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A Vegas Miracle - how I won $129,000 in my 3rd tournament ever
This is how I won $129,000 in my 3rd ever poker tournament. Note: don't try this, it probably won't turn out well for you. I spent about 6 months grinding up a $5,000 bankroll playing home/casino games ranging from .5/1 to 1/3. The week that I hit that $5,000 mark, Matt, one of my best friends from college informed me that his job had placed him in Las Vegas for the next month and that I could crash with him for a few nights if I wanted to come on out west. I had frequent flyer miles for the flight and some Mlife/Fremont hotel comps for the rest of the trip. My grand total for flight and lodging for 10 days came to $200. Now, I’m not going to bore you guys with low-level cash hand histories. The next 10 days were filled with me playing lowstakes poker for 10-12 hours a day. It’s as fun as it sounds – it’s not. I was having a good time in Vegas otherwise – but towards the end of the trip I had a realization: 1/2’s the same everywhere. I didn’t have to fly out to the desert to raise to $7 preflop. After 10 days, my grand total from poker (and a fair amount of dumb degenerate shit on Fremont) was -$186. That wasn’t what I came out to do — I knew that I was a better player than my recent results had indicated. The morning of my return flight, I decided I was going to play tournaments until I either busted my $5,000 bankroll or hit something worthwhile. I impulsively decided to not get on my plane at 11:30am. Checkout time from Luxor was at 11:00 – and I didn’t know where I was going yet. I had 30 minutes to pack up my stuff and figure out where I was going before they’d charge me a fee. I sorted TripAdvisor by cheapest first – I’ve stayed in crappy hostels/motels before and overall am a very low maintenance person. I figured that by staying somewhere for $20 a night, I’d be able to maximize the amount of shots I could take before flying back home. I accepted that there was a real chance I’d go back broke – but I didn’t really care. If I didn’t take my shot now, then when? I booked the cheapest bed in Vegas - a 6-person shared hostel just past the Stratosphere. Let's just say you get what you pay for — it was not a happy place. A fair amount of the people in there were bordering on homelessness and there was barbed wire surrounding their outdoor gym. In addition to this, I had the constant stress of knowing that all that separated my bankroll from the rest of my roommates was a tiny lock. I took the Deuce to the strip, lived off food comps, and turned down invites from my friends to hang out. I was in town to play poker, nothing else. Disclaimer: I had never played tournaments prior to heading out to Vegas. My only knowledge of hand ranges was from watching televised events. I downloaded a free Nash chart app on my phone while on the Deuce to the strip and studied it for 5 minutes – whatever, I get the jist of it. Let’s play some cards. The first day of doing this I played the $140 daily at the Aria. Top 13 spots paid -- I finished in 15th. It was depressing to say the least — I felt as if I was at rock bottom. Before the first night of sleeping at the hostel I called the airline to see if I could get on the flight that I had deliberately missed the day prior. I couldn't. I made it my goal to at least cash something so that I could get a decent hotel room. I couldn’t have slept more than 2-3 hours the first night there. One of my roommates was loudly vomiting all night, the sheets itched, and I was going through an existential crisis... like dude, you’ve got a finance degree and you’re really doing this shit? While on the bus to the strip, I opened Poker Atlas and saw that there was a $200 satellite to win a seat into the $1,600 Venetian main event. I decided that I was going to go take a shot at that. I was at risk twice in the satellite but after studying the GTO method on how to win coinflips, I persevered and won a seat to the main. The first day was surreal – once again, I was running on minimal sleep due to my housing arrangements, but I remember the following hands from day 1:
Button opens to 2.2x, I’m in the BB with Q9cc. SB folds, we go HU to a flop of 832c. He c-bets, I call. Turn 4x, x/x. River Ax. I check, he bets, I x/r to like 3x his bet, he insta folds. I take it down and show air.
UTG+1 opens, MP calls, I flat on the button with K10ss. 3 ways to a flop of Qs43xx. UTG+1 bets 40% pot, MP calls, I call. Turn is the Js. UTG+1 bets 60% pot, MP calls, I flat. River comes the 8s. UTG+1 snap bets 80%. MP flats, I flat. I announce king high flush, they both muck.
Folds to the SB, he limps, I look down at Q10o, and check. Flop comes KQ6r. He leads 35%, I call. Turn 10. He bets, I call. River comes a J. He bets, I tank for about 45 seconds then flick in a call, he shows 76o… ship it.
The average stack after day 1 was around 40k, I bagged like 65k. I walked back to the Deuce stop outside of the Venetian and headed on my 30 minute ride back home. I kept thinking to myself, someone’s gotta win this thing, why not me? I had to get in the money for this tournament to be able to get the fuck out of there. A min cash here was over $3k – that was more than enough for me to get a suite on Fremont for a few nights and party for a bit, then get home with my head held high. Day 2: I get up at 7am after already being completely awake for the past 4 hours. There’s no way I slept more than 3 hours last night. I hit the Denny’s by the Stratosphere then get on the Deuce. I get to the Venetian and feel like I’m about to fall asleep. I go to the self-serve coffee/tea dispenser in the middle of the room and make myself an iced coffee. I get to my table, and the cocktail waitress comes around. I ask for another iced coffee and toss her a fiver. Here are some highlights from the 1st half of day 2:
I open 97ss on the button, BB flats. Flop comes AK3s. BB checks, I bet 35%. He throws out a 5k chip – which I interpret as a x/r to my bet. I groan, make a joke about it being the first hand of the day, and start to muck. The dealer stops my cards midway before hitting the muck, and informs me that he didn’t raise, that he called my flop bet. Everyone laughs, I go silent and wait for him to make change. Turn is the 2s. He thinks for a second and bets 30%. I tank for like 30 seconds, then flat. River is a blank. He thinks for a second, then checks. I bet like 30% pot. He tells me that I’m an angle shooter and mucks. I tell him I’m not an angle shooter and show my 9 high. Everyone laughs, we get on with playing.
CO opens, I 3b 87dd in the SB to 4x, he flats. Flop comes 1032d. I check, he checks. Turn is the 6d. I bet 55% pot, he flats. River comes the Kd. I bet 60%, he tanks, tells me he thinks I backdoored diamonds, then folds. Damn, these players are pretty good.
I open KK UTG to 2.5x, UTG +1 flats. Heads up to a flop of K43r. x/x. Turn 8, I bet 40% pot, he calls. River 3, I bet 80% pot, he tanks, then calls with AK.
I bring my 3 racks of chips to the new table and immediately get some comments – whatever, I’m just on a heater, it happens. At this point, my body was giving out. I was trying my hardest not to fall asleep in between every hand. Cutoff opens, I’m in the SB, I look down at KK. I put in the 3b, folds back to him. He puts in a healthy 4. We’re the two big stacks at the table – I’d guess he was 50bb effective while I was around 65bb. God damn, am I good enough to fold kings here? No, I’m not. I shove, he snaps, I know that I’ve just fucked up my tournament. He shows the aces. The dealer puts a king in the window, and I hold. I’m for sure the chip leader now. I lose a few 40/60 and 60/40 flips and chip down a bit. I still have a very healthy stack, probably around 80bb. The next 3 hands are from the second half of day 2:
Aggro Asian guy on the button. Folds to him, he opens to 2.2x, SB folds, I look down at 43ss and raise to 7.5x, he flats.
Flop comes 894cc. I check, he bets, I call. Turn’s another 9. I check, he bets 75% pot, I call. River’s the 10c. I check, he bets 1.2x pot. I ask the dealer for a count of the bet – meanwhile, villain looks like he’s going to shit himself. I flick in a chip, he throws down KcQx. I laugh a little, show my 43ss, and obnoxiously say ship it.
I open KQo UTG+1, MP 3bets me. I figure that a 4b from UTG+1 could take it down a fair amount of the time, so I decide to go for it. He thinks for a second and flats.
Flop comes AK4r. I check, he checks back. Turn is a 6, goes x/x again. River’s another brick. I put in a 30% value bet. He does a little grimace and tanks for like 20 seconds. It looks like he’s going to fold so I start verbally telling him that his queens are good. The dealer informs me that you’re not allowed to talk about your hand to another player. I inform him that I’m not talking about my hand, I’m talking about villains’ hand. Dealer laughs and lets me continue to antagonize villain. MP starts talking back, asking if I’m really bluffing. I inform him that once he folds, I’ll show the bluff. He ends up calling, I snap show, he pays me then gets up from the table to go for a walk.
We’re playing 6 handed. UTG opens, MP flats, I flat TT on the button. 3 ways to a flop of AT9ccc. UTG bets 50% pot, MP folds, I put in a medium sized raise. He thinks about it and flats.
The turn is the Kd. He pauses for a second then checks. I figured AxKc was his most likely combo. I didn’t think he could fold AxKc to any sizing – I decide to overbet jam 2x pot. He tanks for like 5 min and eventually lets it go. He tells me later he folded AxKc. Nice fold sir. I finished day two 2nd in chips out of the 64 players remaining. More importantly, I was in the money. My friend Matt offered to give me a ride to the hostel to grab my stuff. On the way to the hostel I’m telling Matt how trash the place is and he’s kind of like yeah man, whatever, it can’t be that bad. We gather my belongings and head on out. Matt remarked to me that the hostel reminded him of jail mixed with a summer camp. I open a same night hotel app and see a room at the Four Queens available for $110. The lady at check in was nice enough – however, she informed me that the only room they had available at my price point was a smoking room overlooking the Fremont St. experience. I paid the $20 to upgrade to a non-smoking in the quiet part of the hotel. Vegas man, I swear. It’s like 2am at this point -- I get to my room, sit on the bed and close my eyes. I open them and it’s 11:00am. Ah fuck man, I gotta get to the Venetian. I hop in the shower, brush my teeth, and freshen up. Even if I don’t have clean clothes, whatever, I’m second in the main, who cares. Some interesting hands from the first part of Day 3:
I had two inexcusable punts in this tournament. This is the first one: I open 5h5c from LP, BB calls. Flop comes J62hhh. x/x. Turn is a 4x. x, I bet 50% pot, BB jams 15bb. I called – and immediately realized I fucked up, big time. He had 2 big chips in his stack that I didn’t see, making his shove effectively like 25bb. In addition, I didn’t have the 5h, I had the 5d. I really didn’t ask for a count or double check my hole cards. Villain turns over 64o and holds. In my defense, I literally didn’t know what ICM meant at the time. Whoops.
Someone who I recognize from poker TV jams 22bb UTG. I’m in the CO with JJ, I ask him how much it is, he’s talkative and seems genuinely comfortable/down for me to call. I fold – I run into him a few days later at the Aria, he tells me he had AA there. I believe him.
CO opens, button instantly jams 30bb effective. I’m in the SB with TT and 25bb – live reads, we’re flipping. I call for all in my effective stack, CO folds, button has AQ. I hold. He’s not happy I called with tens. Oh well, sorry bro, gg.
MP opens, CO 3 bets to 7bb, button jams 20bb. I look down at 2 black aces in the big blind. I reshove, MP folds, CO calls off his 20bb stack. I’m up against AQ and QQ. I hold.
Even with my atrocious punt earlier in the day, I’m the chip leader again. We’re down to about 15 left in the field. UTG opens, I 3b AKo on the button, he jams 20bb, I call. He has 99, a king comes on the flop and he’s gone. It’s day 3 of the main and we’re playing 5 handed with 12 people left. Let’s fucking go.
