Las Vegas Blvd. & Tropicana Corner Video Poker Check

I’m planning a day and night at the MGM Grand coming up soon so I figured I’d check the video poker pay tables available (from vpFREE, as always) and at the casinos on the four corners of Las Vegas Blvd. and Flamingo Tropicana.  I was a little surprised by what I found.

Tropicana doesn’t have a denomination under $2 for 9/6 Jacks or Better (my game) and the MGM Grand has $1 9/6 Jacks.  New York New York has 9/6 JoB as low as a quarter!

Seen as the lowest quality of the four properties it’s most surprising that Excalibur’s best video poker game is a 9/6 Bonus Poker (98.9), but that is available as little as a nickle denomination. I would play that, even though BP isn’t my favorite game.

See below for all of the video poker pay table for the casinos on Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvd.

MGM Grand
99.54% JoB 1-2-3-4-6-9-25-50-800 JoB (FP)
(1) $1, $2 100 Play Up in high-limit area
(2) $1, $2 50 Play Up in high-limit area
(12) $5    1 Play MG Slant outside the high-limit area to your left
(3) $5    1/3/5/10 Play Slant in high-limit area
(3) $5    3/5/10 Play Up just outside of high-limit area
(9) $5, $10, $25 1 Play    Up in high-limit area
(6) $10, $25 1 Play Slant in high-limit area towards Grand Wok Restaurant
(1) $25    1 Play Up in high-limit area
(2) $25    1 Play Slant in high-limit area
(4) $25    3/5/10 Play Up in high-limit area
(1) $25, $50 3/5 Play Up in high-limit area
(4) $100 1 Play    Up in high-limit area
(1) $100 3 Play    Up in high-limit area

99.17% BP 1-2-3-4-5-8-25-40-80-50-800 BP (FP)
(12) $5    1 Play MG Slant outside the high-limit area to your left
(6) $5 1 Play Slant in high-limit area

98.91% DW44 1-2-3-4-4-9-15-25-200-800 LV Airport/Illinois Deuces
(4) 25¢    10 Play    Slant between Crazy Horse Theatre and Lion Habitat
(4) 25¢ 50 Play    Slant between Crazy Horse Theatre and Lion Habitat

97.30% JoB 1-2-3-4-5-8-25-50-800
(?) 25¢    1 Play Slant scattered around casino
(12) 25¢ 1 Play    Prog Slant near hotel registration
(12) $1    1 Play    Prog Slant outside high-limit area
(6) $5 1 Play    Prog Slant in high-limit area towards Grand Wok Restaurant
(1) $100 1 Play    Prog Slant in high-limit area

New York New York
99.54% JoB 1-2-3-4-6-9-25-50-800 JoB (FP)
(17) $5    1 Play MG Bar @ Times Square Bar
(?) $5 10 Play Slant in high-limit area
(?) $5, $10 3/5 Play MG    Slant in high-limit area
(?) $5, $10, $25 1 Play    MG Slant in high-limit area
(8) 25¢, $1, $2    1 Play MG Slant    Near hotel entrance (no comps)

99.17% BP 1-2-3-4-5-8-25-40-80-50-800 BP (FP)
(17) $5    1 Play MG Bar @ Times Square Bar
(?) $5, $10 3/5 Play MG    Slant in high-limit area
(?) $5, $10, $25 1 Play    MG Slant in high-limit area
(8) $5 1 Play Slant near cashier
(8) $5 1 Play Slant near doors to valet
(8) 25¢, $1, $2    1 Play MG Slant Near hotel entrance (no comps)

98.98% DDB 1-1-3-4-6-9-50-80-160-160-400-50-800 DDB (FP)
(8) 25¢, $1, $2    1 Play        MG        Slant     Near hotel entrance (no comps)

98.91% DW44 1-2-3-4-4-9-15-25-200-800 LV Airport/Illinois Deuces
(8) 25¢, $1, $2    1 Play        MG        Slant     Near hotel entrance (no comps)

98.48% BP 1-2-3-4-5-8-30-30-30-50-800
(17) $2    1 Play Bar @ Times Square Bar

98.14% DB 1-1-3-5-6-9-50-80-160-80-800
(8) 25¢, $1, $2    1 Play MG Slant    Near hotel entrance (no comps)

