29/07/2009

Vegas Insider: 2009 July

Steve Hall 'A Brit in Vegas'

Devlifish has a good hand
Devlifish has a good hand

Empty Shops
Empty Shops

Empty Units
Empty Units

I returned to Vegas for the WSOP. My first impression. which was taken from a walk along the strip from the Encore to the Venetian, was if the media calls this a recession then they have never been to Blackpool in January. However, walking is the new blackjack and if that is all visitors are doing before collasping exhausted in their cut price rooms the companies who played monopoly along the strip (Harrahs, MGM) are probably looking into the legality of "toll roads" for the hikers.

The Palazzo laid off another 400 workers last month yet this was the busiest of all the strip casinos I visited. Some are offering 2 for 1 buffets every day and Ellis Island was giving new customers $50- $100 in free slot play in one of the best offers I have seen in years. The Bellagio, still my favourite hangout, has hiked the prices to try and offset the reduction in business. I guess it all depends on where the marketing people studied.

What was shocking though was all the empty shopping units in resedential areas. It certainly looks like Bush's legacy to America was similar to Thatchers to Northern England.

Those of you who visit the Gamblers Bookstore on Charleston will find the shutters permanently down. In a convenient move for visiting Brits they have moved to a new location a stones throw from the Crown & Anchor on Tropicana.

The city has ordered the Lady Luck be imploded after restoration work ground to a halt. With 20k homeless people downtown I could think of a better use for the building.

The Sapphire pool party was raided by metro cops and girls charged with prostitution. The pool remains closed as I write. The Pokerpalooza could certainly have done with some of that and was closed due to boredom. To think those friendly young girls in the hallway leading to the Amazon room were prostitutes. Shocking, I thought they were stripper interns.

The first of this years WSOP was broadcast tonight on ESPN. Unfortunately for Norman Chad it was the final of the $40k tournament so the best he could offer were some anti Russian jokes aimed at Vitaly Lunkin and his supporters.

I am going to the opening of the new events centre at the Bike in L.A. They are holding a media celebrity freeroll. I like my chances given that most of the media will still be counting their WSOP earned dollars on an Hawaiian beach as I write. Don't forget the sunscreen Rob! The last time I won a tournament was pre internet poker so I am overdue.