Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ten cheapest hotels on the Vegas Strip - plus resort fee considerations - National Las Vegas |

Ten cheapest hotels on the Vegas Strip - plus resort fee considerations - National Las Vegas |

Rio Casino in Vegas is robbed

Rio Casino in Vegas, sight of early am robbery; image courtesy public domain source

A thinly disguised robber walked away with $32K in chips from the Rio Hotel and Casino in Vegas early this morning about 4:30 am. The thief was apparently wearing a fake mustache, a fedora - type hat, and sunglasses.

Las Vegas police say the disguised man walked into the Rio casino and proceeded to take chips off a live gaming table. As the dealer at that table attempted to stop him, the man brandished a handgun. The weapon was never fired and no one was injured during the robbery attempt. The robber then left the casino and boarded a taxi cab that he had apparently arrived in. The questioned cab driver said the man did not exhibit any suspicious activity upon re-entry to the cab and was dropped off at Terrible's Casino where the thief paid his fare and disappeared.

The suspect was described as a white male in his forties and was last seen wearing a tan jacket and dark pants. The man is still at large as of this writing.

This is the second brazen chip robbery at a Vegas casino within the last three months. A disguised thief robbed the Bellagio of over $1 million in chips this past December 2010. The suspect in that case is Anthony Carleo, who is in local police custody facing armed robbery charges and arraignment. Carleo is the son of a local court judge in Las Vegas.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Several Vegas buffets lower prices

Buffet image courtesy Jbird905 via Wiki Commons Share-Alike Attribution license

We recently reported a Palms Bistro Buffet price reduction. Recently, three other off - Strip Vegas casino groups have reduced their standard buffet price levels. These prices are all in effect / valid through at least the end of February,2011. The following are the four recently discounted buffets ( with links ) and associated breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet prices as of this writing. Be aware that some of the buffet links do not reflect some of the price reductions; we've provided phone numbers for each location for visitors / patrons to call for price verification. Patrons should be prepared to present their respective location player's club cards to obtain these buffet prices ( free to join all player's clubs).

Palms Bistro Buffet Prices are $5.99, $7.99, and $13.99. Phone 702-953-7679 .

Station Casinos Feast Buffets The applicable Station Casinos here include Palace, Boulder, Texas, Sunset, Santa Fe, Green Valley Ranch, and Aliante Stations buffet locales. Prices are $4.99, $6.99, and $8.99 (exceptions are Green Valley and Aliante dinner buffets, which are $11.99 at both locations). Phone 800-634-3101 .

Terrible's Buffet prices here are $3.99, $6.99, and $8.99. Phone 877-773-4596 .

South Point Garden Buffet Prices are $5.95, $8.95, and $12.95. Phone 866-796-7111.

Stay tuned...more Vegas buffets might enter this buffet price war.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Best Las Vegas graveyard dining specials

Flamingo Las Vegas, home of *The Burger Joint which offers some cheap graveyard specials on the Strip; image courtesy commons license

Las Vegas is obviously a 24/7 town. There are multiple casino cafes / coffee shops that cater to late night patrons (partiers and shift - change laborers ) by offering traditional graveyard dining specials. The majority of these late night spots are located off - Strip (a few listed exceptions) and many of the offered specials involve discounted breakfast - oriented meals. Vegas visitors can be encouraged to discover that there are still numerous late - night specials that can be had for under five bucks per person.

The following are our picks for specific locations with the best graveyard specials. The grand majority of these specials are available between 11pm and 7am, and some of the special's pricing are dependent on player's club membership (all are free to join). Patrons at most of these locales must be 21 years of age due to their close proximities to casinos.

Ellis Island - Scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, with choice of bacon or sausage all for $3.99 (served between 11pm and 6am). This location also offers New York steak and eggs (11pm to 11am) with potatoes and toast for $4.99.

Mr Lucky's 24-7 at Hard Rock 8oz New York steak and eggs, hash browns, and toast for $4.99 between midnight and noon. They also serve a Burger Basket with fries for $3.99 (midnight to noon).

South Point Coronado Cafe This cafe offers multiple late night (midnight to 6am) specials for unbelievable prices. Biscuits and gravy for $1.45; eggs, hash browns, choice of bacon or sausage, and toast for $2.45; pancake sandwich with fried egg and ham for $2.45; ham steak and eggs, hash browns, and toast for $2.95; half - pound cheeseburger and fries for $2.95; 7oz New York steak and eggs, hash browns, and toast for only $3.45.

