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2012 Dining Guide – Good Eats and Tasty Treats! Volume 14 | Issue 5 | September 2012 Subscribe at SouthernGaming.com TODAY!

Casino Dining:

12 Sensations16 Southern Page

2012 Breeders’ Cup: Racing’s Richest Day Page 50

Yearwood Cooking Up a Storm!

Page 10

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INSIDE this ISSUE

Cover Trisha Yearwood: 10 Cooking Up a Storm in the South Casino Dining Guide: 16 2012Indiana   Dining Guide, page 17   Tunica Dining Guide, page 22   Mid-south Dining Guide, page 28   Gulf Coast Dining Guide, page 34

Feature Articles Recipe Roundup: 40 Tailgate Time! Kentucky Bourbon: 46 Distillery Delights 2012 Breeders’ Cup: 50 Racing’s Richest Day Playing the Ponies: 56 Wagering on the Web The Name Game: 62 How the Games Got Their Names

Trisha Ye arwood:

Cooking Up a Storm in the South  10

2 0 12 C a s i n o D i n i ng :

Top Southern Sensations  16

Tips Blackjack: 14 Playing Multiple Hands Video Poker: 20 Theo for Comps Roulette: 26 Understanding the Game Casino Knowledge: 38 Q & A with John G. Golf: 44 Swing Flaws and Fixes Horseracing: 54 Weighing in on the Sport Poker : 68 Flop Play with Ace-King

2 0 12 B r e e d e r s ’ C u p :

Racing’s Richest Day  50

Interesting Read The Life of a Hustler: 60 Billiards Legend Dan McGoorty

The Name Game:

How the Games Got Their Names  62 Vol um e 14  I ssu e 5  

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Up Front

...with G. Douglas

The American Gaming Association conducts an annual study called The State of the States that takes an in-depth look at the casino industry. The study delves into areas such as revenue, profits, taxes, employment, visitation and several other areas most people really don’t care about. However, after reading it every year, I feel more optimistic that gambling is alive and well and more popular than ever. The study showed that in 2011, 27 percent of the United States population visited a casino. That is almost 60 million people whose combined casino spending ($35.65 billion) totaled more than that of box office receipts ($10.2 billion). I mean, come on, wouldn’t you rather go to a casino than to a movie? With that said, 76 percent of those people dined at a fine dining restaurant on their visit. That is a lot of premium steaks and seafood! So, obviously, casino patrons like their food, and we like to write about it! This issue is our annual Casino Dining Guide loaded with some of our favorite casino restaurants throughout the South. From Indiana to the Gulf Coast, take a culinary road trip filled with the best of surf and turf and all that comes with it! We are excited to work with award-winning food writer, Julian Brunt, on this year’s guide, so we hope you like it! Casinos take their culinary prowess very seriously and you will find that, when you choose to dine at their restaurants, you won’t be disappointed. We are also nearing the end of another season of horseracing, which means the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships are just around the corner. The two-day event is reserved for the best thoroughbreds in 14 different divisions, all competing for over $25 million in purses. This year, the races will take place on November 2 and 3 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, near Los Angeles. Santa Anita is one of the top racetracks in the nation and is certainly deemed worthy of hosting such an elaborate event. Don’t miss Eric Floyd’s Breeders’ Cup Breakdown on page 60, where you will find a look back at the some of the most exciting battles on dirt and turf since the event was founded in 1984. If you get the chance to go to the Breeders’ Cup, I highly recommend it. But, if you can’t be there in person, be sure to get your bets in by using one of our recommended online wagering websites featured on page 66. These sites are all 100 percent legal and based in the United States so be sure to check them out! Also, with the holidays right around the corner, consider a gift subscription for The Comps Club™ as the perfect present! We will send a personalized letter to the recipient, and you don’t have to stand in line at the mall! For just $29, they will get six-issues of Southern Gaming and Destinations and six Member Coupon Paks loaded with coupons and special offers to casinos throughout the South! For more information, visit SouthernGaming.com or call 1-877-582-9478. Remember, if you can’t be good … be lucky!

G. Douglas Dreisbach General Manager

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Publisher Bisig Impact Group Chief Executive Officer Larry Bisig President & Creative Director Chip Dumstorf General Manager G. Douglas Dreisbach Brand Marketing Manager/ Sales Executive Ashley Horner Accounting Peggy Harris Contributing Authors Joey Adams Linda Boyd Julian Brunt Robert Byrne Eric Floyd John Grochowski Phil Hellmuth, Jr. Bernie Lubbers Michael Shackelford Henry Tamburin Colby Wolitz 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: editor@southerngaming.com 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: Country music star Trisha Yearwood is cooking up a storm with her hit show on The Food Network, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. Get the scoop 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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The Scoop

...with Southern Gaming

Southern Gaming Magazine is THE gaming authority of the South, and we prove it by bringing you the latest and greatest gambling news, promotions, concerts, and more! GET MORE at SouthernGaming.com where you will find daily updates including great gaming tips, sports scores and odds, special gambling giveaways and a digital edition of Southern Gaming!

Biloxi Chefs Cook at the Olympics!

L’Auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge Open For Business! Pinnacle Entertainment’s latest gem, L’Auberge Casino & Hotel, is the latest resort-style gambling facility to hit the South. The hotel features over 200 guest rooms and suites, a rooftop pool overlooking the Mississippi River, an outdoor concert venue that hosts up to 2,500 guests, a premium steakhouse, buffet and more. If that’s not enough, the casino is home to 1,500 slot machines, 50 table games and a poker room featuring the full spread of games. For more information, call 1-866-580-7444 or visit LBatonRouge.com.

