Saint Hoods Is Why I Stopped Betting Sports

Saint Hoods TV Show
Saint Hoods

I caught the first episode of Saint Hoods on Discovery over the weekend and it reminded me why I stopped gambling when I was younger. Saint Hoods is an entertaining show about Boston mobsters and how they make much of their money from people betting on sports. Here’s a snippet of the overview on Saint Hoods from Discovery.

For centuries, Boston has been run by tough neighborhood crews that are in a constant battle for ultimate control and power. On the streets these crews are the law, the keepers of an old world way of life, running Boston’s underworld with an iron fist. Now, for the first time ever, we are on the front lines of this never-ending turf war between Boston’s oldest rival crews of Southie, Roslindale and Dorchester as they use any means necessary to maintain their stranglehold on one of the oldest cities in America.

These powerful crews vie for customers in the lucrative business of sports gambling. However, these businesses extend far beyond just taking bets. The crews claim to offer loans, move merchandise and solve “neighborhood” problems on their own terms.

The show is entertaining and no matter how staged the show may be (by producers or the participants) but it’s a little too real. I was introduced to sports betting by a friend’s older brother when I was growing up. We were all big sports fans. My friend’s brother was a little more into sports than either of us. At first I didn’t realize why he was so into the games at first then I was.

I later learned he had bets on the games we’d be watching. What seemed to be passion and excitement for the games was intoxicating. He seemed to be getting more excitement from just watching the games that I was getting playing the actual games.

I wanted to feel that excitement. Fortunately, I never really felt the rush that my friend’s brother had. I was, and still am, a pragmatic gambler and never bet too much. I saw the highs and lows of betting on sports and dabbled in it because I was a fan. I saw a few too many low points from this friend’s brother and other friend’s I stopped gambling.

Saint Hoods brings me back to those days where the benefits of winning didn’t outweigh the perils of losing. Saint Hoods shows the ugly side of gambling. The gambling is only part of the ugliness (if it’s ugly at all). It’s all the other stuff that comes with the people in charge of gambling.

The gambling that most people do in America isn’t with huge corporations like MGM Resorts or Caesars Entertainment – it’s with people like Tin Man or Pat Nee. TV shows like this put gambling in a bad light because it’s not all mobsters chasing you down because you owe them money. There are businesses – legal and not legal – that offer fair gambling for many people who can control their gambling.

Unfortunately the mainstream sees shows like Saint Hoods and Money Talks and sees the bad side of things. It would be nice if mainstream media showed the good, fun side of gambling but that won’t upset people enough to get ratings. There are plenty of intelligent and compelling people in gambling and it would be nice if that could give the mainstream media the ratings that they desire.

What Do Steve Carell, Olivia Wilde, Carrie Underwood And I Have In Common?

I’m humbled and honored to be a part of The List in the new issue of Vegas Magazine. Not only is Steve Carell on the cover but I share the list with Carrie Underwood and Olivia Wilde. Sure there are other great people on the list but what’s more fun than beautiful women?

Vegas Magazine The List

 

I said before I don’t think that I’ll be checking out The Incredible Burt Wonderstone but how can I not support Steve Carell and Olivia Wilde now?! Oh, these pickles.

Seriously, this is very cool. Thanks to the (Neon) Jungle Princess, Abby Tegnelia, and everyone for including me in The List. Check out the digital issue of Vegas Magazine.

 

Sin City Rules Cancelled

Sin City Rules TV Show
Sin City Rules

The idea behind Sin City Rules wasn’t something that I’d typically watch but it was based in Las Vegas and had scenery from Las Vegas so I watched it. Any Las Vegas on TV makes my DVR plus I was in one of the episodes so I HAD to watch it. You know what? “Sin City Rules” was an awful show. I’ve never heard a positive word spoken about the show.

Ratings were so low that TLC moved the show from Sunday night to Tuesday night. However, TLC couldn’t change the content of the show. It was still awful. It was so bad that a low tier cable station cancelled “Sin City Rules” before the season even ended.

