My attempted guide to live low stakes poker in Vegas
Thought this could be handy to some people heading out there, especially at this time of year. I'm a BE micro stakes donk who plays online for fun with some casino experience in London, UK, decided to head out to Vegas to see the sights and blow some money on live poker for the experience. Spent some time googling before going because there are so many rooms that it can be tricky choosing one to play at, here's my take on it. I went for 10 days and got back yesterday, only playing 1/2 and a few donkaments. Some tips before going - most of the rooms are pretty similar in terms of quality, mostly tourists/old men with one or two decent young players. Each room will run different promos of some kind or another, I would recommend downloading the 'Bravo Poker Live' app and spending 15 minutes or so having a flick through the poker rooms - you can star the ones you are interested in plus keep an eye out for other games you might want to play (few rooms ran 1/1 PLO for example). It also shows live wait list and how many tables are running that I found to be pretty accurate. The app also details all of the promotions that the poker rooms run, for example how much you get paid for a royal etc. Also make sure you sign up for the reward cards, it's free to do, takes a few minutes and pretty much everywhere will give you $2 an hour towards food. Also - all drinks are free everywhere, including alcohol! You just need to tip the cocktail waitresses. Ballys I really liked it here and turned up one morning before going Grand Canyon and it had the most insane game I've ever seen - they run a (n optional) $20 straddle from any position and some guy and his friend were doing it for like an hour straight. Good cocktail service and friendly dealers, normally was at least two tables going during the day, definitely the softest games around without a notable absence of pros/crushers, I think this is because they don't do promos. They do, however, give you a free buffet when you play for fours hours or more which was awesome and I took advantage of a lot of times before eating and going elsewhere. MGM I liked this place because of the promo it ran - if you hit a full house you get a ticket into a raffle (they just put all the tickets into a box) and draw a ticket once an hour, if your ticket gets pulled you win $200 in cash. I was lucky enough to win it once. They also have a good full house promo thing where they put particular full houses up on the wall (for example 555TT and JJJ99) and you win a certain amount if you hit them (it was $1500 the last day I played). Pretty active room with a lot of tourists (especially crazy on Saturday night after some MMA fight or something happened in the hotel) but I did notice a lot of the same guys sipping water playing through the early hours feeding on the fish. Overall though a decent room plus you get $2 an hour in comps for food that you can use at Starbucks as well as other places in the casino. Side note - I've never seen so many insanely hot women in one place. The poker room is just off from a nightclub and you get a steady stream of some of the world's most beautiful women stumbling out wearing next to nothing on weekend evenings. Someone at our table actually paid a guy $20 at the table next to us to move so he had a better view! Planet Hollywood The atmosphere in here is unlike anywhere else, tunes are pumping with 10/10 birds dancing next to naked on the Blackjack tables opposite, was like playing in the middle of a nightclub. There isn't really a room as such, it's just a load of tables in the centre of the casino. Was one of the busier places, often 10+ tables running in evenings. This is the kind of place that attracts guys buying in for the maximum wearing jewel encrusted watches on both wrists and showing their buddies sitting behind them their cards before shoving on a bluff. The music brings a very noticeable tempo to the game, people play and bet insanely quickly and nearly everyone was drinking booze in the evenings, not really the place for old man nits. A guy hit a royal when I was there and got $500. Alas, the atmosphere got to me and I ended up getting pissed as a fart and dropping a lot so be careful if you get caught up in atmospheres, great action room though, probably my favourite 'unique' experience. Excalibur Cool room that did cheap tourneys ($45) a few times a day that turn into 5BB shove fest after an hour or so. Easy room with a lot of drunk tourists, I actually regret not coming back here and checking it out more. They do a thing where if your aces get cracked you get a free spin on a 'wheel of fortune' type thing - most of the prizes are $25 but you have the chance to win a few hundred. Seemed easy level of play with little or no pros/regs Mandalay Bay Only played here for a few hours, nice room next to a huge sportsbook but the tournament structure was horrible - I stupidly registered 30 minutes late and got like 10BB if that. Cash was full of people playing at the hotel and limping every hand but I only played a few hours on like a Wednesday morning so not sure what it's like in the evenings. Flamingo Action! Didn't play much but seemingly everyone drinks and the games are fast and loose, definitely worth checking this place out. They run 1/1 PLO too but I couldn't get a game going when I was there Caesars Palace I turned up here at like 5am one morning and gave it a go, left after 30 minutes. Table was full of absolute beasts with $1k + stacks, extremely noticeable step up in quality compared to other rooms and not just marginal either, I was well out of my depth. It was a really nice room to play in and the casino was cool, I was going to give it another go but didn't get around to it, I assumed there must be a lot of fish if this many reg pros were playing. Bellagio Really nice room and probably the most elegant casino in Vegas, twice tried getting in a game here but the waitlist was like an hour long both times (38 people!) so gave it a miss. Twice I showed up and gawped at Doyle Brunson like a tourist, also saw Negreanu as well. Looked like a lot of big pros really do play here, they have a large selection of games including mixed and high stakes. Kinda regret not sticking around and playing here just in the hopes of getting a table change somewhere near Bobby's room so I could lean over and watch those guys for an hour or so, I suspect I'm not the only one thinking like that. FYI 1/3 is the minimum game here. Golden Nugget This is downtown so about a 30 minutes bus ride from the strip depending on traffic. Quite a lot of tables in a tight room and it's the only poker room on Downtown (I think? Binions only had tourneys running IIRC) so you get a lot of drunk tourists wandering in off of the Freemont street show. I actually had my best session here after shoving the turn with a J on a 9TQK board and getting called by two people without a straight, this should tell you everything you need to know about the calibre of play. Well hopefully this gives people an idea of what they're heading into, happy to answer other Vegas specific questions if anyone has any, I hardly slept and smashed the shit out of the city for a week so feel I picked up quite a bit about how it works now. Overall the games are very easy compared to your average 1/2 in London for example. Best week of my life, fuck coming home :(
Got into LAS on a non-stop from my home airport at about 10:30pm. Ordered a Lyft when I was approaching baggage claim and by the time I got to 2M where the rideshare is for terminal one the ride was there. Arrived at Vdara after a ~18 min ride (normal strip traffic). Staying on a comp, got upgraded (no sandwich) to an Executive Corner Suite which was a nice room with a full sized kitchen and 1.5 baths. Went out to check the Bellagio Conservatory, walk the strip with the people I was with. Conservatory is a rotating floral display that's huge and always interesting with cool displays and fun themes. It's free and always fun to check out, I recommend it if you're in the area. Ended up at Haute Doggery at the link, ate a Billionaire dog which is delicious as always. On the way back to Vdara stopped at Aria for some green chip BJ. Ended up slightly at about 230am went back for bed. Up early the next day at 8:00am. By 8:30am we were at Wicked Spoon for their brunch and bottomless drinks. It's 53$ (before tax and tip) for all you can eat and all you can drink miller lite, champagne, bloody marys or house wine. We went with champagne, but they let you switch if you get tired of your choice. There's something about Wicked Spoon servers; they are always so nice, friendly and boy do they give you a lot of booze! They will just bring the whole bottles of champagne to the table so you don't have to constantly ask for refills. Food is of good quality, Bacchanal is better overall quality wise but for value and booze I think Wicked Spoon wins overall. Stand outs were their bone marrow and roast sirloin which was cooked to a perfect rare. Note: aside from some sushi/sashimi there's no crab/shrimp at this brunch buffet, which is one of my only complaints about the place. Wicked spoon gets very busy on weekend brunch, so go early unless you're okay with a wait. By the time we left at ~11am the line was probably 150 people long. After wicked spoon walked back through Aria to place bets on the Kentucky Derby and the NBA playoff games. One of us ended up picking Justify, so that was a fun win. I ended up having a decent amount on the Celtics straight up at +375 (plus another Celtics +9 bet) so I ended up doing well on the day sports betting. Long lines at the sports book even at 11:15am due to the Derby. After that went to pool at Vdara. Despite being smaller and at prime time, finding chairs was not hard. Staff very nice and came around with free ice waters. Bought some beers at the pool bar and they were not too bad price wise: about 6$ which for a bar at a pool on the strip is pretty dang good. Went up to the room, changed real quick and then went down to play some more green chip BJ at Aria. Played okay and ended down slightly. Nice dealers and good drink service. Be careful on your table selection though: I saw a 50$ table that only paid 6:5! After that went back up to the room at Vdara to watch the end of the Cs game and catch a nap. After the nap woke up and got ready. We had tickets to Opium a new Spiegelworld show (the people behind Absinthe) for the 8pm showing at the Cosmo. Got excellent discount codes from vitalvegas.com so the tickets were only about ~27$ each which is totally worth it. Show was great: It's a small theater and definitively a variety show. Mix of humor, contortionist, singing, drag, dancing, juggling, and more. Is part of a newer wave of smaller, more intimate, more "hipster" shows popping up on the strip like the Great Miss Behave's Gameshow I saw a few months earlier. After the show took a Lyft downtown. Downtown was INSANELY busy. By far the busiest I've ever seen it. I've been there for the Superbowl, March Madness, etc. and I've never seen downtown like that. Couldn't get a table downtown for BJ it was so busy! Went to Oak and Ivy at the Container park which is an amazing whiskey/cocktail bar I always recommend and the drinks were excellent. After that took a Lyft back to the strip. Were hungry so ate at Shake Shack at NYNY which is a decent and quick burger. I remember going to the original Shake Shack back in NYC so it was not anything too exotic but a solid burger non the less. I got the Shack Stack which has a cheese-stuffed fried portabello mushroom on top of a burger. Very good. After that some more green chip BJ at Aria were I ended up slightly up on the session, but down a little on the trip from the previous session in the day. Because of the Cs coming up big though, I ended up quite a bit on the trip. Went to bed and woke up at 7am and out the door at 7:45am. Had a flight at 9:15am. The last few times I've flown out of Terminal 1 C gates they've had the "everyone is pre-check" policy which ends up taking a bit longer for more me since I already have pre-check and it just makes the line longer. Took about 20 mins to get through security, so timing was no problem for my flight home. Takeaways: Vdara was very nice and a good location overall but it is a bummer there's not a lot of food options without having to walk. Vegas is all in on the Vegas Golden Knights and it's cool to see. All hotels/casinos had staff wearing jerseys and all the marquees had messages for the Knights, even casinos that compete with MGM. (MGM is a part owner of the arena they play in) Downtown is becoming more and more popular. Each time I'm there it's more crowded. I think this is a good thing because hopefully it spurs more development downtown but also a little worrisome because I worry it will bring the bad parts of the strip downtown like increasing prices, worse gambling odds, and pricing out locally owned restaurants and bars. It's a busy summer so my next trip will not be till August! Thanks for reading!
