Kimo Akane
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June 04, 2008 Share | | podcast Podcast | | Hawaiian Airlines Discount

Normand Roberge won big at the airport
Normand Roberge won big at the airport

WELCOME to Kimo’s Vegas ... The Player’s Edge!

IN FOUR DAYS two huge Wheel of Fortune jackpots hit at (of all places) McCarran International Airport! First there was the $391,979 jackpot, and then Normand Roberge heard the ding, ding, ding and was $257,845 richer.

THE JW MARRIOT Las Vegas Resort and Spa is the only Las Vegas property in the latest Condé Nast Traveler‘s survey of the Top 100 Golf Resorts in the USA. It has the first executive golf desk in Vegas, providing guests with transportation, club rental, lessons, bag transfers, food and beverage needs, tournament management and more at 11 Las Vegas courses. Don’t forget to check out local boy Michael Maeda’s Shizen Japanese steak house, sushi bar and teppanyaki restaurant.

AT THE Las Vegas Hilton, you qualify for its $100,000 Craps Tourney in October by betting at least $5 on 11 and hitting it on the come out roll.

GOOD NEWS for those with the “shopping gene” ... There are never enough malls, and the (Las Vegas) locals casino “M,” under construction at the south end of the Strip, will include a 1-million-square-foot mall - roughly twice the size of the Grand Canal Shoppes - between the Palazzo and Venetian. There’s plenty of time to save for the trip - the hotel opens in 2010 and the mall in 2011… I guess “M” stands for million.

ALMOST LIKE being there… Vegas junkies must check out the Las Vegas Sun‘s new History of Las Vegas ... A Gamble In The Sand. There’s an interactive map (choose a year and see what the Strip or Downtown looked like), hundreds of photos, more than 30 videos, more than 150 stories from the paper’s archives and tons more. Get the link at

Adam “Pacman” Jones

IGOR JIJIKINE (and I thought Hawaiian was tough) was in Jubilee! at Bally’s, Mystere at Treasure Island and a Russian soldier in the game “Command and Conquer Red Alert” before his current role as the bad guy Colonel Dovchenko in the new Harrison Ford flick Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

ONE OF THE BEST exhibits in Vegas is free ... The Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens display changes five times a year, and for the summer it’s a tribute to the American pioneering spirit, featuring a 24-foot-long, 7-foot-tall locomotive made from more than 36,000 living flowers and plants. Even better than the giant topiary choo choo are its baby brothers that cruise through scenes from Las Vegas to the New England coast.

WHY DO SOME NFL teams cover the spread while others don’t? Andy Iskoe has analyzed more than 17,000 pro and college games and has released his results in a guide titled the 2008 Pro Football Statistical Pattern Report and the 2008 College Football Statistical Pattern Report. If you like football stats, check out his work ($10 each) at the Gamblers Book Shop.

ADAM “PACMAN” JONES learned the hard way what happens when you stiff a Las Vegas casino ... Caesars Palace filed a criminal complaint for $20,000 in bounced checks with the Nevada District Attorney (who in turn is seeking a federal arrest warrant). Interestingly, the NFL has no policy against players gambling in casinos, except they can’t bet on football games like Tim Donaghy, who bet on the NBA games he reff’d.

THIS YEAR there’ll be nine $10,000 World Series of Poker main events in Las Vegas (up from two), bringing this year’s grand total to 55 tourneys leading up to the mother of all tournaments, the WSOP Texas Hold ‘em championship. Like buzzards circling desert prey, amateurs and pros are flocking to the poker capital of the world over the next couple of weeks.

THE STRANGEST request international wedding planner Karen Thornton-Brown’s company ever heard: “We had a client ask if we could provide penguins for a wedding in Las Vegas.”

GET MORE Kimo’s Vegas online at,, and in both issues of MidWeek.

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