Will Grandissimo Be The New Name Of Las Vegas Club?

Las Vegas Club Casino Downtown Las Vegas
Las Vegas Club

Grandissimo was the name of a hotel and casino that Jay Sarno, founder of Caesars Palace and Circus Circus, was thinking about when he retired. The dream never came to fruition and was over after he passed away in 1984.

Sarno was an interesting man and you can learn more about him in the book Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas: How Jay Sarno Won a Casino Empire, Lost It, and Inspired Modern Las Vegas.

In September Gambling Invest uncovered the following information about the name Grandissimo on the web:

Gambling Invest’s domain monitoring service uncovered that at the end of July, The D Las Vegas casino became the new owner of several “grandissimo” domains, including grandissimo.net, grandissimovegas.com and grandissimolv.com.

…The whois details of the three domain names were updated in July this year when The D Las Vegas casino replaced Dickinson Wright as the listed owners, but Gambling Invest believes that the Michigan law firm had registered the domains on behalf of Derek and Greg Stevens, the Detroit brothers who control The D and that in January 2014, Dickinson Wright helped obtain a trademark for Grandissimo in relation to restaurant, hotel and entertainment services.

If I remember correctly (tough before coffee) Derek Stevens purchased alternate URL names before revealing that Fitzgerald’s would be renamed The D.

These URL purchases don’t mean that Grandissimo will be the new name of Las Vegas Club but it’s entirely possible.

Expect Stevens to address the future of the Las Vegas Club on the next episode of the Vegas Gang podcast which will be recorded live at The D this weekend with Grandissimo author David Schwartz.

Westgate SuperBook Should Have Mobile Wagering Soon

LVH SuperBook - Las Vegas Hotel
LVH SuperBook

On the latest episode of the “Behind The Betspodcast (download at itunes) Jeff Sherman from the Westgate SuperBook mentioned that the sportsbook is working on mobile wagering and hopes to have it ready by end of the year.

I listen to podcasts on 2x speed so I had to rewind the podcast to make sure that I heard it correctly. I tweeted looking for confirmation and I received it from Jeff (@golfodds) shortly thereafter.

@MeltzVegas @LVSuperBook correct

It’s only a matter of time before every sportsbook operator in Nevada offers wagering via mobile device. Last year I hinted that MGM would offer mobile wagering soon and that was confirmed earlier this year in an article I wrote for Vegas Chatter.

Westgate having mobile wagering will certainly help their bottom line and will offer the best odds to more bettors (like me) but it won’t be a game changer. They’re still only a single casino and as @John_Mehaffey states it will take a lot more coverage to reach as many people as the larger sportsbook operators.

That being said this is still an exciting moment for sports bettors. I rarely visit the Westgate so this gives me a chance to wager with their lines without driving out to the other side of the Vegas Strip. This gives everyone an opportunity to wager with the best odds without visiting the Westgate.

The Westgate is undergoing a lot of renovations (see 5 at Vegas.buzz) and the sportsbook renovation should be finished by football season. I actually look forward to my next visit to the Westgate – that’s something I’ve never said before (even when it was LVH or the Hilton).

Use A Blackjack Strategy Card At The Table

Blackjack Strategy Card
Blackjack Strategy Card

 

A couple of weeks ago I played a little blackjack with Mark from the 360 Vegas podcast at The D in Downtown Vegas. We had a blast and I had my first winning blackjack session in far too long. My level of perfection with blackjack strategy is about 90%-95% accurate. It’s not perfect but good enough for me.

Mark used a blackjack strategy card as a reference every time he wasn’t sure what the right play was. I haven’t seen someone use a blackjack strategy card in a casino in a while and that’s silly. Blackjack strategy cards are legal to use at the table and cost less than $5 whether you buy in a casino or via amazon (links below).

$5 for blackjack strategy card is a small investment that you should recoup in your first session or two of blackjack, even if you’re playing at a $5 table. Over time you should learn the correct plays without having to use the card. This is a great item to keep on hand in Vegas if you’re unsure how to play blackjack perfectly or you’re drinking a few too many to think straight this comes in handy.

Over time it may not matter mathematically if you or others at the blackjack table play with perfect strategy but in the moment making the wrong play stinks when you lose. Making the wrong play also makes other players cranky.

Gambling should be fun. Don’t make people cranky.

