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Steve Wynn: The man who bought fine art to the Las Vegas Strip

Steve Wynn: The man who bought fine art to the Las Vegas Strip...

Fine art collector and hotel CEO Steve Wynn is best-known as a major casino and hotel magnate operating out of Las Vegas. His biography reads like a textbook example of the classic American rags-to-riches story. He inherited $350,000 in gambling debts from his father, as well as a chain of near bankrupt bingo parlors. With his previous plans for law school at Yale completely quashed by the financial realities of his father’s estate, he focused on turning the family business around, which he did in just five years, paying down the debts and using the experience to land a role as part-owner of the Frontier Hotel in Vegas. From that position, he was able to take over run-down hotels and build them up again, before completely turning round the reputation of the Strip with his classy, family-friendly hotels. The focus on tasteful interior decoration – the hotel as museum and art gallery, as well as casino – led to his enduring appreciation of fine art. CEO Steve Wynn’s private collection includes works by Picasso (one of which he put his elbow through, later commenting that ‘The money means nothing to me. It’s that I had this painting in my care and I’ve damaged it’), Matisse, Léger, Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Giacometti, as well as one of only two paintings by Johannes Vermeer that are in private hands – the other belongs to the Queen of England! Aside from his private collection, his former flagship hotel, the world-famous Bellagio, contained over $300 million worth of art from the Impressionists up to the contemporary era (he later sold the hotel for over $6 billion). Having sold the Bellagio, widely considered to be the greatest hotel in Las Vegas, if not the world, Wynn decided that the only way was up, designing a brand new hotel still more sumptuous – yet tasteful – than the last. Having by this point demonstrated to the world that he could build hotels in Vegas (and elsewhere in the States – he opened one of the first casino-hotels in Atlantic City), he’s now overseeing a new venture in Macau, the former Portuguese colony reincorporated into China in 1999. In line with his passion for art, he’s furnished the hotel with, among other things, four Qing dynasty vases worth a total of $12.7 million, which were removed from the country in the 18th Century. For CEO Steven Wynn, it’s only partly about the money and the opulence: Just as important is the fact that he’s been able to restore these antiques to their native land. Wynn’s reputation for knowing what he wants and getting it, whether it’s casinos, money or Picassos, unjustly conceals the genuine passion for business, people and art that is the motivation behind it all. Now aged 73, he’s just over two decades into re-booting his hotel career after the sale of the Bellagio, but shows no sign of slowing down yet. About Mail | More Posts...
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Host Your Own Poker Night at Home: A Guide for Dummies

Host Your Own Poker Night at Home: A Guide for Dummies...

  You don’t have to hit casinos far and wide to play poker. Experienced players and those new to the game can enjoy a night of cards anytime. If you’d like to host your own game night, here are some tips to help you set up in style. Let’s talk basics, like the card deck. You can choose a regular stock card set, like the well-known Bicycle playing cards. Or go pro, and choose Copag vinyl cards that some professional poker players use. Chips and setup are where you can start to plan a bit more. Just like the cards, chips can range from the inexpensive to sturdier, expensive products. Cheaper chips may be light and feel rough. Higher cost chips can include a metal insert for a heavier weight feel. Some of the highest cost ones are made from clay, just like the ones used at casinos. Choose sets that allow for 20 to 30 chips per player or 50 to 100 for ideal playing. Setups can include the low-end circular, plastic carousel or the specialty, wood or metal, dealer-type cases. Tables and chairs will be some of your most important purchases. While you might be able to grab chairs from around the house, consider investing in some folding chairs that can be neatly stacked away if you’re planning on hosting multiple poker nights. As far as tables, you’ll find a variety of styles ranging from pure basic to pro items. Tables can include felt tops, real wood, or additional accessories like cup holders. Table shapes can come in round, oval, or octagon. Selections include metal fold-ups, real wood tables, custom poker tables, or combination game tables. You can find a huge selection of all types and sizes at national retailers, like SEARS. If you’re designing a permanent game room, consider a matching table and chair set, such as Imperial 3-in-1 Bumper Pool, Poker, Table Top. Combination tabletops flip so you can have fun playing other games, like backgammon or pool. These bumper tables are usually pricier than other types, but they make a great choice if your poker nights will also include other games. If you’d like to splurge on an exclusive type of table, try EBAY. You can find all size tables, including highly customized poker tables. Some of the tables are built by pro poker players. Higher end tables include cloth tops, specialty LED lighting, and unique art images. These range in the thousands of dollars, but the option lets you design a distinctive table for your ultimate game night. Whether you buy low or high end equipment, you and your guests will have a blast at your poker game at home. About Mail | More Posts...
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Is gambling possible as a full time job?

