Seven Stars Insider – March Edition

Here’s the latest edition of Seven Stars Insider.  This is an easy read and an excellent resource for Harrah’s Caesars players – especially in Atlantic City this month.  Head over to Seven Stars Insider to sign up for the newsletter.  There is lots of new and useful information in this edition (some of which I’m going to reference in future posts), so read on for all the goods.

NOTE: While this newsletter was originally designed exclusively for Seven Stars members, there is useful information for anyone who has a Total Rewards® player’s card and/or plays/stays at a Caesars property.  Please feel free to pass this on to your friends.  Back issues of the Seven Stars Insider newsletter are available online.

Seven Stars 2011-12
The new booklets are out detailing benefits for Seven Stars cardholders, effective April 1.  Already several folks are complaining that the money that went into printing the book could have been better spent.  (One person wrote she would have been happier with $100 in free play and a sheet or two of “regular paper”.)  One thing you’ll notice is that your choice of gifts has been substantially reduced to just four – all of which many people probably have, received as a casino giveaway, or already would have purchased had they wanted them.  [Caesars, be prepared for a lot of flak on this one!]  “Signature Experiences” also have been reduced and – the biggest complaint I hear – most don’t include airfare.  Also, they tend to be heavy on sports-themed events – something else that isn’t making some people very happy.  Finally, there will be three “Seven Stars Signature Events”: Atlantic City in June, Lake Tahoe in August and New Orleans in October.  It would be nice if they’d give some advance notice on exact dates, but when you go to http://www.SignatureEvents2011.com <http://www.signatureevents2011.com/> , all you get is a form to complete and you will receive information when it’s available.  Also, many folks have expressed an interest in discounted charter flights to these events.

Le Ombré
If you missed Le Ombré at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City last month, you missed a real treat.  It was probably one of the classiest, most sophisticated entertainment events in recent memory.  The combination of acrobatics, contemporary dance and other theatrics made for an entertaining and memorable evening.  I hope the powers-that-be bring them back for an encore performance – and one that lasts longer than seven performances.

From Pollistino’s To Palladino’s
Former Borgata chef Luke Palladino, who left to open his own stand-alone restaurant in Northfield, N.J., will be returning to Atlantic City where he will take the helm at his namesake restaurant in Harrah’s Resort.  The old Pollistino’s will be gutted and feature a whole new look with a larger bar.

Tazza To Open At Caesars
Speaking of new places to eat in Atlantic City, Caesars seems ready to open Tazza in the main lobby across from Mia and the front desk.  We should know more about the entire concept later this month, but think upscale Starbucks with an Italian twist and an expanded menu.

More Las Vegas Benefits
Absent from last month’s list of special Seven Stars benefits was a quarterly round of golf.  Details are on the Caesars Web site.

Asian Marketplace
While rain forced cancellation of a Boardwalk parade celebrating the Lunar New Year, it was warm and comfy inside Caesars Palladium Ballroom last month where an Asian marketplace was created.  This was another winner for lucky players in Atlantic City who got vouchers for shopping and enjoyed traditional entertainment.  While the wares were a little overpriced, there were some unique foods and other trinkets for sale.  Hey, Caesars, how about a similar Italian marketplace for Columbus Day?

ACES Train/Hampton Luxury Liner
ACES – the speedy New York-to-Atlantic City train – is on hiatus, but will resume May 13.  The best deal right now for a cheap trip to Atlantic City from New York is the Hampton Luxury Liner.  Currently, the service is offering $5 round-trips between Long Island-Manhattan to Resorts in Atlantic City.  In addition, every passenger gets $5 in free slot play.  If you decide to stay over, it will set you back another $5.  Details here.

Bill’s Withdrawal
As noted in a special follow-up e-mail to last month’s newsletter, the free food deal for Seven Stars cardholders at Bill’s Gambling Hall no longer exists.