It’ll come as no shock to you that Las Vegas is not the most pleasant city in the world. From the insane cabs that won't hesitate to steamroll you right into the ground, to the borderline-toxic stench wafting from the sewer grates, it's easy to see why the place wouldn't top too many travel lists. But as I sit in this cheap hotel room about two hours from the Strip, typing with the one arm I have left, I know for a fact that I will never return to Las Vegas. “Hey, hey!” Reggie said as I walked up to the gate. “There he is! what took you so long?” Mike said, giving me a high five. We had been planning this for months. My friend Danny was getting married, and we had decided to have the bachelor party in Vegas. Behind Danny’s back, we had all chipped in to book a suite at the Bellagio hotel. We were obviously pumped for a weekend of slots, booze, and girls. “Where's Danny?” I asked, dropping my carry-on. “Went to the bathroom”, Reggie said, pulling a handful of chips out of a bag under his chair , “ he’ll be back in a minute”. Mike leaned into me and Reggie, and lowered his voice. “Alright boys, final check. Reggie, you booked the room, right?” He blinked a couple of times and scratched his stubbly chin. “Uhh… yeah”. “Awesome. Mitch, you got our rental car?” I held up my receipt. “ Of course”. “Alright!” Mike said a bit too loudly. “Alright what?” A familiar voice rang out from behind us. I turned around to see Danny walking towards us, shaking water off his hands. His khaki pants and button up shirt putting to shame my sweat pants and faded hoodie. “Jesus. Nicole must really be changing you, man”, I said, laughing and pulling him into a hug. “Trust me man, if I had never met her, I’d be naked half the time.” A few minutes later, they called our flight. With a few whoops from Reggie, we boarded the plane. Two hours later we had touched down in Sin City. Reggie went to check in for the rental car while the rest of us watched the turntables for our luggage. As I absentmindedly watched the perpetual row of bags emerging from the plastic-flap-covered opening, I suddenly felt eyes on me. I raised my eyes from the bags and saw who those eyes belonged to. On the other side of the concourse, leaning against a wall, one guy stood out from the crowd. A black guy in his early twenties, wearing what appeared to be an old timely bellhop uniform. The gold buttons on his crimson jacket gleamed under the fluorescent lights. As I stared at him, with no small amount of confusion, the man whistled at me in two short bursts, equal in pitch, as if he were calling a dog. Dan put his hand on my shoulder, making me jump slightly. We picked up the rental car and made our way to the Strip. As we gawked at the lavish hotels with flashy signs that could’ve been seen from the stratosphere, Danny turned to me. “ Shouldn't we get to the hotel first?” I smiled at him. “Sounds good to me,” I said turning into the Bellagio’s self parking area. “Wait…” Danny’s eyes lit up “ you didn't..” “ 15th floor.” Danny looked like a kid on Christmas morning. I will never forget that face. “You didn't tell me you got a suite!” Danny said as he looked around the gigantic room we had rented. “Anything for the man of the hour”, I said, shoving the pocket sized Fireball I had bought on the plane into the mini fridge. “What’re we sitting around here for?” Reggie yelled, emerging from the bathroom. Mike looked up from his phone “ there’s a sick nightclub at Caesars Palace. Let's check it out.” After shot number four, I was feeling like a king.I made my way from the bar back to my table, through the crowds of people silhouetted against the multicolored lights of the club, and found Danny,Mike,Reggie, and a girl who Reggie introduced as Lolita. After shooting Reggie my world-famous she’s-not-staying-the-night glare, I took my seat and laughed at the tail end of the joke Mike was telling. After a few minutes, I noticed a rather out of place man a few feet from our table. He looked like a real greaseball, with a shiny balding head that housed a combover synonymous with the word creepy. Had I not been so hammered, I would have been more suspicious when he walked up to our table. “Hello Gentlemen” He said with a grin that showed off slightly crooked, yellowish teeth. “You seem like the kind of guys that belong in some place other than a cramped one room night club. Perhaps someplace more… exclusive would better suit you.” Eying Danny’s expensive blazer and tie clip, the man leaned in close, putting his hands on the table. “ I'll cut right to the chase: if you follow me, I'll take you to the most exclusive casino in Vegas.” He raised his eyebrows. I turned to see what the guys thought, only to see Danny standing up from his seat, with Reggie close behind. I turned to look at Mike. He shrugged. “What the hell! It's Vegas after all,” Mike stood up and I followed suit, jogging a few paces to catch up with the group. After passing a row of Rocky Horror Picture Show themed slot machines, the greasy man banged open a door marked “Staff Only” to reveal a dark staircase with lights strung on either side of the stairs like a movie theater. Reggie let Lolita go first with a slurred,“ladies first”, Reggie then took a step down,stumbled, and proceeded to slide down the stairs, taking out Lolita like a lone bowling pin. Danny,Mike and I had to grip the handrails as we descended, due to us laughing so hard. A strange mix of thick perfume and cigarette smoke greeted our nostrils at the bottom of the stairs. Mike could barely hold back a gag as we walked further down the hall. As we rounded a corner, I saw a large golden sign above the main entrance to the casino. “The Thomas Bernard club of Las Vegas” It read, with the image of two dice outlined with fire underneath. “Before everyone gets started, will you follow me please!” The greasy man said, leading us past rows of blackjack tables to a blue metal door that seemed out of place with the rest of the casino. “Here,” said the greasy man, abruptly open the door, “ is where you join the club”. “Choose anywhere you want, sir.” The tattoo artist said, as Reggie sat down in the chair. If I had been in better shape, I would have thought that a tattoo was a pretty weird membership requirement. “ I'll give you $100 if you get it on your ass” Dan said, giggling. Reggie wasted no time dropping his jeans and pointing out the perfect place on his right cheek. Within the hour, Reggie was holding a mirror to admire the Devil’s Tongue flower that had been printed on his butt. Dan came next, who got his on his left shoulder blade. Mike got his on his bicep. He told us he could make it dance, but winced in pain as soon as he flexed. Reggie practically fell over laughing. I got mine on my left shoulder. As I stood from the chair, the greasy man entered. “All set?” He asked in a jovial tone. We nodded. “Excellent!” The man said, clapping his hands together, “Have fun!”. All four of us exited the room, and Reggie immediately jumped on one of the slot machines, dragging Lolita behind him. Strange, I had forgotten Lolita was even with our group. Did she even get a tattoo? Dan grabbed my shoulder. “ we're headed to the craps table. Come on!”. An hour later, I was running the craps table like a champion. Cheers went up every time I rolled the dice, and a particularly good looking girl in a short club dress had been making eyes with me across the table the whole time. I jumped out between games and asked if she wanted to grab a drink. After we ordered,the girl grabbed my arm. “Have you heard the rumors about this place?” she whispered to me, with eyes that sparkled with curiosity. “Like what?” I replied, taking a sip of my beer. “Like about the people who run this place? I heard one of them went insane.” She spoke with the voice of an idle teenager, and I found myself slightly on edge as I responded. “Really? Interesting.”my hand curled tighter around the bottle I was holding. The bartender startled me when he walked over to us. “Miss, that's only a rumor. Trust me, I've worked here for almost 30 years. Mr. Bernard and his brother were killed when the boiler underneath their personal ski lodge exploded one winter. Bodies were never recovered. Horrible ordeal.” The bartender said, looking past us into thin air for a second, before turning to help a big buff dude who had just approached the bar. Something had seemed… weird about that bartender. He had rattled that story off almost as if he had memorized it beforehand. Like he’d had to say it more than once .I glanced in the direction the bartender had looked, where two casino security guards were staring directly back at me. “Hey are you ok?” The girl’s words snapped me back to reality, and I was vaguely aware that my hands were shaking. “Yeah” I said, clearing my throat. “Will you excuse me for a second?” She barely got a chance to respond before I was sprinting away from the bar. Something definitely wasn’t right. I needed to find the guys. Dan wasn’t at the craps table. As I ran down the rows of bright, flashing slot machines, air reeking of cigarette smoke filling my lungs, I began to well and truly panic. I felt like I was drowning on dry land. I needed to find the guys. I must not have been running as straight as I thought; I ran into a group of people, and almost knocked a few down. Turning a corner, I saw Reggie and Lolita, facing a slot machine at the end of the aisle, seated with their backs to me. Relieved, I sprinted over to them. As I got closer, my relief slowly melted into horror. The first thing I noticed was that Lolita was crying, tears streaming down her face, smearing her cheap makeup and turning her tears black with mascara. Then I noticed that she was whispering something I couldn’t hear into Reggie’s right ear. The third thing I noticed was that Reggie was dead. Not just dead. He looked like a burn victim. Though somehow his shoulder length hair and thick glasses remained in tact, his skin was a sickening, ashy black. His eyes were gone, and his mouth was open in a silent scream of agony. The final thing I noticed, and something that has rattled around in my brain for years, was that Reggie’s right hand was clutching his right buttock. Right where he had gotten his tattoo. His other hand was melted to his phone, where what was left of the screen displayed the frozen image of a phone call marked “Mom”. I don’t know what I intended to say when I opened my mouth, but before I got the chance, I wretched, and vomited my dinner all over the tacky casino carpet. The room began spinning again, my skull throbbed like my brain had been replaced with a hornets nest. What the hell just happened? Why was no one else helping, or even noticing? That’s when I felt a hand on my shoulder. “ You don’t look well, friend.” The voice was the exact opposite of comforting. I looked up and found myself face to face with the greasy guy that brought us here. He was so close I could smell his rancid breath under a thick shroud of cologne. “Here, come with me.” I wanted to protest, to get this disgusting man away from me, but I was so in shock that I could only stand there as he put a hand on my back and guided me away from Reggie’s corpse. It took me a while to realize that he hadn’t noticed him. Or if he did, he sure as hell didn’t say anything. The next thing I remember is sitting in a large, comfortable chair. I looked around and found I was in a lavish office, similar in design to the suite we had bought for the bachelor party. One thing that caught my eye, however, was the Devil’s Tongue flower in a vase on the bar. That was when all of the memories of what had happened flooded back into my head. I went to stand up from the chair, but found I was unable to pull myself from it. Why was I so weak? “Don’t bother” a voice came from behind the chair. I heard the sound of wheels on the carpet, and I started panicking all over again. My mind was awash with fear as saw through the large mirror on the wall,what, or rather, who was being brought in. The greasy man from earlier was wheeling in a wheelchair with an IV bag attached to it, as well as a respirator. But I quickly realized it wasn’t for me. In the chair was what appeared to be the charred corpse of a man, barely more than a blackened skeleton in a pinstriped suit. His eyes were covered by the gauze wrapped around the top half of his head. Even so, the two black stains on the gauze right where his eyes should be made me feel like he could see more of me than I would ever like. Before I had a chance to say anything, ask why I was being shown this horrible sight,the greasy man shot me a wink and left. The door slammed, And as I sat helplessly, the corpse spoke. “Allow me to introduce myself” despite how emaciated he appeared, the “man” spoke with perfect clarity. “ I am Mr. Thomas Bernard. I suppose you’ve already heard about me, though.” Mr. Bernard sharply inhaled through the nasal respirator. “What the hell?” I was able to sputter our in my dazed state. “Yes I know. You’re thinking I should be deep in the Colorado mountains,frozen under layers of ice in the ruins of a long forgotten ski lodge. And above all, I should be dead, right?” My mind warped like heated metal. My mouth could only take in shallow, staccato breathes. What had they done to me? “If you haven’t already guessed, that story is about as true as the