May 25
by Don

On this year’s March Madness trip we had an interesting cast of characters.  Myself, “44”, and Hollywood are the core members of this annual trip.  We really enjoy analyzing the teams, watching all of the games and betting too many of them.  It’s a trip that we really immerse ourselves into the action.


Unfortunately this year we added some different guys to the mix and the results were mixed at best.  The group was all over the map with one of the guys coming off of a divorce and looking to make up for lost time.  Don't Be Deceived, Danny Is The Only One SmilingWe had another guy who just wanted to golf and really nothing else.  And then we had this guy Mike (Moose) who fancied himself as a Vegas pro since he had been a couple of times before.  Now normally this would have been a great thing.  44 and I welcome the opportunity to have someone added to the mix that can fill in the gaps in the itinerary.  The problem is that there were none.  We had the rooms and meals more than covered so there was really no need to do anything else.  But that’s not what happened.


So Moose had his heart set on seeing Danny Gans.  He was told by a good buddy that this guy was amazing.  He basically browbeat the group into seeing the “Entertainer of the Year”, but what year or even what decade no one knows.  Well we headed over to the Mirage and decided to give it a shot since Moose already plunked down the money for the show on his Visa.


Now I have to say, Danny has talent.  He can do a lot of impersonations and his show basically is one long impersonation.  George Burns, Really Is That Still Funny?The only issue is that his entire set is geared toward the blue-hair crowd.  When you are still doing George Burns and Joan Rivers bits, then you know you are anything but contemporary.  It is a variety show so there is some singing (Simon Cowell would kick this guy’s ass not only for his terrible singing but for stealing his tight black t-shirt look!), some ventriloquism, and of course impersonations.  The show just didn’t have any flow and the transitions between bits were just not there.


Basically this is an “old” Vegas style show, much in the same vain as Wayne Newton (note: We have seen him too and it was just sad.  Please don’t spend that money either!).  Thankfully Moose sat on the end of our row and couldn’t hear or see anything that was being said by us.  We were dying.  I actually left to go to the bathroom about halfway through and I debated even coming back.  Well I did come back, but I stood in the entryway with the usher who was in love with Danny.  It was a little eerie.


The One Finger ReviewSo there you have it.  A show with no real flow with a guy who has some talent but is far from the most entertaining show you could see on any given night on the strip.  Personally I would recommend any Cirque du Soleil show over this one in a heartbeat, but you might want to have subject matter for constant jokes over the course of your trip.  If that’s the case than it’s Dan-tastic!

May 22
by Don

I am not a very spiritual guy by any means; however I am a big believer in Karma.


There are so many things that happen in Vegas that simply can not be explained in any other way than Karma.  There is almost always a guy who has a completely negative attitude at the Blackjack table and just loses constantly.  He is cursing and generally unhappy.  Then the bubbly Coed sits down at the table and proceeds to win 5 in a row and she is stoked.  He is still sour, rude, and generally unpleasant yet she is having the time of her life.  Karma.


So I have a philosophy that even old “44” has picked up on; and that’s tipping.  I mean tipping everyone who does anything for you while you are in Vegas.


I know that there will be some resistance to this, because why in the world is the cab stand guy deserving of anything when he just whistles for a cab and throws you in?  Well I don’t know other than it’s a dollar, and you will get great service.  $1 goes so far that you will be amazed at how people’s faces light up when you tip and thank them for providing you with a drink; some change; or even a pay out.


Here is a quick run down of who and what you should be tipping while you are in Vegas (not a definitive list by any means, feel free to expand when necessary):


Cab Driver – $2 per trip

Taxi Stand Guy – $1 again it doesn’t feel right at first, but do it

Bell Stand Guy – $1 per bag

Waiter –  20-30%, depending on your level of service

BJ Dealer –  $1 tips on your bet when you can, varies with play

Cocktail Server – $1 per drink, if you don’t you will go thirsty!

Maid – $2 per night/person, they clean your toilet, `nuff said

Casino Cashier – $1 when you are cashing your winnings, why not?

Front Desk – $20 if they upgrade you, but probably won’t take it.

Casino Host – $50-? if you have one then you’re a balla; tip like one.


I will leave you with a nugget that actually convinced “44” that this is the way.  Every year a couple of us go out to bet college basketball during March Madness.  We are betting a ton of games and I am winning more than I am losing at this point.  We are at the MGM sportsbook and I am cashing my tickets in with the same two ladies all day.  I tip every time I cash in a winner and chat them up all the while.  Well on 3 different occasions over the course of the day I was overpaid by $50, $100, and then $50 again.  They were honest mistakes I think, but every time I was at the window they would scan the tickets, be happy for me winning, we would chit chat, I would get my tip out for them, and then collect the money.   Only one of them would count my money back to me, and she just counted it out incorrectly.  The other just game me my winnings and that was that.  There is so much money going in and out during that first weekend of games that I am sure it’s hard to keep up with all of the small timers like me, but it’s nice when people make “mistakes” in your favor.  True Story.


Like I have been told by countless dealers, “this is not my money and I would rather see you take it then the house.”  Don’t even get me started about what goes on at the Blackjack tables. 


So do the right thing every time and good things will happen to you too!

May 21
by Don

I have to say that I am one of the luckiest guys in the world.  The fact that Lori loves everything I do (Gators, Lakers, Johnnie Walker, and of course Vegas) makes life that much easier.


She happens to be a great poker player as well, which makes for great trips to Vegas where we do nothing but play poker.  We just went there two weeks ago to play in a couple of daily tourneys as a warm up for the WSOP trip that we will be going on early next month.  I will be posting throughout that trip, but here is a quick review to wet the palate.


Caesars Palace $300+$30 (Saturday @ Noon)


The poker room is located through the sportsbook and is fairly large.  The tournament area is actually a separate room altogether and has recently been redone since they held a WSOP circuit event earlier in the year.


The chairs, tables and general atmosphere are all top notch.  Oddly though they don’t have automatic shufflers which isn’t terrible per say, but you don’t get as many hands in per round.


Personnel is always key in every well run tournament, and these guys are good.  The dealers are efficient and knowledgeable and move the games along nicely.  Both food and beverage service is good; however the woman running food was a bit elderly and ornery.  Loved her.


You start with $10k worth of chips and there are 40 minute levels, so the play is nice and long.  I will spare you the bad beat stories, but I will point out that both Lori and I got bounced with QQ.  There is no justice.


The Venetian $130 +$20 (Sunday @ Noon)


The poker room in the Venetian is right next to the escalators leading up to the main entrance of the casino.  It’s very open and has a comfortable feel to it.


The chairs at the Venetian are a bit more “comfy” (Lori’s favorite descriptor) with more cushion and wheels.  This is key when you reach the 4th hour of a 9 hour tourney.


The dealers and floor personnel are solid; although there was almost a mutiny when the main floor guy turned off the Lakers/Jazz game right at the moment of the final shot which ultimately went to overtime.  The Lakers blew the game in OT, but they soldiered on and closed out the series in 6.  But I digress…


One of the nicest amenities of any poker room in Vegas is the Venetian water, which is bottled Fiji water.  They pass it out like candy, and it’s just a bit nicer than your normal purified water that you will get out on the casino floor.  Very Choice.


Nothing great to report other than I got out kicked on my set in a three way early on and then donked the rest of my chips off when this incredible Magoo woke up with KK.  Lori of course just had her AA cracked by a set of K’s with the last coming on the river.  Solid.


So over all I would have to say that the Venetian was the overall better experience.  They have a $500+$50 on Saturdays that is normally pretty good, but that’s for another post.


Pictures provided by  We forgot our camera.