Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 | 4:51 p.m.
Executives at CNBC have decided that their controversial reality-TV series “Money Talks” will premiere March 19, and all eight episodes will feature self-described Las Vegas bookie killer Steve Stevens. The revealing look inside the high-stakes world of sports betting shows that it’s built on high emotions, risk and rewards.
Steve, head of VIP Sports, also calls himself the Michael Jordan of sports handicapping and maintains that his picks are correct more than 60 percent of the time. After a winter-preview screening of the show, network officials received such a pro-and-con shock reaction that they agreed the entire show would focus on gambling in Las Vegas through Steve’s company.
Each episode will be one hour, and cameras follow the bookie and his agents selling their picks to big-time whales and gamblers with big bankrolls and even bigger expectations.
“Our goal at CNBC is to bring viewers intimate looks at all sorts of businesses. And the world of gambling, for the most part, has not been seen on reality television,” said Jim Ackerman, SVP of primetime alternative programming. “It’s an exciting world with colorful characters and major stakes. And even in a city like Vegas, Steve Stevens stands out as one of the biggest and most dynamic characters you will meet.”
The show also follows the big-time bookie’s personal life with his given name, Darin Notaro, as he tries to build a more traditional life with girlfriend Kelly, her two children and their baby boy. He admits on camera to years of overindulging in a fast-paced Las Vegas lifestyle with two short stints in prison. The show will broadcast to more than 395 million homes worldwide, with 100 million in the U.S. and Canada.
CHEFS & ROCKERS: The first two star chefs and two rockers have been confirmed for the Feb. 27 “Iron Chef” Kerry Simon fundraiser at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health: Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud will both fly in from New York to lead the lineup of kitchen kings and queens, and Sammy Hagar and Alice Cooper have confirmed for entertainment. More names to come!
For more than 15 years, Kerry has been a culinary star in the Las Vegas community, creating food trends and memorable meals while developing the hippest culinary events and offerings in the city. In December, he bravely went public with his revelation to me that he is battling multiple system atrophy (MSA), an incurable and rapidly progressive neurodegenerative, and ultimately fatal, disease that affects multiple parts of the body, causing slowness of movement, muscle rigidity and poor balance.
Similar to Parkinson’s, but far more aggressive, there is no treatment to slow or stop the disease. While coming forward was a difficult decision, Kerry made the choice in hopes of helping others who may be battling similar diseases and to let his supporters know that everyone’s favorite rock ’n roll chef would still be making his rounds in the kitchen, even if from a wheelchair.
He’s partnering with Keep Memory Alive, the charitable arm of the center where Kerry is undergoing care. The once-in-a-lifetime classic culinary and music-centric spectacular will increase awareness and create a network for those affected by MSA and their caregiver families.
NIGHTCLUB & BAR SHOW RETURNS: The food and beverage industry’s most important bar, beverage, nightclub, restaurant and hospitality event of the year, the Nightclub & Bar Show, returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center from March 24 -26. “Bar Rescue” star Jon Taffer promises that it will be the greatest conference and nightlife program in the show’s 28-year history.
The Nightclub and Bar Media Group president also promises 600 exhibitor booths, more than 70 moneymaking seminars, four in-depth workshops and three powerful keynote speakers. Many of Jon’s “Bar Rescue” owners from the Spike TV series will take part in a “Where Are They Now” panel discussing their experiences. Parties will be held at Hard Rock Hotel beach pool, Marquee, Tryst and Hakkasan with DJ superstar Calvin Harris and at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore with two-time Grammy winner DJ David Guetta.
For the first time at the show and in Las Vegas is the Craft Spirits Awards International Competition, a blind taste test to determine bronze-, silver- and gold medal-winning spirits, plus, the premiere of the Shake It Up Competition in partnership with the United States Bartenders Guild to highlight up-and-coming mixologists.
MAGIC TOUR: Las Vegas illusionist Michael Turco, who headlined at Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood, is joining the “Masters of Illusion Live” touring magic show based on the award-winning TV series. He will be one of a dozen magicians on an East Coast run that includes Atlantic City, where Michael began his career.
Other Las Vegas magicians include Kevin James, Joseph Gabriel, Jason Byrne and Britney Spears favorite Ed Alonzo, plus, daring escapologists, amazing quick-change artists, eye-popping illusionists with exotic wild animals and beautiful dancers.
Capt. Kirk himself William Shatner and his “We Live in His World” one-man show is at Smith Center. My Q+A with him was posted Jan. 10.
Brad Garrett headlines at his comedy club in MGM Grand with Mark Eddie and Scott Henry through Friday.
To celebrate Bill Maher’s birthday today, there’s a $20 discount on tickets for his 2014 shows at Pearl at the Palms.
Carl LaBove and Carla Rae are at Riviera Comedy Club through Sunday.
DJ Vice is at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan.
DJ Five is at XS.
Actress Florence Henderson isn’t running away from her 80th birthday but vows not to slow down as she gets ready to be honored as Nevada Ballet Theater’s Woman of the Year this weekend, plus, a preview of opening night of “Pawn Shop Live!” at Golden Nugget.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Palms Casino Resort has come a long way since its "Real World" debut in 2002. The boutique property features three distinct towers and a diverse mix of bars and restaurants across a 95,000-square-foot casino.
Palms, which features more than 1,200 rooms and fantasy suites, is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation that will encompass an Ivory Tower room and suite redesign, new culinary additions, re-imagined gaming spaces and new, distinctive nightlife experiences.
In addition to newly designed rooms, during the first phase of the renovation, Palms will welcome Heraea, a high-energy American restaurant and lounge, and XISHI, a pan-Asian restaurant and lounge.
Fantasy Suites include the Hardwood Suite, the only hotel room in the world with its own basketball court.
Other amenities include the all-new Cantor Gaming® race and sports book, one of the few sports books in Las Vegas to include a poker room; SOCIAL; Scarlet; Chocolat Bistro; tonic bar; ghostbar; Pearl Concert Theater; Moon Nightclub; N9NE Steakhouse; Nove Italiano; Simon Restaurant & Lounge; Palms Pool & Bungalows; Kim Vō Salon; Drift Spa & Hammam; Brenden Theatres, a 14-theatre cineplex and more than 60,000 square-feet of meeting space.
The Pearl is the Palms premier concert venue, hosting some of the most legendary and popular names in entertainment.