Button opens to 2.5x, I’m in the BB with A8dd, I flat. Flop comes A104r, I check, he bets, I call. Turn is a 7, x/x. River A, I bet 1.2x pot. He tanks, calls, I show, I’m good.
CO opens to 2.5x, I’m in the BB with 108dd, I flat. Flop comes Kd4x2d, it goes x/x. Turn is a Kx, I check, he bets 60% pot, I flat. River is the 4d. I check, he bets pot. I tank and let it go. He tells me later he checked back a weak king on the flop.
SB completes, I’m in the BB with J9o and I check my option. Flop comes Q108r. The SB donks out into me for 60% pot. I flat. Turn comes a brick and he leads into me for 60% again. I raise to 3.5x his turn bet, he thinks for a while then flats. River is another brick. He bets 80% pot into me. I tank for a while, then shove. He starts laughing and folds QQ face up.
Less than a week ago I was grinding buffet comps at Planet Hollywood. Now I have guys correctly folding top set to me. I’ve made it to the final table. I pick up a few small pots and the two shortstacks at the table get eliminated in quick succession. This is without a doubt the most pointless and just plain out stupid punt of my entire life: I open J2dd on the button into a ~18bb SB and a GTO robot with mid 7 figures in career earnings in the BB. Don’t do this, this is quite literally lighting money on fire. SB folds, BB flats. Flop comes Kh8h3d. I cbet, BB calls. Turn is the Kd, goes x/x. River comes a 7h, he leads into me for half pot. Whatever, I’m going for it – I put in a raise. He thinks for all of 5 seconds then calls me with KQh. Wow, I just punted away $50,000 in ICM. Jesus Christ dude, what the fuck. For the next orbit or two, I’m clearly pissed at myself. I get up after my button and do a lap around the poker room – I’m good. The monkey tilt is gone, and I’m ready to get back to playing normal ranges. Anyway, nothing else really happens for a while – I look down at AKo UTG and raise it up. Folds around to the BB, he thinks for a while, then jams for about 20bb. I snap, he has AQo. I hold. I’m now second in chips. We go on a 10-minute break. When I get back to the table, the prospect of a 5-way chop comes up. We’re all tired – and the pay jumps are very significant. If you couldn’t tell from this story, I’m a degenerate, but in this spot, I’m willing to reduce variance a bit. We run the numbers and come to an agreement – we all agree to take a very slight ICM bump to give 1st place a bit more money than his stack is worth. I just won $129,000 -- huh? This was my second tournament cash – not too bad considering that it was my third tournament ever. Maybe I should start learning how to play MTT’s now. I take $124,000 in a check and $5,000 in cash. I’m leaving Vegas in 4 days and don’t plan on coming home with any of the cash. The winner of the tournament’s a pretty cool guy and he asks if I want to crash in his guest room tonight… like yeah, if that’s a real offer, I’m down. I pick up my toiletry bag from the Venetian concierge and we hit the Uber. The next morning Matt picks me up at his house – I hit the Chase bank and deposit the $124,000. I take Matt and my other friend, Spencer out to the Sterling Brunch over at Bally’s – the entire time, Spencer just kept repeating “Davis, what the fuck”. I don’t know dude, seriously, what the fuck. I get a suite at the D downtown that night and (very) long story short I end up hitting $100 on a number at roulette at 5am. It’s time for bed. Here’s a link to my Hendon Mob, verifying my tournament result. Hopefully I see some of you guys at the WSOP in 2021. https://pokerdb.thehendonmob.com/player.php?a=r&n=783521 Davis
Travelling SEAsia - my massive review. Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand (Shenzhen, Macau). Motorbike & vegan travel tips
Mammoth post incoming..... I read a lot of posts in this thread and others to help me prepare for my first time backpacking in South East Asia, used mostly reddit and youtube to collect information and in return to all the helpful people who advised me, I want to add a bit to the info out there. This was our first time backpacking in Asia but we have both travelled a decent amount, apologies to those seasoned backpackers who might eye roll at the obvious things I point out! And how long this post is! few linked included where possible. I travelled with my boyfriend (both in our mid 20s) for 7 weeks from Nov 2019 to Jan 2020 covering 4 countries; Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. We travelled as a couple, not really looking for the typical hostel/partying experience. I had spots/cities we wanted to stop in picked out more so I could check that our return flight back gave us enough time (bf had job to come back for). For those interest I travelled with 40l backpack (Osprey ladies size I recommend for small gals). and 15l day back and boyfriend had 65l backpack. I really reccommend getting up to date on vaccines and/or visiting somewhere like Nomad travel (UK major cities only) for additional shots. We also bought a medical kit from them which came in very handy and I would buy THIS one (works out cheaper than making your own). Our original plan was to buy a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh and then use that as our main mode of transport to bike across Cambodia and then finally go to Bangkok, so there's a section about bikes at the end. I am plant based / have a pretty strong dairy intolerance, so I'll add a section about travelling as a 'vegan' as I found it more difficult to get concrete advice on that before I left. We are from UK so our budget/prices we evaluated against £ GBP Hong Kong - this was the most built up and relatively similar experience to our lives at home and eased us pretty gently into travel. I would compare Hong Kong to a metropolitan place like London. We stayed in the Wan Chai district and would recommend the are for first timers. Not as expensive as the Central District and gives more local flavour with the street markets which you are likely to explore or pass through on the way to the MTR. Stay on Hong Kong Island over the peninsula as a lot of activities are there and though it is more compact you get a good sense of what HK is really like. Prices - cost of restaurants was about the same as home - £8-10+ for a meal. Transport - incredibly cheap, routes often less than £1 or 50p Lots of 7/11 and Circle K with reasonable prices for snacks or eating in Things we did: - Victoria Peak - there are some views more 'within' the city if you take the giant escalator up and walk a bit further as opposed to going straight to the top - Mong Kok area and surrounding markets - Hong Kong museum - quite dated and nothing on history of recent years but it is free - Hong Kong Peninsula night time view of HK island (symphony of lights show) - Temple Street night market - Dragon's Back - this was easy to get to via bus and a nice welcome break from the city. An easy hike. - Ching Chung Koon, Tao temple - really beautiful temple with turtles, easy trip by bus to visit Shenzhen - We went to Shenzhen as we wanted to see what China was like and had some intrigue about it being a Special Economic Zone. My advice to absolutely everyone, unless you know of something on the other side you want to see, is do not go. We read that it was free to enter but you would have to get a short stay visa stamp. We ended up stuck in immigration after getting off the MTR for about 2 hours, first you must go and get a photo and a visa put in your passport which includes filling our a form and being asked a few questions about your stay, then you go downstairs and fill our a landing card, get fingerprinted and then pass through to Shenzhen. There isn't a clear explanation as to where these different rooms are to get the whole process done and you're at the mercy of how busy the waiting rooms are for how quick you get out, no visas would be ready and then they would surge in 10 being ready for collection at once. Shenzhen was a very homogenous city, we couldn't find any historical sites or areas designed for non Chinese to engage with the local fare, though bare in mind Shenzhen is absolutely huge and we were short on time after arriving later. Tube system is cheap and in English and we used cash to pay. When we tried to use bank cards to take out more money I had no luck with Mastercard, Visa and Visa credit card at more than one ATM. The best part of the trip was a small antique shop in the train terminal with genuine trinkets, pottery etc. The guy was quite fair with our haggling too. Macau - Again we visited this as another special zone outside of HK. Again unfortunately I don't recommend going. To us, Macau was missing all the parts of the Vegas strip that would make a high concentration of casinos together worthwhile; no smoking indoors, no open carry on alcohol on the streets, no street vendors or anything to create an interesting people-watching street, not helped by how spread out all the casinos were from one another. We visited the Venetian which brought us away from the casinos on the ferry side of Macau, so that might have made a difference. The Venetian at Macau had the same feeling as The Trafford Centre if UK readers are familiar with it. If you have been there you'll have your own opinion about it and use that to inform going to Macau. Hong Kong Protests - Before leaving for HK I'd been keeping up with the protest news. Though by November the 'peak' of protests seemed to have passed a lot in UK news there were still plenty of reports of violent clashes daily. From digging around online I felt that it was still safe to go but just to be mindful of large groups of people collecting or the university area. Whilst we were in HK we didn't see anything that alarmed us or made us feel unsafe. While I don't think the media outlets were incorrectly reporting protest clashes, the actual volume of them appears to be exaggerated (but that's how news makes money, right..). We saw graffiti at most MTR stations and some bus stations that had english text posters and print outs explaining the situation that were even updated overnight to new developments like Trump's treaty. One mall we tried to go to adjacent to some university buildings was closed and the MTR next to it was all smashed up but other than graffiti we felt very safe when wandering round the city both day and night. I would say the university area probably needs the most caution, but if the MTR is stopping there again then there has probably been improvement. Vietnam - We flew into Ho Chi Minh city, stayed for about 3 days. I'm curious to return to Vietnam in the North of the country, while the South was very interesting to see I was more than ready to move on after about 8 days. Didn't really get a good feeling out of HCMC; extremely loud, sticky, busy place. The best thing we did was go to the War Remnants Museum, things like the old post office were interesting but they don't really take up much of your day. A phone sim for 2 weeks with unlimited data was easy to get and cost less than £10 I think. HCMC is a good place to take advantage of cheap taxis and cheap food. We could get a good meal and a soft drink/smoothie for £2.50/£3, grab taxi was about £1 anywhere and £1.50 in a grab car, Circle K essentials like a sewing kit were about £2. Would recommend the Grab app for getting around - though it wasn't my favourite place we visited, I was really able to appreciate the pace and culture of the city zipping through little side streets on the back of the bike from District 1 down to other places in Chinatown area. There are plenty of markets to visit, but when you've seen the stuff at one the others aren't really much different and people didn't really want to haggle with us. We did a Mekong Delta day trip, though I'm not always a big fan of a guided tour this was fun and worth going on. Have a look on a site like Klook and pick something that sounds interesting and in budget - we visited temples, honey farm, coconut farm, held some snakes, traditional boat on Mekong and lunch for about £18 each for everything. Nha Trang - we visited here as somewhere in South Vietnam by the sea before heading westways for the rest of the trip. It was a much calmer and quieter city than HCMC but I'm not sure I would visit again, very windy in November. An unbelievable amount of Russians here, more built up and developed than I was anticipating too. Long Son Pagoda and Ba Ho waterfalls were good to visit, though Ba Ho seemed to be having a very big touristy development built on it which was a weird contrast to the very difficult to climb and almost untouched waterfalls. We biked to Bai Dai beach - just make sure to take the first turn down to the beach before you hit the strip of resorts being built because it goes on forever and they won't let you through for access to the sand. Beautiful views on the way down but can see the whole area and Vietnam in general being swallowed up by package resort tourism which is a shame. Cambodia - This ended up being my favourite country of the visit. Though there's not really pavements or waste management or sewage and you can't drink the water etc, but there was little rampant tourism, people were kind, the weather was great and we saw some beautiful places. Phone sim will cost you about $5 and you can only top up limited data about $5 for 8GB. Prices - Cambodia has 2 currency system with USD and riel though most of the time you're using USD (4,000 r = $1). I felt like because of USD prices were rounded up a bit more so it was still cheap, but more expensive than Vietnam. Eating out probably about $5-7 or more if you're not holding back. There aren't many chain stores in Cambodia so you're at the mercy of individual places for a good selection of snacks and then hopefully not grossly inflated prices especially on Western imports ($2.50+ for pringles?). I did find that pharmacies were cheap. Make sure you haggle with tuk tuks or use PassApp, but that app needs some work so it's often easier to take one that's in the street. In