The cast of “Sin City Rules” was told this week the show is going to be pulled from the TLC schedule after five of eight shows in its first (and only) season have aired, but it will still be available on the TLC official website.

I’m a fan of just about anything on TV involving Las Vegas but “Sin City Rules” was almost too bad for me to handle. Almost in that I watched every horrible episode. However, it was the last TV show I would catch up on every week. For comparison, I watch Vegas Strip the morning after it airs. I won’t be bothered to watch “Sin City Rules” online. I don’t care enough about these broads to make the effort.

Hey, at least my episode made it to air.

Encore Has High Toilets

Note: This won’t be graphic, just weird.

I don’t run into high toilets very often so it always stands out when I do. When I stayed at Encore last weekend I noticed that their toilet is higher than any other throne I’ve sat on in a while. I don’t like high toilets and I think it goes back to the first time I experienced a high toilet in Las Vegas.

I was staying at The Palazzo a few years ago and noticed that their toilet was higher then a normal toilet. I also noticed that I used it much less than normal. I asked some friends in other rooms if they had similar experiences and response was mixed. Some said yes, some said no and almost everyone said “WTF, Marc”.

A friend went into detail, that I won’t go into, explaining how and why there are some people that are more comfortable with toilets at a certain height. Either I have an issue with heights or he got into my head with his explanation and freaked me out for life.

Anyway, if you’re not comfortable with a high toilet this is a heads up that Encore, The Palazzo and The Venetian all have high toilets.

While looking for a picture on google I came across this fun video from Tosh.0 on high toilets. Daniel Tosh makes me laugh.

“Sin City Rules” Is Almost Here

You may remember this summer I mentioned that I would be guest starring in a show that was essentially Real Housewives of Las Vegas. The show seems to have undergone a handful of working titles (like “High Rollers”)  but they’ve settled on Sin City Rules. The show looks like formulaic Bravo or TLC reality fodder but it’s in Las Vegas so it has to be awesome. Right?

Here’s how TLC describes Sin City Rules.

Get ready for a wild ride — the women of Sin City Rules are about to take over your TV sets! TLC’s new show features five of the most powerful women in Las Vegas, as they take on high stakes world of gambling, sex and excess. The cast includes one of the world’s top poker players; a fashion designer with a taste for guns; the business-minded daughter of an infamous mob boss, a powerful cosmetics mogul and an entertainment reporter with a pageant-queen past.

HAVE NO FEAR! I MADE THE SHOW! 

How do I know I’ll be appearing in Sin City Rules? Because I’m in the trailer above! I haven’t seen this trailer since I was made aware that I’m in it a couple weeks ago. I was stoked for the show because I’m a sucker a) for shows in Vegas and b) shows like this but now I’m super stoked! This show must be awesome since they fast tracked it from beginning in 2013!

Tweet me if you find me in the trailer.

The premiere of Sin City Rules is Sunday, December 9 @ 10|9c.

Tweet me @eastcoastgamblr

 

I Found My Place At The Craps Table. I’m #8!

Craps is probably my favorite game in the casino. I may play video poker more often, but craps is the one I love (See Craps: A Love Story) and will always come back to.

It’s been a while, but I finally Continue reading “I Found My Place At The Craps Table. I’m #8!”

Ranch House Blogger Meat Up

When I was preparing to leave the east coast I looked at various cities that seemed to have excellent tech communities. I like tech and I like people that like tech.

Before I decided to move to Las Vegas I stopped by a pretty cool weekly meetup that local tech geeks and bloggers had called Beer and Blogs Las Vegas. That meetup has since disbanded because most of the people that attended were friends and hang out in a less structured manner.

While attending Beer and Blogs wasn’t the reason I moved to Vegas, it didn’t hurt. It also showed me that there was more to Vegas than the strip or downtown.

There is still a pretty cool tech community in Vegas. The tech community has pretty much separated since tech startups and programmers aren’t seeking the same thing as bloggers who can be a broad range of people that have varied interests. There are bloggers who write about eating and wellness while others range from corporate casino bloggers to travel bloggers. It’s a pretty cool crew, you can find some of these blogs in the sidebar.

