By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Entertainment Reporter/Film Critic - Las Vegas Tribune
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks

Local tour Guide receives Special Award

Mayor Oscar Goodman presented the "Tour Guide of the Decade" to Char Cruze, on Thursday, May 28, 2009 during a special award ceremony at Las Vegas

City Hall.  The Las Vegas Tour Guides Guild, which represents the finest local tour guides, honored Char with an award her for her dedication and educational skills in training many of southern Nevada guides with her knowledge of history, botany, geology and wild life that she learned during her course of studies at UNLV and CSN.

Char’s family history goes back to 1850 in the Las Vegas area.  Her relatives include Las Vegas’ first school teacher in 1881, founders of the Potosi Lead Mine and the city of Overton, and those who were on Fremont Street for the Union Pacific auction in 1905.

The Las Vegas Tour Guide Guild members frequently conduct tours of the city, Red Rock, Valley of Fire, Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon, often in conjunction with major conventions.

Mayor Goodman's presentation took place at 9:30am on May 28th at City Hall, and was attended by a group of tour guides who felt the honor was long-overdue.

Three Contestants Named Hottest Females in Wet Republic's Second Annual 'Hot 100' Contest

On Friday, July 3, Lisa Angeline, a model and swimwear designer from Albuquerque, New Mexico won the title of hottest woman in Las Vegas and took home the $25,000 cash prize as the first place winner of and Las Vegas’ first ultra pool, WET REPUBLIC’s second annual “Hot 100” contest.
Photo courtesy of Wet Republic/SpyOnVegas

Angeline, defeated over 300 gorgeous women during the intense 13 week competition to rise to the top of the “Hot 100.”

Natalie Marie, a model from Cleveland, Ohio, took home $15,000 cash as the second place finalist in the “Hot 100” contest. Third place was makeup artist and esthetician Alice Vasquez, from Lake Perris, California winning $10,000 in cash.

The “Hot 100” competition at WET REPUBLIC became one of the most successful contests in Las Vegas drawing thousands of attendees to the preliminary and final events. Many celebrities, athletes, actors and socialites attended “Hot 100” events and participated as judges, which garnered national media attention. Well known musical acts such as Asher Roth, Cisco and Shwayze, Naughty by Nature and LMFAO took the stage at WET REPUBLIC and performed for the “Hot 100” crowd.

2009 Grand Poker Series at the Golden Nugget Awards Millions in Prize Money

The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino’s 2009 Grand Poker Series, concluded over the Independence Day holiday weekend. During the month-long series the event hosted more than 10,000 players and awarded nearly $2 million in prize money, topping last year’s total.

This series featured daily tournaments at noon in The Grand, the property’s luxurious events center, and held its Grand Finale Tournament July 4 and 5.

The series also hosted the Suzie and Howard Lederer Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament July 1, which raised $179,050 for The Boys and Girls Club. First place went to Steve Bartlett, who won an unprecedented opportunity to star on NBC’s hit poker program Poker After Dark. The $20,000 seat was donated by Full Tilt No poker tournament has ever awarded a seat on a nationally televised poker program with the chance to win $120,000 and become poker’s next television star. Additionally, the Grand Poker Series also helped raise $12,000 for the Poker Gives Charity during a tournament hosted by Mike Sexton June 4, kicking off the Grand Poker Series events.

This year’s series also held two bracelet events, the Golden Nugget Queen Ladies Event and the Grand Finale Tournament.

The Queen Ladies Event
featured more than 230 players vying for a piece of the $45,000 prize pool, with Ruth Hall winning the converted bracelet and taking the home title of this year’s Golden Nugget Poker Queen. The Grand Finale event, the last major event of the series, welcomed the largest prize pool at more than $100,000, with Randy Propson beating out more than 100 other players to claim the $35,000 first place prize and Golden Nugget Poker Shark championship bracelet.

Ruth Hall

Randy Propson

This year, the Grand Poker Series and the Golden Nugget partnered with organizations like the Ladies in Poker Hall of Fame, LIPS Tour, Poker Gives Foundation, Ladbrokes of the UK, Rounders Radio, NBC, Full Tilt, and Poker PROductions to bring a vast array of events and tournaments to the series, increasing prize pools, charitable donations and celebrity participation.

We had a fantastic ending to another exciting Grand Poker Series,” said John Colville, director of Golden Nugget poker. “We played a lot of poker, had a lot of fun and gave away a lot of money. It was a huge success.”

