2010 Casino Dining Guide
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Volume 12 | Issue 6 | November 2010
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PLUS TIPS ON BLACKJACK • CRAPS • Texas Hold ’em • Video Poker • Sports & MORE! C o v e r ing F l o r i d a | I n d i a n a | L a s V e g a s | L o u i s i a n a | Mi s s i s s ippi a n d t h e e nti r e S o u t h !
JANUARY 6 – 27, 2011 DATE Jan 6 Jan 7 Jan 7 Jan 8 Jan 8 Jan 9 Jan 9 Jan 10 Jan 10 Jan 11 Jan 11 Jan 12 Jan 12 Jan 13 Jan 13 Jan 14 Jan 14 Jan 15 Jan 15 Jan 15 Jan 16 Jan 16 Jan 17 Jan 17 Jan 18 Jan 18 Jan 19 Jan 19 Jan 20 Jan 20 Jan 21 Jan 21 Jan 21 Jan 22 Jan 22 Jan 23 Jan 24 Jan 24 Jan 25 Jan 26 Jan 27
EVENT# Thursday Friday Friday Saturday Saturday Sunday Sunday Monday Monday Tuesday Tuesday Wednesday Wednesday Thursday Thursday Friday Friday Saturday Saturday Saturday Sunday Sunday Monday Monday Tuesday Tuesday Wednesday Wednesday Thursday Thursday Friday Friday Fri. Night Saturday Saturday Sunday Monday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34
6PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 11AM 1PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM 12PM 4PM, 8PM Midnight 12PM 4PM & 8PM 12PM 1PM 4PM 2PM 2PM 4PM
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INSIDE This ISSUE
Chefs of Sin City: 10 Top The Wolf Leads the Pack Southern Gaming Casino Dining Guide 14 2010
16. . . . Indiana Dining Guide 18. . . . Tunica Dining Guide 20. . . . Mid-South Dining Guide 22. . . . Gulf Coast Dining Guide 24. . . . Other Markets Dining Guide
T o p C h e f s o f S i n C i t y: The Wolf Leads the Pack | 10
Great Whiskey Debate: 26 To (E) or Not To (E) Recipe Round-Up 34 Casino Cook-off Winners Revealed Chef Spotlight: 42 Culinary King of the South Gift GuidE: 46 Holiday Gadgets for Gamers Top Sporting Moments of 2010: 58 Historical Highlights
tips & columns
32 Golf: Cure for Slicers Video Poker: 40 Bonus Deuces Wild Blackjack: 44 Unwritten Rules Craps: 54 Hard Lessons of the Game Poker Players Alliance: 56 Fighting for Players Rights Casino Knowledge: 64 Secrets of Casino Gambling Poker: 68 Flop Play with Ace-King
Bourbon Barrels: The Great Whiskey Debate | 26
Recipe Round-Up: Casino Cookoff Recipes Revealed | 34
highlights & hot spots Executive Spotlight: 30 Kevin Kaufman
Belterra Casino Resort & Spa Property Profile: Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas
At l a n t i s Pa r a d i s e I s l a n d : Nassau, Bahamas | 62 Vol um e 12 I ssu e 5
FROM the EDITOR
One of my favorite things about being a part of the gambling industry is the opportunity to visit world-class casinos and racetracks throughout the country. They are made up of some great people — from top executives to the attendants at valet parking. No matter where you look, you will generally find service with a smile and outgoing efforts to ensure your visit is enjoyable. I am not one to really expect the unexpected from employees of businesses, whether it is a gas station, a local restaurant or general department store. It is always nice to have good service, but think about it — you go into a place of business happy and having a great day, and this underpaid and overworked person is supposed to wear a fake smile and do their song and dance ... for their entire shift! However, when I visit any casino or gaming property, I have grown to expect extraordinary customer service from the time I check in to the time I check out, because that is what I have become accustomed to. Why do gaming establishment employees take so much pride in their jobs? I think it comes down to the overall mutual respect for each other and team building that happens behind the scenes. The average person doesn’t realize it, but most gaming properties and their staff are extremely competitive and want to be better than their competition at every level. They like to brag when they win awards. They like to gloat they have the best promotions with the biggest jackpot winners. They like to beat their drum for all to hear because they know that due to their extra efforts, their team won. I like to highlight the emphasis on excelling in customer service at all levels at a gaming establishment, because this issue focuses on one of the most popular pastimes of any gambling venture — dining. Whether it is the casual deli or the high-end steakhouse, it is probable that you have dined at a casino. Over the years, the buffets have become bigger, and the restaurants have become more elegant — all in efforts of attracting more customers for more reasons than just gambling. Today, the casinos have some of the most extensive wine lists, freshest seafood and every caveat that a food and wine snob expects when critiquing a restaurant. This can certainly be seen at restaurants in Las Vegas, where star chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay (just to name a few) all have restaurants. In this issue, we highlight the Top Chefs of Sin City on page 10 as well as some of the talented casino chefs in the South on page 36. You will find that the culinary world at a casino is no longer something to be overlooked, but a mainstay. So, we hope you enjoy this issue and check out some of our recommendations on where to dine on your next gambling venture. With the holidays approaching, consider giving the gift of gaming with a subscription to Southern Gaming. We will send a personalized letter with their first issue, and they will receive thousands in coupons and special offers in The Comps Club Member Coupon Pak! Check out the ad on page 9 for more info. If you can’t be good … be lucky!
G. Douglas Dreisbach General Manager 4
So u thern G aming and De s t in a t io n s
Publisher Bisig Impact Group Chief Executive Officer Larry Bisig President & Creative Director Chip Dumstorf General Manager G. Douglas Dreisbach Marketing Coordinator Courtney Bisig Accounting Peggy Harris Copy Editor Sara Havens Contributing Authors Linda Boyd Lynn O’Rourke Hates Phil Hellmuth, Jr. Bernie Lubbers Tara Piscatelli Henry Tamburin Jeremy White Colby Wollitz Letters to the editor, address changes and other correspondence should be sent to: Southern Gaming and Destinations 640 South Fourth Street Louisville, KY 40202 (502) 583-0333 Fax (502) 583-6487 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The goal of this publication is to help drive awareness of the ever-growing popularity of the gaming industry and to assist the gamer in enjoying their gaming experience to the fullest. Southern Gaming and Destinations is published for those who seek the best in gaming and in life. ON THE COVER: Wolfgang Puck is one of the visionary chefs who helped shape the culinary world of Las Vegas. We highlight other top chefs of Sin City on page 10. Southern Gaming and Destinations is produced bimonthly by Bisig Impact Group of Louisville, Kentucky. Copyright 2004 by Bisig Impact Group. All Rights Reserved. This publication is printed by Publisher’s Printing Co., Inc. of Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Postage is paid in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky Opinions of columnists are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor does Southern Gaming and Destinations assume liability for claims of advertisers. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Southern Gaming and Destinations, 640 South Fourth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202.
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Best News Bytes from southerngaming.com: Wheel-R-Dealer device is a big hit with card players and dealers of all ages and professions Wheel-R-Dealer is the world’s first hand-held electronic playing card “dealer,” that card players don’t want to put down. Card players from all walks of life — including poker players, children’s flashcards and trading cards, blackjack players and bridge players alike — are enjoying using the “Wheel-R-Dealer.” At WSOP in Las Vegas this year, players and professional dealers tried and tested the Wheel-R-Dealer with surprising results and feedback. Dealers liked it because it was easy to control the “pitch” without pitching the cards — saving their wrists from fatigue, and the dealing was accurate. Because the Wheel-R-Dealer completely conceals the bottom card, it makes it impossible to “flash” the bottom card once the cards are inserted into the unit. At the toy show, kids broke out into games like Snap and War, flipping and flopping cards and generally having a great time. They used the Dealer with flash cards to make learning fun. Other groups used the Wheel-R-Dealer to hold and shoot their collectible cards like Pokémon and Chaotic. Of course, some of the adults wanted to see who could shoot the card the farthest, or the closest, or the fastest. At a senior’s facility, the device had bridge players laughing and
smiling as they quickly became Wheel-R-Dealer experts. Those with arthritis praised the ability of the Wheel-R-Dealer to allow them to deal cards more easily. With global patents pending, the Wheel-R-Dealer sells for only $19.99 and is affordable for everyone. “We can even put your company logo or casino logos on the Wheel-R-Dealers,” says Wheel-R-Dealer marketing manager Mark Wilson. To purchase a Wheel-R-Dealer or see a video demonstration, go to the website at www.Wheel-R-Dealer.com. Comp Club Members — Don’t miss the Buy-Two-Get-One-Free offer from Wheel-R-Dealer in your coupon booklet.!
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So u thern G aming and De s t in a t io n s
nGaming.com Best Beats … Here are some of the best upcoming concerts at the casinos in the South. Visit SouthernGaming.com and use our Concert Connection Calendar to find concerts near you. You can search by location or date, and even buy your tickets! N ov e m b e r 12
Blues Traveler Beau Rivage Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-566-7469 BeauRivage.com
12 STYX Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com 12
Trace Adkins IP Casino Resort Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-946-2847 IPBiloxi.com
12 Al Green Pearl River Resort (Philadelphia, MS) 1-866-44-PEARL PearlRiverResort.com 13
The Commodores Wind Creek Casino & Hotel (Atmore, AL) 1-800-826-9121 WindCreekCasino.com
Terry Fator Beau Rivage Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-566-7469 BeauRivage.com
Martin Short Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com
27 Larry the Cable Guy Paragon Casino Resort (Marksville, LA) 1-800-946-1946 ParagonCasinoResort.com
17 Spirit of Christmas Beau Rivage Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-566-7469 BeauRivage.com
Tommy Lee & DJ Aero Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com
The B-52s Beau Rivage Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-566-7469 BeauRivage.com
MMA Big Show Belterra Casino Resort & Spa (Vevay, IN) 1-888-BELTERRA BelterraCasino.com December
3 Patti LaBelle Beau Rivage Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-566-7469 BeauRivage.com 3
Johnny Winter Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com
Jersey Boys IP Casino Resort Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-946-2847 IPBiloxi.com
4 Dave Mason Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com 10 Sister Hazel Beau Rivage Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-566-7469 BeauRivage.com
20 Pawn Stars Gold & Silver Road Show IP Casino Resort Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-946-2847 IPBiloxi.com
10 Elvis Christmas Show Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com
Jamey Johnson Belterra Casino Resort & Spa (Vevay, IN) 1-888-BELTERRA BelterraCasino.com
Gabby Johnson Gold Strike Casino Resort 1-888-24-KSTAY GoldStrikeMississippi.com
26 Ingram Hill Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino (Tunica) 1-800-456-0711 SamsTownTunica.com
11 Elvis Christmas Show Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com
Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com
Kenny G Belterra Casino Resort & Spa (Vevay, IN) 1-888-BELTERRA BelterraCasino.com
Kenny Rogers Christmas Show IP Casino Resort Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-946-2847 IPBiloxi.com
Jay Leno Pearl River Resort (Philadelphia, MS) 1-866-44-PEARL PearlRiverResort.com
31 Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas Impersonator Show IP Casino Resort Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-946-2847 IPBiloxi.com January 7
Johnny Mathis Beau Rivage Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-566-7469 BeauRivage.com
The David Allen Coe Band Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com
Bob Sagat “Raw and Uncensored” IP Casino Resort Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-946-2847 IPBiloxi.com
14 Rodney Carrington Beau Rivage Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-566-7469 BeauRivage.com 14
.38 Special Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256 HardRockBiloxi.com
The O’Jays Pearl River Resort (Philadelphia, MS) 1-866-44-PEARL PearlRiverResort.com
15 Rodney Carrington Beau Rivage Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi) 1-888-566-7469 BeauRivage.com
Want More? Southern Gaming’s Got It! Don’t forget to visit SouthernGaming.com for the latest gaming news, hot giveaways, gossip, entertainment and great tips. Don’t miss out... stay connected at SouthernGaming.com
Want more? Southern Gaming’s Got It! Visit SouthernGaming.com for all your gaming needs. Vol um e 12 I ssu e 6
Facts and Fun Stuff “Did You Know?”, Answers: 1. D Harrah's Reno 2. A Corn 3. D Online 4. B Spain and the Netherlands 5. C Freddy Deeb RIddle of the Month Answer: Lettuce
Did you know?
Riddle of the Month:
1. Which casino will not be featuring Paula Dean’s Buffet? A. Harrah’s Casino Tunica B. Horseshoe Casino Southern Indiana C. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino D. Harrah’s Reno
I’m the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked or in any other form but fresh. What am I?
2. To be labeled as bourbon, at least 51 % of the grain used in making the whiskey must be what? A. corn B. bulgur C. flour D. rice
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3. Where do the majority of adults find the gifts they buy for friends and family? A. shopping mall B. specialty stores C. recycled gifts D. online
By the Numbers 100,000 Number of bacteria in one liter of drinking water
4. What two teams played in the 2010 World Cup final? A. Spain and Brazil B. Spain and The Netherlands C. Uruguay and Brazil D. Spain and Uruguay
38,387 Number of points scored by record-holder Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during his career
5. What sport used the term “home run” long before baseball? A. chess B. track and field C. cricket D. rag ball 6. Which poker player does not own a clothing line? A. Tiffany Michelle B. Kevin Watson C. Freddy Deeb D. Phil Hellmuth Jr.
Dollars the average person spent on holiday gifts in 2009
2 The minimum number of years bourbon must be aged
Answers below, left
The Sudoku Puzzle Up to the challenge?
Complete the grid so that each column, row and block of nine squares includes numbers 1 through 9 only once. Answers on page 54
So u thern G aming and De s t in a t io n s
1 G A ME CO U RTESY O F SU D O KU TO D AY. CO M
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Top Chefs of Sin City top 5 las vegas celebrity chefs By Tara P iscatelli
Wolfgang Puck, known to many as the “Chef to the Hollywood stars,” has been an accomplished chef since opening his first restaurant, Spago, in 1982. He was born in Austria, and at the young age of 14, he began his formal training and worked at some of the best restaurants in France. He moved to the United States at the age of 24, and after working in Indianapolis for a few years, he finally made it to Los Angeles in 1975. With his talent and motivation, he quickly gained the attention of the rich and famous as a chef and later part-owner of Ma Maison restaurant in West Hollywood. In 1982, Chef Puck finally opened his first restaurant, Spago, on the Sunset Strip. Spago was an instant success and showcased his innovative style of California cuisine. Chef Puck’s hand-crafted gourmet pizzas were also a big hit and took the world by storm. There have been many restaurants of Chef Puck’s to open since Spago, including Chinois, an Asian-fusion restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif., and Postrio, featuring Chef Puck’s contemporary American cuisine, in San Francisco. Finally in 1992, Chef Puck opened a second Spago in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
There is no doubt that Las Vegas has come a long way since the beginning of the casino boom in the 1950s. What was once the goto destination for gaming has now evolved into a sleepless city of entertainment, luxurious hotels and resorts, and endless amounts of shopping. The dining scene is no exception as there is an abundance of restaurants throughout Las Vegas sure to please even the most critical foodie. It is in today’s Las Vegas that you can enjoy the finest cuisine from some of the world’s greatest chefs in some of the best atmospheres and hotels the city has to offer. Celebrity chefs have also made their mark in Sin City. After the opening of Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Caesars Palace in the 1990s, the culinary world of Las Vegas has never been the same. Nowadays, with every new super hotel being built, there is sure to be a restaurant boasting its celebrity chef. Here are some of Las Vegas’ top celebrity chefs and their restaurants.