Showboat Goes To The Dogs
Showboat’s New Orleans Tower last month became the first casino hotel in Atlantic City to allow guests’ dogs to stay overnight in their rooms.  The program, available only in nine rooms, began February 24, and the nightly $40 extra per room per night fee was waived through March 2.  (A similar “Pet Stay” program in Las Vegas is offered at the Imperial Palace, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and Caesars Palace.  Rates are a little lower there: Imperial Palace and Rio, $20 per night additional, and Caesars Augustus Tower, $25.)  Guests are limited to two dogs per room, the dogs must be present at check-in, and they cannot weigh more than 50 pounds each.  The extra fee gets your pooch treats, food and water bowls, a doggie mat for sleeping, disposable waste bags, and a keepsake dufflebag.  Warning, though:  If you leave Fido in the room he/she must be crated or caged.  For less money, gamblers with dogs (and cats) can leave their pets at the Atlantic City Pet Hotel (http://www.atlanticcitypethotelandgrooming.com/ <http://www.atlanticcitypethotelandgrooming.com/> ). Showboat does not allow cats.

$1,000 Hand-Pays
Many Caesars properties are now hand-paying jackpots starting at $1,000, rather than the taxable $1,200.  (Some non-Caesars casinos set their machines to go off at $500.)  The reason:  To get other players excited about winning, they want to “milk” that annoying sound a machine makes when it pays off, plus to let other folks witness the “drama” of all those $100 bills’ being peeled off.

Rio Robbed
Fedora?  Check.  Fake mustache?  Check.  Sunglasses?  Check.  Steal $32,000 in chips from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas?  Yep, and pulled out a gun when a dealer tried to stop him.  The robber fled the scene in a cab.

Caesars Buffet Hours Change – Again
There were lots of people scratching their heads as they read a sign in front of the buffet at Caesars in Atlantic City.  According to the sign, the buffet should have been open Thursday morning, but, apparently, they changed the hours, and not the sign.  One couple was particularly irritated because they had driven over from Harrah’s.  “I hate Reflections, but I hate Café Roma even more,” the wife said, “but we weren’t about to drive back.”

Question Of The Month
I signed up for one of those “Signature Experiences” that includes a $500 spa credit.  Do I have to use it for just one service, or can I split it up?  Have a massage, a facial, whatever. . .the credit is good for total services up to and including a maximum of $500, not just one service.

Seven Stars For Less
Turns out several people are sneaking in to Seven Stars with less than 100,000 tier points.  Those who wrote – or wrote about their friends – seemed on the verge of paranoia, afraid that their identity would be divulged.  Trust me, your secret’s safe with me.  And, 2010-2011 Seven Stars cardholders who last year made it only to “High Diamond” status, if your total points were in the mid- to high-80Ks, I’d petition the general manager at your “home” casino – especially if all (or at least the bulk) of your points were earned at that casino.  Another tip, just ask for the card and forget about the annual dinner, trip, gift, etc.  For many folks, access to the Seven Stars Club in Hammond, Ind., or at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City is worth the card, as is the ability to “jump the line” at Diamond Clubs, certain restaurants, box offices, giveaways, etc.

Want To Share a Comment?
Rather than ask a specific question this month, here’s your chance to “vent” on any topic from Caesars Entertainment (in general), to Seven Stars (in general) and other related topics.  Send me an email (sevenstarsinsider@gmail.com and I’ll share your thoughts – anonymously, of course.

Darryl D. McEwen, Publisher
Seven Stars Insider

Your Heads-Up Poker Host: Leeann Tweeden

As the Heads-Up Poker tournament closes in, I’ve been seeing more and more news items about the tournament.  There hasn’t been much real news, but I always look forward to watching the Heads-Up Poker on TV.  That reminded me that one of the highlights is the host Leeann Tweeden.

I thought she would have calendars and such like other models, but all I could find on amazon on Leeann Tweeden is a couple magazines she’s done.  If you’re into girls wearing lingerie, you can check her issue of FHM.

While, that may pacify for  minute the tournament will run for two months.

Sahara Closing?

Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire. I’m not much about rumors, but the rumor of Sahara closing seems too close to being true to not be true.  Here’s a tour on how this rumor developed.  SBE Entertainment, owners of Sahara, are bringing their Hyde Lounge to Bellagio.  The official announcement was made today.

