Ecks Rated Tales



Been scouring Vegas for the last few months for my millions of fans that like an occasional adult beverage and found another hidden gem for you inside the Bellagio. It's called The Vault. And you need some savvy to get in.

How do you get in? The main way is to send a direct message on Instagram to @thevaultbellagio and request a reservation. “If a guest were dining at Le Cirque (or one of the fancy-schmancy restaurants), a reservation may be offered as an amenity,” says Craig Schoettler, an exec at MGM.

Signature cocktails start at around $55 which sounds a bit steep, but ask for the Liberty’s Torch and you will not be disappointed. The Liberty Torch is poured at your table after a server torches a bundle of rosemary and orange on a slice of oak. Then the smoky fragrance is trapped inside a glass with whiskey, saffron and orange sweet vermouth, fresh lemon, and, of course, the all important vanilla tincture. 

The bar’s collection of vintage and hard-to-find spirits is exquisite. They have Bacardi Rum from the 1960s and Remy Martin cognac from the 1930s. You'll enjoy a cozy setting with maybe 30 people, but as we mentioned at the top, better bring your BIG BOY wallet if you wanna eat too.

Food service opens with a strawberry-elderflower-ginger-beer amuse-bouche in a Bacarrat shot glass. NO IDEA what that is. Then you get to sample small bites of gnocchi eggplant with crème fraîche, olives stuffed with chorizo and goat cheese, and spiced peanuts. PASS on the peanuts! If you have an extra $275 bones in your pocket, you can ask for caviar and crème fraîche with lemon zest and deviled eggs, which is offered with potato chips. I asked the GM if you bring a bag of Lay's Potato Chips, could he do better on the price? Still waiting for an answer! 


At the Westgate Hotel, the SuperContest has been the standard for many years, but there are a few other very interesting kids on the block. First the Westgate. You pony up $1,000 bucks and make five weekly selections against the spread. Players can have as many as seven entries. Registration is open until Saturday, September 9. You MUST register in person here in Vegas, and then you can use a proxy to put in your picks the rest of the way. The SuperContest is awarding in-season cash prizes that range from $5,000 to $75,000. There's also a SuperContest Gold available, but you'll have dig up $5,000 to enter, for a chance at $400,000 big ones. Next week, we'll hit the contests at Circa, the Golden Nugget and the Station Casinos.


Some VERY smart people have told me to always follow the money when betting any football games. Well, we have some crazy follows for you. The first is the Stanford/Hawaii game. The Cardinal opened up as a -10.5 point favorite before any games were played, and the line has dropped all the way to -3.5. That's a SEVEN POINT SWING, and that makes the Rainbow Warriors worth a look. Why the sudden plunge? Three reasons. Hawaii already played a game and had no trouble covering against Vandy. Hawaii is home and has covered four in a row in Honolulu. And Stanford has only covered one of the last nine on the road. Other games with significant line movement include; Utah from -9.5 to -6.5 against Florida, Virginia Tech from -12.5 to -16 over Old Dominion and Wisky from -23.5 to -27.5 over Buffalo.


Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his [email protected].