PP/SKampot getting around we paid no more than $3. In SR to go to the airport $7. We took a bus to Phnom Penh from HCMC which made the border crossing quite easy. We had e-visa already printed out etc but it didn't seem to make our waiting time any shorter but saved us having to fill out any forms at border control. Phnom Penh - felt a lot nicer than HCMC as soon as we got there really. Still hot and dirty and hassled like hell for tuk tuks but I felt more kindness from Cambodians. Compared to HCMC this was a whole lot quieter and more relaxed. Not every building has a formal address so if you're not staying at a hotel (airbnb) bear in mind you might need more visual instructions to find your stay. We stayed near the Royal Palace and the area round there, though more for expats was chilled out and there were local markets, not far to walk to temples and sites etc. There are a few hotels in this area with pools if you need to cool off. The one we tried we just took the lift up to the roof no problem, but I had messaged another nearby that said it was for residents only. Siem Reap - though this city is pretty much here for Angkor Wat tourism I enjoyed being here not just to see the temples. We stayed at THIS airbnb which was very reasonable and probably one of our favourite stays. No pool but there were a few places nearby that were happy to let us use theirs, we just bought drinks and food. There are a few temples in the city near the city where you can see fruit bats all in the trees. The river here is nice, big market, lots of cats. Angkor Wat: we bought a 3 day pass and went on a sunrise tour one morning and then did our own thing on the other days. Doing the tour means you get up and in for sunrise at the right time and it's good to get some history about the places you're seeing. Angkor Wat temple itself wasn't the most interesting to me and there are hundreds if not thousands of people there in the morning that makes it a lot less enjoyable. We also visited: Ta Phrom - temple from Tomb Raider Angkor Thom city gates Bayon Temple - this was a cool 2 storey temple that is merged with depictions of Hinduism and Buddhism Preah Khan You can hire a tuk tuk driver for a day around $15 mark or you can hire electric bikes in SR centre and take those around (tourists not allowed to ride motorbikes in temple complex) $5 for 24hrs. Just make sure to give your electric bike a good charge beforehand as the battery doesn't always read right. There is a restaurant in the complex you can swap your battery at - the whole temple area is an extremely large place, you can be 15mins drive in between spots so plan carefully. Koh Rong Island - we took a flight from SR down to Sihanoukville to then get the ferry across to Koh Rong. Our flight ended up being delayed by 12 hours (welcome to Cambodia) so we had to stay a night in Sihanoukville and go across the following day. Travelling from Sihanouk airport to Sihanouk we had to wear bandanas over our faces to stop breathing in the dust, even though only one window in the car was cracked, it's hella dirty. If you are travelling from the airport to town I highly discourage taking a tuk tuk or rickshaw; the roads are not well surfaced in a more extreme manner than what I saw in PP and SR, there are a lot of freight trucks which will need to be over or undertaken in order for the journey to not take hours. Taxis are unfortunately the most expensive here and the journey cost $20. Sihanoukville - I'm told recent infiltration and development of Sihanouk by the Chinese has completely transformed the city in the last 2/3 years at an incredible rate with no care for the local Khmer population. It was possibly the worst place I've ever visited. Dusty and dirty on another level, open building sites and construction absolutely everywhere. Very young looking boy in a digger pulling up the pavement less than 5ft from a busy restaurant. I had to climb up a 3ft pile of loose rubble to get to an ATM because the whole side of the road had been obliterated. If you are waiting for the ferry on Beach Road and you need an ATM but they're all broken like they were when I was there in December, there is an ATM on the actual pier. I was stressing about taking money out for Koh Rong as I heard there was no way to get cash on the island but when I was there I saw a few places that offered cash out (but I didn't try them). I reccommend reading THIS reddit thread and the LINKED article by a Chinese blogger about Sihanouk. I read THIS travelfish article about Koh Rong which was very helpful too. I had an impression from the article that the island is quite under developed, which in some ways was definitely true, however it was easy to do what we wanted and we didn't struggle for places to eat etc. We stayed on the main pier (though really this is still a small strip of restaurants and shops, no resorts) and spent most of our time on White Sand Beach. Koh Rong could not be any more different than Sihanouk and it was a great place to spend Christmas and unwind. We didn't do much other than swim and lie on the beach and it was great! There were boat tours to take but a lot seemed to end with 'free drink and party' and we weren't interested in that. Prices on the island were the same as PP/SR. The only things that were a lot more expensive were activities - someone had a jetski you could rent for $100.. and there was some tree top zip line you could do for about $20. We visited 4k beach next door which was a lot more remote, beautiful as well but only one option to eat. We came past Coconut Beach when we left on the speedboat and that looked to a bit less than the main pier but still stocked with a good few options. Overall the food we had on Koh Rong was some of the best! Kampot - A small town/city on the river. Very chilled with a nice central part of town with good places to eat. There are hardly any big hotels or buildings over 3 stories - it felt like a more real Khmer place than somewhere like Siem Reap. From Kampot you can visit Bokor Mountain, Kep, salt fields, a lot of natural escapes. Unfortunately we both got very sudden aggressive gastro-bug or food poisoning so we spent 5 days pretty much inside doing nothing (was going to happen at some point). Kampot was a quiet place and we were able to recover well here though. Kampot to Koh Chang - From Kampot we travelled to Koh Chang, Thailand. I'd seen some speculation online that it wasn't possible to do this trip in one day, but having done it I can say yes it is but it is a long day. Almost every bus trip we took on our adventure meant that we lost all of the day (no motorways in Viet/Cambodia) however the quality of transport means it can take even longer. Vietnam was good with sleeper or semi sleeper buses, however in Cambodia our 6.5 hour trip from Kampot to the Thai border at Trat was 16 people in a 12 seater minibus plus a baby.. so bear in mind long distance trips in Cambodia can be testing! From Trat border we got a minibus to the bus station, then a songalew/thai taxi to the ferry and then a minibus took us to our hotel on the other side [12 hour trip]. Thailand - Much more infastructure and felt more modern than Cambodia and Vietnam, but I couldn't really get a vibe for the place and felt like a lot had been lost to the prevalent tourism. I would maybe visit again but staying away from coastal areas - if felt like the Spain of South East Asia. Prices could be a little more on top of Cambodian prices but you could find cheap places to eat. About £5 for a meal. Taxis cost about £3 through Grab. 7/11 and Family Mart very cheap snacks for pennies. Bangkok - as this was our last stop we didn't travel to many temples or big spots outside the city because money haha... we stayed away from the expat areas, the Museum of Art & Culture had a cool free exhibition, the malls Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon are worth visiting for the food halls and just to see. Where we stayed had a pool so we took it pretty easy. Went to Chatachuk but too much tourist and sweat.. Bikes: We bought a bike in HCMC via facebook marketplace - I would suggest if you know anyone Viet to get them to help you get the true price because as a tourist you're probably seeing an inflated price tag. If not that it might be possible to get one from another backpacker, but then you may be at the mercy of any damages or issues with the bike they're not aware of as they aren't familiar with bikes. We took our bike (Honda Cub c 50) to Nha Trang with us stowed in our sleeper bus - we visited a few bus trip/tourist places and one was happy to do it for us. I think for 2 people and the bike was about £23 one way, so not bad at all. You'll have to empty the fuel before it goes in the bus so just remember that at the other end you might have to give your bike a min to run the fuel through it again. We sold it in Nha Trang because it wasn't quite powerful enough to get us around with any bags (i was not in charge of buying bike haha...). Bikes are more than easy to rent in every country we went to for probably £5 a day max. We had a bike in Koh Chang but I know in Thailand there are more rules about tourist rental so I would swerve riding on the mainland. The most hectic place we rode was HCMC so I would just suggest avoiding that if you can, even if you ride in your home country. We sold our bike in Nha Trang via facebook marketplace. We took a loss but it was more about cutting our dead weight before the rest of our trip so to speak. If you really want to ride a lot in SEAsia, Cambodia has no restrictions on tourists having bikes up to 125cc if you want to play the legal legal route (not that I saw any police in Cambodia over 3 weeks!). A bike is also a responsibility and if you're wanting to feel completely free while travelling it might not be right to buy one. Do thorough research! I travelled with a full face helmet and I was grateful for it on windy rides and hectic places likes HCMC. If you're not planning on riding a lot then this is definitely not essential but finding a full face helmet, that fits, that isn't too bootleg to break on you might be some things to consider (bare in mind I was planning on doing long rides when planning this trip initially). Veganism / plant based / special diets: As mentioned I have strong intolerance to all dairy products and am generally vegan; I still eat eggs maybe once a week and might have fish and chips a few times a year. With the exception to intolerances and allergies I think the best approach to eating in South East Asia or travelling in general is be willing to be flexible. I only like to eat plant based, but I'm happy to eat eggs and at a push will eat fish or chicken. This is obviously not what I want to do for every meal but consider that you might be getting places late at night, options that are clearly described in English as not containing your allergens may only have meat in them etc. When I travelled to Japan and also for all these countries, I wrote 'I cannot eat dairy etc' in English on Google translate and then screenshotted the response in the desired language if I needed to show someone to confirm ingredients. For Japan I looked up pre made examples as I know the kanji can sometimes not translate directly, but here I just had the google translate page as a back up. Hong Kong - a lot of English spoken here and a lot of specifically vegan places however they are more expensive. At 7/11 they sell the 'Kind' granola bars which are vegan and yummy! and I also ate the ready made egg and rice sushi balls. Some ingredients were listed in English but I don't remember finding any other easy go-to's. At bakeries, of which there are a lot, almost everything appears to be cream filled, buttered, flaky pastry. I found I could eat walnut and raisin breads without any noticeable issues, but I didn't have an ingredients list to check. Vietnam - in HCMC I was very lucky to be staying down the road from a fully vegan restaurant that had ice cream, vegan banh mi, smoothies etc (Healthy World in District 1, there is another somewhere else in the city). Tofu was on menus and on an English menu in a Viet place I could safely pick something veggie. Asking for a dish to be 'chay' means veggie and that works too. Because everything is so cheap, it seemed to be easy enough to eat here. Desserts were limited with the exception of a vegan shop. They do have Oreos, in general for all these countries, I hope you like Oreos because they're the only dessert option most place ! Cambodia - Sometimes easy and sometimes not. Tofu did appear on menus, I would recommend trying Tofu Lok Lak as a veggie Khmer dish (it will probably come with a fried egg) and I was able to ask for curries just veggie or with tofu. I ate mostly eggs and toast of some kind for breakfast because that was a filling option. Every city I was in there was at least one vegan cafe or restaurant that was not too much more ££ than a normal meal so I knew at least I could get myself something nice and safely vegan every other day while keeping a budget. I was concerned about Koh Rong being a remote island that I would struggle to eat but this was one of the best places! There is a purely veggie/vegan restaurant on the main pier, as well as other restaurants offering vegan pizza, veggie pad thai, tofu curries etc. I also found a second kind of chocolate biscuit that wasn't an Oreo here! Koh Chang/Thailand - though we were back to having access to 7/11 the options seemed more limited and Thailand was my least favourite place to eat. In 7/11 I did find a few different kinds of Almond milk (& oreos!) but ingredients were rarely in English. Some options at the food halls were inari sushi, Subway (hash browns) and a few other (but more pricey) dedicated vegan restaurants in the central district. You deserve a medal if you made it this far - any questions please ask me, thanks :-)
Macao's casino industry losing $100 million a day in unprecedented coronavirus shutdown. So why are they OK with that?