cheater at a poker table.” Said what was left of Mr. Bernard, with a chuckle that sounded fit for a crow with a broken neck, “Now I guess, considering you don’t have that much time left, I can tell you about how I came to own this...place”Mr Bernard said, seeming to choose the last word carefully. “In my prime, I was the greatest businessman on the face of the earth, if I do say so myself. With monopolies in real estate, car manufacturing, and specifically… casinos. I owned some of the most popular casinos in the United States, and ended up bringing more tourists to Nevada then anytime in recorded history. I was a king.” “ I believe it was a Wednesday. I remember going to sleep in my house, and waking up in a room that I could only describe as...as beautiful beyond the concept of beauty. It was as large as a stadium, surrounded by pillars connected by large, medieval arches. The floor was an intricate, polygonal mural that seemed to shift wherever I stepped. The pillars were covered with carvings. Looking closer, I found that these carvings were all different languages, From English, to French to Korean. Towards the bottom of the pillars, languages that were so old I hardly recognized them. Looking up, I noticed that the arches sat in the middle of the pillars rather than the top, and the pillars rose high above them into murky darkness.” Under the desk, I gained movement in my left big toe. “A voice emanated from the infinite darkness surrounding me.” Mr. Bernard’s emaciated hands gripped the arms of the wheelchair. “I felt both fear and comfort in that moment. It was a voice unlike any other; Speaking English, yet somehow devoid of any accent or defining speech pattern.” “ I was dead. I had died in my sleep, and was now in what it referred to as Fegefeuer. And whatever dwelled in this place…” Bernard leaned forward, and I swear I could hear his bones creaking and popping beneath his suit. By now I had completely regained feeling below my left ankle, and was swiftly feeling more and more of my entire leg. “ ...offered me a choice. To my right, a simple, red door appeared. ‘Through that door,’ the voice whispered, ‘is your afterlife. And this…’ from behind me came the bright, twinkling glow. Turning, I saw the geometric tapestry of the floor morph into a city street, and the pillars into Vegas strip signs. ‘is the powerful, regal life you ran prior to this very moment.’ Everything below my waist tingled as though it had fallen asleep, and was regaining feeling. “I suppose you’ve been wondering why I look the way I do, Mr. Ross.” Bernard said, leaning back in his chair. “ I am a man of chance. My gambling has lead me to the most extravagant experiences and luxuries on this earth. I have also lost fortunes the working man could only dream of. With the future of my existence hinging on one choice… I played it safe.” Even with barely any flesh still attached to his blackened skull, and his eyes covered by bandages, I could clearly see anger spreading across his face, making small pieces of flesh fall like bits of paper into the ashtray on his desk. “It didn’t like that. One. Bit.” And that’s when Mr Bernard stood up. I don’t know why, of all things, that haunts me the most. The fact that such a spindly, crude mockery of the human form had the ability ( or at least the compulsion) to stand as a man would. “Come one more!” Bernard suddenly roared, pulling me up by the front of my shirt so that we would be eye to eye if his head were not wrapped in gauze, “Maybe now I can sleep!”. I realized very quickly his ramblings were not directed at me, as the vacant stains on the gauze were aimed off in the distance. Beyond the walls of the office. As quickly as he had lifted me, Bernard dropped me. “Not Enough?” He said, his voice suddenly strained, hands clutching his head. I realized in that moment that all of my feeling had returned. I knocked the chair over sprinting out of the office. Strange enough, it was not locked. As I sprinted down the hallway back to the casino, I began hearing something loud. As I rounded the corner back into the casino, it dawned on me exactly what that sound was. Dozens of voices, all screaming. All around me, people were screaming for help, or groaning in pain. It was then that I started…smelling it. Burning flesh tearing through the tomblike shroud of the casino’s stench. I saw people who seemed healthy an hour earlier crumpling to the floor, clutching at various body parts. I thought nothing. I ran, ignoring the dampness at the crotch of my pants. Ignoring the sweat running into my eyes, causing me to slightly stumble. Ignoring the group of three people I pushed through. That is, until I heard Danny’s terrified voice. “Mitch! HELP ME!” his voice cracked in desperation, trying to free himself from the grip of the two security guards holding each of his arms. I turned back, dazed and petrified, as I watched my friend get dragged further into the crowds of writhing bodies. If she had not been there in that moment, I would have never made it to the door ten feet from where I stood. I would have crumpled onto that singed casino carpet and shut down like a robot in a cartoon. But the girl from the bar was there, and I didn’t realize it until she grabbed a hold of my suit jacket. She screamed one word into my face: “Run!”. I lunged to the door, and it came off its hinges as soon as I pulled on the handle. As I fell out into the dark corridor, I turned and watched as the entire casino seemed to...disassemble. Slot machines became bare wires and sparking lights. Roulette wheels telescoped upwards in layers. The ceiling seemed to melt into concrete and steel beams. My eyes were fixed, however, on the girl in the black dress, crawling on her elbows towards the doorway. I hadn’t noticed how radiant her light green eyes were, until the moment before her head was crushed by a large antique fire extinguisher. Her defined cheekbones and long brunette hair were suddenly lost in a mess of blood and jagged teeth. My eyes rose to the person responsible, and I initially could not understand what I was seeing. I knew it was the man who had lead us to the club, but his face was nothing more than a pile of flesh that wouldn’t look out of place on the Elephant Man. Bulbous skull, eyes swollen shut, and a wide mouth with no teeth. A mouth that was laughing. I heard footsteps behind me, and turned to see the man in the bellhop uniform, the one who I had seen in the airport. He walked forward until he stood parallel with me, and turned. He gave me an acknowledging nod, then walked into the casino. As he did, the doorway gave off a blinding white light. There was a sound like lightning hitting a gas truck. Then, nothing. I stood up, and stared at the solid concrete wall where the hellish casino had stood. I knew then that I had witnessed something no one else would believe. People gave me strange looks as I walked down the strip, but I hardly noticed. I made it to the rental car, and the next thing I remember is standing at the front desk of a motel. I sat on the bed,not knowing what to think or feel. My questions outnumbered my answers one thousand to one, and even attempting to comprehend the tiniest things: The guards, her eyes, the roulette wheel breaking,that bellhop… and Danny’s voice, saturated with terror, fading into the dynn of screams. My phone buzzed on the bedside table, and I didn’t have to look to see it was Nicole calling me again. I stood and looked out the window, at the sun rising over the barren desert. Staring into that crimson ball of gas, all of my anger and confusion funneled into one solid pit in my stomach. I felt so… small. It took me a second to notice the burning pain shooting down my arm. I heard myself yelling, and felt the pain pulsing in my left shoulder. I frantically removed my shirt to see that the veins around the Devil’s Tongue tattoo had turned black. One more answer I didn’t need. I spent hours cutting off my arm in the bathtub with the swiss army knife I kept in my back pocket. I used my belt as an improvised tourniquet, and bit down on one of the bath towels. I was scared when the first blood started to drip. After a while, it became nothing more than a morbid chore, intercut by crying and grunting from the pain. When I had finished,I covered my stump with the towel. The ambulance should be on its way right about now. We’ll see if it runs into any stubborn taxi drivers along the way.
Going to Vegas in July - I've been doing my research so hope this can help others.
I'm going in July and have done some research. Plenty of this is from the sidebar, but other notes are from many of other sources. The Vegas Degenerate Tour ( . ) ( . ) Things to do:
Bellagio Fountains (free)
Mirage Volcano Show (free)
The lounge at the top of the Mandarin Oriental - Super Classy with amazing night time views, sexy patrons and great cocktails
Wet Republic - Rent cabana 2 months in advance
Las Vegas Helicopter Night Flight with VIP Transportation £65pp
Grand Canyon Skywalk - Apparently Expensive and not that good - you have to take a bus to get there and it is $30 each. Go to Grand Canyon south instead.
The Strip Gun Club Range
Sapphires pool party - strippers pool party!!!
Fremont Street Experience at night.
Container Park, which is a few blocks east of the Freemont St. Experience, a 2 foot recycled steel praying mantis (acquired from Burning Man) spits giant fireballs to the beat of music A LOT. Lots of half naked men and women. LOTS (free)
Ghost Bar at the Palms has amazing views. Check Groupon for deals. Happy hour 8-10pm
Stratosphere bar at the top. Happy hour 2 hours after open
High Roller observation wheel. Get a car with the open bar.
Monte Carlo minus 5 Ice bar. Everything is made out of ice! Bar, glasses, seating - everything
RiRa Irish bar with live music and good Guinness after 9pm
The Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay, live music and amazing strip views
Strip clubs: Spearmint Rhino, Hustler Club and Crazy Horse--those are our top 3 Rhino and Horse are high end and classy
Top Golf location, just behind MGM. 5 levels of golf driving range, mixed with music, food and drinks. There are also 2 pools, free to use.#
Dig This drive diggers and bulldozers.
Spa in the ARIA is amazing with good treatments.
Alibi show http://alibitheshow.com/ This experience throws the audience into an exciting adventure around the streets, restaurants, bars and other real-life locations on the Las Vegas Strip.
There is so much free stuff going on up and down the strip though that you can just do all the free stuff and not spend a dime. From street dancers, people singing, or pictures with a grown dude wearing a diaper.
Eclipse cinemas downtown for an over 21s only luxury cinema experience with cocktails and good food.
Have the clubs pick you up in their limos because all the cab/ubelyft/limo drivers get a kick back on anyone they drop off to the clubs and same with the VIP card guys! So if you don't use the free limo ... THE CLUB HAS TO CHARGE YOU A COVER!!! If you use the clubs FREE limo service they can sometimes wave that cover charge!! (that's like $20 a person!)
Check for Groupon deals.
Make sure you all download the Uber and Lyft app. Both offer new user signup credits. Free rides.
A $400 Pre-Authorisation charge for resort fees and ‘amenities’ was taken as expected upon check in. I would recommend UK visitors to take a Cash Passport MasterCard (available in Thomas Cook and other travel agents)
é by Jose Andres inside Jaleo inside Cosmo. Only 8 seats, reservations by email only ([email protected]) starting 3 months prior to the res date, 23 courses. $190/person(?) without alcohol pairing
Raku in Chinatown does amazing 8/12 course tastings for $70/100 a person
The tasting, or "seasonal discover menu" at L'Atelier is up to $165 per person
Eiffel Tower restaurant is a Must for dinner!!!!!!!! Fantastic view of the strip
Good steakhouses serve food at the restaurant bar and the bartender has seen some shit. So much more fun for a party up to three and the service is over the top.
Delmonico's in Venetian at the bar. The cocktails and food were amazing.
Mushashi's dirty show (Japanese steak with a naughty show for the girls.) Midnight to 4am happy hour.
Secret Pizza. A secret pizza place. Needs research! Inside the Cosmopolitan
Bachi Burger – also to reunite with a previous memory. I still think this is one of the top 3 burgers I’ve ever had. The oxtail chili cheese fries are recommended by others to be a “must”, but I personally prefer the truffle fries.
Monta Ramen – I’m a huge ramen fan and I understood this was the –best- ramen place in Vegas.
Sweets Raku – in the same complex as Monta Ramen. They have some neat desserts that they make right in front of you, lovely experience.
Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmo. Everything was really good and the deserts were awesome.
Brunch @ Bacchanal Buffet, Caesar’s Palace – This was awesome! We had the groupon deal and it was impressively cheap. Midway through our meal they switched to their lunch menu so we got the best of both worlds there.
Gordon Ramsey’s Burgr – onion rings were incredible. The burger was pretty good as well.
Earl of Sandwich - I could seriously eat these every day.
Studio B Buffet @ M Resort
The "Heart Attack Grill" lets you eat free if you weigh over 350 pounds.
