February 25, 2009
The billion-dollar 93-acre 390-room M Resort opens today (at 10 p.m.). With a 90,000-square-foot casino, nine restaurants, a 20,000-square-foot spa, and a two-acre pool area, M will serve the 500,000 people living within 10 miles of it, as well as the base of tourists willing to stay about four miles south of the south end of the Strip. Room rates will run $85-$200. Glass is the name of the design game at M, with picture windows and glass ceilings common to the lobby, porte cochere, restaurants, and rooms. Plans for a 1.3-million-square-foot shopping mall, a 14-plex movie theater, and a couple thousand more hotel rooms are on hold.
Hachi Hour: The Red Rock Japanese restaurant, Hachi, has unveiled a “38 under $8” menu. Several soups, skewers, hot dishes, tempura, sushi, and sashimi choices are available from $3 to $8 apiece (a must-try is the taste-explosive fluke tiradito for $4). And if you hook it up with “Hachi Hour,” Mon.-Fri. from 5 to 7 p.m., you can get Japanese beers for $2.50 and sake for $4.50.
King Delayed: After announcing a debut date of April 22, The Lion King at Mandalay Bay has pushed its opening back to May 5. A 10-day preview period will lead up to the official opening on May 15. Ticket go on sale March 14; they’ve been announced at $53-$168.50.
Poker Dates: The dates for this year’s World Series of Poker have been announced. The 40th WSOP will convene at the Rio on May 27, with the World Championship set to begin on July 3. Similar to last year, the main event will play down to nine, then reconvene the final table November 7-10.
Question: Can you tell me about the iPhone program that counts cards?
Answer: It had to happen. An iPhone app that counts cards at blackjack has been developed. But don’t get too excited. The necessity to input the dealt cards as they’re played makes the app’s use at the tables nearly impossible from a practical point of view. And while card counting isn’t illegal, using a “device” to count cards is, so don’t. (For more on Anthony’s expert take on this, click here to read the LasVegasAdvisor.com "Spotlight" feature on this controversy.)
Anthony Curtis’ weekly column is syndicated to all the above media outlets.