“The move to bring the Hyde Lounge brand to Bellagio underscores the dynamic partnership forged between SBE and MGM Resorts International,” Nazarian said in a statement. “Together we’ve secured one of Vegas’ most prestigious locations, and will usher in a new and definitive chapter in nightlife on The Strip.”

I started reading that this might happen right after the Fontana Bar was said to be closing.  Next I saw another detailed nugget of info on Vegas Tripping further developing the rumor.  Their bottom line is this:

Right now, only The Naz knows if Sahara goes fishing or SBE cuts bait.

Toward the end of the VT article a link pointed to a post on Vegas Message Board that was very detailed, yet anonymous.

The internal buzz on the property for the past few months has the Sahara Hotel and Çasino shutting its doors no later than the fall of this year

None of this is from the horses mouth so there’s nothing to concrete to confirm, but putting 1 and 1 and 1 together I think it’s pretty close to being a truth.  I’m pretty sure Sahara won’t just be shutting it’s doors, but a sale makes a lot more sense.

Once again, I can see our old pal Carl Icahn stepping in and buying the old property on the cheap.  It could be a low cost complement to a possible high end Fontainebleau if that ever opens as a middle to high end property.  Another option is defaulting on loan on letting the bank deal with the mess.

I recently had my first trip to Sahara and the casino seems as if it could use a major cleaning.  It was filthy and I was happy when I left.  I’m curious to see how this all unfolds.

Lake Of Dreams – Awesome or just Weird and Creepy?

Wynn Las Vegas recently posted a “Behind the Scenes” for the free “Lake of Dreams” show on their youtube page.

I’m always amazed when I look at video of the show.  At times I look and I think it’s awesome and other times I look and it’s weird and creepy.  Today I’m stuck in the middle.  Because the behind of scenes footage looks cool I was hedging that direction but there’s always the music and trippy show that makes me think the creators are on a bad acid trip.

What do you think?

Baseball Futures: World Series

Spring Training is here and it’s time for baseball!  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Since I’m so stoked I think it’s time to look forward to the season with MLB futures odds.  We’ll look at the futures from sportsbook.com from division winners and then to win the world series.  As always, check sportsbook.com for exact odds as they change all the time.

I don’t like to make many futures bets, in part, because I don’t like to have my money tied up for almost an entire year.  That being said I decided to make one baseball futures play this year and that’s all.  I shared that with you yesterday with the NL Championship futures.

Besides the Brewers, my lone plays for the season is watching as many games as possible and playing in my one fantasy baseball.  I don’t think much about the options beyond the favorites (Phillies and Red Sox) for the World Series and betting chalk bores me so I stay away.  Click any team below to go to sportsbook.com for up to date odds.

World Series

Arizona Diamondbacks +10000
Atlanta Braves +2000
Baltimore Orioles +6000
Boston Red Sox +400
Chicago Cubs +3000
Chicago White Sox +2500
Cincinnati Reds +2500
Cleveland Indians +20000
Colorado Rockies +2500
Detroit Tigers    +2500
Florida Marlins +3500
Houston Astros     +10000
Kansas City Royals +20000
Los Angeles Angels +2500
Los Angeles Dodgers +3000
Milwaukee Brewers +3000
Minnesota Twins +2000
New York Mets +6000
New York Yankees +700
Oakland Athletics +5000
Philadelphia Phillies +200
Pittsburgh Pirates +20000
San Diego Padres +10000
San Francisco Giants +1500
Seattle Mariners +10000
St Louis Cardinals +1600
Tampa Bay Rays +2500
Texas Rangers +2000
Toronto Blue Jays +6000
Washington Nationals +10000

Cantor Gaming Made $400 Million in 2010

I was doing some podcast catch up today and found some interesting information on he latest Center for Gaming Research podcast with Lee Amaitis, CEO of Cantor Gaming

Among other things, I learned that last year Cantor Gaming made $400 million dollars.  Amaitis mentioned this was only at one casino (M Resort), but they’ve been working with Legasse Stadium since it opened so I have to imagine that includes both properties.