99.54% JoB 1-2-3-4-6-9-25-50-800 JoB (FP)
(2) $2, $5 3/5 Play Slant high limit room on All Star Poker machines

99.17% BP 1-2-3-4-5-8-25-40-80-50-800 BP (FP)
(2) $1, $2, $5 3/5 Play    QQ Slant high limit room
(4) $25    1 Play Slant high limit room
(2) $1, $2, $5    3/5 Play QQ Up high limit room
(2) $1, $2, $5    3/5 Play Up high limit room
(2) $1, $2, $5    3/5/10 Play Slant high limit room on All Star Poker machines
(2) $1, $2 1 Play SP Slant high limit room on All Star Poker machines
(2) $1    3/5 Play STP Slant high limit room on All Star Poker machines
(2) $2    3 Play STP Slant high limit room on All Star Poker machines

98.98% DDB 1-1-3-4-6-9-50-80-160-160-400-50-800 DDB (FP)
(6) 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ 1 Play    Prog Slant on the other side of the $1 DDB prog near the Sherwood Forest Bar (PROG RF on 25c)
(?) 25¢, 50¢, $1 1 Play Slant scattered around casino
(6) $1 1 Play Prog Slant $1 PROG (RF) near the Sherwood Forest Bar

98.91% DW44 1-2-3-4-4-9-15-25-200-800 LV Airport/Illinois Deuces
(?) $1 1 Play Bar @ bar across from Little Johns Snack Bar
(8) $1 1 Play Up across from Little Johns Snack Bar

Learn the Basics of Playing Poker in Las Vegas

Before you can start playing poker at the Las Vegas tables, you’ve got to know how to play. Even great poker players all begin in the same place: with the basics. Learn the hands, the game itself, the basic strategies, and you’ll be comfortable playing poker anywhere like playing your favorite internet casinos on your desktop or laptop.
Learn the Basic Poker Hands

Basic poker playing begins with the hands, so know these inside and out before you attempt to play in Las Vegas (or anywhere else that costs money). It is called gambling, but there’s no reason to go into it without having a good understanding of the game. By simply mastering the basics of the game, anyone can learn to play the game well, and that’s the beauty of poker.

Ace High: If poker players have nothing that matches, no cards to create a hand, the highest card at the table wins the pot. In poker, the ace is the highest (or the lowest) card in the deck, followed by the face cards and so on.

Pair: A pair of anything can win a pot, if it’s the highest hand at the poker table. A couple of threes, two jacks, any pair will do, but ace-ace is the highest pair of pairs you can achieve. If you get a pair of aces and a pair of threes, you’ve got Two Pair. Two Pair always beats a Pair.

Three of a Kind: Three of a kind is the next step up from a pair or two pair. This poker hand is created with any three cards of the same rank, though of course the aces trump other sets.
Straight: A straight is five consecutive cards. For instance, a player may get the two, three, four, five and six. In a straight, the ace can fall either before the two or after the King. You can use all four suits to create your straight if you wish, as it’s the numbers and not the suit which are needed to create the sequence.

Flush: If you get five cards of the same suit (not the same color, but the same suit – hearts, clubs, diamonds or spades), you’ve got a flush. If two players at the table both hit a flush, the pot is decided by the one with the highest card in the flush itself. If you flush incorporates the king of hearts, your hand will be beat by a player who has a flush with the ace of hearts.

Full House: If you manage to get a Pair and a Three of a Kind, you’ve got a full house. This is a great poker hand, even in Las Vegas where professional gamblers abound as these gamblers are also playing for casino bonus. There are few hands that can beat a full house, but you should always be aware of the competition just the same.

Four of a Kind: There are only four aces in the deck, and if you manage to get them all you’ve got an extremely strong poker hand. It is not, however, the strongest hand you can get.

Straight Flush: The elusive straight flush is the highest possible poker hand in the game, and it falls so rarely that even pros can play for decades without coming up with this combination. This hand occurs when a player gets five cards in a consecutive sequence of a single suit – a straight flush. The highest straight flush possible is ten through ace – a Royal Flush, the only unbeatable poker hand (whether you’re playing in Las Vegas or anywhere else).

Poker in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is like no other city, but luckily playing poker is the same anywhere in any language. Once you know the basics of how the cards line up in your favor to create hands, you can learn how to play poker anywhere you please. Whether you’re gambling for money in Las Vegas or just enjoying a casual home game with friends, the game never changes…only the players.

