How and Why? The Vegas Books Broke the All-Time Net Profit Record The Nevada Gaming Control Board just released the month of November's overall handle(total amount wagers) and overall net profit(total amount made) on all Nevada sportsbooks. Nevada sports books won more money in November than any other month in the state's 50-plus-year sports betting history. Las Vegas sportsbooks won a net $61.8 million in November, beating the previous mark of $56.4 million set in September 2018. A total of $609.6 million was wagered with Nevada sportsbooks, Nevada casinos are operating at reduced capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the amount casinos won on sports betting in November topped the amount won on blackjack ($58.1 million) in a month for the first time ever. (Keep in mind blackjack has one of the smallest house advantages, Blackjack at a 1% to 1.5% hold% or house edge). So 609 million dollars wagered last month and they had a net profit of 61.8 million. That’s roughly a 10% hold for the sports books. (To learn more about hold % there is a in-depth lesson on this topic that was done in October of last year in the #Betting-Advice channel) 609 million wagers, close to 62 million made 🤔 how is that possible when making a wager at -110 gives the house a 4% to 4.5% hold. Nevada sports books doubled their hold% last month. Remember, NBA just started 2 weeks ago and College Hoops started at the end of November so the sports books really only had NFL and College football. So again, how the hell did they make so much money! For starters, NFL underdogs went 42-28 against the spread in November, that had to have helped the sports books because the betting public typically bets favorites. But I’m sure there have been many other months where underdogs did well but the sports books couldn’t claim a record of net profit like they just did. Vice president for the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas “I’d say 90 percent of the largest NFL decisions went our way in November, including some that were among our biggest wins ever." He went on to say “two games stood out in November for us, Everyone bet Tampa, and that really capped one of the biggest Sundays we've ever had," New Orleans Saints' 38-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 8. The New England Patriots' 23-17 upset of the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 15 also produced a significant win for the SuperBook, He said. Ok so the sports books had a few big decisions go their way but again there have been months in history where upsets happen but why was this past November the all-time record breaking month for sports books and a net profit of a 10% hold. We know betting a game at -110 only has roughly a 4% house edge. Guess what has a 10% house edge, parlays. Yup, parlays give the sports book a house edge of 10% almost double that of a straight bet. It’s simple math really, you have to win two bets to win and that’s just for the standard 2 team parlay. There are many people who believe this past November month’s record is just the beginning and that records will continue to be shattered even during a pandemic. The reason is simple, there are a lot more sports bettors betting right now and choosing parlays rather than the standard straight bets. This is doubling the house advantage. The sports books are all celebrating because they know more bettors will continue to bet parlays and that just means a greater house advantage and makes them a mathematical certainty to win over the long term. If you want to make your bookie rich or the company who’s website you bet on even richer, continue to bet parlays. If you want to learn how to bet smarter and avoid traps by the sports books and how to avoid being a sucker join The Betting Network. There’s no secret trick or strategy, you must put in effort and time, just like with most things in this world -you get out what you put in-. DM me for more information on how to join the Betting Network Discord community. Thanks @TBN_Lefty @TheBettingNetwork
Here are my updated findings in my weekly analysis of performance in the Westgate competition. I get the sense that there is not much of an appetite for it, but I find it incredibly interesting and I suppose I will make this post until you all tell me to go away. For those that do not know, the Westgate competition is a pretty popular pick'em competition offered by the Westgate Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. Each week, I have been comparing the performance of those leading the competition against those losing the competition to see if there is any evidence that serious betters can reliably beat chance performance over time. You can see more details about this in my previous posts. A table summarizing my findings can be foundhere. Comparison Groups: "Leaders": Those in the top-50ish of the standings (YTD pick accuracy above 70%) "Losers": Those in the bottom-50ish of the standings (YTD pick accuracy under 30%) Metrics: Consensus Performance: A consensus pick refers to each game in which the majority of the comparison group sided with the pick. This means, the best a group can perform for the week is 16-0. Pick Performance: This is examining the number of bettors on the right side of the pick within each group. This means, the best a group can perform for the week is ~250-0. WEEKLY FINDINGS: Week-2: The leaders beat the losers in consensus picks (50% to 43%) and overall picks (53% to 45%) Week-3: The losers beat the leaders in consensus picks (50% to 33% and overall picks (47% to 39%) Week-4: The losers beat the leaders in consensus picks (46% to 41%) and overall picks (48% to 45%) Week-5: The losers beat the leaders in consensus picks (67% to 58%) and overall picks (61% to 59%) YTD FINDINGS: The losers have beaten the leaders in consensus picks (50% to 46% and overall picks (50% to 49%) CONCLUSION: I think this is pretty compelling evidence that most of us have no ability to beat chance levels when picking against NFL spreads. So far, I have looked at 1,800 picks made by serious gamblers with significant money on the line, and those who had performed at very high levels (70%+ hit-rate) failed to (a) beat a coin-toss strategy or (b) beat a group of terrible bettors. The losers have won the past 3 weeks. It is still early in the season. Perhaps the cream will rise to the top at some point. But I have a hunch that even going into Week-17, a bettor who has hit at a remarkable rate cannot be reliably counted on to hit above chance levels the following week. We'll see.