California's Market Street Cafe This downtown area cafe is noted for it's late night (11pm - 9am) specials in Vegas. These include chicken strips and fries ($3.95); 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, and choice of bacon or sausage for $3.25; 2 eggs with hash browns and toast for $1.99; oxtail soup for $2.95.

Orleans Courtyard Cafe Hours for these specials are Monday - Thursdays from midnight - 6am. Specials include biscuits and gravy for $2.49; Eggs with bacon or sausage, hash browns, and toast for $3.49; ham and egg pancake sandwich for $3.49; bone-in ham steak and eggs for $4.49; 7oz New York steak and eggs, hash browns, and toast for $4.49.

Arizona Charlie's Decatur Sourdough Cafe All specials run from midnight - 7am and are cheapest with players club cards. Includes a Breakfast Skillet with bacon or sausage and toast or biscuit and gravy for $2.99; steak or ham and eggs for $3.99.

Bill's Gamblin Hall - Victorian Room This Vegas Strip location offers a graveyard (midnight - 8am) Steak and Eggs special for $5.99.

Flamingo Burger Joint Located inside the historic Flamingo on the Strip, the *Burger Joint offers these specials from midnight - 6am. Includes a burger and fries for $2; a steak and eggs breakfast for $5.99; and eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns, and toast for 99 cents!

Harrah's Cafe at Harrah's Representing another Strip location on our list, Harrah's Cafe offers a steak and eggs special for $5.89 from midnight - 6am.

Cannery Casinos Group The Cannery Casinos in Vegas include The Cannery, Eastside Cannery, and Rampart ( in Summerlin) , all of which offer great late night dining specials.

-- The Victory Cafe at The Cannery offers T-bone steak with hash browns and toast for $4.99; buffalo chicken finger burritos for $3.99; and two eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns, and toast for $1.99. Hours at Victory's Cafe are midnight - 7am (Sun - Thursdays) and 2am to 7am on Fri & Sat.
-- Snaps at Eastside Cannery offers ham steak and eggs with hash browns and toast for $2.99; 2 pancakes,and two strips of bacon or breakfast sausage for $1.99; 2 eggs with hash browns, toast, and bacon or sausage for $3.75. Hours are 11pm to 7am.
-- The Promenade Cafe at Rampart offers steak and eggs with hash browns and toast for $3.21; 2 eggs,2 bacon strips,2 sausages, and 2 pancakes for $2.21; biscuits and gravy for $2.21; 2 pancake breakfast for $2.21. Great deals, if you're staying there or don't mind the trip to Summerlin.

*Kady's Coffee Shop at the Riviera on the North Strip offers unlimited pancakes and coffee for $4.99 and a ham, steak, eggs, hash browns, and toast breakfast for $6.99. Hours here are Friday and Saturday only from 10pm - 6am.

Marilyn's Cafe at Tuscany Casino offers ever-changing late night specials and from experience the prices and food are quite good. Currently they're offering biscuits and gravy or a steak and eggs breakfast for only $3.99 each. Hours are from midnight to 5am.

The above are our picks for the best current graveyard specials in Las Vegas. Three other locations that offer great late night deals include Terrible's Bouganvillea Cafe, Jerry's Famous Coffee Shop , and Four Queen's Magnolia Verandas Cafe downtown. Again, check all links and individual locales through link contacts to verify Las Vegas ever - changing specifics / pricing.


* Article update : Both The Burger Joint at Flamingo and Kady's Coffee Shop at the Riviera are now closed.

Ten best steak specials in Las Vegas****

Image courtesy Penarc via Wiki Commons Share Attribution license

For budget - minded Vegas visitors who crave a steak or steak combo meal, here's our picks. These mainstay Vegas steak specials are all wallet - friendly and of decent quality. Most of these are at off - Strip locales, with some available 24 hrs and some falling into the late-night / graveyard special category. Visitors are encouraged to sign up for free players club memberships to obtain the best dining discounts at casino - hotel restaurants.

$7.95 10 - ounce steak special at Ellis Island . Includes potato, bread, green beans, and a beer; truly a Vegas favorite. This deal isn't on the menu...just request it from your server any time of day.

$7.77 Gambler's Special at Mr Lucky's 24/7 at the Hard Rock . Includes a 6 - ounce sirloin, grilled shrimp, choice of potato or broccoli, and a salad. It's not on the menu so request it from your server, around the clock.