Do You know who Daniel Tzvetkoff is? Full Tilt, Poker Stars, Absolute Poker Do

I forced myself to stay away from online poker’s #BlackFriday for the most part in an effort not to get caught up in the haze of what’s going on with the take down of the three big online poker sites – Full Tilt, Poker Stars, Absolute Poker.  In an effort to get to know more about the situation it’s important to know how and why the take down happened.  To get started let’s look at the person behind the take down, Daniel Tzvetkoff from Business Insider.

He (Daniel Tzvetkoff) made Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars millions of dollars — and made as much as $150,000 a day for himself — but then got even more greedy and started taking their. They sued him, accusing Tzvetkoff of taking more than $100 million of their money.

Then last April, Tzvetkoff was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with the same crimes those sites’ founders were charged with today: money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud. As an Australian citizen with a lot of cash, he was considered a flight risk and denied bail.

Then after a “secret” meeting with prosecutors last August, he was suddenly out on bail. And now his former colleagues are the ones facing serious prison time.

Daniel Tzvetkoff knows the operations of these poker sites inside and out. It was knowledge of the financial industry that allowed them to operate. He’s the one man positioned to give the U.S. Attorneys everything they needed to take down their businesses.

And it looks like that’s exactly what he did, cooperating with the authorities to avoid his own lengthy jail sentence.

All the major gambling prosecutions in the U.S. since Tzvetkoff’s arrest have been run out of the office of Arlo Devlin-Brown, the Manhattan Asst. U.S. Attorney who is Tzvetkoff’s “handler.”

According to a source, Tzvetkoff “knows how to reverse-engineer transactions to determine its original source,” making him very valuable to investigators.

And the biggest irony of all? It’s been rumored that the only reason the FBI got their hands on him is because Full Tilt or Poker Stars (the companies he used to work for and stole from) tipped off the FBI that he was going to be traveling to the United States last year.

That’s a really good capture of how these companies went down.  On top of this there are lots of conspiracy theories throughout the poker message boards.  Like with most conspiracy theories, some kind of make sense and some are outlandish.  I’ll do a little more digging to see what other information I can find.

This story has captured mainstream, casino and gambling media alike.  There’s too much information available, so I’ll narrow down what I think is reliable, useful or interesting. I’m retweeting a lot of information from people I think are reliable, so if you’re interested in more info follow me or check the stream.  Also, if you follow me say hi.

Steve Wynn Doesn’t Like Barack Obama

Sensational headline? Maybe. Judging what Steve Wynn says in this video it seems as he doesn’t like nor agree with the Barack Obama and his staff’s current political policy.  This isn’t the first time Wynn has gone off on a politician, but it is a new interview which, seemingly, was meant to discuss the excellent first quarter earnings Wynn had.  Thanks to @brian_fey for the heads up.

Wynn Raising Room Rates, Less People Stay at Wynn, That’s Good

Wynn reported excellent earnings from the first quarter of 2011 and while profits were up a lot there was something that stood out as a good example of why profits rose.

Room revenue in Las Vegas was up 13.4 percent to $88 million during the quarter. The average daily room rate at Wynn and Encore was up 18 percent to $240, but occupancy dipped to 87.9 percent from 89.4 percent during the year-over-year period.

So, while a few less people are staying at the hotel (-1.5%) the people staying at Wynn are paying more (13.4%).  That’s not much of a decrease in occupancy and is a good example of why profits are increasing.  It will be interesting to see if other casino companies show similar results.

ESPN Running Scared From Poker

After last weeks breakup of three major online poker sites ESPN (and their parent company, Disney) has announced that they are removing all poker from the network for the time being.

Walt Disney’s ESPN sports cable channel will remove poker advertising and programming after the U.S. indicted gambling websites that sponsor televised tournaments and froze their bank accounts.

“We are aware of the indictment only through what has been announced publicly,” Bristol, Connecticut-based ESPN said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “For the immediate future, we are making efforts to remove related advertising and programming pending further review.”

This is a very safe play for ESPN.  They were going to lose most of the advertising for their poker programming anyway since Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and Poker Stars made up the bulk of advertising on the shows.

