Caesar’s Entertainment employees are reporting that O’Sheas will be closing on April 30, 2012. Culinary Union rules require a casino to give 60 days notice to a closure. Casesar’s Entertainment, parent company of O’Sheas, is reported to have announced the news to employees on March 1st. The company has not made a formal announcement to the media.
The news was expected, the timing was just unknown. The Linq project will take the place of O’Sheas. Imperial Palace, located just north of O’Sheas, is set for a major remodel and rebranding later this year or early in 2013.
O’Sheas offers beer pong in their large bar area. They also offer an affordable food court. O’Sheas is also unique in that their poker tables used for cash games are located at the front of the casino in the middle of the party. Most patrons see the poker tables before anything else. This makes for some wild games. O’Sheas is also known for the worst blackjack in Las Vegas. All of their blackjack games pay 6-5 on blackjack, including their 8 deck shoes.
While the bad gambling will not be missed, the party atmosphere will be missed. The new Margaritaville casino next door is likely to take some of the party amenities from O’Sheas, and in the long term the Linq project will provide Las Vegas visitors with a new Las Vegas Strip experience.
It is that time of the year. It is time to plan for the summer poker tournament season in Las Vegas. There are five major poker tournaments this summer. That does not take into account the extra action the daily poker tournaments are going to get with the influx of poker players.
The Orleans Open will kick off the summer tournament season. The Orleans Open runs from May 19th through May 27th. All events will start at 2pm. The Orleans Open kicks off with a $225 No Limit Hold’em tournament on May 19th. There will be a total of five NLHE tournaments, three Omaha High/Low and one HORSE tournament. Events are scheduled as two day tournaments. If the past year’s HORSE event structure stays the same, it will be a very long tournament. Buyins range from $225 up to the $540 Main Event on May 27th.
Even though Binions released their Binions Classic tournament schedule two weeks ago, they still have last year’s schedule on their website. The link in the title goes to a Two Plus Two thread with the schedule posted. The Binions Classic will run between May 25th and July 8th. Most events start at noon. This is a change from last year, where most events started at 2pm. There are many events besides No Limit Texas Hold’em. There are several Pot Limit High/Low Omaha tournaments, a Seven Card Stud High/Low tournament and two HORSE events. Some of the NLHE events are 4 max or 6 max. Buyins range from $100-$1000. The nightly tournaments tend to draw large fields after the tournaments so you might want to check those out too.
The Golden Nugget will be running the Grand Poker Series between June 2nd and July 4th. Most days will have two tournaments. Each day will offer a No Limit Hold’em event and a non NLHE event. The non NLHE events include Pot Limit Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha High/Low, 2-7 Triple Draw, Omaha High/Low, Seven Card Stud, Razz, Seven Card Stud High/Low, mixed games and other varieties. Note that the non hold’em events are $194+$46. This is about 24% rake. Most events start at noon, which will conflict with Binions across Fremont Street. Last year the events started two hours apart.
The Venetian Deep Stack will run between May 24th and July 15th. There are at least two events daily at noon and 7pm, with some days also having a 4pm event. Those that enjoy non hold’em games are just about out of luck. There are two $600 HORSE events, two $600 Omaha High/Low events, and a $600 Pot Limit Omaha tournament. All other events are No Limit Hold’em including all noon and 7pm events.
Last, but certainly not least, is the World Series of Poker. The 43rd World Series of Poker will be held at Rio. The event runs from May 27th through July 9th which is the last day 1 for the Main Event. Buyins range from $1000 up to $1,000,000. While there are many No Limit Hold’em events, there are also many Omaha and Stud games. There is also an 8 game and 10 game mix in addition to the typical HORSE events found at most tournaments.
I will probably be playing many of the non hold’em Binions Classic events. Before that, I will hit a couple of the Omaha or HORSE events at the Orleans Open. Hopefully the smaller events continue to draw.
The Riviera in Las Vegas has made some major improvements since coming out of bankruptcy. Riviera is going in a direction that few Las Vegas Strip casinos have chosen to take. Riviera has added some decent table games and made the rules more player friendly. A convention room was converted into The Strip’s only bingo room. They have also improved the buffet and as I posted about earlier, the R Steakhouse is excellent and a great value. The hotel has also undergone a renovation.
Improved Table Games
Going against what other Las Vegas Strip operators are doing, Riviera is going back to the old school Las Vegas mentality. Give the player a good game and a good value, and they will return. They will also tell others about it like I am doing here.
