CES, formerly an initialism for Consumer Electronics Show, is normally the world’s largest tech show but in January 2021 it was forced online as a result of the global pandemic. Normally this tech industry extravaganza would span the entire Las Vegas Convention Center, the nearby Sands Expo, and chunks of a dozen or more hotels up and down the Vegas Strip. If you are a tech fan, CES is your version of Disneyland. And you’re not alone, in 2019 the event, which is over 50 years old, attracted 180,000 people over four days.
Thank God for Vegas. Because where else could you facilitate such a show? The Las Vegas Convention Center is 3.2 million square feet in size, The Sands Expo adds another 1.8 million square feet of floor space.
Vegas Always Wins
And with the bulk of delegates and attendees flying into the famous gambler’s paradise needing a place to stay, CES is a winner for Las Vegas hotels. Vegas always wins. Pandemics permitting, 3.5 million visitors come to Las Vegas every month during the summer 500,000+ of which come for business conferences alone.
Very few Vegas visitors can resist the temptation of at least one bet in ‘Sin City’ and with Nevada roulette wheels featuring two zeros and games like craps having some big margins in favor of the house, it’s no surprise so few people return home in profit.
So here’s one of the best pieces of Vegas betting advice you are likely to get as a tourist: Play poker! Yes, poker. Vegas and card-playing may conjure images of old-school cigar munching card-sharp hustlers with names like ‘Fat Tony’ but in the 2020s nothing could be further from the truth. Poker is one of the great mano a mano games and while the house, the card room in this instance, takes a fee for facilitating games.
As a player, you are pitting your wits and staking your money against other people and not the bounce of a ball or two dice. It is always hard to beat the house but beating a novice poker player who is simply in town for a conference? Your odds of winning have just got a lot better.
Find The Minnows, Avoid The Sharks
So where is the best place to play poker in Vegas? If you want luxury Caesars Palace fits the bill. One of the oldest, but regularly refurbished, this is still one of Vegas’ best casinos. Caesar’s card room has 18 tables and the seats around them have built-in USB charge points. It also has an award-winning sportsbook which was voted ‘Best Las Vegas Sports Betting Destination’ for four successive years by Vegas Review-Journal readers.
The Bellagio’s card room is just over twice the size but this one, like poker in the Aria Casino (which has 28 tables), tends to attract the sharks who feed off the tourist traffic. The World Series of Poker tournament (WSOP.com) which usually takes place in Vegas every year is still on ice but the latest reports suggest that a live version of WSOP will be happening sometime this year but we still don’t know how or when.
Please Gamble Responsibly
Since 2018 the Suncoast, Treasure Island, and Stratosphere have closed their poker rooms, but the Las Vegas Sahara Casino is the newest venue and right now probably the best place for capable novices to play. There may be just seven tables in the Sahara’s new poker room but it is a luxurious venue with a 16-foot by 9-foot LED video wall, multiple television screens, and table food and beverage service.
Every table has charging ports for mobile devices and the cash tables, when not under Covid restrictions, are nine-handed with a maximum rate of just $4. But the best piece of advice to heed when it comes to gambling in Vegas is to bet sensibly, keep it fun and only bet what you can cheerfully afford to lose.
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