As We See It

In brief: Pai Wow, casting competitive cooking and the X-Train

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Are you ready to face off with Chef Gordon Ramsey?
Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/ErikKabik.com

Classroom to casino Writing papers, working on PowerPoint presentations … developing a new table game for a casino? That’s exactly what UNLV student Charlie Bao Wang did at the school’s Center for Gaming Innovation, creating “Pai Wow,” which hit the casino floor at Palace Station in July. Just two years after UNLV debuted the center and its gaming innovation course, students have filed 25 patent applications and founded three companies, with six gaming products in or on their way to the field. —Mark Adams

Competitive cooking Ever visited one of those fancy Las Vegas celeb chef restaurants and thought, I can do better than this? Tie on your apron and put your money where your mouth is. Fox’s MasterChef is casting for its seventh season right here in Vegas on August 22 starting at 10 a.m. at the Alexis Park Resort on Harmon Avenue. If you’re ready to face off with Gordon Ramsay—or prepared to let him yell at you and your favorite casserole—find an application and more info at masterchefcasting.com. —Brock Radke

Back on track Just when it seemed X Train (like the other would-be SoCal-to-Vegas locomotive, XpressWest) had been derailed for good, its recent and prolific Facebook updates hint at a back-on-track future. While further details won’t be released until September, X Train plans to initiate irregular, event-weekend service this New Year’s Eve with its refurbished period cars. Caveats abound: It’s for round-trip service for LA/Orange County riders only, with prices ranging from $99 for coach seats to $299 for first-class dome-car access, and since its average speed is 65 mph, it’ll take five hours. Which will still be quicker—and more relaxing—than the Sunday car crawl down I-15. —Mike Prevatt

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