With the holiday season, places like Las Vegas and other casino hot spots are loaded with tourists and gamblers. Which makes it a great time to travel and have fun, bit also an opportunity to get some of those tourists dollars in your pocket at the poker tables. It’s also loaded with pros of course with the same idea, so the key is being on your A game. Recently a cabbie in Las Vegas found $300,000 in his cab, which were the winnings of a poker player who left the bag. The cabbie returned the money to the distraught poker player and all was well after he collected a reward. But that just gives you an idea of the money changing hands in places like Vegas in the poker rooms.
Many poker players these days hone their skills by playing online before venturing into the casinos. That’s a great stategy as you can learn a ton by practicing and searching the web to find the hottest tips from the williamhill poker blog and other poker resources. But then you have to take that practice into the real world where there’s a ton of money to be made.
But one thing you’ll have to learn is avoiding the distractions. Just look at the photo above and you’ll see one obvious pitfall. If you’re in Vegas to look at the eye candy or chase them around, then you’re better off avoiding the poker tables. If you’re there to make money and work the poker rooms, then babes and booze need to be off of your mind. It’s easy not to get distracted when you’re at home in front of your laptop, but games in the poker rooms are a different animal.
Then of course you can put your skills to the test in terms of pure poker play but also reading the table and your competition. With the holidays, it should be pretty easy to differentiate the serious gamblers and those on vacation, but that’s a skill you’ll need all of the time. Reading body language and guaging the strengths of other players is something you need to develope with real practice in real casinos.
So take advantage of the holiday surge and get out there.
New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and some of you have come up with the brilliant idea of taking your gal to Las Vegas to ring in the new year with a big party and hopefully some memorable sexy time. Like every other night of the year, there are tons of options in Vegas for New Year’s, and what you choose can have a huge impact on how much fun you have.
The most important decisions will be picking where you stay, and then where you will party. If you’re not limited by budget, then you’re going to want to pick the hottest hotels or maybe one of the newer high end hotels. The Cosmopolitan is the hottest hotel in town these days and you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful people. Also, there are new luxury hotels within the older hotels, like Nobu at Caesar’s Palace. Please like this offer a nice luxury upgrade over the typical Vegas experience. You may not be spending a ton of time in your room, but you want to make that time as enjoyable as possible, and most women appreciate luxury settings. Places like the Bellagio, Aria and Wynn are also excellent choices because the two of you will feel like you’re in a 24/7 party even while you’re hanging out in the casino or just playing poker, as the hotel itself is one of the Vegas hot spots.
Picking a hot hotel is also important for another reason. Unless you have a limo lined up to take you everywhere, you have to consider that taking cabs on New Year’s Eve will be a complete nightmare. The lines will be very long, and it will also be cold out there. Standing in a cab line for an hour is a total buzz kill, so we strongly recommend partying in the hotel where you’re staying. All of the bars and clubs will be full that night, so you don’t necessarily have to be at the hottest club. So if you can’t stay at a place like the Cosmo, you can still have a great time at a mid-level casino like New York, New York. Just find a place to eat and party there so you don’t have to deal with the cabs.
Another cool option includes the rooftop bars like Voodoo or Ghost Bar. These clubs aren’t at the hottest hotels, but watching the fireworks on these rooftop decks can make your whole evening. Also, keep this in mind for all the clubs – don’t plan on going without a table reservation. Yes, bottle service is expensive, but without it you and your date will be standing all night. That’s another guaranteed buzzkill. Also, at the hottest clubs, your table reservation will likely be way off the beaten path unless you have a solid connection with a host who will take care of you.
So be smart and really think through all of the details. You’re going to have fun just about anywhere so make sure to minimize things like waiting for cabs or bad tables that might derail your plans. Have fun!
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.
That answer to that is a simple one at first glance: it is headed into an era of regulation and accountability, one in which a Full Tilt Poker-like squandering of player funds will be just as impossible as the Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet insider cheating. An era in which the perpetrators of such schemes won’t have to be held accountable, because it will be impossible for anyone to do anything as vile and despicable as conning people out of their hard-earned money. At first glance, the future does seem bright, and the game may yet get there indeed, but those who know a thing or two about the inner workings of the online poker industry understand that the legalized/regulated sort of online poker utopia depicted above – if it exists at all – is really far down the road, so far down in fact, that the industry may never get there in its current shape and form.
Online poker regulation has been underway in Europe for a while now, and what has been made clear by the process thus far is that small operators, be they honest or crooked, do not have a seat at the table. This fact has been reflected in the dwindling poker room review sections of major online poker portals like pokerstop.com, which saw many of their listed operators evaporate, the sites fallen victim to this current period of transition. Online poker giants like PokerStar and a handful of others have managed to secure licenses in most of Europe’s regulated markets, but whereas before there was one major online poker compact where players from all over the continent and even the world could play at the same table, the post-regulation market has become a mosaic of smaller parts, a fragmented shadow of its former self, where raising proper player liquidity has become a major challenge.
Although the EU has generally been opposed to this market-fragmentation which – at the end of the day – is about favoritism towards local interests, but only if the outside operator looking to break into the market isn’t a PokerStars-like 500 lb gorilla, many of the member states have gone ahead implementing protectionist measures thus essentially denying smaller operators any semblance of a chance to ever peddle their games and promotions to their citizens.
In the US, the outlook isn’t any brighter for the small guys either. As the legalized area of the US online poker market is slowly but surely expanding, having started out in Nevada and having later secured a foothold in New Jersey too, it is increasingly obvious that the new playing ground is by no means level. Local big dogs are muscling in, but since they possess neither the technological prowess nor the required experience in the vert, they strike up deals and partnerships with the major online poker operators to put together a viable business. The two legal online poker operators (Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com) currently pushing the frontlines in Nevada have thus far only managed to shed a light on the incondite nature of the intra-state market, which – in its current state – is basically screaming for inter-state compacts.
Starting up an online poker business under these conditions is no longer a matter of joining an established network and putting up a website, although that may indeed turn out to be a good thing in the long run.
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.