For those that do not know, the Westgate competition is a pretty popular pick'em competition offered by the Westgate Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. Each week, ~1,200 bettors make 5 picks against the spread. These picks are posted to the competition website on Saturdays, allowing for nerds like myself to identify whether or not bettors have any true ability to pick NFL games against the spread. Since the buy-in to the competition is a relatively sizeable $1,500 and the jackpots are in the millions, it's a good opportunity to access a large collection of picks made by arguably serious gamblers. Further, the standings for the competition are updated each week, so you can compare the best bettors against the worst regarding their performance the following week. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past 3 weeks. Each week since Week-2, I have been pulling data from this website on Saturdays to track their performance the following Sunday. I know that this data has been pulled in the past by various sources who have shown that bettors at large mostly suck at picking against the spread. However, to my knowledge, these are usually summarized in aggregate - that is, the performance of all 1,200 bettors are pooled together. What I want to do is determine if bettors who have performed at a high level (e.g., 80% accuracy or better) can outperform bettors who have performed at a low level (e.g., 20% accuracy or lower) the following week. A table summarizing my findings can be found here. Comparison Groups: "Leaders": Those in the top-50ish of the standings (YTD pick accuracy above 80%) "Losers": Those in the bottom-50ish of the standings (YTD pick accuracy under 20%) Metrics: Consensus Performance: A consensus pick refers to each game in which the majority of the comparison group sided with the pick. This means, the best a group can perform for the week is 16-0. Pick Performance: This is examining the number of bettors on the right side of the pick within each group. This means, the best a group can perform for the week is ~250-0. WEEKLY FINDINGS: Week-2: The leaders beat the losers in consensus picks (50% to 43%) and overall picks (53% to 45%) Week-3: The losers beat the leaders in consensus picks (50% to 33% and overall picks (47% to 39%) Week-4: The losers beat the leaders in consensus picks (46% to 41%) and overall picks (48% to 45%) YTD FINDINGS: The losers have beaten the leaders in consensus picks (46% to 41% and overall picks (48% to 45%) CONCLUSION: I think this is pretty compelling evidence that most of us have no ability to beat chance levels when picking against NFL spreads. So far, I have looked at 1,400 picks made by serious gamblers with significant money on the line, and those who had performed at very high levels (80%+ hit-rate) failed to (a) beat a coin-toss strategy or (b) beat a group of terrible bettors. It is still early in the season. Perhaps the cream will rise to the top at some point. But I have a hunch that even going into Week-17, a bettor who has hit at a remarkable rate cannot be reliably counted on to hit above chance levels the following week. We'll see.
