Monthly Archives: February 2015

Colorful Nicknames for Dice Combinations in Craps

Craps is one of the most lively games in a Las Vegas casino, and it’s also one of the games with the most colorful jargon.

Over the decades, craps dealers (many of them bored out of their skulls) have come up with clever ways of calling out dice numbers, often based upon rhymes.

Here’s a collection of our favorite names for dice combinations in craps.

Craps dice rolls

Because the number seven is the most frequently rolled number on the dice, it has the most nicknames. Sevens, by the way, are jerks, except on what’s called the “come-out roll.” Long story.

Many of the slang terms for craps numbers have fascinating stories behind them. We obviously won’t be talking about those here, because we have a reputation to preserve.

An “Australian yo” is called that because on the opposite sides (“down under”) of a 1 and 2 are a 6 and 5. Those total 11, and “yo” is another name for 11. It’s called “yo” because it’s bad luck to say “seven” at a craps table. Please keep up.

A “ballerina” is called that because, wait for it, two 2s sound like “tutu.” Hey, we didn’t say this was rocket science.

A 4-5 combination is called a “Jesse James” because the notorious outlaw was shot with a .45 caliber pistol.

A pair of threes is called “Brooklyn Forest” because, wait for it, “two trees.” The reference may date back to the 1943 novel, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”

Hard six

A hard six is also sometimes referred to as “sixie from dixie.”

An easy six (a five and one) is sometimes called “alien handshake.”

A pair of fives can also be called as a “pair of sunflowers.”

You don’t hear many dealers use “O.J.” for a 3-2 dice combination these days, but it’s called that because O.J. Simpson’s uniform number was 32. It would be awesome if someday craps dealers started calling removing a “place bet” an “O.J.” Because Las Vegas took O.J. down, too. Long story.

Naturally, our list isn’t complete. Names like “boxcars” for 12 have sometimes been replaced with colorful counterparts. A 12 can also be referred to as “all the spots we got.”

Thanks to our reader James H. for this gem: A roll of three is sometimes called a “shocker,” because its a two and a one. Saucy!

Reader Jonathan T. says he’s heard dealer refer to the hard six as “Colombian breakfast” because, well, two lines.

Construction at Rock in Rio USA’s “City of Rock” Kicks Into High Gear

Construction activity at the Rock in Rio USA music festival site in Las Vegas has intensified recently, with three new, permanent structures springing up virtually overnight.

Rock in Rio USA’s 40-acre “City of Rock” will be a permanent, open-air concert venue, and the first Rock in Rio USA festival takes place in Las Vegas on the weekends of May 8-9 and May 15-16, 2015. The first weekend will be devoted to rock and the second weekend to pop.

Rock in Rio USA

One of three new permanent structures on the Rock in Rio USA site.

The City of Rock being built in Las Vegas is the fourth such venue in the world. Spain, Portugal and Brazil each have their own City of Rock. Those venues have played host to events drawing about 7.4 million music-lovers over the course of the last 30 years.

The City of Rock in Las Vegas, next to Circus and across Las Vegas Boulevard from SLS Las Vegas (formerly the Sahara) has a potential capacity of 85,000 people a day.

Rock in Rio USA City of Rock

Second building. That’s a lot of spackle.

The City of Rock in Vegas is an ambitious project, described as a “mini-city.” It will feature three themed streets (think Disneyland, but without the measles, probably), inspired by the U.S., U.K. and Brazil.

Rock in Rio USA City of Rock

The third building is also three little pig-proof.

The venue will also boast restaurants, shopping and a 64-foot-high zip line.

We’ve learned exclusively that the City of Rock will also have the world’s largest mobile Ferris wheel. We wrote to the Swiss company that designed and developed the “world’s largest transportable observation wheel,” called the R80XL, and were told they can’t confirm their Ferris wheel will be the one at City of Rock. Which, of course, means this is totally going to be the Ferris wheel at the City of Rock.

Rock in Rio USA will have five stages, including a main stage and EDM stage. Presumably, shows on the two main stages will be coordinated so no major act is performing simultaneously with another. In other words, it’s not just the Ferris wheel that will have lots of moving parts.

Rock in Rio City of Rock

The arrows mark the relative locations of the buildings. There are no actual giant red arrows at the Rock in Rio USA site, sorry.

