The more successful the sport, the more luxed-out the venues become -- a process pro franchises fund with the taxpayers' money, and Vegas funds with the rest of the taxpayers' money. Check out card-sharking's ridiculous new digs, at the Hard Rock Poker Lounge
After much delay, HRH has just unveiled its uber poker room: a $30 million, 7500sf rock-themed expansion (oversized portraits of Willie, Ozzy, Fall Out Boy-y?), with 18 cushy, well-spaced tables, two supposedly the biggest in the country -- giving first-class elbow-space to the coachest of players. For even higher rolling, there are five semi-private VIP rooms, reservable for serious games or a pre-strip-club sit-n-go, complete with bottle service, iPod docs, and, in the largest room, a built-in buffet set-up (if there's one thing strippers love, it's a man who smells like shrimp). Regular tourney stakes go from $75-$340, while cash-game blinds start at $1 and $2, and could go all the way to infinity -- but they also start at a dollar.
The Lounge is also the only LV poker room with a bar in it, semi-segregated just enough to attract women who hate poker. It also rocks a sportsbook's passel of TVs, plus a dedicated runner who'll take sports wagers at your poker table; with two ways to bet, your success will soon move you into the luxed out environment of a bus depot.