Riviera has added a Pai Gow and Baccarat pit. One of the interesting Pai Gow games was Commission Free Pai Gow. In exchange for not paying commission, the house pushes on a queen high pai gow. Riviera also offers single zero roulette and a single deck blackjack game that pays 3-2 on blackjack, which is unheard of on the Las Vegas Strip. In exchange for getting 3-2 on a dealt blackjack, players can only double on 10 or 11. It is still the best single deck blackjack game on The Las Vegas Strip.
Riviera also offers some low limit table games in video form. There is a Shoot to Win Video Craps game. There are also three video blackjack machines, one of which has surrender, pays 3-2 on blackjack and stands on all 17′s. Both of these games have $2 minimums. There are other less player friendly blackjack games with a $1 minimum.
The most interesting change is the addition of 1000 times craps. This means that a player can bet up to 1000 times their line bet when taking odds. The table minimum is $5 and the max odds bet is $5000. While this is mostly a gimmick, at some point a high roller is going to take advantage of this deal. The house advantage when taking full odds works out to be less than 1/1000th of a percent. If a player bets the don’t pass or don’t come, they could lay $6000 on the 6 or 8, $7500 on the 5 and 9, and $10,000 on the 4 or 10. That would be some incredible variance with swings into the hundreds on thousands of dollars.
One other nice addition Riviera made was merging their box office, player’s club, and cashier all into one station. Now a player that needs a player’s card, a show ticket, and/or a cashout, can do it all in one central place at the casino cage.
Riviera is at a distinct disadvantage being at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip with only Circus Circus within a reasonable walking distance. They needed to do something to give them an edge over the other casinos. I feel that they are on the right track in doing that.
It is that time of the year. We are just a couple of days away from the Super Bowl. It is the one day that even the most conservative people do not mind putting a few dollars on a side and cheer for a team. For many though, it is the last time to bet on their favorite sport for six or seven months. It is one massive binge like Mardi Gras. Bet all that you can, because there will be no football betting again until August. That is why the sportsbooks have come up with crazy, silly bets. If you are going to end the NFL season with a gambling binge, you might as well find the craziest bets out there.
A bet with a + means that the bet is an underdog. For every $10 that you wager, you will win 10% of that number. If a bet is +150 and you bet $10, you will win $15 plus your original $10 investment. If the bet shows a -, the bet is a favorite. You must lay 10% of that number to win $10. If a bet is -150, you will have to lay $15 for every $10 that you would like to win. If you win, you also get your wager back. The numbers are actually based on $100 wagers so $100 on a +150 bet would win $150, a -150 would require a $150 lay to win $100. If a bet says EV, it is an even money bet.
5Dimes offers quite a few interesting prop bets on the Super Bowl. The coin toss bets are all just -101. These bets include which team wins the coin toss, whether the player that calls the coin toss calls it right, and whether it is heads or tails. There is also a -105 bet on whether the team that wins the coin toss wins the Super Bowl. There are also several musical bets:
Will Kelly Clarkson’s National Anthem be longer than 94 seconds?
Will Kelly Clarkson omit/forget any part of the National Anthem (includes any unplanned pause)?
At the end of the National Anthem, how many military style aircraft will fly over?
5 or more +300
4 or less -420
What color will Madonna’s hair be at halftime?
More than half blond -675
Half or less blond +425
Will Madonna wear visible fishnet stockings at any point during the halftime show?
What audio equipment will Madonna use?
Headset or clip on mic -280
Handheld or stand up mic +200
NBC Production Prop Bets
I always love the announcer prop bets. When Al Michaels in announcing, anything can happen. He is never shy about hinting at sports betting and I am sure this Super Bowl will be no different. While he is not in charge of any cameras, I am sure he knows people are betting on the production. What are punters hoping for NBC to do?
Who will be shown first on TV, Archie or Peyton Manning? (If both are shown at same time, the first name mentioned wins)
Will Al Michaels say “Miracle” during 1st quarter?
Will Al Michaels or Chris Collinsworth say “Tebow” between the kickoff and end of first quarter?
The Tebow line has moved. When I wrote about this earlier in the week the “No” was -170. A lot of money is pouring in on the “No”. I like the value of +170 on yes. I have a feeling the embarrassing game he played at New England will come up. Hopefully this will be the last time we hear about Tebow. If Tebow wins more than five games next year, I will be shocked.
Will Gisele Bundchen be shown during the Super Bowl?
I had to Google who she even was. She is Tom Brady’s wife. I would assume that she gets shown at some point, especially if the game is close towards the end of the game.
How many times will Robert Kraft be shown during the Super Bowl?
More than 3.5 +105
Less than 3.5 -145
Robert Kraft owns the Patriots. Unless this is a close game, the under is going to win here.
How many times will Peyton Manning be shown during the Super Bowl?
