Compiled by LVA Research
• March 7, 2010 Heads-Up Final:
Eric Seidel and Annie Duke will square off in tonight's H-U final. Seidel is an eight-time WSOP-bracelet winner. Duke is the world's best-known female poker player and runner-up in last year's Celebrity Apoprentice TV show.
• March 7, 2010 Oscar Odds:
Here's a quick summary of how the oddsmakers see tonight's Academy Awards playing out. The following odds are representive of what's available at online shops (favorites only):
The Hurt Locker -125
Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) -700
Grorge Clooney (Up in the Air) +650
Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) -220
Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia) +170
Jeff Bridges is a prohibitive favorite (bet $700 to win $100) for Best Actor, but it's nothing like the faves for Best Supporting Actress and Actor. For Supporting Actress, Mo'Nique (Precious) is -2000, and a bigger favorite yet is Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Bastards) at -2500.
• March 7, 2010 Duke and Phillips Advance:
Annie Duke and Dennis Phillips have advanced to the second semi-final in the Heads-Up Championship. The Final Four is made up of Duke, Phillips, Erik Seidel, and Scotty Nguyen.
• March 7, 2010 Ivey Snags Cigar Cover:
Poker superstar Phil Ivey is the dapper cover image on the March/April Cigar Aficionado. The magazine has a gambling-related story almost every issue, but this is the first we recall to take the cover.
• March 7, 2010 Heads-Up, First Semi:
Peter Eastgate and Scotty Nguyen have advanced to the first semi-final match in the Heads-Up Championshp. The second semi will be made by the winners of Dennis Phillips vs. Doyle Brunson and Jerry Yang vs. Annie Duke.
• March 7, 2010 Eight Left in Heads-Up:
The remaining eight players in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship include four WSOP main-event winners -- Peter Eastgate, Jerry Yang, Scotty Nguyen, and Doyle Brunson. Annie Duke is the last remaining woman. The tournament concludes today.
• March 7, 2010 Traffic Warning:
Expect long delays on the U.S. 93 south of Hoover Dam on Tuesday and Thursday of this week as the Arizona Department of Transportation implements a highway widening scheme. The blasting and cleanup work will be taking place about three miles south of Hoover Dam on both days from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and delays of up to an hour are anticipated. Motorists traveling on non-blasting days this week can expect 30-minute delays due to reduced speed limits, flagging stations, and no passing zones. Alternate routes should be considered where possible.
• March 7, 2010 Ho Goes Home:
Controversial Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho was discharged Saturday after seven months in the hospital for unspecified surgery. The 88-year-old billionaire apparently raised his right arm to acknowledge a group of reporters as he was wheeled out of the Hong Kong hospital but did not speak to the media.
• March 6, 2010 Aloha Allegiant:
Allegiant Air has signed a forward purchase agreement to acquire six Boeing 757-200 aircraft over the next eighteen months, enabling the Las Vegas-based airline to expand its leisure travel service into Hawaii. The first two planes are expected to be in service in the fourth quarter of this year.
• March 6, 2010 NYT Reviews Aria:
The Travel section in today's New York Times contains a favorable review of Aria at CityCenter. Click here to read it.
• March 6, 2010 Heads-Up Poker:
Day two of the 6th annual NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship covenes today at 1:15 p.m. at Caesars Palace. The field of 64 of the world's best players has been cut in half, with notable first-round exits suffered by reigning WSOP main-event champ Joe Cada (lost to David Williams); perennial contender Andy Bloch (to Annie Duke), and last-year's winner Huck Seed (to Eric Seidel).
• March 6, 2010 Tyson Comeback?
After the recent announcement that Evander Holyfield intends to return to the ring come rumors that Mike Tyson, who last fought in 2005, is also planning to make a comeback. The 43-year-old was recently reconciled with promoter Don King and received a publicity boost from his appearance in the hit movie, The Hangover. We'll keep you posted if we hear more.
• March 6, 2010 Bark in the Park:
Head over to Paseo Verde Park in Henderson from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today for four hours of free fun for you and your pooch, including demos, contests, and pet adoptions. All pets must be on a leash and handlers must be at least 10 years old.