Marriage Can Be Murder - This is a dinner / theater / murder mystery / whodunit show at the D downtown. Includes tasty food, extreme audience participation and likely embarrassment. You may be called upon to dance, or play a character in the murder mystery. Comes with tasty food, cocktails available.
For dinner, I highly recommend BLT Steak House in Ballys Hotel and Red8 in The Wynn - if you are a food lover, BLT’s is particularly worth the extra!
Sex/Swingers Clubs (Or; no, you filthy pervert - what's wrong with you?)
We just spent a week in Vegas split between two hits and three hotels. This is my 6th time in Vegas, my fiancé’s 3rd time, and my friend’s 2nd time. We love the city. It is the only place like it on Earth. I love it, but this massive adult theme-park needs to be treated with respect and best approached with experience. So, I hope this report will help others. We were here last year, and although we had an amazing time, we did make some mistakes. This year’s trip was refined to near perfection. Flights (UK to Vegas). We’re from the UK. We flew direct with Virgin Atlantic. As far as I know VA are the only airline that flies direct from UK to Vegas. We used 80,000 airmiles to upgrade to Premium seats. When you’re sat on your arse for 11 and a half hours, the extra comfort, space, and legroom are well worth it. It also means the actual cost for the flight was super low compared to booking Premium seats without miles (£400 compared to around £1500). As it's a 747, I would recommend getting seats on the upper deck. As it is the top bulge of the plane, it only holds around 70 passengers. It feels exclusive, with faster service from the staff, shorter lines for the bathroom, and far less chance a child or baby will be sat near you. Jetlag. Something I didn’t take into account last time was the effect of jet lag. We paid for it. With the West Coast being 8 hours behind the UK, we tried a different tactic this time around. As soon as asses touched seats on the plane, we adjusted clocks to Vegas time. We respected the need to sleep by front-loading the flight with lots of booze and soon got our heads down. With those few hours of sleep, we were much better adjusted when we landed. ESTA. Immigration into the US can be a pain, but here’s a tip; if you’ve travelled to the US before with the same ESTA, you can use the automated passport scanners and skip the massive line. Food. We’re foodies. We’ve traveled the world and eaten at many Michelin Star restaurants. It’s our thing. It’s our passion. We had high hopes for Vegas food last year, but we came to the quick realisation Vegas can’t do quality. It's not surprising. The sheer volume of people that pound the strip means restaurants don’t really need to try to turn a profit. As I said above, Vegas is a theme-park. It supplies the fake and gaudy like no other, but on the flip side it can’t really do genuine or authentic. Last year we had to pay truly spectacular amounts of money before we got a properly impressive meal at é by José Andrés in the Cosmo. I can’t afford to do that again. So, this year we did things differently. We embraced the brash, the massive, and the crappy and ate like the locals. Finances. Vacations are my opportunity to live large. I look forward to them all year, and save for them with the intention to experience things way beyond my normal life. I want luxury. I want finery. I want to be treated like a rockstar, because these things just don’t exist in my day to day life. I spent a lot on this holiday, but that’s because I saved for it and budgeted hard for it. If you’re doing Vegas, then you have to do it right! Hotel 1: The Vdara. After the flight and immigration we got a cab to our first hotel; the Vdara. What a brilliant hotel. It doesn’t have a casino attached, so is less Vegas and less insane than many strip hotels, but I’ve been there and done that - so this was a beautiful, calm hotel for the start of our trip. We went for a Lake View Suite. Sounds fancy, and it was, but so much cheaper than an equivalent at one of the other big hotels. The room was massive, and modern. It also had a microwave and food preparation area with fridge separate to the mini bar. The Vdara also has a nifty room service robot that can deliver snacks and drinks to you autonomously. It is a novelty now, but it worked well and I can see it being rolled out to other hotels soon. As for location, the Vdara is right behind the Aria and the Bellagio. There’s a sneaky walkway to the Bellagio, or a short walk across the valet to the Aria. From either of these hotels you are straight onto the strip. Adventures. Day 1. First port of call was a walk down the strip to In-n-Out burger next to the High Roller. We don’t have In-n-Out in the UK so its a real treat. We walked the strip until well after dark, visiting Caesars, the Bellagio for coffee, and finally back to the Vice Versa bar at the Vdara. It is a quiet lobby bar with a calm outside section. We had a few drinks there and then off to bed. Day 2. Breakfast at Eggslut at the Cosmo. Expensive, but very tasty. Get the cookie. I has just the right amount of gooey inside and salt crust to make the perfect pud. Back to the Vdara for a workout at their OK gym and then relaxing at the pool. They do a bag check, but we just had water and coke so let us in. I think they were looking for booze. After our fill of the sun (still 30o C + in October) we made our way back to the Cosmo for a late lunch at Block 16. This is their new “street food” area with an excellent selection. We went for the sushi rolls at Tekka. Really good, and bigger than expected. They also have Asahi on draft. Again, a little expensive for the type of food but nice. Hopped in a taxi for a walk around the canals at the Venetian, then over the the Wynn for drinks at Parasol Down. We like drinking outside, and it was really relaxing sipping cocktails by the waterfall. I had a crab cheesy dip thing with breads that was surprisingly tasty. We headed back to the Vdara to get ready for our evening at the Luxor. It started with drinks at an Irish bar I forget the name of. It actually had genuine Irish staff and live music, so the fakery was better than most. A few pints later we went to see the Blue Man Group. Hilarious and a lot of fun. Well recommended. After BMG we wandered to the Mandalay looking for food, but their restaurants were all taken over by a massive convention. We hopped into a cab and made our way back to the Cosmo to Beauty and Essex for food. The restaurant was very cool. You enter through a secret door in a cheesy gift shop. You’re then lead to a dimly lit, intimate table by a pretty server lady. Food was only OK, but definitely not up to scratch for the price. However, the atmosphere was amazing. Day 3. Breakfast was a 15 inch pizza slice from Pin Up Pizza at Planet Hollywood. Horrible, greasy pizza, but the novelty was fun. We checked out and picked up our car from our Turo host, a Tesla Model X for the next leg of our trip; a week in San Diego. Amazing city. Go. Vegas Day 4. Hotel 2: The SLS. It was fight night. Hotels were stupidly expensive because of McGregor vs Khabib, so we stayed for one cheap night at the SLS. When we booked it it was still the W, but the SLS since took it over. The room was a Fabulous King, but I’m not sure that name is relevant anymore. Anyway, the hotel is still in a state of flux. The W side was dead. The bar was closed and the few remaining staff seemed to just be milling around. It was odd. The room was spacious, and had an interesting theme, but seemed a little empty given its square footage. It did have a mirror above the bed, though. Very Vegas. After the long drive from SD, we freshened up and got dinner at Bazaar Meats by José Andrés. This was my favorite meal in Vegas. José Andrés can actually be counted on for a great theme and good food. It wasn’t quite good enough for the price, but it was closer than any other restaurant we visited on this trip. The atmosphere and decor were incredible. A massive industrial fire pit grilling many meats greets you as you enter. The entire room is bordered by the various kitchens and preparation areas, and produce is proudly on show. There were some freakishly huge vegetables and a vast array of meat slabs all around. Of all the Vegas restaurants I’ve visited, the theming here was on point. After dinner, we stayed at the SLS for drinks around the casino watching the fight in the sports bar. Vegas Day 5. Hotel 3: The Cosmopolitan. We checked out of the SLS quickly, glad to be away from its strangeness. As if to confirm our ikky intuition, we passed a crime scene investigation outside, little orange cones all over indicating spent bullet casings. Welcome to America, motherfucker! We headed to our next and final hotel - the Cosmo. What an incredible place. By far and away my fave hotel on the Stip. In addition to the hotels this trip, I’ve stayed at the Stratosphere, Luxor, Aria, and Bellagio. This was better than them all. Even though it was around midday when we hit the check in desk, the concierge sorted us out with a room upgrade to an immediately available room. With three of us sleeping in one room, he wanted to ensure we were comfortable, so booked us into an unlisted suite with two bathrooms, a japanese soaking tub, and a massive balcony on the 55th floor overlooking the Bellagio fountains and the strip. That view was breathtaking, and the room was stunning. Only one minor issue - we found a diaper behind the sofa that housekeeping had missed from the last guest. We complained to the front desk and they sorted it with a $75 credit and resort fees refunded. Score! Lunch was at Secret Pizza. A good slice. Be aware they have more slices available than is on display. We went to Walmart to pick up booze and snacks. And a kettle. I’m English. I need my tea. Vegas hotels don’t have tea and coffee making facilities in the room, so a $15 kettle and some tea was a must. For the cost of three drinks at Starbucks, this is a good move for us Brits. The Cosmo room also had a little bar with additional fridge to the mini bar, so we packed that bitch with booze, mixers and fruit. After Walmart we picked our friend up at the airport and got her showered and dressed ready for dinner. A few drinks at the Chandelier bar in the Cosmo, then over to Jaleo by José Andrés. I’m sure you’re seeing a theme with our booked restaurant choices, but José is consistently good. Jaleo was no exception. The paella was a touch disappointing this time, but the other dishes were amazing. We drank a bit too much sangria, so kept the party going with drinks in Beauty and Essex. It may be a restaurant, but the little bar area also has seating for drinkers to watch the patrons come and go (and the pretty front of house ladies). It proved a great spot to people watch and enjoy their amazing cocktails. After too many drinks, we retired to the room and enjoyed the view with more drinks and snacks on the balcony. That experience was priceless. The twinkling view of the Vegas madness far below our own intimate little party felt very special. We got pretty messy loving that very special moment, and eventually found the bed. After all, our friend had been up for nearly 35 hours. Hardcore! Day 6. To work off the punishment to our livers the night before, we hit the Cosmo gym. It is OK, and actually has a good number of heavy dumbbells. Many hotel gyms I’ve been to stop at around 60lbs but the Cosmo went way up to 100lbs weights. There were only two benches though, so I can see it being a problem when busy. We got brunch at Lardo in the Cosmo Block 16 street food thingy. Great food, but three sandwiches, a coke, and one fries cost nearly $75! Fucking ridiculous. Street food prices these are not. After nursing my abused credit card, we headed to The Range 702. We’d booked the Triple Threat package where you get to pick three guns of your choice with 25 rounds each. I shot a Colt, a P90 and an M4. The girls both opted for two handguns and an AK47. The automatic rifles were quite an experience. Loud and violent. I have shot at The Strip Gun Club before and they were very attentive and let us take our time. Our shooting at 702 felt a little rushed in comparison. They have you shoot all your guns back to back, so for the girls especially they were a little beaten up after their sessions. It would be better to alternate shooters with each gun to give the wrists a rest, but hey, it was a noisy, blasty, shooty good time anyway. After the blasting we went back to the Cosmo to get ready for our evening. This is where we again paid for wanting to wing it and not book too many things. All dressed up, we headed to the Bellagio because we wanted some drinks at Hyde to watch the fountains as the sun went down. It was booked out by a conference party. So we went to try at Spago. Same story. Booked out by conference weenies. We tried back at the Cosmo at the Chinese Mexican called China Poblano, but again the same fucking story! Booked out by conference weenies. We