Bellagio Poker Room still rules


The changes in Las Vegas have been stunning over the years. With the recent addition of City Center and also the hip and trendy Cosmopolitan hotel, the standard for the best spots in Vegas is constantly evolving.

Still, many of the established names still hold up even with the new competition. The Bellagio for example is still one of the best spots in Las Vegas, particularly if you’re looking for an upscale experience with a female friend.

It’s also still one of the top destinations for poker. The Bellagio Poker Room remains one of the best in town and the spot where many pros go to play. Everything is top notch, from the luxury surroundings to the dealers and the cocktails. It’s open 24/7 with around 30 tables. Of course you’re not coming here if you have a small bankroll. The minimums are higher than you’ll find in many other rooms on the Strip and you’ll see some huge pots here.

Then you have Bobby’s Room, the ultimate spot for poker high rollers. It’s described on the Bellagio website as follows: “Be one of the privileged few to get in on the high-stakes excitement inside our signature poker room. Decked out in winning style, this coveted experience pays tribute to its namesake, Bobby Baldwin, the 1978 World Series of Poker Champion and Chief Design & Construction Officer, President & CEO, CityCenter. Within its storied walls are tables providing maximum privacy and concentration.” If you’re heading to Las Vegas with a serious bankroll and an appetite for some white-knuckle poker, then this is your spot!

Of course many players love the online world of playing poker. It’s a completely different experience but many enjoy the convenience of being able to play at any time. It’s excellent for poker practice. But of course there are all sorts of issues as well like deposits. If you’re having trouble depositing funds on online poker sites you can read why credit cards are being declined can be read here. Hopefully we’ll get to the point where the regulators finally acknowledge this is a game of skill and even out the rules for everyone. Until then places like the Bellagio offer a real experience for poker that you really can’t match online.


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Picture of the Day: Jessica in the Vegas evening sun

Here’s a beautiful show of Jessica with the evening Las Vegas sun shining her amazing body.

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A Drink of the Week Special Report – A Few Off-the-Beaten Path Cocktails in Las Vegas

This week’s regularly scheduled Drink of the Week has been preempted by my Labor Day weekend trip to Las Vegas, during which I punctuated  lengthy bouts at downtown craps tables with excursions in search of Sin City’s finest cocktails.

My original plan had been to focus on a few of the city’s best regarded craft cocktail bars located mostly on the increasingly interesting, and more than a bit trendy, Fremont East section just a block or two away from my temporary digs up at the Golden Nugget.  The only problem was that, knowing that these joints — which cater more to locals than us obnoxious tourists — would be closed Sunday night, I planned for Monday, Labor Day evening, as being my main downtown bar crawl. More fool I as that part of the Fremont Street (Hipster) Experience was basically shut down for the entire second half of the Labor Day weekend. Improved Whiskey Sour at the Velveteen Rabbit.

Of course, this being Vegas, not everything was closed and I did manage to find a few cool to truly amazing places with a few truly amazing drinks. We’ll start with my absolute favorite of the group.

What you’re looking at right now is a view of my favorite drink out of several truly excellent cocktails I was privileged to slurp down during my Labor Day of the Lost. This is the Improved Whiskey Sour, which alongside lemon, egg white, and Old Granddad Bourbon, also contains Cherry Herring liqueur/brandy and cinnamon syrup.

As to what’s up with that stencil of the bunny, the place I enjoyed this at is the Velveteen Rabbit, about 1.2 miles or a $10.00 cab ride away from the Fremont Street area. While I’ve had some lovely variations on a whiskey sour in my day, this one lived up to it’s name with the cherry and cinnamon sweetness cutting through the lemon tartness in just the right way, even as the egg white provided that silky mouth feel you regular readers know I’ve become addicted to.

Almost equally delicious, and a lot more exotic in flavor, was the Green Bitch, which contains Green Chartreuse and an even more oddly tasty herbal liqueur, Strega, along with celery juice, simple syrup, more egg white (no wonder I love this place) and the crowning touch, curry bitters. Imagine the best version of a drink made with these kind of ingredients that you can — the curry is not overpowering and doesn’t taste at all like Indian or Thai or Japanese curry, yet it tastes a bit like curry. It’s pretty wonderful.