When it comes to cooking prowess, the Gulf Coast is pure gold. As Team USA competed in this year’s Olympic games, the flavors of the Gulf Coast were flying high. Chef Chris Poplin, IP Casino Resort & Spa, and Chef Calvin Coleman, Naomi’s Catering, were selected to go to London to host an area representing the flavors of the coast. Chef Chris won Southern Gaming’s 2011 Casino Cook-off and prepared Southern BBQ Shrimp with Smoked Sausage, Green Onion and Goat Cheese Grits. Chef Calvin prepared Gulf Seafood and Gator Sausage Gumbo. The Olympic initiative was put together as part of BP’s ongoing partnership with the United States Olympic Committee and their effort to continue to promote the Gulf Coast as a premier destination. The rest of the United States culinary team featured the best chefs from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. To see the full recipes for each entry, visit SouthernGaming.com.

Do You Smoke Cigars? Smoke ‘Em if You’ve Got ‘Em! Don’t miss your chance to win one of five ultimate cigar sampler packs! That’s right ... we have teamed up with Thompson Cigar Co. and are giving away some of our favorite cigars and accessories for you to enjoy. Enter to win awesome sampler packs that include: • Ten premium, hand-rolled cigars (Includes Rocky Patel, La Gloria, Cusano (Rated 91), Alec Bradley and more) • Top-of-the-line Gurkha Legend • Noah Edge Lighter • 3-Finger Black Telescoping Cigar Case • Double Blade Assorted Cigar Cutter Enter at southerngaming.com/cigaroffer by October 26th for your chance to win!

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Hollywood Casino Tunica Unveils New High Limit Room and Poker Room

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Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Mississippi, recently unveiled some exciting new changes to their casino floor that are being wellreceived by their guests. A luxurious, private High Limit Room and a new Poker Room are both open. The High Limit Room features over 50 high limit slot machines and blackjack tables and a seating area with flat screen televisions viewable from every angle. Jeff Strang, Vice President of Marketing, states, “Customers like the exclusivity of the High Limit Room and the luxurious décor adds that special Hollywood touch. In addition, we renovated our Poker Room and this all-new Poker room is now considered to be the nicest Poker Room in Tunica.” The Poker Room has six poker tables and is open from Wednesday through Sunday. The areas were originally damaged in a flood of the Mississippi River in May 2011. For more information, call 1-800-871-0711 or visit HollywoodCasinoTunica.com.

PokerStars Acquires Full Tilt Poker Assets in Deal with DOJ PokerStars, one of the leading online poker websites acquired Full Tilt Poker and all of their assets, including millions of dollars owed to players. Under the terms of the deal, PokerStars was to pay a fine to the U.S. government totaling $547 million (no, that is NOT a typo!), acquire all assets of Full Tilt Poker and agree to repay all of the outstanding account balances of Full Tilt Players. In addition, several of the key management and executives are forbidden to play any type of management role in the company. At the time of print, there were no plans or timelines of when Poker Stars will re-launch Full Tilt, but it seems that the intentions are to do so in countries and jurisdictions where is it permitted.

Want More? Southern Gaming’s Got It! Find us on Facebook! Want MORE Southern Gaming? Join us on Facebook for daily news stories, tips, contests and giveaways and more! So, the next time you log onto Facebook… do a quick search for “Southern Gaming and Destinations Magazine” and “Like us” and you will be all set! See you soon…ON FACEBOOK!

Vol um e 14  I ssu e 5  

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Facts and Fun

Did You Know?

Say What?

1.  How many Twinkies does Hostess produce per minute? a. 100 b. 500 c. 1000 d. 2000 2.  How did Frank Mars come up with the name for the Snickers candy bar? a. His son suggested it. b. It was the name of his favorite horse. c. A survey he published in the newspaper. d. He didn’t come up with the name.

“Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.”

3. What year was the Breeders’ Cup founded? a. 1980 b. 1982 c. 1990 d. 1992

– W. C. Fields Got a joke or fun fact? E-mail it to jokes@southerngaming.com for your chance to win casino coupons from The Comps ClubTM!

4.  What horse has the highest Breeders’ Cup earnings? a. Zenyatta b. Tiznow c. Curlin d. Goldikova

Fun with Numbers

5.  At which racetrack was the first Breeders’ Cup held? a. Gulfstream Park b. Churchill Downs c. Santa Anita Park d. Hollywood Park

1

5

4

8

4

2 5

"Did You Know" Answers: 1.) c–1000 2.) b–It was the name of his favorite horse 3.) b–1982 4.) a–Zenyatta ($4.68 million) 5.) d–Hollywood Park (1984)

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Number in millions of Snickers bars produced every day.

152

Number of Breeders’ Cup races Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has had horses in. (Second is Todd Pletcher with 86.)

250

Number of licks (per side) it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

5

3

9

The Sudoku Puzzle

Up to the challenge?

1 3

2

Number of honeybees it takes to make one tablespoon of honey.

6

7 3

12

9

1

8

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Complete the grid so that each column, row and block of nine squares includes numbers 1 through 9 only once. Answers on page 58


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trisha yearwood Cooking up a storm in the South By G . Douglas Dreisbach

Then, in 1963, French chef Julia Child broke onto the scene w it h her popu la r cooking show aired on PBS ca lled The French Chef, branding Child as the darling of the culinary world for over 40 years. The food frenzy continued to grow and the rest is history.