said fuck it, went to the room, threw on our shorts and sneakers, and hit the strip for a dirty night. We walked the craziness with slushy margaritas and ended up at In-n-Out again. We had a burger and then went on a drunk hunt for pudding. Ok. Let me make one thing clear. If you cover a cupcake or doughnut or cookie in enough frosting to choke a donkey, then it will just taste like frosting. And it seems like that’s all you can get at the quick and easy places on the Strip. Our failed pud-hunt brought us to Caesars. I remembered the Gordon Ramsey restaurant did a sticky toffee pudding. Somehow we got seating for three, even though we looked like we’d just been kicked out of a pool party. I say somehow, but when we entered we could see why. Gordon Ramsay’s Pub and Grill is the perfect metaphor for Vegas. I’ve eaten at two of Gordon's Michelin starred restaurants in London and one that didn’t have a star. They are all exquisite. Decor, food, service and the general experience all live up to his reputation for perfection. London is possibly the best place on earth for fine food. Gordon has to be on top of his game to make it there. And he does. Vegas he does not. Vegas is about churning out vaguely thematically relevant crap to the clueless for huge profit. Gordon’s Pub and Grill is hilarious. The theme is old English pub in the middle of a Roman themed casino. With TVs. Lots of TVs. It’s as if someone described a pub down the phone to the designer it’s that bad. We had the corned beef poutine (not an English pub dish) and and the sticky toffee pudding (better). The poutine was terrible. Just fries with pastrami meat (not corned beef) and bad cheese. There was hardly any gravy. The pud was good though, but maybe that was because of a few sunk pints. It hit the spot and the size of it caused comment from the table beside us (who were eating burgers - sigh). Anyway, after done there, back to the room for more balcony drinks and that view. Day 7. A quiet one today. Using the room credit we got a daybed at the Cosmo pool. The cabana bed thing is a $200 minimum spend. The $200 lasted us all day. We managed to eat well, with breakfast, other nibbles, and a few drinks reaching $200. The pool is gorgeous and the attendants were very attentive (hence the name, I suppose). By the time we’d spent our credit, it was nearly dinner o’clock. Dressed up pretty, we headed to New York New York and got Shake Shack burgers. Tasty. Not quite In-n-Out good, but still better than anything in the UK. We played some giant jenga with some random people at one of the outside bars, then went to the Zumanity show. Zumanity was great fun. Very naughty, funny, and the acrobatics were impressive. Well recommended. The boobies on show and the sexy theme got us ready for our next stop - the Palomino Strip Club. My fiance and I had been to the Palomino the year before and we loved it. It is the only club in Vegas that does full nude and booze so it is a no-brainer to be number 1. Our friend had never been to strip club before, so that night was a special treat. We got a bottle service table at the runway with champagne and a stack of ones. It was spectacular pervy fun drinking, watching the girls, and chatting with them as they visited our table. We all got a few sofa dances and had a brilliant night. The girls were super attentive, really looked after my friend as it was her first time, and made us feel very special. We got a drunk burger at In-n-Out (our last - I promise) and somehow made it back to the room alive Day 8. Our last full day. After the craziness of the night before, we slept in. Brunch was at Mon Ami Gabi. Much like Gordon’s Pub, this place was a hilarious parody of a Parisian café. It was nice to sit outside and watch the Strip go by as I munched my lunch, but the food was pretty bad for the price. After brunch we walked up the Strip past the Mirage and then over to the Venetian. The girls did some hard-core shopping while I made stupid comments, made their lives difficult, and generally didn’t help. I don’t like shopping, OK. Because I’m a child, they soon gave up. Back to the room for our last bookings of the trip. Yay. After getting pretty, we hit the Skybar at the Waldorf Astoria (previously the Mandarin Oriental). Gorgeous views and really tasty cocktails. We hit up Lemongrass for dinner without a booking because the Aria was next to the Waldorf. We ordered way too much food, so got most of it boxed up. We dumped it at the room, and then grabbed a cab to the Wynn for our last big destination. We were on the guest list to see Afrojack at Intrigue. Great club. The line wasn’t too bad. About 30 minutes as they checked on everyone. My friend had a bit of an issue with her ID as it is an English driver's license, but she found a picture of her passport on her phone to confirm it was her. The girls both got two free drink vouchers and I got one (am I not pretty enough?). The club was just my thing. It was not massive, but still big. The large outside area around the fire fountains and the waterfall was perfect to escape the heat and craziness of the dance-floor. We stayed for far too long given we had a 9 hour flight to catch the next day, but it was worth it. An amazing last night in an amazing city. Of course when we got back in we ate the rest of the Chinese food on the balcony. Day 9. One last (expensive-ass) Eggslut, and we were on our way home. Thank you Vegas.
3-day trip report: Aria, Dig This, Carbone, and Britney
Returned to Philadelphia from Las Vegas yesterday morning on the red-eye, and after about 18 hours of sleep, I'm ready to write up my trip report. This was my first time back to Las Vegas since 2007 and I had a lot of fun. I receive email promotions from the MLife casinos, and the one that caught my eye was an offer for a $50 dining credit per night at Aria. Since Aria opened an outpost of Carbone in November, I read the fine print of the offer to make sure Carbone wasn't excluded from the offer.
My flight was delayed and I didn't make it to the hotel until about 1 am. Earlier in the day, Aria emailed me about online check-in, and I decided to do it just to make sure I'd at least have a place to sleep that night. When I was assigned a room on the eighth floor, I decided to go to the check-in desk to see if I could do better. I did the $20 sandwich and asked for "anything with an awesome bathroom." The woman who checked me in put me on the 54th floor with a strip view, one room away from the elevator. SCORE. Because I checked in so late, the front desk attendant credited the third night of my dining credit to the final day of my stay.
Slept in and headed directly to my spa appointment at noon for a facial. When I checked in for the facial, I asked if I could be fit in for a mani and pedi too. They scheduled me for a 3 pm appointment. The Spa at Aria is huge, quiet, tranquil, and relaxing. After the facial, I killed two hours in the spa reading magazines, eating snacks and drinking green tea, napping on vibrating chairs in the salt room (a dark room lined with gently warmed Himalayan salt bricks), and fielding work emails on my iPad by the private outdoor infinity edge pool. When I returned to my room, I found that housekeeping had come and gone and left me extra towels as I requested along with my nice tip. (I was glad I asked for extra towels, since housekeeping never came back to my room during the rest of my stay. Hmph.) I ate dinner at the bar at Julian Serrano Tapas in the Aria lobby (tasty patatas bravas, an uninspired beet salad with commodity Sysco croutons, 6/10). I didn't have plans for Sunday night, so at the last minute, I decided to roll the dice at the concierge and see if they could get me tickets for Jerry Seinfeld at Caesars. Let me recognize Tatiana the concierge at Aria by name here because she was so helpful, friendly, and resourceful. She got me fantastic seats for Jerry Seinfeld for way less than I expected to spend, and found a gift card that had been left for me at the concierge desk under the wrong name. I gave her a tip and called her manager to compliment her. (Sidebar: Did you know the Society of the Crossed Keys is a real thing? Tatiana was wearing the gold keys pins on her uniform...I thought it was just something Wes Anderson made up for the Grand Budapest Hotel. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) After Jerry's set, I walked back to Aria from Caesars. I stopped at the Caesars sports book and put $20 on the Panthers to beat Navy...I should have just torn up that $20 bill. I also stopped at Olives on the Via Bellagio and sat at the bar and had dessert and a nightcap, and as I was walking back to Aria I watched the fountain show for "Luck be a Lady," my favorite of the fountain shows. To get back to Aria, I walked through Crystals and closed down the bar at Todd English Pub (extensive but confusing beer list, OK fries, talked Coachella and exchanged instagram handles with Channa the sweet bartender and her boyfriend, 8/10.) The art at Aria and Crystals is kind of banal (Dale Chihuly...yawn) but it was a lot of fun to take a bunch of drunk Hotline Bling selfies in the James Turrell installation by the tram station on the third floor. Go late and you can dance like Drake to your heart's content! I wasn't ready for bed yet, so I stopped at Alibi at Aria for a cocktail and had an excellent chocolate martini garnished with Cocoa Puffs.
Up early for Dig This! I had a 10 am appointment to operate the excavator and after some confusion by the cab driver ("Turn off the meter and let me out, I'll walk the rest of the way because you obviously don't know where you're going!") I made it just in time for the safety briefing. I cannot talk up Dig This enough--it was ridiculously fun. Junior, the instructor, was patient and upbeat even if he had to tell me "no, your RIGHT hand...no, your OTHER right" fifty times. There were two other people in my group and we all had fun encouraging and zinging each other while operating the excavators. We were welcome to take all the pictures we wanted with our cameras and phones and I actually bought the $30 plaque with a professional photo of me in the excavator afterward. (And tipped Junior, of course.) I Ubered back to the strip to eat lunch at Hash House a Go Go at the Linq, but the line was so long and the space so grim and uninspiring I ended up eating lunch at Guy Fieri on the strip. My Mayor of Flavortown burger was fine; I'd eaten at Guy Fieri Chophouse in Atlantic City before so I knew what to expect. After lunch, I walked back to Aria and put $20 in a Hangover penny machine before taking a nap and getting ready for my 6:30 dinner reservation at Carbone. Since I read Pete Wells' review of the original New York location in the Times I'd wanted to eat there. A word about the space at Carbone: opulent. It hearkens back to old-timey New York/Las Vegas Italian restaurants--red velvet booths, an enormous crystal chandelier in the dining room, massive fresh flower arrangements in gigantic brass urns on the bar. The portions at Carbone are famously huge, so I had to order wisely--the clams three ways and the spicy rigatoni were delicious, but the minestrone was thin and weirdly green. For dessert, I ordered the carrot cake with ginger ice cream and it was the best piece of carrot cake I've ever eaten. All the reviews of Carbone talk up the service (you get a table captain instead of a server), but I found it to be inattentive and impersonal: The host tried to seat me at the bar instead of a table in the dining room because I was dining alone, I was disappointed that I wasn't offered the complimentary nip of limoncello and rainbow cookies the other tables around me received after the meal...and nobody said thank you or goodbye when I signed for the bill or walked out of the restaurant! What the hell?! (Not that I was able to take advantage of this, but the women's restrooms at Carbone would make a great place for a quickie.) Carbone overall: Food 8/10. Service 6/10. Hopped in a cab after dinner and headed to PH for Britney. Even on a Monday night, PH was SLAMMED with people. The plexiglas cases with her famous costumes in the lobby (the red leather jumpsuit from Oops I Did it Again, the blue flight attendant costume from the Toxic video, even her dress from when she was on Star Search) were a treat to see. I received Britney tickets as a Christmas gift, and my seat was awesome, though expensive at almost $300. The seats are raked so even if you stand up to dance you're not blocking someone in front of you. Some of the arrangements of her songs were kind of weird--the crowd didn't know when to get hyped for her big hits. But Britney herself seemed lively and engaged and looked great. I grabbed a few of the custom Britney poker chip confetti that blasted over the crowd at the end of the show. As I was leaving I noticed I was seated two rows closer to the stage than Dave Grohl, who was wearing a white crushed velvet dinner jacket and bow tie. (Me: "How's the foot?" Dave: "Healing!")
