Where are the best casinos outside of Las Vegas?

You may be looking for the thrills and glamour of a holiday spent gambling in glitzy casinos. So that means you have to go to Vegas, right? Well, no, actually. It doesn’t. There are loads of other casino holiday destinations that you can try out away from the most obvious choice.

Travelling long haul to spend time in the middle of a desert may not be how you want to enjoy your casino holiday. And although films and popular culture may have you believing Las Vegas is the only choice for the best casinos, we’ve found plenty of places for you to go in Europe, America and Canada.

If you want to stick in Europe then the Gran Escala project in Spain could be the right choice for you. You’ll find this amazing purpose built casino and holiday zone between Zaragoza and Barcelona. There are plenty of other theme parks, loads of casinos, shopping centres, hotels and restaurants offer a whole world of glitz, glamour and excitement on your doorstep – it’s already known as the Las Vegas of Europe.

Or if you’d rather go to a place with its own existing culture, history and excitement, as well as casinos, then London would be a great choice. There are loads of famous casinos, such a The Casino at The Empire London and, when you want a break from the gambling you can take in the fabulous shopping, restaurants, night life and, of course, the classic tourist attractions. London has it all for a perfect holiday, for those who want to gamble and those who want to have their fill of culture, history and style.

Talking of style, finesse and class, you can’t not visit Monaco, if you’re after a gambling holiday among the rich, famous and totally glamorous. The Monte Carlo Casino is one of the largest casino sites in the world – and it’s right next to the beach. There are loads of other attractions to visit when you get sick of soaking up the sun and taking your chances at the tables, including the Grand Theatre de Monte Carlo.

Wherever you end up jetting to on your casino holiday, make sure you spend the journey and any downtime in your hotel practicing your gambling skills on an online casino. There is no better way to hone your skills, win some cash (hopefully!) and kick back and relax. The great welcome bonus over at WinaGames is just one example of the great incentives some online casinos offer – give it a go, there’s nothing to lose!

So we’ve talked about European casino holidays and American casino destinations (with Las Vegas), now what about Canada? It may not call to mind images of glitz, glamour and casinos but it is actually a really popular place to go for a casino holiday. Canada has over 100 casinos, so no matter where you are in the vast country, you’re bound to find somewhere to test your skills.

Ontario, for example, has more casinos than any other Canadian state and it’s also easy to visit Niagara Falls where there are some casinos worth visiting as well as the beautiful countryside and natural attractions to take in. The Niagara Falls View Casino has around 3,000 slots and 150 table games and Casino Niagara has 2,400 slot machines and 79 casino table games. No matter whether you want to give Roulette a go or want to play Blackjack, Baccarat or Craps, you’ll find somewhere in Canada to fulfill your dreams of a fun, adventurous holiday of a lifetime, with added gambling!

  

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Heat versus Spurs in NBA Finals

While the San Antonio Spurs cruised through the Western Conference Finals against Memphis, the Miami Heat had everything they could handle against the size and youth of the Indiana Pacers. Naturally, throughout that seven-game marathon, the storyline seemed to change over and over again. We had the inevitable drama as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh took some heat for their play, but as usual (since their choke job two years ago against Dallas), the Heat delivered in crunch time. So now we have a pretty evenly matched NBA Finals, and serious betters will be doing a ton of research and then checking out online gambling site reviews to make their picks and get the latest and best odds, though in the end this one really comes down to your gut.

We have one dynasty led by Tim Duncan, and one potential dynasty led by Lebron James. With Duncan, he’s basically ceded the leadership of the team to Tony Parker, and their “Big Three” with Manu Ginobili have more to do with legacy. The Spurs are a deep team, with these veterans supported by some excellent young talent. The professionalism and experience of the Spurs sets them apart from some of the other teams the Heat have played, so many think they have a shot here.

In Miami, Lebron was ridiculed for being “Robin” to Wade’s “Batman” several years ago, and while we can all mock him for pairing up with superstars to win, there’s no doubt today that he has emerged as the leader of this team, as he matured quite a bit after the humiliation of the Dallas series. Meanwhile, the inconsistency of Wade and Bosh has to worry Heat fans, though like I said earlier, they always seem to rise up. Lebron also has revenge on his mind, so the motivation is definitely there against the Spurs.

So sit back and enjoy what should be a great series.

  

Oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker

Eric Raskin has put together an excellent oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker in Grantland, one of the seminal events in the poker phenomenon that has grown over the years in the US and around the world.

In 1970, Benny Binion put together a publicity stunt to promote his casino in downtown Las Vegas. He sent out invitations to Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim Preston, and the rest of the world’s greatest card players and called it the World Series of Poker. Seven of them played cash games at Binion’s Horseshoe for three straight days, and when it was over, Moss was named “champion” in a vote of his peers. The next year, six entrants paid $5,000 apiece for the right to play in a no-limit Texas Hold ‘em “freezeout” tournament, in which everyone started with the same number of chips and they played until one man had all the money. A year later, the buy-in doubled to $10,000. In the four decades since, the basic rules of the tournament and the amount of money required to enter have remained constant.