Buy on Amazon
Single Blackjack Strategy Card (4/6/8 decks) – $2.67
Set of 6 Blackjack Strategy Cards (different rules) – $12.78

Annual Appearance On Beating The Book Podcast

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This week was my fourth (!?) annual appearance on the Beating The Book podcast. This has been one of my favorite podcasts for years since host, Gill Alexander, and I share a love for betting on baseball (and other sports, but mostly baseball).

The Vegas Lifestyle Show has nothing to do with baseball or gambling. It’s a beginner’s guide for dudes when they visit Vegas. Here are the details on the show:

It’s the only non-sports betting episode of the calendar year, but for some, it’s the most anticipated.  If you’re planning a trip to Vegas, let this be your guide.  Host Gill Alexander, WagerTalk.com’s Marco D’Angelo, and man about town, Ace, take off their handicapping hats and are joined by Marc Meltzer of vegaschatter.com, part of the Conde Nast Traveler Network, to discuss the best Sportsbooks, Nightclubs, Steakhouses, and Strip Clubs in Sin City.  Plus, the best buffet and best value lunch are identified, as well.  The Super Bowl’s not for a while.  In the meantime, enjoy a man’s guide to Sin City, on Wednesday’s Beating The Book (January 21, 2015). 

Here are links to get the podcast:

Here’s a post with links to most of the gambling and Vegas podcasts I listen to. It’s updated as I find new podcasts to listen to.

Lots Of Craps Talk On This Weeks “You Can Bet On That” Podcast

Golden Gate Sexy Craps Dealers
Golden Gate Sexy Craps

Craps is my favorite game in the casino. If there was only one game in a casino that I had to talk about it would be craps.

The most recent “You Can Bet On That” podcast (July 3) talks a lot about craps odds and strategy. You can stream or download for iTunes for free. Links are below.

Annual Betting Dork Podcast About Vegas

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You may or may not know that the Betting Dork podcast has been one of my favorites since I started listening to podcasts about 5 years ago (damn I’m old). I’m a gambler but not a professional with years of experience. That said, I’m humbled to have been on the podcast to talk about Vegas once a year (you can get to previous year’s podcasts here). This is the only Betting Dork podcast that’s not about betting on sports. This is the Betting Dork “Vegas Lifestyle Show: A Man’s Guide to Sin City”.

The panel for this discussion besides me and the host, Gill Alexander, are Marco D’Angelo and Vegas Runner. Here are the details on the show:

Betting Dork: The 3rd Annual Vegas Lifestyle Show: A Man’s Guide to Sin CityIt’s the only non-sports betting episode of the calendar year, but for some, it’s the most anticipated.  If you’re planning a trip to Vegas, let this be your guide.  Host Gill Alexander, Gaming Today’s Marco D’Angelo, and man about town, Vegas Runner, take off their handicapping hats and are joined by Marc Meltzer of vegaschatter.com, part of the Conde Nast Digital Network, to discuss the best Sportsbooks, Steak Restaurants, Nightclubs, and Strip Clubs in Sin City.  The Super Bowl’s not for a while.  In the meantime, enjoy a man’s guide to Sin City, on Friday’s Betting Dork (January 24, 2014). 

The show is fun and informative.

Stream Betting Dork

Download Betting Dork for iTunes

Also, in case you missed my Peter Greenberg Worldwide appearance last week you can listen here.

Big Fish In Small Casino Pond Or Small Fish In Big Casino Pond

7:30am Showboat Atlantic City Balcony Suite
7:30am Showboat Balcony Suite

Photo above from a comped Showboat balcony suite with an ocean view 

I talk about gaming often and the subject of players clubs and comps almost always comes up. I shy away from talking about comps because you shouldn’t play for comps. Comps are great to receive but retail price for whatever the freebie is usually comes in at a lower price than you’re risking.

That said, I’m not afraid of taking or asking for comps. I’ve gotten some great comps from my spending in a casino. Not all comps, like this sick suite at Showboat in Atlantic City, were because of my players club activity. I happened to be visiting Showboat on a warmish winter weekday and this was available to me since it wasn’t busy. I’m sure I played enough to get this suite again…but only on a slow midweek winter’s night.

