Tag Archives: video poker

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

Is it Possible to Enjoy Las Vegas and Control Your Weight?

First of all you have to decide on your fun factor. Part of the fun of visiting Las Vegas is the chance to eat a lot of wonderful foods. So, if you are going to sweat your weight, you might not have nearly as much fun. My decision was to have a good time and worry about the food when I got back home. I didn’t go crazy stuffing myself with bad food, but I also didn’t listen to the food cop inside me.

We stayed at the Paris Hotel and Casino on the strip. Here is a shot of the view from our window.

view

Another aspect of weight control at home or in Las Vegas is exercise. The hotel where we stayed had a health club as most do. I am not much on health clubs. They make me feel like I am in prison. In addition, as I wrote in a previous post on a Las Vegas visit, “Although there are no signs posted anywhere in the health club, or in the city for that matter, no one mentions the fact that Las Vegas is 2000 feet above sea level. The air is thinner. Air compresses under pressure. At sea level there is greater pressure than there is 2000 feet above, so while there is the same amount of oxygen in the air, the molecules are farther apart and you get less oxygen when you breathe.” I really don’t like working out there because I get strange feedback from my body. The bottom line is that I decided to skip exercise for the four day trip.

In the course of four days we had a lot of meals. I am going to pick out a few that I can illustrate and share them with you.

One of my healthiest breakfasts was a bowl of granola with yogurt and berries at Bally’s I am guessing it come in around 700 calories. Very tasty and held my appetite in check very well. granola

Below is a picture of a bacon, cheese and egg croissant sandwich. Paris has a lot of little eating places on a little street on the ground floor. I am putting the calorie count close to 1000 I know that croissants have at least 250 calories and that doesn’t count the eggs, bacon and cheese. By the way, this is a wonderfully tasty sandwich.egg and bacon

 

Another treat I look forward to on every trip is a visit to the Lobster Chowder Company in the Caesars Palace food court. As you can see from the photo they will serve their lobster chowder in a bread bowl if you want. This adds calories, but also adds a lot of fun cutting up and eating the bread soaked in chowder. I like this so much I wrote it up for Yelp. I am guessing this would run 100 or so under 1000 calories. Again a lovely meal. One observation here about eating at these fast food type places. I bring a bottle of water. I don’t order sugary soda or is chemical substitute diet soda. This eliminates at the least a bunch of calories and at worst throwing damaging chemicals into my system. Check out my Page What’s Wrong With Soft Drinks? for more details.

Lobster chowder in a bread bowl.

Lobster chowder in a bread bowl.

For our big meal we dined at Mon Ami Gabi, also in Paris. This is a very popular restaurant frequented by the locals. It also happens to originate in Chicago, so we knew about the quality of its food. mon-ami-gabi-patio

One of their specialties is Steak Frites which as you can see from the photo, I ordered. I guesstimated this entree at 1000 calories minimum. Yes, it was very large and I ate it all. steak frites

Another of my favorites is the pizza they serve at the Chicago Brewing Company in the Four Queens downtown. I know – why travel to Las Vegas for Chicago style pizza? The fact is it is excellent pizza and not like any of the pizza places I frequent back home. As you can see from the photo we had two good-sized pizzas on the final night. Our plan was to eat half of them and wrap the rest for the plane ride home. Cold pizza to an Italian guy beats the life out of anything they serve on an airplane.

pizzas
So, as you can see, I was pretty lax about my eating there. Take a guess at how much weight I put on with these meals and no bike rides from Monday through Friday. Spoiler alert, I gained a pound. That was all.

I was very pleased that I did not pack on more pounds on the trip. However, to put this in perspective, to eat like this regularly and not exercise would gain at least a pound a week, or 52 pounds in a year. Clearly, it is a one off experience.

Speaking of one off situations. Here is a picture of a Royal Flush I caught at Paris. I am a video poker player. Man does not live by bread alone.paris royal 7:22:2014

Tony

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Filed under calories, Exercise, Las Vegas, weight control