Tuesday morning, I paid $30 for 3 pm checkout and headed downtown to The Mob Museum. I've never been to downtown Las Vegas before and I was surprised the cabs cost me around $30 each way after tip--locals, did I get longhauled? The Mob Museum is very well done, with lots of memorabilia and well-produced exhibits about the history of Las Vegas, law enforcement, gambling, and of course, organized crime. I thought there were WAY too many people in the museum for it to be enjoyable, though. Go early. Ended my stay with lunch at Crystals at Cucina Wolfgang Puck (a much better beet salad than at Julian Serrano and a side of meatballs, 7/10) and bought myself a scarf at Hermés. When I checked out, the manager credited the $50/night dining credit as a flat $150 to the total bill instead of just to food. I was OK with that. But I learned that at check-in, the woman who checked me in charged my Amex up front for the full balance of my hotel room plus another $350 for a "security deposit." I have no idea why she did that, and neither did the woman who checked me out. Headed to the airport early to unwind in The Centurion Lounge (shoutout to the homies in /churning), which happened to be right across from my gate. There was a nice buffet and a free full bar to take advantage of, but unfortunately for me I'm a nervous flyer and I didn't want to eat or drink anything other than water before my flight. But I made friends with a showgirl waiting for her flight too! Finally, I want to thank all of the /vegas redditors for their advice while I was planning this trip. Your answers to my questions (and ErnDizzy's well-done trip report) helped me cram as much fun into three days as I did. TL; DR version: Aria nice but needs to work on the details; The Spa at Aria is a terrific place to chill; good food at Carbone but service was lacking on my visit; Dig This--unforgettable! A must-do; when Britney's on, she's firing on all cylinders; The Mob Museum is well done but go early.
I DID IT!!! I survived Vegas and a wedding last weekend... without consuming alcohol!
Well... I did it. I survived a trip to Las Vegas last weekend without touching a drop of alcohol. This is a huge accomplishment for me, given my past history with alcohol (and especially given the association my brain has with Las Vegas and drinking). I realized that drinking alcohol was a problem for me after I was stopped on the freeway by a police officer for a DUI just several weeks ago. It was my first ever offense (I've never even received a speeding ticket in my life), but it was the wake up call I needed to quit for good. The alcohol blurred my judgment and caused me to get in my car that night. Thank God no one was injured or killed. Thank God. The lesson is clear: I was given a second chance by (insert higher power here) to change my life for the better. I am certain I will elaborate more about my DUI in a different post on another day, but just know that at that moment, I realized that alcohol was a huge negative in my life and that I had to take action and eliminate it from my life, immediately and permanently. So I took my last drink that night. And I feel damn good about it. Part of my feeling good comes from me reading Allen Carr's book "The Easy Way to Stop Drinking." It changed my entire outlook and perspective on alcohol and actually made me thankful that I quit, rather than remorseful. Whereas I thought I didn't have a "problem," namely because I had never been in trouble due to my drinking, Allen Carr made it clear that we are all in the "pitcher plant" and that it is only a matter of time before alcohol severely impairs and hurts a drinker's life. The DUI was the "rock bottom" or "critical point" I needed to alter my perception of the drinking culture and my drinking habits. But the real test came this past weekend. I had been sober for not even three weeks. My girlfriend invited me many months ago to be her date for a family member's wedding in Las Vegas. At the time of the invite, I was thinking, "Awesome. A wedding. With an open bar. In Las Vegas. This trip is going to be EPIC. (Think THE HANGOVER X1000)" But after my DUI, I was dreading the trip, because I knew that I shouldn't and couldn't drink anymore. I had made the conscious decision to live a sober lifestyle. So this trip scared the s--- out of me. I'll be honest with you all. When we pulled into the MGM Grand parking lot on Friday afternoon, a voice inside my head said, "Dude. Screw it. Have a beer. You're in Las Vegas. You aren't driving. You don't have work until Monday. You have your girlfriend to watch over you and make sure you're okay. What harm will one drink do? Don't let a little DUI change who you are man. You're a drinker! Drink! Have FUN!" That moment ate at me for about 15-20 minutes from the moment we parked until we got into the casino. But after seeing drunks stumbling around and realizing that if I have one, it'll turn into 15 (or 30), and that that stumbling drunk would be ME, the thought of how great drinking is turned into a thought of how great it is I'm not drinking. I don't know how I was able to shift my focus. But I was. And I did. I started to actually observe what was around me and focus on FUN instead of FALSE fun (drinking). We went to New York New York and played the Clue slot machine (totally fun!). Then we went to the Coca Cola store and I got a Sprite Zero and walked around the strip with it. Then we watched the musical fountains at the Bellagio. We then walked in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and hit up a few other hotels/casinos. Then, we ate dinner at Yardhouse (met up with friends and my girlfriend's family), and I ordered water while everyone else ordered alcoholic drinks. No one cared. No one judged me. In fact, people respected me when I said I just don't drink anymore. I said it's not for me. And it isn't. Then we went to play some blackjack. I lost $5 in an hour of playing. My friends lost a lot more. It's easier to gamble when you aren't toasted. You think rationally and make better decisions with your finances. Then we went back to the hotel after walking a total of 15 miles on the strip (thanks Fitbit!) It was nice to fall asleep at the hotel with a clear head, knowing that the next morning, I would feel great! In Vegas! The next morning, I ate a huge breakfast at the hotel buffet, then worked out at the hotel gym. I did 2 hours of weights and running/cardio. Then I went to the pool and relaxed. Finally, I got ready for the wedding. At the wedding, just about everyone was consuming alcohol (even before the ceremony). I stuck to bottled water, then switched to 7-Up in a Red Solo cup. No one knew I wasn't drinking and no one cared. The fun part was being able to socialize with everyone and have confidence doing so, even without the fake confidence that alcohol seems to bring out. I watched people dance. I listened to drunk conversations. I observed drunk behavior. It was a fun wedding, I thought, and I didn't have a single drop of liquor at all during it. Wow. The association of weddings and Las Vegas/gambling and alcohol was beginning to be stripped away. I left the wedding that night knowing I didn't embarrass myself, say anything stupid, throw up on anyone, or act like a genuine a-hole. I was sober, fun, happy, and positive. And everyone told my girlfriend that I was "so nice" and a "great guy." That impression is the one I want to leave on people. Not the impression of "Well, he got really trashed and did X,Y,Z" or "He's okay when he's not drinking" or "He said this and this to her and it was disrespectful." What a difference. Only three weeks in to my sobriety and I'm already realizing how experiencing life sober has so many rewarding benefits. Anyway, after the wedding, I went back to the hotel, again knowing that I would wake up on Sunday morning feeling amazing. And that's exactly what happened. I was able to eat breakfast at Einstein's and not be hungover shoving a bagel sandwich down my throat with my hands shaking and my head foggy. I was able to enjoy the breakfast while looking out at the view of the Strip and just feeling thankful for a sober vacation. For a Vegas vacation where I remember every single detail. Then, we did what my girlfriend wanted us to do (that in past Vegas trips I had been too drunk and too consumed with finding the next drink to ever do): We rode on the roller coaster at New York New York. WOW. How fun was that?!?! It was awesome! What a way to end the trip. The drive back was awesome. No hangover. No regrets. No feeling sick. No DTs. No remorse. Just discussions with my girlfriend about the amazing experience. My takeaway is this: If I survived Vegas and a wedding without alcohol, I can survive just about any situation without it. I'm proud to share this with you all. I LOVE BEING SOBER and I am GLAD I am free from the grasp of alcohol. Thanks for taking the time to read this!! Wow. I can't believe I remember a Vegas vacation enough to share it in this much detail!
MYSTÈRE BY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Location: Mystère Theatre, Treasure Island - TI Phone: 1-866-983-4279 Mystère by Cirque du Soleil provides a complete spectrum of awe-inducing entertainment with colorful sets, imaginative costumes and highly-skilled performers. Show Type: Cirque du Soleil, Production SELECT A DATE AND TIME DATE DAY AVAILABLE TIMES November 18 Saturday 7:00PM 9:30PM $67 November 19 Sunday 7:00PM 9:30PM $67 MAS INFO MICHAEL JACKSON ONE BY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Location: Mandalay Bay Theatre, Mandalay Bay Phone: 1-866-983-4279 Combining dance, music and awe-inspiring visuals, Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil brings alive Jackson's creative genius in a new adventure. Show Type: Cirque du Soleil, Musicals, Production SELECT A DATE AND TIME DATE DAY AVAILABLE TIMES November 18 Saturday 7:00PM 9:30PM $90 November 19 Sunday 7:00PM 9:30PM $90 MAS INFO CÉLINE DION (1004 customer reviews) Location: The Colosseum, Caesars Palace Phone: 1-866-983-4279 Catch Céline Dion perform her repertoire of hits mixed with timeless classics that pay tribute to some of the most celebrated songs of all time in her residency show at Caesars Palace. Show Type: Concerts SELECT A DATE AND TIME DATE DAY AVAILABLE TIMES November 18 Saturday 7:30PM $102 MAS INFO DONNY & MARIE from 73 Best Price Guarantee Booked in the last 4 minutes (1144 customer reviews) Location: Donny & Marie Showroom, Flamingo Phone: 1-866-983-4279 Donny and Marie is a family-friendly show that follows the winning formula of their 1970s TV program, incorporating dancing, humor and plenty of their hit songs and current chart-toppers. Show Type: Concerts SELECT A DATE AND TIME DATE DAY AVAILABLE TIMES November 18 Saturday 7:30PM $73 MAS INFO TOURNAMENT OF KINGS from 73 (329 customer reviews) Location: King Arthur's Arena, Excalibur Phone: 1-866-983-4279 The medieval-themed Tournament of Kings combines arena-style entertainment like jousting and sword fighting with a bacchanalian feast befitting a king. Show Type: Production SELECT A DATE AND TIME DATE DAY AVAILABLE TIMES November 18 Saturday 6:00PM 8:30PM $73 November 19 Sunday 6:00PM $73 MAS INFO HUMAN NATURE JUKEBOX from 67 Best Price Guarantee Booked in the last 2 hours (777 customer reviews) Location: Sands Showroom, Venetian Phone: 1-866-983-4279 Human Nature effortlessly mixes Pop classics with Doo-Wop, Motown, Soul standards and more in Jukebox – The Ultimate Playlist LIVE! Show Type: Concerts SELECT A DATE AND TIME DATE DAY AVAILABLE TIMES November 18 Saturday 7:00PM $67 MAS INFO Thunder From Down Under from 46 Best Price Guarantee Booked in the last 56 minutes (260 customer reviews) Location: Thunder From Down Under Showroom, Excalibur Phone: 1-866-983-4279 The Australian all-male dance revue Thunder from Down Under is a feast of flesh and fantasy for women, providing a night of raucous fun for everyone. Show Type: Adult, Production SELECT A DATE AND TIME DATE DAY AVAILABLE TIMES November 18 Saturday 9:00PM 11:00PM $63 November 19 Sunday 9:00PM $46 MAS INFO THE RAT PACK IS BACK! from 60 Best Price Guarantee Booked in the last 51 minutes (449 customer reviews) Location: Copa Room, Tuscany Suites & Casino Phone: 1-866-983-4279 Relive the glory days of Vegas with the iconic Rat Pack as they are celebrated in this this international hit show. Show Type: Impersonators, Tribute SELECT A DATE AND TIME DATE DAY AVAILABLE TIMES November 18 Saturday 7:30PM $60 MAS INFO The Strip The Strip Share: The 2.5-mile-long central section of Las Vegas Boulevard, which runs through the city from northeast to southwest, known as The Strip, is lined with huge entertainment palaces, many built with a defining theme and home to performance venues, luxury hotel rooms, and fine dining. The Strip is particularly impressive at night, when the city is illuminated by an endless succession of glittering neon signs. Most visitors enjoy walking along the Strip and taking in the sights. Generally speaking, the Las Vegas Strip runs from the Mandalay Bay Hotel to the Treasure Island Hotel. Many of the hotel complexes have free street side entertainment, from dancing fountains to erupting volcanoes. To truly experience Las Vegas, stay on The Strip, preferably at one of the major resorts. For a look at some of the best accommodation options in a variety of price ranges, see our recommended hotels. Fremont Street Experience Fremont Street Experience Allie_Caulfield Share: Off The Strip, in the old downtown Las Vegas, is Fremont Street, a pedestrian only area