las Vegas is Blondie’s sports bar at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.  Harrah’s has extended some excellent discounts to the Miracle Mile Shops for Total Rewards members that are worth noting; including 20% off at Blondie’s!

Click the screen shot below for all of the discounts.

Click here to view full size

There are quite a few excellent offers with this promotion.  I’ll be staying at Planet Hollywood, again, on my next trip to Vegas and will likely take up this offer while I watch football.  The great thing about Blondie’s is that their prices are low to begin with, so this is an flat-out great deal!

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Planning a Trip to Las Vegas

I was tweeting with DenverGambler before his latest trip to Las Vegas and he talked about a “To-Do List” that he was making for the trip.  I’m a curious guy so I asked to see it.

My trip plans focus around dinners or drinks and I only make mental notes or firm dinner plans which I keep on my iPhone calendar.  My plans are never as major as this list.

Food
Batistas
Stripburger
BLT Burger
Hard Rock – $7.77 Steak and Shrimp off-menu special at Mr Luckys.
Ellis Island – Cheap Steak dinner

Drinking
Riviera – New English Pub
Wynncore – Sinatra Smash, Asian Equation?
Peppermill (Bar side)
Double Down Saloon (near Hard Rock) – Bacon Martini
Dino’s Lounge

Gambling / Casino Scoping
Fremont Street (ride the deuce?) – El Cortez, Western, $1 Craps!, Griffin Bar, Binions, Vegas Club / Golden Gate / Plaza, Gold Spike, Main St Station
Stratosphere gambling
Las Vegas Hilton
Tropicana
Wild Wild West?
MGM Grand – Lions Share & Sigma Derby
Sahara – Play dollar blackjack and drink Newcastles till I lose $40 or until I am too damn incoherent to play at Sahara, Slot tournament – Saturday 11:00am, DOUBLE rewards points on Mondays and Fridays

Other
7 pound burrito challenge
Pinball hall of fame

Curious to see what he was able to accomplish?  I was.  See below for crossed off version of the list.

Food
Batistas
Stripburger
BLT Burger
Hard Rock – $7.77 Steak and Shrimp off-menu special at Mr Luckys.
Ellis Island – Cheap Steak dinner

Drinking
Riviera – New English Pub
Wynncore – Sinatra Smash, Asian Equation?
Peppermill (Bar side)
Double Down Saloon (near Hard Rock) – Bacon Martini (ED: No Ass Juice either!)
Dino’s Lounge

Gambling / Casino Scoping
Fremont Street (ride the deuce?) – El Cortez, Western, $1 Craps!, Griffin Bar, Binions, Vegas Club / Golden Gate / Plaza, Gold Spike, Main St Station
Stratosphere gambling
Las Vegas Hilton
Tropicana
Wild Wild West?
MGM Grand – Lions Share & Sigma Derby
Sahara – Play dollar blackjack and drink Newcastles till I lose $40 or until I am too damn incoherent to play at Sahara, Slot tournament – Saturday 11:00am, DOUBLE rewards points on Mondays and Fridays

Other
7 pound burrito challenge
Pinball hall of fame

It’s pretty damn impressive to knock off over 2/3rds of your to-do list on a vacation with so many items on the list.  I don’t normally have more than 2 or 3 items for day.  DenverGambler had about 10 per day.  How do you plan your trips?

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Behind The Bets Podcast

I’ve been enjoying Chad Millman’s ESPN Insider column, “Behind The Bets”, for just about a year now.  This column and the magazine offer make the ESPN Insider fee worth it for me.

About a month ago Millman started the “Behind The Bets” podcast.  This is free and a great look into the world of sports betting.  For example, the podcast I’m listening to now has Pete Korner speaking about how he puts together lines for NFL games.

I haven’t found discussion like this available before so I’m enjoying the podcast.  Much like other podcasts and sports betting resources I don’t look to get picks from them, but I do like to get ideas and information that I’m not going to find from regular news outlets.

As we head into football season I imagine this is going to be an excellent resource and it’s only about 30 minutes a week.

Check the podcast section if you’re in need of some ways to get information or just pass the time.

Click here to download the “Behind The Bets” podcast from iTunes.

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World Series Of Poker TV Ratings Down Again

This years World Series of Poker (WSOP) TV ratings, on ESPN, are showing a 16% decrease from last years ratings which also fell.