As for the Velveteen Rabbit itself — imagine the coolest, nicest, most inviting coffee house you’ve even been to and add really outstanding booze. 20-something sisters Christina and Pamela Dylag have got something with this place.


Image ALT text goes here.If the hipster bars of Vegas foiled my plans with their hep but tasteful decor and super-civilized hours, Frankie’s Tiki Room was the exact opposite. This place offers mega kitsch appeal both in terms of decor and beverages, delightfully super sweet juice-heavy beverages, and, get this, no closing time — ever! Practically next door by car and a near death experience on foot from the Velveteen Rabbit, the bar combines a drab exterior with a perfectly tiki’d up interior. My 2:00 a.m. repast was the Tiki Bandit, described as a “jackpot of rums, pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup, and blue Curacao.” No surprise that I left my digital camera AND my credit card there and had to retrieve them the next morning, a bit worse for wear.


Herbs and Rye website may be, as they used to say, “under construction” but the restaurant/bar is a pretty beautifully finished work of art — even if I misunderstood it’s Yelp entry and took a couple of buses there only to find them closed on my first try. A place truly steeped in classic cocktail history and on the cutting edge of today’s cocktail revival, take one step inside and you know you’re in good hands from the classy, comfortable decor. Indeed, one of my earnest young bartenders told me he was a close friend of voluble, New Jersey-bred superstar craft barkeep Steve Schneider, who I interviewed back in June. Just to add flavor, I overhead the 60-something guy next to me, wearing a crisp, white jacket on a 90+ degree evening, complaining into a cell phone about the Gucci handbag with $1700 inside that had been stolen from his car.

There’s also a great, very long happy hour (5-8 p.m., 12-3 a.m.) which won’t give you a discount on the classic cocktails but will get you half-off a really good steak and assorted wines and well beverages. What drinks did I get? Two tried and true ultra-classics I’ll eventually be doing right here at Drink of the Week, a Ramos Gin Fizz and a Brandy Crusta. I’d give you the ingredients, but they’re easy enough to look up and what I had contained all the time honored ingredients. These guys follow the classic path and they know what they’re doing.herbs and rye


Vegas comes to Ladbrokes with Launch of New Gaming Platform

craps table and dice adn chips has announced the launch of Ladbrokes Vegas, as part of a brand new partnership with Playtech.

Ladbrokes Vegas is the latest offering from the High Street gaming brand, offering players a diverse mix of online slots, table games, scratch cards and themed games on one, easy to navigate platform.

Visitors to Ladbrokes Vegas will find almost 70 online games, all of which can be tried for free in a ‘free play’ mode by both new and existing players. Around 30 additional games will also be available to Ladbrokes Mobile customers.

These games include 20 and 25 line play slot games, as well as a host of themed games from the world of sport, film and television.
The new Vegas platform includes popular games from Marvel Comics, which feature characters such as Spiderman, Wolverine, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America. Those games are complemented by games based on television classics such as “Little Britain,” “The Sopranos,” “The Pink Panther” and the hit movie “Rocky.”

The launch of Ladbrokes Vegas is the result of a new partnership between Ladbrokes and the online gaming services provider Playtech, with the new site the focus of a Ladbrokes television advertising campaign which will air in the UK from 26th August to 5th September 2013.
As part of the agreement, Ladbrokes will also have the option to add more of Playtech’s popular online games.

Speaking on the partnership, Ladbrokes CEO Richard Glynn said that the agreement with Playtech would allow the brand to “take a considerable step forward” in its digital ambitions.

Shay Segev, COO of Playtech, added, “We are very happy to commence the migration of Ladbrokes and offer it the Games Tab.

“Not only can operators see the entire player experience across all platforms and games, they can also use consumer behaviour analytics to maximise player value. This definitely indicates the future of online gaming.”


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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