Airlines & Airports
How To Live The High Life in Las Vegas
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When you are a major player in Vegas, Sin City suddenly shrinks to resemble the iconic set from “Cheers.” When you gamble at the upper echelon of the city’s limits, everybody truly knows your name.
That’s just one of the things we learned from Brandon Scofield who is the Founder of VegasBoards.com and quite the solid player in Las Vegas.
Scofield was nice enough to share with our readers what life is like as a member of the Vegas elite. And he also delved into an exciting prospect for those wanting to win tickets to see UFC 197.
What follows is a brief interview that serves as a sneak peek behind the lavish curtain where Vegas hides its most coveted players.
What we found was captivating, like the time Scofield just happened to play baccarat with a famous NBA player and boxer.
Or there is the fact that even flaunting $250,000 can seem paltry to casinos during a big weekend.
But really, the absolute best thing we found out about being an elite member of Vegas society is that you can pretty much get In-N-Out when you please, which is all we need to hear.
From here on out we are building our bankroll.
Until then, we will glean as much wisdom we can from the founder of VegasBoards.com.
TravelPulse: Please give us a bit of a backstory on how you got your start in Las Vegas.
Brandon Scofield: My first time in Vegas I was 12 years old in town for a family vacation. I remember walking through the casinos and just being mesmerized by all the lights and sounds. My parents weren’t gamblers, but on our last day I finally convinced my mom to put a quarter into a slot machine for me. She pulled the arm and the reels spun and … I won $10! I watched all those coins fall into the bucket and I was hooked for life. The first thing I did when I turned 21 was schedule a trip to Vegas and the rest is history.
TP: You mention you're a high roller…
BS: Let me stop you there. I always find terms like “high roller” and “whale” a bit interesting. In the casino business and among the players at that level, those terms are never used. The casino usually uses the term “player” and that’s what we usually call ourselves. A player is somebody who plays pretty big according to normal standards. A “big player” or “solid player” is somebody that really balls.
TP: If you can, explain just a bit on how you acquired your wealth; perhaps introduce yourself to our readers.
BS: I’ve been an entrepreneur since I started a door-to-door flyer delivery business when I was 11 years old. The only actual job I’ve ever had, I got fired from. (I still blame my boss for that, but that’s a story for another day!) But that convinced me I wasn’t cut out for working for other people.
In college I started a web development company in my apartment and that’s the main thing I’ve been doing ever since. One thing about working for yourself is there’s a lot of ups and downs and I think that’s probably one reason that I’m comfortable gambling at higher stakes than most. It’s more of a lifestyle than just a hobby.
TP: Now we always love to hear about Las Vegas and the scene many of us never get to enjoy. What is it like to be a high roller?
BS: Probably the biggest advantage is there’s almost never any need to plan ahead because whatever you want is waiting for you. A few days before a big fight weekend I might decide that I want to come with a couple of buddies. So I email my host and let him know what time my flight lands so he can send a Rolls, tell him which villa I want this weekend, how many ringside tickets I’m going to need for the fight, probably a tee time or two to set up at the golf course, and some other incidentals like restaurant reservations and whatnot. Everything is set up within 24 hours and ready to go when I arrive.
TP: What amenities are simply commonplace when you have a high status with the hotels and casinos?
BS: There’s simple things like a Rolls Royce to take you wherever, whenever. You can always get a last-minute reservation at any restaurant, no matter how full they are. A full staff of butlers to cater to your every whim – unpack your clothes, press your shirts, draw a bath for you, set up breakfast in the dining room in your villa while you’re still sleeping, run to In-N-Out at midnight and bring you a double-double animal style because you have a craving. Things like that.
But I’d say what means the most to me is that everyone knows you as soon as you walk in. They greet you by name and remember your preferences down to the smallest detail. Last trip I ordered a hash for breakfast. They brought it with avocado on top because one time a while back I ordered it that way. I had totally forgotten, but they didn’t. It’s those kinds of details that make it an extra special experience.
TP: Are there any anecdotes that you might share that could illustrate the good life in Vegas?
BS: Well you know they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but there might be something I can share. One time I was playing baccarat with these guys and we were having a good time. We were winning a lot of hands and with every hand we won, the louder we all got. I’ve never been accused of being a quiet player, but these guys were pretty crazy. They had a big entourage who were hollering and jumping around and running around the entire room. One time one of the guys just rips off his shirt and starts swinging it over his head.
Between the table, we took them for about a million and when I was done playing, I stood up and turned around and there was a crowd three deep surrounding the entire table. I was so focused on playing I never even noticed how many people had gathered to watch. Then a couple of days later a video turned up on TMZ; somebody had filmed some of our play that night. I didn’t know either of the guys, but it turns out one was an NBA player and the other was a well-known boxer.
TP: Let's say we come into a large sum of money. How can we get the high-roller status treatment immediately upon entering Sin City?
BS: Well, how much money are we talking about here? Because Vegas has a way of making obscene amounts of money elsewhere feel mundane. If you’re talking $10k or $20k? You’ll get a decent suite and some food. But if you want the royal treatment, you’re talking $100k minimum on a slow weekend. On a busy holiday or fight weekend, the entrance fee is at least $250k up to $500k or more. Any less and you’re getting downgraded to something smaller and less exclusive. It’s crazy to think, but for Mayweather vs Pacquiao weekend last year, there were no less than 150 $1M and larger players in town.
So that’s the first lesson in the “high roller” life: no matter how much money you’re bringing, there’s always somebody with more. And at the top, the pyramid gets very steep. So as great as things can be and as much as they bend over backwards for you, nobody gets everything they want.
But cash is king in Vegas and to get the treatment, you have to show them the money. Always contact a host upfront and wire front money or set up a credit line before your trip, especially if you don’t have any history playing at those levels. But even that only goes so far. If you want to get treated like a player, you have to ball like one. You can’t just wire in a bunch of money and sit on it. They want to see you in action risking (and hopefully losing) that money. But if you do, Vegas is an equal opportunity town!
READ MORE: 3 Trends That Will Define Vegas in 2016
TP: How can the occasional visitor get some high roller love? Essentially, is it possible to be a baller on a budget?
BS: The one thing about Vegas is that money talks more than anywhere else I’ve been. But it doesn’t always take a lot of money. Many times a $20 or $100 in the right person’s hands can get more done than millions in the bank. So if you want to get some special treatment on a budget, never be afraid to grease some palms.
But if you want the royal treatment, you’re going to have to pony up. The size of your room/suite/villa and the quality of your event tickets, and how much attention you’re going to get from a host, is directly proportional to the size of your bankroll. But I do know some people who were $10k players for years and one day they decided to try some baccarat and by the end of the weekend they had won $1M. If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone!
TP: Now you are throwing an awesome raffle on Vegas Boards. Please give our readers a bit more information on the specifics on how they can see UFC 197 like a Vegas pro.
BS: I recently launched a forum for Vegas enthusiasts at VegasBoards.com and I’ve just been blown away by all the support I’ve received from the community. We already have 500 members in three weeks and more joining every day. So I decided to give one lucky couple the chance to roll with me in a true high roller Vegas experience on April 23 weekend. The grand prize includes three nights in a one-bedroom SKYLOFT, two floor seats to UFC 197, food and beverage, a massage and more.
It’s free to join the forum and that gets you a raffle ticket. You can find out all the details and join the forum at VegasBoards.com.
TP: Lastly, are there any other items you think our readers might love to hear about you or Vegas at large?
BS: Vegas is the town of dreams and I believe if you can dream it and you work hard enough, you can make anything happen.
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