Over 3.5 +110
Under 3.5 -150
If you are into these kind of prop bets, I think there is a lot of value in the over here. That is especially true is this game is close.
Who will be shown more?
Robert Kraft -105
Peyton Manning -135
Peyton Manning is a near lock here. I have a feeling that he will be talked about non stop during this game. They are playing it in his stadium after all.
Will there be a Gatorade dunking before the final whistle blows?
Who will Obama pick to win the Super Bowl?
Thew only reason I can think of why the Patriots are favored is because of Biden’s error in San Francisco where he predicted the Giants would win. Biden confused the San Francisco baseball team with the football team. I think there is good value in the Giants here. I think the president plays politician here and takes the bigger city with more votes during the election year.
Will the Dow Jones close up the Monday after the Super Bowl?
I am not sure who would take either side of this bet. I am sure there is a better angle on index futures or options.
I am only including BetOnline because they have some interesting bets. Make sure to do your own research before playing anywhere. In addition to the bets below, BetOnline has several juice free coin toss bets.
How many plays from the Super Bowl will rank higher than this Blake Griffin dunk on ESPN’s Top Ten Plays of the Week?
Over 2.5 +135
Under 2.5 -160
Why will the first missed field goal of the game be “no good”?
Wide right +145
Wide left +150
No missed field goals in Super Bowl +150
Like other prop bets, the house advantage on this bet is close to 25%. If I had to bet, I go for the no missed field goal bet.
How much money will be wagered on the Super Bowl at registered sports books in Nevada?
Yes, you can even bet on how much money other people are betting on the Super Bowl. I like the over.
Politically Incorrect Wagers
What will be the race of the player to score the first touchdown?
What will be the race of the Super Bowl MVP winner?
This is a first. I have never seen a racial wager on the Super Bowl.
How many tweets will come from the Twitter account @DarrenRovell between 12:01am and 11:59pm on Super Bowl Sunday?
Over 149.5 EV
Under 149.5 -130
This is the first time I have ever seen a social media bet as well. At least this is a bit more politically correct.
What color will the Gatorade dunking be? If there is no dunking, the bet is a push.
Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first?
Team Owner +500
Does not thank anyone +250
Super Bowl Ratings Prop Bets
How many average viewers will the Super Bowl have?
Over 117 Million -140
Under 117 million EV
What will the rating be for the Super Bowl?
Over 47.5 -110
Under 47.5 -130
How many viewers will stream the Super Bowl online?
Over 1.5 million -120
Under 1.5 million -120
I like all of the overs on the ratings. This is easily going to be the most bet on game in the history of the NFL. I think there will be so many people watching this game, both on TV and online, that it will blowout all ratings records.
There are some of the craziest Super Bowl bets out there. I will probably only bet a couple of these props. I am going for the Giants because after week 16 I bet that the field would win the Super Bowl. The field was every team except for the Packers and Patriots.
My Super Bowl Prediction: Giants 31, Patriots 20
I have won my Super Bowl team bet every year since 2004 except for last year. Good luck with all of your Super Bowl bets, unless you are going for the Patriots or want Robert Kraft to be shown more than Peyton Manning.
This post is for informational and entertainment purposes. It is just to show just how absurd some Super Bowl wagering is. Yes, people actually bet on all of these silly Super Bowl wagers. Most Super Bowl prop bets have massive house advantages compared to straight bets. It is best to avoid all of them unless you feel that you have some sort of angle or just want to have something crazy to cheer for.
I have been stuck on my writing about the online poker industry. Nothing has inspired me lately. I decided to take a drive up into the high desert north of Las Vegas up US95. About 30 miles past the edge of Las Vegas there is a city called Indian Springs. The city exists off of what seems to be mostly government jobs. There is a large prison a few miles south of Indian Springs. Creech Air Force Base is connected to the city. Indian Springs is also the closest development to the Nevada Test Site. On Wednesday, I stopped in a tiny casino in Indian Springs.
At first glance, it looked like just another dive bar with gambling. I like what others would describe as dive bars though. I went to the bar to order a beer and the bar was very nice. There are large TV’s and newer video poker games embedded in the bar top. The clientele was as you would expect in rural Nevada. They were very friendly. They all knew each other and were having a great time watching an automotive bloopers show on the Speed Network.
As with anywhere, the beer is comped if you play. The games on the bar tops were terrible though. I decided to go hit the casino floor and see what was out there. For a while I played video Ultimate Texas Holdem. I ended up hitting a straight flush so I played the other multi-player game which is six deck blackjack. Unlike some of the Shuffle Master blackjack machines, this one paid 3-2 on blackjack. I won a little playing that machine as well.