with all kinds of unique sites. A four block section of Fremont Street has been covered over with a canopy of LED lights which light up the sky in a ray of different colors as you walk below. Known as the Fremont Street Experience, each night a fantastic music and visual show takes place overhead. Street performers and special entertainment acts often perform outdoors in this area. The Fremont Street Experience is in downtown Las Vegas, a few kilometers from the new hotel groupings such as Treasure Island and Caesar's Palace. It is best to take a taxi to reach this area. Official site: www.vegasexperience.com Venetian Hotel and Gondola Rides Venetian Hotel and Gondola Rides Share: The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas is located on "The Strip" across from Treasure Island. It is one of the city's finest resorts and has many interesting tourist attractions. Visitors can walk through the themed shopping arcade built to resemble the city of Venice, complete with blue skies, canals, and gondoliers. The hotel also features recreations of the main attractions found in Venice such as the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs, along with many others. The Venetian Gondola Rides are a fun way to see the complex. Situated out in front of the Venetian Hotel, near the sidewalk, boats await passengers who are then taken on a ride by their personable gondolier through the shopping arcade inside the hotel. Address: 3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas Official site: https://www.venetian.com/ Paris Hotel and the Eiffel Tower Paris Hotel and the Eiffel Tower Share: The Paris Hotel on the Strip is one of the most easily recognized resorts in Las Vegas. Out front is a scale model of the Eiffel Tower, and down the way is a recreation of the Paris Opera House. Also on the property is a mock hot air balloon festooned with neon and flashing lights. Located in the "Eiffel Tower" is an upper end restaurant with fine views out over The Strip and across to the dancing fountains of Bellagio. Address: 3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas Official site: https://www.caesars.com/paris-las-vegas Mirage Hotel: Erupting Volcano and Secret Garden Mirage Hotel: Erupting Volcano and Secret GardenLana Law Share: The Mirage Hotel is easy to identify while walking along the Strip. In front of the resort is a volcano, which erupts at regular intervals. At night, the glowing red fire shooting out is one of the most unique sites visible from the sidewalk. Inside the Mirage is the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Here, visitors can see a wide variety of exotic animals in their natural environment including white lions. The Dolphin Habitat contains a large number of trained dolphins in its 2.5-million-gallon pools. Address: 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas Official site: https://www.mirage.com/en.html Bellagio Resort and Fountain Show Bellagio Resort and Fountain Show Robert Pernett Share: The Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas is considered the city's finest resort and one of the few AAA 5-star-rated hotels. This massive hotel complex has a wide variety of attractions including an Art Gallery, Botanical Gardens, Spa and Salon, coupled with some of the finest restaurants in Las Vegas. Beyond the lobby is a showroom area with changing themes that range from spring botanical displays to fascinating shows of art. The most impressive and famous feature is the fountain show. In front of the Bellagio, along the strip, the dancing fountains perform a beautiful display of water set to music. From the sidewalk, visitors have a ringside view. This is often described as the best free attraction in Las Vegas. Address: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas Official site: https://www.bellagio.com/en.html Caesar's Palace and The Colosseum Shops at Ceasar's Palace Lana Law Share: Perhaps one of the best known of all the Las Vegas hotel resorts, Caesar's Palace continues to evolve. Currently Caesar's Palace is a massive complex in the middle of the Strip, complete with every imaginable entertainment option. The hotel is closely associated with shows held in its huge concert venue known as "The Colosseum." Top performers (which have included Celine Dione and Elton John) perform here for extended periods and shows are often booked out well in advance. Visitors planning a trip and hoping to see a performance here will want to check out dates and ticket availability as early as possible. Address: 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas Official site: https://www.caesars.com/caesars-palace MGM Grand Hotel and CSI: The Experience MGM Grand Hotel and CSI: The Experience Share: The MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas is across the street from the New York-New York Hotel and kitty corner to the Excalibur Resort Hotel. The MGM Grand Hotel has all the amenities visitors would expect to find at a luxury hotel including above average accommodations, an exceptional pool area, a multitude of restaurants, and plenty of entertainment options. One of the hotels popular activities is CSI: The Experience, based on the popular CSI TV series, where participants can test out their detective skills. Address: 3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas Official site: https://www.mgmgrand.com/en.html
Stay away from clubs that have a Major Dj/ Act on that night. Fridays and Saturdays are the worst. They'll price you according to how many people you have. For example at Encore beach club, if you have 6 in your group they'll price you at $1k-1500 to start with. Night clubs usually start at 4/bottle. If you have women with you get them inside through a guest list. They'll get in free. Example, its 4 guys and 4 girls they'll want to get you on a two bottle minimum. Instead have the guys walk in for the one bottle minimum and let the girls know what table number youre at. TA-DA! Youll also get just enough seating for 4-6 but fuck it, youre in a club so get up and have fun!
Its all about real estate. If you just want to have a table to enjoy your own space and not have to worry about waiting at the bar then get a table situated off the side. Also give hosts a hard time, don't just say YES to the first offer. Maybe see if they can throw in a bottle of champ or something. Or a buy two get one free.
Craziest? uhm sex inside clubs. Sex in cabs. Sex out in the open. A girl once was sooo fucked up that she was walking around The Aria with only a bikini bottom and a fishnet top. That's it. Fishnets used to catch Whales so a whole tit, and she had very nice sized tits, pretty much was hanging out. You could see a wave of jaws drop and conversations stop as she walked by with her drunk friend and their two guy friends. Ahh memories. But all in all, drugs, sex, and money being spent on the craziest things. Hobos fighting with themselves. Brides-to-be doing the walk of shame. Craziness.
Id say paying for club passes that are to be had for free. Biggest scam is paying for these wrist bands that promise you no line, no cover, and open bar all night. And its on a night when Tiesto or Zedd is playing. Yeah right, youre showing up to the club and they'll laugh at you. And after you tell them that you gave $30 to someone that seemed honest and even gave you his/her number. I once met a group of 26 girls from a sorority from AZ that each paid $25. After I told them that it was fake two out of the seven girls started tearing. I got them on guest lists to access the clubs for free with one offering an open bar. Was happy to alleviate some of the pain.
Oh shit, I forgot! The guys that bring out their tables on the strip and do the whole follow the ball thing. The people winning work with them. Watch them, they'll win and make sure they let out a WHOOO really loud and make sure people are looking. They lure in others and make it look really easy to win. I once saw a guy lose $1700 and a thick heavy as fuck gold chain in less than 3 minutes. he got on his knees and asked for some of it back . The guy gave him $200 because the idiot said it was the last of his money and was with his wife and three kids. Greed I tell ya.
First off, you wouldn't be the only middle aged couple. I see them all the time. Some just kick back and drink and then some are dancing all night and don't give a shit what anyone else thinks. Let me know what days you are here and I'll put you on some guest lists so you don't pay cover.
Fucking get the fuck out of here. I cannot say "fuck" enough when I see those idiots in the club. I hope they slip on spilled beer, fall on sticky residue and get up right when the confetti is shot out.
No, they stabbed me with audacity... audacity to wear them inside a club. I guess its because I'm a form follows function type of guy. Sunglasses inside would only be ok when you're covering up a black eye from a beat down or your bloodshot red eyes would give away that you've been on a drug binge.
The Wynn and Encore are very lively at night. If you want to gamble and drink with a great view, that's the place. Venetian, Palazzo, Bellagio, Aria, and last but not least The Cosmopolitan ate great places with great energy. The clubs SurrendeEncore Beach Club and XS have gambling tables in case you'd like to soak a little of the scene in while playing a few hands.
Do most of your drinking at slots, tables. Ill put in $10 in a slot, and sometimes not even gamble at all. Cocktail servers come around and ask if I want drinks..."two vodka/tonics please" and tip her $4. If youre doing any pool parties and not doing bottle service you might want to get tickets before hand since theyre cheaper than paying at the door. Flasks flasks flasks! Let me know if I missed anything that concerned you.
That theyre impossible to get in, theyre not fun, expensive to get in, girls are hard to meet/ leave the club with. The club I work for 75% of the times im able to get couples in free provided that they show up early. On slower nights Im able to get uneven ratios in (more guys than girls) or give tickets that grant free entrance. And the ladies. To me they all look the same BUT its hard to get over it. Ive seen guys pick up ladies super quick and they only had a beer in their hand, you don't need a massive table with free drinks galore. Theres a lot of girls in the clubs that have awesome personalities but have their guards of because theyre just not comfortable with being groped. Approach them in a non creepy way and youre golden. I see this every week. What surprises me is how many people come to vacation here and are just total Debbie downers. The most amazing thing about this place is that people come here to have fun and dance theyre asses off, even when they have no clue what theyre doing. Walk in to a club through a guest list and get in free, have a drink and enjoy an amazing sound system. Even if its for 30 min, I feel its large part of the Vegas experience.
Theres a lot of bad that come with the jobs. A significant other will not be happy with your phone blowing up until the early morning. A lof of girls are absolute bitches and think the whole world owes them something for having their tits out. Its a hustle and with every "NO!", "EWW", and "I HAVE A BOYFRIEND CREEP" you have to keep on and hope the next says yes. And please note, I always approach with something non creepy like "Hey ladies sorry to interrupt, have you been invited to see Macklemore & Ryan Lewis tonight on a guest list"?
Great question. First off Diplo is at my workplace tomorrow night so best believe Ill be instagramming tons of Videos. All of Maddecent are awesome. Dillon Francis and Diplo are both awesome. Tons of ass shaking tomorrow for sure!
So everyone pays differently. I only work at SurrendeEncore Beach and have a day job so my time is limited. So Ill breakdown promotions as much as I can. First off there are different types of Promoters. You have the ones that work at a club like yours truly. Since I only work at SurrendeEncore Beach club, which is run by Las vegas Nightlife Group. I only get paid for people that come to my club. XS and Tryst are owned by the same people and we are all located at the Wynn/Encore. You then have Tao Group, Angel Management Group (AMG), and Light Group. Tao clearly has Tao, Tao beach, Marquee and Marquee Dayclub. AMG has (or had, Hakkasan just bought the group out). Hakkasan, Wet Republic, Pure, LAX, Chateau, Venus, Coyote Ugly, Saville Row. LG runs Light, Daylight, Haze, 1Oak, The Bank and a few lounges/restaurants. Tao group promoters can have guest lists at all their venues so if they leave a group with a great impression and they check in on their guest list at all joints then the person just made $ times the number of venues they checked in. Light Group usually confines their employees to one club, unless they need help filling out another (which they usually do) and allow them to be paid (I waited 8 months to get paid by them, I don't like the way they manage their places). AMG varies as well, I heard some are only focusing on Wet and Hak but heard that before they had to have a certain amount check in at other properties. With all this said, if youre a good promoter, hardoworking, and have a good network, 1k a week is a cakewalk. Even 2k can be done for the greater part of the summer. I know of a guy that can make 4-8k/wk and its all through his phone. Money can be real good IF you work hard and hit high numbers. Ill elaborate a little more later on tonight if anyone wants me to. I need to head home.
