Spa Games-How to Take Years Off Your Poker Face

01 17, 2012

Ran in 2 Magazine

Playing hand after hand of stressful high-stakes games can take a toll on your wallet and your body. Cortisol levels spike. Legs stiffen. Necks kink. Even back muscles knot up after just an hour of anteing up.

A little professional pampering is the perfect antidote to gambling fatigue. In Vegas, with as many opulent spas as all-you-can-stomach buffets, it's tempting to pick one at random. But there's no need to play spa roulette; match your treatment to your fave game and double down on the healing effects.

This lively dice game is one of a casino's finest spectator sports. Crowds gather round and hoot and holler with each roll of the bones.

BEST BET: Recharge your batteries after the hustle and bustle of craps with Canyon Ranch's Rasul ceremony for couples (from $185 for two). Get slathered in detoxifying muds and then relax on a tiled chair while sequestered in a private steam chamber. After breathing in the delightful herb-infused mist designed to revitalize your respiratory system, your lungs will be fresh to holler, "Snake eyes!" on the next come-out roll. Another soothing Ranch offering is double abhyanga (from $355 for 80 minutes) in which two therapists, working at the same time, balance your dosha by lightly stroking your subconscious to nirvana using fragrant oils.

To paraphrase Kenny Rogers, knowing when to fold 'em, knowing when to walk away and knowing when to run can put a lot of strain on your brow and accelerate the onset of crow's feet--even if you play loose as a goose.

BEST BET: Rehydrate tired poker faces with a tranquil facial. Consider the ultra-calming, hour-long black-pearl rejuvenation facial ($160) at The Spa at Trump. The crushed jewels of the sea blend with mineral-rich oyster-shell extracts to firm up and oxygenate your face, leaving it ready to bluff. Add a spa-tini hand treatment ($35) to inspire some good-looking hands. While this moisturizing paraffin wrap paired with a lubricating cocktail may not boost your chances of drawing a flush on the river, you can be assured that your glowing, healthy fingers will make neighboring players envious.

Whether you're hanging by the big screens, scoping out fleet-hoofed ponies or attempting to make a ball game a little more interesting, you're likely to make fast friends with strangers invested in like outcomes.

BEST BET: The Hammam at the spa at Mandarin Oriental is a co-ed space, which accommodates up to eight guests (from $100 per person). It's the perfect spirit-lifting enclave to decelerate racing hearts after a close match. Partake in the steamy communal experience that once delighted pampered sultans. Take turns being exfoliated on a heated marble slab in the center of the room while feeling free to jabber about how that ref's call in the second period totally killed your team's momentum.

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