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 88%. (I'm a bot)
"This is a historical moment because this is the first time the entire casino industry has closed its doors for more than 24 hours," said Carlos Lobo, a local attorney who previously worked for the Macao Gaming Commission. The Macao government announced it would close casinos for two weeks after a hotel worker was infected. Speculation abounds in Macao that the souring relationship between Washington and Beijing over the trade war could cost the U.S. operators, who collectively employ about half the city's casino workers. The special arrangement, which was first introduced in Hong Kong in 1997 and then Macao two years later when Portugal relinquished authority, ensures the city of 600,000 maintains some autonomy from China such as separate legal and financial systems. A security guard blocks the entrance to the Venetian Macao's gaming floor to comply with the territory's 15-day shutdown of casinos to stop the spread of the new strain of coronavirus. Jane Ng reluctantly took a job minding slot machines at the Hong Kong-owned City of Dreams casino four years ago after realizing she couldn't afford to retire comfortably as the cost of living kept climbing in Macao.
Trip Report- Dirt Cheap Vegas Trip with Hooters Review and Naps!
TLDR; 20 something couple who has been to Vegas before stayed at Hooters Hotel and Casino 4 nights, 5 days with airfare and resort fee for $887 and it was worth every penny. Hooters Hotel and Casino: With the flight, hotel and resort fee we paid $444 a person which we thought was too good to pass up. The hotel wasn't as bad as I expected it to be but it was pretty old. It is located a short walk to the strip which accessible by going into Tropicana located next door and using a bridge. When we booked this trip we only expected to be at this hotel to sleep at night and we ended up staying there for a lot more since it beat our expectations. Some parts of the hotel are "nice" and newish and some aren't. The new parts will NEVER be comparable to many of the casino's listed in the faq(even the budget ones) but that doesn't make it bad. If you are a regular person that doesn't need fancy shit or all you plan on doing is sleeping here(bachelobachelorette party or 21st birthday) it's great. The casino was small and never crowded, it was great for gambling a bit at the end of the night since it's almost impossible to get lost or lose whoever you are with. There was a cafe area with a coffee place, Krispy Kreme donuts and a Pizza Hut. There was also a pool bar, Hooters, and Steak n' Shake. They boasted about free parking, $15 buckets of bud light, and $1 margaritas inside the casino bar. The room service seemed incredibly cheap but we did not use it. Our room was average and as far as we know it was not one that was recently remodeled. The bathroom wasn't very nice and the safe was busted. It looked as if the Bathroom had been done about 10 years ago and the glaze was coming off of the bathtub corners. The room was clean and it had two awkward chairs that belonged in the 70's around a small table. We both thought that a reclinechair was missing from the room due to empty space. The bed was very comfortable and we slept amazing. The AC was ice cold and we had a tiny balcony overlooking the pool. It was $25 a night for a mini-fridge which we decided against and I kept filling up bags of ice and moving it from the sink when needed. If you are not flying in, bring a cooler and save yourself the money or go buy a cheap cooler at Walgreens on the strip for $8. The pool was very clean and quiet, it felt like we were the only people there most of the time and I got a ton of reading done. You couldn't bring your own alcohol or food and the security was tight. The menu seemed decently priced for a pool in vegas. If you stay at Hooters I highly recommend purchasing the Hooya One Pass, it comes with two different show tickets, a coupon for a free margarita, buy 10 wings get 10 wings, and a 1 hour open bar with wings NIGHTLY between 5-6 pm. At the same bar the drinks cost $5 during happy hour and we watched numerous hotel guests spend more than $20 on drinks in just that hour. I must've eaten about 100 wings and had over 30 drinks the entire trip because of this pass. The bartenders were really great to us during the open bar and we always had a drink in our hand. It saved us a ton of money on dinnelunch but I would've liked to have done one more nice dinner. It also would have been nice if we didn't have to go back to the hotel for 5pm every day but, my GF and I really enjoyed the happy hour, a nap, and a shower before going out for the night(not always in that order). It seemed like a lot of teenage kids were staying in the hotel for a basketball tournament or something and I never saw any parents. I observed a bunch of people staying in some rooms and the kids would sit outside of the room to charge their phones in the hallway. We had one issue with the kids, we were trying to go down and two girls got off our floor, when we got in the elevator all of the buttons were pressed to go up. It wasn't a big deal to us but it could be to people looking to make a show or relax and not have to deal with that crap. The elevator was also kind of shady and it seemed like it skipped our floor or something a few times when trying to go down. I don't know it it happens a lot but both of these things probably don't happen at places on the strip. Monday: We left my house at 3:30 am and flew Spirit Airlines from Newark to LAS which landed at 8:40 am. I'll never fly spirit again if I can help it. It was a $14 taxi to the Hotel where they wanted to charge a $25 early check in fee, we debated and decided to drop off our luggage and explore the area so that we could stay up a little longer before crashing since we got roughly 3 hours of sleep. While walking the strip we decided to get a quick bite to eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company since there is one in NYC and we've always wanted to go. We each got a flavored margarita which we normally don't get and they were pretty good, she got a shrimp po' boy, and I got calamari and a gigantic bucket of french fries. We mostly went to some shops for gifts and got supplies like shampoo, sunscreen and water for the week at Walgreens and the Liquor store. We checked in at 2:30, unpacked and took a nap. Between 5-6 we had an open bar(well and domestic drafts) at the pool bar with complementary wings and vegetables because we purchased the Hooyah One Pass for $20. At 7pm we took a Lyft to Freemont for a tour at Bangor Brewing. We had a flight and 2 or 3 beers. The guy giving us the tour waited patiently for us since our driver didn't follow directions and we were late. We were the only people on the tour but the place was pretty packed for a while. We explored Freemont Street for the remaining of the night which was very fun and interesting. If I had a kid under the age of 9 I wouldn't bring them but it honestly wasn't that bad besides some girls in thongs, pasties, and dominatrix looking girls(if your kid has an Instagram they have seen worse). Security walked a beat like they were riot cops and one came up to us and told us we couldn't drink in cans on Freemont and that we could drink out of plastic cups instead. He was really cool and I swore he was a cop until we saw real cops. Heads up to anyone. I really liked the vibe of Freemont but the light show was honestly terrible, I may have been spoiled by light shows at concerts and sporting events from a previous job, my girlfriend thinks that the show just needed different music... Tuesday: We woke up around 8:30 am and went to breakfast at the Steak n' Shake in Hooters. The food was average but service was slow(we never went back). We went to the pool for an hour or two before we went to a timeshare sales pitch for fun and free stuff(buffet and freeplay). I did the math and the $9,999 timeshare came out to be $33,000 over seven years. Once I gave the numbers and said no the guy became a HUGE dick. Sadly, one person bought one. Once the timeshare pitch was finished we went to the liquor store again. We got lunch at Taco's and Tequila where we split nachos and each had a few margaritas. I think they were some of the best margaritas I've ever had. Later we napped and went to the open bar before going to use my freeplay. After we finished loosing $100 in freeplay and getting tons of free drinks, I decided I had to go and see what a dispensary was like. I don't know the rules about posting about this so I will answer questions in a PM. I will also elaborate with a mod's approval since I think it could be really helpful. After getting back to the hotel we went to Hooters for some more wings and went to bed. Wednesday: We hung out at the pool for a few hours and we went exploring again. We walked around 15 miles this day and I wish we'd had gotten a light rail pass or Ubered to the end of the strip and walked back. We both like exploring things though so none of us mentioned it until it was too late. We didn't have anything planned for this day until we got back to the hotel and looked at all of the comedy clubs. We decided on the late show to see Jimmy Shubert at the Laugh Factory in Tropicana because it was close by and I actually knew of the opening act, Jason Lawhead, because of Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast. It was a pretty good show for the price we paid, and we got to see the worst heckler ever get thrown out. The night got hazy for me and I think we went to Hooters for some wings, fries, and onion rings before going to our room and passing out(probably with my shoes on). Thursday: We actually had plans! We woke up with purpose and got breakfast at Coco's Bakery, a short walk from where we were staying. It was cheap and some of the better breakfast food I've had in a while including some of the diners here in NJ, I wish we could've gone again. After breakfast, we went to the pool before heading to the Mirage for a late lunch buffet thanks to Tahiti Village. Next, we used MyVegas rewards at New York New York for buy one get one crepes at 48th and Crepe which were amazing and we cashed in a ticket for buy one get one 40 oz beers at Tom's Urban. It was happy hour so the beers were under the voucher limit and we basically got them for free + tip which was great considering their somewhat decent selection of draft beer. We went back to the open bar for 5pm, napped and got ready for dinner at Black Tap in the Venetian which was everything I thought it would be and more. I wish I had room for a Crazy Shake but I could barely finish my burger and I only ate 3 onion rings, luckily there is one in NYC. At 10pm we saw John Caparulo at Harrah's. The show was average and I think he could've really used an opening act to get the crowd going instead of awkwardly walking on stage. It was pretty empty, we got GA cheap seats and got moved up to the 5th row. We gambled pretty late and made fun of all the people waiting in line at the club at MGM Grand at 2:30 in the morning, these people looked miserable and hadn't even been in the club yet. I don't miss those days. Friday: We laid in bed for most of the morning since there was not an option for a late checkout and we weren't leaving for the Airport until 8 PM. We double and triple checked for everything and I swear I packed a few things that I can no longer find(it's not a vacation until I've lost something). We checked out around 11am and stored our luggage with the valet. We went to the M&M Store and did the free 3d movie which was pretty entertaining since I don't think I have ever seen a 3d movie before. We decided on going to the Bodies exhibit at Luxor which was pretty cool but probably not worth $30 with an MLife card. We also took the tram to Mandalay Bay which was pretty nice but very empty and kind of eerie. It also smelled like a funeral home or church or something. We cashed in another couple of MyVegas rewards and went to Tom's Urban again for 40oz beers(on happy hour). We also ordered the two way fries which consisted of shoe string and sweet potato fries. They were out of this world! Finally we went to Coyote Ugly for buy one get one drinks(MyVegas). My GF has always wanted to go here but none of her friends ever would go with her. We both fell in love with the bartender and we talked for about an hour about life in Vegas before heading back to the open bar and did some last minute gift shopping. In all we did a lot of gambling, walking around, and exploring. We also talked with a ton of locals and tried to get a feel for the place. I'm not a fan of most shows and she had seen most of them in her previous travels. I really wanted to change the hotel after booking it and she kept insisting that it'd be fine. Besides using MyVegas a trick we learned was to use your Mlife card for anything you purchase inside an MGM casino, it doesn't matter if you are buying show tickets or a frozen drink, you'll get points from your purchase. I expect to get a ton of comps to use at the Borgata and I think we are coming back for the Golden Knights/Devils game in January. My total expenses for the trip came out to be $1190.75 based on all of my credit card statements and cash that I had left over in my wallet. This includes my half of the hotel, resort, plane and all of the booze, rides, and gambling I did.