This meetup was more of a brainstorming session to discuss what we wanted to get from future meetups than anything else. As a nice aside we were able to sample tasty treats like the ones below that were provided by the Ranch House Kitchen.

The Ranch House Kitchen is located at Town Square which is on the strip south of Mandalay Bay in a mall/town with hundreds of stores. Town Square is HUGE. In fact, I have such a bad sense of direction that I’ve gotten lost every time I’ve been there. I always give myself an extra half hour to find my way around. Pro tip: Ask the valet where to go if you’re lost.

Ranch House is next to the Rave Motion Pictures movie theater and on the second floor of the mall with few other places. Ranch House is a nice place to pre-game a movie if you’re looking for something to do outside of the casino next time you’re in Vegas. The ribs we had were super tender and fell right off the bone.

Ranch House Ribs

The ribs were the second favorite thing I had all night. The highlight of the night? Go figure, it was drink – A cucumber mojito!

It was over 110 degrees the day of the meetup and the last thing I wanted was a beer. There is a special cocktail menu and a cucumber mojito sounded like the most refreshing thing. And it was. Just about everyone at the table was drinking red drinks, but I know I won for best drink(s) of the night. Suckers. 🙂

Cucumber Mojito

The night ended when the musicians started playing. They were so loud that we couldn’t hear each other speak. That’s OK. The noise (#GOML) didn’t take away from sampling this awesome French Toast Sundae.

French Toast Sundae

Like with everything I do there are more pictures of the night on my tumblr. The Ranch House was a surprise. There was nothing bad and the service was great. The waiters and waitresses we had were all great. There are plenty of strip properties that can learn from the staff at Ranch House.

The group was able to catch up with one another and we were treated to a tasty meal courtesy for the Ranch House and I was able to explore Town Square, a place I normally wouldn’t visit. I’ll call the night a win, win, win.

Note: #GOML is short for Get Off My Lawn.

Rockin at Rampart Casino

It’s true, last week I was rockin at Rampart Casino. I’m a fairly regimented person. When I find something I like, I go there pretty often. Generally, I’m not the exploring type. I actually plan my exploration, like I did with my trip to Laughlin that I detailed on Vegas Chatter.

Well that pattern took a slight change last week. I needed to take in a beautiful day and decided to grab a smoothie and explore the Vegas burbs (Summerlin) until I finished my smoothie. Besides finding about 5 different golf courses and a road that just stopped being created (pics soon) I drove by Rampart Casino.

Rampart Casino is next to Suncoast Casino and north of where I live. I rarely head that way, so I never think to go there. When I was was exploring local casinos I didn’t consider it since it’s not associated with any casinos near the strip like Station Casinos (Red Rock Casino) or Boyd Gaming casinos (Suncoast).

After driving by Rampart Casino, I decided I’d check it out another day. Why not? It’s close even if it’s not a direction I normall travel. That night I looked at vpFREE to see what kind of  video poker games they have. They had 10 play nickel 9/6 Jacks or Better. I’ve never seen that before and although there’s not much money making, but there’s little at risk.

While checking out a new casino I always drop a little in a machine or table to see what kind of offers I get. I thought maybe I could get a Royal Flush in honor of Denver Gambler’s quest (#royalflush2012) for one since I’m playing 10 games at once. Good times for all. As you can see from the image above and video below, I got a Royal Flush!

I actually changed from Jacks or Better to Bonus Poker but I got the Royal Flush! As you might expect, 4,000 nickels is not nearly as awesome as $1’s, but I’ll happily take it! That $200 will pay for all the smoothies I can handle. Haha.

My venture to Rampart was more to get a vibe of the casino. The outside is very old and classy looking. I thought the inside may be the same. The decor at Rampart Casino is somewhere between 1920’s and 1980’s. I’m not sure if that’s on purpose, but the casino reminded me of some of my favorite New York City classic steakhouses. Comfortable, but not modern.

The casino itself is tiny, but not much smaller than the other casinos in the area. There is a lot of video poker throughout the casino. There are games I’ve never seen, which is always fun. There are new and older slots and there were lot of people.