P hotos courtesy of T he Food Network

In 1946, NBC aired the first cook ing show ever with James Beards’ I Love to Eat, and with it they started the modern-aged phenomenon of televised culinary education. Beard was a popular chef and writer who published numerous cookbooks and was considered to be the eminent American food authority.

Today, there are countless numbers of television shows with colorful chefs each possessing their own unique personalities and charms that feeds into their hierarchy of stardom and sales of their specialized products including cookware, books, classes, apps and an array of other items. Whether you like the cooking shows or not, there is no denying that the “BAM!” of Emeril Lagasse and the “Hey Y’all!” of Paula Deen have cooked their way into the homes and hearts of America and the world, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere soon. There are more chefs, both professional and casual, today than ever before for varying reasons from the availability of resources such as recipes and ingredients, to the culinary 10  

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T r i sh a Y e a r w oo d ’s S o u t h e r n K i tc h e n on The Food Network is a big hit. marketing of television networks, websites and businesses. The cooking sensations who grace our flat screens and tablets are not necessarily the best cooks in the world, but they certainly bring more to the table than a spatula and skillet. They bring showmanship and an energized demeanor that makes even the most basic recipes seem interesting and obtainable for you to try at home. Look at some of the more popular shows like Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, where Guy, who looks more like a punk rocker than a chef, travels around the country to unique eateries, goes into the kitchens and gets the recipes and cooking techniques from the chefs themselves. It is a really cool concept and gets great ratings! Another great concept is Throw


favorite recipes for a family reunion. Trisha cooks up her daddy’s barbecue chicken recipe while her Uncle Wilson shares his famous sweet grilled Vidalia onions wrapped in bacon. If that isn’t enough, for dessert, Trisha and her sister bake a key lime cake, all while sharing some memories of past family reunions and cookouts. Sounds tasty right?

F a m i ly a n d f r i e n d s join in on the cooking for the show. Down with Bobby Flay starring the super star chef himself going to famous restaurants and challenging the chefs to a cooking contest featuring their specialty. So, in Louisville, Flay challenged the historic Brown Hotel in a contest of who could cook the best Hot Brown, the tasty treat the hotel is famous for. And, who could ever forget the traveling culinary investigator, Anthony Bourdain? This guy gets to travel the globe to exotic places bringing some of the most exotic dishes to your television. Before you start thinking that you want his job, think about what it would be like to try rice whiskey infused with fermented insects in Vietnam or blood sausage from Uruguay. Regardless, foodies love to watch him attempt to eat exotic things from strange places and ratings seem to support the cause. All of this adds up to one thing—a big interest in food. Not just any food show, but something with a unique twist that not only educates the viewer, but also entertains them as well.

Yearwood, who is married to country music star, Garth Brooks, commented in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel about how the show reflects some of her real life enjoyments of food and that a lot of those come from traditional Southern comfort foods. “Our lives are a little bit crazy,” she said. “The show reflects our real life [as a family]. We don’t throw dinner parties, but we do have lots of potlucks. The kitchen is always full of family and friends, so those are the recipes we’ve brought to the show. Sometimes the stories behind the recipes are as important as the dish itself.” The fans seemed to like having the personal, “insider” look at Yearwood and some of her family secrets since the first season was a great success. Recently, The Food Network announced plans for another 13-episode season scheduled to air this fall, and she can’t wait for it to begin. “I had so much fun doing the first season of the show. It was such a great experience, and the positive response from viewers was overwhelming and truly gratifying.” Yearwood said. “I’ve always believed that food brings people together and I can’t wait to share more family memories and recipes with Food Network fans,” said Yearwood. So, while you won’t find any visits to exotic places or watch a cook-off, when you settle in for an episode of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, you know you will be in for a great treat!

So, when the Food Network introduced Trisha’s Southern Kitchen featuring country music star, Trisha Yearwood, earlier this year, they felt they had a recipe for success. Yearwood was already a huge star on the country music scene with $10 million in album sales, including nine number one and 19 top ten singles, three Grammy Awards®, two Academy of Country Music Awards and countless other accolades. The next quest … conquering the kitchen. As the Food Network website states, when Yearwood became a big success on the stage, it didn’t just change her life—it changed the way she cooked too. She bought a home just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and with it got the kitchen of her dreams—and she had to adjust to all the space. “I’m from a small town in Georgia,” she says. “I never had a gas cooktop before. I never had an island in my kitchen. I never had counter space before!” So, with the extra space in the kitchen, she could cook all the down-home Southern recipes she loves, which led to two cookbooks (she co-wrote them with her sister and mother) and to the new show as well. Each themed episode gives the audience a look at what makes the music star tick as she shares her favorite down home recipes, some helpful hints around the kitchen and some family stories and memories too. In an episode during the first season, Yearwood was joined by her sister and Uncle to help create some of their

T h e r ec i p e s o n t h e sho w a r e among some of Yearwood’s personal favorites. Vol um e 14  I ssue 5  

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Recipes from Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: Family Barbecue Episode Uncle Wilson’s Grilled Onions

Key Lime Cake

Ingredients (Yields 12 servings)

Ingredients (Yields 12 servings)

6 large sweet white onions, such as Vidalia 12 strips bacon 2 tablespoons butter Salt and pepper

For the cake: Butter, for greasing pan Flour, for dusting pan One 3-ounce package lime flavored gelatin 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 3/4 cup orange juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 large eggs, slightly beaten

Directions Peel and wash the onions. With the point of a small, sharp knife, cut a 1-inch core from the top of each onion and make shallow slits in a circle around the top. Wrap 2 slices of bacon horizontally around each onion, and secure them with toothpicks. Then put 1 teaspoon of butter in each core. Season with salt and pepper. Place each onion on a square of aluminum foil and bring the edges together at the top, leaving a small opening for steam to escape. Put the foil-wrapped onions on the grill and cook for 1 hour, or until the onions are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. You can also bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Cool the onions for a few minutes then unwrap and cut into quarters to serve.

