Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

December 7, 2012

Seven Out

Posted by Hunter

I'm hanging up my dice. Putting away my stick. Calling it quits. No roll.

What does this mean? Is the site going down? What about Vegas Mate? Oh, and when is the Android version coming out?

Be calm my children... This decree only applies to the blog. Two Way Hard Three is dead.

Vegas Mate lives. The Vegas Gang podcast lives. RateVegas.com lives (sorta)... but the blog is dead.

Honestly, it's been on life support for some time. If not for Dr. Dave's posts and my occasional screed, it would have gone dark a year ago when Jeff died.

Yeah, I could have just kept it running indefinitely and never written this post but that just didn't feel right. This thing was birthed intentionally and it deserves to die with some dignity, not just fade into nothingness. There's a lot of good content buried in these topic pages: some great editorial and amazing comments.

It makes me sad to kill off the blog but it is time. My heart hasn't been in it for awhile and given the slow-down of construction in the city, it has less of a purpose to live on.

I put it off at least partially because I've sometimes felt that my identity was wrapped up in this blog. We broke stories and poked the bear. It was fun. It got me into un-opened casinos, onto designer led tours, into CEO interviews and it introduced me to countless readers and contributors, many of whom I consider friends. It was a massive success.

Thank you all for reading, commenting and participating. I can't say how much I appreciate it. Thanks for your recent Trippies nomination. I've been lucky enough to be a nominee and a winner in those awards and it's a ton of fun.

The name 'Two Way Hard Three' came from a friend of mine learning to play craps who called out a non-sensical bet during his first session at a real table. We toasted him (after laughing at him, of course). I hope you'll join me in toasting Two Way, one last time.

Practical Stuff:

- The archives will remain up for the foreseeable future. I have no plans to take them down.
- All posts will close for new comments at the end of this month.
- I'm going to remove all of the advertising so it will be a slimmed down version of what is here now.
- New Vegas Gang episodes will be announced at vegasgangpodcast.com. If you already subscribe, no need to change anything - you should be all set.
- Vegas Mate updates and information will appear at vegasmate.com and on Twitter @vegasmate.
- Don't expect any significant RateVegas.com updates anytime soon - the site is powered by the same CMS that runs Vegas Mate so the content remains up to date but when it comes to new features, my heart is in the app, not the Web site. The @ratevegas Twitter account will continue, re-tweeting interesting casino news.
- You can reach me personally both on Twitter @hunter and at ruthlessidealism.com.
- There's a 3.7.1 update for VM in the review queue now [ed: it's out and in the App Store], a big set of plans for 4.0 and I've started tinkering with a new Vegas-related app idea.

Notable Posts:

Here are a few notable posts, either because they sparked some discussion or just because I like them. You can also look back and see how intense some of the comment threads used to be.

- Wynn Dealers Suit Dismissed
- DeRuyter Butler Interview
- 119 Comments!
- Le Reve Damaged
- I'm Vegas Homeless
- Dick Whitman Doesn't Know What He Wants

What are your favorite posts? Feel free to put links in the comments...

Also, any questions? This is the best place to do it.


December 7, 2012

Vegas Gang #85 - December 7th, 2012

Posted by Hunter

Episode #85 is up!

Quick Note: For some reason, our recording here went pretty off-kilter. It required a lot of editing and tweaking to make it listenable. Sorry for the worse-than-normal sound quality. We're not sure what happened.

Listen here: Vegas Gang Podcast

This time on the show:

- The Trippies
- An Important Announcement about Two Way Hard Three
- Chuck's LVH Stay
- Bill McBeath and Aria
- Bill's / Drai's Plans
- Online Poker in 2012

** Sure Bets **

Chuck - Celebration Day - Led Zeppelin
Dr. Dave - Dave Brubeck / Steve Lacy
Hunter - Paper for iPad

Feel free to leave your comments at the link below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to editor@ratevegas.com.


December 5, 2012

2013 Trippies - Open for Voting

Posted by Hunter

It's already that time of year again! The 2013 VegasTripping.com Trippies are upon us and voting closes in less than a week!

We're fortunate enough to have a few nominations this year that I'd like to make you aware of, specifically the categories for 'Best App' and 'Best Podcast'. This blog and the parent Web site are also nominated, as I am in the 'tweeter tweeter' category. I really appreciate everyone that took the time to go through the nomination process. Thank you.


November 25, 2012

Open Topic Discussion: November 25th, 2012

Posted by Hunter

Based on popular request, I'm starting an open topic discussion post. Feel free to chime in on any subtopic that interests you. To kick things off:

- With the storm wrecking Atlantic City, is Revel doomed and if so, what happens then?

- Fremont Street are putting in a larger zipline and giant slot machine. Will this draw in customers?

... and lastly ...

- Planning to be in Vegas for Christmas? Share some of your favorite things to do on the Strip or Downtown over the holidays.


November 16, 2012

SLS Las Vegas: Funding for Green Cards

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to some new analysis from Standards & Poors, we have more insight and more visibility into how SBE Entertainment plans to fund their SLS Las Vegas project. That funding may come from a little known US Government program where foreign nationals may invest in US businesses in exchange for immigration status.

The program, known as EB-5 (or an EB-5 visa) was originally instituted by Congress in 1990 and since then has been renewed several times, including by President Obama in September 2012. The program allows foreign investors willing to invest (typically $1,000,000 but as little as $500,000 in some areas, including Vegas for SLS) the opportunity to secure Green Cards, not only for themselves for also for their immediate family members. It's a fast track for preferred immigration status based on investments that are designed to employ Americans. A reward for invested capital from the United States of America. This type of investment has been used for casino concepts in the past.

