Entertainment money pours back into Las Vegas

Las Vegas is still having some issues following the economic crisis of 2008. Things have changed a lot in the city, and as a result we saw a collapse in the local real estate market. While visitor numbers are creeping up, gambling receipts are still a problem as Macau attracts so many of the world’s high rollers.

You wouldn’t be able to guess, however, if you pay attention to the shows and the nightclubs. Celine Dion just signed a $100 million extension with Caesars. and now there is speculation that Britney Spears could easily top that figure if she completes a deal as well.

Meanwhile, the biggest, newest casinos are killing it. Places like Aria and the Cosmopolitan are packed with the beautiful people, while the hottest clubs are packing them in again.

So Las Vegas continues to evolve. It still attracts the big time poker players, so it’s a mecca for that sport. As more people play online, looking to hone their skills and searching for the best bonus codes on sites like partycasino.com to grab more credits, it just creates more and more players who want to test their skills in person against the best in Las Vegas. If the feds ever get their act together and set up a federal regulatory system for online poker, the popularity will probably explode even more, and that’s very good for Vegas.

The key, of course, is dealing with all the distractions when you get there. Of course we all want to live like a high roller, but living that life has its costs. The booze, the women and the all-night parties make it a lot harder to be effective at the poker table for long stretches of time.

So the real key is discipline. Are you serious about being a winning poker player, or are you more concerned with bringing a hot babe to the Britney Spears concert? These are the choices you have to make. Win first, and then enjoy the festivities.

  

Court rules that poker is a game of skill

We all know that poker is a game of skill. Now others are starting to take note, as a federal judge ruled in a recent decision.

Poker is a game of skill that is not covered under the federal Illegal Gambling Business Act, Eastern District Judge Jack Weinstein ruled yesterday.

Weinstein (See Profile) reversed the jury conviction of Lawrence Dicristina and found that, as a matter of law, Congress did not clearly intend to criminalize poker when it passed the act. Part of the judge’s reasoning was that poker games, in this case Texas Hold’em, are not purely games of chance.

“Bluffing, raising and folding require honed skills to maximize the value of the cards dealt by Lady Luck,” Weinstein said in United States v. Dicristina, 11-CR-414.

In a 120-page decision, Weinstein noted that New York courts have long considered that poker contains a sufficient element of chance to constitute gambling under state laws, N.Y. Penal Law §225.00(2). But the federal law is ambiguous as to whether it federalizes state gambling offenses, he said.

Even the attractive lady above can use her “assets” to help distract players. There are so many factors that go into winning money at poker. It’s nice to see some feds finally agree.

  

Cheating and poker

If you look at the history of poker, cheating has always been part of the game. This was true even in places like Las Vegas, particularly when one-deck games were prevalent.

Here’s an interesting video that discusses this history and some of the specific cheating scams. It also discusses strategies to help you establish or hide your poker face.

  

Video game companies invest in gambling games

Here’s an interesting development:

3G Studios, a video game developer in Reno, is betting on online gambling.

The private company, with 47 U.S. employees, has hired almost 80 contractors in India and China and expects to have 200 dedicated solely to making gambling games by the end of the year. 3G is one of a handful of game makers jockeying for gambling business, expecting states, hungry for new tax revenue, to open the floodgates for Internet casinos.

Nevada is accepting applications for online gambling licenses, and in June, Delaware became the first state to approve online casino gambling for state residents, starting next year. Other states, including California and New Jersey, are considering loosening the rules for wagering on the Web after the Department of Justice reversed a longtime ban on many types of Internet betting in December.

Word is out that Zynga is also pushing their poker game for the same reasons.

There will be huge competition for poker players if we see national regulation, and the gamer companies will be battling the traditional casino companies.

  

Cleveland’s new poker room is busy

The photo above captures the logo on the floor leading up to the poker room at the new Horseshoe Casino in downtown Cleveland. The new casino opened several weeks ago, and the poker room has been very busy.

Cleveland is a poker town. And this place is proof.

The Horseshoe’s 24-hour-a-day poker room has ranked among the busiest in the country since the casino opened May 14, according to Bravo Poker Live, a software application that tracks tables in use, the kinds of games available and the size of waiting lists at casinos nationwide.

Information for the Horseshoe poker room, found through the app, has received more than 85,000 hits, according to the software’s provider, Genesis Gaming.

A check of Bravo Poker Live at midafternoon Wednesday showed that the Horseshoe had 16 tables going, eighth among 100 that supplied data; early afternoon Thursday, the number was down to 11, but that was still good for a four-way tie for ninth out of 90 venues.

It’s been so busy that they haven’t been hosting tournaments since the cash games are more profitable for the casino.

  

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