I didn’t get this ocean view balcony suite because I’m a high roller but I’m a medium roller and it was available when I asked if there were any upgrades. For what it’s worth my friend upgraded to a normal suite at Showboat that same day. This isn’t meant as a humble brag but more of a personal lesson. If I’d gone to Caesars or Borgata I probably wouldn’t have received such a nice upgrade. Why? Because that’s where the to big dawgs roll.

I used to stay at Showboat because it was the Caesars Entertainment hotel on the bottom of the totem pole. Showboat isn’t the best hotel and casino in Atlantic City but they had a very nice staff, recently renovated Bourbon Tower and I was able to get more mileage with my comps.

I was lucky to get free rooms at the other casinos so I focused my spending where I got the best bang for my buck. Besides getting suites I used to be able to get meals and drinks comped. It was a good deal even if their dining options were limited.

I like being the big fish in the little casino pond

This topic came to mind a few weeks ago when I listened to, independent Las Vegas casino host Steve Cyr, on the Gambling With An Edge podcast and discussing what he can offer his clients.

One specific item that stood out was that he couldn’t get a client in the door at Cosmopolitan with $10,000 guaranteed in play. Meanwhile, that person could go elsewhere and be treated like a king. That client may have to stay and play in a Downtown Vegas casino but they’d get all the great amenities you’d want when staying at a casino.

This is nothing new but something not everyone thinks of when they spend their money at a casino. I love the luxury hotels and casinos but I also like being treated as if I have some value so I enjoy the best of both world when I can.

5 Major League Baseball Stadiums That Could Use A Casino

I’m always excited when I have contributors to the site. It’s something I don’t do often enough but that will change in the future. This week Gill Alexander, AKA Betting Dork, offers a little fun to the site.

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that the initial proposal for the New York Mets Citi Field came with a casino attached to it. That proposal was shot down by New York City before it even reached Major League Baseball for approval. Gill looks at a few Major League Baseball stadiums that could use the addition of addition a casino.

Even though some of his takes seem tongue and cheek a lot of what he has to say rings true. You can download the awesome Betting Dork Podcast (If you follow me on twitter you know how much I enjoy this podcast) or visit Dr. Bob Sports to learn more about Gill and follow his baseball picks.

Miller Park – Milwaukee Brewers 

Milwaukee Brewers Miller Park

According to court papers in the NCAA v Christie New Jersey sports betting case, Bud Selig’s shocked, appalled, and in disbelief that people bet on baseball? Well now that daughter Wendy’s not around to snitch, he’d never, ever believe the video poker machines on the back of every seat at his old team’s ballpark.

Photo: MNArtists

“Trading Bases” Book Preview

I’m not much of a reader but last year I learned about a book coming out that’s right up my alley. “Trading Bases” by Joe Peta looks at baseball and betting from a more analytic point of view then you’ll find in most mainstream media. Here’s the synopsis of the book and its full title  “Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order)” from Amazon.

An ex-Wall Street trader improved on Moneyball’s famed sabermetrics to place bets that would beat the Vegas odds on Major League Baseball games–with a 41 percent return in his first year. Trading Bases explains how he did it.

After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta needed a new employer. He found a new job in New York City but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down as he crossed the street on foot. In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated in a wheelchair, Peta started watching baseball again, as he had growing up. That’s when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball–and beat the only market in town, the Vegas betting line? Why not treat MLB like the S&P 500?

In Trading Bases, Peta shows how to subtract luck–in particular “cluster luck,” as he puts it–from a team’s statistics to best predict how it will perform in the next game and over the whole season. His baseball “hedge fund” returned an astounding 41 percent in 2011– with daily volatility similar to funds he used to trade for. Peta takes readers to the ballpark in San Francisco, trading floors and baseball bars in New York, and sports books in Vegas, all while tracing the progress of his wagers.

Far from writing a dry, do-it-yourself guidebook, Peta weaves a story that is often humorous, and occasionally touching; the topic may be “Big Data” but it’s as entertaining as a Bill Simmons column. Trading Bases is all about the love of critical reasoning, trading cultures, risk management, and baseball. And not necessarily in that order.

Towards the end of the baseball season last year I was introduced to Joe by mutual baseball lover and betting dork friend, Gill Alexander. The three of us grabbed a burger (this is when I discovered the awesome “Gold Standard” burger) at Holsteins at Cosmopolitan. After we grew tired of watching gamecasts on our phones we walked across the hall to watch the games at the sportsbook.

