Kimo Akane
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June 30, 2010 Share | | podcast Podcast | | Hawaiian Airlines Discount

Don Cheadle and Annie Duke: Ante Up for Africa

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

ANNIE DUKE and Don Cheadle’s fourth annual Ante Up for Africa celebrity charity poker tournament is happening this Saturday at the Rio. Bring your camera; celebrities in the house include Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and poker pros Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson,Andy Bloch, Phil Hellmuth and more. The red carpet starts at noon. The tourney has raised almost $3 million to date, in addition to priceless awareness of Africa’s worst conflicts.

THE MARRIAGE REF, Tom Papa, makes the call July 31 and Aug. 1 at The Orleans Showroom.

IT’S THE FOURTH of July weekend and, in Vegas, it’s what the Super Bowl is to football, the Masters is to golf or what Christmas is for na keiki. Every casino worth its chlorine has spent months carefully planning for the biggest pool weekend of the year. The celebrities have been contracted and eye candy put on the payroll - music, bikinis and fireworks ... Happy Birthday, America!


NOW THAT’S a commute ... Folks on Hawaii Island (like our cousins on the continent) think tripping between Hilo and Kona is no big deal. Dave Monahan was based there, working for a private equity firm called Colony Capital. The company made him CEO of the Las Vegas Hilton and now he commutes between the Ninth Island and the Big Island to see his wife and kids!

PRIOR TO the current economic downturn, you had to have a casino host verify your willingness to bet the price of a Caddy on the turn of a card to qualify for a stay in some Vegas suites. There’s a rumor that even Bill Gates (who doesn’t gamble) could-n’t buy his way into some of these mini mansions. Well, the times (and the rules) have changed. The Las Vegas Hilton has opened 46 suites including three Sky Villas (that used to be reserved exclusively for whales) to us everyday folk. Don’t forget your Amex black card. These rooms run $1,700 to $13,500 a night.

RESORT FEE hits the Wynn Las Vegas ... Twenty bucks a day gets you into the gym, unlimited Internet service, local calls and boarding pass printing service. Comp’ed guests don’t normally get hit with this charge.

FEELIN’ BLUE? Check out the open auditions for the Blue Man Group July 19 at the Venetian. Applicants must be between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-1, have solid drumming skills, excellent acting abilities and be willing to relocate, because Blue has ongoing productions in Chicago, New York, Boston, Orlando, Berlin, Tokyo and Las Vegas. Oh, yeah, blue women are encouraged to apply as well.

DON’T DO IT ... More and more Blackjack tables are converting to 6-5 from 3-2, much to the dismay of 21 players. Stanford Wong, gambling author, says 25 percent of Strip blackjack games are now 6-5. (When you hit 21, they pay $6 for every $5 bet instead if $3 to $2. So if you bet $10, 6-5 pays $12, 3-2 pays $15. Ouch.)... These tables usually stick out like a sore thumb - just look for pretty dealers in skimpy outfits ... That’s why they’re called party pits.

EXPEDIA DOT COM has added 130 people to its Las Vegas operation, bringing its total staff to 500.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT ... Las Vegas county commissioners are testing an iPhone app that allows you to take a picture of graffiti. The app then sends the image to the city, including the exact coordinates from the phone’s GPS for de-graffitification.

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