Is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which owns the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and is the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited, which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. He also owns the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and the American daily newspaper Las Vegas Review-Journal. Adelson, a donor and philanthropist to a variety of causes, also founded the Adelson Foundation in 2007, at the initiative of his wife, Miriam. He is a member of the Republican Party, and made the largest single donation to any U.S. presidential inauguration when he gave the Trump inaugural committee US$5 million As of October 2018, Adelson was listed by Forbes as having a fortune of US$33.3 billion, making him the 15th-richest person in the world. He is a major contributor to Republican Party candidates. He has been the largest donor, of any party, in both the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. He had sat out the Republican primary season for the 2016 presidential election and on September 23, he announced a $25 million donation to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, making him the largest donor to the Trump campaign and the largest donor in the presidential election
Open Secrets Make American Number 1 PAC - Trump's main campaign PAC The list is so short until you start to see contributions of just a few hundred dollars. How utterly incompetent is Robert Mueller not to follow these ties? Less than a dozen individuals/families and most of the names are well known. Simple pay for play.
James Simons who plays the Democrat side along with his extended family trust funds. Has similar financial interests since the money comes from the same fund.
John Bolton who received millions of dollars from Mercer and Renaissance Technologies and is now Trump's National Security Adviser - that is no coincidence. Bolton was a director of the Project for a New American Century and has made his life career trying to blow up the world in a perpetual war to which the military industrial complex loves for perpetual profits.
Bill Kristol who is John Bolton's partner in perpetual war crime and has been trying to blame everything bad in the world on Russia and falsely tagging people as Kremlin agents under the German Marshall Fund (why is this still a thing?) along with another GW Bush Spook Mike Chertoff who has monetary interests in increased security contrasts. In such I think the German Marshall Fundand their fundersarchive should be investigated. The offshoot is the Atlantic Council , which has been more or less the enforcement wing of this establishment game. I would investigate their funders as well.
Bernard Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot and founder of the 'Job Creators Network' that is attacking AOC. Peter Thiel co founder of e-bay and way to close to big data anlayitics, wall street, and the military industrial complex. Facebook, data analytics, government information warfare and data with his Plantir Technologies. What else was about this election with Facebook and Data Analytics and information warfare?....Cambridge Analytica perhaps?
During questioning in front of the digital, culture, media and sport select committee, Christopher Wylie, the former research director of Cambridge Analytica, said that several meetings had taken place between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica, and that Alexander Nix, the chief executive of SCL, had facilitated their use of Aleksandr Kogan's data which had been obtained from his app "thisismydigitallife" by mining personal surveys. Kogan later established Global Science Research to share the data with Cambridge Analytica and others. Wylie confirmed that both employees from Cambridge Analytica and Palantir used Kogan's Global Science Research data together in the same offices Palantir hosts Palantir Night Live at Palantir’s McLean and Palo Alto offices. The event brings speakers from the intelligence community and technology space to discuss topics of common interest. Past speakers include Garry Kasparov; Nart Villeneuve from Information Warfare Monitor; Andrew McAfee, author of Enterprise 2.0; Nelson Dellis, memory athlete; and Michael Chertoff.
Survivng wife of Irving Moskowitz (January 11, 1928 – June 16, 2016) was an American physician, businessman, and philanthropist. His philanthropy, in part, sought to create a Jewish majority in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem by purchasing land.
John W. Childs (born 1941/1942) is an American billionaire businessman, the CEO and founder of J.W. Childs Associates, a private equity firm. Childs is a major Republican donor, giving $1 million to Mitt Romney's campaign and $1.1 million to the Club for Growth, as well as donating to the campaigns of Congressmen Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan In February 2019, Childs was charged with solicitation of prostitution in connection with a police investigation into Florida massage parlors. Childs said "The accusation of solicitation of prostitution is totally false. I have retained a lawyer." Net Worth $1.2 Billion
In April 2009, Saunders was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation. During his tenure, the sister organization Heritage Action was founded and Jim DeMint was hired as President. American investment banker and philanthropist. He is the co-founder of the private equity firm Saunders Karp & Megrue and the chairman of the Heritage Foundation.
Mr. Jerrold M. Jung, Jerry serves as Chief Executive Officer of Michigan Tractor and Machinery Co. and has been its President since July 18, 1988. Mr. Jung has experience in the areas of economic development and transportation. He served as the Chairman at Washington State Transportation Commission.
American businessman. He has served as the co-chief executive officer of American Financial Group since January 2005. He has also acted as chief executive officer and majority owner of FC Cincinnati since the club's founding in 2015. He is the son of Carl Lindner Jr. and a prominent member of the Lindner family.
Coolidge Foundation. A long-time executive at Del Monte, Sandra went into business on her own. She and her late husband founded the Gourmet Center and several other businesses. Their business provided menu items to airlines, and also introduced the Belgian cookie Biscoff to the United States retail market. Sandra’s husband passed away in 2007 but Sandra continued to run the businesses until 2014, entering new markets such as Canada and Brazil.
So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and R. Lee Ermey? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease. If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas. However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm platinum on AA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean. We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me. Anyways, onto the play by play. Monday, January 16th. One day before SHOT show. http://imgur.com/a/HoFUm Every time I've been rejected by a woman, I move $1 from checking into savings and I take the bankroll down to the Wynn for some play. Lets do this. The TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA. I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to DFW. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with Delta to being in an abusive relationship with AA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, UA is a few gates over. This trip's light reading is trying to finish "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. Such a good book as well as "Outliers" if you want a good read. I walk up to the podium to find out that my upgrades do not clear, even as an AA Plat thanks to the addition of a FOURTH elite tier. Goddamn fucking W. Doug Parker. Asshole. I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks. The gate agent calls concierge key and executive platinum passengers. I look down and realize I'm wearing a suit and board with the executive platinum folks because I do not care and I look the part. If you walk with a purpose and are dressed reasonably well, you fit the profile. I settle into my window seat and try to finish outliers. I pass out before takeoff and I'm awoken by the dulcet tones of the flight attendants preparing for landing. We land at Dallas a few minutes early and I hightail it to the Centurion for a quick bite to eat. I grab a plate and help myself to some of the excellent brisket, pecan encrusted chicken and some roasted jumbo asparagus. Yes, my pee is going to smell funny. No, I do not care. The lounge is packed. The bar is full and I grab a quick single malt as I have my meal since American's not going to feed me. They begin boarding to Mccarran as I walk out of the lounge. No time for a stop in the spa on this trip. I make it to the gate just as the call group 2 boarding. I bypass the main line and walk up through the priority line giving no heed to the people that have been waiting there before me as I hold up my paper boarding pass with PLATINUM to the gate agent. I board and take my usual seat - the exit row without the seat in front of it. I'm aghast to see this sight. http://imgur.com/a/dygil The savages. Literally. The savages. I put my loathing away for a moment and look down at the exit row. I have the window. The aisle is a large middle aged man and in the middle is what I believe to be a formecurrent linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys wearing a 52 regular sports jacket. He's not a fat guy in a little coat, he's a big fucking hulk of a man stuffed in an exit row seat that is already an inch narrower due to the tray table. I grimace as I take my seat and give him the manly nod. He does not look happy about the fact that his knees are in the seat in front and I'm stretched out like a Cheshire cat in front of a fireplace on a cold January afternoon. The boarding door closes for an on time departure and Stephanie the FA takes her seat. He leans over and asks if he can take the empty row across the aisle and she takes one look at the three of us and gives him the nod. I bail out to give him a path of egress and suddenly the trip to Las Vegas has just become way more comfortable. I finish The Tipping Point somewhere over west texas, so I pop a xanax and dr pepper and zone out for the rest of the ride. I awake to feel one of the FA's jostling me awake telling me to put my seat up. I do so and we have a ride so smooth that not even the Delta guy behind me can complain about light chop. We catch the TYSSN4 arrival and the next thing I know it the Messier Dowty landing gear of the A321 touch the paint at Mccarran for a smooth rollout down 25L. My phone battery is approaching grim death since this seat has no power plugs and I find bartman383 has sent me a message. He has been enjoying LV with his wife and their due to bad weather they are in the city of sin for a few extra nights. He invites me to dinner. I'm still pretty full from DFW and I tell him I'll be over there once I get my bags and the car and I'll see him when I see him. He gives me the info for the hotel as we pull up to the gate. First stop: Centurion lounge. AA's app tells me bags being unloaded. I grab a quick bite of fried chicken and brussels sprouts since they are good for you and a chocolate pudding. The brisket and pecan encrusted chicken from DFW still has me full but I'm well aware of the speed of a union baggage handlers nowadays and who doesn't like chocolate pudding? Terrorists. That's who. Want to know how to screen for terrorists TSA? Set up a table of free chocolate pudding at the airport. The people who don't take any are members of ISIS. It's just that simple. I grab my bag and hoof it to Hertz. I'm an idiot and I am an hour late for my pickup. Oops. Will an Audi A3 suffice? I sigh and I accept my Teutonic quattro chariot. I do a burnout in the parking garage and hightail it to the exit. I flash my #1 card and my ID and the gatekeeper gives me the go ahead. I get onto the the strip and traffic is awful. I'm going to be late for dinner. I make a left onto Russell Road and hightail it up the 15. I manage to get the car up to 100 as I pass the Luxor. My phone is dead so I can't message Bart about being late. Fuck. The exit approaches quickly as I put the 4 wheel disk brakes to work and sling the car around and head south on Las Vegas Bl. I accidentally turn into the Bellagio and I'm now running even more late. Fuck. Eventually, I get the car into the garage at the Cosmopolitan and head upstairs. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant but I head up to the third floor where all the restaurants are and I see this sign that's reminiscent of my days in retail. It says RESTAURANT - LOUNGE - PAWN SHOP. I laugh. I walk in. It's literally a pawnshop. I look around puzzled. FC: Is this a restaurant? Bald Headed Guy: Yes, through that door. He points towards a door. I walk in to find a bustling restaurant, lounge via the entrance of pawnshop. This is insane. I pass a mirror and check myself out. I adjust my tie, after all it is YSL and the ladies LOVE YSL. Remember that. I find the hostess and inform her I will be joining some friends for dinner. They probably do not have me on the reservation though but I turn on the charm and she smiles and says no problem at all. She asks if my tie is from Hermes. I say no, I'm a YSL guy. She looks impressed as I tell her I'll make a quick lap of the room to see if they're there and surprise them. She gives me a nod and tells me to go right ahead. Still got it. I spot bart and his wife who I can only remember vaguely from gunnitlive after party video and I pull up a chair. Bart is surprised to see I made it and they are in the middle of dinner. They offer to ply me with food and beverage but I decline as I'm driving so no booze for me and no food since I am stuffed from Dallas. We chat about life and liberty over libations. Bart's wife thinks I am hysterical. She's had a few drinks and they are already into their main courses. The brussels sprouts are way too salty and we have to send it back. No bueno. Bart invites me up to his suite on the top floor of the hotel where we are to meet Brogelicious later in the evening. I say, when in rome......we head to the top floor of the hotel tower where Bart shows me his view from the balcony and cracks open the mini bar for some more libations. He asks if I want a drink and I say I better not. I'm driving. Not 30 seconds after arriving, brogel shows up. Bart's wife hugs brogel. She's infatuated with him. We start shooting the shit and bart opens up the minibar and tells us to take anything we want, it's on the hotel. I laugh and I look outside as bart opens his yeti 110 for some silver bullets. Apparently he is so baller the hotel will send up a yeti 110 filled with beer to make him happy. His wife is apparently such a baller. I ball on a budget. They just ball. Hahaha. We shoot the shit some more about guns, gun stuff and people on the reddit for a while. I get a little thirsty and I crack open bart's cooler. I ask him how long the stuff in the cooler is supposed to last and he says until Wednesday. I look down and I am agape at what I see. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. I mentally prepared my butthole and I decided to help myself to a coors light against my wishes but Bart, Bart's wife and Brogel are all drinking so I let peer pressure take hold as I cracked open a beer with them. We head out to the balcony to smoke some cuban cigars together as bart's wife takes a photo of all of us. We all look like hell. Haha. As bart downs his second beer, he asks me a question. Bart: ever go hunting? Me: Ducks a little bit but not much Bart: ever want to hunt some deadly game? Me: Like on african safari? Bart: No, I mean like.........man. Me: Hahahahhahaaha you're just fucking with me. Hahahahahhaa. That's really funny. Bart: No really, the concierge here at this hotel will set it up for us. It's amazing. I remember my first hunt...... Brogel starts laughing and I realize they've been doing a bit. I've been had. We bullshit about SHOT and Barrett's shotguns and other things and next thing I know, it's late but bart hands me a mixed drink. I sip it a bit and I was in the middle of a tirade complaining about my customers. Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the city, and a voice was screaming: Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals? Nobody seems to understand what I'm talking about. It's cold on the balcony. Our cigars are done. We head indoors. No point in mentioning these bats, I thought. Poor bastards will see them soon enough. Back indoors I realize Brussels sprouts and coors light is a bad choice. Seriously no bueno. I excuse myself to the bathroom and drain the vein. The asparagus funny smelling pee and the side effects of beer and brussels sprouts is a noxious combination that a defense contractor should weaponize it. It's pretty bad and not even cuban tobbaco can mask the smell. I sit back down and continue to talk about guns and stuff with bart and the gang and bart asks who ruined the bathroom. I apologize as he sprays a bunch of febreze around and opens the balcony. I apolgize to brogel. He is not accepting my apology. (sorry :( ) Nearly 11, it's about time to pull chocks and mosey on down the dusty trail. I don't want to prompt an evacuation of the hotel due to noxious odors so I decide to leave and bart seems to be kinda mad that I've ripped ass and polluted the sanctuary of his hotel. Half a coors light and brussels sprouts are no bueno in my book now. Bart decides to party hard with his wife and I offer brogel a ride home. He seems skeptical to share a confined space with me after I have just destroyed bart's hotel room. The car has 4 windows and the Uber will cost him a few bucks he can put towards ammo. He relents as we head down to the garage to find my car. Thankfully we find it quickly and I manage to contain the weapons of ass destruction for the 16 minute ride off strip to casa de brogel. He says I'm not that bad a dude and I agree as I hightail it to my hotel. I cannot find my hotel reservations so I call my travel agent to see. Apparently the Wynn was not in my travel budget this year. I have come to find out I have been booked at Circus Circus, much to my chagrin. How bad could it be? I've stayed at the Wynn. I've stayed at Encore. I've stayed at the hotel that Elisabeth Shue's character got raped in in Leaving Las Vegas - but Circus Circus? Did I mention that I HATE CLOWNS? I HATE CLOWNS. Fuck. I pull into the parking garage and the check in line resembles something straight out of the TSA line at Mccarran. 45 minutes to check in. The clerk is friendly and says he's also from Louisiana which is neat. He asks if I've stayed there before and I, being a connoisseur of old vegas history I decide to make a joke and I tell him the last time I was there, Jay Sarno owned the place. He got a laugh. I head up to my room and unpack. The lobby is clean as an old vegas casino can be, the room is clean and there's no way to plug anything in since the hotel predates personal electronic devices. I plug my phone into my external battery and collapse on the bed. I message Bart and chugbleach instead of falling asleep about show tomorrow and I offer to pick bart up early since there is no shuttle from the cosmo. Tuesday, November 16th SHOT Show Day One I awoke several hours later in a daze......the clock said 10AM. The show opened at 8:30. Fuck me to tears. I hurry up and get dressed and down to the sands convention center. The parking lot is FULL. The entire complex is a mess. When my man Steve Wynn built his joint he didn't build enough parking. So people would park at the Venetian and now FUCKING NOBODY CAN GET A PARKING SPACE. Holy shit. I eventually say fuck it and park over at the Wynn and walk over to the Sands. I meet up with a few of my regular suppliers and I see nothing interesting at all. Bart went to bed at 6AM after spending all night partying with his wife over at the palazzo. I joke and say that he just should have stayed there. Bart is amazed at the size of the show and we have lunch at the most disgusting place in las vegas - the convention center bistro snack bar. Bart is a wise man as he grabs a powerade and a fruit cup. I decide to try an "italian beef" and a fruit cup instead of fries to stay semi health conscious. The "italian beef" is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. It is flat out depressing. They give me fries with it and I demand a fruit cup. The sassy black woman working the stand asks me "DID YOU ASK FOR FRUIT? CAUSE RIGHT HERE SAYS FRIES" and I channel my inner Louis CK from the "this is how I talk" bit from SNL as I shoot back "WHY YOU FRONTIN ON ME I ASKED FOR FRUIT AND YOUR ASS BETTER BACK UP AND GET ME SOME FRUIT" so she goes back and gets me some fruit. The "italian beef", my fruit cup, bart's fruit cup and powerade comes to $81. My platinum amex comes out and I treat bart to "lunch". We bullshit about guns and stuff in the Springfield booth as we wait at the world's worst concession stand. We eat and Bart is so hungover that he thinks he is in need of physical therapy and a wheelchair. There is no way he is going to party tonight before his trip home. Or so I think. Haha. I meander around the show a bit more and I find this, the most USELESS PRODUCT OF 2017. It's made by a company called radetec. http://imgur.com/a/GOiCB It's a shot counter. For your gun. A digital odometer, for your gun. The only person that would buy this is the guy like my dad that kept a spiral bound notebook in his car where he documented how many miles he traveled per tank, gallons dispensed, PRICE, service station and whether they had a different price for cash/charge, oil consumption, tire rotations, alignments, all services - scheduled or otherwise, and a running odometer. Does anyone know the gun owner who asks for a round count when they are looking at a used gun? The question I always shoot back is "do you want to be lied at a little or do you want to be lied at a lot?" because that's what you're asking for when you ask for round count. UNLESS YOU BUY THIS PRODUCT! I roll my eyes so far back into my head that I nearly lose my balance. This is idiotic. I cannot fathom anyone willing to buy this. What a waste of perfectly good exhibition space. Bart heads back to his hotel after visiting SHOT show for a few hours, not getting any swag and to get an IV of fluids since he looked like he was rapidly approaching grim death. I wrap up visiting prime vendors and checking out the new products, or lack thereof because I have something on the schedule. At 4:30 there's a suicide prevention for retailers seminar hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As many of you know this is an issue that is important to me and perhaps we as retailers should be doing more. The keynote was from their chief medical director talking about the accessibility of firearms and the mindset of the "typical" suicide. Mostly men. If you are a veteran you are at a significantly larger risk. The information was presented very not surprisingly and one of the things discussed was that we only spend around 21M a year on suicide prevention. A few take away facts from the keynote: When suicide barriers are put up on a bridge, suicide rates for the entire area drop. The key to preventing suicide is getting people to talk about their problems. Once you can get someone out of that mindset, they are statistically less likely to do it and live productive lives afterwards. There are certain terms that they are trying to get away from - for instance, they are not saying "committed suicide" they are now saying "died by suicide" in order to bring awareness and tell it like it is. One thing that really was interesting to me was my reading on the flight in from Dallas. In The Tipping Point, Gladwell discusses how things stay the same and suddenly they all change. One of the things that he discusses is in micronesia - where teen suicide was practically unheard of became an outright epidemic. One teenager did it, for reasons passing understanding to me as an outsider and then all the other kids realized that they too could escape their pain by hanging themselves as well and suddenly the suicide rates in micronesia became so high to where it became a public health issue. I wish I could show you all the article I wrote on TTAG about my friend's death but it has been lost in the cloud and I am unable to find the last draft I sent to print, but it echoes some of the problems we have with suicide and mental health in the firearm industry. After the keynote, the good doctor opened the floor up for questions. Her keynote posed a lot of statistics but not a lot of answers. I am a detail oriented granular data guy and I did not get a solid grasp of the AFSP solutions posed, if any. Several firearm dealers discussed the lack of a cohesive solution and the takeaway was they're trying to develop awareness for the suicide problem. Their goal is to lower suicide rates but how they get there is yet to be determined. I didn't like hearing that and the comments from the crowd reflected the lack of a "here's what you can do TODAY to help this problem" part of the initiative. Going around the room, one dealer who used NICS said that if a customer was just flat out acting funny - he'd lie to the customer and say there was a delay with NICS even though there was an approval just to get them to not be able to have a gun for a few days. The crowd applauded this initiative, however I'm not sure lying to customers is the best way to run a business and treat them with respect. Another dealer brought up an interesting point. When someone comes in looking to buy a gun and they don't know what kind of gun they want, what caliber, and are generally clueless - they're either buying a gun to kill themselves with, OR perhaps they are a very uneducated prospective customer - and there is no clear way of finding out which is which. The problems presented by the AFSP are real. The solutions aren't there though. Yet. Ideally I'd like to see some change to that. However, there's some problems. I hung around and asked the good doctor and her staff some questions and I am in no way denigrating her life's work and her dedication to preventing suicide since she has dedicated her life's work to the issue, but the conversation went something like this. Did you do any research on the accessibility of firearms from a retailer from the legal standpoint? "No, we haven't" Do you know how the NICS or state POC background systems work in regard to mental health holds, etc? "No" One of the problems that I foresee right off the bat is that you talked about how you are fighting time, and if you can get someone out of that suicide mindset - even for a few hours, you can get them into that higher survival bracket. If we apply a one size fits all solution to it like California and put a 10 day wait on everything with the goal of protecting someone from their own life, how do we balance that with the needs of the woman who has been hiding from her abusive spouse and needs a gun right away? "That's a good question that I don't have an answer for." Their initiative, I admire - the lack of solutions is a little off putting however. I tell the doc about how my friend's suicide has impacted me and she seems to be sympathetic to the situation as does her colleagues. I am given her cards and told to call the next time I'm in New York so we can get together and discuss things within the industry. I'll give them a buzz in a few weeks when I'm up there on business. On my way out of the hall, I run into Massad Ayoob. Nice guy. I've admired his work over the years. Bart invites myself and chugbleach to dinner, I can't reach Chug and even though I am beat I decide to hang out with Bart and Mrs Bart Bart: What do you want to eat? FC: Let's find a nice seafood restaurant and eat some red salmon, I feel a powerful lust for red salmon. I begin vomiting. God damn mescaline. Why the fuck can't they make it a little less pure? We eventually head downstairs and order too much food. We are tired and not very hungry. Bart is still hungover and barely able to process food. His wife is grazing on all sorts of meat products. I am in awe of how they are both still upright after six nonstop nights of partying. I've only been here one day and I feel like I am about to die. Dinner concludes with an awkward hug with bart's wife - I don't know how other men feel about wife hugs so I have just avoided the prospect entirely. Like flying through Denver on Frontier. Or flying on Frontier. Ever. I drive over to the Wynn to set up my markers and the poker room is full. I draw a $2500 marker at the craps table and watch the game a bit. I have never played craps before in my life but the three people there seem to be having fun. I look down at my phone and I realize a plane has landed. fluffy_butternut has landed in Las Vegas on business. I had lost a bet and offered to pick him up from the airport. I cash back in my chips against my casino credit and head back to my car. I cannot find my car. Fuck. I wander the wynn garage which is covered in construction debris. I eventually find it and haul ass to the airport. Now, I didn't know this but fluffy has the WORST SENSE OF DIRECTION AT ALL. Seriously. I have no idea how he even made it to the correct city. He lands and has to get his bag and stuff and I circle the airport. He lets me know he's at door 77 wherever the fuck that was. I drive into the pickup portion and I see no sign. He then says he's coming up a level, and