It was pretty awesome watching and talking baseball with such great baseball minds. Joe was kind enough to answer a few questions about “Trading Bases“.

What do you think readers will take away from the book?
If I’ve written it well enough, I hope they’ll realize there is a lot of overlap between those who apply sabermetric theory and those who trade stocks and those who bet on sports.  Each set of people, even though they might think they operate in a vaccum, could actually learn from the other groups as well.  Sabermetrics can help the bettor, Wall Street could learn a lot from the sabermetric community in terms of evaluating talent, baseball managers (and some GMs) could stand to learn a little game theory from traders and so on.  In the end, the book really celebrates critical reasoning, regardless of the pursuit.  But if the reader gets there without laughing, without reminiscing about the connection sports means to the relationship with their parents or children, or without smiling about the times he’s been in a sports bar or a casino with his buddies, then I didn’t write it well enough and that’s on me.

Explain the DIY guidebook that’s in the description for the book. 

I spend about six chapters at the beginning of the book describing how I came up with a model to bet baseball games on a daily basis.  Believe me, I knew how dangerous an undertaking that was  —  how many readers who pick up a book about golf would care how the clubs are made?  Yet, I figured I had to establish some credibility in terms of logic and critical reasoning with other gamblers and sports bettors who picked up the book.  So those chapters are filled with pop culture references, Wall Street and NFL analogies and in general try to make it read like a story instead of a data dump.  I’ve always thought that was the underrated strength of Bill James — his ability to weave stories around his data.  Between those chapters and a couple later in the book — which take up roughly a third of the pages — there is plenty of material in there for a would-be model builder to create his own model, with plenty of room for his own modifications.  I love what one early reviewer of the book said, however in discussing the DIY nature of the book, “The topic may be Big Data, but it reads like a Bill Simmons column.”

What are your favorite sportsbooks in Vegas to do bet games? watch games?

Boy, do I love watching sports with like-minded sports bettors in Vegas — doesn’t even matter if I know them well.  I view the experience like rating my favorite pizzas.  Even the ones that are bad – – – are still pretty good!  However, my favorite place to watch a slate of summer baseball games is at the Venitian sports book.  It’s a Cantor-run property so the aesthetics are great.  To top it off, it’s entrance is on the strip, next to a Walgreens so the ability to get in-game hydration is unparalleled   There is a noodle shop adjacent to the sportsbook and a Grimaldi’s Pizza shop upstarts in the Palazzo mall for take-out.  It’s simply perfect.

Honorable mention to the LVH Man Cave, especially if you use a car to get around.  And, as you know, if you have a group of guys coming from out of town, Legasse’s Stadium takes the sports bar experience to an entirely new level.  In general though, I avoided that location unless I wanted a restaurant experience.

As far as placing bets, any Cantor property, especially if you utilize their mobile technology along with the LVH and the Wynn give a baseball bettor access to three different dime lines.  Those three books captured the lion’s share of my handle last year.

I decided to do a preview of “Trading Bases” so that I can let you know about the book before the baseball season begins. I read slowly and I have no idea when I’ll finish the book to give it a proper review. If I get pressed for time I may just skip to the DIY Guidebook. Shhhh. 🙂

If you can’t wait for the book check out the Trading Bases blog where he just started going season previews.

Tweet me @eastcoastgamblr

 

Betting Dork: The 2nd Annual Vegas Lifestyle Show

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Last year I was fortunate enough appear on The Betting Dork podcast to talk about Las Vegas. It was their first annual “Vegas Lifestyle Show: A Man’s Guide to Sin City”. The Betting Dork podcast is normally an intelligent discussion about sports betting, so this is a little different for their audience. This is one of my favorite podcasts so it was an honor.

The podcast was popular enough to have a second edition. This year the podcast grew from a segment to a full-blown podcast with the addition of Vegas Runner and Marco D’Angelo. We cover the following topics over the hour-long podcast:

  • Super Bowl Parties
  • Best Sportsbooks
  • Favorite Steakhouses
  • Stripclubs
  • Nightclubs
  • Shows (kinda)

This was incredibly fun to record and I’m honored once again. There were several times where I had to step away to keep the laughter off mic. Here are links to download and to listen online.