Is gambling possible as a full time job?

Lot of people enjoying playing online casino nowadays, and what used to be a hobby or a pastime has become more than that-some people successfully gamble for a living. We know that it is possible because there are many examples of people who do it, but there are a lot of things to think about before taking the huge step of taking on online casino as a full time job. Socially, you are bound to get a few raised eyebrows when you tell people what you do for a living. That is because there are some obvious factors that would go through a person’s head and flag up concerns for this line of work. Examples are when you try and get things like mortgages or loans, or even open up bank accounts and write down ‘gambler’ in the occupation section. Also, if you don’t succeed in making a successful living out of gambling, it will be very difficult to explain to a prospective employer in an interview. If you have a family to support, gambling is probably not the best career move either as your wages aren’t guaranteed every month and you can’t bank on them always being the same amount every month. If you do decide to do it, you should plan carefully. Rather than setting daily targets, get yourself into a position where even a bad week wouldn’t hurt you too badly. A good way to do that is to have a good sum of money set aside before you start so that you aren’t relying on instant success but can play according to the bigger picture. Bear in mind that your lifestyle will change. If you used to work in an office or a store, you will have to get used to the sudden drop in social interaction and travelling. Gambling online at a site like GamingClub.com/au/casino-games for a living is solitary and sedentary. These are not unsolvable issues though, just things to bear in mind and prepare for. About Carlos C.When I first found poker I played scared but now I live for the rush. Heads up, MTT's, Omaha and more.Mail | More Posts...
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Five tips for stretching playing cash in Vegas

Five tips for stretching playing cash in Vegas...

When you go to Las Vegas, it’s always a concern as to how you’re going to make a playing fund stretch long enough for the time you’re in town, without you ending up having to drum your fingers and watch other people play as you’ve run out of cash. Click here for online slot games and you know that you can always play online for free, either through the use of casino bonuses when you sign up and or by playing in demo mode. But that’s not always the case in land-based casinos and certainly not in Vegas. Below we’ve listed five top tips of how to make your playing budget work for you while you’re in Sin City. Sign up for players’ clubs Wherever you go, you’ll see promotions for joining players’ clubs. These are a little bit like reward points cards in your supermarket, or airmiles club cards. They get you freebies wherever you go, including discounts on food and drink – and any saving you can make in Vegas is worthwhile. You can sign up to players’ clubs online before you go and get sent a heap of vouchers to take to Vegas with you. Play at the locals’ casinos Enjoy the big Las Vegas Strip casinos for what they are – amazing, large and over the top spectaculars. But do your casino gambling elsewhere, sticking to the places where locals play – the downtown casinos and those on the perimeter of the city. This is where you’ll get better return to player odds and lower minimum bets. Each time you play, therefore, you can bet the minimum and your money will go further. Choose games selectively Don’t go for the easy games like slots and video poker. These games will use more money more quickly than other games like roulette or blackjack. Learn how to play table games online at sites like 32red before heading to Vegas, and then you’ll be able to benefit from better odds than you’ll get with the slots. Make your gaming cash last To get the most ‘bang for your buck’ in Vegas, keep three things in mind – speed of play, players’ return and betting minimums. The games that have the lowest minimum bets will mean you can place small bets over a longer period of time. Fast games will eat through your funds quickly; choose games that take longer to play to stretch out the entertainment per dollar. Check the house advantage or ‘edge’ on each game before choosing whether to play it or not. Obviously the lower the house edge, the better. Book ahead and save There are always deals on accommodation and other things like shows in Vegas. The more you can plan ahead and book in advance, the greater the savings you’ll make. A trip to Vegas will never be cheap, but there are always bargains to be had if you’re willing to work for them. At least you know that if you come home broke, you can always have fun playing online at any time, even if you’re just playing in demo mode without placing real money bets. Photo by  David Baxendale    About Carlos C.When I first found poker I played scared but now I live for the rush. Heads up, MTT's, Omaha and more.Mail | More Posts...
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Basic Poker Terms

