Video Poker: Random Until You Press Draw

I’m prepping for another trip to Atlantic City and noticed that the vpFREE2 databases haven’t been updated since my last trip so all pay tables remain the same.  I was hunting on the message boards for any updates and found nothing.  I did find a question that I’ve seen and been asked more than a few times and thought I’d answer for the first time on ECG.

Does the video poker machine continue shuffling after you hold your cards and before you hit draw?

The answer to this question is yes, after you hold your cards the remaining cards continue shuffling and your result continues to be truly random.  So it does matter when you hit the draw button.  So the hand you’re dealt changes every nano second you wait.

I’m a slightly superstitious type so if I’m dealt 4 cards to a royal flush I’ll kiss my fingers, ask a friend to hit draw, move a certain way, look a certain direction or wait and usually not get the card I want.  What do you do?

Harrah’s Big Plan For Las Vegas? Food, Drink, Ferris Wheel

Harrah’s owns quite a few properties in the middle of the Las Vegas strip.  Take a look at the “who owns what” map on Vegas Today & Tomorrow for a visual.  There have been plenty of guesses over the past few years on what Harrah’s plans are now that they own most of the properties in the area.

Two years ago they decided that they wouldn’t implode any of the casinos to build a new mega-resort as they want to keep Caesars Palace as their top tier casino.  Instead, Harrah’s plan is Project Link.

..the plan calls for a collection of about 20 restaurants and bars to be built along a winding corridor between the company’s O’Sheas and Flamingo casinos, on the east side of the Strip.

With a mix of “eclectic” and “mostly casual” restaurants and bars opening to the street, it’s an attempt to create the kind of entertainment district that has developed organically in cities such as Los Angeles, Memphis and New Orleans yet is lacking on the Strip, with its enclosed, casino-centric zones.

At the end of the 1,000-foot pedestrian walkway, Harrah’s wants to build a giant Ferris wheel similar to the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer. The wheel would tower about 600 feet, offering sweeping views, plush interiors and a slow ride.

This would cost less than tearing down and building up a new casino.   It would also play to Harrah’s strong point, which is the middle class type of consumer.  The cluster of stores and restaurants would allow Harrah’s to keep costomers close to their properties.

When I visit Las Vegas I like to treat myself above my usual means of living.  So while this idea isn’t attractive to me, I can see this working.  There are plenty of people that visit Las Vegas that would enjoy something like this and there are plenty of websites devoted to “cheap Las Vegas.”  Again, this fits nicely into Harrah’s overall marketing.

It’s currently difficult to obtain financing for a lot of businesses and with the mountain of debt Harrah’s already has this idea probably won’t come to light any time too soon.  A cynic would say this Las Vegas Sun article was floated out so Harrah’s can try to get the financing needed.  By the time financing is found the idea may have passed it’s time.

Bottom line:  This isn’t for me and I don’t see Harrah’s getting this project started or finished.  Additionally, I don’t see a project with a ferris wheel as an anchor ever happening.


World Series Of Poker (WSOP) Turns People Away!

World Series Of Poker Logo
World Series Of Poker

For the first time ever the World Series of Poker (WSOP) sold out.  Yesterday’s “Event 4” was sold out and forced Harrah’s to turn away people who traveled from all over the world to compete in the event.  ESPN covers both the poker and the upset non-contestants.

Obviously Harrah’s expected to see a decrease in attendance this year with the hurting economy but there have been more people visiting for the WSOP.  I’m sure “A chip and a chair”, “A dollar and a dream”, and other clichés are on people’s minds right now.  This is tough for anyone that spent the time and money to make the trip out there.  If there were a lot of people turned away I’m sure that an extra day could have been added.  I would guess that there weren’t many effected.  The negative PR by a few won’t dissuade the masses.  Still – this is lame.

Aubrey O’Day Next In Line For PeepShow?