Celebrities Join Together at Rain Nightclub to Celebrate 40th Annual World Series of Poker

Rain Nightclub inside Palms Casino Resort hosted a star studded event in celebration of the 40th Annual World Series of Poker on Thursday night, July 9.

The evening consisted of poker stars and celebrities who joined as one with to celebrate poker at its finest and enjoy a special performance by Grammy award-winning artist, Nelly who arrived with an entourage of 15 people.

Photo credit: Shane O'Neal

Shortly after midnight, Nelly hit the stage with a rocking 40-minute live performance in front of a packed house.  In addition to singing top hits, “Hot In Herrre,” “Dilemma” and “Country Grammar” he also treated the crowd with two songs from his new album expected to be released in the fall.

Others in attendance included: actor and poker player Chad Brown; professional poker players Daniel Negreanu, Gregory Raymer and Barry Greenstein; Jason Alexander actor and comedian best known for his role in Seinfeld; and actor Lou Diamond Phillips, who was recently crowned the winner of reality TV series, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.

Carmen Electra Performs at MGM Grand's 'Crazy Horse Paris'

Thursday night, June 9 was the second night International sex symbol/actress/dancer Carmen Electra performed for a full house at "MGM Grand's Crazy Horse Paris" in Las Vegas as part of her six-day run in the topless French cabaret. Crowds of fans of all ages waited outside of the theater to catch a glimpse of the sex symbol as she arrived to prepare for the start of the show.

Carmen showed up on the red carpet wearing a beautiful pink dress while arm in arm with six of the Crazy Horse Paris dancers and graciously posed for photos in front of the large crowd of photographers and screaming fans.

Carmen Electra
After the red carpet, Carmen headed backstage to prepare for her performance.  Her first act, "Leçon D'Érotisme" or A Lesson in Eroticism, was a sexy number that had Carmen wearing a black bustier while sensually moving on a couch that looked like a pair of red lips.  Her next number "Chain Gang," brought out the animalistic side to Carmen and had the crowd clapping for her athleticism in the physically arduous number.  And lastly, for the finale "Étoile de Paris," Carmen made her appearance with the cast of Crazy Horse Paris wearing nothing more than a long jeweled necklace and a smile.  The crowd applauded with excitement for what was certainly an “Electra-fying” performance.

Carmen Electra
Additional recent and upcoming “happenings” in and around Las Vegas include:

P Moss, a fiction writer and owner of the famous Double Down Saloon and Frankie’s Tiki Room is the first author to be signed by CityLife Books, the new imprint of Stephens Press. His short story collection that explores the dark, human stories lurking in the shadows of the neon sheen of Las Vegas, “Blue Vegas,” will be released this fall.

Tuesday, July 7 Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and Miracle Mile Shops aired CNN’s coverage of Michael Jackson’s memorial live on the property’s multiple Strip-side video screens beginning at 9 a.m. PST.  Complete with full sound, the airing of CNN’s memorial coverage was one of the world’s largest, taking place on record breaking LED video screens at the heart of Las Vegas Boulevard.

The comedic performance of The Laughing Samoans which was scheduled for Saturday, July 18, 2009 at the Pearl inside the Palms Casino Resort has been canceled.  Tickets purchased with a credit card via telephone or through the internet have been automatically refunded. To obtain a refund from other outlets, please return to the original point of purchase.

On Wednesday July 15 international singing sensation Matt Goss and Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin held auditions inside The Pearl Concert Theater to find the hottest, most talented female singers and dancers to perform alongside Matt Goss in an all new production show ‘Matt Goss Live From Las Vegas’ at the Palms Casino Resort.

Country music foursome Lonestar will perform their boot-stomping hits at Buffalo Bill’s in the Star of the Desert Arena 9 p.m. Friday, July 17.

On July 18th Limp Bizkit will perform a FREE concert at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Casino Resort. Tickets are first come first served and will be given away beginning at noon day of show.  Doors open at 7 pm, Show time is at 9 pm.  Each person can receive one (1) pair of tickets.

On July 25 The Orleans Arena will host one of the more unique touring motorsports events on the planet:  the 2009 GEICO Powersports AMA EnduroCross

Series opener showcasing international and American motorcycle stars, including Las Vegas-area racers, on a variety of off-road machines. The event will begin at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $37 and $47, inclusive of tax and fees.

Lou Ragland’s World Famous Ink Spots will take the stage at Marilyn’s Lounge inside the Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel on Friday, July 24 and Saturday,

July 25. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10, available for purchase at the front desk prior to the show.