The slot attendant was very friendly. I took good care of her and wondered if that was common there at all. The casino was nearly empty so the service was great. I have a feeling the service is good no matter what, it just seemed like that kind of place.
There is a caged in sportsbook that is only open a few hours a day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. During football season it seems it is open daily but two weeks before the Super Bowl I am sure there is little in the way of sports action. There was also a restaurant but I did not eat there.
If you feel the need to get out of town it is a nice drive of four lane speed limit 70 from Las Vegas. The highway has mountains on both sides of the road and the western slops were snow capped. It did not help me get over my writer’s block, but at least it gave me something to write about and a fun night out. It also gave me a small win to cover the gas and time.
There is a new craps game that has been introduced in Las Vegas. For those players that want a break from the table game of craps or do not want to bet the $5-10 minimum required at the tables, this game is for you. Aruze Gaming has brought this “Shoot to Win” Craps game to Las Vegas.
This game is not like the previous video craps games that I have seen. The last time that I saw a video craps game it was in Deadwood, SD. The game was Hot Shot Dice. The player that was shooting would roll a trackball similar to the video game Centipede to roll the dice. The game was actually “Never Ever Craps” which meant there was no don’t bet and all numbers were points except 7′s.
Unlike the previous video craps game, Shoot to Win Craps actually uses two dice. My wife refers to them as “Fuzzy Dice” but I think they are more like the Dice Game on The Price is Right. Players make their wagers on a touch screen. Players have 20 seconds to make their wagers. Once the timer is up, the player that is the shooter acts. The dice start vibrating on the felt and when the shooter is ready, they hit the plunger in front of them. To use another game show as an analogy, it is like “Press Your Luck”. You may find yourself yelling “No Whammies, No Whammies” before you press the plunger. If you take more than 20 seconds the machine will roll for you.
Players can bet from both the pass line and don’t pass line. Players can also continue with come and don’t come bets. Players can bet up to 5 times odds from the pass side, and lay up to 5 times from the don’t side. The don’t side is laying 5 times the actual bet, not times the actual win like table games would be. Shoot to Win Craps also offers hop bets, field bets where 12 only pays double, lay bets, place to lose, place to win and buy. The standard prop bets are also offered including any craps, horn, and individual craps and eleven bets.
This machine is great for those just learning craps. There is no rush and it is easy to learn. Each bet on the board has a help feature associated with it. This is also a good game to play if you want to have a little fun at a slow pace, especially if the drink service is good. I have seen this machine at several MGM properties including Monte Carlo and NYNY. I have also seen it at Riviera and at Red Rock. In most cases, points are not earned, but you should still use your player’s card. Your play is still being tracked as if it was a table game so your betting patterns will be rated. Riviera gave me a comp to their steakhouse based off of the play associated with the first time I played this game. I was betting high for this machine, but I killed it betting from the don’t so it was mostly a freeroll on the large bets I made.
While the minimum bet was $1-2 where I have found it, the max bet ranges from $25 to $200. I cannot imagine this is a good game for high rollers. It is too slow and too social of a game for serious gamblers. I would also imagine that betting large amounts of money on this game would draw a lot of attention from passersby and maybe even from the eye in the sky. You will also become annoyed by the voices from the machine that yell things like “You can be the shooter” and “Everyone gets a chance to roll the dice”.
The Vegas Club hotel has quietly closed. The Vegas Club is located on Fremont Street between Binions and Plaza. Tamares Group owns the Vegas Club. Tamares also owns the recently remodeled Plaza across Main Street from Vegas Club. The group also owns The Western Casino that closed last week. The Western’s hotel had been boarded up for years.
Unlike the neighboring Binions property that closed their hotel, Vegas Club’s hotel is actually being remodeled, albeit very slowly. On high occupancy weekends some of the rooms actually reopen. This occurred during the Consumer Electronics Show and New Year’s Eve although for most of the last two months the hotel has been completely dark.
The Plaza Hotel has not been meeting capacity. There have been a lot of empty rooms in both the Plaza and Vegas Club hotels. Guests that make their reservations at Vegas Club are typically bumped to the Plaza unless there are enough reservations to fill the Plaza. The Vegas Club is essentially only being used as an overflow.
Vegas Club recently laid off a portion of their staff. It was not just the hotel that saw cuts, employees that work the casino floor also lost their job or saw their hours cut drastically. These layoffs do not include the 90 or so employees that lost their jobs at Western last week.