The bulk of Rock in Rio USA’s line-up has been announced. Acts include No Doubt, Metallica, Maná, Foster the People, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Joss Stone and Sam Smith.

Tips that The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen could perform haven’t panned out in recent announcements, but we suspect the festival line-up isn’t complete just yet. Rock in Rio USA needs to make a splash, and a big-name group or collaboration would do the trick.

City of Rock USA

Behold, Bob the Builder’s wet dream.

The Rock in Rio USA site in Las Vegas is taking shape quickly, so we’ll be keeping a close watch on what’s next for this much buzzed-about music festival coming to Las Vegas.

Riviera Las Vegas Will Be Sold, Future Uncertain

The Sin City rumor mill is in overdrive over word the Riviera Las Vegas is being sold, and the rumors have legs.

The details of the sale, as well as the ultimate fate of the struggling casino, are unclear at this time. An official announcement is expected within a week.

Riviera Las Vegas

The Riviera opened in 1955, and boy are its arms tired. Or something.

At least one of the rumors online involves the Riviera being “closed and leveled for non-gaming use.” Which is just about the least Las Vegas scenario possible. (Please don’t say it’ll be a shopping mall!) Thanks to our pal Marc at Edge Vegas for pointing us toward this Sin City bombshell.

Another possibility is an investor or investors (not a bank or investment firm, please) are buying the Riviera to take full advantage of its relatively low price and exploit the iconic casino’s invaluable brand equity to make it a kick-ass gambling joint again. We vote that.

The once-thriving Riv got its arse handed to it when three nearby casinos went away, specifically, The New Frontier, The Westward Ho and one of the greatest Las Vegas casinos ever, The Stardust. Foot traffic is king in Vegas.

The Riviera Las Vegas is home to, mainly, “Crazy Girls.” And several pinball machines.

We look forward to official news of the Riviera sale, especially if the news involves a rejuvenation of this iconic Vegas fixture.

Monte Carlo Las Vegas Is Next in Line for a New Name and Major Rebrand

The iconic Monte Carlo will be the next Las Vegas resort to undergo a name change and rebrand.

Just as Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall became The Cromwell, Imperial Palace became The Quad (and now The Linq) and The Hotel at Mandalay Bay became Delano Las Vegas, Monte Carlo will soon bear a shiny new name.

Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo was originally known as the Grand Victoria.

The Monte Carlo’s rebrand comes at a time of major change in the resort’s neighborhood. An influx of new construction has resulted in an appealing new pedestrian promenade, and a new sports and concert arena behind New York-New York is expected to be a huge draw to what could ultimately become the new “center” of the Las Vegas Strip, in direct competition with The Linq shopping promenade across from Caesars Palace.

Recently, Monte Carlo has added some great new dining additions, including Yusho Japanese Grill & Noodle House, 800 Degrees Pizza and Double Barrel Roadhouse. Read more.

Double Barrel Roadhouse

The Double Barrel Roadhouse at Monte Carlo is a perfectly fine place for both the grub and the hooch. From what we remember. Prior to the hooch.

The Monte Carlo’s new name is a closely-held secret, but the name change will be accompanied by renovations to the hotel’s nearly 3,000 rooms.

The Monte Carlo is owned by MGM Resorts, opened on June 21, 1996, and is home to an entertainment fixture on The Strip, Blue Man Group.

Rumor has it MGM Resorts would like to convert its Blue Man Group theater into a venue for concerts (like The Colosseum at Caesars Palace or Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood, with big-name residencies), so don’t be surprised if Blue Man Group is out of the picture by the time the Monte Carlo rebrand happens.

Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group moved to Monte Carlo in 2012, right after a visit to the Wonka factory where they tried some gum with the flavor of a three-course meal.

Atop Monte Carlo is Hotel32, is an ultra-luxury boutique hotel.

Bonus Monte Carlo trivia: In the movie, “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” the heroes of the film stay at Monte Carlo during the dodgeball championships in Las Vegas.

Speaking of luxury, don’t be surprised if the Monte Carlo’s rebrand sends the hotel in a more upscale direction.

Expect to hear more about the Monte Carlo’s rebrand in the months to come. These are some exciting times in Las Vegas, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.