Southern G aming an d De s t in a t io n s
You will find that Spago stays true to Chef Puck’s California cuisine with classics such as his thin-crust pizzas adorned with fresh toppings including the Margherita Pizza with garden tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh basil, and a Roasted Portabella Mushroom Pizza with caramelized onions and parmesan cheese. He also offers a multitude of fresh salads, sandwiches and homemade pastas including Veal Ravioli with creamy tomato sauce, micro basil and Parmigiano reggiano and main courses like Pancetta Wrapped Meatloaf with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy and onion rings, and a FreeRange Chicken Breast served with asparagus, wild mushrooms and marsala sauce. With much success, Spago pioneered what would become the newest trend in Las Vegas. Since then, every luxury hotel in Las Vegas boasts to have at least one celebrity chef restaurant, turning Sin City into the ultimate dining destination. Since the ever-growing success of Spago at Caesars Palace, Chef Puck went on to open five more restaurants in Las Vegas, including another Chinois in Caesars Palace, a second Postrio at The Venetian, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill at MGM Grand, CUT at the Palazzo, and his first Italian restaurant, Trattoria del Lupo, in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
It is here at Trattoria del Lupo you will find authentic tastes of Northern and Southern Italy in a contemporary setting. Fresh pasta is made daily, as well as Chef Puck’s exhibition pizza, antipasto and dessert stations. For dinner, dine on dishes like the Gamberetti and Fagioli, sautéed shrimp with white beans, rosemary and garlic, the Lasagna Verde Bolognese “a la Nonna,” layered handmade spinach pasta with béchamel and Bolognese, or the Grilled Bisteca “Fiorentina,” a New York Strip with arugula and rosemary. Wolfgang Puck’s Las Vegas restaurants: Spago (Caesars Palace); Trattoria del Lupo (Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino); CUT (The Palazzo Las Vegas); and Postrio (Venetian)
Bobby Flay has had much experience in the celebrity chef scene. He boasts multiple cooking shows on the Food Network, including “Boy Meets Grill,” “Grill it with Bobby Flay” and “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” In addition, he has also served as judge on the “The Next Iron Chef” and “The Next Food Network Star.” He has made a name for himself not only for his television personality, but his award-winning restaurants and his distinctly bold flavors and signature style of American/Southwestern cuisine. Chef Bobby Flay was born in New York City, and at a young age he got a job in a restaurant making salads and doing various tasks in the kitchen. This is where he developed his love for cooking. He attended the French Culinary Institute in 1984, where he later won the award for Outstanding Graduate in 1993. After working in various restaurants in New York, Chef Flay was scouted out for his Southwestern-style cooking and was hired on as Executive Chef at Mesa Grill in 1991, in which later he became a partner. Mesa Grill highlighted Chef Flay’s bold and innovative flavors, which earned the establishment a Best Restaurant Award by New York Magazine in 1992. Chef Flay also won the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year Award in 1993. Since then, he has opened many restaurants around the world, including Bolo Bar and Restaurant in New York City, Bar Americain in Midtown Manhattan, Bobby Flay Steak in Atlantic City, and Bobby’s Burger Palace in New York. He opened another Mesa Grill in Las Vegas in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in 2004 with much success. Here you will find some of his most flavorful and innovative cuisine in a modern atmosphere using a bright color palette not only in the décor but the dishes themselves. He turns on his signature heat with his appetizers, including a Blue Corn Pancake with barbequed duck and habanera chile-star anise sauce, Tiger Shrimp and Roasted Garlic Corn Tamale with corn and cilantro sauce, and a Spanish Chorizo Quesadilla with fried egg, smoked tomato
salsa, grilled green onion and crispy artichokes. His dishes include PanSeared Halibut with New Mexico red chile-curry sauce, corn, cactus, lime and cotija, Fire Roasted Veal Chop with horseradish-maple glaze, wild rice tamale and sage butter, and Ancho Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon with spicy black bean sauce and roasted jalapeno crema. He offers flavorful side dishes like a Roasted Tomato Tamale with key lime butter, Mashed Potatoes with green chile queso sauce, and Crispy Squash Blossoms with hot and sweet yellow pepper sauce. Bobby Flay’s Las Vegas restaurant: Mesa Grill (Caesars Palace)
Chef Todd English is no stranger to the limelight. Some of his television credits include “Cooking in with Todd English,” “Great Chefs of the Northeast,” “Food Trip with Todd English,” as well as many appearances on shows such as “Martha Stewart Living,” “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show.” In 1991, he was named National Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation, and Bon Appetit’s Restaurateur of the Year in 2001. He has also been named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People. Chef English began his culinary career at the age of 20 when he attended the Culinary Institute and graduated with honors. He ultimately relocated to Italy where he apprenticed at the Dal Pescatore in Canto Sull O’lio and Paraccuchi in Locando D’Angelo. There, Chef English drew from his Italian heritage and developed his signature style of cooking. He came back to the United States and became Executive Chef at an award-winning Italian restaurant in Cambridge, Mass. After gaining much praise, he opened his first restaurant, Olives, in Charlestown, Mass., in 1989. Olives is known for its rustic Mediterranean cuisine with a strong Italian influence. It was named Best New Restaurant by Boston Magazine and is still named Boston’s No. 1 Favorite Restaurant by Zagat Magazine. Chef English later opened Figs, a high-end pizzeria in Boston showcasing thin-crust pizzas served on inverted sheet pans, as well as pastas and salads. He opened Bonfire, a steakhouse and Kingfish Hall, his first seafood restaurant in Fanuel Hall both in Boston. Chef English has also headed up and partnered with Eva Longoria to create a Latin-influenced steakhouse, Beso, which first opened in Los Angeles, followed by a second location at Crystals at the City Center in Las Vegas. At Beso, you can enjoy Latin inspirations like a Taquiera Tasting, which includes three mini-tacos of chili-rubbed skirt steak, tuna tartar and creamy lobster salad and an endless array of Steakhouse Cuts of Harris Ranch Natural Black Angus Beef. His flagship restaurant, Olives, has since become a national chain with a location at the Bellagio Hotel also in Las Vegas. It is here at Olives you will find yourself indulging in flatbreads fresh from the oven, pastas and entrees including Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass with broccoli rabe, herb red bliss potatoes, cucumbers, baby carrots, roasted tomato nage, lime and parsley, Jumbo Sea Scallops with sage pommes anna, chanterelle puree, sweet and sour glaze, shaved fennel, and arugula citrus insalata, and Kurobata Pork Medallions with whipped apple mousseline, confit fennel, roasted spaghetti squash, cider reduction and watercress salad. Todd English’s Las Vegas restaurants: Olives (The Bellagio); Crystals (City Center) Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
Born In Alsace, France, Chef Huber Keller is one of the most celebrated chefs in the world. His many accolades include one of the “10 Best New Chefs in America” by Food and Wine Magazine, and the James Beard Foundation/Perriet-Jouet award for America’s Best Chef in California in 1997. After training as a classic French chef and graduating from the Ecole Hotelier in Strasbourg, Chef Keller worked in various restaurants around the world, including France and Brazil, and received extensive training under the world’s most prestigious chefs. It wasn’t until 1982 that he made it to San Francisco to work at Sutter 500. Chef Keller is best known for his signature French restaurant, Fleur de Lys, in San Francisco in which he became Executive Chef and co-owner in 1986. Fleur de Lys has been ranked as one of the top 40 restaurants in the United States in 2004, 2005 and 2006 by Gayot restaurant guide. The restaurant was also awarded with one Michelin Star in 2006 and has been ranked one of the top 25 restaurants in the United States by Food and Wine Magazine. Chef Keller is not a stranger to the small screen. He has appeared in mumerous television programs including, "Secrets of a Chef" on PBS. He also competed on "Top Chef Masters" in 2009 on the Bravo network where he placed third. He has appeared three times as a judge on "Top Chef," also on Bravo. Chef Keller has since opened Sleek, a French-inspired steakhouse in St. Louis; Burger Bar at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in which he focuses on gourmet burgers that you can build yourself, featuring the $60 “Rossini Burger” made of Kobe beef, sautéed foie gras and shaved truffles; and shortly thereafter opened a second Fleur de Lys, also in the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. It is here at Fleur de Lys you will find some of the most sophisticated French cuisine in Las Vegas with starters such as the Truffled Onion Soup with a braised duck crepe, red wine shallot puree and black truffle and the Tsar Nicoulai Ostera Caviar prepared tableside with warm parsnip blinis, and dishes like Prime Filet Mignon topped with Sautéed Foie Gras with black truffles and red wine essence, Pan-Seared Duck Breast with duck confit, chestnut puree, cippolini onions and ginger gastrique, as well as Colorado Rack of Lamb with charred corn couscous, mango chutney and carrot curry sauce. Huber Keller’s Las Vegas restaurants: Fleur de Lys (Mandalay Bay Resort); Burger Bar (Mandalay Bay Resort)
Coining phrases like “Bam!” and “Kick it up a notch,” Chef Emeril Lagasse has been one of the most influential chefs on television today. He is known for his vibrant personality while demonstrating his mostly Cajun and Creole-influenced cuisine on the Food Network with shows including “Emeril Live” and “The Essence of Emeril.” He is currently hosting a new daily series, “Emeril Green,” on the Discovery Channel’s new network Planet Green. He’s appeared on “Great Chefs” numerous times as well as competed on “Iron Chef America” on the Food Network. Chef Lagasse was born in Fall River, Mass. His French-Canadian
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and Portuguese heritage led him to work at a Portuguese bakery at a young age where he developed his love of cooking. He went on to study at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., and continued training in France before returning to the United States to work at various restaurants throughout the country. It was in 1982 when Chef Lagasse became Executive Chef at the famed New Orleans restaurant Commander’s Palace, which led to his fame in the culinary world. He opened his first restaurant, Emeril’s, also in New Orleans, in 1990, and that year Emeril’s won the title of “Restaurant of the Year” by Esquire Magazine. Chef Lagasse is now the Executive Chef and owner of 13 restaurants around the world. He describes his cuisine as what he calls “New New Orleans” style of cooking, in which he uses the influences of Asian, Portuguese and Southwestern cuisines to interpret his own Creole style. You will see this fusion in many of his restaurants like Tchoup-Chop in Orlando, using Pan-Asian techniques, and Delmonico, a Southern-influenced steakhouse at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Here at Delmonico, you will indulge in dishes such as Ribeye Steak Oscar with jumbo lump crab meat, grilled asparagus and Béarnaise, Grilled Double Cut Kurobata Pork Chop with roasted butternut squash, natural jus and crispy sage, or the Seared Tuna Au Poivre, three peppercorn-crusted tuna with haricot vert and brandy reduction. You can also find his restaurant Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and dine on dishes featuring his “New New Orleans” style cooking using fresh seafood and produce. Try the Gumbo of the Day or the Fried Oysters with Old Fashioned Remoulade and Apple Smoked Bacon. For dinner, try the Sautéed Blue Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta with chopped Maine lobster, roma tomatoes, torn basil and Parmesan cheese with Creole tomato butter sauce, or Emeril’s Sweet Barbecued Scottish Salmon with andouille sausage and Brabant potatoes with spicy onion crust and Emeril’s homemade Worcestershire sauce. For dessert, indulge in the New Orleans Bread and Butter Bread Pudding with warm whiskey sauce, or the New York-Style Cheesecake with choice of Praline or strawberry topping. Emeril Lagasse’s Las Vegas restaurants: Delmonico (The Venetian); Emeril’s Fish House (MGM Grand); Table 10 (The Palazzo Las Vegas) Tara Piscatelli is a freelance food writer who specializes in restaurant reviews and chef profiles. She is also a food judge at local county fairs. With a lifelong passion for food and baking, she just recently started Rockstara Cupcakes, a fastgrowing cupcake business based out of San Diego, Calif.
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Southern G aming an d De s t in a t io n s
One of the best parts about going to a casino
date. The result of this popularity is major
is getting the opportunity to experience
investments in creating amazing offerings
superior dining. Whether you choose the
for us all to enjoy. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
posh fine-dining restaurant or the bountiful
at Belterra Casino, Resort & Spa in Vevay,
buffet with hundreds of different selections,
Indiana is a prime example of reaping the
you will probably be overwhelmed with an
benefits of culinary excellence. The casino
array of options on the menu and excellent
teamed up with well-known Cincinnati
service. Why? The casinos are continuously
restaurateur, Jeff Ruby, who owns several
looking for different ways to attract new
of the most popular high-end restaurants
customers and bring current customers
in the Cincinnati area, and opened the
back. One of the things most gamblers
steakhouse carrying the Ruby brand. The
have in common is the appreciation of
project was an immediate success and the
food. In Southern Gaming’s 2010 Casino
dining room always seems to be packed
Cookoff, an online recipe contest among
with happy customers enjoying the best
casino chefs, we learned that while most
steaks and the freshest seafood around
casino patrons (83%) preferred the casino
accompanied with impeccable service to
buffets, 46% still preferred fine dining!
back it up. It is the little things that seem
We aren’t talking about your local dive
to matter the most and when it comes to
restaurant here either. We are talking
Dining, the casino is an option that is hard
about an evening of elegant service with
an atmosphere designed to make you feel as far from the casino as possible once inside. In addition, unless your meal is comped, you will be spending at least $100 to enjoy a meal and some wine with your
So, thanks to the readers of Southern Gaming, we have compiled the results of the Best Restaurants in the South according to the 2010 Best of Southern Gaming Readers’ Choice Awards. Bon Appétit! Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
1. Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge, Indiana Live! Casino 2. Jeff Ruby’s Steak House, Belterra Casino Resort 3. Jack Binion’s Steakhouse, Horseshoe Casino Hotel, Southern Indiana 4. Cavanaugh’s (Steak House), Casino Aztar Evansville 5. Wellington’s Steakhouse, Grand Victoria Casino
Southern G aming an d De s t in a t io n s
Indiana Maker’s Mark® Bourbon House & Lounge
Jack Binion’s Steak House
When it comes to fine dining and fine bourbon, you can't go wrong with a restaurant boasting the name one of the world's most popular bourbons. Maker’s Mark® Bourbon House & Lounge offers the world-famous Maker’s Mark® Bourbon as well as a selection of more than 50 world-famous whiskies for the discerning palate and a wine list of more than 200 labels. Conveniently located near Indiana Live! Casino’s front entrance, the high-end steakhouse is the pinnacle of fine dining and serves succulent dry-aged beef and the freshest seafood selections cooked to perfection in a chic atmosphere. Signature Dishes: 12-ounce Filet; Halibut served with Couscous
The Binion name is a foothold in the long history of gambling. With it brings a trademark of delivering the ultimate experience for every customer. With its luxurious decor and elaborate dining areas, Jack Binion’s Steak House continues to set the standard for dining excellence. This award-winning steak house is famous for huge, mouth-watering steaks, Maine lobster just hours out of the ocean, and truly decadent desserts. All of it is exquisitely prepared by highly-skilled chefs that shows in the presentation of each meal. Signature Dishes: Pan Seared Maine Sea Scallops, Steak Tasting Plated Gambling Hall
Indiana Live! Casino 1-877-FUN-4-IND
Jeff Ruby’s Steak House Belterra Casino Resort & Spa 1-888-BELTERRA
When guests visit Belterra Casino Resort & Spa, they expect perfection because it has become the norm at this Southern Indiana premium resort. Jeff Ruby is known for his perfection of customer service and culinary expertise. Everything is bigger at Ruby’s and his steakhouse at Belterra Casino is no exception. Holding numerous first place awards for "Best Casino Restaurant" by Southern Gaming Magazine, the wide variety of steaks and seafood allow for the perfect combination of classic steakhouse offerings. Signature Dishes: Jew Ruby’s Jewel, Filet Mignon Stroganoff with Egg Noodles
Homestretch Steakhouse Hoosier Park Racing & Casino (800) 526-7223
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is booming with entertainment and dining options offering everything from quick meals to elegant dining. The Homestretch Steakhouse offers great steaks and seafood including King Crab, Wild Alaskan Slamon and Chilean Sea bass.
Horseshoe Casino Hotel Southern Indiana 1-866-676-SHOE (7463)
Cavanaugh’s (Steak House) Casino Aztar Evansville 1-800-342-5386
Cavanaugh’s is the perfect place for the perfect evening with impeccable steaks, seafood, and service. Enjoy the finest cuisine while seated at a table that has a beautiful Ohio River view. With live entertainment every night at The Piano Bar, guests are in for a treat that doesn’t end when the plate is scraped clean.
Wellington’s Steakhouse Grand Victoria Casino 1-800-472-6311
Located between Cincinnati and Louisville, Kentucky, Grand Victoria Casino is a hidden gem. But, don't let the extra few miles deter your desire for good food! Experience turn-of-the-century Victorian charm while enjoying the finest choice cuts of tender beef, tantalizing chops and fresh ocean seafood found in the Midwest. All steaks are aged for a minimum of 28 days in order to maximize flavor and tenderness. Wellington’s is proud to consistently offer only the freshest ingredients, and is dedicated to making your dining experience a memorable one. Signature Dishes: Potato Crusted Chilean Sea Bass, New York Strip
Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
1. '37 Fine Dining, Harrah's Casino 2. Chicago Steakhouse, Gold Strike Casino Resort 3. Jack Binion's Steakhouse, Horseshoe Casino & Hotel 4. Fairbanks Steakhouse, Hollywood Casino Tunica
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Tunica ’37 Fine Dining
Named for the year that Bill Harrah opened his first bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada, ’37’s sleek finishes, welcoming bar and overindulgent food and wine selection reflect the customer appreciation and service attitude that Bill Harrah instituted many years ago. Not your typical steak on a plate venue, patrons prepare to be astonished with fresh seafood and premium beef, pork, chicken and lamb prepared traditionally and, many times, fused meaningfully with ingredients to surprise the most discerning of palates.’37 is located on the first floor of the casino and will deliver the ultimate experience in fine dining Harrah's guests have grown to expect.
