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CoffeeGambling.com » 2010 » September
  • Archive for September, 2010

    The Las Vegas Death Ray!

    Thursday, September 30th, 2010

    Okay, now I totally want to go to Las Vegas and visit the Vdara Hotel. I know they’re a little worried about the problem, but really, if they play it right this could bring in crowds. Maybe not the crowds they want, but think of the possibility. “Buy a drink and challenge the death ray to melt your glass!” or for the environmentally conscious “dispose of your plastic bags with the help of the Vdara Death Ray!” Though I’m not sure the “set fire to your hair with the Vdara Death Ray” is going to be a big draw.

    What am I talking about? Well, the Vdara Hotel would prefer to call it a “hot spot” or a “solar convergence,” but guys, that’s not going to sell tickets. People aren’t going to line up to experience the solar convergence near the pool at the Vdara. Besides “Vdara Death Ray” just sounds like something from a 1950 science fiction flick. Except this death ray is real. Okay, it hasn’t actually killed anyone yet, but it did scorch a lawyer’s scalp and burn some of his hair.

    Here’s the basics. The Vdara is a beautiful piece of architecture. It’s tall, sleek, shiny and slightly curved. The result is that at certain times of the day, the hotel directs the sun’s rays down to the pool area in such a focused manner that it has been known to melt plastic bags and plastic drink cups. Keep in mind, the plastic in the drink cups melts at about 160 degrees. So we’re talking hot, not warm. A lawyer from Chicago found out just how hot it can get when he was relaxing by the pool with his eyes closed. He became uncomfortably hot and fled from his chair to the shade where he smelled burning and realized that the sun had scorched his hair. Returning to his chair, he discovered that the plastic bag on his newspaper had melted.

    Being the inquisitive sort, he investigated and discovered that the Vdara Death Ray was a well known phenomenon to the hotel staff and regular guests. He’s not suing the hotel over the scorching, but is working to get them to fix the problem. The hotel faces a bit of a problem. They thought they solved the problem by installing high tech film on the exterior of the hotel. The film has cut the reflection problem by 70 percent. But apparently the remainder of the, umm, solar convergence is still enough to scorch a guest. But solutions that might seem obvious, like building a big sun shade, don’t work because the ray moves around the area depending on the time of year and the position of the sun. I think the best solution would be to just call it an attraction and sell tickets.

    Coffee Quote: Coffee? No thanks, one more cup & *I’ll* jump to warp. - Captain Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

    Will Australia fingerprint gamblers?

    Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

    My head is still spinning reading this article from Australia. Perhaps this shows a difference between Australian attitudes and American attitudes. Because in the ol’ U.S. of A. if someone suggested finger printing players to control gambling they’d have a war on their hands. Even non-gambler would show up to protest the action. We really don’t like the feds having that much oversight into our pursuit of happiness. And finger printing people to control what appears to be a legal activity would cause a blow up.

    But in Australia, it’s actually being considered. And gambling clubs are fighting it, claiming they’ll lease 305% to 50% of their revenue of this goes into place. (I think they may be under estimating. Finger printing scares people.) The scheme (The Australia Herald Sun uses the term scheme and I think it fits) is apparently being proposed to limit the daily spending of players using poker machines. Millions of Australians play poker machines in clubs and pubs throughout the country and if passed, the new rules would mean all those machines would have to be retrofit to accept smart cards or USB sticks to store data on players. Then a fingerprint data base would be used to keep players from switching smart cards and out smarting the system.

    According to Senator Xenophon, “The fingerprint is only in the USB, it doesn’t go anywhere else.” Umm, Senator X, if the finger print is only one the card, then it can’t be in a database. And if there is a database to keep players from having multiple cards, then the finger prints have to be in the database for comparison. (I am seeing a similarity between Australian and US senators/politicians.)

    The clubs are objecting to the cost of implanting the system and the fact that the players just won’t like it. The players are objecting because they don’t see any reason for the government to have their fingerprints if they haven’t committed a crime. The senator from Australia is easily distracted by shiny technology.

    Players line up for Maryland Casino opening

    Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

    Live in or near Maryland and want to play a game of slots? Your drive just got a bit a shorter. The state’s first casino, The Hollywood Casino Perryville, opened its doors to players this morning. The casino was actually a few days ahead of schedule and eager Marylanders turned out for the opening, braving a bit of Maryland rain. (The news from Maryland seems to want to report that there was rain for the opening, but I’m not sure if they’ve realized that it isn’t actually raining inside the casino. So going to a casino in the rain really isn’t that big a deal when you get there. Still, you could play at an online casino an never have to go out the door and even drive in the rain. Just saying.)

    Back to the Hollywood Casino Perryville. The casino actually hosted a soft open on Saturday for about 1,400 invited guests. This weekend event when so well that the casino decided to open its doors to the public earlier than planned. Of course, opening on Monday would also mean that the casino would deal with a smaller week day crowd rather than a larger weekend one. Within an hour of the 8am opening about 200 people had shown up to check out the casino.