Update (6/3/16): We’re pleased to report our story about Monte Carlo changing its name had legs! On June 3, 2016, MGM Resorts announced Monte Carlo will change its name to Park MGM. The hotel’s boutique hotel, Hotel 32, will be renamed NoMad Las Vegas. Read more about the new name of Monte Carlo.

Update (5/9/18): Monte Carlo is officially Park MGM.


Las Vegas Wranglers Skate Off Into the Sunset

Ice hockey’s Las Vegas Wranglers have called it quits.

We are not personally a sports person, but we understand there are people into that kind of thing.

If you were a fan of the Wranglers, founded in 2003 following the East Coast Hockey League’s takeover of the West Coast Hockey League to form the ECHL (thanks, Wikipedia), you’re currently up the rink without a stick. Or something. Let’s just say the owner of the Wranglers has announced the team is calling it quits after 11 seasons.

Las Vegas Wranglers

While their fans will miss the Wranglers, this blog will mostly miss the beastiality jokes inspired by this logo.

When the Wranglers learned their lease would not be renewed at the Orleans Arena, they went on the hunt for a new venue. At one point, there was a WTF plan to play in a rooftop arena at downtown’s Plaza hotel, but that never materialized.

The Wranglers drew about 4,500 fans a game. The Wranglers were the second-longest running pro sports franchise ever in Las Vegas. The first-longest are the 51s, a Triple-A baseball team. By comparison, the 51s have a huge number of their own teeth.

The good news is an NHL team is coming to the new AEG-MGM arena behind New York-New York, so hockey fans will soon have a new team to root for in Las Vegas. Perhaps it will even be one that wins sometimes. If you’re into that kind of thing.

Popular Griddle Cafe at SLS Las Vegas Gets a Rebrand to Northside Cafe, Now Open 24/7

The Griddle Cafe restaurant at SLS Las Vegas has been given a new name, Northside Cafe, has a new menu and will henceforth be managed in-house. Mainly because we think the word “henceforth” makes things sound fancier.

Northside Cafe at SLS

SLS Las Vegas wasted no time in swapping out the signs. Bet you can get the like-new Griddle signs on eBay for a song.

The former Griddle Cafe at SLS was an outpost of the original Griddle Cafe, a staple on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California for the last 15 years.

The switch from The Griddle to Northside Cafe involved the restaurant being closed for upwards of eight hours on Jan. 31, 2015.

The interior at Northside Cafe remains essentially unchanged since the rebranding.

Northside Cafe

The cafe seats about 90 people. Unless they’re supermodels, then it’s about 140.

The good news related to the Griddle’s change to Northside is guests will no longer have to try and figure out the hours of operation. The restaurant will be open 24/7, seven days a week, like a proper casino cafe.

Northside Cafe at SLS

The Northside Cafe is located near the casino’s loyalty club and it’s adjacent to Ku Noodle restaurant, rumored to be in flux at the moment.

The reasons for the restaurant’s new direction sound fuzzy, but the official story is the founder and owner of The Griddle decided to close the location, “unilaterally.” It works out pretty well for SLS in the end, as third party partnerships can be challenging, and in-house management means more money for the house.

The Northside Cafe says it will “serve up generous portions of delicious, home-style comfort food made to order.” The Griddle was known for its obscenely large portions, so that aspect of the menu appears to still be intact. Also, breakfast items will be available around the clock, and there will also be salads, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, pastas, steak and seafood.” All things to all people, as it were.

A manager we talked to said the restaurant will now have four menus, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night. There will be special pricing for Las Vegas locals.

The saddest part of the whole transition from Griddle Cafe to Northside Cafe might be that the future of the scratch and sniff wallpaper at the restaurant’s entrance is in question. Fingers crossed that this wasn’t a Griddle brand exclusive.

SLS scratch n sniff

Just make some kick-ass pancakes and all will be forgiven.

SLS Las Vegas, built on the site of the former Sahara hotel, is still trying to get its footing in a challenging location on the north end of The Strip. The hotel’s buffet closed in November of 2014, for example, with no word about when, or whether, it will reopen.

The hotel has a new COO and President, Scott Kreeger, who came from the now-closed Revel resort in Atlantic City. Let’s hope he can lead the SLS to being a worthy successor to the Sahara.