Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Plane and hotel reservations are made, and yes ... I am ready to return to Las Vegas in June. Unfortunately, my brother Jim, the king of comped rooms, is not going with me, so it looks like I'll have to actually pay for a room this trip.

Where to stay? I usually stay at strip hotels. Seeing as how your average poker player doesn't see much of the inside of his hotel room anyway, I prefer to go as cheaply as possible without staying at an absolute dive. Unfortunately, this usually means staying at the "bad" end of the strip. Of course, the Sahara tournaments will not be too far away, and I will be within walking distance of the Wynn for those times that I am ready to head into the shark tank.

I hope to play in one of the Caesar's Palace noon tournaments, which I hear are quite good. My dream: Final Table, exhaustion, and a thick wallet.

For those who have never gone to Las Vegas, the daily buffet is a ritual among those of us who don't desire to spend the time or the money eating at some of the upscale Las Vegas restaurants. The best buffets include Bellagio, Paris, Aladdin (Planet Hollywood), and Wynn. Unfortunately, I have never eaten at the Rio's Seafood Buffet, which was all the talk several years ago.

Where should you avoid? I am sad to say that the absolute worst - the Surf Buffet at the old Holiday Inn on the strip - is no longer open. Nothing like going in late, late at night for the steak and eggs special buffet, only to be told that they were out of steak. What?

I am not a food snob, but the Surf Buffet's food was among the worst I have ever had. Dried, crusty, tasteless ... ah, memories ...

The honor for worst has to now go to the Imperial Palace. The Emporer's Buffet is amazing in that the food can look perfectly fine and taste terrible. Avoid this place by all means. But, just to be fair to the Imperial Palace, the Burger Palace hamburger joint in the casino is among the best fast food places in Las Vegas. Go figure.


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