EDIT #1: Background: Here's alinkto the competition. Basically, ~1100 gamblers sign up for a contest in Vegas ($1,500 buy-in). Each makes 5 picks against the line every week. So, that gives you a solid 5,000-6,000 picks to gaze at before the games begin. The payout is in the millions, I believe. I saw a post about the Westgate competition, and decided to look into building a spreadsheet to see if it is at all predictive. A common criticism is that most sites pulling this data are aggregating their picks across all submissions - including those made by bettors with poor records. So, I decided to scrape all of the data but narrow it to picks made by those amongst the top of the standings. Last week, I looked at everyone who was 4-0-1 or better (sample of 44 bettors, 220 total picks made). Overall, this sample performed at about chance levels (8-8 on consensus picks, 53% of picks made were on the right side). However, the top-5 picks (KC, NYG, GB, BAL, & SF) did well (4-1). So, I figured I had mixed results heading into this week. This week, things have gone off the rails. I looked at everyone with an 8-2 record or better (sample of 68 bettors, 340 total picks made). I know the results are early, but so far the consensus picks (NYG, ATL, NE, TEN, JAX, PIT, BUF, & WAS) are a shit-show (2-6 record). Only 34% of the picks made have been on the right side of the bet. Further, the top-5 picks (NYG, ATL, NE, TEN, & ARI) are 1-3. Within this subsample, 29 bettors picked NYG against only 2 that picked SF. This is particularly surprising, because I have noticed this pool takes a lot of favorites (~65%) and this was a particular line that jumped out at me as not giving the Giants very many points. Again, way too early to draw meaningful inferences from this data - but so far, fading Westgate would have been the optimal strategy. Overall, those at the top of the standings have gone 10-14 (42%) at the consensus pick level or 176-218 (45%) at the individual pick level. I'll track it for a few more weeks and can share the results if you degens are interested. EDIT #2: Final numbers from today: The consensus picks went 5-10. Only 39% of picks were on the correct side of the bet. If you focus only on the top-5 most popular picks, those picks went 1-4. YTD: 13-18 (top-5 picks are 5-5). 239 of the 538 (44%) of the picks have been on the right side of the bet. EDIT #3: The correlation between week-2 performance and week-3 performance is 0.038 (p=.195). In other words, performance in week-2 did not significantly predict performance in week-3, even if you consider all 1,150 cases.
Local's Guide to Doing The Strip on New Year's Eve
I've lived here for 8 years and never braved the Strip on New Year's Eve, always downplaying it with the traditional line of "I'm not going anywhere near the Strip on New Year's Eve!" I have heard horror stories of people getting stuck in parking garages on the Strip in an exit line that lasts for hours. A Metro officer I know always complains about how cold it is to stand in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard for hours. If I were to attempt to do the tourist thing for New Year's Eve, I would surely perish, right? Last night, I decided to man up and do the Strip on New Year's Eve. YOLO. But I didn't go in blind. Thanks to some tidbits I learned on /vegas and via Googling, I did the Strip on New Year's Eve in a ridiculously efficient way. Here's how you can too:
Acquire (2) one-way tickets for the Monorail. Take your Nevada ID to a manned ticket booth and you will get tickets for $1 each, for a total of $2. Tickets are good for up to a year, so you could literally go to a booth today and buy tickets for the next New Year's Eve. There is a booth at the Sahara stop -- I recommend buying your tickets there because the Sahara offers free parking.
On New Year's Eve, park at the Westgate. There is no manned ticket booth at the Westgate, which is why you have to buy your tickets at a different location.
The Westgate is your last decent chance for a bathroom break. Take advantage of this.
Use one ticket to get on the southbound Monorail at the Westgate and ride it to one of the stops on the Strip proper (Linq, Flamingo, Bally's or MGM Grand). I got off at the Linq.
Walk from the Monorail station through the casino and out to Las Vegas Boulevard.
The Strip will be absolutely PACKED with people. Shoulder-to-shoulder, butt-to-butt. It will feel like a terribly designed mosh pit, and you might question your ability to breathe. You will rub against many strangers. This is part of the experience; take it all in. Smile and laugh and people-watch.
After the fireworks, trudge through the crowds of people back to the Monorail station. I walked down the outdoor Linq promenade, and crowds thinned considerably once I got past the doors to the casino. (There was a crush of people trying to get back inside the casino, and security was checking everyone.)
Use your remaining ticket to board the northbound Monorail. There will be many, many people crammed onto the Monorail car. This, too, is part of the experience. Bask in it.
Exit the Monorail at the Westgate station.
Get in your car and go home.
From the time I got out of my car at the Westgate to the time I got back in it, less than an hour had passed. There was zero traffic in the Westgate parking lot. I live in Silverado Ranch, so I took Joe W. Brown Drive to Sahara to the 15 south. I made it home in 20 minutes. Enjoy.
