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Vegas for Low-Limit Professionals Part 3
In part three of three in my guide to Vegas, I'll cover all the things you can spend your roll on when you're not playing the game.
Vegas offers some of the world's best entertainment. It would be a shame to make a trip to the city without enjoying some of the world-class entertainment it has to offer. The only problem with all this grandeur is the sizable dent it puts into your roll. A night out in Vegas can quickly become very expensive.
Every casino in town has its own show or shows. The casinos will sign big names such as Jerry Seinfeld, Elton John, Prince, Celine Dion and Tina Turner for weekly appearances. On top of the concerts and comedy, you'll have Cirque du Soleil, cabaret and magic shows to choose from.
You could see a different high-quality show every day of the week. At around $100 a ticket, it can get expensive to see everything you'd like. These shows truly are one of a kind, and I recommend you get yourself into a seat for at least one of them.
I'm not a shopper. I avoid malls like the plague and have a hard time spending more than 10 minutes inside a store. That said, the shopping in Vegas is amazing. The forum shops at Caesars give you a chance to try on shirts that cost more than my first car. Armani, Donna Karen, Gucci... even a non-shopper like me can appreciate high-quality goods.
The Great Outdoors
Believe it or not, there is actually an outdoors to Vegas as well. Most of you will spend 98% of all your time indoors in the city, but there's a lot to do out in the surrounding Mojave Desert.
Golf: It's no secret that lots of poker players are also big fans of golf. Vegas offers courses a short cab ride from the strip. It might seem odd to have a lush green course in the middle of a desert, but they do it and do it well.
The other advantage to playing golf in Vegas is you can always find someone willing to play you for your roll. If you're the next Ty Webb, it could be a good place to pick up a few bucks.
Tours: The Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam make up the majority of the tours you'll find around town. If you've never been, both are worth a look. No better way to see them than in a glass-bottom helicopter.
One thing to keep in mind: It's ridiculously hot all the damn time. You might think to yourself "Wow, I had no problem getting a 1 p.m. tee time in the middle of July!" Unless you're used to 115-degree heat and direct sun, I'd try to keep my skin indoors around this time.
When you're driving down the strip in your air-conditioned cab, you'll have the pleasure of seeing a look akin to "I think my intestines are starting to boil" on the faces of people walking from one casino to the one next door (if you've never been to Vegas, you'll learn that "next door" or "Just one block away" translates into an epic hike).
Once they get to the halfway point you can spot a look of terror, now that they realize they're committed to the task at hand. I try to avoid the outdoors in the state of Nevada between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Vegas is in the running for having some of the world's greatest nightclubs. I don't think it's possible to beat L.A., but that doesn't stop them from trying. Between clubs such as Rain, PURE, Tryst, LAX, Tao and Jet you'll be sure to find your fill of drinks, dancing, celebrities and good tunes.
The free drinks theme of the Vegas casino is not continued in the clubs. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I highly recommend you search various Web pages, or ask around, to find out how to get on VIP lists for these clubs. There are multiple levels of VIP, and even being a VIP might still land you a four-hour wait in line.
The only way to be a true playa is to grease your way in. After greasing the bouncer for a bill, and paying cover, you're now in the club for $130. If you want to be a someone in the club, you're going to need a table. Where else will you bring someone to sit and chill out with you?
To get a table, you have to buy a bottle. A bottle of your favorite booze (Grey Goose, Crown Royal, etc.) will cost from $400-$600. Wait in line, and have a great time for $30 plus your drinks, or be the (wo)man and fork over half a G - your choice.
Gentleman's (and Ladies'!) Clubs
Don't be fooled by the name: women are welcomed and encouraged to partake in the dark seedy world of the gentleman's clubs. As is the way in Sin City, they do everything they can to "class the joint up." The peelers in this town are largely very attractive "normal" women, working in a moderately attractive and "nice" establishment.
You can usually get a free cab to the peelers, as the club will pay the cab for bringing people to its doors. This might seem like a good idea, but it means you will be charged full cover because you arrived in a cab. If you show up on your own steam, you can usually haggle for a reduced fee, if they charge you at all.
Out of all the clubs in the town, my personal favorite is the world-famous Spearmint Rhino. Not only do they have more girls working at any given time than you can keep track of, but you can have a table or seat without having to pay a VIP premium, and the girls all come and sit on your lap to "chat."
You can sit down, have a few drinks, watch some professional dancing and leave, having spent very little. Or you could rock the private dances, and leave having spent a whole heck of a lot - your choice.
If you do decide to pony up for the VIP room at the Rhino, you might find yourself partying with a well-known poker professional. His Mercedes SLR McLaren has been known to be parked out front.
If scantily clad women aren't your thing, how about scantily clad men? The most obvious choice here would be the world-famous Chippendales. Male strippers, and a lounge featuring an all-male serving team "tastefully dressed"... or undressed.
Some lady friends of mine just returned from Vegas and can't stop rhapsodizing about "The Thunder From Down Under" at the Excalibur. Apparently the show is worth a look or two. They opted for three trips to visit the dancing Aussies.
Do I Feel Lucky? Well Do Ya Punk?
The Gun Store. It's not a short cab ride, but it's well worth it. It still seems odd to me that any adult can hand over their ID to have a guy with arms larger than my thighs hand them back a carbine assault rifle, a magazine and a box of ammo without a single moment of hesitation.
The walls behind the counter are covered in firearms of every variety. From a .45 Dirty Harry Magnum, to a Bonny and Clyde Tommy gun, they have what you want to shoot. If you're from countries with strict gun control, such as Australia, this place will really be a trip for you.
The snub-nosed .45 magnum kicks like a mule. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Flights and Fights
If you're in North America, the continental United States especially, you can find yourself dirt cheap airfare to Vegas. It's not hard to find a flight for $99. Plan ahead a little bit and you can find your way to the action, no problem.
Before you book your flight, you might want to check to see if there are any good fights going down. Many of the biggest boxing matches are held in Vegas, along with a large number of UFC events. Some of the high-profile fights are next-to-impossible to get tickets to, but you never know.
I recommend everyone go to Vegas at least once in their life, whether they gamble or not. It's a city unlike anything you've experienced. If you're a poker player, you have no excuses. Print out this article, book your flight and go have the time of your life.
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