• March 5, 2010 Manilow Opening Canceled:
As just reported by R-J entertainment columnist Mike Weatherford, Barry Manilow's opening night at Paris tonight has been canceled, apparently due to a power surge that damaged some equipment. Today's 7:30 p.m. show has been moved to 10 p.m. Saturday. Those who wish to attend this rescheduled performance may use their original tickets; ticketholders who would an exchange or refund should contact the point of purchase by either calling Ticketmaster at 800/745-3000 or visiting the Paris Theatre Box Office.
• March 5, 2010 New Featured Thread at LVASports:
If you got all caught up in the excitement of hockey at the Winter Olympics and like to bet sports, you might want to check out the new "Featured Thread" just posted at LVASports.com.
• March 5, 2010 Dining Listings Revamped:
We've got a new set-up for our restaurant listings, which we hope will make it quicker and easier to find what you're looking for. There are so many dining options in Las Vegas these days that it was taking forever for the whole list to load; so, we've broken down the listings by cuisine type, plus you can search by hotel, or by specialty (vegetarian-friendly, Kosher, gluten-free, late-night, outdoor seating etc.) There's still a link to the whole list, if you don't know what you're looking for and are in search of inspiration. Check it out and see what you think.
• March 5, 2010 Cops & Mobsters Talk Vegas Crime:
Tomorrow at noon PST former mobster Frank Cullotta, ex-cop and writer Dennis Griffin, and a panel of other experts will discuss the history of Las Vegas crime and whether Sin City was really "safer" under mob rule. Click here for more information.
• March 5, 2010 First Friday:
It's the monthly downtown arts festival this evening and the weather should be nice (there's a storm moving in for the weekend, so enjoy being outdoors while you can). Here's a link to what's going on tonight and here's a map.
• March 5, 2010 McCarran Traffic Down Slightly:
The latest passenger counts at McCarran International Airport showed a tiny decline for January, down just 0.2 percent on the previous year. Southwest and American Airlines both experienced increased counts, however.
• March 5, 2010 Alabama Casino Defiant:
Milton McGregor, owner of Victoryland in Shorter, AL, will reopen the state's largest casino at 1 p.m. today, despite the threat of a raid from the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling. The casino has been closed since early February to prevent a raid, but yesterday the Macon County sheriff and district attorney watched a demonstration of the games and declared them legal electronic bingo, not illegal slot machines, so McGregor has vowed to reopen for business.
• March 5, 2010 Reader Poll:
Did you vote in our current Reader Poll yet? If not, just click the link to take part.
• March 5, 2010 How Harrah's Survived the Recession:
There's an interesting article in the Business section of today's Las Vegas Sun, featuring candid interviews with top Harrah's executives regarding the drastic measures the company took to avoid the threat of bankruptcy, including learning lessons from their customers via the Total Rewards program.
- Barry Manilow opens his new show at Paris (3/5)
- Saturday's St. Baldrick's Day and head-shaving events will be taking place at McMullan's, Nine Fine Irishmen at New York New York, and Fado's Irish Pub to raise money for childhood cancer research.
- This is the penultimate weekend to catch Jason Alexander in his one-man show, The Donny Clay Experience, at Planet Hollywood (3/4-3/7)
- The Orleans welcomes crooner Engelbert Humperdinck (3/5-3/7)
- Bon Jovi takes the stage at MGM Grand (3/6)
- Galatic rocks the Hard Rock (3/7)
- George Lopez does stand up at the Las Vegas Hilton (3/5-3/6)
- And Ray Romano teams up with Kevin James at the Mirage (3/5-3/6)
• March 4, 2010 Win Some, Lose Some at M Buffet:
From Friday, March 5, Studio B will revert to serving regular lunch Monday through Friday for $14.95 (recently, the price was upped to $29.95 for an all-day seafood buffet Fri-Sun). The strange part is that they're still serving the seafood buffet for dinner on Friday, for the same all-day Sat./Sun. price of $29.95. So, if you just want to try the (excellent) lunch, go on Friday; if you want seafood, take advantage of the all-day price on the weekend. The MRB 2-for-1 offer is good for all meals.