The Golden State Warriors are the biggest pre-season favorites in NBA history*... for the third year in a row
Currently the Warriors are -175 favorites to win a championship in the 2018-2019 NBA season. Last year they were -187 at tip off and the year before they were -128 at tip off.1 This is from an article from 2016.2
Jeff Sherman, head NBA oddsmaker at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, remembers the 1997-98 Bulls team, which was coming off a 72-win season, being around a minus-125 title favorite entering that season... But Sherman and other sports betting industry veterans struggled to recall another team -- in basketball, baseball or football -- that was an odds-on favorite to start the season. "Odds-on" suggests a team has a better than even chance to win. It also means you win less money than you bet.
One thing worth mentioning, and that if anyone knows anything about please share, is that the history of Casino Sports Betting in Vegas only goes back to ~1975. While sports betting has been legal in Nevada since the 1950s, it was taxed so highly in that it was pushed into the black and gray market. I'm certain there are documents of futures from years before ~1975, but my Google skills aren't strong enough. Assuming there isn't an injury to the Warriors big four (five?) or a ridiculous trade, they will likely be bigger favorites by tip off based on the way these lines have moved historically. 1) http://www.sportsoddshistory.com/nba-odds/ 2) https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/warriors-rare-odds-favorites-win-nba-title/story?id=42891374
I'm looking for a $1/$2 No Limit Holdem cash game, and according to this, the following casinos on the Strip offer them:
Rio (not on the Strip, but close enough)
Stratosphere (seen conflicting things about whether or not this is technically on the Strip, but its close enough for my purposes)
Westgate (again, not on the Strip, but close enough)
I'm looking for a place where I can stretch a $100 buy-in and have some fun. Was hoping to find a place that doesn't have too my local grinders, as I'm sure they would knock out a guy like me out pretty fast. It would be my first time playing poker at a casino, so I just want to have a fun experience and mange to stay in the game for a while. Also, is there a particularity good time of the day to go play? Thanks! EDIT: Thanks for all the responses! EDIT 2: I will check out the Excalibur as my first pick. Thanks everyone!
MicroVision appears to have three booth locations this year at the Westgate Hospitality Suites I tried to find who was in Suite 570, if it even exists, no luck so far. MicroVision, Inc. Booth Locations: Westgate, Hospitality - Westgate Hospitality Suites, Westgate, Hospitality - Suite 569 Westgate, Hospitality - Suite 571 https://ces18.mapyourshow.com/7_0/floorplan/?hallID=OO&st=keyword&sv=microvision From the moment you walk in the door, you'll be surrounded by luxury and comfort. Stretch out and unwind in our exquisitely decorated Luxury One-Bedroom Suite, which features spectacular views of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip or Las Vegas Country Club, whirlpool baths, separate parlors, flat-screen TVs, built-in desks with ergonomic chairs, and wet bars. You'll feel like a true Las Vegas celebrity when you stay in one of these high-level suites. Why you'll love it Stretch out and unwind in the exquisitely decorated Luxury One-Bedroom Suite, which features astonishing spaciousness and spectacular views, and provides everything to help you relax after a fun-filled day exploring Las Vegas such as a wet bar and flat-screen cable TV with pay-per-view movies. https://www.westgateresorts.com/hotels/nevada/las-vegas/westgate-las-vegas-resort-casino/accommodations/luxury-one-bedroom-suite/
Trip Report - A former Las Vegas local returns to vacation in Las Vegas for a week.