Basic Poker Terms

If you have ever heard anybody talking about poker games, you would have heard a lot of lingo and buzz words. Indeed after a few minutes of listening, it may even start to sound like a whole other language. There are hundreds of poker terms which you can only really pick up and understand over time, having played various poker games. Here are a few basic poker terms to get you started: Raise: After another player places a bet, you “raise” that player by increasing the size of the bet being played during that round of the game. Call: To “call” a player in poker simply means that you indicate that you will match the bet placed by another player at the table. Fold: If you don’t hold confidence in your hand and cannot at least call the other players, you really are left with not much choice but to opt out of the hand. To do so you must declare that you intend to “fold”. Flop: After the initial round of betting, the first three community cards dealt in a game of poker such as Texas Hold Em’ is known as the “flop”. Check: This is where a player can choose not to bet on the hand. This has to occur before another player has called or raised a bet on the hand. Bluff: Betting or raising to make other players think you have a better hand than you really have. Hole Cards: These are the first cards dealt to a player – they are dealt face down to each player by the dealer. They feature in games like Omaha and Texas Hold Em’. Bad Beat: This refers to the unfortunate circumstance where you have a really good hand which you are confident in and so go for the pot. However if you then lose the jackpot to another, even better hand, this is known as a “bad beat”. Full House: A term often thrown about in television scenes featuring poker games is “full house”. This can refer to quite a strong hand containing three of the same cards e.g. 999 with a pair such as two Kings. Flush: A flush refers to when your hand consists of five cards of the same suit. They do not have to be numerically sequenced though. For example, a flush can consist of a seven of hearts, an eight of hearts, a four of hearts, a queen of hearts and a jack of hearts. Royal Flush: In most poker games, the royal flush is an unbeatable hand. It consists of an ace, a king, a queen, a jack and a ten, all of the same suit. Straight Flush: When you hand consists of five cars of the same suit, which are in sequence, this is known as a straight flush. An example of this type of hand would be a six of spades, a seven of spades, an eight of spades, a nine of spades and a ten of spades. About Carlos C.When I first found poker I played scared but now I live for the rush. Heads up, MTT's, Omaha and more.Mail | More Posts...
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Casino Slot Machines

Casino Slot Machines

When you step into a casino, you may hear the sound of a bingo caller, the shouts of a blackjack winner or a table dealer announcing “no more bets”. However, it is most likely that you will be overwhelmed and enticed by the music and sound of cash flowing coming from the slot machines. Casinos far and wide tend to offer a vast variety of slot games which accept a varying amount of minimum bets. Indeed, they tend to account for the biggest majority of a casino’s overall income. Slot machines are a single player game and are generally simple to operate. You insert your coin and pull the lever to roll the reels. In order, to win cash or bonuses, the general consensus is that you need multiple reel images to appear in a row when you pull the lever. However, your return can vary depending on the pairs, or lines that the reel returns. The most famous type of slot machine is a fruit machine. In this game, you need two or three images of the same fruit to appear in the middle row – the pay line. Three lemons might return a completely different prize to three cherries appearing though. The first known slot machine was invented in the U.S. in the late 1800’s. It got its name from the slots provided to enter coins to play a game on the machine. They were initially used to generate prizes such as candy or perhaps free drinks or cigars in a bar. However, it wasn’t until 1963 that the first unattended slot machine which could both accept and return coins, was invented. Over time, slot machines have become computerised with digital screens. Many now offer multiple pay lines and winning combinations. The use of a lever to start the spinning of the reel has been replaced on many machines by a few buttons. Slowly but surely, several slot machines are also beginning to adapt complete touch screen functioning. Marketers have also seen slot machines as an opportunity for branding. You can play on slot machines which require you to match the images of your favourite characters from shows such as “The Simpsons” within a pay line. Most slot machines display the prize money for each possible outcome either side of the screen or provide an option to display this list on the screen. As you move about a group of slot machines in a casino, you may find yourself require to place higher or lower stakes to play a game. You may find that there are additional prizes or angles to particular slot machine games too. Just because you have mastered the terminology and potential winning combinations on one type of slot machine does not mean you will be able to automatically do so on the next machine. If you fancy a low value flutter in the casino, at a game of pure chance, try your hand at a slot machine. About Carlos C.When I first found poker I played scared but now I live for the rush. Heads up, MTT's, Omaha and more.Mail | More Posts...
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The Casino Atmosphere