Daddy’s Barbecue Chicken Ingredients (Yields 6 servings) Chicken: Three 2 1/2-pound frying chickens, split 3 tablespoons salt BBQ Sauce: 1 cup cider vinegar 3/4 cup peanut oil 1/4 cup of water 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon salt

Directions For the chicken: Put the chicken halves in a very large bowl or deep pot and cover with water. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the salt in the water, cover and refrigerate the chicken for 6 hours or overnight. For the BBQ sauce: In a saucepan, mix together the vinegar, salt, peanut oil, hot sauce, black pepper, water and cayenne. Bring this mixture to a boil, stir well and remove from the heat. Drain the chicken, pat dry and place the halves on the grill, skin side up. Baste with the sauce and cook for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side down and baste the top with sauce. Continue to grill the chicken for an additional 30 minutes, turning and basting the chicken every 10 minutes. Check for doneness by twisting a drumstick; it should move easily. Cook’s Note: If you cannot find small chickens, use larger ones (3 to 3 1/2 pounds) and quarter them.

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For the glaze: 1/2 cup key lime juice (from about 25 small key limes or   4 large regular limes) 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar For the icing: 1/2 cup (1 stick butter), room temperature One 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature One 1 pound box confectioners’ sugar

Directions For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour one 9 x 12 x 2 inch cake pan. In a large mixing bowl, mix the gelatin, granulated sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir to mix well. Add the oil, orange juice, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until well combined. Pour the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly touching the tops or inserting a toothpick. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. For the glaze: While the cake is still hot, mix the lime juice and confectioners’ sugar together well. Pierce the cake with a fork to allow the glaze to soak in better and pour it over the cake on the cooling rack. Allow cake to cool completely as you prepare the icing. For the icing: Cream the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until mixture is smooth and easy to spread. Spread the icing on the top and sides of the cake. Cook’s Note: you can also use three 9-inch round cake pans and make this into a layer cake.

Courtesy of Trisha Yearwood


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Blackjack

Sometimes you will see a blackjack player playing two hands instead of one. Other times, you might see a player who has been playing one hand suddenly spread to two hands in the middle of the shoe because he has the misconception that, by “changing the flow of cards,” he will change the luck of the table. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as you are just as likely to keep losing as you are to start winning, so switching to playing two (or more) hands will not guarantee your luck will change.

Henry Tamburin is a blackjack and video poker expert. For a free copy of his Casino Gambling Catalog containing books, strategy cards, DVDs and software for blackjack, video poker and other casino games, call toll free 1-888-353-3234 (or view the catalog online at www.smartgaming.com). For a free three-month subscription to his monthly Blackjack Insider newsletter, go to www.bjinsider.com/freetrial. Tamburin’s websites are www.smartgaming.com and www.bjinsider.com. He is available as a guest speaker at conventions. Contact him at HTamburin@aol.com.

Blackjack: Playing Multiple Hands

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One obvious thing that happens when you play two hands is that you will be dealt more hands per hour. For example, if you play with two other players, you can expect to be dealt roughly 100 rounds per hour. If, instead, you play two hands, you’ll get about 80 rounds dealt to you per hour, or a total of 160 hands per hour (that’s 60 more hands per hour). Is playing more hands per hour good or bad? In general, this isn’t a good idea because, when the house has the edge and you play more hands per hour, you’re exposing more of your bankroll to that house edge, and you will lose more money. However, let’s say that instead of betting $20 on one hand, you split your bet evenly and wager $10 on each of two hands. Your theoretical hourly loss when you bet $20 on one hand is roughly $10 (assumes 100 hands per hour). Betting two hands of $10 each, your theoretical loss drops to $8 per hour (assumes 80 hands played per spot per hour, or $160 total). Therefore, you will decrease your hourly loss if, instead of putting all your money on one hand, you bet half as much on each of two hands. (Note: The amount of the decrease of loss depends on how many other players are at the table with you.) What if, instead of betting $20 on one hand, you bet $20 on each of two hands? Now you’ve increased the total amount bet in each round from $20 (one hand) to $40 (spread over two hands). In this scenario, the total amount that you wager per hour would be greater betting two hands than by betting one, and your theoretical hourly loss will increase. Betting in this manner on two hands is, therefore, not recommended. On the surface you would think that the swings in your bankroll would be the same whether you bet, say, $50 on one hand or $25 on each of two hands, since the total amount wagered per round is the same ($50). However, the two hands are really not independent because they are associated with the same dealer’s hand, so if the dealer has a lousy hand, you are likely to win both hands (and vice versa, if she has a strong

hand). What this means in practical terms is that your bankroll will not fluctuate as much when you bet $25 on each of two hands compared to betting $50 on one hand. Many blackjack players Henry Tamburin are happy if they can stretch their bankroll so it gives them a reasonable amount of time on the table (e.g., a three-hour session). Others are happy if they can achieve a predetermined win goal (say, winning $150 with a $300 bankroll). Will betting more than one hand help you in achieving these objectives? To answer this question, Norm Wattenberger, who is one of the foremost blackjack software developers (www. qfit.com), ran some computer simulations for different betting options (assuming the player started with a $300 bankroll) to determine what were the player’s chances of his bankroll surviving over a three-hour playing session (second column in table), and independently, the chances of a player winning $150 and quitting (third column).