• March 4, 2010 Weekly Column Live:
With the latest economic stats, plus news from the world of entertainment, and an unlikely casino conversion in Tahoe, Anthony Curtis' weekly Las Vegas digest is ready to read at LVA in the Media.
• March 4, 2010 Wynn Offers $250M for Casino Share:
Wynn Resorts Ltd. will provide about $250 million for a 51 percent controlling share of the waterfront casino it's seeking to take over in Philadelphia. The sum equates to approximately 40 percent of the estimated $600 million cost of the project and includes funds for construction and a redesign.
• March 4, 2010 Wind Advisory In Effect:
The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory through 10 a.m. for the Vegas Valley today. Gusts recorded around the area this monring included 55 mph at Kyle Canyon, 49 mph at Red Rock Canyon, and 18 mph in central Las Vegas.
• March 4, 2010 Icahn Gets A.C. Trop. Approval:
Billionaire Carl Icahn, who last year purchased the Tropicana Atlantic city in a bankruptcy auction, has been granted interim authorization by the New Jersey Gaming Control Board to own and operate the property while it conducts its investigation into the suitability of the company and its owners. Icahn continues to battle with Donald Trump over control of bankrupt Trump Entertainment Resorts and its three Atlantic City casinos.
• March 4, 2010 Donny & Marie Return:
After a 10-day hiatus following the death of Marie Osmond's son, the singing duo will return to the Flamingo beginning March 9, and have announced five extra performance dates for next month from April 13-17. Tickets for these extra dates, added to accommodate guests who had tickets to recently cancelled shows, go on sale today.
• March 3, 2010 Kennedy Items Removed from Homicide Exhibit:
In response to objections from his family, evidence from the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles — including the bloody clothes he was wearing when he was shot — has been removed from "Behind the Scenes: The LAPD Homicide Experience," the exhibition currently being hosted at the Palms. The exhibit, which is open to the public, is part of the California Homicide Investigators Association conference that's taking place at the property this week.
• March 3, 2010 CSN Advanced Ticket Sale:
Legendary rockers Crosby, Stills & Nash are playing The Joint at the Hard Rock on Friday, June 4. Tickets don't officially go on sale to the general public until this Saturday, but you can click here and use promo code HRHCSN to take advantage of the online pre-sale tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Friday. Tickets start at $42.
• March 3, 2010 New Mini-Golf Venue:
Apparently, The Putt Park opened last September, but they must've opened very quietly, because we didn't hear. So, now Las Vegas has an outdoor 18-hole mini-golf course, that features Cosmic Mini-Golf and Friday Night Lights special events, in addition to the indoor mini-golf at King Putt, which now has two venues.
• March 3, 2010 More Pool News:
"Daylife" returns to Wet Republic, the party pool at MGM Grand, which is opening its doors March 12 for the 2010 season. The first celebrity event of the year takes place on March 27, hosted by "Girl Next Door" Kendra Wilkinson.
• March 3, 2010 TAO Beach Hiring:
The sometime topless and always popular party pool at the Venetian begins its summer recruitment drive today, hiring for all positions through Sat., March March 6. The open casting call takes place in the nightclub from 1-5 p.m. daiiy. Bring your swimsuit to change into for your audition photo.
• March 3, 2010 Casino Fined:
In more news from Pennsylvania, Mount Airy Resort Casino has been fined $100,000 for allowing underage patrons to access the gaming floor and play slot machines in six incidents that took place between July and November of 2009.
• March 3, 2010 Mixed Reception for Wynn:
While the Philadelphia Enquirer reported that Steve Wynn's arrival had been greeted approvingly by hoots, hollers, and whistles from more than 150 union tradesmen earlier today, his presentation to state gambling regulators has apparently been interrupted by angry hecklers opposed to the long-stalled casino project that Wynn's hoping to take over.
• March 3, 2010 M Party on Friday:
M Resort turned one year old earlier this week, but the celebration's been saved until Friday, when there will be free cake and champagne served on the casino floor from 4-8 p.m.