Welcome to the golden era of fine dining. Fairbanks Steakhouse is a critically acclaimed dining experience that offers unforgettable cuisine, fine wine and exemplary service. Voted “Best Steakhouse” in Tunica by Casino Player magazine, Fairbanks fulfills dining expectations for those who simply want the best. Signature Dishes: Demetrius Crab Legs, Steak Diane, Veal Porterhouse
Harrah’s Casino 1-800-946-4946
Chicago Steakhouse Gold Strike Casino Resort 1-888-24K-STAY
Experience the finest restaurant experience the Mid-South has to offer at the Wine Spectator Award Winning Chicago Steakhouse. Enjoy a traditional steak house with a contemporary twist, from prime steaks to jet-fresh seafood. The relaxed and refined setting is the perfect quick getaway from the casino as it is located just steps from the tables and slots. Signature Dishes: Molasses Glazed Double Cut Kurobuta Pork Chop, Deadliest Catch
Hollywood Casino Tunica 1-800-871-0711
Twain’s Fine Dining
Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall 1-800-456-0711 The old western flair of gambling comes to life at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall. The recipient of several first place awards in the 2010 Best of Southern Gaming Awards cooks up traditional steakhouse favorites with first class customer service. Twain’s offers a variety of seafood, chicken, and other great selections, including an extensive wine list. It is the best place to go when you want the thickest, most succulent steak selections. The VIP Dining Room is available for special occasions. Signature Dishes: Bourbon Braised Beef Cocktail, Seared Pepper-crusted Ahi Tuna
Jack Binion’s Steakhouse Horseshoe Casino & Hotel 1-800-303-7463
Nothing compliments an unparalleled night of gambling like an extraordinary meal, and that's what makes Jack Binion's Steakhouse the perfect accompaniment to Horseshoe Casino. Created by highly skilled chefs and served by professional and knowledgeable staff, each meal is an elegant, mouth-watering treasure featuring the finest steaks, thickest chops, or most succulent seafood. Located just off of the casino floor, make the elegance of perfection the highlight of your evening of gambling. Menu Highlights: 22 oz. Bone-in Ribeye; 16 oz Veal Chop with Herb Jus Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
1. Snake River Grille Steaks Seafood Bar, L’Auberge du lac Casino Resort 2. Miko (Steakhouse), Silver Star Hotel & Casino 3. Eclipse Grill, Golden Moon Hotel & Casino 4. William B's Steakhouse, Sam's Town Hotel & Casino, Shreveport
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Mid-South DJ's Steakhouse
Rich, seared and grilled flavors of succulent fare await your discovery at DJ's Steakhouse in DiamondJacks Casino. A classic steakhouse ambiance and open kitchen set the scene for a relaxed yet upscale dining experience. Menu items include several tempting appetizers such as escargot, follwed by your choice of succulent steaks & meats and an everchanging seafood selection. An extensive selection of wines and specialty cocktails are also available to top off the perfect meal! Signature Dishes: Marinated Chicken Breast Sierra with Black Bean Avocado Salsa
Guests can enjoy a full menu of fine steaks, fresh seafood and poultry while dining in a low-lit ambiance. The clean, quiet atmosphere is perfect for a romantic dinner for two. Guests can highlight their meal with a selection from the award-winning wine list.
DiamondJacks Casino 1-866-552-9629
Snake River Grille Steaks Seafood Bar L’Auberge du lac Casino Resort 866-580-7444
Snake River Grill has been a recipient of Wine Spectator’s prestigious “Award of Excellence” for its extensive wine list for nine years in a row, and that is only the beginning. Snake River Grill combines modern American fare with a subtle western influence. The best local and regional flavors help make for an enjoyable and rustic dining experience. Signature Dishes: Bacon Wrapped Wild Boar Tenderloin, American Kobe Striploin
MIKO (Steakhouse) Silver Star Hotel & Casino 1-866-447-3275
Known for its tender, mouth-watering steaks, guests never leave Miko hungry. Enjoy steaks seasoned to perfection, hand-cut, and served fresh. Expect the unexpected, as Mikos has a unique flavor all its own, like no steakhouse you have ever seen before. Mikos is proud to serve signature steak dishes alongside specialty cocktails sure to please all varieties of guests. With a sophisticated and tranquil atmosphere, they truly are a cut above the rest at Mikos.
Golden Moon Hotel & Casino 1-866-44PEARL
William B's Steakhouse
Sam's Town Hotel & Casino, Shreveport Willaim B's is the fine dining spot for seafood and steak-lovers alike. Impeccable service mixed with elegant ambiance make for a relaxing dining experience, hosted by awardwinning chef Jay Frink. William B's is sure to make any event memorable with its' superb menu items and extensive wine list. Signature Dishes: Prime Rib of Beef, Filet Mignon, Lobster Tails
Wind Creek Casino & Hotel 1-800-WIND360 World-Class Executive Chef, Stafford DeCambra has set the stage for his FIRE Restaurant. Housed in “Wind Creek Casino & Hotel”, the look is contemporary, with a glassed wine cellar designed to compliment the buildings character. The beautifully decorated dining room creates the perfect atmosphere for a true dining experience. Enjoy your evening in the main dining room with the comforting fireplace and view of the open kitchen, or dine at the private 25-seat Chef's Table. Emphasis is placed on succulent Fresh Seafood where fresh fish is featured daily as well as grain-fed Mid-western USDA Prime Beef. Experience and enjoy some of Alabama’s most talented Culinarians as they prepare exquisite continental cuisine. The table-side presentation of General Manager/ Maitre d' Gene Schnell's "Flaming Arrow Dessert" is worth the trip to the restaurant. Signature Dishes: Mixed Seafood Grill; Fire Signature Steak
Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
1. BR Prine, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 2. Thirty Two, IP Casino Resort & Spa 3. Jia, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 4. Vibe, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi)
Southern G aming an d De s t in a t io n s
Gulf-Coast BR Prime
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 1-888-767-5687
BR Prime’s menu features classic American steakhouse fare including wet-aged and dry-aged prime beef, Gulf shrimp, twopound South African lobster tails and stone crab. Transform your evening into a special occasion while viewing the floor to ceiling glass wine display and sleek restaurant bar. Signature Dishes: South African Lobster Tail, Bone-In Dry Aged Ribeye
Enjoy great steaks and seafood in a vibrant atmosphere! With a circular bar and intimate dining accommodations, Vibe also offers a wide variety of cigars, wines, and cordials. Signature Dishes: Oysters Rockefeller, Vibe Filet
IP Casino Resort & Spa 1-888-946-2847 Fine dining is taken to new heights at south Mississippi’s most sought after dinner reservation. Only USDA Prime cuts of beef and the freshest seafood and shellfish are served, along with the finest wine selections from all over the world. Enjoy the best view of the Gulf from the thirty-second floor as you enjoy a memorable meal. Signature Dishes: Veal Biloxi, Wagyu Flank Steak, Duo of Southern Style Pork
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 1-888-767-5687 Jia, a AAA Four-Diamond Award winning restaurant, dishes out authentic sushi/ sashimi, teppanyaki and pan-Asian cuisine created from the freshest quality ingredients. Jia encourages you to mix and match regional favorites to combine the best culinary traditions of Japan. The menu spotlights a variety of soups, salads, noodles and regional specialties from Thailand, Japan, China, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Signature Dishes: Citrus Mochii Seared Sea Scallops, Lemongrass Seared Panang Style Swordfish, Jia’s Traditional Trio
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi) 1-877-877-6256
IP Casino Resort & Spa 1-888-946-2847 Tien features a variety of traditional Asian styles, including Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine. The diverse team of Asian chefs promise to offer only the freshest ingredients from all over Asia. Sharing meals with family is encouraged, as this goes with Asian tradition. Weekly specials allow for an even more exciting dinner experience. Signature Dishes: General Tso’s Chicken, Imperial Shrimp
Carnaval de Brasil IP Casino Resort & Spa 1-888-946-2847
Enjoy South American Churrascaria and succulent Brazilian barbecue as the tropics remain alive at Carnaval de Brasil! Your dedicated IP gauchos will carve your selection right at your table for a unique dining experience! Also featuring an amazing salad bar and a la carte menu for those that would enjoy a lighter fare. Signature Dishes: Bacon Wrapped Filet
Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
1. Fresh Harvest, Seminole Coconut Creek 2. Empeek-Cheke (International), Miccosukee Resort & Gaming
Southern G aming an d De s t in a t io n s
Other Markets Fresh Harvest
Enjoy some of the most mouth-watering flavors in Florida at Fresh Harvest. Choose from hundreds of delectable creations in an allyou-can-eat extravaganza. Menu items include incredible seafood, succulent meats, delicious pastas, and seasonal soups and salads. Top any meal off with a variety of fresh-baked desserts. And, don't miss out on the incredible specialty items that are always sure to please. Signature Dishes: Bone-In Filet Mignon, Lobster Tail, Scallop Skewers
Restaurateur Steve Martorano brings his signature Philadelphia-inspired Italian flavor to Seminole Hollywood. Known for its' friendly atmosphere and classic movie showings, Martorano's has indoor and outdoor seating in its 7,400 square foot sitting space. All eyes are on Steve and his team as they prepare each dish in the expo kitchen visible to all guests. Italian specialties mixed with video and musical accents account for a unique dining experience. Signature Dishes: Eggplant Stack, Shrimp Scampi
Seminole Coconut Creek 1-866-222-7466
Empeek-Cheke (International) Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 1-877-242-6464
The Miccosukee Tribe spared no expense when they created the intimate, luxurious steakhouse known as Empeek-Cheke. Empeek-Cheke has a full menu of exotic, succulent delicacies native to the region. The fare includes venison, frog legs, buffalo and alligator. There are also plenty of traditional choices on the menu. Whether you choose to go unsystematic or traditional, the extensive wine list helps top any meal off!
Harrah’s New Orleans 1-800-HARRAHS
Seminole Hard Rock Casino Hollywood 954-584-4450
Tropical Gardens Buffet Calder Casino & Race Course 305-625-1311
The Tropical Gardens Buffet at Calder Casino hosts a plethora of tempting choices, including the specialty "comfort food" section sure to make any guest feel at home. The Pacific Rim display is anchored by authentic gasfired woks, with an Italian station featuring specialty brick-oven pizzas made right in front of you. The center island provides guest with the freshest salad greens, and delectable dessert choices. Seafood and Prime Rib are also offered, and discounts are available for Twin Spires Club Members.
In its dazzling contemporary setting, Besh is not your traditional steakhouse. With rich leather seats and curtained booths offered, any guest is sure to feel chic in this environment. The restaurant melds chef John Besh’s devotion to local Louisiana ingredients and techniques with traditional steakhouse menu items. Wine and spirits are an integral part of the Besh dining experience, impressive to high-rolling guests and food critics alike. Don't forget about the famous steak sauce-so delicious it will leave you begging for more! Signature Dishes: Besh Barbecued Shrimp, Pepper Seared Yellowfin Tuna, 30-day aged New York Strip
Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
bourbon vs. scotch To (E) or not to (E) By Bernie Lubbers , W hiskey P rofessor
History of Scotch
“I love to sing, and I love to drink scotch. Most people would rather hear me drink scotch.” —George Burns Both bourbon and scotch are rich in flavor, history and character. Scotch has been around for more than 700 years. In Scotland, barley has always been an abundant grain. Years ago, local farmers who didn’t want their excess grains to spoil in the field began harvesting the excess in order to make a beer, ale or stout from it to preserve the grain. Since beer tends to go bad quickly, they distilled this beer, and the result was what they called usquebaugh (pronounced ush-ka-bay-ha), meaning “water of life” in Gaelic. They shortened it to just usque, and perhaps it later got Anglo-sized and became “whisky.” Unlike the Irish who used an “e” in their spelling of their whiskey, the Scotch spell it without an “e.” More Irish settled in the United States than Scots, so bourbon whiskey is traditionally spelled with an “e.”
Be r n i e L u bbe r s AKA The "Whiskey Professor," boasts a plethora of Bourbon knowledge Have you ever wondered why bourbon whiskey is spelled with an “e” while Scotch whisky is not? Have you ever even noticed? Do you even care? Well, with the recent explosion in interest and demand for whisk[e]ys, it’s time you do. As the “Whiskey Professor” for Beam Global Spirits and Wine, I get to participate in a number of public tastings, seminars and debates — more specifically, an event we call “The Great Whisk[e]y Debate.” One of my favorite topics to discuss is the differentiation between bourbon whiskey and Scotch whisky. To [e] or not to [e]? That is most certainly the question! 26
Southern G aming an d De s t in a t io n s
All of the buzz today is around single malt scotches (whisky distilled at one single distillery with a “mash bill” or recipe from 100-percent barley). Despite the popularity of these scotches, it’s the blended scotches that remain the best-selling scotches in the world. Blends include Usher’s and Teacher’s Highland Cream. Their master blender takes whisky from up to 35 different single malt distilleries and blends them together to get their own distinctive flavor. They also blend in a neutral grain spirit that is odorless, colorless and tasteless. The flavors come from the blend of the single malt scotches and their interaction with the barrel from aging, not the grain spirit. There is just not much single malt whisky available, so they employ the use of neutral grain spirits to make them go further. Single malt scotch is the product of a single distillery and take on the flavors and characteristics of their surrounding areas. With Highland malts, you have the honey and heather of that region of Scotland. Speyside is a small region in the Highlands,
C o p p e r P o t S t i ll s at t h e L a p h r oa i g Di s t i llE r y i n I s l ay, Sc o t l a n d are used to distill their single malt scotch. but it has the largest concentration of distilleries in Scotland. Then you have the Lowland whiskies, which are known as the “Lowland Ladies” and are lighter in body. And then for something completely different, are the big-bodied, smoky, peaty Islay malts that are right on the sea. Peat is a heat source cut from the Earth that is made of moss and leaves compacted together over hundreds of years. Distillers use this peat to heat the malted barley to stop its germination. The peat gives those scotches that smoky, earthen flavor. Some scotches have none, others have a lot of peat flavor. That is why knowing the region of a particular scotch is important.
History of Bourbon
“How well I remember my first encounter with The Devil’s Brew. I happened to stumble across a case of bourbon — and went right on stumbling for several days thereafter.” —W.C. Fields When the Scottish and Irish moved to the new world, they knew they were going to farm the land, and thus have excess grains. They just didn’t know what grain(s) they were going to find here. They brought some barley with them in case we didn’t have that — and it was a good thing, since it’s not native to the United States. The grain that was prevalent in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland was rye. When they moved west to Virginia and Kentucky, they found and planted an abundance of corn. So the whiskies they made in the Northeast were made from a majority of rye, and in Kentucky, the majority grain was corn, which is sweeter than both barley and rye. Because they shipped the whiskey great distances down south, they used any type of barrels they could find. Pickle barrels and ones that previously held meats/fish were packed with salts and other pickling agents. They didn’t want all that to spoil their whiskey, so they scraped the inside of the barrels and introduced flames to the interior,
thus charring them. This caused the natural sugars in the wood to rush to that area to heal itself (similar to sap in trees when they are damaged). Over the six-to-nine-month journey it took in open rafts floating down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, the sun would beat down on those barrels, causing the whiskey to expand in to the wood, passing through those sugars, which added color and flavor. It also rounded out the rough edges of the harsh clear corn liquor. The cool nights would squeeze the whiskey back out into the barrels, adding more color and flavor from those sugars. Since the resulting color was amber, these sugars came to be known as the “red line,” and that’s where the magic of bourbon was born. Because the whiskey was made from corn, it was also sweeter than the rye and scotch whiskies. The interaction with those charred barrels made the whiskey smoother and imparted all that color — making it rich and flavorful. The public wanted to know how they should specifically ask for this great whiskey, so they looked no further than the barrel, which stated on the heads the port of origin: “Old Bourbon County Kentucky” (named after the French Royal Family), and what was in the barrels: “Whiskey.” Soon people referred to this tasty amber spirit as “Kentucky bourbon whiskey,” and the rest is history. When John Wayne walks into the saloon and orders a “red eye,” he’s ordering the “good stuff,” not the clear, harsh “shine” — and that good stuff was Kentucky bourbon whiskey. In 1964, the United States made it a law that bourbon must be produced from a grain bill of at least 51-percent corn and could be aged in brand new charred oak barrels. This resulted in a glut of used bourbon barrels on the market. The scotch makers took advantage of this, and today, more than 90 percent of scotch is aged in once-used bourbon barrels — so there’s a little bit of bourbon whiskey in every drop of scotch. And not only scotch owes its characteristics to bourbon. Let’s
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THE BOURBON PLEDGE I pledge to open my heart and my taste buds to the native spirit of the United States: Bourbon! I acknowledge the history and heritage of this unique spirit. I understand that all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. I pledge to always have bourbon whiskey available. For those who arrive as strangers yet leave as friends.
Bo u r bo n B a r r e l s , by law, must be made of white oak, brand new and charred for each and every use at the cooperage. face it, folks, if it wasn’t for bourbon, there’d be no NASCAR racing. In dry counties all across the South, good ole boys fixed up their Fords, Dodges and Chevys to transport moonshine and outrun the cops. These moonshine drivers would race each other to see whose car was the fastest and who were the better drivers — and boom — NASCAR was born. Junior Johnson won the second ever Daytona 500 after just serving a jail sentence for running moonshine.
And for those who arrive as friends and leave as family. This I pledge from this taste forward. So raise your favorite bourbon to salute our country’s native spirit … BOURBON … Cheers ya’ll! - Bernie Lubbers The Whiskey Professor for Beam Global Spirits and Wine.
The bourbon pioneer, Jacob Beam, would be proud to know that the recipe he distilled and sold back in 1795 is not only still around but thriving. Jim Beam is by far the No. 1-selling bourbon in the world! His descendents, Booker and Fred Noe, continued in that pioneering tradition and created the small batch bourbons 200 years later in the 1990s.
A great bourbon I suggest for first-timers is Basil Hayden’s, which is 8-years-old and very flavorful but delicate and light in body with a quick finish. For a more experienced pallet, Knob Creek is a 9-year-old, 100-proof Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey and is wonderfully balanced and full bodied, rich in vanilla and caramel, with a nice long finish.
To Each His Own
I encourage you to go out and get a bottle of each, and sip on some rich history. But what ever you do, drink smart! Common sense says, drink what you like, like what you drink, but know what you are drinking!