Vegas Club Valet Closed Permanently
Tamares Group invested $35 million in the Plaza remodel and are spending an undisclosed amount on the Vegas Club remodel. While the company is not going anywhere, it is obvious that they are currently struggling. The Vegas Club has large areas that are not used at all. There is an abandoned bingo hall that has been a slot area, nightclub, sportsbook and a keno lounge, all of which flopped. The back bar area has been completely closed with all of the alcohol removed. The mostly abandoned front desk and valet area are in that area too. The Vegas Club valet closed before the hotel did.
There is no time frame for when the Vegas Club’s hotel will reopen full time. The remodel does not have a publicly disclosed cost or completion date.
The Riviera Casino in Las Vegas issued me a comp to their new R Steak and Seafood for my birthday. It was a surprise comp because I hardly ever go in there, but I took them up on their offer. I saw many reviews that were positive on websites like Yelp so I had some higher expectations. I must say that they met and exceeded everything that I read.
It was a very busy Saturday night. It seemed that the rush took them by surprise. There was an agriculture type convention in town that seemed to have let out around the time we chose for dinner. Since we had a comp they were able to get us seated even though there was a long wait. It sounded like having to wait was rare, it was poor timing on our part.
The design and ambiance was top notch but the clientele were every day people. People were dressed at every spectrum. There were coat and ties, and there were people in overalls. This place was definitely come as you are.
We ordered a bottle of wine that was perfect for our tastes. My wife and I started with the Miso Buttered Seared Scallops and Lobster Bisque. While we waited, a baguette was delivered to our table with three different types of butter. All three were delicious. The appetizers came and they were excellent, the scallops were perfect.
Our steaks came and were of excellent flavor and quality. The spice from the rub was a little strong so if you do not like rubs on a steak you can request it without. The sauteed mushrooms and potatoes were great as well. We ordered the swan desert which is a cream puff with ice cream and whipped cream. The cream puff was bland, but the ice cream and whipped cream tasted great.
The food was of very high quality, something that might surprise many people familiar with the Riviera. What was even more surprising was the cost. The 6 ounce filet was $20, the 18 ounce bone in ribeye was $26. Considering the quality, these were excellent prices. The appetizers and soups were around $10 and the side dishes were $5.
The service was great, attentive and elegant. The presentation was impressive from every angle. Management made sure the guests were happy and the wine glasses were never empty.
If you are looking for a great steak dinner without having to pay a fortune for it, I highly recommend R Steak and Seafood at Riviera. I am not a restaurant reviewer but have tried many steakhouses in Las Vegas. There is no better restaurant for the price in the city. R Steakhouse and Seafood easily rivals restaurants that charge twice as much.
– The prices have gone up about 20-30% since I wrote this review. The quality is still there though and I feel R Steak and Seafood is still a great value. There are many locals coupons floating around for a free bottle of house wine with the purchase of two entrees and there is a Groupon available during many weekday nights.
Living in Las Vegas has its ups and downs, especially if you gamble. My business has kept me very busy lately so I have not had much of a chance to play poker in the last two months. I typically play Seven Card Stud High/Low and Omaha High/Low. Available online poker for US players has little in the way of those games. Playing live poker got old. It is too slow for me and dealing with some of the grumpy old men takes away from the fun. So instead of playing poker, sometimes I go out and play some video poker and have a couple of drinks. That is especially true if I have been working late. I have had a nice run lately.
Here are some screenshots from big wins. One was a dealt royal flush playing Ultimate X. It was my biggest win. That was just a week or so ago. The others were almost as much fun. Most of these screenshots were taken at my local PT’s Pub. The Let it Ride screenshots are from the Vegas Club downtown. The slot machine was at Red Rock. I might play a slot machine once every year or so when I am running good. That made me extra impressed by that win.
Treasure Island has come up with a great promotion to help increase traffic in their poker room. Starting in January, the Treasure Island poker room will start paying players up to $10 an hour just to play poker. This is essentially a prop program that appears to be running at least through March. The offer may be extended if it is well received by players. A player simply signs in with their player’s card at the poker podium and when they leave the player signs out. This prop type program will replace the weekly freerolls and 25 hour wheel spin. The high hand promotion will continue to be offered. Players will be required to play cash games 1/3 no limit or 3/6 fixed limit and higher to qualify. Tournaments will not qualify towards the promotion. The weekly pay tiers are as follows:
Play 10 hours earn $50
Play 20 hours earn $125
Play 30 hours earn $200
Play 40 hours earn $300
Play 50 hours earn $400
Play 60 hours earn $599
(Note that TI changed the original offer and made it so that you had to play 60 hours to receive $10 an hour.)
Cash will be paid weekly to players. Players will also receive $2 an hour in food comps while they are earning the cash hourly rate. This is a great promotion. As long as it does not destroy game quality, it is hard to think of a better place to play while this promotion is running.