• March 3, 2010 Casino Converting to Strip Club:
Harrah's Entertainment has sold its Bill's Lake Tahoe casino property, shuttered since January due to declining business. The buyer, reportedly, is an attorney from northern Nevada who plans to turn the property into a gentlemen's club. If the plan's approved, it would be the first strip club for Lake Tahoe.
• March 3, 2010 Wynn in Pa. Today:
Steve Wynn's due to testify today in a hearing called by the Pennsylvania State Gaming Control Board to determine the fate of the stalled Foxwoods casino project that's supposedly due to open in May 2011, but has yet to begin construction. The board has grown frustrated with the ongoing delays and has fined Foxwoods $2,000 per day -- the total now stands at $186,000 -- for missing a Dec. 1 deadline to provide details on casino construction. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation hope Wynn's involvement will save the project. The casino mogul last week told a group of stock analysts that he intends to build "the cutest casino you've ever seen" in Philly, desinged to have local and tourist appeal. He plans to shelve more ambitious original plans for a hotel and resort amenities.
• March 2, 2010 New Look for Frugal Blog:
We just updated the "theme" of Jean Scott's Frugal Vegas blog and hope it will make it easier to use and to find things -- take a look and let her know what you think!
• March 2, 2010 Facelift for A.C. Boardwalk:
Officials in New Jersey are in agreement that any resurgence for the struggling casinos of Atlantic City must begin with the renovation and image-upgrading of the famed Boardwalk, which has fallen into disrepair amidst protracted bureaucratic wrangling. Click here for more on this story and details on where the necessary funding might come from.
• March 2, 2010 Homicide Exhibit:
As part of the Annual Conference of California Homicide Investigators Association taking place this week in Las Vegas, host property the Palms is exhibiting the "Homicide Experience," a recreation of some of California's most infamous crimes. Exhibits on display include evidence from the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, the Charles Manson killings, and the Black Dahlia case. Some of the clothing featured includes the suit worn by Sen. Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles and the infamous leather glove that O.J. Simpson's attorneys claimed was planted at the murder scene of his ex-wife and Ronald Goldman.
The exhibit, which is being housed in the Palms' Key West ballroom, will be open to the public March 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• March 2, 2010 Bad Sign for CityCenter:
Silk Road, the high-end Asian restaurant at Vdara, has already cut dinner from the menu. At opening, the venue served breakfast, lunch, and dinner and was open from 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m. daily; that's now been cut to 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
• March 2, 2010 Holyfield Comeback:
Boxer Evander Holyfield, who last fought in Las Vegas in 2003 when he lost resoundingly to James Toney in the ninth round, has once again been licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to fight in the city. The decision to grant the 47-year-old fighter a license came over the objection of one board member, who had witnessed the '03 defeat. Holyfield plans to take on 41-year-old Frans Botha at the Orleans Arena on April 17.
• March 2, 2010 Mesquite Casinos File for Chpt. 11:
As reported in today's Las Vegas Review Journal, Mesquite casino operator Black Gaming LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, in which South Point casino owner Michael Gaughan is an investor, operates the Oasis, Virgin River, and CasaBlanca casinos. The Oasis has been virtually closed since last May but operations at the company's other eight properties, which include the Oasis Golf Course, are expected to continue uninterrupted. Gaughan's South Point casino will operate the race and sports books at the Mesquite casinos and will provide some back-of-the house management services.
• March 2, 2010 Hoffman to Star in "Luck":
It's been announced that Dustin Hoffman will star in the upcoming HBO pilot for new series "Luck," which we first reported in the January LVA newsletter. The series is described as a "provocative look at the worlds of horse-racing and gambling told through a diverse group of characters surrounding a racetrack." Landing Hoffman's a major coup for the project; the Oscar-winning actor hasn't done TV in over 40 years. Apparently, an early spring production start in Los Angeles is being eyed for the pilot.
