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Vegas Superhost Interviewed on KNPR

By MikeE on Sunday, 10th October 2010 11:04pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 4


It seems Vegas related reruns on Travel Channel have all but dried up. And nowadays with rampant unemployment and home foreclosures galore, it's somewhat taboo to cover stories about people who risk entire college educations on one hand.

But KNPR just did. And I loved it.

Las Vegas superhost Steve Cyr, the man behind the book Whale Hunt in the Desert, just did a fascinating one-on-one with Luis Hernandez. The interview is loaded with gem after gem of anecdotes and idiocyncrasies on Vegas' top customers. From booting Bill Gates to meeting Floyd Mayweather, Watanabe's downfall to the fact that Montel M.F. Williams is an effing whale, it's an entertaining 45 minutes.

Major thanks to VT friend MiddleClassBuzz for the heads up.

Tagged: casino host   whales   


Comments & Discussion:


Does he drop an F-bomb? That might have been the shining moment of the not-regulated-by-the-FCC podcast he did with us a while back.

Steve Cyr is a relic of the 90s. 'Whale Hunt in the Desert' was originally published in 2004 as a look -back- on Steve's career as a host. The celebrities he name-drops are people like Michael Jordan, Larry Flynt, Montel Williams - none of whom have been relevant for at least a decade. He mentions that Kerry Packer used to bet $150k a hand but "not necessarily as much any more". Kerry Packer has been dead since 2005.

Most of the interview is him re-telling the same stories about other people that he has been telling for years, and he still seems to think that the stories are somehow actually about him.

Even his famous Bill Gates story has changed over the years. In 'Whale Hunt in the Desert' the story goes that, for some reason, Bill Gates is personally asking Steve Cyr how much a Sky Villa at the Hilton would cost, and Steve declines to rent it to him at any price. Why Bill Gates would personally be calling to book his own room for Comdex, and why a casino host would be the one to speak with him and make the final decision is beyond me. In the book there is no mention of Bill Gates ever staying in the suite, nor of him being personally "kicked out" by Steve after allegedly overstaying his welcome.

Steve hasn't even worked directly for a casino in Las Vegas since 2004. After a brief stint working for Tim & Tom at the Golden Nugget, he's been an "independent host" for the past few years, hustling to find players for the Barona in San Diego, Atlantis in the Bahamas, and Norwegian Cruise Lines' ship-board casinos. Honestly if he had managed to separate the real business of gambling from his own self-promotion, and his obsession with vicariously living through his players, he might have been able to keep up with the industry and become a powerful casino executive in Vegas by now with some stories that are actually about him. Instead he is in his late 40s and still hanging out in nightclubs hustling for new players that he hopes Hard Rock will toss him a commission for.

I tend to agree with Chris' thoughts here, I'll only add that I believe Steve was involved with the HR and their poker room when it opened, which lasted very shortly as well.

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