Vegas Insider: 2008 September

Plane crashes, casino openings, worker layoffs, free concert tickets, new poker rooms, burglars target Hoyt’s house. Just another week in Las Vegas.

With the casinos as quiet as I have seen them since 9/11 the marketing managers have gone into overdrive to try and lure the locals out of their, soon to be foreclosed, homes, and back into the casinos.

Terribles have offered 500 free tickets to all their concerts in Primm. Concerts include the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson (I assume no longer a Beach Boy) and Ringo Starr.

The Fiesta Henderson are offering $1 rebuy poker tournaments where $1 gets you just 200 in chips.

$50 buys you a room at the Palms. However you receive the $50 back in slot play plus you have free use of the spa and a pass to the nightclub where Dario Minieri and Isabelle Mercier famously kissed. Dario has enjoyed summer in Montreal as a result.

With most poker rooms as empty as a Bolton Wanderers fan club meeting at Roland de Wolfe’s house I predict the Excaliburs experiment with the Pokertek dealerless tables will be the shape of things to come. In fact, in a conversation with Joe Awada the Bellagio poker room manager Doug Dalton said. “I am closely watching the situation. They may be useful for satellites during our tournaments." The games certainly looked pretty soft to me as I visited there last Saturday afternoon. Bryan Micon booked a $375 winning session from playing a 50c $1 NLHE game.

The Cannery Eastside became the first casino to open on Boulder Highway in a decade. A brave move in this economic climate but the property, complete with eight table poker room, impressed me on my visit.

The cocktail waitresses dress as retro factory workers and the artists to perform at its sister property include the Zombies and Petula Clark.

The Hard Rock finally opened a poker room. Actually, they prefer to call it a poker lounge. I heard that the crème de la crème from the Wynn, Bellagio and Venetian poker rooms all have a new home here.

Hoyt Corkins fishing holiday with Doyle Brunson in Montana was rudely interrupted by news that thieves had entered his Spanish Trails property and left with two vehicles and a motorbike. His neighbours, including Mike Sexton and Andre Agassi must be wondering how they managed to sneak all this past the security guards in this exclusive gated community. It may still be a safer place to live than the NW part of town where two planes have crashed in less than a week.

With the children back at school one strip casino has closed down three floors and laid off any employees hired after 2000.

I plan to visit the Commerce later this month and attend opening day at Santa Anita racetrack. That is if I can drag myself away from all the free megabucks pulls the marketing people are sending me.

To those of you visiting next month Joe Jackson plays Vegas for the first time on October 18th. Got the time?