“Friendship is like whiskey — the older, the better.” —Anonymous As the Whiskey Professor, I enjoy scotch, but I love my bourbon. Because I was born, raised and still live in Kentucky, it’s a part of my culture. In 1964, the U.S. Congress passed legislation making bourbon the “Native spirit of the United States.” So not only is it delicious to drink bourbon, it’s your patriotic damn duty to drink bourbon. A wonderful scotch I recommend you taste is called Ardmore and is a peated Highland single malt that gives you all the heather and honey notes with a hint of peat. If you really want to dive in the deep end and try a big-bodied Islay malt, Laphroaig delivers the goods, for peat’s sake. 28
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Anytime I conduct a bourbon tasting with consumers, or am just out with friends, I make it a point to take the “Bourbon Pledge,” which I wrote a couple years ago, to remind us all that bourbon is the native spirit of the United States. Bernie Lubbers is The Whiskey Professor for Beam Global Spirits and Wine. Bernie spends time at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky where he learns the intricacies of the bourbon-making process – from milling, to cooking, mashing, distilling, barreling, even rolling barrels in the rack house. Much of it is first hand from Fred Noe himself, Beam’s 7th Generation family Distiller. Bernie was named Global Whiskey Ambassador of the Year, 2009 by Whisky Magazine at Whisky Live! London, England. His first book will be published in 2011 so keep reading Southern Gaming to find out when!
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belterra casino resort & spa celebrating 10 years of exceptional gaming By G . Douglas Dreisbach
concluded a month-long celebration highlighting their 10 years in business. Located in Vevay, Ind., just off Interstate 71 about halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati, you will find a gem of a property boasting a phenomenal Tom Fazio Golf Course, a luxurious spa and salon, outdoor resort-style pool with cabanas and poolside service, one of the best steakhouses in the area and … a Vegas-style casino, too! We caught up with Belterra’s general manager, Kevin Kaufman, who has been at the property for nine of the 10 years and has been involved in the casino business for his entire professional career. This guy is pure gold when it comes to running a casino, and it shows in every facet of the casino — from the buffet to the bellman. Southern Gaming: Can you share some of your background in the gaming industry? Kevin Kaufman: I started in the gaming industry in 1978 at the El Cortez Casino as a porter. On my 21st birthday, I was dealing craps at the El Cortez and have been in the gaming industry ever since. I have been with Belterra for nine years, going on 10. SG: Over the years, how has the casino industry changed?
Kevin K aufman Vice-President and General Manager When casino gambling was made legal in Indiana along the Ohio River, it didn’t take long for gaming meccas to start popping up from Evansville to Lawrenceburg. Each seemed to out-do the previous, and the sky was the limit. Today, there are five casino beating their drums about everything from buffets to bellmen, and competition is alive and well in the River Region. One casino that seems to be beating its drum loudest is Belterra Casino Resort & Spa, a premium property that recently 30
Southern G aming an d De s t in a t io n s
KK: One thing that has definitely changed is the amount spent per customer visit. Since the economy has gone down, the individual who used to spend $100 to go out for gaming and a bite to eat is now only spending $70. The individual who is coming to the casinos right now is a little more selective, a little more picky. They still want to have a great entertainment environment and a great value, but they are only willing to spend about 70 percent of what they used to. SG: How many of the current employees at Belterra have been there since the beginning? KK: Currently we have just under 1,000 full-time employees. If you include part-time, too, we have about 1,100 employees, and 206 of those have been with us since day one.
day except Sundays. We also had some excellent headliner entertainment acts that were all sold out. We had Bill Engvall, Clint Black and Cheap Trick. With the array of acts, we felt that it would cover all bases, so we spread it out among comedy, country and rock ’n’ roll.
Be lt e r r a cASINO RESORT & SPA is celebrating 10 years as a premium property in Indiana. SG: What makes Belterra different from other properties? KK: What makes it different from other casino properties would be that for a lot of our competitors in this market, it’s all about slot machines, craps tables, blackjack tables and mainly just gaming. But at Belterra, we are a true resort. We have the gaming just like other properties do, but we have our top championship Tom Fazio golf course. We’ve got a great showroom with acts like Jay Leno, Willie Nelson and Clint Black to name a few. We also have Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, which is a household name in the region for fine dining. We have a nice boutique spa and fancy retail shopping. So it isn’t just a place to “come get your gamble on.” We believe that we provide the true resort experience. SG: What are some of the things that you and your team are proud of? KK: I think that one thing we are really proud of is our guest service. I think that makes Belterra stand head and shoulders above the crowd. We are never satisfied with where we are, and we are always trying to reach a higher number. But through feedback, we continue to hear great things. In our last focus group or guest feedback group, we had a group of about 60 customers, some being our best players. The feedback was incredible. They thought Belterra had a kind of country club atmosphere, a very safe and clean environment, but also said that the guest service is the main reason they come back again and again. That is a compliment to the whole team. SG: Congratulations on your 10-year anniversary in October. What are some of the things you did to highlight the big moment and what were some of the fan favorites? KK: We decided to do a month-long celebration, so that if some of our guests were busy or couldn’t make it on a certain weekend, they had all month to come in. We started off with a milliondollar promotion. We drew over 600 people in to play their favorite slot machines for a chance to win. They had a shot to pull a slot machine and win up to a million dollars, and there were cash awards in between they could also win. That happened every
For our four- and five-star members, we had a big countrywestern barbecue, and when the event was over, we had a big gala for all of our employees where we had all of our senior management in the showroom for a big dance contest and other games and giveaway items. We really wanted to recognize all of the team members who have been here since day one — 206 of them! We also wanted to make sure all team members were invited to this to have a grand ol’ time.
SG: From a management perspective, what do you think contributes most to team building? KK: I think first it starts with treating your team members the same way you would treat a guest. It starts with respect and professionalism — making sure they understand that they are a big part of the team that makes Belterra a success. We do a lot of events geared toward our team members. If you don’t have team members that really care about the property, you just aren’t going to get great guest service. For instance, in the summer, we have what we call the Belterra Goodwill Games. It is held in a local park, and we invite all of our team members to make it a big family event. We make it almost like a fair-type atmosphere with horseback riding, a big cook-off with free food and homemade ice cream. It really serves as a day to celebrate with your fellow team members and have a good time. SG: It seems like over the last 10 years, Belterra continues to raise the bar to the next level with additions like the Tom Fazio golf course, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse and different amenities such as the pool. You continue to win awards not only with Southern Gaming readers but in other magazines and outlets as well. Where do you go from here? KK: We are currently developing a master plan to keep Belterra first in class. We want to make sure that although we are known for having fantastic rooms, we want to always have the latest technology in the rooms, and that they are sparkling clean. There is a lot I could share with you, but we want to keep it a surprise for our guests. We are always investing in new products. We are always going to invest to make sure Belterra is first in class.
For reservations, call 1-888-BELTERRA or visit BelterraCasino.com Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
If you are like most golfers, you probably have a problem slicing and have tried a number of ways to fix it, only to further complicate your game. Use the following checklist and practice drills to cure your slice once and for all:
Colby Wolitz is a PGA-certified teaching pro at The Players Club of Henderson in Kentucky.
Golf: Cures for Slicers
Grip: Make sure the “V” created by the thumb and index finger of both hands is pointed toward your right shoulder (left shoulder for lefthanded golfers). This is called a neutral grip and allows the clubface to naturally be “square” at impact if the club is properly released. Be careful not to rotate your hands too far to the right as it will result in a grip that is considered strong. A strong grip will cause you to “hold on” or delay the release of the club. Set-up: A common mistake for golfers who slice is to set-up aiming further left. This will only promote a more “over the top” swing path and, ultimately, a bigger slice. Instead, make sure your shoulders, hips and feet are square, or slightly closed, to your target line. Once you are set up square and have a neutral grip, try to swing parallel to your body lines and allow the club to release naturally toward your target. Path: Try to hit the golf ball between 4 and 5 o’clock (shown below). This will promote an inside-to-out swing. Once you establish a good swing path, you will be able to release the club through impact, which will result in more distance.
DRILLS: Now that we have established the proper grip, set-up and swing path, let’s spend a little time on a few drills to cure your slice. Feel the Club Head: A lot of people who slice the ball have what I like to call the “death grip” preventing them from releasing the club properly. To get a feel for releasing the club naturally, let’s first turn the club upside down, gripping it on the bottom of the shaft near the
club head and take five continuous swings. Now, turn the club back around and make the same five swings. During the second series of swings, you will be able to feel the club head more and how to release it naturally with forearm rotation. Remember that a tight grip leads to tight muscles, and tight forearm muscles will prevent you from releasing the club naturally. Stay Connected: There are three connections in the golf swig — feet to ground, hands to club, and left arm to left chest. We are going to focus on the third connection for this drill. First, with your driver in hand, place a towel across you chest and under both arms. We are only going to try and hit the ball a maximum of 100 yards. Next, pick a target. Once you have picked a target about 100 yards away, set up “closed,” or to the right of the target for right-handed golfers, and make a waist-high backswing. You should notice that if you simply turn around your spine and stay connected, the clubface will be toe-up, or square, at the half-way point of your backswing. From this position, rotate through the ball with a swing path parallel to your feet and try to release the club and draw the ball back to your target. You should feel like you are swinging right of your target, and if the club is released properly, you will be able to draw the ball back to the target. With this drill, remember to rotate around your spine angle and release the club by keeping your elbows pointed down toward the ground. Practice with Your Feet Together: This is a great drill to help you release the club and improve your balance. With a 7 iron, tee the ball up slightly and take your stance with your feet only about a club-head-length apart. Now, with about a 70 percent swing, focus on rotating around your spine and allowing the club to release naturally. Once you feel comfortable, slowly widen your stance. You should immediately feel that your balance has improved and that you are able to release the club much easier. Remember, golf is a game of opposites, so in order to cure a slice, we must try to swing the club from the inside and allow the club to release naturally. By gripping the club lightly, you will have a better feel for the club head, and your forearms will be relaxed enough to rotate through the shot. Staying connected with the left arm across your chest and maintaining your spine angle will help you swing from the inside, and focusing on keeping your elbows pointed down during your release will help you release the club and even draw the ball back to your target. Good luck both on the course and at the casino!
For more free golf tips, visit southerngaming.com/golf
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Winning Recipes 2010 Casino Cookoff
We are excited to have recently completed the 2010 Casino Cookoff, an online recipe competition among the top casino chefs throughout the Southeastern region. There were a lot of phenomenal recipes submitted, but after 3,000 voters declared their favorites, the top honors were revealed. We would like to congratulate everyone who submitted recipes, as they were all excellent! We would also like to recognize the top five recipes in this article and highlight winning chef, Jamie “Jay” Frink from Sam’s Town Casino in Shreveport, La., in a Chef Spotlight on page 42. Jay’s recipe for Filet Mignon and Stuffed Lobster Duet was incredible! It will make you want to run home to prepare it right away. To view the full list of recipes entered in the contest, please visit www.southerngaming.com/2010casinocookoff
William B’s Steak House at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino (Shreveport, La.) Chef Jamie “Jay” Frink 1-877-429-0711 SamsTownShreveport.com Filet Mignon and Stuffed Lobster Duet — Prime tenderloin of beef grilled to your liking with Shiner Bock Sauce, topped with grilled portabella mushroom accompanied with Pommes William (pear-shaped crusted potato) and Pancetta Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Bouquet in a Grilled Yellow Squash medallion INGREDIENTS for the Lobster: 1 8-10 oz. Australian lobster 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers (about 15 crackers) ½ pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons clarified butter ½ tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves ½ teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves ¼ teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste Paprika PREPARATION for the Lobster: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Southern G aming an d De s t in a t io n s
Split lobster tail in half. Pull meat gently from shell and put back in. Drizzle with butter, salt and pepper, lemon juice, and cook for 10 minutes until meat is opaque. While lobster is cooking: Prepare stuffing with remaining ingredients. In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed crackers, crabmeat, 1/3 cup of the butter, parsley, tarragon, thyme, lemon zest and juice and toss to combine. Adjust seasonings with salt and white pepper.
PREPARATION for the Shiner Bock Sauce: Sauté shallots in bu t ter until transparent, then add remaining in g r e die n t s a n d reduce by half. Place over filet prior to serving.
When the lobster is cool enough to handle, place it on a cutting board, back side down flat on its back. Remove meat, slice into ¼ inch medallions. Fill cavities with stuffing. Shingle lobster medallions on top of stuffing. Coat with mornay sauce, bread crumbs and paprika. Bake the lobsters until the filling is golden brown on top and the lobsters are heated through and thoroughly cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes. (The temperature on an instantread thermometer inserted into the lobster meat should register 145 degrees.) INGREDIENTS for the Filet Mignon Steaks: 2 (7 to 8 ounces) 3-inch thick filet mignon steaks coated lightly with olive oil PREPARATION for the Filet Mignon Steaks: Using the pan-searing or sear-roasting techniques (see below techniques), proceed to cook your steak to your desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer test for doneness: Rare - 120 degrees; Medium Rare - 125 degrees; Medium - 130 degrees. INGREDIENTS for the Shiner Bock Sauce: 1 Shiner Bock Beer or any Bock beer will do 2 shallots, ¼ dice 1 cup beef stock ¼ cup fresh lime juice ¼ cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons butter
INGREDIENTS for Pommes William: 8 oz. Yukon Gold Potatoes (peeled) 2 oz. heavy cream ½ pinch nutmeg 4 eggs beaten ½ cup flour 2 cups Panko Breading Salt and pepper to taste 2 ea. whole cloves PREPARATION for Pommes William: Boil potatoes until tender. Drain. Mash with heavy cream, seasonings, one whole egg and nutmeg. Form potatoes into two pear shapes. Place flour, bread crumbs and beaten eggs in separate pans or bowls. Dredge potatoes in flour, egg wash, then bread crumbs. Deep fry till golden brown. Stand upright and place whole clove in top to resemble a pear. Place in oven for 15 minutes. INGREDIENTS for the Asparagus: 10 ea. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed 1 ea. yellow squash Salt and pepper to taste 2 oz. Pancetta Bacon or thin-sliced bacon Olive oil PREPARATION for the Asparagus: Bring two cups of water to rolling boil. Place asparagus in boiling water for three minutes. Remove and cool in ice water. Cook thin-sliced bacon half way till golden brown in oven. Drain asparagus after cooling. Cut two each yellow squash medallions ¼ inch thick on the bias. Wrap five each with the bacon. Cut ¾ inch hole in middle and place spears in middle. These will stand up nicely. Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Heat in oven for five minutes.
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DJ’s Steakhouse at DiamondJacks Casino & Resort (Bossier City, La.) Chef Gunter Kilian (33 years of experience) 1-866-5JAXMAX • DiamondJacks.com Marinated Chicken Breast Sierra with Black Bean Avocado Salsa INGREDIENTS for Chicken Breast: 1 case skin-on Airline 8 to 10 oz. chicken breasts 2 oz. garlic, chopped 1 oz. seasoning salt 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup olive oil 2 oz. chipotle base PREPERATION for Chicken Breast: Add all ingredients and mix chicken breasts well. Let marinate for at least six hours or overnight. INGREDIENTS for Black Bean Avocado Salsa: 2 oz. rice vinegar 2 oz. olive oil 1 tsp. ground cumin 1/4 tsp. salt Dash ground black pepper 1 cup, black beans cooked al dente 2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and chopped 1 ea. fresh papaya, diced small 1 ea. diced red pepper ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro PREPARATION for Black Bean Avocado Salsa: Whisk rice vinegar, the olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in avocado, papaya, sweet red pepper and chopped cilantro. Grill the chicken breast until done, but still juicy. (Internal Temp.: 165 degrees) Serve in center of plate and surround with the Black Bean Avocado Salsa. Garnish with a cilantro sprig. 36
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Fresh Harvest at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (Coconut Creek, Fla.) Chef Abel Vergara (23 years of culinary experience) 1-866-222-7466 • SeminoleCoconutCreekCasino Red Bull & Cola BBQ RIBS INGEDIENTS: 2 12-oz. cans of Red Bull 2 12-oz. cans of Coca-Cola 16 oz. ketchup 1 oz. Tabasco 2 tsp. cinnamon 4 tsp. paprika 2 tsp. curry powder 2 tsp. all-spice ground 1 cup white vinegar PREPERATION: For BBQ sauce, place the Red Bull and the Coca-Cola together in a saucepan. On high heat, reduce the mixture to a syrup consistency. Reduce the heat and add the rest of the ingredients, stir and simmer for five minutes. Cool to room temperature. For your ribs, you can use St. Louis Ribs or Baby Back. Rub two slabs of ribs with your favorite choice of spices — I recommend salt, pepper, paprika, brown sugar. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and place your ribs in a baking dish with ½ cup beef broth cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2½ hours. Once your ribs are fork-tender, baste the ribs with the Red Bull BBQ sauce and broil them for an extra eight minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy. If time is not a factor, I strongly recommend indirect grilling on your home BBQ and using hickory chips for that smoky flavor.