I’d say 98% of the people I saw at Rampart Casino were over 60 years old and smoking about 40% of those people had walkers and/or oxygen tanks. Rampart Casino felt like the Atlantic City casino where people go to die…and I liked it.

Even though the place was overly smokey, everyone was nice and many of the people playing knew each other from the area. Everyone was having a good time and in turn I was having a good time. The smoke was so bad that I had to throw my clothes in the washing machine and jump in the shower when I came home from (no joke) but I enjoyed my visit to Rampart Casino.

I don’t see Rampart Casino replacing Red Rock casino as my local casino, but it’s a nice alternative. If it wasn’t for the fun video poker games (full pay 10 play and below) that I won’t find anywhere else, I probably wouldn’t return. That said, I’ll be back at Rampart Casino when I’m bored and need a video poker fix.

Vegas Travel Goes High Tech

I’ve been holding off on telling anyone about this until I actually saw the magazine with my name in print and it’s finally time. A few months ago I submitted my first article to Casino Player magazine. The article “Vegas Travel Goes High Tech” is based loosely on information I’ve been gathering for Get Vegas Apps. I view it as an introduction to the masses on how technology is making travel to Vegas that much more easy and awesome.

I have a couple more articles coming up in Strictly Slots in the next couple months that touch on technology and slot machine marketing. This is my first time on paper so it’s pretty exciting. Below is a snippet of the article and feel free to check out the full article if you like. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to share a freebie in the future so you can subscribe here for either (or both) magazine if you like.

Today, there are many ways that apps on our smartphones can affect (and dramatically improve) our trips to LasVegas. No matter where we are,we can check for flight information (times,prices,delays,etc.); check our comp accounts, to see if we have access to free or discounted rooms; and browse restaurant and show reviews. For those of us who are a bit on the neurotic side,we can plan our Vegas vacations down to the minute—all by simply tapping buttons our phones.

 

 

Station Casinos Football Contests – Week One

A few years ago I realized that the only fun for me in fantasy football was the draft. I was egged into a couple fantasy leagues the past couple of years, but hardly paid attention. This year I finally cut fantasy football out of my life and I feel much better for it. I was stoked just to bet on a couple of NFL and NCAA games a week and be done. However, over the past couple years I’ve been hearing about these football contests at the casinos so I considered entering one. One contest turned into seven, so my time that I used to devote to fantasy football will now be given to these contests.

There were lots of options but, because I am new to contests, I didn’t plan on dropping $10k on the world famous Hilton SuperContest. I ended up choosing Station CasinosLast Man Standing” contests for a variety of reasons. The “Last Man Standing” contests are only $25 each and end as soon as I lose a game (which could be this week). There is an NFL and NCAA contest and since I’m researching both each week anyway, I figured that I would do both and I’m doing two of each so I have a total of four entries for “Last Man Standing.” The other reason is that Red Rock Casino is down the street (and my home casino) from my house so putting in my picks is easy. This contest is simple. Pick one game from a list made up every Wednesday against the spread per entry. Done.

The other contest I ended up joining was the “My Great Giveaway” Contest. This was also a $25 contest and I purchased two and I got a third entry for free. All fees are returned as slot dollars at the end of the season so this is, theoretically, free.  This contest involves just picking winners and there are a lot of prizes beyond cash.

I’m stoked for football season and having a few bucks riding on the games doesn’t hurt. Much like in the past contests I’ve done, I’ll be listing my picks for “Last Man Standing” only. I look at the “My Great Giveaway” as more pot luck than skill. Since I have Free Picks and Fun for my sports content, I’ll post picks there weekly instead of here. I’ll also tweet the info if you follow me.

This will be the only blog that will go on both AC2LV and Free Picks and Fun, so keep your eyes peeled. Here are my picks for the week if you’re still reading.

Last Man Standing – NFL

  • Eagles – 4.5
  • Bucs -1.5

Last Man Standing – NCAA

  • Miss State – 6.5
  • Iowa -7.5
  • I wanted to go with Ohio State, but the game wasn’t on their list.