One of America’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands, AEROSMITH will perform in concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, July 25 beginning at 8 p.m. Special guests is ZZ Top. Tickets are priced at $185.48, $95 and $55 (not including applicable service charges and taxes) and are limited to eight (8) per person.

Comedy magician Mac King, who performs in his own afternoon show at Harrah’s, will travel to Beijing, China to participate in the 24th Annual World FISM (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques or International Federation of Magic Societies) Championships July 26-31.  The International Federation of Magic Societies (FISM™) was created in 1948 and today consists of 82 international clubs including more than 50,000 magicians from 44 different countries.  The event will host more than 2,000 magicians competing from around the world.

On July 31, the extravagant showgirl production “Jubilee!” at Bally’s will celebrate its 28th anniversary.   To commemorate the event, Bally’s is offering a special hotel package. A limited-capacity backstage tour is offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Japan’s most acclaimed musical production “Matsuri” has signed a one-year contract to entertain audiences six days a week in the Imperial Palace’s Imperial Theater starting July 31. Matsuri will perform eight shows a week: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4:00 p.m.; Friday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and Sundays at 4:00 p.m. Tickets for Matsuri are $49.99 and $59.99 for VIP, VIP tickets include prime seating.

Legendary Grammy winning recording artist Melissa Manchester and Filipino singing sensation Imelda Papin will share the stage and showcase their award-winning sounds in a limited engagement at The Orleans Showroom, July 31 – August 2. Tickets start from $60, inclusive of tax.

The finalists of Hip Hop International’s 8th Annual United States and World Hip Hop Dance Championships compete at the Orleans Arena, August 2. The world champion Philippine Allstars will defend their title against nearly 2,000 dancers from around the globe for world street dance supremacy. The eight-person international panel of judges includes Natasha Jean-Bart, who created the role of Lady Madonna in Cirque du Soleil’s Love as head judge and prominent hip hop choreographer Shane Sparks of MTV’s top-rated show Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew. The event will begin at

7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale priced at $39.50 and $59.50, inclusive of tax.

Rod Stewart returns to Las Vegas with a stop at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, Aug. 1 as part of a limited-engagement tour this summer. Tickets are $150, $100 and $50 (not including applicable service charges and taxes) and are limited to eight (8) per person.

Flip Flop Shop, the nation’s first retail chain to focus on flip flops has opened a store at The Shoppes inside Mandalay Place. Flip Flop Shop is located next to Art of Shaving and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sugar Factory has opened inside the Mirage. The store features a delicious array of hard and soft candies, as well as chocolates, and is best known for its Signature Series Couture Lollipops which are the newest fashion accessory among celebrities including Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, The Pussycat Dolls and actress Lauren Conrad. Sugar Factory is located between Starbucks and Rhumbar.

Celebrity sightings:

Monday night, July 6...

Former MLB athlete, Reggie Jackson dined at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort with a party of four.  Following dinner, Jackson and his guests were spotted at ghostbar.

Tuesday night, July 7...

UFC fighters CB Dollaway and Ryan Bader were spotted dining together at Hawaiian Tropic Zone inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.
Actor Lou Diamond Phillips dined at a table on the terrace at Nove Italiano inside Palms Casino Resort with his wife, daughter and mother-in-law.

Geno Bernardo, Lou Diamon Phillips, Tony Schutz
Photo credit: N9NE Group
At LAVO were LA Laker Jordan Farmar, UFC president Dana White and mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell.

Wednesday morning July 8, Montel Williams was spotted enjoying breakfast with a friend at Mr. Lucky’s inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Thursday night July 9…

English rock band Duran Duran had a late dinner at Simon at Palms Place. Later they partied at Playboy Club with a couple friends.
Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor
Photo credit: Shane O'Neal
At TAO Worship Thursdays UFC fighter Tito Ortiz and wife, adult film star Jenna Jameson sat in a corner dance floor VIP table with friends. NBA star Marcus Camby of the Los Angeles Clippers was seen in the moat VIP area.

Friday night, July 10…

Baltimore Raven Terrell Suggs dined with a party of 17 at Morton's The Steakhouse  in celebration of Suggs' fiancé Candace’s birthday.

At LAVO, Tito Ortiz was spotted upstairs At LAVO with wife Jenna Jameson and friends.

Over at TAO, UFC President Dana White gathered with a small group of friends.

Grammy award-winning hip-hop group The Roots rocked the stage at the Friday Night Live concert series at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Flavor Flav joined the group on the stage and rapped during their encore.

