Category Archives: Caesars Palace

Off to Las Vegas … the agony and ecstasy of video poker

I am off to Las Vegas this weekend for four nights and five days at Caesars Palace. Regular readers know that I play there regularly and have written a number of posts on my trips – primarily on the health aspects of dining out for several days and nights. This time I am writing about playing there. You won’t find much in this post about healthy eating, just what I do that passes for fun in my life.

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The upper left hand in this pic qualifies as the ecstasy of VP. For anyone interested, the chances of holding an ace and drawing a Royal Flush are one in 178,365.

At 78 years old, I have been playing gambling games for most of my life. I grew up on the west side of Chicago. My father owned a pool room with a poker game in back. So my earliest recollections were playing cards. To this day the only thing I do left handed is deal cards because I was so little when I started that I couldn’t hold the cards in my left hand. I had to hold them in my right and peel them off with my left. My family always played games together, including Monopoly and all the card games. So, I grew up experiencing the vicissitudes of probabilities in cards and dice.

Growing up in the ’40’s my friends all gambled. I remember pitching pennies in grade school. We would stand behind a line on the sidewalk and try to pitch our pennies closest to the line two sidewalk squares (about 10 feet) away. Although we were pretty much uniformly poor we always ‘played for keeps.’ Continue reading

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Filed under Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, video poker

Thoughts on Aging in Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas  ….

This time it isn’t staying in Vegas. I just returned home to icy (9F) Chicago from Las Vegas where temps ranged as high as 70F on the three days I was there.

My girlfriend and I decided to celebrate our one year anniversary (Feb 28) with the trip.

Nice place to stay.

Nice place to stay.

We indulged ourselves at Caesars Palace.

Sumptuous seafood salad at Rao's Restaurant

Sumptuous seafood salad at Rao’s Restaurant

I took my first trip to Las Vegas back in the 60’s when there was still desert between strip casinos so I have seen some amazing changes in the past 50 years. I used to go on junkets where junketeers would round up players and fly them out free. The stipulation was that the player had to gamble a certain amount of money. If you could play, you didn’t need to pay … except at the tables. Those stopped when the city went corporate, but there are still lots of comps to be had.

This seemed an appropriate sign at the Starbuck's shop in Caesar's.

This seemed an appropriate sign at the Starbucks shop in Caesars.

If you haven’t experienced one, casino buffets are really a special experience. I was reminded of the sumptuous feasts at Hogwarts dining room in the Harry Potter movies. You can be sorely tempted by the offerings. We watched people carrying plates with mounds of food on them. I know that when I came here in my youth I was one of them. It is no surprise that 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent outright obese. My girlfriend and I were able to enjoy our meals without having to push ourselves away from the table, or loosen our belts afterwards.

We saw Lainie Kazan in her Cabaret Show on the night of the 28th. Kazan is 74 years old, the same age I am. It was sad to see her have to be helped up on the stage. She is very overweight. Her voice isn’t what it used to be, but she still has plenty left. She can certainly deliver a song. The audience totally loved her. One thing she did that I never saw a singer do before was use a music stand with pages of lyrics on it. She turned each page as she finished the song. At one point she said she is getting old and has ‘trouble remembering’ these days. I hope it is just a matter of aging and not anything more ominous. As a person with Alzheimer’s and dementia in the family, this resonated powerfully with me. Check out Exercise, Aging and the Brain for some positive info on aging and memory.

It was a great trip for the two of us, a different setting from what I experienced going there as a youth in my 20’s. The town has matured since then and so have I, … somewhat. I am now a lot older and a little bit smarter.

When I weighed myself this morning, I had not gained any pounds. Back in my 20’s I had always packed on a few.

For important info on exercising in Las Vegas check out my What Happens in Las Vegas post from last September.

Tony

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Filed under aging, Caesars Palace, Lainie Kazan, Las Vegas, Weight