Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

January 3, 2009

Two Way Hard Three a Winner in 2008 Trippies

Posted by Hunter

Tonight, on the live Web cast, I was very surprised to learn that this blog was a winner in the 2008 Trippies for 'Best Vegas Blog'.

The competition was very stiff - these are all names you know and you probably read all of them (you should). I've been lucky enough to meet a few and call them friends - they all publish on a regular basis and give a lot to their readers.

* Die is Cast
* The Movable Buffet
* Stiffs & Georges
* Vegas Happens Here
* Vegas Links
* Vegas Rex

A big thank you to all of our readers, commenters and co-authors. This blog is all about community - this award belongs to everyone. Thanks!


Read archived comments (14 so far)
January 3, 2009 11:27 PM Posted by John

So, the editors are pretty partial to Wynn Las Vegas and Encore...

January 3, 2009 11:28 PM Posted by John

Oh, and Schwartz was robbed.

January 4, 2009 11:31 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Congratulations, Hunter. It is a award that you truly deserve. I am thankful for all your hard work in putting this together, and updating it (Both design and content) on a regular basis. I love knowing that there are other "degenerate Casino observers", as Jeff Simpson said on the last Vegas Gang podcast, and that they are intelligent and opinionated. I got up this morning, and decided to write a thank you post, knowing you got this award makes it easier.
I am 50 years old, and throughout my life I would have thought it unimaginable that I could click a button and listen to the freshest and smartest discussion of the Las Vegas Casino business via a "podcast". Info that would never make its way into any mainstream format.
I would never think that I could go to a "blog" and get the most accurate and in depth info about the Monte Carlo exterior material, and see construction industry experts post directly to us on this site to provide detailed explanations about what was going on. No where else in the world had this level of information.
And I would never imagine that a group of people could get together and provide real time coverage of the grand opening of a multi-billion dollar Casino by Steve Wynn, who gave an amazing amount of access to our people, and saw them as powerful information allies. Billionaires using thousandaires to get the message of their new properties out in the most effective way possible, with the least editing for either time or content. I have listened to about 5 hours of audio from Stevey Wynn or direct quotes from his people about Encore. Would never think it possible.
I think that other Casino operators will take notice of all this, and their utilization of this, and other sites, will increase with each new opening. Soon Hunter will need a site dealing solely with Casino grand openings.
I love the new media and how it helps with my love of all things Las Vegas. Hunter and all his contributors are a key part of my life. Thank you all.

January 4, 2009 6:05 PM Posted by Dave

Congratulations, Hunter--you've really created a fantastic place for people who care about Vegas and casino design here. I for one was not surprised at all to see your hard work and dedication recognized! I'm looking forward to 2009--I think M and City Center will give us all plenty to comment about here.

January 4, 2009 6:22 PM Posted by detroit1051

Dave, when I looked at your Encore carpet photos, the one in the high limit room seemed familiar. Then, I checked Encore's website for photos of Sinatra. The color and patterns are similar; both striking, in my opinion.

January 4, 2009 9:29 PM Posted by Doug

Hunter - congratulations on winning. I'm sure this blog is a lot of work and you do a great job.
I noticed on the 'encoreopening' site that you are asking for any questions about Encore and as I am getting ready to book 4 days in March I have few...

1. I've read that the 'walk' back and forth to Wynn is long and gets 'a little old' pretty fast - What do you think?
2. What's the best place for breakfast? Good coffee is important!
3. From the pictures it seems there are midi/mini baccarat tables on the main casino floor - about how many and what are the morning(weekday) limits?
4. How would you describe the craps pit as far as location and crowding with other tables?
4. Is there a good cigar store?

January 4, 2009 9:35 PM Posted by Hunter

Thank you.

Regarding your questions, I can answer a few right now...

#1 - I only did it a few times. My next trip is three nights so I'll be able to answer this better then.

#2 - Breakfast - only Society Cafe Encore is open for breakfast, unless you count room service or the Lobby Bar, which serves coffee and very light fare such as quiche, etc...

#3 - I'll have to double-check this for you. Mike E. may be able to answer this better than I.

#4 - The craps pit is about dead center in the casino, just offset from the cage and right by the resort elevators. Smaller than WLV's pit but I did not feel cramped when I was playing there.

#5 - Some of the bars may provide cigars but there is no dedicated store, ala Palazzo or MBay. I can try to get some more info on this for you. Any specific brands I should be looking out for? I am not a cigar aficionado (pun intended).

January 4, 2009 9:58 PM Posted by Mike E

Congrats Hunter. Truly, truly well deserved.

Doug, regarding your third question, my memory is a little fuzzy, but there are three or four mini tables just outside the baccarat salon. Minimums for at least two of them were $25 during the morning and well into the afternoon. At night, one of the tables jumped to $500, but it was filled with people betting a few green chips at a time so they're pretty lax about grandfathering players it seems.

I don't have an exact count as to how many mini and midi tables were in the formal salon, but the minimums were $100 for most of the day and went up at night. The big tables ranged from $100 to $1000.

Maybe they'll go up later, but during these same times, Wynn's big tables were up to $5000 minimum and minis started at $300. It seems evident they'll continue to house the whales predominantly at Wynn.

January 5, 2009 7:29 AM Posted by Tom M.

Congrats Hunter, let me echo what has already been said. The work that you put into this blog is amazing and I am happy that there is a place like this on the web. While I missed the live portion of the Encore opening, I was able to go back and read the twitters(?) that you put up. I am new to twitter but there seemed to be some messages that were part of missing conversations with others. Is this normal? I can't wait for the next "live on the net" opening. Do you know what is next and when it is. I know City Center is scheduled for Dec but what about Fontainblue and M. Again, congrats and keep up the good work.

January 5, 2009 8:20 AM Posted by Hunter


Yes, Twitter sometimes gets conversational and certain tools make it easier than others to follow those conversation fragments... We may improve the tools we use next time around.

As far as future openings, yes, ARIA is December 16th and I hope we do something very similar. M Resort opens this Spring, though I doubt we'll do a full scale live coverage setup for that. Fontainebleau is set to open this Fall - we don't have a specific date that I know of yet. That one may get some more of this type of coverage, we'll just have to see.

January 5, 2009 9:25 AM Posted by iva


January 5, 2009 12:42 PM Posted by David McKee

Allow me to add my congratulations. Considering how often I check this site for new information, I can attest that the accolade was very greatly deserved.

January 5, 2009 5:06 PM Posted by Dr. B

Congrats. Well-deserved.

Your life's work will be complete when you hit the actual two-way hard three...

January 6, 2009 7:46 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

I think Fountainebleau is going to be a major property. I hope they are just laying low until they get closer to the opening. I think your coverage is the wave of the future and hopefully, the FB leadership will work you harder than Wynn did.