I tell him that I'll be there shortly. I park the car and Metro PD starts yelling. Metro: You can't park your car here. FC: Why not? Is this not a reasonable place to park? Metro: Reasonable? You're on a sidewalk! This is the sidewalk! I give the man a $20 and tell him to keep it running as I wander Mccarran screaming FLUFFY! HERE FLUFFY! I message fluffy to let him know I am the car parked on the sidewalk. I instantly figure out who he is having never seen a photo of him and I throw his bags into the car as we head for his hotel. I haul ass out of the airport and get the A3 on the highway. Now this was a superior machine. Thirty nine grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand. We check in at the Rio where the desk clerk is friendly and flirty. I express amazement there is no line. Fluffy checks in and we take his bags upstairs and he offers to buy me food for driving him to the airport. I decline. We head to the bar anyways. He orders two beers and we decide to call chug. He's staying out in Summerlin or something because his company is apparently run by cheapskates. He asks if we want to hang out and shoot the shit. I say sure and ask if he wants us to pick up food or anything from CVS or something since I have the car and I'm able to do anything I want. He asks for some toothpaste. No problem. I may be an asshole on the internet but I have a heart of gold. We get some toothpaste get to the hotel. Arriving at the lobby, we have no idea where he is. It turns out he gave us the address for the hotel across the street. We laugh and go to that lobby and shoot the shit till 3AM much to the chagrin of the hotel clerk. Fluffy has some beers and we plan on dinner the next day. I drive fluffy back and arrive at the hotel at 4. Fuck me to tears. Wednesday, January 18th. Day 2 of SHOT show. Alarm goes off at 7:30 AM. I wash up, eat and get breakfast. In the garage by 8:15. Nice. I get some dillo dust and check out the new Sig 220 DA/SA and SAO legions. Daddy likey. I go to a competing firm and I piss of my state sales manager by telling him his newer designed triggers suck ass. He says the company tested them and they're the same in every way. I ask him why the triggers have two different part numbers in the catalog and how come they're not interchangeable and if that's really the case, how come there's X changes in the supposedly identical pistol parts that he's holding side by side. He gets mad at me and says I'm not an expert on their product and perhaps I should take his job since I'm so smart. I agree that I'm smart and I hold firm that if he didn't want me to complain about the shitty trigger, they should stop selling guns with shitty triggers. I am nearly kicked out of the booth. I meet up with some of my wholesale reps and I'm mid convo when I see Itsgoodsoup and his friend walking around the show. I yell SOUP but he does not hear me. So I grab his friend and find him and I tell him we should get together at dinner with fluffy and chug. He agrees. The show winds down, I get some business done and nothing much else. We break for a shitty gunnit live lite and I take a few questions from the crowd in fluffy's suite at the Rio. Dinner is at 8 and we arrive at the restaurant late to find soup and his friend sitting at one table and chug and his girlfriend sitting at another. Perhaps we should have gotten here a little earlier. Hahaha. So, fluffy said the place is really good and I order a few of the specialties of the house. Apparently according to yelp they do a kickass peking duck. Soon to be mrs chug is a vegan. But we can eat meat in front of her. I wonder how it's served and Soup's vancouver raised asian friend tells me that they normally carve it tableside. Our vegan says as long as there's no head she's cool. We're not sure if they can fulfill that request. So we order and food starts coming out and we tell tall tales of shot show BS and other stuff. Sure enough, the duck comes out with the head. No bueno. Haha. But I decide to treat us to vegan donuts at the vegan bakery across the street later. Seven courses later we are full. Vegan bakery closed. I am committed to getting her some vegan donuts though. We head to Fremont street to gamble. Fluffy wanders about and we try craps and we're not impressed. We hit some slots and eventually I hit the craps table where chug explains the game to me. We start betting on dice. And somehow we start winning. I find that the house allows you to take 10X behind the line. No idea what this means so I plop $5 on the pass line and the point hits 6. I drop $50 behind it and it hits. We go a few rounds and leave ahead. It's 2:30 AM. Fuck. I drive everyone back to their hotel. I get to sleep around 4. Thursday, January 19th. Day 3 of SHOT show. Wake up at 10AM feeling like crap. Debate whether to head straight to show and wander about. Fuck it. Went to halal guys for some halal. Delicious. Got vegan donuts. Dead drop them at the Palazzo lobby for chug and his girl. Show is a bust. Literally nothing exciting. Fluffy offers to buy me dinner. One of my customers who lives in Summerlin offers to take me to dinner. I pass on fluffy and he destroys the seafood buffet at the rio. I head to Sinatra at the Wynn for dinner with my customer. All good in the hood. Chug has been invited to the Glock dinneafter party and I'm not so we all go our separate ways. I call foghorn5950 and due to some weather, he's flying home early and our plans to hangout are fucked up unless I go tonight. I grab fluffy and we head to Whiskey Down. He orders a makers and I give him a funny look. I tell the waitress make it a bulleit. Everyone laughs. I talk shop with Jeremy also from TTAG and we shoot the shit over cigars and talk about useless products. Next thing we know, chug is out of the dinner and wandering the strip. We decide to meet up at the Linq. It takes us nearly 30 minutes to get out of Whiskey Down at MGM because the waitress was awful and messed up everyone's tab. It was a fucking disaster. To boot, MGM is now charging for parking. FC: What a bunch of fucking jews Fluff: You should just tailgate that lady in front of you out and screw them out of the $7 FC: I should We pull behind her and watch as she gets flustered at the awful parking machine. Her nevada license plate says VETERAN. As the gate goes up we haul ass and screw MGM out of $7. I shout "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE" out the window as we blow right by her up to the Linq. Through fluffy's awful navigation, we wind up at the loading dock for the Linq. Eventually we find chug and gf hanging at the penny slots. They are holding vegan donuts, which she is very appreciative of. Least I could do after showing her the head. Fluffy plays the House of Cards slot machine. He stuck $100 in, played for 6 minutes and then got really mad and hit the cash out button and $80 was left after 5 minutes. ITS EXACTLY LIKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! Chug's gf asks to play a special slot machine called kitty glitter. We ask and the linq does not offer it but Harrahs next door does. So we head over there and the slot tech finds the kitty glitter machine. Fluffy sticks a C note in there and tells her to play and have a blast. So she's banging away at the one armed bandit WHEN SUDDENLY I HEAR THE SOUND. It's PUTTIN ON THE RITZ in shitty .wav file internal speaker format. Hahah. She's just hit the progressive jackpot on the penny KITTY GLITTER machine. THIS PLACE IS AWESOME! We cash out after some play and a good time was had by all. I dump off fluffy at the rio since it was very close and drive everyone else back. It's late, I'm tired and the Palace Station oyster bar is open 24 hours......I head over there and there's a 45 minute wait. So, I pull out my backup bankroll and using everything chug and fluffy have taught me about craps I belly up to the $3 min table where they let you take 10x behind the line. I'm still learning and the table is slow so one of the boxmen start explaining the game to me. Box: So if you place the 6 or the 9 or individual numbers you can bet those but you gotta pay a little juice on it like a commission Me: Like when you buy the hook? short pause Box: Yeah! Exactly like that! You got this! So I played a little and went up a bit and down a bit. As you do. Plunked $5 down on the pass line and took full odds and the point hit. This game is pretty cool! So I hung around and watched for about an hour and finally decided to eat my winnings. I take $5 off my stack and, drop it on the pass line and announce dealer bet - $5 to pass. It hits. The dealers love me. Maybe Vegas isn't so bad after all. http://imgur.com/a/LGhDj I have the pan roast at the oyster bar. No line. It is DELICIOUS. I get back to the hotel at 5AM. I don't care when I wake up. Friday, January 20th. Day 4 of SHOT show. Wake up around noon feeling like crap. Go to show. Debate destroying milk cart with wheels with an ax borrowed from fire station. Decide against it. Gas up car and find myself out by palace station again. Played some craps, hit the buffet and went for an early sleep. It's midnight. The neighbors in my the hotel are having sex. A LOT OF SEX. I can hear everything. I gently knock on the door. No answer. I knock slightly harder. No answer. I head back to my room and close the door just as I hear their door open. I zoom back out to find a puzzled middle aged stocky and perhaps sticky Latino man looking both ways. I get in his line of sight. Me: Hey. I'm next door. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun. I get it. I really do. In fact I haven't had sex since the bush administration so I'm gunning for you man I really am. But it's midnight and I have a 6am flight and a rental car to return. So trust me when I say I'm really happy for you but if you don't mind I really need to get some sleep tonight okay? The awkward silence is deafening. He nods without saying a word and mouths okay. I give him a manly nod and thumbs up. Me: thanks. I'd shake your hand or fist bump but well you know..... I give him a peace sign as he goes back into his little pleasure palace and I turn to realize that I have just locked myself out of my room. I am wearing boxers, a tshirt and barefoot. I head downstairs to the lobby. The check in at the front desk resembles the TSA line at Mccarran. Normally I would not be this rude but desperate times call for desperate measures. The line is 50 people deep. I walk past every person. Fuck your queue. I approach the desk where someone is helping a guest and I raise my right hand as if I were in a deposition to get them to stop. The staff and guest looks puzzled as the angry barefoot man clad in nothing but boxers and a "uzi does it" tshirt approaches the desk. Me: excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt. I have an emergency. I'm up on 8 and my neighbors are having a lot of sex. I mean a LOT of sex. (This is the same front desk clerk who actually checked me in Monday night by coincidence looks back at me very awkwardly and puzzled.) Me: this isn't your regular sex. I'm talking this is your (I begin air humping the front desk and slapping the granite counter with my palm and grunting loudly) sex. You could hear the plan B packaging open. At this point - the ENTIRE FRONT DESK STAFF HAS STOPPED CHECKING IN GUESTS. The people in line and are watching the show. The clerk is stunned. Speechless. Shock and awed. Crapped out and busted. The women are covering their children's eyes and ears. The men are wondering if this show requires a 2 drink minimum. Me: now I get this is Vegas. Everyone wants a good time. It's midnight. My flight leaves at 6 which means I have to be up by 4. And this just isn't working. So I asked them to keep it down and I locked myself out of my room. So if you can make me another key or move me I'd appreciate it. The clerk nods. Clerk: of course. may I see your ID? Years of ballet have prepared me for this day. I step back to make sure my genitals are still ensconced in my boxers as I pirouette and gesticulate wildly. Me: DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE ID? The floor manager steps over and asks me to head down to the end of the desk where she will make me a key. I give her the room number and thank her after she offers to have security sent up to shutdown the best little whorehouse in Vegas. I tell her it may not be necessary. As I take my keys and walk away the people in line break out in raucous applause. I take a bow and miraculously my boxer shorts don't rip. These people are my subjects and I have been crowned the the king of the three ring circus that is the circus circus lobby. Im offered a $1 tip from a kind soul but I decline. My walk back to the hotel elevator bank is uneventful. So much so that I realize it is going too well. The other shoe, if I were wearing one felt as if it was about to drop. Suddenly a dumbass in a rascal scooter is heading toward me at flank speed as his head is turned to look at everyone BEHIND HIM. There's no way this will end well. For you gentle readers joining us mid conversation - it's midnight and I need to be at the airport in 4.5 hours. I can just see it now. (Cue the harp noises) Scene: Emergency room Nurse: Allergic to anything? Me: NKDA Nurse: cause of injury? Me: what's the IC10 code for "run down by drunken buffoon on motorized wheelchair?" I saw my life and confirmed upgraded first class seats home being given away by the Mccarran gate agent flash before my eyes and my catlike reflexes kicked in and I jumped to my left into the wall, mid 1960's Las Vegas union construction being the path of least resistance. Think "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner. The buffoon barely realizes what happens. Children are amazed. "HEY MOM! Look! That guy just ran into a wall!" Me: it was that OR GET RUN DOWN BY SOME JACKASS ON A GODDAMN SCOOTER GOING FULL SPEED DRIVING LIKE A.... I look down and a midwestern nuclear family with two children of formative age are waiting for the elevator. I change my last word. Me: LUNATIC! I look over to the parents. Me: I'm really sorry. This is a family joint and I shouldn't have cursed the drunken scooter driver like that. Sorry kids. Parent: no big deal. They've heard fucking worse. I crack a smile at her word choice. Fucking worse. Yeah. That sounds like my evening. After jumping into a wall, I'm now wide awake and unable to go back to sleep. I make the plane and push on time. The 737 comes to a stop short of the runway and holds. Something is wrong. The pilots come on and say that they loaded more cargo and passengers than planned so they have to redo their numbers. We're waiting on the taxiway with both engines running as they do this and the waiting music comes on. What's the first song? Whitney Houston - "I Will Always Love You"
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.