$9.99 Choice of T-bone or New York steak dinner and a beer at Terrible's Bougainvillea Cafe. Another off - menu special..ask the server 24 hours a day. We've eaten at this small budget cafe many times and fully recommend it.

$7.85 Surf and Turf special at Jerry's Famous Coffee Shop at Jerry's Nugget Casino. Special includes New York steak, pan-fried shrimp, coice of potato, soup or salad, and garlic or French bread; available 24/7.

$9.99 Porterhouse ( 14 oz) steak special at Arizona Charlie's Sourdough Cafe . Ask the server for this special.

$11.99 Steak and Lobster special at the Fremont's Tony Roma's restaurant. This special is only offered from 9 - 11 pm.

$12.99 T-bone (16oz) steak dinner at the Orleans' Courtyard Cafe. Special is available 24 hours..just ask for it.

$12.99*** Kady's Coffee Shop T-bone steak special at the Riviera. This is a late night special available Saturday - Thursdays 10pm - 6 am.

$14.99 Surf and Turf special at Silverton's Sundance Grill . Includes steak, shrimp, soup or salad, vegetables, and more. Available 24/7.

$12.49 16oz Porterhouse steak special at Suncoast's Cafe Siena . Choice of potato and salad, served daily 11am - 11 pm.

For more detailed listings of Vegas steakhouses without regard to costs, check these listings from the Las Vegas Advisor and 10Best. As we've repeated many times before, check the contact links / restaurants to confirm specials and pricing ; things change often in Vegas.


*** The special at Kady's Coffee shop is no longer available...Kady's has closed
**** Refer to this link for updated info regarding Las Vegas best steak specials.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Palms Bistro Buffet offers bargain pricing

Palms Casino Las Vegas ; image courtesy The celliststarlet under Wiki Commons public domain license

The Bistro Buffet at the Palms has reduced prices to bargain levels through February 2011. Prices are $5.99 (breakfast), $7.99 (lunch), and $13.99 (dinner).

These reduced prices represent significant savings over previous costs. Access the above link or phone 702 - 953 - 7679 for complete details. Great deal!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Celine Dion returns to Caesars Palace

Celine Dion, who begins a new 3 year engagement at Caesars Palace March 15, 2011; image courtesy Celine Dion Concert via Wiki Commons license

Celine Dion returned to Caesars Palace today to start rehearsing for her three year return engagement slated to begin March 15, 2011. Dion appeared at Caesars today with her infant twin sons Eddy and Nelson, her husband, and older son. This public appearance was the first opportunity for fans to see the performer and her family since the birth of the twins on October 23, 2010.

Dion's new show will feature 31 musicians including a full orchestra and band. The show's concept theme centers around capturing the aura of classic Hollywood movies. Dion has been named the female artist of the decade and will be performing all her classic hits. Notably, Dion sold out all her shows in a previous 5 year stint at Caesars until 2008 when she took off for a world tour, to spend time with family, and to add to her family. She is the recipient of the Diamond Award which recognized her as the top selling (200 million albums worldwide) female artist of all time.

Ticket prices for the show range from $55 - $250 each and can be purchased through this Ticketmaster link or by phoning 877 - 423 - 5463.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Station Casinos launches locals deals site

Green Valley Ranch in Vegas, one of fourteen separate Station Casinos properties; image courtesy public domain license

Station Casinos in Vegas has just initiated the We Luv Locals website that offers deal options voted on by members. Options that receive the most member votes will become the next downloadable / printable offer for redemption. Las Vegas / Nevada locals can access the above link to sign up for We Luv Locals.

The current offer up for redemption is a 2 for 1 buffet special. Station Casinos has recently begun a massive promotion campaign and has always been among the best Las Vegas "locals" casino groups. Kudos to them...again.


M Resort introduces 50 Plus Senior Rewards Club

M Resort in Las Vegas, courtesy Vrysxy under Wiki Commons license

M Resort guests aged 50 and above can receive multiple benefits and discounts every Wednesday ( beginning Feb 16,2011) at M Resort. The new program is called 50 Plus Senior Rewards Club and the only requirement is free signup with the iMagine Rewards players club. New signups will receive either a free gift or $5 in free play.

The following represents some of the discounts and offers associated with this deal.