• March 2, 2010 Smashburger Seeks Band:
Popular national chain Smashburger is looking for a local band to perform at the restaurant's Las Vegas debut on Saturday, March 20. Bands of all styles are welcome to compete -- just upload a video of you/your band performing (PG, please) to YouTube and then send the link, your contact information, and any questions to email@example.com no later than Sunday, March 7, 2010. Finalists will be notified of their inclusion in the competition. The winning band will be chosen by the public through online voting, which runs through Sunday, March 14, 2010. The first Las Vegas Smashburger is located at 7541 W. Lake Mead, Suite 2.
• March 1, 2010 Unwelcome Accolade for I-15:
The interstate linking Clark County, Nevada to San Bernadino County, California has been named #1 most dangerous highway in the country, with speed, DUI, and the widespread lack of seatbelt-wearing cited as the principal culprits. With an estimated eight million drivers using it each year, it's also one of the nation's busiest roads.
• March 1, 2010 Osmonds Show Dark Through Saturday:
Following the suicide of Marie Osmond's adopted son Michael Blosil, the Donny & Marie show currently performing at the Flamingo has been canceled through Saturday, March 6. Blosil, who had struggled with lifelong depression, apparently jumped to his death from the window of his L.A. apartment Friday night. He was eighteen years old.
• March 1, 2010 Census Bureau Hiring:
Nevada will hire an anticipated 4,800 employees for the nation's upcoming census, making the agency one of the state's largest (temporary) employers. Many of the jobs start at $14/hr, plus mileage when traveling. Applicants must pass a criminal-background check and a 28-question test on grammar and math. Click here for more information.
• March 1, 2010 Happy Birthday to M:
M Resort, the locals-oriented Anthony Marnell property south of the Strip celebrates its first anniversary today. A call to the property revealed they're keeping it low-key and not holding any special celebrations, however.
• March 1, 2010 Peepshow Returns:
The topless revue at Planet Hollywood featuring "Girl Next Door" Holly Madison resumes performances tonight after an abrupt two-month hiatus, during which the theater was remodeled and the show tweaked. Don't forget there's a ticket offer for this show (and more than 30 others) in the 2010 MRB.
• March 1, 2010 Another Sellout for Garth:
Tickets for singer Garth Brooks' next 20 shows at Encore sold out within hours of their release Saturday morning, just as the first batch did. The next set of dates begins March 26-28 and tickets were priced at $143.
• March 1, 2010 Online Gambling for Iowa?:
Some Iowan lawmakers are seeking to legalize intra-state Internet gambling, with an eye on the estimated $11.5 million in additional tax revenue that the move could yield. The legal gambling would apparently be limited to online poker run by the state's 17 legal physical casinos, where patrons would have to make a cash or credit card deposit in person. Players would then be able to access their account remotely via computer, provided that they were within Iowa state lines. An estimated 50,000 Iowans already gamble online with offshore casinos. Opponents of the proposal cite fears of an increase in the risk of gambling addiction.
• March 1, 2010 Bethlehem Update:
Las Vegas Sands has responded to the rumor currently circulating with a statement that it is not planning to sell its casino in Pennsylvania and rather is looking to restart construction on the 300-room hotel tower within the next several weeks.
• March 1, 2010 Congo Room Closes:
Today marks the closure of the Sahara's Congo room, with the two acts that currently perform in there moving to the main theater downstairs. The Sahara Theater is built on the site of the original Congo room that opened in 1952 and played host to stars including The Beatles, Johnny Carson, Tina Turner, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
• March 1, 2010 Sands to Shed PA Property?:
Local newspaper the Express-Times reports a rumor that Las Vegas Sands Corp. intends to sell its Bethlehem casino, only nine months after its opening, due to its disappointing performance and the company's increasing focus on the Macau market. According to the 2009 fourth-quarter report, released last week, the slots-only casino showed an operating loss of $2.1 million. Management declined to comment on the sale rumor, but said it was hoped new marketing strategies and the upcoming legalization of table games in the state would help boost revenues. The Sands Bethlehem hotel, mall, and conference center had been scheduled to open with the casino last May, but construction on the three amenities was halted in October 2008 and hasn't resumed.