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Wellington’s Steakhouse at Grand Victoria Casino & Resort (Rising Sun, Ind.) Chef Jack A. Rolf 1-800-GRAND-11 • GrandVictoria.com
Basil Chicken and Gnocchi INGREDIENTS: 4 ea. chicken breast (6 to 8 oz.) 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup chiffonade of fresh basil
Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge at Indiana Live! Casino (Shelbyville, Ind.) Chef Andrew Miller (15 years of experience) 1-877-FUN-4-IND • IndianaLiveCasino.com
Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Cilantro Lime Cream and Vanilla Vegetable Slaw INGREDIENTS for Crab Cake: 4 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat 4 eggs 1 tablespoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning 1 teaspoon Cajun spice 1 teaspoon ground coriander 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped 2 cups bread crumbs 1 cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt 1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper INGREDIENTS for Seasoned Flour: 2 cups flour 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt 1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander 1/8 teaspoon Cajun spice
6 ea. roma tomatoes (cut into wedges with seeds removed) 1½ cups diced white onion 2 tbsp. fresh chopped garlic 1 cup white wine 3 cups chicken stock 3 lbs. cooked gnocchi 8 oz. grated parmesan cheese PREPARATION: Grill chicken until cooked through and cut into strips, hold to be added later. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sweat diced onion to a light brown, then add garlic and cook until soft. Deglaze with white wine and add roma tomatoes. Reduce liquid by half. Add chicken stock, grilled chicken strips and gnocchi to pan and simmer in stock until heated through. Turn off heat and fold in fresh basil chiffonade. Portion onto plates and garnish with grated parmesan cheese. INGREDIENTS for Cilantro Lime Cream: 3/4 cup sour cream 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice Additional chopped fresh cilantro INGREDIENTS for Vanilla Dressing: 3 tablespoons sugar Seeds from ½ vanilla bean ½ cup rice vinegar ½ cup sour cream Sea salt and white pepper INGREDIENTS for Vanilla Vegetable Slaw: 2 carrots, peeled 2 parsnips, peeled 2 each green and red bell peppers, cored and seeded 1 small sweet onion 1 jalapeño pepper, cored (and seeded if less at is desired) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro PREPARARTION: In a large mixing bowl, combine all crab cake ingredients except the crab. Mix thoroughly. When all ingredients are mixed, gently fold in crab. Form five-ounce patties out of the crab mixture (makes about 16 patties) and chill until cold before cooking. Flour the crab cakes. In a skillet, heat four tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Sauté the crab cakes for four minutes on each side or until golden brown. For the Cilantro Lime Cream sauce, place the following in a blender: sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Blend until sauce is creamy. For the slaw and dressing, attach a grating blade to the food processor. Julienne cut each vegetable and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix all dressing ingredients and add vegetables. Add cilantro and combine gently. Let rest for at least 30 minutes.
RDS A W A ” OF T S E B “ F7 O Y R T E R N E N I P W O E 1ST PLAC ALL PR
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“ These awards come from the votes of our loyal players. We thank you, and our employees, for continuing to recognize us as Simply the Best! ” -Richard Kline / General Manager
“ Indiana Live! is a clear winner of seven ‘Best Of’ awards, receiving more votes than any other casino. ” -Southern Gaming Magazine
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I-74E, EXIT 109 AT INDIANA DOWNS 4300 N. Michigan Road | Shelbyville, Indiana 46176 | 1-877-FUN-4-IND | INDIANALIVECASINO.COM 2010 Southern Gaming Readers’ Choice Awards. Must be 21 or older. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-9-WITH-IT.
Linda Boyd, a long-time table game player before turning to video poker, writes for Southern Gaming, Midwest Gaming and Travel and Arizona Player. Her book, “The Video Poker Edge,” includes free removable pay schedules and her free strategy cards for the most popular games. The second edition with a 2010 publishing date is available at Amazon, Square One Publishers and local bookstores.
Bonus Deuces Wild By L inda B oyd
If you ask players what their favorite video poker game is, they may tell you Deuces Wild. But that doesn’t help — there are so many different Deuces games and variations. If you’re referring to Deuces Wild games, you must be specific and carefully check everything on the pay schedule. Bonus Deuces Wild (BDW): Here’s a game that’s been around for a long time, and its popularity is increasing. For the same reasons as Double Double Bonus (DDB) is a big crowd-pleaser, it’s a high level of excitement. There are more specialty hands that offer big jackpots. The problem is, just like DDB, it’s risky, and failure to achieve these rare hands will result in serious damage to your bankroll. Table 1.1: Pay Schedules for Bonus Deuces Wild (BDW
Tips for BDW: Smart players understand that strategy for all video poker games is based solely on the payout for a winning hand in conjunction with the return for the hand. In other words: the amount of coins returned for the winner compared with the odds of achieving the hand. Since there are 2,598,960 possible dealt hands for all games using a deck of 52 cards, you must rely on practice with tutorial software and strategy cards for a specific game to be sure of computer correct holds. 1) Make sure you carefully check the pay schedule on the machine and match it with Table 1.1, even though the game name is BDW. There are removable pay schedules in my book. The casino’s pay table will not include the game’s ER, and you will want to know that before deciding whether to play.
Winning Hand/5-Coin Bet
Royal Flush/No Deuces
4 Deuces with Ace
Royal with Deuces/Wild Royal
5 Threes, Fours, or Fives
4 of a Kind
3 of a Kind
Expected Return (ER)
Understanding Table 1.1: For non-Deuces Wild games, changes are seen in the payout for the full house and flush hands. The rest of the pay schedule is the same, so the variation of a given game can be indicated by using the payout for these two hands. For example, 9/6 Jacks or Better (9/6 JOB) pays nine times your bet for the full house and six times your bet for the flush. The rest of the pay schedule for JOB variations remains the same. For Deuces Wild games, variations of the same game can be in the straight flush, full house, flush or straight. This makes variations of the same game difficult to identify by using numbers. The best way to get the correct ER for your chosen Deuces Wild game is to take a pay schedule that includes the game’s ER with you. If you want to play BDW, then you can use Table 1.1. 40
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2) Dealt two pair, always hold both pair when it’s a 20/20 version, meaning both four of a kind and a full house return 20 for a 5-coin bet. If the four of a kind pays 20 but the full house only pays 15 (5-coin bet), then hold just one pair. Make sure you select the pair that pays the most for five of a kind. 3) Dealt a wild royal with three deuces, always keep the wild royal instead of going for four deuces. This is correct even if one of the two cards is an ace. (Both 5 aces and 4 deuces with an ace pay more than a wild royal; that’s why many players make the big mistake of holding for one of those hands.) 4) Dealt four to a natural royal with a deuce, keep the wild royal instead of going for the royal. 5) Dealt five of a kind with three deuces, always keep the five of a kind. This is correct for all five of a kinds. Although there are times in other deuces games that you keep just the three deuces, Bonus Deuces is not one of those games. 6) Dealt a pair of deuces and a single ace, hold all three. Dealt a pair of deuces and any other rank, hold just the two deuces. This is a counterintuitive correct hold.
7) Dealt three deuces and a single ace, hold all four cards instead of just the three deuces. If you are dealt three deuces and any other rank, say a four, keep just the three deuces. This is a correct but counterintuitive hold for Bonus Deuces. Final Thoughts: Most players don’t play computer-perfect video poker. That’s why casinos can offer some games with excellent theoretical returns. If you want to play error-free, then practice using tutorial software and strategy cards. My video poker strategy cards are free and in the back of my book, “The Video Poker Edge.” I recommend Dean Zamzow’s award-winning tutorial software WinPoker for home practice (www.videopokerpractice.com).
chef jay frink CUlinary king of the south By G . Douglas Dreisbach
Growing up as the son of a confectioner, Chef Jay Frink knew at a young age that his path in life was to create palate-pleasing masterpieces. After starting as a dishwasher at a steakhouse when he was 16 years old, he worked his way up through the ranks and now presides as Executive Chef at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana. In a town that hosts six casinos and a competitive culinary arena, when Southern Gaming and Destinations announced the 2010 Casino Cook-off, he jumped at the chance to participate. The online recipe contest consisted of 18 top chefs throughout the South and garnered thousands of voters critiquing every ingredient of every recipe. After the smoke cleared, it was Chef Frink’s Filet Mignon and Stuffed Lobster with some amazing sides and sauces that took home first prize. (Be sure to check out his winning recipe and the other top finishers on page 34!) We got the chance to talk shop with the winning chef and get an insider’s look at the culinary world of the casinos. Southern Gaming: Congratulations on winning the inaugural Southern Gaming Casino Cook-Off. What made you chose the recipe? Jay Frink: I wanted to do something that had a Southern twist to it. I also wanted to think about the simplicity of preparation — something that could easily be done at home, prepared ahead of time, where you can come home the next day, or if you are having a party, and have everything ready to pop in the oven 42
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C h e f J ay F r i n k Executive Chef and winner of Southern Gaming's 2010 Casino Cook-Off
for company or a significant other to arrive. This dish is actually very simple to prepare, and it looks good, too. It’s got some height with the Palms William, which is the pear potato, and the vegetables add a nice color and contrast to the plate.
and higher expectations of your customers?
T h e W i n n i n g R ec i p e consisted of Filet Mignon and Stuffed Lobster with accompanying sides.
SG: How long have you been in the culinary world? JF: I started when I was a kid cooking at home a little bit. I probably started cooking around the third grade. My dad had a candy factory, so I helped a lot there making fudge and big batches of chocolate. I had 19 teeth and 19 cavities (laughs). Then, when I was 16, I got a job at a local steakhouse washing dishes and moved up the ranks to prep cook, and by my senior year of high school, I was running the place as the head chef at night and going to school during the day. SG: Do you find it more difficult to please customers in casino restaurants than in a traditional, non-casino restaurant? Do gamblers expect more? JF: Everyone has their own vision. If someone is staying at a nice place, they want to get pampered. But, we train our diverse staff to really know how to schmooze them over with a good wine list and good service. Mainly at banquets when you have a large group, and they are all having steak, it is hard to please everybody with that. It can become a nightmare when you cook a steak medium, but the customer’s “medium” is different the chef’s “medium.” SG: Over the past few years, we have seen an increased spotlight on the culinary corners of the casinos. It seems there has been major emphasis on more exposure for the restaurants, getting the best chefs, having the best wine selections and more. From your perspective, have you seen an increase in casino dining
JF: Definitely. That has been huge over the last five years. When I was at the Rio in Las Vegas, we were always trying to get the best chefs from around the world. Food was used as a weapon, and we were the best in town. Now we are trying to bring that here to Sam’s Town with my current team. With all the food shows that are on television, you really have to step up and keep up with the trends to meet customers’ expectations. SG: What are some of the benefits of being a chef?
JF: I like the satisfaction you get when you please people. And, of course, you get to eat whatever you want because you have to taste everything! But, you are also under the spotlight a lot. You get a lot of pleasure when you do a big banquet and everyone is happy, but when it isn’t good, the finger is pointed at you. But, when you have a good night with no complaints, that’s when you feel good. SG: When you create dishes or recipes, is it a lot of trial and error? What goes into what you try to make? JF: You have to look at your demographic. You have to know your customer and what they like. I try to put a modern twist on normal dishes by putting my own touches on them, but I ultimately try to develop them based on what my demographics are. SG: What makes a dining experience at William B’s Steakhouse stand out from the rest? JF: We have some of the best wait staff around. Guests can expect their entire experience to be second to none from the moment they walk through the door. They will find the friendliness of the staff, the best products and mostly all homemade elements of the meal. We have our own pastry shop, butcher shop and fish room. After many years of dedication, we have built a really great team that I am really confident in, and I hope the readers of Southern Gaming will come and experience it. Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
A player sent me the following question: “I sat down at a blackjack table, bought in for chips and made a bet. I noticed the other players were acting annoyed. What did I do wrong?” My response: In blackjack, there are written rules and there are unwritten rules. I suspect you entered the game in the middle of the shoe. Many players mistakenly believe when a player enters a game in the middle of a “hot” shoe (i.e. players are winning), the order of the cards for subsequent hands will change for the worse and the shoe will turn “cold.” Therefore, when you first get to the table and notice the game is in the middle of the shoe, ask the other players if they mind if you joined. If they agree, then go ahead, buy in and make your bet. If someone says that he prefers you wait, then it’s best to just wait until the dealer shuffles all the cards before you buy in.
Henry Tamburin is the editor of Blackjack Insider Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com), lead instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack Course (www.goldentouchblackjack.com), and host of www.smartgaming.com. For a FREE three-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter, go to www.bjinsider.com/freetrial. To receive his FREE Casino Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or visit www.smartgaming.com.
Blackjack: Unwritten Rules
Here are some other tips that will prevent you from upsetting other players, or the dealer, when you play blackjack. High Chips Go Low: When you place your chips in your betting spot, always place the highest denomination chip(s) on the bottom of your stack. For example, if you were to bet a green, and two red chips ($35 bet), stack your chips in this top-down order: red chip, red chip, green chip. If you place the green chip on top of your stack of chips (or in the middle), the dealer will rearrange your stack and place the green chip on the bottom. Do it again, and the dealer will not be happy. Say you bet two red chips, you win the hand, and the dealer places your two winning red chips next to your original $10 bet. If you want to let your winnings ride, be sure to stack all four red chips in one stack in the betting spot (rather than leave two stacks of two red chips in the betting spots). If you are playing a double- (or single-deck) game where the dealer pitches the cards to players, make sure you hold the cards with one hand (not two), and they must be visible to the dealer at all times. If the cards are dealt face-up (usually six- and eightdeck games, where the cards are dealt from a dealing shoe), do not touch the cards at any time. Even when you want to split a pair, don’t separate your cards (let the dealer do it). If you are playing two spots and the casino is crowded, don’t make a fuss if another player asks if he could play one of your spots. When you buy in for chips, do not hand your money to the dealer. Dealers are forbidden from taking money directly from players. Just place the cash on the layout and tell the dealer you want chips. Don’t ask other players or the dealer for advice on how to play your hand. This annoys players, and the dealer is
not supposed to tell you how to play your hand. If you are new to blackjack, bring along a strategy card and use it if you are unsure. Don’t place any objects on the layout (that includes pocketbooks, lighters, even strategy cards). Use the drink holders for your drink (spilling a drink on the layout is a no-no).
If you are a smoker, be courteous to your fellow players (and the dealer) by not blowing smoke in their direction. Sometimes casinos have no smoking tables or designated no smoking areas, so before you light up, be sure it is OK to do so. Don’t complain if you are losing. Don’t blame the dealer for your bad luck; after all, she is only doing her job, which is to deal the cards, make sure everyone is following the rules, paying off winning bets, collecting losing bets, and trying to make your gaming experience a pleasant one. Being loud and obnoxious is not tolerated in the casino, and it could result in you being booted off the table. If another player on your table doesn’t make the right basic strategy play, don’t rag on him, just dummy up and focus on your hand. Don’t tell another player how he should play his hand (unless they ask for advice). Make sure you know what the table minimum and maximum betting limits are before you sit down and make a bet. It’s annoying when a player goes through the process of buying in and then makes a $5 bet when the posted minimum is $10. If you believe the dealer made a mistake in dealing or paying you off (or perhaps collecting your bet by mistake when you won the hand), stay calm and bring the error to the dealer’s attention. The dealer should alert her floor supervisor, who will have the final say. If you don’t agree with the supervisor’s decision, tell him you would like to speak to the pit boss about the matter. Don’t be pushy when you ask a floor supervisor for a comp. It’s best to ask him in a nice way if you’ve played long enough for a comp, rather than be demanding. If you are a beginner, do not sit at third base (the seat to the far left as you face the dealer). Many blackjack players mistakenly believe that a playing mistake made by the third base player (who is the last player to act before the dealer) could result in them losing their hands. If you are a beginner, it’s best to sit in the middle of the table (where you’ll have a little time to decide on how you will play your hand before the dealer expects a decision from you). If you follow the above guidelines, you’ll be able to play blackjack confidentially and not have to worry about breaking any written or unwritten rules. Good luck and good cards.
For more free blackjack tips, visit southerngaming.com/blackjack
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holiday gift guide for gamers ‘Tis the Season to be... SHOPPINg! The Holiday Season is here, which for most people means it’s time to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Since shopping can be hectic and time consuming, Southern Gaming has once again put together a gift guide so you can get out of the stores and back into the casinos! We’ve pulled together the hottest gift ideas for the gamblers on your list, and a few for you, too!
Apparel / Accessories You don’t have to be a poker pro to dress like one! Check out these featured items from Phil Hellmuth’s line, Poker Brat Clothing Co.
Poker Tree T-Shirt Grow that chip pile from a toothpick to a lumberyard with Poker Tree, a design by renowned Hollywood artist Aric Meidl. Printed on high quality Alternative Apparel high-spun cotton. This shirt is a stylish tan in color.
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Phil Hellmuth Hat Wear the champ’s hat, as seen on ESPN, the WSOP and the WPT! High quality Flex-Fit with two sizes (S-M or L-XL), complete with “11” on one side and the PH chip on the back. Look for that 11 to become a 12 or 13 in 2009! Available in black with white embroidery, black with gold embroidery, and pink with white embroidery for the ladies. Price: $29.99
Poker Zen T-Shirt Limited Edition Find your inner high-roller with this limited edition WSOP 2009 POKER ZEN Tee. Two black nines make for nice winning pocket cards in the Main Event, as long as you’ve got enough Zen to go heads-up against a player named Chan or Rousso. Price: $29.95 To buy any of these items or check out other designs, visit PokerBrat.com or call 1-800-895-PHIL.
Hey ladies! Show of your style at the casino with poker pro Tiffany Michelle’s clothing line of t-shirts. You will be ready for action from the moment you sit at the tables!