- 2 for 1 buffet at Studio B Buffet
- 50 cash / dining prize winners every Wednesday at 4 pm ($1000 top prize)
- 30% services discounts at Spa Mio every Wednesday
- 2 for 1 lunch entree at Hash House A Go Go on Wednesdays from 1 to 5 pm
- Admission to performances by crooner Mark O' Toole 2:30 - 5:30 pm on Wednesdays at Ravello Lounge
- Free pastry with medium coffee purchase at Baby Cakes on Wednesdays

Good offer for the 50+ crowd!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Current 2011 promotions at MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas

Bellagio, one of multiple MGM Resorts in Vegas
Image courtesy the celliststarlet via Wiki Commons public domain license

Currently, there's a ton of promotional savings available from thirteen separate and contrasting MGM Resorts International properties in Las Vegas. The following list depicts ongoing deals including rooms, dining, assorted amenities, and flight + hotel packages. We've included starting costs (Sun - Thurs / Fri & Sat), basic package descriptions, and promo expiration dates. Access the provided resort links to obtain additional details and for booking.

Aria Romance Package From $830 (Sun - Thurs) / $1030 (Fri & Sat). Includes two nights in a Tower Suite, two in-room massages, aromatherapy bath, complimentary champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, and two complimentary spa passes. Expires May 30, 2011.

Aria Free Upgrade w/ buffet credit From $139/$299. Includes free upgrade to City View Deluxe room and a $40 buffet credit. Expires June 30, 2011.

Aria $25 Daily Resort Credit From $139 / $329. Bookings include a daily $25 resort credit. Expires May 31, 2011.

Bellagio Romance Retreat Suite Package Per night package price of $995. Includes Lakeview Cypress Suite, limo to and from the airport, executive check - in, bottle of Veuve Clicquot, chocolate strawberries, 50 - minute couples massage, and dinner for 2 at Picasso or Michael Mina. No expiration date is in force according to the reservations rep at 888-987-6667; phone for availability.

Vdara Romance Package From $384 / $484 . Includes minimum , two night stay in a Deluxe Suite, chocolate strawberries, $50 breakfast in bed credit, travel intimacy kit, couples boutique experience at Kiki de Montparnasse, and a 15% discount at that boutique. Expires May 31, 2011.

Vdara Escape Package From $510 . Includes two night stay in a deluxe suite, two spa treatments, two spa robes,10% spa purchases discount, and pricing includes resort fees. Expires Feb 28, 2011.

Vdara Success Package From $313 . Two night stay in a Deluxe Suite, $25 in-room dining credit, $15 laundry / dry cleaning credit, $15 in room movie credit, free late checkout, and includes resort fees. Expires Feb 28, 2011.

MGM Grand VIP Suite Offer From $500 / $1100. Per night pricing for stays in Premium Suites and includes nightly access for two to Studio 54 or Tabu. Expires Feb 28,2011.

MGM Grand NASCAR Season offer From $69.99 / $230. Includes 2 for 1 buffet, two entries to Studio 54 or Tabu nightclubs,two free cocktails, and 20% off spa services. Promotion runs Feb 27 - March 24, 2011.

MGM Grand Winter Feast offer From $65 / $130 nightly. Offer includes two free buffets. Expires March 15, 2011.

Mandalay Bay Discount Suite From $90.99 / $301 . 20% off suites on select dates. Expires Dec 31, 2011.

Mandalay Bay Guarantee a Room Type From $99.99 / $190 . Offer guarantees guests will obtain choice of 1 King Bed or 2 Queens in a Deluxe room. Expires Dec 31, 2011.

Mandalay Bay Ultimate Upgrade From $269.99 / $410 . Per night stay in a Premium Suite including limo service to and from airport, invited guest check - in, welcome amenity, nightly turndown service, line pass to all property nightclubs, preferred spa appointments, entry to Mix Lounge and House of Blues nightclubs, and preferred seating at restaurants. Expires Dec 31, 2011.

Mandalay Bay Dog Friendly Program From $89.99 / $190. Bring canine companions ( up to two, as long as the combined weight is 50 lbs or less ) for $50 per night per dog fees in addition to room charges. Expires Dec 31, 2011.

Mirage promotions Mirage has many offers and they can be accessed here. These promotions include Terry Fator show packages, Beatles Love show discounts, room and golf deals, spa packages, and multiple dining offers. Check the link for room costs and expiration dates.

Monte Carlo / New York - New York Vegas Partyscape from $56 / $176 per night. Includes free margarita with purchased entree at Diablo's Cantina, 2 for 1 buffet, free shot with entry at Minus5 Ice Lounge, 2 for 1 cupcakes at Cupcakery, and 2 for 1 burger at The Pub ( all the above at Monte Carlo). This package also includes neighboring New York, New York deals including a free $10 game card at the Sporting House, 2 for 1 breakfast at II Fornaio, 2 for 1 roller coaster rides, 2 for 1 admission to ROK Vegas nightclub, and one free dessert at Nine Fine Irishmen restaurant. Expires Feb 28, 2011.

New York, New York Spa Suite Special From $95 / $290 . Upgrade any room to a Spa Suite. Expires July 31, 2011.

New York, New York Zumanity show promotions Several Zumanity promotions are offered including a second ticket for $7 after purchasing one at regular prices, a Zumanity + hotel package, a general $25 off ticket special, and $100 tickets to see both Zumanity and Criss Angel's Believe show at Luxor for one low price. Access this link or phone 702-740-3205 for details, promo expirations, and ticket purchases.

New York, New York Spa Specials Several spa specials including seasonal discounts, couples massages, manicure / pedicure discounts, and a Cupid's Getaway spa offer are available. Check this link for details and offer expiration dates or phone 702 - 740 - 6955.

Luxor All Inclusive Package From $249 / $270. All day - all you can eat buffet, 2 tickets to Criss Angel's Believe show, 2 tickets to Titanic exhibition, 2 tickets to Bodies exhibition, 2 spa day passes, 2 free admissions to Cathouse nightclub, and VIP check-in. Expires Dec 28, 2011.

Luxor Romance Package From $168 / $387 (involves 2 night stays ). Includes a romance kit and 6 chocolate covered strawberries. Expires Feb 26, 2011.

Luxor and Excalibur Spring Break Escape From $38 / $205. Includes free admission to Cathouse lounge, $3 off at the buffet, 2 for 1 Tecate at T & T bar, 1 free jello shot at Dick's Ultralounge ( @ Excalibur ), 25% off all retail purchases, and $15 off a custom airbrush Tan at Nurture. Expires April 30, 2011.

Circus Circus 40% off offer From $25 / $129. Expires Dec 29, 2011.

Circus Circus Kids Eat Free plus 40% off From $26 / $129. Includes $150 discounts in dining and assorted amenities. Expires Dec 23, 2011.

Circus Circus Cruise promotion Check the link to obtain details on this cruise promotion whereby guests can play select slot machines to earn points toward a Carnival Conquest 7 day cruise to Jamaica and beyond. Expires June 30, 2011.

Circus Circus Fall Entertainment package From $36 / $89. Save over $260 with inclusive 2 for 1 tickets to a myriad of MGM Resorts attractions. Those attractions include Adventuredome (Circus Circus ), Roller Coaster (New York, New York), Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden at Mirage, Tournament of Kings at Excalibur, plus discounts at Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and 30% off Lion King tickets at Mandalay Bay. Expires Dec 23, 2011.

Circus Circus All Day $20 Buffet From $26 / $99. Save $16 per person per day over regular buffet prices when accompanied with room stays. Expires Dec 23, 2011.

Circus Circus Resort Passport
From $26 / $129. Book with Circus Circus and receive the Resort Passport worth over $150 in coupons. Includes 2 free well drinks, 2 free rides at Adventuredome, 2 free Midway games, $9.99 dinner special at Rock & Rita's, retail discounts, gaming coupons, and tour discounts. Expires Dec 29, 2011.

MGM Resorts Vegas Hotel + Flight Packages - up to 30% off Book flight + hotel packages through Expedia and save up to 30% on 2+ night stays. Travel must be booked by March 7, 2011 for travel through Dec 28, 2011. At Aria and Vdara, no Friday or Saturday stays are allowed with this package.

MGM Resorts Locals offers MGM properties really cater to Nevada locals by offering a ton of great room, dining, show, spa, and attraction discounts. Click the link if you have a valid Nevada ID and swim in all the savings for locals at MGM Resorts.

MGM Resorts Vacations Book customized MGM Resorts vacations at this user-friendly site. Currently they're running a 30% off promotion for 2+ night stays + flight packages ( expires March 4, 2011 for travel through Dec 28, 2011). Sign up for an email account at this site to receive online discounts and special offers.

M Life Players Club Check out MGM Resorts new player's club site and sign up online to begin receiving email discounts and offers as you accumulate player's club points.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nevada contractor rep claims laborer wages are way too high

City Center construction image - 2007 ; courtesy Stephan Gollogly, Wiki GNU Free Documentation license

Warren Hardy is the president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern Nevada. Recently the former Republican state senator told a legislative panel that he believes Nevada's prevailing wages for laborers is way too high.

Prevailing wages are those the state pays for labor on public building projects and represents wages, benefits, and overtime paid to workers in a given area (eg Nevada). Hardy claims the fairly recent building boom ( 2000 through 2007) forced wages to such high levels.

Laborer's prevailing wages in the surrounding Clark County area are currently at $42.94, while the rate in the Maricopa County, AZ (Phoenix ) area is $14.28.

Chuck 60

Article info source - Las Vegas Sun

Friday, February 11, 2011

Top 15 blackjack books of all time

The following represents our version of the top 15 blackjack books of all time ( we've actually read all of these and many others ). Some are appropriate for beginners and some are for serious advantage players. Others on the list are a full treatise on the game for novices to pros. Brief descriptions including authors and applications are included. Links are included for further descriptions and purchases.

Some of these books were first published long ago, but most of their uses and applications still apply for today's games. The forerunners of the game and their works provided a foundation for future players and researchers to expand and devise more accurate and / or player-friendly systems.

These books all tout the appropriate MATH of the game conducive to playing the game as it should be played. None of these works promote progressive betting systems as a sole means to beat blackjack, because those systems simply do not work over the long haul.

The first 6 books are all great texts for novice players, while entries 7 through 15 delve more deeply into theory, card - counting systems, cover plays, and other aspects of advantage play.

1. The World's Greatest Blackjack Book by Lance Humble and Carl Cooper ; Despite the somewhat vain title , this entry is suitable for beginners as it provides a good basic introduction to game description, rules, odds, and strategies. It also addresses card counting (mostly one system) in a readable format. This book offers broad coverage of the game.

2. Bootlegger's 200 Proof Blackjack by Mike Turner ; This is a great A - Z blackjack book and is quite suitable for new players, though it delves into some of the finer points of advantage play.

3. Basic Blackjack by Stanford Wong ; This book is a comprehensive guide to blackjack basic strategy and rule variations. Great book for new players authored by a renowned blackjack theorist and player.

4. Best Blackjack by Frank Sclobete ; Another good A - Z book suitable for novice players, though card counting is covered as well.

5. Winning Blackjack For The Serious Player by Edwin Silberstang ; Good introduction to the game with broad coverage including importance of true counts in advantage play betting.

6. Fundamentals of 21 by Mason Malmuth & Lynne Loomis ; A good introductory work including basic strategies and an introduction to the Hi - Lo counting method.

7. Beat The Dealer by Edward O Thorp ; Landmark classic blackjack book that provided the first publicly available card counting strategy allowing players to beat the game. This book turned the Vegas casinos on their ears and eventually paved the way for blackjack to become the most popular table game in the world. This work is a must read for any serious blackjack player because of it's historical importance.

8. Professional Blackjack by Stanford Wong ; Classic book authored by a classic player and theorist that is likely the best available reference on the popular Hi - Lo card counting system.

9. Blackjack For Blood by Bryce Carlson ; Successful big - stakes player's methods and systems to beat the casinos is offered. Thorough descriptions of the Omega II counting system and related betting strategies are provided.

10. Modern Blackjack - An Illustrated Guide to Blackjack Advantage Play by Norm Wattenberger ; This free online book covers the gamut of advantage play methods and is an excellent recent resource. Can't beat the price, either.

11. Blackjack Attack, 3rd Edition by Don Schlesinger ; This work has evolved into a bonafide professional blackjack player's math bible. This recognized player - author is noted for statistical use and perfection as elements for advanced players application to beat the game. The author is known as the developer of the Illustrious 18 strategy / betting variation system which is thoroughly described in this classic work. Many pros use this as a mainstay reference.

12. Burning the Tables in Las Vegas by Ian Andersen ; The author is considered one of the top blackjack players of all time based on play results (winning money ). The core theme in this work is application of cover plays and camouflage for advantage players which can directly contribute to their survival playing under today's casino conditions.

13. The Big Book of Blackjack by Arnold Snyder ; This book lives up to it's subtitle claim..."Everything you've ever wanted to know about blackjack". There's some interesting blackjack history, description and application of the author's Red Seven count, team play, alternate blackjack game strategies, and much more. The author is a well known and respected blackjack authority.

14. The Theory of Blackjack by Peter Griffin ; Players interested in the mathematics behind blackjack play methods will appreciate this book. It's considered a classic regarding some of the early statistical work for basic strategy and card counting systems.

15. Blackjack Bluebook II by Fred Renzey ; This book is another A - Z blackjack book, but provides some interesting yet sound twists on the game and advantage play. Entry (KISS) and advanced (Mentor) level card counting systems are presented and the author delivers a very readable text with hit - home descriptions.

The above is certainly not a complete list of all the better blackjack texts available but these are our picks. Two others that should be mentioned here are Knockout Blackjack (by Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs ) and Playing Blackjack Like the Pros by Kevin Blackwood. A complete list of blackjack books and resources can be found at this Gambler's Book Shop link.


Header image courtesy Ppntori, Wiki Commons public domain licensure

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ronnie Dunn and Sara Evans headline ACM concerts

Ronnie Dunn teams up with Sara Evans to headline the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Concerts at the Fremont Street Experience in the Downtown Las Vegas area this year. These concerts kick off the ACM awards party on April 1st and 2nd and precede the actual awards show being presented at MGM Grand on April 3rd ( 8 pm). Evans takes the stage on April 1st, and Dunn will perform the following night.

After twenty years as part of the most successful duo (Brooks and Dunn ) in country music history, Dunn has initiated a solo career and has released a self - produced solo album. Evans will release her 6th album on March 8, 2011.

This is the 5th year in succession that free concerts are included in the ACM's annual awards celebration. This year's 46th annual ACM awards is part of a celebration theme entitled " The Week Vegas Goes Country" and is co-sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority.


Image sources = Wiki Commons licensure ; US Navy (Evans photo) and Jeanette Briggs (Dunn), respectively

Monday, February 7, 2011

Higher Vegas visitation and wagering expected during Super Bowl weekend

Las Vegas tourism officials estimated 275,000 visitors during this past weekend's Super Bowl celebration. The expected nongaming economic impact is projected at $85.6 million, 3% higher than last year's $83.1 million.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board estimated $82.7 million in Super Bowl wagers throughout Nevada; other sources suggested higher estimates of between $88 - 90 million. Early reports suggest that Vegas bookies lost big this year due to the actual game and spread outcomes.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel's future uncertain

The Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas is in foreclosure and it's future is laced with uncertainty. HRN Holdings LLC is the lending group who has to decide to acquire the hotel or sell it at auction. The property owes the lenders nearly $1.4 billion, much of which is due to a $750 million expansion completed in 2010. If lenders decide to sell the property, the auction will take place in New York City this week.

Earlier this week the hotel filed a lawsuit regarding the impending foreclosure actions by the lenders, alleging unreasonable timing and other elements in an attempt to block that effort.

The hotel has also been under fire recently for illegal drug and sex activities and has been fined $650K by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. That fine and judgement just received final approval and issuance earlier this past week.

Sometimes what happens in Vegas is lude, crude, and discovered.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Venetian cuts comps in Las Vegas

The Venetian has suspended comp offers through March for all but it's highest rollers in Vegas. A new hotel management alliance has allowed the Venetian / Palazzo properties to increase room occupancies apart from comped room offers. Thus, all room offers, freeplay, tournaments, show tickets, and dining offers have been suspended through at least March 2011.

The Venetian was once a favorite of ours based on comp offers and decent service from the Grazie players club. Sheldon Adelson has made a huge mistake with this comp suspension fiasco and we anticipate a significantly negative backlash from former average - tier players. Adelson obviously wants to cater to only the upper crust of gamblers. We should let them know it's a mistake, ehh?


Ten best online resources for blackjack info

The almighty web has literally thousands of blackjack info sites, many of which are linked to online blackjack casinos and play. Many online sites can at times present incomplete or inaccurate blackjack information and fail to address critical details that can affect overall outcomes at live tables.

The following ten online resources / sites provide the full gamut of accurate blackjack information for both novices and professional advantage players. Many of these sites either have or provide links to free simulation games with inclusive strategy trainers ; many also include an array of accurate basic strategy charts for different rules and number of decks in play. Many of these sites delve into varying degrees of depth regarding card counting and other aspects of advantage play.

2. Blackjack
3. Wizard of Odds
4. Casino Verite free online book
5. Ace -
6. BJ
7. Blackjack Review Network
8. Advantage
9. Blackjack
10. Hit or


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Mostly Useless (and approximate) Las Vegas Facts

1. Number of Las Vegas citizens   500,000
2. Number of Clark County residents   1,500,000
3. Year first casino licensed   1931
4. Number of slot machines in Vegas   200,000
5. Number of annual Vegas visitors   40,000,000 (and dropping)
6. Number of licensed gambling entities   1700
7. Hours per day average visitor gambles   4
8. Annual state gaming revenue   9 billion (and dropping)
9. Average gambling budget per trip   560  (and dropping)
10. Mean price per acre in valley   161,000.00
11. Price per acre on the Strip   11,000,000.00
12. Number of  hotel rooms   137,000 +
13. Number of pillowcases washed at MGM daily   15,000
14. Number of doors at MGM  18,000 
15. Annual no. toilet paper rolls used at Bally's   1 million
16. Lucky The Clown marquee sign at Circus Circus has
      1232 fluorescent bulbs, 14,498 incandescent bulbs, and
      3/4 mile of neon tubing light  (no wonder they're replacing
17. In good times, Excalibur goes through over 44,000 
      Cornish game hens, 15 thousand pounds of hamburger
      meat, and 4200 pounds of prime rib monthly
18. Caesar's Palace has used 2 million plus maraschino 
      cherries, 11 thousand ounces of caviar, 2 million ounces
      of tomato juice, and close to 600 thousand ounces of
      vodka yearly (bloody mary winner?)
19. Mandalay Bay has 5,300 palm trees and their wave pool
      has a capacity of 1,640,270 gallons of water
20. Average nightly room rate  119.00 (and dropping)
21. Average number of Vegas weddings per day   300+
22. Number of golf courses  37
23. Miles of neon tubing on the Strip and Downtown  15,000
24. State's nationwide rank in gold production  1st
25. Cost of Nevada marriage license   35.00
26. Average cost of filing for divorce  450.00
27. Average length of stay for visitors    3.7 days
28. Number of hosted conventions annually  3750
29. The electric bill to operate the Luxor pyramid beam is
      approximately 55.00 per hour.
30. Las Vegas has 17 of the world's 20 largest hotels   


Just a cautionary tip when in Vegas.. there are active
pickpockets all over town. I experienced this first-hand
and came within 10 seconds of losing my cash stash last July
while visiting one of those upper end joints on the strip.

I was gambling significantly at a video poker machine, unabashedly slipping C-notes in them. Somebody had been
observing my wagering behavior. I was happily winning at the time and my cautionary tendencies regarding my bankroll
money went south and out the window.

A lady approached me from behind as I played and was all aglow with my run of good luck. She initiated a conversation about nothing and anything . I was concentrating on proper VP strategy and responding to her comments with a lot of "yeah-yeahs". I was fortunate enough to get ahead on the machine again and I cashed out. I had a satchel (I normally never gamble under those conditions) with me that had assorted trip stuff in it. The satchel presence and the relatively high denomination coin-in amount collectively screamed " please rob me!" I placed my wallet in the satchel along with the machine cash-out tickets and proceeded to reconnect with my family and head to our room.

I had developed a sense of cautionary unease as I mulled over the contact with the effusively talkative woman at the VP machine. My senses told me that something about that encounter was skewed, although at the time I didn't know what it was and I wasn't bleeding profusely..yet. My group then proceeded to meander through a very crowded slot machine aisle and some other 6th, 7th, or 8th sense that vaguely detected an impersonal yet succinct encroachment into my personal space kicked in. Instinctively, I immediately dug into the satchel to locate my wallet and it was gone. I then immediately turned around and backtracked about ten feet (a matter of maybe 3 seconds, tops) as my endogenous adrenaline kicked in. I'm not sure that my hair wasn't on fire briefly.

I then spotted my wallet (and life) in a woman's hand who was playing a slot machine. I walked straight at her and demanded it post-haste in a tone that screamed seriousness. I immediately grabbed the wallet and called for security. The woman claimed she picked it up off the floor and so did the man (her accomplice) behind her, both vowing that they were planning to remit it to the security desk. My svelte ass they were.

This team of thieves including the woman who was all goony-googoo at the VP machine were pros. I have to claim part of the blame for the openly careless manner I had displayed with my money. They were held by security and the eye-in-the-sky tapes were to be reviewed.

The good thing is I didn't lose a cent because my peripheral senses kicked in immediately and they didn't have time to bury the evidence ( perhaps they weren't the best of pros?). Take heed folks..these people are everywhere in Vegas. Know where your cash is at all times; take precautions to protect it, don't flaunt it around carelessly as I did, and if you sense something is awry while gambling trust your instincts.

Distractions from one member of a team of thieves is a common MO. Store your gambling session monies in a front pants pocket or in one of those god-awful front-loaded fanny packs (pride be damned). The lesson I learned here after several years of Vegas gambling experiences turned out to be one of the most valuable for me personally.