The “most fun guy in Vegas,” and 30 year casino host veteran, Steve Cyr, stopped by TVT to talk gaming and promote his book Whale Hunt in the Desert: The Secrets of a Vegas Super Host.
Shapiro told a “back in the day” story that proved why Cyr is undeniably THE most popular casino host on the planet.
Back when Cyr was Shapiro’s host at The Hard Rock, Shapiro got invited to a party with the “hottest supermodels everywhere.” Cyr devised an ingenious plan to get the hotties to approach men like Shapiro. “You have a bikini pageant, you invite some high rollers, they’re a judge and they get to see some T&A. So, I say I’m giving out 10,000 chips. The girls have to come solicit them. Whoever got the most chips advanced to the next round for 10k and an FHM photo shoot. You don’t have to be the hottest girl, you just have to hustle and talk to every guy.”
Shapiro confirmed how successful this strategy was, when he shared that he still talks to some of the hot women he met at that event. Cyr was then asked the obvious question as top dog in the gaming industry- Do his high profile/celebrity clients ask if he can get them hookers? “All the time,” Cyr said. He also reiterated that being an escort is not illegal in Clark County. “I’ll just say I’ve introduced friends.”
Currently, Cyr has a pretty impressive roster, where 17 of his active seven figure players typically bet a million dollars in one weekend. “I get 16 percent of theoretical loss, so I hope you play longer, bet more, and you win.” This perk is only true to Nevada gaming, since other jurisdictions only pay hosts on the loss. Cyr kept it real and said: “I hope you win in Nevada, and lose in California.”
Shapiro guessed Cyr’s biggest win of his career to be around a quarter of a million dollars. Cyr reflected on the best weekend of his career, where one group went to the Super Bowl and lost 7.2 million. While their loss was Cyr’s gain, he often makes sure to soften the blow for his clients. “If I know I hurt em,’ for my big players, I’ll split my commissions, to give you an edge. I’m going to give you eight percent of your theoretical loss back.” A couple of Cyr’s high rolling clients include Larry Flynt and Montel Williams
When asked about strange requests from high rollers, Cyr said it was all about butter, bacon, and bathroom tissue. One player would request for his butter on his sourdough toast to be strained through a cheese cloth, and for a specific brand of toilet paper. A certain Baccarat player would play 25k per hand and request that ample bacon be kept on demand, as he played.
Cyr personally enjoys dice and sports betting. He brought up locals favorite spot, Ellis Island, where he can “get a real game.” Cyr reminisced on the perks of old Vegas and how the corporate machine has mucked with that experience. “At Caesers, when you play video poker, you have to earn your drink comp. When I sit down, you better bring me a beer. The corporations are killing us. I call them ‘Limp Dicks’ in my book.”
Vegas gaming talk then shifted to Downtown, where Cyr was asked about Circa, the new Casino/Resort developed by owner and visionary Derek Stevens. “I think it’s going to be better than what anyone thinks. It’s a new niche.” Cyr stated while he admires Mr. Stevens, his enthusiasm about the project comes from his players, who’ve reported a lot of positive buzz surrounding Circa.
Discussion on changes in Vegas wouldn’t be complete without Raiders talk. Shapiro asked if Cyr’s been approached by representatives from the Raiders. Cyr gave confirmation of four interviews, but didn’t give up the details. “I hope to be with that organization. That’s all I’m going to say.”
The conversation then turned to the dark side of gambling, with Cyr citing a story from his book about his client, “Fast Eddie.” “I had a deal with him for three years. As long as he risked a million a month, which was every other month, I’d take him anywhere in the world he wanted.” But the fast-paced life of Eddie came to a tragic end. “He wound up getting murdered over a sports bet in Costa Rica. They bludgeoned him to death.”
The scary reality that people really get whacked was further highlighted when Shapiro brought up the rumor surrounding the murder of Michael Jordan’s father – it’s been said the murder was somehow related to Jordan’s gambling debts. Shapiro added more to the theory, by claiming that inside sources told him MJ’s foray into baseball had actually been a forced move – a response to his suspension from basketball, after he was caught placing bets on his own games.
Cyr denied knowing anything about the Jordan rumors, but confirmed that he was Michael Jordan’s host for a couple of years, at the Hilton. “He’s a great guy, he’s not a stiff.” Cyr described Jordan as a skilled gambler who wanted an edge. When asked if he requested any perks, Cyr said: “He wanted to be private, so we offered one of our semi-private rooms. And really good food.” Shapiro asked about hookers and golf for Jordan. “No hookers, but there were six figures bet on the golf course.”
While most who gamble don’t wind up dead or chopped up in a corn field (like Spilotro in Casino), there can still be big punishments for big debts that don’t get paid. Cyr reports over his 33 years in the business, he has “half a dozen” clients in jail, and has testified in at least 40 cases. “The marker (in Nevada) gives us strength,” Cyr said.
TVT opened up the phone lines for fans to ask Cyr about gaming strategy, trivia, and superstitions (where Shapiro shared his strange penchant for “obese dealers.”) Cyr closed out the interview by sharing his wide array of talents, like boxing (he’s the oldest Nevada Amateur to ever win), making custom chocolate, appearing on BBC London, and throwing one hell of a party. He shared he may have a “bikini tug of war” at his next party, to which Shapiro graciously agreed to be a judge. What a trooper.
You can contact Steve Cyr on Twitter and Instagram @stevecyrvegas if you’re ready to have the best gaming experience you’ve ever had. And don’t forget to grab Whale Hunt in the Desert: The Secrets of a Vegas Super Host next time you log onto Amazon.