20% off all shirts through 1/14/2011. Price: $41.40 Find this product at: http://www.blackaceclothing.com/
Tiffany Michelle’s “Lucky Girl” T-shirt (by Black Ace) For the tough and edgy girl, who still believes in luck and a little magic. At the poker tables, or just in every-day life, everyone needs a good luck charm, this shirt can be yours! Features silver foil on the Unicorn and lettering, along with gold foil highlights. 100% fine jersey combed cotton for a perfect fit. Get 20% off when you use discount code SGD20, good for
Tiffany Michelle’s “Break Rules Not Hearts” V-neck (by Black Ace) This light and comfortable, short sleeve V-neck features Tiffany’s Michelle motto, “Break Rules Not Hearts.” The fearless yet friendly saying is featured on the lower front of the shirt in barely-there lettering. This design also features gold foil highlights and a wrap around effect on the shoulders and ribcage. 100% jersey combed cotton. Get 20% off when you use discount code SGD20, good for 20% off all shirts through 1/14/2011. Price: $46.80 Find this product at: http://www.blackaceclothing.com/
Price: $49.00 Find this product at: http://www.blackaceclothing.com/
“The Notorious (olive)” T-shirt (by Black Ace) Go notorious with this poker inspired Black Ace design that is shaken but never stirred. Great for poker games or just hanging out. Go big. Go Notorious. Printed front and back with “touchless” inks. 100% fine jersey. Get 20% off when you use discount code SGD20, good for 20% off all shirts through 1/14/2011.
For the true gambler in you, add any of these cufflinks to your attire and make a stylish statement. Enamel Race Horse Cufflinks Celebrate the Sport of Kings with Cufflinks, Inc. horse racing themed cufflinks. Perfect for a day out at the derby. Rhodium plated cufflinks come accented with hand painted enamels Price: $50/per pair
Dice Game Cufflinks These cufflinks have real miniature dice enclosed behind the glass casing to provide you with a gaming platform anywhere. Shake the cufflinks and the dice actually roll. Rhodium plated setting. Price: $45/per pair
and allow the ball to land on a number. Price: $195/per pair
Roulette Wheel Cufflinks Bored at a meeting? Why not try your luck with some portable gambling. The exact replica working roulette wheel cufflinks actually spin
To buy any of these items or check out other designs, visit CuffLinks.com (Free ground shipping on orders over $100) Use code SG10 for 10% off all holiday orders. Robert Williamson III Designs No need to put on your poker face to bluff your opponent, just flash this sparkling poker chip pendant and blind them with the brilliance of black and white pave diamonds. This poker pendant was the winner’s prize for Don Cheadle and Annie Duke’s Ante up for Africa charity event at the WSOP 2007! Each unique piece in this custom line of fine jewelry is handset in 14K white or yellow gold. The pendants, charms and cufflinks come in a variety of precious stone combinations. To see other pieces of custom jewelry from this line, ranging in price from $450- $5,000, visit the website. Each piece comes with a signed authenticity card and a custom gift box. Price: $3,300 (Mention code RWIIIHoliday10 for 10% off) Get it at: RWIIIDesigns.com or RobertWilliamsonIII.com or by calling 702-806-3956
Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
Emerald Poker Pen Celebrate the style of both the playing card suits (spade, heart, diamond and club) and also the flair of emerald green felt (used on most poker tables) with this exceptional executive pen. This pen exudes quality and elegance. Designed to please even the most discriminating collector, Emerald Poker Pen features four unique hand carved patterns found on the ends, clip and accent rings. The stunning decorative inlays are displayed throughout by Rhodium plated fittings. Price: $235.00 Get it at: PokerPens.com Poker Royale Pen The Poker Royale was created to celebrate the enchantment and allure of the game of poker and the artistic beauty and fascination of the face cards. All playing card enthusiasts have heard the various myths that the court cards were inspired by legendary leaders and royalty throughout history. Whether these rumors are true or not, the monarch mysteries and mystique are here to stay in our Poker Royale. Each Poker Royale has been expertly crafted using the highest quality instruments and state-of-the-art components. Its finish is hand done using the finest lacquers available. This pen is a great gift for any poker fan or pen collector. Price: $145.00 Get it at: PokerPens.com
Gaming at Home Automated Card Shuffler Impress your friends at the next poker night with this automated card shuffler. Thousands of home-game and tournament players around the world have already automated to speed play with this device, just like casinos. Shuffle Tech’s ST-1000 is compact, portable and flush mountable. It’s the first machine available for private games and tournaments. 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. Price: $499.95; $99.95 Optional Flush Mounting Kit Get it at: ShuffleTech.com or any major poker supply retailer, or call 1-888-595-9759
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Wheel-R-Dealer: Electronic Card Dealer Deal like the pros with the world’s first hand-held electronic card dealer, the Wheel-R-Dealer. It deals playing cards with precision and accuracy while also promoting fair play, since you can only deal the top card. It deals playing cards so easily, and accurately, that even those with manual dexterity issues like arthritis, or other physical limitations, can enjoy the design advantages in using this device in dealing playing cards. Price: $19.99 Get it at: Wheel-R-Dealer.com Monogrammed Horseshoe The ultimate good luck gift for your equestrian friends! Large chromed metal horseshoe personalized with his or hers initials. Great wall decoration or a classy desk accessory. Use as an embellishment on a tack trunk or the most obvious hand above the door to bring endless luck into your home or stable! Size is 5”x5.25” Price: $49.00 Get it at: HorseAndHound.com Stainless Steel Playing Cards With one of these, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson could chop down the entire banana tree!Perfect for an outdoor game, even a hurricane couldn’t knock these off your picnic table. These super sleek playing cards are crafted from high-grade stainless steel. Each brush satin finish is beautifully etched with a specially created English style playing card design. This full deck of playing cards, including two jokers, comes in a foamlined black needle cord box. This product makes for an exceptional gift for any playing card enthusiast with a taste for excellence and style. These stainless steel playing cards, perhaps the most unique deck on the planet, look incredible on any poker (or picnic) table. Price: $125.00 Get it at: PokerPens.com
See the fantastic variety of #1 best-selling games at
Books/Games: The Backstretch (My First Decade Playing the Game) An in depth look into the world of a low roller through 50 humorous and bizarre narratives. A main course of thoroughbred racing trimmed with a dash of casino life, dog racing zest and jai-alai fervor. Price: $8.34 Get it at: www.lulu.com
Maker’s Mark 3 Cigar Gift Box Ted’s Cigars, the world’s leading producer of branded cigars. Including Maker’s Mark, Grand Marnier, Dumante, Forty Creek., and Ted’s Made By Hand. www.tedscigars.com or 866.804.7983. Price: $45 Get it at: TedsCigars.com or toll free: 866-804-7983
J. Shepherd Cigar Sampler Just in time for the holidays when you buy a box or mix and match 20 cigars, you will receive 15% off your order and also receive a free J Shepherd cigar sampler (a $25 value). Just use the code: SG2010. Call or email your orders: 502-741-9125 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Voted one of the best "Cigar Hot Spots" on the East coast by Cigar Source Weekly. Louisville Slugger Personalized Bats Personalized Louisville Slugger Bats are one of the world’s most unique gifts. Personalized bats come in a variety of colors and sizes. Bats can be personalized with the recipient’s favorite team logo, a special message or even their very own signature. Price: Adult size bats start at $60 Get it at: Sluggergifts.com Custom Painted Racing Silks Glassware Certainly no other sport in America enjoys a more notable heritage or finer traditions than horseracing, and racing silks are one of the most inherent traditions of the sport. And what better way to toast the winner than with fine crystal embellished with the “winning colors”? You can choose from an array of glassware and design options to create a custom design all your own. Price: $39.95 and up Get it at: HorseAndHound.com
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Titanic Thompson Former Sports Illustrated editor Kevin Cook captures the spirit of a freewheeling era in TITANIC THOMPSON: The Man Who Bet On Everything, a rollicking biography that brings to life the gambler-hero who inspired Guys and Dolls. Born in a log cabin in the Ozarks, Alvin “Titanic” Thompson (18921974) traveled with his golf clubs, a .45 revolver, and a suitcase full of cash. He won and lost millions playing cards, dice, golf, pool, and dangerous games of his own invention. Get it at: Available at most major bookstores and on Amazon.com Final Furlong Horse Racing Bookends The burst of energy from the highly competitive Thoroughbred exhibited as they battle it out to the finish line. Truly unique bookends any horse racing fan will appreciate. Hand-cast in heavy resin, finished in bronze patina, with the feel of fine art sculpture. Each bookend measures 4.5” tall, 6.5” long and 3” deep, felt bottoms. Price: $110 Get it at: HorseAndHound.com The Comps Club by Southern Gaming and Destinations Since Southern Gaming Magazine launched the most rewarding membership program to date with SPORTS The Comps Club, gamers have been WAGERING: able to cash in on special offers and BREEDERS’ discounts at properties throughout the CUP: South! In addition to match plays, free buffets and room discounts, members will also receive Southern Gaming and Helps the Gulf Coast Survive & Thrive 20 Destinations magazine six times per year delivered directly to their mailbox. This gift will pay for itself after redeeming just one or two coupons! Price: $29 Get it at: SouthernGaming.com/CompsClub or by phone at 1-877-582-9478 BEST OF SOUTHERN GAMING AWARDS! WINNERS REVEALED!
VOLUME 12 | ISSUE 5 | SEPTEMBER 2010
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Blackjack Insider Newsletter This popular newsletter is delivered by email each month to subscribers. Edited by blackjack expert Henry Tamburin, each issue contains articles by blackjack experts covering playing strategy and card counting; trip reports by pros; reports on playing conditions in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and elsewhere; tournament strategy tips by pros; monthly Texas Hold’em column; and much more. Special: Get $100 in FREE gifts with each one-year subscription. Price: $19.95 for a one-year subscription. Order: Online store at www.bjinsider.com. Golden Touch Blackjack DVD This two hour DVD will teach you how to easily get the edge over the casino with the remarkable easy-to-learn-and-use Speed Count and the new Optimum Basic Strategy. Frank Scoblete will demonstrate both under computer-simulated playing conditions with a professional blackjack dealing the cards. Price: $115.95 Order: www.smartgaming.com or call toll free 1-888-353-3234.
Blackjack Basic Strategy Cards Take the optimal basic strategy to the table with you. This complete set of six handy wallet-size plastic blackjack basic strategy card gives you the perfect strategy for any situation. Covers single, double, and multiple deck games with all different combination of rules (dealer hits or stands on soft 17, doubling allowed or not, surrender, etc.). Price: $14.95 Order: www.smartgaming.com or call toll free 1-888-353-3234.
Blackjack: Take the Money and Run book by Henry Tamburin Henry Tamburin’s popular blackjack book for recreational players is written in an easy-to-understand writing style. Explains how the game of blackjack is played, the basic playing strategy, card counting, and much more. Price: $8.37 Order: Online store at www.smartgaming.com or call toll free 1-888-353-3234.
Phantom EFX The world’s leader in Casino and Card-Games for the PC has done it again. Phantom EFX recently released two new games, Valley of the Kings and Mysteries of Cleopatra, that both serve as the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who likes to go to the casinos! Valley of the Kings has all of the casino mainstays like blackjack, craps and roulette as well as Three Card Poker Ultimate Texas Hold’em thorough a partnership with Shuffle Master. Mysteries of Cleopatra is the slot lovers dream boasting 26 new slot machines each featuring new art themes and achievement systems with unlockable goals for each machine. Don’t miss out…visit www.PhantomEFX.com for more information and to shop all of the Phantom EFX products. Get it at: PhantomEFX.com or major retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart.
The world’s ﬁrst hand held playing card “dealer”. Deal cards face down or face up (ﬂop) with precision and accuracy
www.Wheel-R-Dealer.com 52 Southern G aming an d De s t in a card t io n s dealer. Patent Pending. Handheld electronic playing
Most gambling writers will state unequivocally that craps is the most exciting game in the casino. I share that opinion. However, I do not think it is exciting because you make bets, win bets, or lose bets. Making, winning and losing bets occurs at all casino games.
Frank Scoblete is casino gambling’s number one best-selling writer. He just signed a four-book deal with Triumph Books, a division of Random House. Read Frank’s latest book The Virgin Kiss. For a free catalogue call 1-800-944-0406 or visit Frank’s web site at www.goldentouchcraps.com.
Craps: Hard Lessons of the Game
When I was an actor I was well aware that the more people in the audience the better the chance you would get laughs while performing a comedy. People in large groups tend to let loose more than they would in small groups. They lose inhibitions and thus they laugh out loud more when other audience members are laughing with them. This grouping rule holds true for craps. When 10 or 12 people are at a craps table and things are going right, there exists a communal energy that flows from one person to the next to the next. Rational thought becomes subsumed within an emotional response to what’s happening in the here and now. In short, people develop a group consciousness; they cheer and laugh and applaud and shout as a hot shooter makes number after number. They moan when that same shooter finally sevens out. They are as one. Because of the communal energy at the craps table, many players lose sight of what bets to make and what bets to avoid. Since most craps players tend to make a wide range of bets, most of these bets having high house edges, relatively astute and conservative bettors are sometimes drawn into also making such bets because the group or communal consciousness has taken them over. It’s the gambling equivalent of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” So it is probably not inconceivable to think that the communal consciousness at a craps table is a contributing factor to casinos making more money at the game than they would if each player were merely playing one-on-one against the house. I’m guessing that fewer bad bets would be made, more good bets would be made with one-on-one play against the casinos, and the game would move along like blackjack or other table games where you rarely hear people cheering and clapping. Those games are individual games; not communal ones. Now, I enjoy the camaraderie at the craps table just as much as other craps players but I have locked my emotions against trying to make a killing by wagering on the bad bets. I will cheer, applaud and shout in glee when numbers are being hit but I don’t care if those numbers are on bets I am avoiding. Its fun for me to clap and cheer but it is not fun for me to lose money. While I can get emotionally carried away like any craps player, I will not let my money get carried away. One lesson I have learned is to treat outcomes that I am not wagering on as if they don’t exist. If I am not betting on the 11 and the 11 is hit by the shooter, I do not think,
“Gee, I wasn’t on the 11. I could have won money if I were.” Instead, I think that nothing happened. That roll was merely dead time. If the 11 were to hit again, it is just more dead time. I only think about the decisions that concern me – the Frank Scoblete Pass Line and Come bets with odds, or my Place bets of the 6 and 8. Nothing else matters. I know this is a hard lesson to learn. It actually took me several years to learn it. But numbers at craps games all over the country are hitting right now but I’m not on them. I’m home writing this column. Now, if I were at those tables and numbers hit that I wasn’t on, so what? They mean just as much to me as the number that hit just as I type this period. The Captain of craps, the legendary Atlantic City player and my gambling mentor, once told me, “The contest isn’t between you and the casino; it is between you and yourself.” At hot craps tables with cheering players, the “yourself” might just overcome “you” and cause you to lose sight of what is the right way to wager your money. Allowing the joyful experience of a communal consciousness and response to a craps game to totally wipe out your better judgment is probably the most dangerous aspect of the game. Once you are carried away; once you allow yourself to throw caution to the wind; you are asking for trouble. So, yes, enjoy the game of craps; enjoy the camaraderie of the other players, but make sure you keep control of your betting and your bankroll. Don’t get carried away by the fact that others have been carried away. Remember what your mother probably said to you: “Just because so-and-so is doing that is that why you are doing that? Do you always have to follow the crowd?” That’s a good lesson to learn.
The Sudoku Puzzle Answers from page 8 2
For more free craps tips, visit southerngaming.com/craps
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Attention Poker Players... The Time is now!
In 2006, the Washington State legislature passed a law that made it a Class C felony for Washington State residents to play poker online. Attorney Lee Rousso, a leading figure in the poker community and state director for the Poker Players Alliance, countered the legislature by suing the state in 2007. In the suit he claimed that the law violated the Commerce Clause because “it prevents individuals from playing poker on websites that are based out-of-state while allowing the in-state brick-and-mortar card rooms to remain open”, which has the ultimate result of making special interests in Washington more prosperous at the expense of interstate commerce. Rousso’s case made it all the way to the Washington State Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the State Supreme Court upheld the law which will put online poker players in the same criminal class as child molesters. The Poker Players Alliance believes that this state law is a mistake, especially since it criminalizes citizens for enjoying an innocent game of poker in the privacy of their own homes using their own computers. History has shown time and again that prohibitions do not work. Not only do they send activity underground, outside the easy reach of law enforcement, they leave consumers completely unprotected. The reality is that online poker is not going away – just look at the popularity of charity poker tournaments and the annual World Series of Poker on TV. Lawmakers in Washington State and Washington, D.C. have a choice – they can ignore this reality and leave millions of American consumers unprotected (and leave billions of dollars in tax revenue on the table) or they can embrace this reality and implement thoughtful, effective licensing and regulation of online gaming. The sweeping actions that Washington State have taken are a clarion call to all poker players to not only stand up for the individuals who have lost their right to play poker online in Washington, but also to fight for their freedom to enjoy this great American pastime. Lawmakers at the state and federal level are intent on restricting your right to test your skills by playing poker. In fact, some states are pushing laws that will even stop charities from hosting poker tournaments. It’s a sad thing when state lawmakers would rather outlaw a time-honored game of skill rather than provide funds to charities struggling due to the economic downturn. We can lament the Washington State Supreme Court’s ruling all we want, but what we need is action—and not just by the Poker Players
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Alliance. We are already identifying other options to overturn the ridiculous law in Washington State and to continue our efforts at the federal level to pass sensible licensing and regulation of online poker. On the federal level, H.R. 2267, sponsored by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, overwhelmingly passed out of committee with a bipartisan vote, and we are hopeful for definitive action on this bill after Congress returns following the November 2nd elections. Now is the time for poker players from across the nation to rally together and fight for the rights that we have as individuals under the Constitution of the United States. To accomplish this, the Poker Players Alliance is calling on every poker player, whether you play online or not, to encourage lawmakers to implement the necessary laws and regulations to protect your right to play poker while implementing strong consumer protections and adding much needed revenue to state and federal coffers. The most important thing you can do to assist in this effort, besides becoming a member of the PPA, is to vote for pro poker candidates. Lawmakers must see that poker players are vocal in their support of poker and that they are using their right to vote to support elected officials who support poker. To see how you’re elected official scores on poker issues please visit www.congressionalpoker.org. The more advocates we have in Congress and state legislatures, the better the outlook is for legislation that creates a safe, regulated environment in which we can all enjoy a hand of Texas Hold ‘Em—whether from our home computer or around the kitchen table. We need your help now to protect this great game we love. The actions in Washington State are indicative of where we are headed. Poker players must recognize that this is only the beginning of a bigger storm to come if we neglect to act now.