In the case of SLS, Standards & Poors estimates that their EB-5 money, if it comes through, will make up the majority of the $115 million in junior investment that they need to raise in order to unlock the $300 million that is already comitted by the primary lenders. The good news for SBE is that these types of investors typically only get about 5% interest, lower than what borrowers would have to pay on the open market for a junior note against a project that S&P has determined is 'highly leveraged' and has 'average' liquidity, as they have with SLS Las Vegas.

Cheaper money means that SLS, currently scheduled to open in 2014, will have an easier time making their numbers in those crucial first 8 quarters of operation. Actually, S&P has so baked these advantages into their analysis that they state in their report that a failure of this funding coming through could cause a downgrade - the rates SBE would likely have to pay in traditional markets would be higher and less forgiving.

So, now we wait.

The $300 million currently in escrow goes back to the lenders if SBE/SLS cannot raise the $115MM over the course of the next three months.

Thanks to VegasTripping.com and FiveHundy for the original tip.


November 15, 2012

Vegas Gang #84 - November 15th, 2012

Posted by Hunter

Episode #84 is up!

Listen here: Vegas Gang Podcast

This time on the show:

- Hurricane Sandy and Atlantic City
- Election 2012 Impact on Gaming
- Wynn Cotai Starts Up
- Cantor Sports Book Employee Arrest
- SBE

** Sure Bets **

Chuck - David Lee Roth Podcast - TheRothShow
Dr. Dave - 'Long Wave' by Jeff Lynne @ iTunes | Amazon and ELO's 'Mr. Blue Sky' @ iTunes | Amazon
Hunter - Letterpress for iOS

Feel free to leave your comments at the link below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to editor@ratevegas.com.


October 24, 2012

VegasTripping.com 2012 Trippies Nominations

Posted by Hunter

So, the 2012 (2013) edition of the Trippies, the VegasTripping.com user and editor poll, are open for nominations.

If you're feeling up for it, here are a few things for your nomination consideration:

* Best App: Vegas Mate for iOS
* Best Podcast: Vegas Gang
* Best Blog: Two Way Hard Three

Like what we do here? We'd love a nod for nomination.

Cheers.


October 17, 2012

Derek Stevens: Promoted Fanboy

Posted by daveschwartz

And I mean that with the greatest possible respect. I know people usually throw "fanboy" around as a pejorative, but to me the idea of someone who is so into whatever it is they're into--whether it's Star Trek, or cartoons, or craps--that they have a childlike enthusiasm about it is quite positive. After the jump, I talk a little about what Stevens' fanboy status means.


October 16, 2012

Vegas Gang #83 - October 13th, 2012 (VIMFP)

Posted by Hunter

Episode #83 is up!

Listen here: ttp://www.vegasgangpodcast.com/2012/10/vegas-gang-83-october-13th-2012-vimfp

This time on the show:

- Interview with Derek Stevens, CEO of The D Las Vegas


October 15, 2012

VIMFP 2012: Nothin' But a Good Time

Posted by Hunter

Wow, I'm only a couple days removed from the event and I still can't believe how perfect it was.

A really fun show, great guests, lots of laughs and a perfect venue combined with an amazing audience to make for a perfect afternoon, followed by the after-party. It truly was nothin' but a good time.

It really was amazing. Thank you all so much for coming and for all of the kind words. It was overwhelming.

As for the podcasts, I've started to go through the audio and they should hopefully be up relatively soon. I think our Vegas Gang interview with Derek Stevens of The D and the Golden Gate was pretty awesome - you won't want to miss it. I'll be passing off the Five Hundy audio to Tim and I'm sure that will go up sometime soonish as well.

In addition, we've got some great photos from our various meet-ups, the Murrening group shot that we took at Aria (almost kiboshed by security) and a little last minute 'paint the balloon' protest that was staged on The Strip in front of Paris (complete with the Friday night crowd joining in).

More to come...


October 1, 2012

VIMFP Passbook Passes Available

Posted by Hunter

The Vegas Internet Mafia Family Picnic is less than two weeks away and as part of the planning process (and really just cause we're pretty nerdy), we've created Passbook 'passes' for each of the events.

Passbook is a technology added by Apple to the iPhone and iPod touch in iOS 6 for managing things like tickets, loyalty cards and the like.

Our passes are available for free on the VIMFP Web site. To add them to your Passbook, visit that page from your iPhone or iPod touch and tap the Passbook icon beside each event. You'll be asked to verify that you want to add the pass and then you're off and running. If any of the event details change (such as the venue for the cocktail meet-up), you'll be notified automatically via a notification.

For folks running Android, there are some third party apps on the Play Store that support this functionality.

NOTE: You don't need one of these passes for entry to any of the events. Attendance is free and open to all.


September 20, 2012

Vegas Gang #82 - September 20th, 2012

Posted by Hunter

Episode #82 is up!

Listen here: http://www.vegasgangpodcast.com/2012/09/vegas-gang-82-september-20th-2012

- VIMFP

This time on the show:

- The Quad

- AC Mini Casinos

- VegasTripping Flamingo Review

- South Point Online Poker

** Sure Bets **

Chuck - Lime-A-Rita
Dr. Dave - Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood on Amazon Instant Video
Hunter - iOS 6 Maps

Feel free to leave your comments at the link below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to editor@ratevegas.com.


September 3, 2012

Is the Strip Finished?

Posted by daveschwartz

Courtesy of Detroit1051, that's what this 40-year resident thinks. Here's his description of a recent trip to the heart of Nevada's economic engine (after the jump):


August 26, 2012

Will Nevada Miss Out on Online Poker?

Posted by Hunter

Interesting piece by Howard Stutz and something I've wondered about too. Will Nevada miss a chance to be the center of the online gaming universe in the US?

http://www.lvrj.com/business/online-poker-s-window-of-opportunity-may-be-closing-167464895.html