Aubrey O’Day was introduced to the world as a member of all girl pop group Danity Kane.  She’s more recently known for appearing nude in Playboy.  Now it seems as though she may be next in line to join Peep Show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

Holly Madison recently hit headlines by scoring a seductive topless role in the hit Las Vegas “Peep Show” and it sounds as though one-time “Playboy” pin-up Aubrey O’Day wants to be follow in her footsteps.

According to an inside source, the axed “Danity Kane” diva is being primed to take over the role of “Peep Diva” (previously played by Mel B.) and if it all goes through she will most likely start performing in the Fall.

I’m clearly fascinated by the rotation of cast members for “Peep Show.”  I don’t cover much about shows in Las Vegas, but the rotating cast of women on this show has me captivated.  Enjoy a nice and clean photo of Aubrey.  This was more difficult to find than one would think.

Supply & Demand is Your Friend in Las Vegas

The recession has hit Las Vegas hard as most readers of ECG know.  The economy may turn around next year, but that may not change things much in the casinos of Las Vegas.  With all of the building in Las Vegas over the past few years there should be a deluge of hotel rooms on the market next year.

In their reports, debt analysts at Deutsche Bank and CreditSights zeroed in on the impending flood of new hotel rooms on and near the Las Vegas Strip — a market struggling with an oversupply of rooms, slot machines and gaming tables.

“The challenge for the casinos will be to maintain hotel occupancy even as new supply is brought on over the next 14 months,” CreditSights said in its report.

Even without taking into account the 3,815 rooms at the stalled and bankrupt Fontainebleau resort, analysts say new rooms coming online at CityCenter and elsewhere will pressure the Las Vegas industry.

CreditSights noted that lower room rates are helping to fill Las Vegas hotels, but sales of condominium units on and near the Strip have come to a near standstill with 2,200 vacant units on the market.

Simple economics says that if supply is greater than demand then prices will fall until demand increases.  Las Vegas isn’t like the rest of the world.  Casinos can offer a variety of different comps to keep room rates relatively stable, but in general if you search for a cheap room in Las Vegas this year and next you should find it.

I typically try to treat myself to a little luxury when I take trips to Las Vegas.  I’m curious to see how this effects the higher end hotels.

Chalk one up for the consumers!

Betting On The NBA Draft

I was checking for some interesting sports bets this weekend and saw that had lines for the NBA Draft this week.  I’m a sucker for the NBA and NFL drafts and the prop bets are pretty interesting.

Below are the lines from

2009 NBA Draft – Blake Griffin – He will play his first NBA Regular Season Game for
Clippers -8000
Any Other Team +4000

2009 NBA Draft – Ricky Rubio – He will play his first NBA Regular Season Game for
Grizzlies +200
Any Other Team -300

2009 NBA Draft – Total ACC Players drafted in the 1st Round
ACC Players Over 5.5 (-135)
Under 5.5 (-105)

2009 NBA Draft – Total BIG East Players drafted in the 1st Round
BIG East Players Over 6.5 (-300)
Under 6.5 (+200)

2009 NBA Draft – Player to get Drafted First
Hasheem Thabeet (Connecticut) -300
James Harden (Arizona State) +200

2009 NBA Draft – Player to get Drafted First
Stephen Curry (Davidson) -170
Jonny Flynn (Syracuse) +130

2009 NBA Draft – Player to get Drafted First
Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina) -300
Chase Budinger (Arizona) +200

2009 NBA Draft – Player to get Drafted First
Wayne Ellington (North Carolina) -140
DaJuan Summers (Georgetown) even

2009 NBA Draft – Player to get Drafted First
Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina) -200
Wayne Ellington (North Carolina) +150

2009 NBA Draft – Player to get Drafted First
Brandon Jennings -110
Jrue Holiday (UCLA) -130

DaJuan Summers (Georgetown) – When Will He be Drafted (1st or 2nd Round)
1st Round -300
2nd Round +200

Wayne Ellington (North Carolina) – When Will He be Drafted (1st or 2nd Round)
1st Round -180
2nd Round +140