It will be interesting to see the growth with Cantor Gaming’s expansion into Tropicana, Hard Rock and soon the Cosmopolitan. I don’t think revenues will triple, but that number will definitely grow.

It’s an interesting podcast if you’re interested in sports betting operations.  Click the image below to access the podcast.

Baseball Futures: National League

Spring Training is here and it’s time for baseball!  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Since I’m so stoked I think it’s time to look forward to the season with MLB futures odds.  We’ll look at the futures from sportsbook.com from division winners and then to win the world series.  As always, check sportsbook.com for exact odds as they change all the time.

I don’t like to make many futures bets, in part, because I don’t like to have my money tied up for almost an entire year.  That being said I decided to make one baseball futures play this year and that’s all.

The Phillies are the obvious favorite to win the National League with their amazing pitching staff.  They were also big favorites last year when the San Francisco Giants picked them apart with their great pitching.  The Giants are only 7.5-1 to win the NL this year.  That’s not long enough odds to me for a team that got hot at the right time.  My one and only play in baseball futures went to the Milwaukee Brewers.  I saw (and bet) them at Planet Hollywood at 25-1 to win the NL and they’re now 15-1 everywhere.  The Brewers added some excellent pitchers and have Prince Fielder playing for a free agent contract next year.  They should still have long odds to the Phillies, but I think they have a lot in their favor and will keep my fingers crossed watching one of my favorite teams in baseball all season.

Click any team below to go to sportsbook.com for up to date odds.

NL
Arizona Diamondbacks +5000
Atlanta Braves +1000
Chicago Cubs +1500
Cincinnati Reds +1200
Colorado Rockies +1200
Florida Marlins +1800
Houston Astros +5000
Los Angeles Dodgers +1500
Milwaukee Brewers +1500
New York Mets +3000
Philadelphia Phillies -120
Pittsburgh Pirates +20000
San Diego Padres +5000
San Francisco Giants +750
St Louis Cardinals +800
Washington Nationals +5000

Baseball Futures: American League

Spring Training is here and it’s time for baseball!  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Since I’m so stoked I think it’s time to look forward to the season with MLB futures odds.  We’ll look at the futures from sportsbook.com by winning divisions and then to win the world series.  As always, check sportsbook.com for exact odds as they change all the time.

I don’t like to make many futures bets, in part, because I don’t like to have my money tied up for almost an entire year.  That being said I decided to make one baseball futures play this year and that’s all.

I didn’t see anything intriguing in the AL this year because I don’t see anyone challenging the Boston Red Sox for the league.  The only team I think may be a viable long shot are the Chicago White Sox since they should have be able to bomb and have a good short playoff rotation (if they make it), but they’ve gone from 15-1 in the winter to 10-1 this week.  About half the value was lost in that time.  That kept me away.

Click any team below to go to sportsbook.com for up to date odds.

Baltimore Orioles +2500
Boston Red Sox +175
Chicago White Sox +1000
Cleveland Indians +12500
Detroit Tigers +1000
Kansas City Royals +20000
Los Angeles Angels +1000
Minnesota Twins +800
New York Yankees +275
Oakland Athletics +2000
Seattle Mariners +4000
Tampa Bay Rays +1000
Texas Rangers +800
Toronto Blue Jays +2500

MGM Auction Was Fruitless but Fun

Last week I noticed that MGM was auctioning items from CityCenter and was stoked to find there there were some useful items.  I’m still furnishing my new apartment and in the market for a chair for my bedroom and a couple of end tables for the living room.  While these are *wants* and not *needs* they are things I’d like to finish out my joint.  After starting with ice buckets and such the auction turned to more useful items (for me).

Check the video of the auction

Unfortunately, I didn’t pull the trigger on the chairs I liked but I had a lot of fun watching and listening to the auction.  I was actually more caught up in it than I thought.  It didn’t help that I had my hootsuite open and there were about 10 or so people I follow equally caught up in the auction.

All in all this was fun for me and it was a good way for MGM to shed some of it’s, relatively, old CityCenter furnishings.  If you’re ever in the market for new things I would recommend checking out local hotels for auction and leftover sales items.