Tag Archives: Top 5

A Few Of My Favorite Things

It has been difficult for me to write about Las Vegas recently. I promised some more posts about the COVID reopenings and I hope to make progress on that soon. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few of my Las Vegas favorites (and places I hope we will be able to visit again soon) in an effort to get the writing flowing again.

Favorite Dining:

Bavette’s Steakhouse at Park MGM. When you step inside, you forget that the casino is right outside the door. The food, drinks and service are great (like many of the upscale restaurants), but what makes Bavette’s my favorite is the hidden back bar / back room. It is quieter and makes you feel like you are in a secret, special place.

Catch at Aria and Fleur at Mandalay Bay are both close seconds. The theming at Catch is over the top. Check out the entryway even if you don’t want to go all the way in for some great seafood. I’m big fan of Hubert Keller, so Fleur is a regular stop for me when I’m at that end of the Strip.

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Top 5 Strategies for Slot Machines

Slot machines may appear to be a game of luck more than anything else, as the player merely has to spin the reels in order to play. There are no in-game decisions that improve or decrease the players odds of winning.  However, there are several strategies that can help give you a better chance of winning (or making your money last longer) just like any other casino game.  Some of the top slots strategies are:

slot machines

Sticking to One Machine

This is an extremely basic and simple strategy for the slot games, but it can be quite effective. It largely revolves around the principle of probability eventually turning in favor of the player. Once you have decided which machine you want to play, take it as far as your gaming budget allows. It usually takes some time before hitting enough of the higher combinations or bonus rounds that are required to make a session profitable.

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Mark’s Top 5 Shows: #1 Jubilee!

UPDATE: Jubilee! closed February 11th, 2016
It will be missed. Here is my archived review.

Coming in at Number 1 on my list is Jubilee! at Bally’s.

It is an iconic Las Vegas show and the only classic Vegas Showgirl review left. There is a good reason that it has been able to continue while others disappeared. It is a quality show. It is in its 32nd year and I hope it has many more to come. If you haven’t seen it though, I suggest making it a priority.

The show is divided into multiple acts including the incredible sinking of the Titanic, a very dated Samson and Delilah story and the grand staircase full of showgirls. The sets are magnificent and create a vivid backdrop for all of the singing and dancing.  During set changes, the curtain closes and variety acts perform comedy, music, juggling, acrobatics and feats of strength.  Each of the variety acts is very entertaining and a few could probably have their own show. Continue reading Mark’s Top 5 Shows: #1 Jubilee!

Mark’s Top 5 Shows: #2 Cirque du Soleil

Coming in at Number 2 on the Mark’s Top 5 Shows list is Cirque du Soleil.
OK. It isn’t a single show, but if I didn’t group them together, Cirque shows would dominate this list. If you’ve been to Las Vegas more than a few times and haven’t seen a Cirque du Soleil show, you are missing out on a key Las Vegas experience.

In the early days when I was going to Las Vegas with $100 a day to cover all expenses, I splurged on back row tickets to Mystere. I didn’t think the show would be worth the almost $100 ticket price. I was proved wrong. Even from the back row, it was an incredible experience. Continue reading Mark’s Top 5 Shows: #2 Cirque du Soleil

Mark’s Top 5 Shows: #3 Penn & Teller

Coming in at #3 on my list is Penn & Teller at the Rio.
Even the preshow entertainment is good. Penn and pianist/musical director Mike Jones play jazz while the audience is encouraged to come up on the stage to see a large crate and sign a manila envelope, both of which play important parts in the show. Show up early so that you have time to enjoy the music and go onstage.

The show has magic, comedy and audience participation that doesn’t embarrass anyone. It does evolve as they add new tricks so it is worth going again even if you have already seen them (and liked it).  The most recent additions are the helium balloon trick which is featured in most of their current marketing and teapot, which is downright elegant. They always end with the Magic Bullet where they each catch a bullet with their teeth.   Continue reading Mark’s Top 5 Shows: #3 Penn & Teller