But the number of participants has not. The World Series of Poker main event surpassed 100 players for the first time in 1982. It cracked 200 in ’91, the first year in which the winner claimed a seven-figure cash prize. In 2002, 631 players entered, and the payout was $2 million.

Then came 2003. The 34th-annual World Series of Poker transformed the event into a pop-culture phenomenon. The numbers — by 2006, 8,773 players vied for a first-place prize of $12 million — illustrate how exponential the growth was. Poker went from a game understood by few and played in smoky backrooms to a television staple. In this 10th-anniversary oral history, more than 30 people who were part of the event explain what happened and what it meant for the poker business.

Check out the entire article for a very informative and entertaining read.

You can see the final hand above where Chris Moneymaker wins the tournament. Movies like “Rounders” from 1998 also helped fuel that game’s popularity, but that 2003 tournament helped fans the flames.

There are so many ways to enjoy gambling and poker these days at casinos around the country and online at Metro Play Casino and other great sites that it’s hard to think back to the days when most of the action was in Las Vegas and in back room poker games. Fortunately most people can now drive to a poker room or hone their skills online, and now the World Series of Poker is dominated by guys inspired by Chris Moneymaker. If you’re heading to Vegas and want to test your poker skills, you have to try your hand at this tournament.

  

Google Glass not welcome in Las Vegas?

Get ready for the Google Glass and camera revolution. We’re entering a new phase of the mobile technology revolution where everything around us or everything we observe can be recorded. We’ve seen how powerful video can be with people pulling out their smart phones when something happens, but with Google Glass and other devices that can constantly record what’s around you we’ve reached a new level.

Not surprisingly, casinos, hotels and other establishments in places like Las Vegas aren’t really thrilled about this prospect and are looking to ban the use of Google Glass. When you consider how this can impact casino gambling and help cheaters you immediately understand their concern. The casino gaming culture has changed somewhat over the years as casinos have proliferated outside of Las Vegas to America’s heartland and with all of the easy online options like www.ladbrokes.com, but certain things like security never change when there’s so much money at stake. Google Glass and similar devices like sunglasses with tiny cameras change all that.

But in Las Vegas it goes even further. Remember the adage that “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?” Well that whole idea is threatened as well as more and more aspects of life in Sin City can be recorded by visitors. In some ways this protects the patrons from themselves. Think about it – do you really want a video out there documenting your drunken weekend with the guys if you’re married or have a girlfriend? You can cause a lot of trouble by breaking out Google Glass during a bachelor or bachelorette party.

This of course extends beyond Las Vegas as well, as these cameras threaten privacy everywhere. Tools like Google Glass will open up huge possibilities for productivity and fun, but like with every great technological leap will also raise tons of questions as society adapts. Expect this to be a huge issue in the coming years.

  

Bet the House!

Bullz-Eye publisher Gerardo Orlando recently spoke with Richard Roeper about his new book – “Bet the House.” Roeper loves to gamble, so he came up with a great idea for a book after seeing Morgan Spurlock’s documentary “Super Size Me.” Roeper concocted his own 30-day challenge – he would bet at least $1,000 per day of his own money every day over a 30-day period. It’s a great read and we highly recommend it if you like to gamble. Roeper tries just about every form of wagering he could think of, from poker to a coin flip. He covers blackjack, slots, craps, sports betting, horse racing and much more, along with numerous trips to Las Vegas and some great stories about the Kentucky Derby.

His stories about some of the characters you run into when playing poker are hilarious.

BE: Some of the funniest parts of the book were the references to some of the other poker players you played with – the stereotypical, young poker player with the trucker hat, sunglasses, headphones. Talk a little bit about that because we’ve all run into those characters when we’ve played poker.

RR: Well yeah, it’s been about what…six, seven years now since the poker boom really hit, in the early 2000’s. So you know, you get a lot of these young players who, you know they were 14 or 15, watching the World Series of Poker and they have really been influenced by it, to me, in a comical way. Where they see these guys on TV with the sunglasses and the headphones and the Ed Hardy t-shirts and all that stuff. And they all think that they’re the next sensation and they’re so, you know, so serious and…unfortunately, it’s also given a lot of people license to really behave badly, in a boorish manner at the tables. And they don’t get it that if you’re Phil Hellmuth, you get away with it because you’ve got 11 bracelets and you’ve created a persona. If you’re some kid playing at a charity tournament in Chicago, you know, lighten up, get over yourself.

BE: Yeah, it’s hilarious when you run into those guys.

RR: I love messing with them.

  

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