Well if you don't bring any people and ate not being paid hourly then you might not get a check at all. Those that are successful in this biz network hard, are usually seasoned, and are good enough to the point that clients want to go back to them and refer them to others. Ive heard of hosts being flown to exotic places, gifts being custom made as gifts, and so on. Its really like any other sales job, many do it, some are good, few are great. There are also many ways to make money. You can book hotel rooms, sell packages, etc. where you receive a kick back. When done right its a win/win/win.
Theyre all over the place. Usually just getting drunk and laying out on the sidewalk. I pay no attention to them. Some have demanded money and when I tell them I have no cash or simply say "sorry, cant help ya" at times can get very aggressive. Then they fall on their ass or something. Comical most of the times. Look at them too long though it becomes depressing. The sad thing is I see a lot that are soo young. There was this young girl with a sign that read "pregnant with 2nd child and cannot afford anything. please help". I sat down next to her and asked her why she was out there. I asked if she sought help. I was baffled that such a young person could be so out of luck. She proceeded with a story about her losing her Social Security Income when she moved to Arizona or something. When she moved back they denied her or something along those lines. In the end it seemed like she lost hope and possible gave up too quickly. She said she didn't have family to turn to. Those are the moments when I realize that I am lucky to have a great family that would take me in if I ever went near that route.
I don't ever expect to get tipped. I get paid by the club. There are always people who value what I do and slip me a $20,$40. The most I've ever been tipped was $160. It was for setting up someone with table service at a few clubs. Tips humble me, just buy me a shot and we're good!
Depends on the club. If its just you and a date Id say start at $40. Order of difficulty to skip the line from hardest to easiest: All guys> More guys than girls>even ratio mixed group>all girls. That being said if its just a guy and a girl then Id start out at $40, they might come back with $60-$80. If you feel like pulling their bluff thank them for the help but youll just wait in line. Sometimes they'll see $40 better than nothing. Imagine if he does that 10 times a night? Not bad...
Another thing you might want to think about is say you just left at a restaurant that's in the casino. Id probably use the whole "My buddy So-and-so, manager at ___, told me to come check it out. I forgot the name of who Im supposed to ask though (maybe guess a name). Can we go in and check it out"? Worst case scenario is they say no, next is they let you pass and you pay cover, best thing is you walk in no line and no cover. Ive met people who have succeeded.
A 20% gratuity is always on the bill plus 8.1% tax. Now, with the $200+ you gave the host you then bettered your real estate setting in the club. While you don't really have to tip your host its customary to throw them a bone. You can get your table and have everyone leave you be except your busseserver. Start tipping security and they will make sure the crowd stays clear of your area. Tip your host and they seat you at a better table. Tip a "girl-guy" and they will bring you hot ladies. Now with that last one be very careful, ladies that table hop are very thirsty and the only way for them to stay alive is to have a constant source of alcohol. Party too hard and your 2k table has turned into 8k. Or your 7k has turned into 22k. Ive seen this happen at many clubs. If you just hit it big at the tables or hit a progressive at the slots then fuck it, LIVE IT UP! (Im kidding, save a small town from hunger).
A good promoter wants your experience to be soo awesome that they contact you on their next visit or mention their name when a friend has Vegas plans. That said, our guest lists offer no cover or reduced entry. Express entry is only done when their at the ropes and have an incentive to get you inside faster. If youre a dude youll probably have to tip someone off to skip the line. When I come across a couple I always offer to set them up somewhere else the following night. Its simply good business and I believe in paying it forward. Before I moved to Vegas I made a trip with my SO and I know how hard the city can be without a hookup. I put myself in their shoes and do what I can for them. I always provide pics of my club and explain the whole line/open bar situation. I don't lie to them just for them to get in, it comes back to bite you in your ass.
Be very careful. Vice (undercover cops) are all over and look the role they are playing. I once was walking in front of the Bellagio fountains and within a matter of seconds a couple of men, tattoos on their necks and all, went from talking to a guy one second to quickly pulling out their badges and handcuffing the man. All I heard was "under arrest for possession and intent to..".
Check out the pools, casinos. There a ton of HOT older ladies. A difference between them and younger chicks: Mature woman have no problem having a drink, laying out, or just walking by themselves. You'll find these that are here for a convention and have nothing planned for the night. Whenever I get them on my guest list theres a 90% chance they'll show up. Two weeks ago I had a large group of 9 woman show up. Every. Single. One. Was. Hot!
To make it to 21 and join the fun! Now you have a goal. youre welcome.
I kid, kind of. I approach many under 21 and they all look like theyre having fun. I don't even think theres a curfew so you can at least people watch while sipping on whatever. The city never sleeps. Jump on the roller coaster at NYNY or head to Strasphere and have some fun. Lots of walking and selfie opportunities.
It depends. For a group of all ladies and if theyre cute I can get them a table with champagne bottles for free. The clubs want pretty ladies in so some places offer then a free dinner and a free table. Every club is different. But if theyre hot my first questions is "so how many girls/guys with you" and when its all girls then its a go. Some clubs require a picture of all girls, it then has to be sent to a manager to approve the group.
Its really location specific. Im from Chicago and Vegas is a whole different ball game. We deal with people that are here for a short amount of time. In the end though all places want bodies inside their place. Motion created commotion so if youre in a place that's packed and fun people want to stay and consume more. Most important, get bodies inside the club/bar early. Before 11 is key. That way any propect walking by sees that its busy and wants to be part of the fun. Does this make sense?
You know, even I don't know. I mean if you're put together in a presentable manner than you shouldn't have a problem. If you stick to collared shirts and nice shoes then you're good. No athletic wear, no hats. Sometimes chucks slide but id rather you be safe than sorry. Clearly the day clubs are lenient on dress code, still no athletic wear. If you have a club in mind text me and ill make sure to find out what it is they are/are not tolerating.
My favorite is XS. Hakkasan is the latest and greatest. It cost $100m and was named Nightclub&Bars best top club for 2014. Light inside the Mandalay Bay is awesome. I like Surrender because its an outdoor club with a dancefloor inside (I don't like being shoved every two seconds). Tryst is also cool with a 90ft waterfall. Marquee has always done well and is a must visit (it also gets too crowded for me though). It really depends if you like dancing in the middle of the dancefloor, what kind of music you like, outdoor vs indoor. Then you have your older clubs that still have a following like Pure, Tao. Maybe its because they've been around FOREVER.
Yes, a simple sprite sets you back $7. $10 at Hakkasan! That's why I tell people to load up at a slot so you only need 1-2 more when you're inside the club. But the place is awesome. Awesome can be expensive =/
I talk to a few on a regular basis. Super nice people sweating their asses off and getting paid very little. According to one of them theyre just there to pass them out for a company. They almost never see a bonus for it. If the people they work for still have them up and down the strip passing them out then people must be calling. I don't know too much about the escorts you get from calling those numbers. I do know escorts that work for themselves though. Some of those chicks make tons of dough.
Message me, and Ill let you know whats hot. It usually boils down to hip hop or house (and don't get me started on todays "hiphop, Im oldschool but whatev), outdoor or indoor, daytime or night? Ill point you the way. you cant go wrong with the clubs at the Wynn/Encore though. Don't pay for anything online, sometimes they can be had cheaper here. Example: strip club packages for a bachelorette/bachelor party online charge $30-50 when I can get you the same thing for $7-45. A group of girls from back home (Chicago) were referred to me. For some odd reason one of them decided to buy a package for 9 girls. Turns out they overpaid by $135. Its the internet, they know that people like to preplan so they get you like that. Knowing what I know now Id book a room in advance (but would probably willing to try the last minute hotel sites, Ive heard great things about them) and tickets for clubs if it was all males.
Are you the one who text me already? If not then here it goes: (shameless plug) Surrender its an indoooutdoor club. We book talent ranging from hip hop, trap to EDC, Dubstep. While there check out XS and Tryst. Hakkasan at MGM is new and pretty big. Light at Mandalay Bay is new as well. Great lighting and "powered by Cirque du Soleil", meaning performers hang from the ceiling and behind their LED screen. Marquee at the cosmo has always held their weight. Both indoooutdoor. You then have Hyde, Pure, Tao, Moon, Ghost bar and many others. During the day I'm pretty Sure Ghost bar dayclub (GBDC) and Lavo Brunch will be going on during the day on Saturday. Basically they're clubs open during the day. Encore Beach Club might be open and a few others. Those dates are right on the cusp of pools opening so its TBD as of now. Message me and ill see what I can do for you.
The camera rises up to Victor's face shakily as he walks the sundressed streets of Vegas in typical Vlogging format. He smiles to the camera and turns to nudge two people from his path. The streets dance with shadows gleaming through brightly lit buildings for this time of day. Victor undoes the top button of his navy t-shirt underneath a red and black tie and feels the sun revurburate through his body. VS: Hello one and all and welcome to Las Vegas. You see even though i have no match on the card folks, sad i know but it's true i'd still like to bring a little chaos to the chaos city. Victor spins to the left to view Water masquerading as dancers as it shoots flitts upon the Bellagio fountain Beautiful ain't it? This city. Some say it's sin city but i look at it and just see elegance and class only fitting of 'men' such as SR Tigre and Co. But you see none of this matters, None of this matters when you enter those casino's and gamble and sin your hard work away much like a certain Lee Mercer has done to me and brought upon himself. You see lee you have taken a certain valuable commodity of mine and quite frankly i will not stand for it. Victor now undoes the tie and discards it to the floor below. He then untucks his flawlessly seemed shirt from his pale cream trousers looking as focused and ill of intent as he always does. VS: You see Lee you haven't asked me once why i walked out or even why i've done what i've done but don't worry that'll all be revealed at the next battleground so it looks like we'll all have to wait. As for now you wanted me to get my butt over there? Well you'll get your wish ma'man. Victor gestures to the building as he points the camera up to reveal the outside of the Encore hotel as it gleams and towers over you. Victor turns the camera 180 degrees and smiles. He then walks towards the valet parking underneath the hotel and smiles to the disinterested valet, Victor plants both of his hands on the counter of the key storage as an uninterested man brings his eyes up lazily to meet Victor's. Valet: can i help you? VS: As a matter of fact ma'man yes you can i'd like the keys to my Rolls royce Phantom please. The rather disinterested man glances over to the keys situated upon mellow hooks upon the wall each individually hung. He scrolls down one line and picks out a set of fancy looking keys and hands them to Victor as he smiles in returnand begins to walks down the exit ramp to the underground car park. VS: You see Lee you took something valuable to me and i can't let that go unpunished. So you see Victor holds up the recently acquired keys I'm going to have to repay the favour. I'm sorry Lee but you've forced my hand and well He finds the car of Lee mercer and smiles that cynical smile of devious intent looks to me like you've forced it into your car. Victor reaches into a duffled bag and pulls out a baseball bat. VS: quite sally but it'll do what's necessary. The camera slowly fades to black as Victor turns and raises the bat ready to strike.
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