Darren Collison (UCLA) – When Will He be Drafted (1st or 2nd Round)
1st Round even
2nd Round -140

DeJuan Blair (Pittsburgh) – Will He be a Lottery Pick (Picked 1st to 14th)
Yes (Picked 1st to 14th) -160
No (Picked 15th or Later) +120

Gerald Henderson (Duke) – Will He be a Lottery Pick (Picked 1st to 14th)
Yes (Picked 1st to 14th) -150
No (Picked 15th or Later) +110

Ty Lawson (North Carolina) – Will He be a Lottery Pick (Picked 1st to 14th)
Yes (Picked 1st to 14th) +120
No (Picked 15th or Later) -160

Jonny Flynn (Syracuse) – Will He be a Lottery Pick (Picked 1st to 14th)
Yes (Picked 1st to 14th) -600
No (Picked 15th or Later) +350

DeMar DeRozan (USC) – Over/Under Draft Position
Draft Position Over 11.5 (+110)
Draft Position Under 11.5 (-150)

Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina) – Over/Under Draft Position
Draft Position Over 20.5 (-105)
Draft Position Under 20.5 (-135)

I find a few of these bets to be compelling, with a nice potential upside, but I don’t think I’ll be betting on the NBA Draft.  Here is the bet I find most interesting.

2009 NBA Draft – Player to get Drafted First
Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina) -300
Chase Budinger (Arizona) +200

I’ve been reading a lot about Budinger as the draft closes in and very little about Hansbrough.  In the battle of future bench players I think Chase Budinger will be drafted first and will show a nice profit.

Online Sports Betting at Sportsbook

Rumors: Susan Boyle to Planet Hollywood?

Rumors have been flying around the internet this week that Simon Cowell  has been talking to Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas about bringing a show featuring Susan Boyle to the United States.

I don’t watch any of the talent reality shows on TV and I don’t care about Susan Boyle, but people seem to be captivated by her.  I think if she comes to Planet Hollywood quickly they can have a nice, profitable, run with her.  If this takes too long to happen her 15 minutes of fame may be up.  PH – Hurry up if you want to win!

Gambling Map of America

I was browsing my RSS feed tonight while watching the Yankees game and came across a link on The Die is Cast for this interactive map of gambling in America.

The map shows what forms of gambling are legal in which states.  Pretty cool info if you’re a curious person like me.  The chart is part of an article discussing why the NFL doesn’t want your bets.  As I’ve said before I’m sure this is all a dog and pony show by the NFL because they have to say gambling is bad for their game publicly because they don’t want participants in the league gambling on the games.  The more articles like this I see the more I see this being a big PR campaign.

Mel B Leaving PeepShow

The news that Mel B. is leaving “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood, in Las Vegas, flew under my radar earlier this week.  Her replacement is someone I’ve never heard of – Shoshana Bean.  The cast will continue to rotate every few months to keep the show fresh.

Here’s a parting shot of Mel B.


Here’s a shot of the incoming Shoshana Bean.


Don’t forget Holly Madison as Bo Peep.


Fontainebleau Files for Chapter 11

Fontainbleau filed for voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday.   Construction has been marred by financial problems for the past couple of months and this continues the Las Vegas projects regression to completion.

“The decision to file for Chapter 11 was the direct result of certain lenders having refused to honor their contractual commitments to provide nearly $800 million in construction funding for the $2.9 billion resort-casino project, which is 70 percent complete,” the company said.

“It is unfortunate that our lenders forced us to take this step. By reneging on the revolving credit facility, they effectively shut down the project and put thousands of people out of work,” said Howard Karawan, chief restructuring officer of Fontainebleau Las Vegas. “Our goal now is to secure funding to complete this world-class project and restructure our existing debt.”

I still think that this doesn’t mean that the casino hotel won’t be completed…some day.  Obviously things will continue to be delayed, but I can’t imagine that a business this close to completion won’t open.  We’ll just have to wait a little while.

Construction photo below from the awesome website Vegas Today and Tomorrow.