    Review of the new casino is a bit mixed. Some think that the absence of table games could mean for less of a draw than a larger casino, but go into any Vegas or Atlantic City casino and you’ll see plenty of players lined up at the slot machines. Some have noticed that the while the cost of the drive might be less, the drinks are more expensive. For those used to free drinks from their favorite casino, a $5 bottle of beer is going to be a bit of a surprise.

    But time will tell and my guess is that most players will adjust to the pluses and minuses of the new casino. And as some players have mentioned — perhaps they’ll mix it up a bit. Driving further to larger casinos for some heavy play but making the shorter trip to Perryville to put in a few short hours of fun.

    Hard Rock Cafe sues Hard Rock Hotel

    Friday, September 24th, 2010

    They can do that? I mean, it’s like they’re putting themselves between and rock and a Hard Rock. (Okay, that cliché isn’t working as I hoped.) But really this is strange news that’s making me re-read to try to figure who is suing who. Okay, so, the Orlando-based Hard Rock Cafe and restaurant chain (offices located not far from me) is suing the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (not apparently the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, which is a little further down the road from me.) Now there is apparently some complexity in the ownership of these two businesses that allows for the lawsuit. It seems that founder Peter Morton retains ownership in both and as part of the agreement to use the Hard Rock name, the Las Vegas Hard Rock agreed to protect the goodwill of the trademark.

    That “protecting the goodwill of the Trademark” is where the Hard Rock is running into trouble with the Hard Rock or where Vegas is having trouble with Orlando. Does that help? Okay, Vegas is running a reality TV campaign “Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel” on truTV. Ah, reality TV, how we love you. According to Orlando (do you know how many conservative Christians live in Orlando? Lots!) the show promotes drunken debauchery and that’s just for a start. They also accuse the show of portraying the Hard Rock (Vegas, baby) as reveling in “acts of vandalism, sexual harassment, violence, criminality, and a host of other behavior” that reflects badly on the Hard Rock brand. (In other words - it’s your typical Reality TV show.)

    So, the Hard Rock wants to end its relationship with the Hard Rock! Who will win? And who gets custody of the kids?

    Coffee Quote: Chocolate, men, coffee - some things are better rich.  ~Author Unknown

    Play for pennies but win BIG

    Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

    Let’s admit it. It’s the gambler’s dream. Risk a handful of pocket change and win thousands of dollars. After all, there are more reliable ways to make money but they take time or series investment strategy. Anyone can make money if they work at it. But where’s the excitement in that?

    Well, a poker player known as “tvbie” has accomplished the gambling dream. Oh, not by winning a big tournament through serious and skilled poker player. Though he did win a hand of poker. Here’s the thing, he won a hand in a microstakes $.02 $.05 no limit hold ‘em game. That’s right, he was playing for pennies. And the whole pot was $46.25.

    So, is it really a big deal that some dude won just under fifty bucks off a penny game? Well, that’s where the dream comes in. He didn’t just win $46.25. He won $50,500 + $46.25 + $5,640 for a total of $56,186.25. How? Well, tvbie won the 50 billionth hand of poker at PokerStars.com. And with that hand he won the pot, the big prize, and extra money for earning VPP points in previous hands.

    Now, it may seem like a big surprise that a micro stakes player would take the big prize. But in reality, the vast majority of poker players on sites like PokerStars.com aren’t playing high stakes games where hundreds or thousands of dollars are tossed into the pot. Most people actually play in small stakes and micro stakes games. And tvbie averages about 600 hands of poker a day. But now he’s got me thinking — 600 hands a day? That sounds like work to me.

    Coffee Quote: I bought a decaffeinated coffee table, you can’t even see a difference

    America’s Got Talent goes to Atlantic City

    Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

    Okay, I’ll admit right out that this isn’t strictly gambling news. Except these days Atlantic City’s struggle for survival and relevance in a changing market can’t be ignored. Gambling is about the games, often about people, and sometimes about places. Because there are some places that simply resonate a gambling vibe. Las Vegas, Monaco, Atlantic City. But of those three, the news I’ve been hearing about Atlantic City hasn’t been good. Yes, it’s been hit by the recession. But so has Las Vegas. The problem with being a gambling destination is that it requires keeping up that glitz and glam associated with gambling. I’ve been to Atlantic City. It was easy to be caught up in the expansive luxury of the Trump Taj Mahal, but the illusion broke quickly once I stepped outside the doors. It takes effort and money to maintain that Atlantic City illusion and with the decline in tourism, that money has been harder to come by.

    But Atlantic City is getting a little boost that may put it back in the mind of the American public. The popular NBC TV show “America’s Got Talent” will be going on the road. The show is taking the Top Ten on a tour of America with Jerry Springer serving as the host. And one of the show’s scheduled stops is the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Tickets for the event start at $39.50 with the top seats going for nearly $100 (okay, $99.50) and are on sale at Ticketmaster. Someone will win America’s Got Talent, but after watching the show, you could win in the casino. Because sometimes you gotta have luck.

