So yeah, my Vegas trip. It was nice to get some gambling and relaxation in before giga-work started again this week. Here are some random thoughts on the fun stuff.
– Steve Wynn’s new hotel is really cool. You can see the same design elements he used in The Mirage and the Bellagio. What really gets me is the tech. Every room has HDTV, cable television via CAT (not coax), VOIP phones, and more. Your hotel card doubles are your player’s club card. And each chip over $25 has a chip in it to help them avoid fakes.
– The steak house at Wynn is phenomenal. Brian treated me to a lovely ribeye. It’s not the best I’ve had, but it’s up there. There’s a cool water show that plays every half hour for your entertainment too.
– La Bete, a club at Wynn, is really impressive. The crowd is typical Vegas, but the setting is amazing. The terraces face a facade build to look like a Sierra Nevada forrest. There are tons of trees, a couple of waterfalls, and lots of bushes. It’s the most green (the natural kind) that I’ve ever seen in Vegas.
– The Stuff Magazine Casino Weekend was also typical Vegas. There were some celebs around (Shannon Elizabeth and Robert Horry were right by me) and Bone Thugs performed to Kimora Simmons’ fashion show. I really didn’t enjoy the glitz and the glam. I had way more fun hanging out in Austin with friends.
– I suck at blackjack now. I still know basic strategy pretty well, but I can’t count cards to save my life. I lost $300 in half an hour.
– My video-poker skills are still there. I made some mistakes early on and my speed wasn’t what it used to be, but by the end of the trip I was playing pretty close to perfect and at a really nice clip. I ended up winning $250 and earned a ton of comps at the Westin. All that training on Bob Dancer’s program has paid off.
– Oh yeah, the Westin Casuarina is pretty interesting. It’s almost perfect for me. I get Starwood points, the beds are lovely, it’s SO not crowded, and there’s lots of great video poker (9/6 JOB is my game of choice). The pool is small, but nice. I just wish the spa were better. There’s no jacuzzi in the spa and the steam room was too hot for me, so it was sauna city while I rested my eyes for the next video-poker session. The Westin is slightly off the strip, which cuts down on the traffic, but it’s a short walk away from Ellis Island, which has the most inredible $5-steak meal you’ll find in the country.