Bet

Chance $300 Bankroll Will Last

Chance of Winning $150

$10 on one hand

86%

40%

$5 on each of two hands

96%

26%

$20 on one hand

53%

62%

$10 on each of two hands

68%

55%

The results shown in the chart are: 1. For the same total amount wagered per round, betting two hands improves the chances of your bankroll’s lasting three hours but it also lowers the likelihood of winning $150. 2. Increasing the total amount wagered per round from $10 to $20 increases your chances of winning $150, but it also decreases the chances that your bankroll will last for three hours. Unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways. The bottom line on playing two hands with half as much bet on each hand vs. betting it all on one hand is this: you will experience less fluctuation in your bankroll, and you are less likely to tap out during a session (but, you will have less chance of achieving a win goal).

For more free blackjack tips, visit southerngaming.com/blackjack


2012

Casino Dining Guide Top Southern  Sensations

By Julian B runt

When was the last time you went to a casino and enjoyed a nice dinner in their fine dining restaurant? If you can’t remember, then you owe it to yourself to indulge in winning wines, succulent steaks and delicious desserts on your next visit. Numbers show that 72 percent of those who visit a casino dine at a fine dining restaurant, and whether those are comped meals or you are shelling out the cash to be spoiled, that is a lot of hungry people! In this year’s dining guide, we have once again brought you an array of different flavors from Indiana to the Gulf Coast. While we can’t highlight all of them, we hope you will enjoy a few of our favorites and get to visit a few of them soon!

Julian Brunt is a Southern food writer whose roots are more than three hundred years deep in the Mississippi red clay. He spent his youth in Europe and then traveled the South, Southwest and Caribbean for the next thirty years. He has lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, since 1992 and writes for the Sun Herald Newspaper, Mississippi Magazine, Mississippi Visitors and Newcomers Guide, Eat.Drink Mississippi and various other publications.

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Indiana Southeast Indiana is a beautiful part of the state where small town charm prevails. Indianapolis and Cincinnati are nearby for those who seek city life, but with outdoor adventures, art and antiques, cozy inns and B&Bs so close at hand, a few days here might be just what you are looking for. There are a good variety of restaurants, and the local BBQ has got to be tried. But, when you are in this part of the world, a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich is a must. It’s a pounded thin tenderloin, breaded and deep fried, then served on a hamburger bun and topped with pickles, tomato, lettuce and mayo. You also might want to try sugar cream pie, onion pie and, who could visit Indiana without having a corn dog? There are eight casinos in the Southern Gaming area in Indiana, and this year we are highlighting two that we think are pretty special.

Rising Star Casino Resort Rising Sun, Indiana 1-800-472-6311 risingstarcasino.com Wellington’s Steakhouse Executive Chef: Jack Rolf If you find yourself in the southeast corner of Indiana between Cincinnati and Louisville stop by the quaint riverside community of Rising Sun. This is great B&B and cozy inn country, but you’ll also find some stellar dining options. The Rising Star Casino Resort presents a handful of culinary possibilities to indulge in, from fine dining to a great pub. Wellington’s offers a warm and elegant atmosphere for fine dining and a menu stocked with certified Angus aged beef and hand-harvested seafood delivered fresh daily. There is also a solid wine list with a good selection of by the glass or by the bottle from Dom Perignon to a silky pinot noir to California’s Little Black Dress. Start your meal with something fresh from the sea, like jumbo crab cakes with mustard aioli and black bean salsa or Prince Edward Island mussels served in the style of the lovely French province of Provence, a la Provencal. You will also find the ever-popular king crab legs with drawn butter and lemon sauce, pan-seared scallops and caper sauce and baked Blue Point oysters. The oysters are made with spinach, pine nuts, boursin cheese and Pernod and make a feast for one along with a cold glass of pinot gris or Riesling.

If soup and salad seem the way to go, it is hard to lose with classic French lobster bisque, or French onion soup made with sweet caramelized onions and topped with bubbly Gruyere cheese, a late-night Parisian specialty. Another good choice is the caprese salad, made with the colors of the Italian flag represented by mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil. There just isn’t a better pairing of flavors than baby spinach leaves, smoky bacon, candied pecans and Maytag blue cheese, perhaps America’s best blue cheese. Pair this salad with a pinot noir and you can’t go wrong. No matter how good your chef is, if the beef you are using isn’t the best you’re just not going to get the finest results, but with Wellington’s 28-day aged Angus beef that’s just not a worry. There are eight steak selections to choose from starting with a 7-ounce filet mignon all the way up to a whopping 42-ounce bone-in ribeye for two. There is also a grain-fed rack of lamb with fresh tarragon honey glaze and, with a nod to the restaurant’s name, Beef Wellington. If you’ve never tried this classic English recipe, which perhaps they borrowed from the French filet de bœuf en croûte, now’s the time. It is made with beef tenderloin wrapped in pastry dough and baked with a Madeira truffle sauce and is delicous! The seafood selection at Wellington’s stands just as tall and offers seven delightful possibilities. Nothing seems as sweet as cedar plank roasted salmon and the white wine cream sauce pairs marvelously well with the roasted fish. The Chilean sea bass might also catch your eye offered with an imaginative king crab risotto and citrus beurre blanc, an emulsified butter sauce made with a reduction of vinegar, white wine and shallots. If fine dining is not your thing then there’s the River View Buffet, and as the name promises you’ll have a scenic view of the Ohio River as you dine on a great selection of carved meats, country barbecue, Italian specialties and a solid range of fresh salads and desserts. There’s also the Queen City Market with Cincinnati’s famed LaRosa’s pizza, an area specialty found nowhere else, and the Pub with entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights and your favorite sports on TV. Rising Star Casino Resort offers a dining experience that’s just right for the day you are having. Win big at Wellington’s, or celebrate the Ohio River at the buffet, and have a cold one at the Pub.