The Poker Players Alliance (ThePPA.org) is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of more than 1 million online and offline poker players and enthusiasts from around the United States who have joined together to speak with one voice to promote the game and to protect poker players’ rights.
Your Game. Your Freedom.
Poker has a target on its back. Even as the game skyrockets in popularity, lawmakers and others are trying to close you out from playing poker at your computer table, your kitchen table and even at charity events! Donâ€™t let them do it.
JOIN THE POKER PLAYERS ALLIANCE The PPA has been fighting to protect your rights to play poker and to preserve this historic American pastime. Great progress has been made by the over one million PPA members nationwide, but we need your help. JOIN US TODAY. Visit www.theppa.org/join and grab a seat at the table to protect poker.
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top sporting moments of 2010 Historical Highlights By Jeremy W hite
In many ways, 2010 has been an interesting one in the sports world. From a major scandal involving golf’s greatest player to a public drama over where LeBron James would play basketball, nearly as much happened off the field of play as on it. Notice we said “almost.”
Saints jazzed about Lombardi Trophy
After the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and decades of football mediocrity, New The Ne w orle ans saints Orleans needed some good news celebrated a victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl. more than any city in America. In February, the Saints gave the Crescent Facing a Super Bowl defeat, the Saints livened up somewhat in City something to celebrate when Drew Brees and company the first half and managed to knock in a pair of field goals. Head downed the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17. It was the organization’s Coach Sean Payton made some major adjustments at halftime, first-ever Super Bowl victory (first appearance in the big game, and announced to his players that he was going to take a big risk for that matter), and the ensuing French Quarter parties still — one that completely changed the momentum of the game. haven’t died down. Down 10-6 and looking mostly sluggish, the Saints attempted — Despite a high-powered offense and a 16-3 record, the Saints and recovered — an onside kick to begin the second half. From entered the contest as underdogs to the equally well-equipped there on, it was the Drew Brees show as New Orleans racked up Colts. Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning already had the points. one Super Bowl ring, and he was hungry for more. He came out Then came the play that drove home the Saints’ victory. Down of the gates with guns blazing and moved the ball with ease. 24-17, Indianapolis was once again driving the ball and appeared After a field goal put the Colts up 3-0, Manning then directed a destined to score a fourth-quarter touchdown that would tie 96-yard scoring march to give Indy an early 10-0 advantage. It the game. appeared the Colts were well on their way to victory. Enter Tracy Porter. The defensive back stepped in front of a 58
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(Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Ton Hauck)
There have been plenty of great sporting moments in 2010 — and the year isn’t over yet. With that said, let’s take a look at the top sporting moments, so far, of 2010.
Phil wins again
With Tiger playing poorly, the PGA needed a hero. That came in the form of Phil Mickelson in 2010. The affable Mickelson took his own absence from the game for reasons very different than Woods’ hiatus. Mickleson’s wife, Amy, had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was facing difficult treatments. That backdrop made it all the sweeter for golf fans when Mickelson played flawlessly at Augusta this April to win his third Masters. It was a storyline golf had to have.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Streeter Lecka)
When it comes to professional basketball, all seems right with the world when the NBA’s two greatest franchises — the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics — go head to head in the finals. That was the case in 2010, and the rivalry was well worth the price of admission. The back-and-forth series went the distance before Kobe Bryant and the Lakers fought off Kevin Garnett and the Celtics, 83-79, in Game 7 to give Los Angeles its 16th NBA championship. The question now is this: Why didn’t either team land LeBron? More on that later.
PHI L MI C K E L SON claimed his third green jacket at the 2010 Masters. Manning pass and took the interception all the way to the house for a touchdown — and Bourbon Street hasn’t been the same since.
A Tiger is caged
Has golf ever had a poster boy like Tiger Woods? Not only is the man perhaps the greatest golfer of all time — and no doubt the greatest of his generation — he’s also a marketing machine that generates millions of dollars for some of the world’s largest and most prestigious companies, such as Nike or Buick. While Woods painted a rosy family picture to the public, the hard-hitting golfer clearly had a secret double-life that eventually came to light earlier this year. Apparently, according to his many mistresses, Tiger was as aggressive in the bedroom as he is on the links. While Woods’ sex scandals have been well publicized by now, what often got left out of the conversation was the man’s golf game. He took some time off to sort out his personal problems, and he hasn’t exactly returned with a vengeance. In fact, he hit an all-time golfing low in April when he missed the cut at Quail Hollow following the worst nine-hole score in his PGA career. Woods finished his 18-hole round at seven over par, proving that even he was human and prone to rust. While he remains the game’s top player and is playing better as of late, there’s no doubt Tiger was effectively caged in 2010.
As exciting as the NBA playoffs were, they pale in comparison to the mayhem that is known as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. While two traditional powerhouses — Kentucky and Kansas — were the heavy favorites entering the tourney, it was a small school from Indianapolis that made major
The Butler Bulldogs, led by young head coach Brad Stevens, made an improbable trip to the Final Four. They then went on to down Michigan State in the semifinal to set up a David vs. Goliath matchup in the title tilt. Few, if any, would have picked Butler against Duke in their office bracket pools. After all, Butler was coached by a 33-yearold, and Duke, despite being a No. 1 seed, had one of legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski’s more mediocre teams in terms of pure athletic talent. None of that mattered in the end, though. The NCAA Tournament is full of surprises, and 2010 proved to be one of the more exciting installments in recent memory. From a doubleovertime game between Kansas State and Xavier to the finale, this proved to be a tournament for the ages. It ended when Duke beat Butler 61-59. While the Bulldogs did not pull off the improbable upset, they did manage to capture the hearts of college basketball fans everywhere.
Chicago is a great sports town. As a place that reveres its teams, the Windy City is also accustomed to losing. The Bears haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1985. The Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908. The White Sox won in 2005 but had an 88-year drought until then. Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
(Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Adrian Dennis)
No one really knew what LeBron was going to do, and the decision-making process as James whittled down his choices became quite the circus act. In the end, the basketball great opted to play for the Miami Heat, much to the chagrin of Cleveland fans and underdog fans everywhere. Would James ever have been able to bring a championship to Cleveland? We’ll never know. Will he win one — or more — in Miami? We’ll find out soon.
Wacky, Rainy Rider Cup
Sh a u n W h i t e dominated the 2010 Winter Olympics with his gravity defying Double McTwist 1260. While it may not be as long as the Cubs’ losing streak or the one the Sox faced, the NHL’s Blackhawks had been pretty hapless themselves for decades leading up to 2010. Their last Stanley Cup victory came 49 years ago, and Chicagoans were hungry for another. Who would win the coveted Cup this past June was anyone’s guess. The Blackhawks were rolling, but they faced a red-hot Philadelphia team in the finals. The Flyers had made a series of improbable comebacks, and they forced overtime in Game 6 of the finals. A Philly win would set up Game 7. But that wasn’t in the cards as Chicago’s Patrick Kane knocked in the extra-period goal in Game 6 to give the Blackhawks control of the Cup for the first time since 1961. Hockey finally came to life again in Chicago. It’s about time!
Shaun White is the undisputed Michael Jordan of his sport. He proved that in impressive fashion in the 2010 Winter Olympics when he dominated the competition en route to claiming a gold medal in the halfpipe. Though he scored well enough to win during the first of his two runs, White decided to put on a show his second time out. He busted out a trick he calls the “Double McTwist 1260,” a gravity-defying “wow” move that earned him an unheard score of 48.4. During the trick, White performed three-and-a-half twists along with two full board-over-head turns. It had never been done before, and it shocked the judges and crowd alike. What will the red-haired rocker do on the board next? Who knows — but it will certainly be spectacular.
Which way, LeBron?
LeBron James grew up in Northern Ohio and dazzled crowds for many years in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform. So, when he became a free agent, staying “home” and resigning with the Cavs made sense in many ways. Then again, there were many ways in which leaving Cleveland seemed the best option. Courted heavily by the New York Knicks, what better stage than the Big Apple for a legendary talent to display his skills? Or should he go to Miami, where he’d be surrounded by warm breezes, beautiful beaches and even more beautiful people? 60
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In golf, there’s nothing more exciting than the Ryder Cup, a United States vs. Europe spectacle that fires up fans and electrifies the crowds in a manner that more closely resembles soccer than golf. This year’s Cup, which took place in Newport, Wales, got off to an inauspicious start when heavy rains wrecked the course and delayed play by seven hours. It was the event’s first suspension in 13 years. The U.S. made early news not for its play, but for its embarrassing rain suits failure. The European team, meanwhile, got out of the gates strong and held on to win its fourth consecutive home-turf Ryder Cup. But the U.S. did make it interesting. Tiger came to life to help fuel a late rally, and the U.S. made quite a valiant comeback from its early deficit to force a decisive 12th singles match. European Graeme McDowell beat American Hunter Mahan 3 and 1 in the anchor. And though it was a disappointing loss, the Cup did have its bright spots. Mickelson continued his surge and Tiger proved he’s back — thereby making upcoming PGA events much more exciting.
Major League Baseball has had postseason play for 105 years. And in all those playoff games, only one no-hitter had ever been thrown prior to 2010. That came in 1956 when Don Larsen through a perfect game against the Dodgers. History came to life again in early October, when the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds butted heads in the National League Divisional Series. Cincy entered the best-of-five series sporting the National League’s top batting average, but Phillies ace Roy Halladay was unfazed by that as he no-hit the Reds. Halladay threw 104 pitches on the night, most of them first-pitch strikes that put Reds hitters in an early hole. Before Halladay’s dominating performance, there had been 1,264 MLB playoff games, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark. Halladay, making his first-ever playoff appearance, tossed first-pitch strikes to 25 of the 28 batters he faced. His only blemish was a fifthinning walk to Jay Bruce. While the fact it happened in the first game of the NLDS may make it seemingly pale in comparison to what Larsen did in the ’56 World Series, let’s not underestimate Halladay’s feat. It was a truly historic performance that those who know baseball will talk about 50 years from now. After all, playoff no-hitters happen only .002 percent of the time! Jeremy White is a freelance writer and editor living in Southern Indiana. He regularly covers gaming, sports, food and business for a variety of regional and national publications. Recent assignments have ranged from covering U.S. egg exports to profiling National Football League hopefuls at the NFL’s annual scouting combine. He has a degree in creative writing and journalism and frequently visits Las Vegas as well as local Kentuckiana gaming facilities.
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atlantis paradise island Nassau, bahamas By Lynn O’Rourke Hayes
infused restaurants and casinos or on the beach with the kids, you’ll find plenty of bright spots to color your stay. Created by hotel luminary Sol Kerzner and designed after the mythical lost Continent of Atlantis, this is where tropical chill meets Vegas vim and vigor. You’re on Paradise Island, a glistening gem in the Bahamas, that sun-drenched archipelago known for both palmstrewn island getaways and cruise ship landing zones. Making a plan. Given the Atlantis resort’s grand scale, you will want to do some pre-trip research. Gather notes from friends who’ve been there and peruse the web site to determine the home away from home that will best suit you and your fellow travelers. Choices range from the relaxed ambience of the Beach and Coral Towers, to the iconic Royal Towers and the condo-style accommodations offered at The Reef.
At l a n t i s Pa r a di s e I s l a n d boasts over 141 acres of water rides and pools. Our table in the cocktail lounge is conveniently situated with a clear view of the promenade. Offering more promise than the yellow brick road, the wide, tiled pathway leads from the nearby hotel towers to the main lobby, then beyond to restaurants, shops and casinos. People watching has rarely been so compelling. Thigh high leather, flowing caftans, plunging necklines, sparkling jewels and hair piled high; the women, from teens to aging beauties, have clearly taken their time to prepare for the evening ahead. Smiling and exuberant, they chat enthusiastically, clicking by in Sarah Jessica Parker inspired footwear. And the men. They too have taken time to style. Strolling tall in designer duds, tan and bright eyed, they are eager to enjoy all this glittering resort has to offer. Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It brings out the peacock in all of us. Whether you choose to strut your stuff in the celebrity
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You’ll want to consider the chic luxury and contemporary vibe enjoyed by those who check into the suites at The Cove. The 600 room, adults only digs are located on the north end of the property, directly on Paradise Beach. Guests get comfortable at the Blackjack tables on the pool deck and enjoy music crafted by a live DJ. For an extra special treat, reserve a cabana that offers flat screen TVs, couches and a bar plus breezy access to the pool and the ocean. With the kids. From the perspective of many, Atlantis is one giant theme park. Yet few resorts have a more imaginative and expansive kids and teen activity program. Daily themed adventures include discovering the mysteries of Atlantis, visiting a fish hospital and enjoying outdoor games and activities of all kinds. The newest addition to the program is AKA or Atlantis Kids Adventures, a high-style, 8,000-square-foot mecca for kids where culinary lessons, Lego–inspired crafts, a mini castle, outdoor adventures and theater play make heading back to school seem ….well, they’ll think about that later. Teens enjoy time at Club Rush where they can surf the net, dance the night away, watch movies or play their favorites on Game Cube or X-Box. Teens also enjoy the pottery studio and climbing wall. Parents can plan a night out while their kids, ages 3 to 12 have fun during their own “evening escape”. The program offers themed activities each night of the week including Willy Wonka Wednesday, Pajama Party Friday and Pizza and Coketails Saturdays.
Conch Salad with OrangeChipotle Vinaigrette, and Bahamian Lobster Tail with Red Chile-Coconut Sauce and Green Chile Rice will keep your mouth watering long after the last bite.
At l a n t i s Pa r a di s e I s l a n d is the premium resort of the Bahamas.
Get wet. With more than 141 acres of water rides and pools, you may have to schedule time to simply relax on the three miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches. From the Mayan Temple to the ominous Power Tower or the fun-filled Splashers Island, water play lovers up the tempo with 18 adrenaline-pulsing slides for kids of all ages. Pop on board your own luxury inner tube or grab a partner and ride the waves and rapids in the Current. Lounge around your choice of 11 different pools. Twist and turn through tunnels and emerge in an acrylic tube deep within a shark-filled lagoon. And don’t miss the sevenacre saltwater swimming and water-sports area known as Paradise Lagoon. Here you’ll find snorkeling gear, kayaks and pedal boats available for rent. Dolphin Cay. Whether you were a Flipper fan or have more recently come to admire these playful creatures, you will want to take part in what is happening within Dolphin Cay. Home to a pod of bottlenose dolphins rescued following Hurricane Katrina, this 14-acre habitat is the scene of Trainer for the Day programs, shallow and deep water encounters and the chance to experience the speed and agility of the animals up close and personal.
Classic gourmet French cuisine is on your menu thanks to the extraordinary experience of fered by legenda r y Chef Jea nGeorges Vongerichten. Café Martinique, originally made famous by its appearance in the 1965 James Bond classic, T hu nd e r b a l l, i s now recreated for At lantis guests.
Casino gaming. Spending the day at the beach won’t hinder your plan for finding plenty of casino time. The expansive 50,000 square foot state of the art environment includes more than 850 slot machines, 90 game tables plus baccarat, roulette, Caribbean stud poker and black jack. Wagering on major sporting events and the racetrack action, plus regular special events and tournaments, will keep gaming enthusiasts thrilled by the action. Guests also enjoy lively music, often provided by local calypso or salsa bands. Oddly enough, you won’t be gambling elbow to elbow with the locals. For Bahamian residents, it is illegal. After sun down. Look forward to an evening mesmerized by the luxury and ambience of Aura, a 9,000-square-foot Jeffrey Beers-designed nightclub, and the sister to popular Las Vegas night club PURE. As the DJs spin the latest, guests enjoy dancing the night away or watching the scene unfold from banquette seating that surrounds the illuminated glass dance floor. You’ll also find two bars, two VIP sections and a private VIP Parlor. The casino below can be accessed by a grand staircase.
Because Atlantis is home to more than 50,000 marine animals representing 250 species, your opportunities continue. Get to know friendly sea lions. Later snorkel amid the sunken ruins and artifacts of the lost city of Atlantis in the Ruins Lagoon where brilliantly colored tropical fish and spotted rays will keep you company.
Also popular is the Atlantis Theatre featuring current Hollywood feature films and the Joker’s Wild Comedy Club spotlighting stand up acts from around the world. You may want to plan your stay around the performance of popular artists including the likes of Lady Antebellum, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift.