ESPN didn’t state that they’ve canceled all contracts and are out of the business forever.  They are just putting things on hold for TV.  The poker page on is still up and running.  I expect ESPN to seek out other World Series of Poker advertisers and will hold off on committing to airing the tournament until they know how they stand financially.

This is all, still, just the beginning of what’s probably going to be legal online gambling in America…it’s just a matter of when.

UPDATE: ESPN will be airing the 2011 WSOP, but they have removed old programming. Thanks for the heads up

Claire Sinclair Performing In Crazy Horse Paris at MGM Grand

Claire Sinclair seems to be everywhere I look now that Holly’s World is over and she announced that she’ll be Playboy’s Playmate of the Year.  Sinclair is certainly not ugly and she’ll follow in line with other ex Playboy playmates Dita Von Teese and Carmen Electra to drop her clothes at MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris.  She’ll be taking the stage at MGM Grand between April 20 and April 27.

Saying Claire Sinclair is fun, so I hope she sticks around so I can keep saying her name.

Buy tickets to  Crazy Horse Paris.

Full Tilt Poker Pulls Out of US Market

I’ve been away for most of the day, but there’s been a lot going on with online poker and the government today.  The latest is that Full Tilt Poker pulled out of US market.  Here’s the press release:

Full Tilt Poker Supports Poker Players And Its Chief Executiv

eDublin Ireland (April 15, 2011)- Full Tilt Poker is saddened by today’s chargesagainst its CEO Raymond Bitar and offers its full support to Mr. Bitar and Nelson Burtnick.

Online poker is a game of skill enjoyed by tens of millions of people in the United States and across the world. And, Full Tilt Poker remains as committed as ever to preserving the rights of those players to play the game they love online. Mr. Bitar and Full Tilt Poker believe online poker is legal – a position also taken by some of the best legal minds in the United States. Full Tilt Poker is, and has always been committed to preserving the integrity of the game and abidingby the law.

“I am surprised and disappointed by the government’s decision to bring these charges. I look forward to Mr. Burtnick’s and my exoneration,” said Mr. Bitar.

Unfortunately, as a result of this action, Full Tilt Poker has decided that it must suspend “real money” play in the United States until this case is resolved. However, Full Tilt Poker will continue to provide peer-to-peer online poker services outside of the United States.

This will continue to develop.  Check this story to get all of the basic info on the online poker seizures.

Pit Bosses Gone…So What?

Last week Atlantic City lifted regulations that forced casinos to have a pit boss on duty to keep an eye on gaming tables.  This doesn’t mean the positions have to be eliminated, but with revenues decreasing every month for 3 years or so this will be a likely place to cut costs.

Losing pit bosses could save casinos millions according to reports. While the new regulations no longer require casino pit bosses, they also do not limit the casinos, which could still opt to employ pit bosses, or perhaps other titled floor positions.

Several local casino spokespeople, speaking to Atlantic City’s daily newspaper, said the casinos will have to study their options before making personnel changes.

While this isn’t a bad thing in general, this probably isn’t a good thing for Atlantic City.  Pit bosses are nice to have, but there is so much overlap in their position that the allowance for a staff reduction probably wouldn’t harm most casinos in the world.

However, Atlantic City has a problem that most casino markets don’t have – homeless, panhandlers and criminals.  Since there are so many pit bosses on duty at once, they have the ability to keep an eye on the floor to keep the tables a little safer than the rest of the casino.  Even if they’re not doing the enforcing they can call someone that will.  With the absence of the extra eyes gone from the casinos in Atlantic City, I can see crime only getting worse which is unthinkable.

So, while removing a pit boss isn’t necessarily a big deal in many casino markets, I think this would be horrible for Atlantic City unless the casinos decide to do something to allow their customers to feel safe.  Like most things in Atlantic City, the casinos will not do the smart thing so expect the cost cuttings to begin soon.


Angel Porrino Heads To Absinthe at Caesars Palace

Angel Porrino may be better known as Holly Madison‘s former assistant on Holly’s World has segued from Peepshow understudy to actress and tap dancer at the new show at Caesars Palace, Absinthe.

I’m not much of a show guy, but Absinthe sounds interesting. Check this review on Vegas Chatter.  It sounds like a Las Vegas show similar to the band Gogol Bordello, which is also interesting.

Buy Tickets to Absinthe

Buy Gogol Bordello