I am a former local(moved away from Las Vegas, not by choice) and I go back to Las Vegas at least twice a year, for Labor Day week for the first week of College Football and for March Madness. Stayed for a week, Sunday-Sunday. Transportation Flew in on Delta Airlines, and rented a car. I strongly recommend renting a car if you fly in. Las Vegas is bigger than you think, and cab rides/Ubers can rack up quickly. A car is great for convienience. It's better to have a car and not need it, than to need a car and not have one. Makes it easier to get around to places and expand your options of things to do. I did a lot of driving and only had to get gas once, which was $23 to fill up the tank. I paid $110 for the Rent Car for the Week, so I think $135 is a great price to have a car at your disposal to use for an entire week. Hotel I stayed at the Palms Place. When I was a local, the Palms was my favorite casino to hang out at. It's off the strip and away from the hustle and bustle and traffic, yet close enough to still feel a part of the action. They have a good, clean casino, a younger clientelle, a great sportsbook, and a pool that has the perfect ratio of quality to crowd. It's a big clean pool, but its not busy and crowded with dozens of kids running around like you find at the strip pools. This pool does get crowded on Fridays for Ditch Fridays, so I went to the Palms Place pool that day. Palms Place is a great hotel for the price. It's a 4.5 star hotel according to the website I booked it on, Hotwire. You can get this hotel for cheap on Hotwire. It's the only 4.5 star hotel listed in the "West of Strip" zone, so its not difficult to get this one at a discount in the Hotwire Hot Rate section. When all was said and done, after taxes and resort fee, I spent about $700 for the 7 nights, so roughly $100 a night. That's not bad at all, especially for a holiday weekend. My room was on the 23rd floor with great panoramic views of the entire strip, from downtown to Stratosphere to Mandalay Bay. It's a large studio/condo style room with 2 flat screen TVs, a kitchenette, and a jacuzzi tub amongst other things. Please realize resort fees are a thing and no, you can not negotiate your way out of them(unless you do some heavy gambling I am assuming). Both when I was checking in and checking out there was someone bitching about the resort fee to the front desk agent and trying to get it waived as if they didn't know about them. Every hotel in Las Vegas has them, deal with it or don't stay in a Las Vegas hotel. Pic of hotel room: http://i.imgur.com/UGwF9Rf.jpg Pic of the view from hotel room, day: http://i.imgur.com/hp7AKvD.jpg Pic of view from hotel room, night: http://i.imgur.com/VOeLZoV.jpg Pic of Palms Pool, Monday: http://i.imgur.com/otSaorR.jpg Food As a former local, I pretty much stuck to my go-to local spots when I lived there. There is no need to spend a fortune on food while you are here, you can find good eats for cheap. Most places on and around the strip are tourist traps. I spent no more than $100 on food when I was here. Sunday I went to a place I loved when I lived here, a burger place called Original Tommy's. They serve burgers, with chili. It's a concept that works very well. I think this place is only in Nevada and Southern California. But it was the first place I went. I ordered a double cheeseburger and chili cheese fries. Cost about $10. Pic: http://i.imgur.com/tbDUyru.jpg Monday I went to the Studio B Buffet at The M. I am not a big fan of buffets. I feel like if I am going to eat a lot of food, I'd rather eat a lot of one genre of food item that is above average, than a lot of mass produced average food. I went anyway since I still had a complimentary buffet from my last visit. This is still one of the better buffets in Las Vegas, and I'd say the best bang for your buck. It was $24.99 for dinner the night I went. The carved tri tip roast was really good. The other food I ate was average at best, but its buffet food. Still a lot better than places like Golden Corral. But the real highlight of this place is the dessert bar. One of the better buffet dessert bars in Las Vegas. Really good Gelato, and every dessert you can think of. I'd say its worth it for the desserts alone. Pic: http://i.imgur.com/ZDtw8I4.jpg Tuesday I went to a local pizza place called Napoli. This place has great NY style pizza. What is great about this place is they have a special, which is a 16 inch one topping for $8.99 for pickup. That's a great deal. I bought a 6oz cup of their house made ranch dressing for a dollar so all together it was $11. You can also get free garlic balls if you text a number on the menu. Great value. Pic: http://i.imgur.com/vt6iVCh.jpg Wednesday I went to a place that everyone should be familiar with, In N Out Burger. This place is on the west coast and in Texas only. It doesn't exist where I live, so I make sure to hit up this place each time I go. I ordered a 3x3 animal style, a double double animal style and animal fries. $13 total. Before you call me a pig, realize when I was here I only ate once a day to keep my calories down. It was good, as usual. Pic: http://i.imgur.com/SWO2eII.jpg Thursday and Saturday I went to perhaps my overall favorite place to eat