Yes, I'm an executive so I'm in touch with most everything that goes on. Most of the time when I see something like that, I just say "good for us" and try not to think about whether or not the person can afford it or not.
Let's say your check is $1,000. The casino will cash your check and then also give you $50 in promotional credits to be used on the slot machines. The idea is that since we've given you some "free" money to begin playing the machines you will also dip into the $1,000 cash that we also handed you.
I really don't like them so not often unless someone is in town that wants to go. I don't have a moral objection, just think it's a waste. "Hey do you like to eat steak? Give me $20 to smell this delicious steak! No, you can't try it!!!".
So that having been said, I might spend $20 to give to the girls on the stage and maybe a lap dance.
No, I don't get treated better because of my title really. They usually just care about how much money you spend and that's it.
Ummm... Off the top of my head I think the sneakiest thing is probably side bets on table games (e.g., play an extra $5 and if your two cards are a pair then you win $25) because the odds are terrible or things like advertising low table game limits but modifying the rules (e.g., blackjack pays 6:5 vs 3:2) to increase the house advantage.
First, we quantify most everything by "theoretical worth". That is, how much we can expect to win from you based on the house advantage of the game you play and how long you play. The general formula is decisions per hour X house advantage X hours played X average bet. So, $25/hand at blackjack X 1.5% house advantage X 2 hours played X 60 decisions per hour = $45 in theoretical worth.
Second, It really depends on the particular property. The number is a lot higher for Wynn then it would be at Joker's Wild (a really, really dumpy casino on the outskirts of Vegas). That having been said, most places will be very happy to have you if you are in the $150-300 a day in theoretical worth range.
I just threw the 1.5 number out there. We also factor in skill into house advantage so as to be more favorable to the player, comp wise. comp wise we'd probably give you 15% of the $45, or $6.75. That's just in what we call discretionary comps that the pit supervisor or host can give you. Then you could expect another 30% in the mail via free bets, hotel, food, etc.
Well I've worked all over the country and, yes, of course we always keep an eye out on new competition that would impact our existing customer base, especially as the business has seen much more legalization in new jurisdictions in the past 20 years.
For Vegas, I think most strip properties have dealt with this by investing in properties in regional markets so as to send their customers to their Vegas properties so it is pretty accretive. Someone from Harrah's Ak-Chin in the Phoenix area gets offers from Harrah's Las Vegas quite often.
The bigger problem really is for the markets where they were a monopoly for some time and really rested on their laurels. Reno and Atlantic City come to mind. Those markets are dying fast and there really isn't much upside. In Atlantic City, for example, you have casinos buying competitors just to close them so as to reduce the inventory.
I worked as a slot analyst (analyzing machine performance) years ago and never on the floor so I don't know/remember the exact steps. Essentially, though, it's verifying that the machine is functioning properly and recording the details of the jackpot for audit/regulators. If it is a taxable jackpot ( >= $1,200) then we are required to fill out the IRS W2G form to report it to them for tax purposes so at that point we have to get your ID, etc. to facilitate that. Then of course, there is the matter of actually paying you the money, verifying that it is the correct amount, etc. The tax form does get sent to the IRS. You can request the taxes not be taken out of your jackpot as you are only taxed on the net win at the end of the year.
4.) There's a lot of pressure to make money/meet your budget so all of the bullshit that goes along with that. Dealing with politics, having to adjust staffing, etc. And I don't like that at my level the usual tenure is 2-3 years so you move around a lot. I'd like to be more settled, especially in a place I'd really want to live for a long time and I don't feel like I have much control of that in this business.
1.) I mean there is only one of me at every casino so if something happens whether I don't like where I work or what something different (e.g., more money) or they don't like me (shocking, it happens!) then the likelihood that I have to move is high, especially if I'm in a city that only has a handful of casinos. 2.) I obviously feel like my skills could take me anywhere! But in reality, it has been tough to change industries when I've tried. Usually places like hotels don't pay as much as casinos and look for more sales-related skills and restaurants don't really have marketing people except at the corporate office whereas my skills are more analytics-oriented. And both usually pay less than casinos.
The problem with returning to that type of vibe is that it's difficult/impossible given how big the casinos are. Sure it was easy for Benny Binion to control everything and not be "corporate" when the old Horseshoe was literally 1/10th the size of MGM Grand.
I went there for grad school so was older and had a wife and a house. It is definitely a commuter school so there's not a lot of school spirit. I went to undergrad a school with a huge, huge, huge, football program so it was a bit of a change for me. I also didn't find the students to be terribly bright (with exceptions, of course). On the upside, a lot of people like living in Vegas and the Hotel Administration College (where I went) has very, very good brand recognition.
Yes, they hang out at the bars and then there are services you can call and have them sent to your room. If it's overt, casino security will clear them out of the bar area but the vice cops generally focus on human trafficking kind of stuff.
1.) The industry relies heavily on industry experience so job prospects are good if you're willing to start in a low position and work you're way up. If you go to UNLV and get the degree I got and expect for some casino to make you a Director of VP with no experience then you're going to be very disappointed.
My undergrad degree is pretty bland, political science, so it wasn't hard at first. I did my grad degree in casino management because I was living in Vegas, wanted to get an MBA, didn't want to take 2 years off from work to get a full-time degree, didn't have the support of my job to get an executive MBA, and didn't like UNLV's MBA program.
1.) Generally there are poker dealers and table games (e.g., blackjack) dealers. Few do both. Among the table games dealers, most know multiple games as the more you know the more hirable you are. In terms of the qualifications it's just that you've gone to some sort of dealer school (there are commercial ones and some casinos do it in-house), experience, and a live audition. 2.) Really depends on the market and the casino. At the high end like Wynn or Venetian they will do close to $100K/year but at an entry-level place it could be more like $25K/year. It's base salary plus pooled tips (aka tokes).
3.) You've never thought of dealing the WSOP? They need as many dealers as they can find.
Typical work day is get to work and look at the previous day's financial results and react accordingly. I.e., ask the analysts to pull numbers, talk to the head of a certain department about their opinion on something, etc.
Emails emails emails.
Then it's usually a lot of meetings about upcoming things whether it be planning an event, approving new advertising, doing the strategic planning for the property for 2015, meeting with vendors, etc.
Emails emails emails.
By this time the numbers or reports I've asked to be run are ready so I sit down and look at them and act accordingly (e.g., hey, looks like we're spending too much on postage to mail to customers too far away, let's change the way we do this for next time), etc.
Emails emails emails.
Then it's usually time to go home but 2-3 times a week I'll have a dinner or event to go to with a vendor or colleague or someone from the press.
Emails emails emails.
Probably 2-3 Saturdays a month I'll go in and work for a few hours just to catch up on stuff or if there's an event to meet and greet players, make sure everything is going well, etc.
Well certainly there are more what we call "front of house" positions (dealers, porters, servers, bartenders, etc.) than "back of house" positions (accountants, IT, warehouse, etc.) so in terms of pure numbers, yes it's easier to get -any- FOH than -any- BOH position.
That having been said, if you're wanting an IT position shouldn't be too hard if you're willing to work anywhere and have a little experience. If you're wanting to just jump into the CIO job at Bellagio, more difficult.
We definitely do SEO/SEM campaigns but primarily for hotel related keywords for people looking for hotel rooms. I worked at a place a little outside of the main city in the south one time and we'd buy broader search terms for people looking for "entertainment in main city" in case they didn't know there was a casino nearby.
I'd rather not say as I don't want to be outted but I have worked for large publicly traded companies, privately held companies (e.g., owned by hedge funds), and publicly traded companies where one individual owns the majority of the shares. I've never worked at a privately owned casino owned by one individual, though.
It really depends more on the manner in which you win and how you behave. We're required by law to fill out a Currency Transaction Report for transactions over $10,000. So if you got to that point you would have already given us your ID, etc. We'd obviously make sure that surveillance is watching you to make sure you're not cheating but if you're on a random hot streak and betting $10K/hand then it wouldn't be a huge deal at most strip properties.
At my place, (which is not an uber classy place like Wynn or Venetian), you'd get pretty much whatever you'd want. Suite, dinners, limo from the airport, show tickets, etc. We'd generally reinvest in you 30% of your loss so just figure out what $3,000 in comps would get you.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe you really just need to be tenacious and take anything to get your foot in the door. It's a very crowded field, especially on the what I call "pretty picture" side of marketing. I wish I had a more specific answer to give you.
I usually say I'm in charge of driving profitable revenue. The departments that report up to me are charge of advertising, promotions, entertainment, public relations, direct mail/database marketing, and VIP marketing.
Absolutely. I think most of the major companies have management training/internship programs. Go to their careers websites. Caesars Entertainment, MGM International, Pinnacle Entertainment, Penn National Gaming, etc.
I think the best combination in today's world is to be more right brained with a creative bent as more and more the question asked of marketing folks is "quantify how your idea makes me money?" and less and less "what's the most most creative idea you have?"
It's a crowded field especially on the left brained side (e.g., advertising and public relations) because people think it's "cool". So if that's you're interest, I'd say being tenacious and creative is what is going to get you far in that world because it's tough to get your foot in the door and you have to have thick skin and then when you do get your foot in the door you are going to have a very short leash to prove yourself.
Doing what, exactly? Just be willing to make not a lot of money for awhile and be willing to relocate frequently if you want to move up the ladder. I guess those are the first things that come to mind.
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