Get active. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the six lighted clay and hard-surface tennis courts, a four-lane lap pool and an expansive fitness facility that includes all the bells and whistles. Check out the menu of classes that includes spinning, yoga and kickboxing. For those who enjoy time on the links, plan to tee it up on the private Tom Weiskopfdesigned 18 hole championship Ocean Club Golf Course, located a complimentary shuttle ride away.
Battle at Atlantis. Don’t miss the high stakes battle for supremacy when the Division 1 College Basketball double header gets underway December 18, 2010. You’ll be a part of the energy riddled fan club when Mississippi State takes on Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech goes up against Richmond. Special packages include free companion airfare and a slew of other amenities. Don’t miss the action! See the web site for details.
World class dining. With 21 restaurants and 19 bars and lounges from which to choose, your options for culinary exploration are many. Grab a bite while lounging at the pool or enjoy a family-style meal with the kids. Allow the Atlantis celebrity chefs to bestow their special brand of epicurean delight. Choose Chef Bobby Flay’s award-winning Mesa Grill where you will thrill to the taste of his award-winning Southwestern cuisine. Unique dishes like Bahamian Spiced Chicken Skewers with Yogurt Cilantro Sauce, Crispy Squid and Cracked
For more information or reservations, call 1-800-ATLANTIS (800-285-2684) or visit www.Atlantis.com
Lynn O’Rourke Hayes is a syndicated travel writer who has explored 82 countries and 48 of our 50 states. She lives and works in Montana and Arizona.
Vol um e 12 I ssue 6
Tips by Game: In Blackjack, don’t try to mimic the dealer’s playing strategy by hitting all hands under sixteen and standing on all hands totaling seventeen or more. When you do this, you increase the house advantage to 5.5 percent. There are better strategies for playing your hand.
This column features excerpts from Bill Burton's book, 1,000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets. The book can be found at Amazon.com and in major bookstores for $19.99.
Casino Knowledge: Tips for Every Game
At the craps table you are only allowed to touch the dice with one hand. Make it a habit to pick up the dice with your throwing hand. You cannot switch hands once you pick up the dice. Baccarat is a game that many new players mispronounce by calling it “back-er-at.” The “t” is silent, and it is correctly pronounced “baa-ca-rah.” Learn to pronounce it correctly if you don’t want to sound like a novice. The strategy for Carribbean stud poker is very simple to learn. Call if you have an Ace-King or better. Fold any other hand. Avoid the side jackpot.
To act as the dealer in Pai Gow Poker, you must have a large enough bankroll to cover the other player’s bets. Since you have a slight advantage as the dealer, you want to make sure to bring enough money to the table when you play to be able to bank the game. In casino war, the proper strategy is to always go to war in the event of a tie. The house edge when you go to war is 2.88 percent. When you surrender, the house has an edge of 3.70 percent. You are giving the house almost a full percent by not going to war. Regardless of which game you play, the biggest mistake a player can make is playing too many hands. The objective to poker is to win the most money. It is not to win the most pots. Players who win the most pots are playing too many hands and usually lose money in the end. A winning player is one who is very selective about the hands he or she plays. This takes patience and discipline, and it separates the winners from the losers. In Texas Hold ‘Em, many players use the fit or fold criteria for deciding to play after the flop. If the flop does not fit your hand, you should fold if there is a bet in front of you. A flop fits your hand by improving it or by giving you a good draw to improve your hand, or simply if your hand beats the cards on the board as it is. In Sports Betting, when you bet on a game with the point spread, your team does not necessarily have to win. You just need to “cover the spread.” If you bet Miami, who is favored to win by seven, and they only win by four, you lose; if Miami wins by seven or more, you win.
If you bet Chicago, who is a ten-point underdog, and they only lose by three points, then you win; if they lose by ten points or more, you lose. General Guidelines: Don’t purchase any betting systems through the mail or off the internet. All mail order solicitations are basically the same. They are full of hype to get you excited, but devoid of any real details. Many are just repackaged versions of existing betting systems. Never apply for casino credit if you don’t have the discipline to control your gambling. Having credit can be a benefit, but it can also present big problems if you lose control. If you have any doubts about your ability to play within a budget, don’t even think about casino credit. There will be times when a machine runs out of money and requires a hopper fill. You should stay by that machine until the attendant arrives. If you walk away, someone could sit down and claim that it is their money. Push the button to light up the change light. This will bring an attendant to the machine. Some players who feel the need to play as quickly as possible like to use several machines at a time. During crowded times you should refrain from playing more than one machine and allow other players the opportunity to play. Some casinos have a sign stating “One machine per player during busy times.” Play where the locals play. If you visit Las Vegas, get away from the strip and visit some of the other casinos frequented by area residents. The slots there usually have a better pay-back percentage because these casinos rely more heavily on business from the people living there. When you use your player’s card, you win even if you lose. You might have a losing session at the tables or while playing the machines, but you are getting something back in the way of comps when you use your players card or get rated at the table. Always count your change before you leave the cashier’s window. If a mistake was made, it will be too late to correct once you walk away. Don’t worry if there is a line behind you; take a minute to make sure you received the correct amount. Dealers are part of the service industry, as are waitresses and bartenders. Most of their income is derived from tips, so don’t forget to tip them for good service. The best way to do this is to make a bet for them. This makes the dealers feel as if they are in the game with you, and they’ll be rooting for you to win.
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Southern Gaming’s Preferred Hot Spots
Southern Gaming and Destinations Magazine strives to recommend quality establishments located throughout the region to our readers. On this map, you will find an array of our preferred casinos, racetracks, racinos, hotels and restaurants we feel will deliver a quality experience and encourage you to consider them when you travel. WANT COMPS? If you are a qualified casino player, let us know! We will connect you with our preferred player hosting company, CasinoRatedPlayers.com, who has relationships with casinos around the world. For more information, please e-mail email@example.com or call 1-877-582-9478. Also, visit SouthernGaming.com/comps to fill out a Comp Request Form for assistance in setting up your next gaming trip. 1 Gulf Coast Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi) 1-888-750-7111
Fallen Oak Golf Course (Biloxi) 1-877-805-4657
Grand Bear Golf Course (Saucier) 1-800-946-2946
Keeneland Racecourse (Lexington)
Mardi Gras Casino & Racing (Hallandale)
Lassing Pointe Golf Course (Boone County)
Seminole’s (Coconut Creek, Hollywood & Tampa)
Nevel Meade Golf Course (Louisville)
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi)
Tampa Bay Downs (Oldsmar)
Oriental Wok (Fort Mitchell)
IP Casino Resort Spa
Watermark Grille (Naples)
Pat’s Steak House (Louisville)
Island View Casino Resort (Gulfport)
5 Georgia The Horseradish Grille (Atlanta)
Porcini Italian Restaurant (Louisville)
Birmingham Greyhound Racecourse (Birmingham)
New York Prime Steakhouse (Atlanta)
Riverside Casino (Wetumpka)
Soho Restaurant (Atlanta)
2 Alabama 1-800-998-8238 1-800-897-7198
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail 1-800-949-4444
• Oxmoor Valley Golf Course (Birmingham) • Hampton Cove Golf Course (Huntsville) • Magnolia Grove Golf Course (Mobile) • Capitol Hill Golf Course (Montgomery) Tallapoosa Casino (Montgomery)
VictoryLand Greyhound Park (Shorter) 1-334-727-0540
Wind Creek Casino & Hotel (Atmore) 1-800-826-9121
3 Arkansas Arkansas Departmet of Parks & Tourism 1-501-682-7777
The Faded Rose Restaurant (Little Rock) 1-501-663-9734
Hot Springs Visitors Bureau 1-888-SPA-CITY
Loca Luna Restaurant (Little Rock) 1-501-663-4666
Oaklawn Park Racing & Gaming (Hot Springs) 1-800-OAKLAWN
Southland Park Gaming & Racing (West Memphis) 1-800-467-6182
4 Florida Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room 1-386-252-6484
Derby Lane Race Track (St. Petersburg) 1-727-812-3339
Shula’s Steak House (Tampa) 1-813-286-4366
Miccosukee Resort & Gaming (Miami)
Seelbach Hotel (Louisville) Waterfront Restaurant (Covington) 1-859-581-1414
Belterra Casino Resort (Vevay)
Café Giovanni (New Orleans)
Casino Aztar (Evansville)
Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino (Vinton)
Grand Victoria Casino & Resort (Rising Sun)
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino (Anderson)
Fair Grounds Race Course (New Orleans)
Horseshoe Casino Southern Indiana
Harrah’s New Orleans
Indiana Live! Casino (Shelbyville)
Horseshoe Casino & Hotel (Bossier City)
7 Iowa Ameristar Casino Hotel (Council Bluffs) 1-877-462-7827
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel (Tama) 1-800-728-4263
8 Kentucky 21C Museum Hotel (Louisville) 877-217-6400
Brown Hotel (Louisville) 1-502-583-1234
Churchill Downs (Louisville) 1-800-283-3729
Equus Restaurant (Louisville) 1-502-897-9721
Galt House Hotel & Suites (Louisville) 1-800-THE-GALT
Golf Courses of Kenton County 1-859-371-3200
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse (Louisville) 1-502-584-0102
John Phillip’s Restaurant & Bar (Crestview Hills/N. KY) 1-859-344-0444
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Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino (Opelousas)
L’Auberge Du Lac Hotel & Casino 1-866-580-7444
Paragon Casino Resort (Marksville) 1-800-946-1946
Shreveport/ Bossier Visitor’s Bureau 1-888-45-VISIT
10 Mississippi (Tunica) Cottonwoods Golf Course 1-800-946-4946
Gold Strike Casino Resort 1-888-24-KSTAY
Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 1-800-456-0711
Harrah’s Casino Tunica 1-800-946-4946
Hollywood Casino Tunica 1-800-871-0711
Horseshoe Casino & Hotel 1-800-303-7463
11 Mississippi Pearl River Resort (Philadelphia) 1-866-44-PEARL
12 Missouri Ameristar Casino St. Charles 1-800-325-7777
Argosy’s Alton Belle Casino 1-800-336-7568
Harrah’s Casino St. Louis 1-314-770-8100
Lumière Place Casino & Hotels 1-314-881-7777
River City Casino 1-888-578-7289
13 Nevada (Las Vegas) Aria Resort and Casino 1-866-359-7757
Caesars Palace 1-800-HARRAHS
Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant 1-702-364-5300
Golden Gate Hotel & Casino 1-800-426-1906
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 1-800-473-7625
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino 1-877-632-7800
Mirage Las Vegas 1-800-627-6667
Paris Las Vegas 1-877-796-2096
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19 Tennessee Bound’ry (Nashville) 1-615-321-3043
Cherokee Valley Golf Course (Memphis) 1-901-525-4653
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Wild Wild West Hotel & Casino 1-800-6-STATIONS
14 Nevada (Laughlin) Aquarius Casino Resort 1-888-662-5824
Golden Nugget Laughlin 1-800-950-7700
Harrah’s Laughlin Casino and Hotel 1-800-427-7247
15 Nevada (Reno) Atlantis Casino Resort 1-800-723-6500
Circus Circus Reno Hotel & Casino 1-800-648-5010
Eldorado Hotel & Casino 1-800-879-8879
Hyatt Regency Resort Spa & Casino (Lake Tahoe) 1-800-233-1234
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino 1-866-821-9996
16 North Carolina Harrah’s Cherokee Casino (Cherokee) 1-800-427-7247
17 Ohio Blue Ash Golf Course (Cincinnati) 1-513-745-8577
Elks Run Golf Course (Cincinnati) 1-513-735-6600
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse (Cincinnati) 1-513-784-1200
Montgomery Inn Boathouse (Cincinnati) 1-513-791-3482
18 South Carolina Aunt Chilada’s Easy Street Café (Hilton Head) 1-843-785-7700
CQ’s Restaurant (Hilton Head) 1-843-671-2779
Golden Bear at Indigo Run (Hilton Head) 1-843-689-2200
Harbour Town Golf Course (Hilton Head) 1-843-363-4485
Hilton Head National (Hilton Head) 1-843-842-5900
Salty Dog Café (Hilton Head) 1-843-363-2198
Gaylord Springs Golf Links (Nashville) 1-615-458-1730
Half Shell Restaurant (Memphis) 1-901-682-3966
Rendezvous Barbecue (Memphis) 1-901-523-2746
Tsunami Restaurant (Memphis) 1-901-274-2556
Vanderbilt Legends Club (Brentwood) 1-615-790-1300
20 West Virginia Charles Town Races & Slots (Charles Town) 1-800-795-7001
The Greenbrier (White Sulphur Springs) 1-800-453-4858
Mountaineer Race Track & Gambling Resort (Chester) 1-800-489-8192
Tri State Racing and Gaming Center (Cross Lanes) 1-800-224-9683
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Atlantis, Paradise Island 1-800-777-5848
Vol um e 12 I ssue 5
A continuing debate among Texas Hold ’em players is the correct way to play A-K … especially after a bad flop. Since you will most likely be putting in a lot of bets before the flop with this hand, you can usually play it pretty aggressively after the flop as well because you have already built a good-size pot worth going after.
Phil Hellmuth Jr. is an 11-time World Series of Poker Champion, leading all poker players in the world. His latest book, “Deal Me In,” is on the fast track for being another best-seller. He has two existing New York best-seller books — “Play Poker Like the Pros” and “Bad Beats and Lucky Draws” — both of which can be found at Amazon.com. His books, clothing line, blog, tips and more can be found at PhilHellmuth.com. You can also chat and play with him at UltimateBet.net. This column is an excerpt from “Play Poker Like the Pros.”
Poker: Flop Play with A-K
The historical significance of a hand like A-K is paramount in how to play it. The classic hand that comes up between two players in no-limit Hold ’em tournaments is A-K versus Q-Q. Many times, one of these tournaments is decided because a great player has hit, or missed, his A-K versus Q-Q for a mountain of chips. At the 2001 World Series of Poker, I had Q-Q early in one event and was “all-in” against my opponent’s A-K. If I had lost this “coin flip” (actually, Q-Q is about a 13 to 10 favorite), then I would have been eliminated and would not have gone on to win the event and $305,000 for first place. This is a fairly uncommon occurrence late in these events. It makes sense, considering that the hands J-J, Q-Q, K-K, A-A and A-K are the top five hands in Hold ’em. The trick is to “finish the job” and go on to win the event if you are lucky enough to win a big coin-flip pot. Let’s look at some examples of A-K play in different scenarios.
Scenario 1: The flop includes an ace or a king. (For example, A-9-4, K-10-7, A-2-3 or K-Q-J) 1. You have A-K in the small blind in a $2-$4 game at your house (someone may win up to $200, but usually $50-$100 wins and losses are to be expected at this limit). 2. A jackal named Joe makes it $4 to go in third position. 3. An elephant named Earl calls the $4 on the button. 4. You re-raise, making it $6 to go from the small blind. 5. The big lion named Leo calls the $6 bet. 6. Joe the jackal and Earl the elephant also call the $6 bet. You bet, raise and re-raise quite a bit because you have hit “top pair” with “top kicker.” In every case where an A or K hits the flop, you will have top pair with top kicker (A-A-K or A-K-K), and this is a strong hand in Hold ’em. For example, if the flop is A-9-4, then you have a pair of aces with a king kicker. This hand beats other pairs of aces like A-Q, A-J, etc.
But let’s suppose now that the flop is A-9-4 and someone is holding A-9. You’re A-K would be losing on this flop, because A-9 now makes two pair, aces and nines. Still, for ever y time someone who plays a Phil Hellmuth, Jr. weak A-9 against your powerful A-K and beats you, you will beat him more than two other times (the A-K is slightly more than a 2.5 to 1 favorite heads-up against A-9). The point I am trying to make is that A-K becomes powerful when you catch an A or a K on the flop, and you should put in a lot of betting and raising on the flop when this is the case. Fortunes have been won and lost with A-K!
Scenario 2: The flop does NO T i n c l u d e a n a c e o r a k i n g . Suppose the flop comes J-5-2. You bet $2. The lion Leo raises, making it $4 to go; elephant Earl calls the bet. In this case, you figure that one of your opponents has you beat, but you call $2 anyway on the chance that an A, K, Q or 10 will hit the board on fourth street. If an A of K hits, then you should bet out $4 on fourth street. But if a Q or 10 hits, you will want to call a $4 bet (check and then call $4 if your opponents bet), because you have picked up a straight draw. Since you know you will call $4 when a Q or 10 hits, you may choose to bet out $4, attempting to win the pot right there (but right now we are just talking about play on the flop). So the play on the flop here is fairly simple: You bet out $2 and call the raise of $2. Suppose the flop comes out 7♦ – 8♦ – 9♦ and you have A♠ – K♣. You bet out $2, and the lion raises it to $4 to go. The jackal calls $4. Now what do you do? Folding here isn’t a bad option, because two of the cards you would like to see on the turn or river under other conditions, A♦ – K♦ would make four diamonds on the board, so they’re likely to be good cards for someone else and bad cards for you. Still, it costs you $2 to see if you can hit your hand. I would probably just fold for $2, but an expert could call the $2 bet because he feels that he reads his opponents well enough to avoid getting involved later on in the hand. The point I’m trying to make is this: Sometimes, even though you have A-K, you have to fold your hand on the flop when others raise you. You’re not folding often, but situations where you face three suited connected cards like 7♦-8♦-9♦ or 8♥-9♥-10♥ on the board, and you have none of the suited cards in your hand, you are better off to do so.
For more free poker tips, visit southerngaming.com/poker