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Around the World with Lynn Gilmartin: Shacking Up at the World Series of Poker

Las Vegas

I cannot believe we’re just over two months away from the entire poker world getting together in one of the wildest places on Earth for another World Series of Poker. With only a few months to go, it’s time to start thinking about where you’re going to be based for quite possibly the craziest six weeks of your life. Whether you can afford to stay for the entire grind or just a one-weekend splurge after a nice win, at least one of the following hotels must be added to your itinerary to get a real taste of Las Vegas luxury.


Whenever friends are visiting Las Vegas, my first suggestion on where to stay is always the Venetian. It’s in a perfect spot in the heart of the strip, it’s so big you never really have to leave, has more poker tables than you could ever need and being an all-suite hotel, your room is guaranteed to be huge for a decent price – just be prepared to get lost a couple of times trying to find your room in the 36-story hotel that stretches further than you can believe.

Kristy Arnett gave us a little tour of the poker room during the NAPT last year.


If anyone in the world was asked to name a hotel in Las Vegas, the most well-known would be Bellagio, and there’s a reason for that. I definitely vote this hotel and casino as my personal number one on the strip. The Bellagio defines luxury and class. The quality and variety of food is some of the best (even the buffet), the casino’s décor is the sexiest, hotel guests can relax at the stunning pool and despite being a busy complex, and it still manages to feel like a peaceful escape from the strip. If you are considering booking a room here, keep in mind that it’s worth paying that little bit extra for a room with a view of the fountains. Nothing beats this world-famous water show.

You can get a sneak peek at the Bellagio in this edition of Blow Your Bankroll.

Wynn and Encore

One of the sexiest looking hotels with the sexiest clubs is Wynn and its twin, Encore. These two hotels hold more Forbes Five Star Awards than any other casino resort in the world. Every room is decked out with a bath and all the amenities you’ll ever need. Care for some golf? You’ve got it. How about a few drinks around the swankiest looking pool you’ll ever see? Yep, they’ve got that too, with two of the best clubs in Las Vegas – XS and Surrender. And most importantly, Wynn is home to one of the nicest poker rooms on the strip.


This is one of the newest additions to the strip, so I will leave Kristy Arnett to do the talking about this amazing place because I haven’t been to Vegas recently to check it out myself. I do know that with a view like this it’s the first stop on my list when I do return.

Mandarin Oriental

If boutique-living is more your thing, then Mandarin Oriental is the perfect, intimate escape from the commotion on the strip. The Mandarin Oriental has a tiny, sophisticated lobby tucked within CityCenter where they serve you hot towels and tea upon check-in. The 23rd floor has an ultra chic cocktail bar with one of the most stunning, panoramic views of the strip. To escape the sound of drunks and slot-machines, this is your little spot of Zen. I was lucky enough to check out the Mandarin Bar and its gorgeous views during the World Series of Poker last year for the UB party.

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