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Casino Dining Guide 2012 c o ntin u e d

Top: The Steakhouse at Indiana Grand Casino. Left: Wellington’s at Rising Star Casino. Right: The Lobster Mac & Cheese at The Steakhouse at Indiana Grand Casino.

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Indiana Indiana Grand Casino Shelbyville, Indiana

1-877-386-4463 indianagrand.com The Steakhouse Executive Chef: Robert Brody All too often a restaurant with an award-winning chef and an ambition to offer fine dining presents a menu crammed with French classics or over the top new wave creations and the result is a muddled dining experience. Chef Andrew Miller, the Executive Chef at The Steakhouse, knows exactly what he wants to offer and his succinct menu is crisp and to the point. He has received ten gold, silver and bronze medals while competing in American Culinary Federation competitions, and has more than twenty years of culinary experience. This is a chef who knows what he wants and the menu is a reflection of his talents and experience. Why offer a dazzling array of Pacific Rim or fusion inspired dishes when you can get right to the point with a menu that nails the fundamentals? The Steakhouse’s appetizers are a balanced offering so good you might not want to go any further. What better way to dine than by making a tapas like selection and enjoying a little from a lot? Blackened beef medallions seared in an 1800-degree double boiler with a choice of béarnaise or BBQ sauce would be a hard act to follow. Steamed clams and mussels in a saffron fennel tomato broth can only be described as a classic too good to miss and sweet jumbo lump crab cakes with fennel slaw just might stop the show. The menu for main courses is just as concise with only nine offerings, but there isn’t any need for more when you get it right. Asiago crusted salmon with wild mushroom orzo and wilted spinach tops the list, but it’s followed by a killer burger. As simple as the all-American burger is, it may very well be one of those dishes that define a chef’s real ability. Chef Miller nails it with his burger that features house cured bacon, smoked Gouda, bourbon mushrooms, tomato chutney and pommes frites. This is fine dining at its best; a simple dish, wowed with creativity and pairings that sing together.

The steak menu is just as concise as the rest of the menu and boasts only six items. If you have never had a steak cooked over an intensely hot fire then you’ve never had a steak at its full potential. The heat sears the meat and seals in the juices and flavor like no other method can. There are also six options you can order with your steak, each giving your palate a slightly different twist; sautéed onion, peppers and mushrooms is old school but still just as good as ever. Peppercorn sauce-brandy and shallots is another recommended choice, but if you’re really in the mood for a culinary adventure try the Oscar style asparagus with lump crab. Next on the menu is a good pasta selection with the wild mushroom ravioli deserving special notice. With a flash of creativity Chef Miller slips in a surprise with lobster mac and cheese, which embraces Maine lobster, sweet peas, crispy pancetta and a five-cheese cream sauce. If you’ve got anything left after this menu there are six desserts to choose from. Crème Brulee Trio takes the crusty flan like dessert and adds a seasonal selection of blackberries, mango and basil and makes for a light and delightful ending. You also might consider Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake with lemoncello, the lemon infused drink the Italians have been making for more than one hundred years. The Indiana Grand also offers visitors the Grandstand Sports Bar & Grill with a great American menu and full bar and The Market Buffet serves lunch and dinner with a seafood buffet on Friday evenings. The buffet has six food stations with a mix of specialties from Mediterranean to Asian. Sunday you can enjoy a champagne brunch. Well, that wraps up our overview of Indiana Dining. Also, don’t miss the fine cuisine at a couple of other great gaming stops at Belterra Casino Resort, Horseshoe Casino Southern Indiana and Casino Aztar Evansville. Bon Appetit!

Check out our interactive Casino Dining Guide at SouthernGaming.com/2012DiningGuide today! Or scan the QR code!

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Video Poker

Nowadays players are much better informed than in bygone times. That’s a double-edged sword, since many casinos assume that their base patrons know more than most do about game strategy as well as the comps game. One area, in particular, that is widely misunderstood is the system used within a casino to determine the amount of dollars you will be offered in comps, especially for food. For example, I frequently hear players complain about losing several hundred dollars and are then highly offended because their host says they haven’t played enough to be offered a comp. On the other hand, I know of customers who tell me they’ve played for hours, but can’t ask for a comp because they’re way ahead. Your comp value to a casino is not based on your session wins or losses; instead, it’s based on the theoretical edge of the casino. The house brass, as am I, are strong believers in the odds. They know over time nobody out runs the numbers. So here is a guide to understanding the value of your discretionary comps, so you can feel confident of receiving perks even when you’re a winner and not offended by being turned down even when you’re a big session loser.

Linda Boyd, a long-time table game player before turning to video poker, writes for “Southern Gaming”, “Midwest Gaming and Travel” and “Arizona Player”. Look for her article in the 2011 Edition of American Casino Guide. Her book, “The Video Poker Edge”, includes free removable pay schedules and her free strategy cards for the most popular games. Amazon, Square One Publishers and bookstores are sending the Second edition with a 2010 publishing date. Kindle edition now available.