in Las Vegas. I love it so much I went twice. It's a hole in the wall wing place on Sunset Blvd called The Chicken Shack. They have the best wings and the best fries. I don't know how they do it but it can not be replicated anywhere. The wings are big and juicy, instead of small and slimy like the ones you get at places like Buffalo Wild Wings. They are also breaded and fried, something you don't see often with wings. The fries are close to shoestring size, but they taste so good. I don't know if its the seasoning, or the batter, or what, but the fries are heavenly. It's a hole in the wall place thats small and always busy, not much seating. I went on Thursday around 2:30pm or so and the line was nearly out the door. I ordered the #1 Combo which is 6 wings(which are so big its like 12 wings anywhere else), fries and a drink for $9. Pic: http://i.imgur.com/mjmdY6j.jpg Friday I went to a place I haven't been to before but heard good things. It is a place called Skinnyfats that is off I-15 between Mandalay Bay and South Point. It has two menus - a "healthy" menu which is food that would be considered healthy, and a "happy" menu which is food that tastes good but probably isn't healthy. Me being on vacation, I went with the happy side. Got the Patty Melt with Truffle Fries and the "Buff Chix", which is fried buffalo chicken tenders on top of truffle fries in a bowl topped with ranch dressing. The patty melt was probably the best patty melt I have ever had. It was great. The buffalo chicken tenders were average. I wasn't a big fan of the buffalo sauce they used. I am a sucker for anything buffalo, so this style of buffalo sauce was different. The truffle fries were average, I've had better. Overall it was worth it for the patty melt alone. Their soda is really good too. It's house made sweetened with cane sugar. I got black cherry cola and it was excellent. Overall cost me $25. The place was very "hipster" in my opinion. The clientelle coming in was young, and if I had to describe them, I would say "Bernie Sanders supporters". Younger, millenial, hipster-ish, dyed hair, thick frame glasses, etc. I felt out of place with my button down pressed shirt and blue jeans. Almost everyone ahead of me and behind me in line, as well as those eating next to me, seemed to be eating off the healthy side of the menu. I am guessing that is the main draw of this place. Pic: http://i.imgur.com/G55y3Vt.jpg Activities I am a big sports fan so my week revolved around the sports books mainly. I spent a lot of time watching for college football line moves, and traveling to the certain book that was dealing the line I was looking for. Made wagers at 11 different books. Which was a pain on Saturday Night when I had to go to all those casinos to cash my winning tickets. I made a bet at Treasure Island(because they were the only book dealing a certain line), and I didn't mind if it didn't win because that meant I would have to navigate my way through the strip traffic and parking garage mess to cash it. The ticket won and I had to go to Treasure Island at midnight on Saturday to cash it. With the strip and parking garage traffic, took me a good 45 minutes. Now you know why locals avoid the strip when possible. As far as watching sports there is no better place to do it than Westgate. This is my first time there since it got renovated and they did a good job. You should easily find a seat at this book during the week, but be careful on College Football Saturdays, NFL Sundays and March Madness. You have to show up early if you don't want to stand. On Saturday I got there at 7:45am, an hour 15 minutes before the 9am kickoffs and the place was already 75% full. If you want to bet, get your bets in the night before. The betting window lines were 75 people deep about 30 minutes before the 9am kickoffs. Westgate Book, Thursday: http://i.imgur.com/1KA5ffL.jpg South Point Book, Friday: http://i.imgur.com/xLwArwL.jpg Westgate Book, Saturday around 9am: http://i.imgur.com/sjDpouv.jpg I went downtown on Tuesday Night. If you haven't been downtown, I strongly recommend going to check it out at least once just to do it. It's different. If you have been, I only recommend going downtown if you are going with a purpose, i.e. to gamble, drink, watch the free concerts and street acts, do the zipline, etc. Unfortunately, I just went downtown just to go, and so I felt like it was a waste of time since I didn't do anything other than just walk around a bit and see what was new. It was my first time going downtown in 4 years, but it was mostly the same. Pic of Downtown: http://i.imgur.com/NQN4CQO.jpg On Wednesday Night I went bowling. Surprisingly this was one of the highlights of my trip. I went to the Red Rock Lanes at around 11am and bowled until it closed and had an absolute blast. On Sunday-Thursday After 11am, the games are only $1.50. So I must have bowled at least 10 games. 