I went to TPIR Live in Vegas on two consecutive days in Nov. 2011 thanks to the All-Stage Pass. Now that it's on tour around the country, I've been to it again. My girlfriend wanted to go and her sister and brother-in-law were interested in a night out (parents of an infant) so we ended up with a foursome for the Saturday night show at Mistake Lake Casino here in Minnesota. The host was Pat Finn. Who, you ask? He's a game show host, but only game show nerds like me would actually remember him hosting a bastardized version of Joker's Wild more than two decades ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Finn Finn has never hosted the stage show, he admitted, before April 20. He clearly didn't have it down to a science, but he wasn't terrible. The show varied a bit from the Vegas presentation. IIRC, in Vegas they played six pricing games and had two spins of the big wheel. Perhaps this is wrong, but that's how I remember it. In Minnesota we had five pricing games and one spin of the wheel before the showcase. They gave away a bunch of casino free play credits during the show and used what appeared to be the same video montages they were using in Vegas. (Not a surprise.) Like Vegas, the show isn't overly player friendly, although they didn't seem to make it as difficult as I remembered it being in Vegas. The "one-bid" items were all low-priced prizes, the most expensive being the first, a slot machine. It was valued at $500. First dude to bid on it bid $5K. Last person to bid bid $1. Lowest bid was $750. The first two people in the fourth slot won by bidding $1. By then people who didn't know better soon learned that the prizes were cheap. I'm no musician, but I can't imagine a $225 electric guitar is a very good one. Pricing games: the first was Cliffhangers, played for a Mac computer. Not a laptop, an actual Mac desktop computer. They never said what the value was. Unlike Vegas, they didn't use a deceptively high-priced item. The contestant nailed the third item on the head, $60, and won the computer. I was surprised. Game 2 was Hole-in-One. Her prize: a refrigerator valued at about $1,300. (They gave a price on this.) They didn't have the six grocery items on display for her to look at, they showed them via video, on a screen they used quite a bit. The refrigerator was one of the few prizes, aside from the one-bid prizes, they actually had on stage. Again, not as difficult as I remember it being in Vegas, they had six items that weren't too difficult to line up in order. The woman nailed all six, didn't get any bonus for doing that, and then made a super short put to win the fridge. Game 3 was Punch-A-Bunch. Woman on stage won three punches. Prize range was $100 to $5,000. I was quite a ways back, so I couldn't read the prize breakdown easily, but it looked like there was one $5K prize, one $1K prize and the rest were $750 or less. Her first punch was $200. She passed. Her next prize was $100. She obviously passed. Her final punch was $200. Game 4 was Any Number. The prizes were a tandem bike and a 3-night trip to Vegas at Flamingo. The promo said your trip includes a visit to TPIR Live, but given that it's not playing in Vegas, I'm skeptical. Dude playing the game wasn't having a good run at it. He must have been convinced the trip was worth $3K or more. He was down to five numbers and had three open spots for the trip. He finally got lucky enough picking his high numbers and filled one of the last two numbers for Vegas. His remaining four numbers were 0,1,2,9, and his Vegas trip was $X,X78. He lucked out. He chose 2, which was the second number in the Vegas price. So, with one digit left in the price of each prize, including the first digit of the Vegas trip, his choices were 0,1,9. At least he was smart enough to figure out it wasn't a $9K Vegas trip. Had he chosen 1 instead of 2, it would have been interesting to see what he chose for his final pick of the game. I thought maybe the trip would include three nights in a fancier Flamingo suite to artificially inflate the value, but no, it has to be a simple suite for three nights if $1,278 includes airfare for two from MSP> Final game was Plinko. Woman who won her way on stage was 80. She won two chips and therefore had three with her freebie chip. Top prize on the board is $500. She hit $100 once and $0 twice. As noted, they did the wheel once, and I think the winner got $250. I think Pat said $1.00 was good for an extra $100 and a spin for up to $1K. Nobody got the dollar. Showcase: Unlike Vegas, where two people bid secretly on the same showcase, they called one person down. The woman had a chance to win four prizes in the "games people play" showcase. Her prizes were a 1,000-piece poker chip set, Playstation with extra controllers, 50-inch TV with two months of Gamefly membership and a Nissan car of some sort. For this touring version of the show the contestant plays 10 Chances for the prizes rather than make a bid. Not only did she have to nail three prizes to have a shot at the car, they made those three prizes tough to win. One caveat: if she failed five times at any of the first three prizes, she'd win it and move on. (This didn't apply to the car, Pat noted, which under most circumstances would be a non-issue.) They didn't have the stage prop for this game, they used a graphic of it on their video screen. First up, the big, fancy professional poker chip set. It's a three-digit price and she has three digits to chose from, 1,2,8. She tried $128 first. Wrong. Then $182. Wrong. Finally she hit it at $218. Next she plays for the Playstation package. It's a three-digit price, and there are four numbers to choose from, 2,3,4,5. I have no idea what a Playstation or its accessories cost, so I would have been lost. I forget the price, but she nailed it on the second try. Pretty good considering that it seemed as if they set her up to fail. Onto the 50-inch TV and Gamefly membership. Again, three-digit price, four numbers to work with, 6,7,8,9. I'm guessing that, unlike the show, they make sure the value of the prize doesn't end in zero, therefore making it as difficult as possible to get it right. She had five chances left in the game, and missed on all five. Pat had to be told by a producer that she had won the TV at the end of the game by virtue of her missing five times. I think the woman did well. I bet it takes more than five chances for most people to win the first two prizes and therefore there's no guarantee of winning the third. We'll never know how much they valued that Nissan at, and I'm sure the numbers to choose from were 1,2,7,8,9. The tour goes into June. The venues aren't all casinos, and one brief check of tickets in Columbus, Ohio, showed that the best seats were about $90. At Mistake Lake each show was $15 plus fees. I think my girlfriend got her four tickets for a per-ticket average of $20. Seating was general admission, and the theater at Mistake Lake seats about 2,100. We didn't get there a ton before our showtime, so we sat near the back. We could see the stage props pretty well, but it was much different than sitting with a few hundred people in Vegas. In Vegas they'd get a few hundred per afternoon, at least the two weekdays I went. They had two shows on Saturday and Sunday at Mistake Lake, and I can't say that they sold out all four, but they sold out Saturday night. My girlfriend's friend decided she wanted to go, too, and take her boyfriend. The Saturday night show was sold out, so she found a pair on Stub Hub and paid $60 per ticket in order to go. I felt like a sucker for paying $20 to see this show given I've seen the real thing in Hollywood several times. I don't know why Mistake Lake and TPIR couldn't draw a bigger name than Pat Finn. Family Feud Live will be at Grand Casino Mille Lacs next weekend, and they got Jerry Springer. What a weird world I live in.