The Casino Atmosphere

Many of us wouldn’t consider ourselves gamblers. Perhaps the odd flutter on a tip in a big race during the year, or just during a staff night out at the dog races. A game of poker at a family get together might even be as far as you would ever gamble. Indeed many of us are even completely risk averse and shy away from any form of gambling. However, step inside a casino and you will meet a right mix of people – including the rare gamblers, the inexperienced poker players and even the completely risk averse! There is something about a casino atmosphere which many of us find enticing, exciting and ultimately, irresistible! How can we ignore the sounds of cash emptying into the pockets of slot machines as we walk past the doors? There are so many slot machines that it actually sounds like heaps of cash continuously crashing down into the winners holding area. In the background, a lucky punter at the craps table screams “YES!” with the exhilaration of a great win. Surely there are people groaning with disappointment too? It is not those people that we hear though. Our ears prick at the sound of excitement, tempting our minds with the possibilities of the good fortune that “may” lie inside. Casinos are a complete temptation haven as they provide a gambling opportunity for everyone’s taste. If you fancy a low value bet, the slot machines can be your best port of call. If you fancy a mix of strategy and luck, try your hand at the poker table. If you are feeling lucky and fancy a flutter on a game which requires little understanding, join the queue at the roulette table. Many casinos even offer an old fashioned game of bingo – what harm can that be? Right? How many movies or television programmes have you seen that have featured a casino? Indeed there is even a legendary movie called “Casino”. Our minds are subconsciously aroused by the whole atmosphere before we even get within a couple of feet of a real life casino. Having witnessed the excitement and thrill of a casino on TV for so many years, many of us thirst for the real deal. What could be more alluring than the sound of cash? Well how about bright flashing lights and a host of well-dressed staff ready to serve your every need? Here’s a fun thought – have a look at those who stroll past casinos. How many don’t look and pause, even for a second? For adults, a casino serves as an entertainment centre. Just as children are attracted to play gyms, and long to go inside, this too is the case for many adults with casinos. For they are our play gyms, our source of entertainment and fun games, with the tables and machines serving as our toys. About Carlos C.When I first found poker I played scared but now I live for the rush. Heads up, MTT's, Omaha and more.Mail | More Posts...
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The Most Popular Table Games in Casinos

The Most Popular Table Games in Casinos

Step into a casino and you will instantly be surrounded by numerous gambling opportunities. Tables surrounded by players and dealers, slot machines rattling and even the voice of a bingo caller may be heard. For most punters, the table games are often the most alluring prospect. The most popular table games in casinos tend to be: Roulette A roulette table revolves around betting on a wheel consisting of numbers 1 to 36, with each numbers coloured red or black. Punters can bet on the colour the ball will land on when the wheel has stopped spinning. Not only this but they can bet on the exact number, whether that number will be even or odd or within a certain range of numbers. The possibilities are endless and the odds vary greatly depending on the type of bet you take. The game is very straight forward and is probably the most popular table game. Blackjack The core objective with this card game is to achieve a value of 21 and no more before the dealer. It does not matter what the other players have around you really as your real competitor is the dealer. It is a table game which tends to feature in casinos worldwide. It may also be known as “21”. If you score more than 21 you automatically go bust and lose. There are spinoff games of blackjack such as Pontoon and Spanish 21 which may also be played in some casinos. Poker A straight, no frills poker card game is a guaranteed feature as a table game in any casinos.  Of course, many venues may also offer tables with popular variations of poker including Texas Hold Em’, Casino Hold Em’ and Chinese poker. A house dealer employed by the casino is responsible for dealing the cards for each hand. The game is based on five card hands. It may often be left up to the players at the table to decide the betting order of play. Craps This is a very popular table game, particularly in America. This game involves punters betting on the outcome of the roll of a dice. There are numerous different outcomes on which bets can be placed on this game, all of which are normally displayed on the cloth of the betting table. In craps, participants can bet against each other or against the casino. A craps game can be tended to by up to four members of staff, assuming roles of the dealers, the stickman and the boxman. A craps table can be one of the busiest tables at a casino. Baccarat This comparing card game pits player against banker. There can only be three outcomes in a game of baccarat – player, banker or tie. The aim is essentially to draw a higher value cards than the banker. Cards of numerical value 2 to 9 represent between 2 and 9 points. Kings, Queen and Jacks have no value while an Ace gets 1 point. The game varies slightly in different countries. No matter what variation of baccarat that you play however, it really is all about luck, there is no strategy involved. About Carlos C.When I first found poker I played scared but now I live for the rush. Heads up, MTT's, Omaha and more.Mail | More Posts...