|A room with a view.|
It is your humble correspondent's first time in Vegas and following a night spent playing slots I am slightly bleary eyed. Why would anyone play slots? Well, firstly the odds on an American roulette table, thanks to the double zero, are rubbish and secondly, I find table games can sometimes be a bizarre combination of stressful and boring. The stress is a bit of a hook but it is not always a pleasure and working on only a few hours sleep in the recent past the slot experience was for me.
Having recently written an article for iGaming Business regarding online slot design this was a nice way to move around the hundreds of various games in the bricks and mortar side of the industry. The way these games have developed, both online and offline is indicative of how the audience and tastes have changed. It amazes me how some of the "old-fashioned" one armed bandits continue to have success but and, although I am not exactly young, I am drawn to the kind of slots which reference my life and the media and entertainment I am exposed to; Batman, Monopoly, American Idol, huge screens, extended film clips, multiple bonus rounds and interactive game features, not to mention the hope of winning big.
I lost 100 USD in approximately 5 hours of game play which in my book is decent value for money. I reached a high of 170 bucks and could have walked away but I was enjoying my "research" and the free drinks which accompany it in Vegas casinos. All in all, I think its better value than the 7% edge on the American Roulette tables. Slots are solitary but I think it is also worth mentioning that the larger games such as Batman are much more sociable than the uninitiated might imagine. With two or four seats these new games share more than just jackpots, as other players also become eligible for bonuses triggered by one player and nothing stops you talking to those playing around you, as you would at the tables.
A cantankerous John Juanda turned up late to the table, was immediately upset by the fact that he could't play the last hand dealt in his absence and didn't seem to settle in. Shame on him really, especially given that sitting to his left was Bill Klein, a man who has survived cancer and pledged his winnings from this multi-million dollar tournament to charity!
Klein started out well below the other guys with only 620,000 in chips, but thanks to an immediate all-in he doubled this and Justin Bonomo was soon eliminated in sixth place and went home empty handed. Ouch!
This guaranteed Bill's charities some return for his commitment and bravery! The eventual winner was Tom Marchese. Marchese, reraised Andrew Robl's 500k before Robl went all-in. Marchese quickly called with 88, and Robl turned over A4. The board came out; 1085JQ, and Marchese's set of eights won him the tournament and a first prize of $1,308,405 and the double-spiral trophy.
Final Table Results.
1st: Tom Marchese: $1,308,405
2nd: Andrew Robl: $822,375
3rd: John Juanda: $526,320
4th: Daniel Perper: $394,740
5th: Bill Klein: $263,160
6th: Justin Bonomo: $0
Anyways... I am off to the airport soon and back to the Old World.
P.S. Check out some photos on the EGC Flickr page.