The overall ratings for the first six weeks of WSOP coverage on ESPN have garnered a 0.67 rating, with a rating of 1.0 meaning that approximately 1.1 million viewers were watching a program. This would give the WSOP on ESPN an average of 737,000 viewers over the first six weeks of broadcasting. Compared to 2009, when the first six weeks pulled in a 0.79 rating (869,000 viewers), the ratings have dropped approximately 16%.

No surprise here, as the ratings continue to drop.  It seems as if more people want to play poker now than watch poker on TV.  This rating is still higher than hockey games and ESPN has a deal to air the WSOP through 2017, so this will air until nobody is left watchin.

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WinPoker iPhone App

I was practicing video poker while watching TV and realized that I haven’t done a blog about the WinPoker iPhone app.  This is the only app that I’ve purchased on both my old iPod touch and my iPhone.  It is a great tool to practice video poker strategy and I usually play a few hours before every trip, just to hone my skills.

WinPoker allows you to choose the type of video poker game you want to play with the pay tables that you’ll play so you can have an accurate simulation and learn to play video poker the right way.  If the pay tables aren’t stock on the game you can add them. For example; before my last trip to Las Vegas I added 8/6 Jacks or Better because I knew that Venetian didn’t have anything better to offer.

Once you’ve selected a game to play you simply play video poker as you normally would.  Where WinPoker really earns its money from me are the error messages when I’m playing.

Knowing when I’m making the wrong play is what helps make me a better video poker player.  I now consider myself to have perfect play when playing Jacks or Better.  Since Las Vegas’ best game is Double Double Bonus poker I’ve been practicing that a lot.  I’m not quite the “perfect” player, but I’m getting there.  Hopefully before the year is out I’ll be perfect.

I absolutely feel confident that if you play video poker you will get lots of mileage out of WinPoker for the iPhone or iPod and possibly improve your game like I did.

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Seven Stars Insider – Sept Edition

Here’s the latest edition of Seven Stars Insider.  This is an easy read and an excellent resource for Harrah’s players.  Head over to Seven Stars Insider to sign up for the newsletter.  There is lots of information in this edition, so read on for all the goods.

NOTE: While this newsletter was originally designed exclusively for Seven Stars members, there is useful information for anyone who has a Total Rewards® player’s card and/or plays/stays at a Harrah’s property.  Please feel free to pass this on to your friends.  Back issues of the Seven Stars Insider newsletter are available online at http://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider.

Rio For Sale – Maybe

It’s been in the news for months, but several media reports – chiefly Bloomberg News, whose story August 20 was then picked up the following week by the Las Vegas Review-Journal – claim the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is for sale.  Harrah’s continues to deny it.  I know it’s popular with a lot of Seven Stars players who read this, but I like to be a little closer to the “action” on The Strip.  Plus, it’s just a little too noisy for me with all those “flair bartenders” and “bevertainers” (most of whom should stick to delivering beverages and stay away from microphones).  I guess I’m just getting too old!

Question Of The Month
I have a companion card and tried to go with a friend to the special Seven Stars weekly Sunday brunch at Showboat in Atlantic City.  I was told that the primary cardholder had to be present, and he/she could invite only one guest.  I thought I had all the privileges of the primary cardholder.  Well, yes, sort of.  Think of it in terms of other offers your husband gets, e.g., three complimentary nights at Paris.  Only he could claim it – you could accompany him, of course.  Same with a free coffeepot or blender.  The offer is for the cardholder, not the companion.  In terms of the brunch, do I think it’s fair?  Once again, Harrah’s is being short-sighted and causing unnecessary irritation for its best players (and their companions).  As long as the brunch is limited to two people per card, what difference does it make if you and a friend take advantage of the brunch, or you and your husband attend?  In the overall scheme of things, this is a very low-cost benefit that Harrah’s [Showboat] is offering.  What they might be gaining in loyalty and customer satisfaction for some, they are losing as much – or more – by alienating others.

Planet Hollywood Page Added To Seven Stars Insider Site
Thanks to a Planet Hollywood “veteran” who has stayed there on a number of occasions, there is now a page on the site with details about this latest addition to Harrah’s Total Rewards casinos in Las Vegas.  Some of the more interesting “highlights” are a rumored Seven Stars Club that may open there, and the fact that the staff hasn’t really grasped the Total Rewards concept, and isn’t sure what to do when they see a Seven Stars or even a Diamond card.  Check it out by clicking here.

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Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas