02/01/2008

Vegas Insider: 2008 Finally Arrived in Las Vegas

Steve Hall 'A Brit in Vegas'

It seemed like the rest of the world was tucked up in bed when 2008 finally arrived in Las Vegas. Are we the last or is it Hawaii?

I was downtown watching the Bangles. Seeing the 4Queens reminded me of Joe Beevers victory in the ME there in 2004. Nice to see him back in the winners enclosure twice recently.

Palazzo
Palazzo Hall
Palazzo Bar
Palazzo Bar

It was a chilly Fremont St on NYE so my only drink was a coffee from McDonalds. Hangover free, I walked the strip on New Years Day and was surprised to see the Palazzo was finally open. The much delayed opening was so soft it seems that everyone was walking right on by which is what I will probably do in future. No poker room, players are asked to walk to the Venetian which is linked by a walkway a la Paris/Ballys.

What slot machines they have seem to be dollar + upwards.

Jay Z and fiance Beyonce have built a nightclub there called 40/40 "Just so we have somewhere to hang out when in Vegas."

Bette Midler
Bette Midler

We said "au revoir" to Celine Dion. Thanks to her poker playing husband Rene Angelil I did see the show. Her replacement will be Bette Midler and it seems Elton John will continue to "fill in the gaps".

Jon Kalmar was one of the Brits who travelled over for the tournie at the Bellagio. He told me he was quoted $2k for 10 days so he went to the Flamingo for $300. "They must have thought I was some scruff off the streets" Jon told me. Definately not looking like a scruff off the street was Olivia Boeree who was one of the most photogenic of the 626 entries for the $15k ME.

Even though the ME was named after him Doyle Brunson effectively abandoned the tournament when he heard Phil Hellmuth was playing high stakes chinese poker. With good cause as Phil lost a six figure amount.

Happy New year everyone!