    Coffee Quote: I’ll quit coffee.  It won’t be easy drinking my Bailey’s straight, but I’ll get used to it.  It’ll still be the best part of waking up.  ~From the television show Will and Grace


    Party Casino adds live dealers

    Friday, September 17th, 2010

    Okay, so it’s the newest trend in online casinos — the live dealer. Of course, this is opposed to computer dealt games, not zombie or vampire dealers. Though actually, Zombies and Vampires have lots of fans if anyone is looking for the next new casino trend. But back to the live dealers. Casinos going for this option aren’t trying to make every game a live play game. After all, you don’t have a live dealer for video poker or slots even in a real world casino. So play on those remains the same. But Party Casino offers a live dealer option for blackjack, roulette and baccarat.

    Now, why the live dealer option? Well, if you know any blackjack pros, you’ll know that card counting doesn’t work with the online game. Now, this doesn’t mean that Party Casino wants online blackjack players to start card counting. But the random number generator used to generate or deal blackjack cards in an online casino is not exactly the same as cards dealt from a real deck. So I can see blackjack players being attracted to the live dealer game. The same with any other game that uses cards, such as baccarat.

    But then there’s roulette. Okay, roulette amuses me because I don’t see any reason to play it either online or in the real world casino. It’s visually appealing and there’s always the lure of putting a chip down on one number and winning a fortune. But in the long run, roulette odds aren’t in your favor. And having a real live croupier spin that wheel doesn’t really change that. But some people do believe that they can watch the live wheel and predict the most likely numbers. (Honestly, gang, if a wheel is that badly off alignment, the casino will replace it.)

    Now Party Casino is adding another enticement to its live games. The cards are dealt by a staff of attractive female dealers. Players will be able to communicate with their dealer using a live chat window. Now, when I see this, I always wonder how many people send the dealer messages like “wave your left hand” just to see if they really are reading the messages. Well, we can always head over to Party Casino to find out.

    Coffee quote: I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.  ~Flash Rosenberg

    Lord of the Rings Slot — Not Review

    Thursday, September 16th, 2010

    I’ve been on a quest to find an online casino where I can play the Lord of the Rings slot game that everyone is talking about. Now, this is amusing me because I see reviews for it everywhere, but I know they’re writing many of those from press release and screen shots. How do I know this? Well, the reviews started months before the slot game was finished. And right now it looks to me that as a US player, it might be easier to break into Mordor (and perhaps break out again) that it is to find a site to review the game on.

    Oh, they tempt me with promises. Both Ladbrokes and Virgin casino have Free Play buttons, but those only return a message that the game isn’t available. Other online casinos have links to the game but if I login to a practice play account, the Lord of the Rings slot isn’t one that’s available to me.

    So, why not play for money? Well, the problem there is that I’m in the US and most of these online casinos aren’t open to US players. Also, when I write a slots review, I do like to present my actual experience playing the game to you the reader. Most people I know want to check out the slot game before the play. Some just want to check it out for fun and not risk their money. So, to sum up my experience

    Want to check out The Lord of the Rings slot? Well, if you’re in the US, you can’t get there from here. Give it some time for the hype to die down, and we may be able to indulge. Meanwhile, the movies are playing on cable if you need an LOTR fix.

    Coffee Quote: Coffee in England is just toasted milk.  ~Author Unknown

    Slots-tember at Super Slots Casino

    Friday, September 10th, 2010

    It’s Slots-tember at Super Slots casino. And you know if any month needed a little help, it’s September. After all, it comes right after summer and before the really good holidays start. So, if you need something to celebrate in September, why not slots games. And Super Slots Casino is here to help. Slots-tember runs through September 30th and features “Beat the Bank.”

    All you need to do to take part is register at Super Slots Casino and then visit the tournament lobby to sign up for the games. The entry fee is just $10 with rebuys being available. The player with the highest balance at the end of the tournament wins, so practice that reel spinning.

    Beat the Bank is a five reel, twenty five pay line game where you try to rob a bank. (bank robbery seems to be a popular slots theme. And if you beat the bank this way, it’s legal. But please don’t try this at your neighborhood bank.) The game relies on those exciting 9, 10, J, Q, K, A, symbols which mean that no one wanted to pay a designer for a few more unique symbols. (Honestly, they didn’t even try real hard to individualize the card symbols). Other symbols include blue prints, a security camera, diamonds and a security guard. The scatter symbol is the safe door and the substitutes symbol is the thief. The game has a free games feature which can be triggered by the Thief appearing on reels 2, 3 and 5. And the Beat the Bank feature is triggered when three or more scatter symbols appear on the reels. In the Beat the Bank feature, you open safes to claim the money and can win up to 1024 times your triggering bet.