3 hours of fun for less than $20. South Point also has a bowling alley, and $1 per game bowling from 12am-8am Su-Th. So if you like bowling, there are good values to be had in the after hours. Pic of Bowling Alley: http://i.imgur.com/fa2mGrl.jpg DRINKING & GAMBLING I didn't do any gambling apart from wagering on sports. I am a professional mathmetician, so I know how the deck is stacked against you on slot machines and table games. I prefer to put my mathematical ability into finding an edge betting on sports. Which I did well. Ended up winning about 10 units betting on college football when all is said and done. This is why renting a car helps, you can more easily travel across the different books to get the best lines. I only drank once. Bought a bottle of Malibu and drank way too much of it. Since I was pouring it in my hotel room in the dark, I had no idea how much I was using. Ended up blacking out and spent all Wednesday hungover. It sucked. I swore off drinking the rest of the trip after that, it was miserable. ADVICE The biggest piece of advice I can give if you are traveling to Las Vegas is to rent a car and then the first place you go should be to Wal Mart or a grocery store and to buy gallon jugs of water. It's hot and you can get thirsty quickly. It's always good to have water on hand(unless you like drinking out of the tap). If you want to walk the strip I recommend getting up early and doing it in the morning before it gets too hot. This way you can get around without the crowds and the clickers. You won't get the nighttime views and vibes but its easier to get around. The clickers are really annoying and its not just silent Mexicans clicking anymore. I was briefly on the strip Tuesday Night to go from Flamingo to the Linq. The short trek I made from the Linq to the Flamingo I encountered non-hispanic clickers and strip club promoters that were all up in my face and one of them screamed at me and called me a fag when I said I was not interested in the strip club he was aggressively promoting. I never recall them being so aggressive. I think strip clubs are trash that are run by trash and cater to trash, so its no surprise they have trash promoting them. It seems like there are more panhandlers in Las Vegas since when I lived there, which is weird because I was in Las Vegas during the recession. They are everywhere and its annoying. Avoid MGM Properties. I ended up doing so this trip to protest their charging for parking. I think its bullshit. Don't reward them. Which is a shame because I have a soft spot for Luxor and go there each time I am in Las Vegas to pay tribute to the first Las Vegas hotel I ever stayed at, back when Luxor was in its prime and one of the better strip properties. CONCLUSION Overall it was a great trip. Las Vegas is still my favorite place. I never wanted to move away, and will move back when I get the chance.
2016 SUMMER STREET CIRCUIT CONTEST ROUND 10: The Finale
The penultimate round of the 2016 Summer Street Circuit Contest is over, and it's time for the final round. Last week, we traveled to Monterrey, Mexico, former home of an IndyCar race at Fundidora Park. 10 designers participated. Let's see how they did. For the first time this season, we've had a tie for the win. PM_ME_UR_ALLIGATOR took his second win ever, with his first being at the 2015 Winter Greater Noida round. MBKF1 took his first win ever. They both originally received 9 votes, but because of the bonus, they both receive 11 points. Second place went to lui5mb with 7 points. His streak of winning every second round has been ended. Third place was a tie on 6 points between tininsteelian-2, ARandomPerson17 and viinster88. Fourth place went to 3d_orz with 3 points. Fifth place was a tie on 2 points between Alo_14 and knoxvox. Sixth place went to AresWalker with 1 point. Everyone received at least one vote this week, so everyone scores a point this week! Let's see how this has affected the championship.
lui5mb, despite only finishing 2nd in Monterrey, actually EXTENDS his championship lead over the designer in second by one point. tininsteelian-2 is still in second, but he is now 32 points behind lui5mb. We can safely assume that it would be impossible for the championship gap to be closed, but it's not over till it's over. PM_ME_UR_ALLIGATOR is still in third in the championship, but due to his win in Monterrey he's only 1 point behind tininsteelian-2 in second. Despite a mediocre performance in Monterrey, 3d_orz actually jumps up a spot from 5th to 4th. ARandomPerson17 moves up from 6th to 5th this week due to pjlee98's absence. The biggest championship jump of the week comes from MBKF1, who jumps from 17th to 9th in the standings after winning in Monterrey. Hampster3 is still in last in the championship. Now, onto this week's round. Last week, we traveled to the Mexican metropolis of Monterrey. This week, we travel... somewhere else. The first half of this season was exclusively in IndyCar's main home of the United States. Starting with round 6, we left the United States and travelled to other international locations for 4 weeks. This week, for the grand finale, we finally return back to the United States. There's only one location spectacular enough in the United States to be worthy of a season finale, and that city has been home to the premier American open-wheel series at 5 different locations. Obviously, I am talking about the entertainment capital of the world, LAS VEGAS! As mentioned before, Las Vegas has held races for the premier American open-wheel series at 5 different locations. Las