09/04/2010

Vegas Insider: 2010 April

Steve Hall 'A Brit in Vegas'





What appeared to be a dizzy spell on Sunday was, in fact, an earthquake. I was in the tournament area of the Bike so no chance of using my cricket skills to catch a few hundred dollar chips before they hit the ground. Even in the cash area the black chips are scarce, as the players seem to be using tax season to see if the IRS can fund a trip to the WSOP.

It will be a WSOP without Jeffrey Pollack or Everest poker. While John Kabbaj will hope that Mr Pollack has taken his Sex Pistols CD with him, the absence of the Everest lounge puts my Wii golf hobby on hold. The rumour is that Everest would have had to pay over $8m to advertise in a country that has made no progress towards opening the doors to online poker sites.

California has been rumoured to have discussed the idea of having legal online poker for residents. However, this would be a one new site run for the state. While they may use some input from residents like Chris Ferguson they would not want to be seen endorsing any of the existing sites. The state is neither earthquake or recession proof. My local high street (in photo) looks like a scene from “Survivors” with the only shop still in business an Army/Navy recruiting centre.

Vegas doesn’t appear to be doing much better. Lake Las Vegas casinos have closed down. This was a remote,exclusive,community where Celine Dion chose to live when she was in town. It was rumoured she travelled to Caesars in a helicopter although I never saw one. Station casinos, in bankruptcy, have reportedly offered many of their casinos up for sale as part of their reorganisation plan. This includes the prestigious Green Valley Ranch. Stations wants to keep its original casino Palace Station plus the fabulous Red Rock resort.

The Bellagio poker staff have their own rescue plan in operation after the first three of the $1k with rebuys only attracted 23, 32 and 36 players. The once popular nightly tournaments, now $300 w. rebuys, have yet to attract more than one table. The best opportunity to have your photo taken with the poker pro's would be at the Jennifer Harman NSPCA tournament at the Venetian on Tuesday 13th April. Howard Lederer, Jennifer Tilly, Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu are cited to appear.

None of the above appeared at the $5k WSOP circuit event in Rincon this year. The event has dropped from 181 entries in 2007 to 70 this year. Rincon is owned by the Luiseno Indians. The area is very beautiful with orange groves and vines.

Only two more weeks of the Santa Anita race meet that opened on Boxing Day. How the British jockeys/trainers would love to be based in one place. The marketing department are excellent, keeping interest alive with free tickets in the mail and special family days on Sundays. The jockeys move across L.A. to Hollywood Park. Not as pleasant as it sounds, the track does have Friday night concerts which include Steel Pulse, The Beat, Berlin and Joan Jett.

Finally, good luck to my friend Audley Harrison who is fighting in London on Friday. Hope to see you at the poker tables back in L.A. next month.