The Roots

To kick off the fight weekend, mixed martial artists Chuck Liddell, Ryan Bader and Jens Pulver hosted at TAO Beach. The trio of fighters brought along a number of mixed martial artists to join in the party, including Aaron Simpson, Noah Thomas, Eric Lawson and Bill Smallwood among others.

Ryan Bader, Jens Pulver and Chuck Liddell
Photo credit: Denise Truscello

Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil and his wife had dinner at N9NE Steakhouse. Across the way was MMA fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson with a party of six.  NBA player Ovinton Mayo and three friends were also spotted in the main dining room.

English rock band Duran Duran and 18 of their friends enjoyed a lovely dinner at Nove Italiano following their successful performance at The Pearl that evening.  Following dinner, the party moved upstairs into Playboy Club.  Actor Dave Foley was seen amongst the party’s guests.

Dave Foley
Photo credit: Shane O'Neal

Others at Playboy Club were MMA fighter Diego Sanchez and six friends and actor and model Greg Vaughan, who was also spotted at Moon Nightclub.

Saturday, July 11…

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan spotted dining with football player Michael Strahan last night in Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Spotted in the skybox at TAO were John “Magician” Dodson and Ultimate Fighter Season Eight winner Efrain Escudero.

Efrain Escudero, "Sky Skrape" and John “Magician” Dodson
Photo Credit: Al Powers

Also spotted at TAO was British actor and star of the Transporter movies Jason Statham.

After his win over Paulo Thiago, MMA fighter Jon Fitch made it over to LAVO for his after party. He was joined by his girlfriend and a group of thirty.

John Fitch and Michele Chao
Photo Credit: Al Powers

Singer, actor and film producer Donnie Wahlberg partied at Playboy Club inside Palms Casino  accompanied by  New Kids on the Block band mate, Joey McIntyre.

Donny Whalberg
Photo credit: Joe Fury

At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester enjoyed dinner with actor Sebastian Stan at Rare120 before heading over to Body English where she joined DJ Clinton Sparks on stage for an impromptu performance of her not yet released single “Front Cut” in front of an energetic crowd.  She was accompanied by Joshua LeBar from Entourage.

UFC fighters Rampage Jackson and Congo stopped by the club and rained cash down on the crowd.

Members from Incubus  were spotted relaxing at a VIP table inside Body English  following their concert at The Joint.

AJ McLean from the Backstreet Boys spotted at Wasted Space.

Sunday evening, July 12…

Anaheim Angels pitcher Jered Weaver dined at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort Sunday evening with three guests.

Also at N9NE Steakhouse was St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson.
Accompanied by two friends at Nove Italiano, actor Lou Diamond Phillips dined with his family.

Upstairs in Playboy Club, rapper known as Silkk the Shocker enjoyed the scene at a VIP table with 10 others.  Also spotted was retired NBA player Daniel Majerle, who gambled with a lady friend.

Earlier that afternoon, MMA fighters soaked up the sun poolside for a post-fight party at Palms Pool & Bungalows.  Those in attendance included Frank Trigg, Urija Faber and Chuck Liddell.

Frank Trigg and Urija Faber
Photo credit: Joe Fury

Chuck Liddell
Photo credit: Joe Fury

At LAVO… Jason Statham once again caught the eyes of the ladies as he and fellow actor Stephen Dorff settled in at their VIP table.

Los Angeles Clipper Marcus Camby was spotted with friends in the nightclub. .

Also seen was adult film star and newlywed Mary Carey with her husband.

Monday night, July 13…

NBA star and current Washington Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell and a group of six friends,was spotted at Dos Caminos Mexican Kitchen inside The

Palazzo was former NBA star and current Washington Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell.

Rapper Too Short and a group of five friends were spotted at the main bar at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort.

Also at N9NE Steakhouse was Damon Stoudamire, retired professional NBA player who currently coaches for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Grammy award-winning saxophonist, Kenny G and a few friends, dined at Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois inside The Forum Shops at Caesars.

Tuesday night , July 14 …

TV personality, Jack Osbourne, accompanied by a party of four, dined at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort.  Following dinner, Osbourne made his way to Moon Nightclub, where he and songwriter and drummer, John Dolmayan enjoyed the scene from a VIP table on the dance floor.

Also at Moon was Las Vegas rock band, Adelitas Way who celebrated the release of their new self-titled album.

Professional snowboarder Shawn White was across the way at another table, also drinking Ketel One.

I'll be back next week with more of what's happening in and around Las Vegas.

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