Vegas first came onto the American open-wheel racing scene in 1954. Las Vegas Park Speedway, another repurposed horse racing facility, held the final race of the 1954 AAA Champ Car season. Jimmy Bryan won the race, and with it, clinched the 1954 championship. After holding one NASCAR Grand National race and one USAC Stock Car race, the track was destroyed in 1959. The site is now home to a Westgate hotel and the Las Vegas Convention Center. After over a decade of waiting, American open-wheel racing finally returned to Las Vegas in 1968 at Stardust International Raceway. The track was originally built by the Stardust Hotel and Casino to attract rich gamblers to the hotel, and in 1965, it started hosting sports car races. In 1968, the track held the second race of the 1968 USAC Champ Car season. Bobby Unser won the race, and later went on to win the 1968 championship title. In 1969, the Stardust Hotel was sold and the new owners abandoned the track. The site is now home to a residential area in the Spring Valley neighborhood. American open-wheel racing left Las Vegas for yet another 10 years after that, but finally returned in 1983. The story of this race starts in F1. Throughout the second half of the 70s, there were usually two Formula One races in the United States: the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach and the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. When Watkins Glen went off the F1 calendar after 1980, F1 looked for another American event. They too looked at Las Vegas as their spectacular season finale location. The Caesars Palace Grand Prix was the final race of the 1981 Formula One season, and it was held in the very spectacular parking lot of the Caesars Palace hotel and casino. The season finale was held there once again in 1982, but the race was extremely unpopular with fans and drivers alike, so it was dropped from the calendar after that. In 1983, the CART series picked up where F1 left off. A modified version of the F1 circuit held two races in 1983 and 1984. Mario Andretti won in 1983, and Tom Sneva won in 1984. After yet another decade of waiting, the IRL series finally brought American open-wheel racing back to Las Vegas again. A new superspeedway called Las Vegas Motor Speedway was built just in time to host the Indy Racing League in their 1996-97 season. The speedway held 5 IRL races between 1996 and 2000. Richie Hearn won the inaugural race in 1996, and Eliseo Salazar won the second race in 1997. Arie Luyendyk won his final IndyCar race there in 1998. Sam Schmidt took his first and last IndyCar race there in 1999. The final IRL race at LVMS in 2000 was won by Al Unser, Jr. After a few more years of Las Vegas being off the calendar again, the Champ Car series picked up where the IRL left off at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sébastien Bourdais won both races held there in 2004 and 2005. The series didn't return to the speedway in 2006 due to the unpopularity of the event, so they found a new location to host the race in 2007. In 2007, Champ Car returned to Las Vegas for its season-opening race. The 2007 Vegas Grand Prix was held on a street circuit in downtown Las Vegas near the Fremont Street Experience. Will Power took his first Champ Car win there. However, due to the reunification of the IRL series and the CART series, Las Vegas was off the calendar once again. The final time IndyCar went to Las Vegas was for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championships, the final race of the 2011 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race did not go on for the planned 300 miles due to a 15-car crash on lap 12 which sadly killed former IndyCar champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon. The drivers did a 5 lap parade in tribute to Dan Wheldon, and the race was cancelled. IndyCar announced that they would not be returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2012, or ever again. Since 2011, no major open-wheel series has set foot in Las Vegas again. Many rumors have circulated about F1 or IndyCar returning to Las Vegas, but none of these rumors really have any substance yet. That is way more than enough history for today. You will be designing your final tracks of the season in Las Vegas, Nevada. In case you haven't seen the last two seasons, here are the rules with some new additions.
Stay within the town or city limits of the town or city assigned.
Don't worry about realism. If you want to put a pitlane in the middle of a major motorway, do it.
The circuits have to be mostly on streets. Purpose built sections may be built in parks/farms/etc but the track must be mostly a street circuit. Tracks cannot be built over previously built buildings.
You must include at least a screenshot of your track. Links to RouteBuilder or GmapPedometer will not be counted.
Track designs must be submitted by Wednesday. The voting thread will go up then. Please include a direct Imgur or Dropbox link in your submission. RouteBuilder submissions will not be counted. You're designing a street circuit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Follow the rules. You have until Wednesday. Happy designing.
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