Video Poker: Theo for Comps

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A few definitions: Discretionary Comps: By now most players know these are comps at the discretion of the casino host. Mostly, your host has a lot of latitude in what they can offer, especially at non-corporate Native American casinos. If, for example, you play at Harrah’s (HET) the policy may be written in stone and have certain limitations. You may be required to use up all of your existing (earned) comps before you can be offered perks that are not deducted from your comp balance. If you’re not sure of the policy then ask your host. No host? If you’re just there for a few days or a session but you’re a strong player (lots of coin-in), then still ask at the players club ahead of time. You may not technically qualify, but the host wants you back and has the authority to over-compensate in certain situations. Earned Comps: These perks are based solely on your play and you will know the amount by entering your card code or can ask at the slot club desk. You can even ask for their comp-earning formula. I recommend that you hang on to these and opt to use discretionary comps whenever possible. Coin-in: Refers to the total amount of money you run through the gaming device; this is unrelated to whether you win or lose the money.

1. House Advantage: This means the player’s theoretical loss or the statistical edge the house has over you, based on the game you choose. (As an aside, be aware that the same technique is Linda Boyd used for table games. Do not assume, for example, that all blackjack games are created equal. The specific game rules, like whether or not the dealer hits a soft 17, determine the house’s edge.) Here’s a specific video poker example. Say your game is 9/6 Double-Double Bonus (9/6 DDB) with an ER of 98.9808%. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll round it to 99%, giving the house a 1% advantage. First, you will want to know your coin-in for the session. Say you play 700 hands per hour on a dollar machine with max coins, that’s 5-coins per hand. 700 X $5 = $3,500 per hour X 4 hours= $14,000 1% of $14,000 = $14,000 X .01 = $140 This means the casino has a $140 edge over you the player. 2. Discretionary Policy: The easiest way to determine the percentage offered for discretionary comps is to ask—nowadays it’s rarely a secret. Let’s say it’s 20%, for example. This means the casino will give you up to 20% of your theoretical loss in comps. Not unusual when you realize that they’re giving you one-fifth of your theoretical loss in the form of comps. In the example above it would be 20% of $140. 140 X .2 = $28 in food comps. You can expect to receive around $28 when you ask for a food comp at this casino. Keep in mind that you’re much better off requesting a discretionary comp, which is not subtracted from your earned comp total—save those for a rainy day. 3. Win, Lose or Draw: Whether you win, lose or break even in a given session is not particularly significant to the casino. Too often players take the fact that they lost a lot of money quickly and were denied a food comp too personally. Unfortunately, the faster you lose your bankroll when it’s just not your day, the less likely you are to be offered a food comp to soften the blow. When you lose in a short period of time your total coin-in will be lower than if you either win or lose over a long session. The comp theo increases as you pour more money into the device.

For more free video poker tips, visit southerngaming.com/video poker


AND THE AWARD GOES TO... Southern Gaming & Destinations Magazine readers have awarded us First Place for having the best employees, best casino floor, best restaurant (Fairbanks), best theme and best advertising. Plus, we’ve added all-new high limit slot & table rooms, all-new poker room and more of the hottest penny slots. Just a few of the blockbuster reasons to play at Hollywood Casino Tunica.

1-800-871-0711 ★ hollywoodcasinotunica.com ©2012 Hollywood Casino Tunica. Must be 21 years or older. Gambling problem? Call 1-888-777-9696.


Casino Dining Guide 2012 c o ntin u e d

Top: Lobster tail from Twain’s Steakhouse at Sam’s Town Casino. Left: Smoked double cut pork chops with sweet potatoes and Tasso ham hash from Fairbank’s at Hollywood Casino. Right: Grilled filet mignon from Chicago Steakhouse at Gold Strike Casino Resort. 22  

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Tunica The Mississippi River meanders slowly through Tunica County Mississippi on its way to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. The flat, alluvial plane—the result of thousands of years of the river flooding and leaving its rich deposits behind—has made this soil some of the richest in the United States and made cotton king here for generations. But the gaming industry has unseated the king and this once rural landscape thrives, as it never was before. The growing fame of Highway 61 as the Blues Highway is another major factor in the changing times of this part of the Mississippi Delta. The highway follows the path of the great river south and is now littered with Blues Trail markers proclaiming the birthplaces of famous bluesmen like BB King and John Lee Hooker and the juke joints where they played. The most famous bluesman of all, Robert Johnson, spent some time near Tunica, and it might well have been on a crossroads nearby that he traded his soul to the devil in exchange for his mastery of the blues. The Delta is now recognized as the birthplace of America’s music, but there’s more to the Delta than music. Look for the quaint back roads restaurants that have found growing fame with their take on Southern cuisine, fishing on area lakes, hunting in the fall and a growing eco-tourism industry celebrating the bio-diversity of the Delta. Spend an afternoon in historic downtown Tunica or near-by Clarksdale, Cleveland or Indianola and discover what the Deep South is like today. There are nine casinos in Tunica that all possess their own charm … here are a few of our favorites.

Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall Tunica, Mississippi

1-800-456-0711 samstowntunica.com Twain’s Steakhouse Executive Chef: Gary Riley The Mississippi Delta is as unique a part of the USA and the Deep South as can be found. Cotton fields still do stretch out to the horizon and the rolling Mississippi river just to the west carries a vast amount of brown water to the Gulf of Mexico not too many miles to the south. But times do change, even in this sleepy rural area. Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Tunica, Mississippi, offers a variety of entertainment from golf

and shopping to fine dining. Twains, named in honor of the American writer who chronicled life on the near-by river, offers causal fine dining with superior style and elegance. Paneled walls and ceilings speak to the old South, as wooden columns and a center-of-the-room fireplace add privacy to the dining room. If you’re new to this part of the world, you might want to start your dining experience with Nawlins Style BBQ Shrimp. This unique recipe has nothing at all to do with traditional BBQ, but is a spicy and delightful take on shrimp like no other part of the country can offer. The jumbo lump crab cakes are a local tradition and when served with maque choux, a Cajun and Native American blend of corn and other garden fresh vegetables, become something very special indeed. If you want to keep it simple and elegant try the charcuterie and cheese plate, with housemade sausages and gourmet cheeses served with cranberry chutney and spiced honey mustard. This is an appetizer with a sweeping variety of flavors. The steaks and chops are all wood-broiled and brushed with a compound butter and there is a good selection from filets to bone-in ribeye. All the bases are covered with the sauces Twains offers, but the rosemary demi-glace and Jack Daniels demi-glace are exceptional accompaniments. There’s also surf and turf and roast prime rib of beef that comes with Yorkshire pudding, that lovely English dish that isn’t a pudding at all, but more of a bread made just right to catch the au jus that would be a pity to waste. Seafood is big in the South and Twains offers three great selections; lobster tail with drawn butter and lemon, Alaskan king crab legs and blackened salmon, a cooking technique perfected by the renowned New Orleans Chef Prudhomme at his famous K-Pauls Louisiana Kitchen. There are also four pasta dishes, but the stuffed manicotti is an Italian food lovers dream come true. These pasta tubes are stuffed with ricotta, boursin, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and freshly sautéed spinach and herbs, and then baked bubbly hot with an Alfredo sauce. It’s served with the only thing that goes with this sort of Italian comfort food at its best—plenty of toasted garlic bread. One more pasta dish has just got to be mentioned—a linguine served with lobster, shrimp and scallops sautéed in butter and then tossed in a cream sauce. Sam’s Town also offers the Great Buffet, filled with all the good things hearty eaters look for. This buffet offers free beer and wine and food selections from Asia, Italy and American classics, but being this close to Memphis, which all Southerners know as the undisputed BBQ capital of the world, Corky’s BBQ is also on the menu. Corky’s has been Vol um e 14  I ssue 5  

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Casino Dining Guide 2012 c o ntin u e d

making the world’s finest hickory smoked ribs and BBQ in Memphis since the early 1970s. These ribs and BBQ are hand-rubbed with special dry shake and smoked for 18 hours. If you are an aficionado of this uniquely American food style, then this is something you’ve just got to try. Sam’s Town may bill itself as a gambling hall, but it is a class act and Twain’s gets top billing. The restaurant’s elegant setting is just right for a meal that promises excellence. Twain’s should be on your must-visit list.

Gold Strike Casino Resort Tunica, Mississippi

1-888-245-7829 goldstrike.com Chicago Steakhouse Executive Chef: Chris Zelinski The Chicago Steak House at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi, is the sort of restaurant that wows guests from the very beginning. Enter here and you will be greeted with a stunning mahogany wood and brick theme that hints of the opulence of Chicago’s heyday, but with a modern shine. You will also pass by their Wine Spectator Magazine award winning wine cellar, an accolade very few restaurants in the South can boast of, and if that combination of decorum and excellence doesn’t set the mood for fine dining nothing will.

The Seared Scallops from Gold Strike Casino Resort is served with sweet potato hash and is a fan favorite.

Many think this is the Mid-South’s premier restaurant, and in a region that has seen its culinary esteem skyrocket over the last few years that’s really saying something. With just a quick look around it is obvious that every effort was made to make the ambiance both comfortable and impressive, and as soon as you see the menu and experience the attending service you’ll understand the kind of fine dining encounter you are about to have.

lamb rack that is pistachio crusted, served with housemade butternut squash gnocchi. What a great and very imaginative pairing that is and one you won’t find anywhere else. This dish is finished with a Champagne mint demi sauce that will send every lamb lover over the top.

Restaurants that offer menus that are ill conceived and overloaded with selections that seem to have no relationship with each other often tarnish fine dining. This menu took time to put together and there is harmony and focus in its construction. Take your time with this one and appreciate the pairings along with a glass of wine, when the time is right you’ll know just what you want. The Chicago Steak House gets right to the point with five certified Angus and prime beef selections. The eight- or twelve-ounce grilled filet mignon is one of the most popular cuts, but the Tomahawk ribeye weighs in at a heavyweight thirty-two ounces for those that are up for the challenge. Porterhouse and New York strips are also on the menu, but a classy touch is the Colorado

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There are three Chicago specialties that help make this menu something altogether different, but the first is so stunningly original it deserves special mention. Duck Two Ways is a seared breast of duck and house-made duck meatballs (another one of those imaginative extras you will only find here), with parsnip and leek fondue, ginger and orange demi and duck prosciutto. There’s just not another fine dining restaurant in this part of the world that can stand up to this. The roasted organic chicken and the Chicago Kobe style burger are strong back-ups to the duck special and just right if duck isn’t your thing. All too often the delicious idea of mixing good things from the sea with pasta and a simple tomato sauce is not taken advantage of but, again, this restaurant nails it. The


Tunica combination of jumbo shrimp, scallops and mussels is just right and the zing of a good red sauce sets it off in the right way. Chilean sea bass is always the choice for those that love fish, but there is also the choice of oven roasted salmon, lobster and king crab legs. Continuing the creative energy that has made this menu grand are the dessert offerings. The list is topped with Dessert Trio, a sweet lover’s dream of opera cake, panna cotta and mango pineapple mousse. There is also crème brulee, a fruit tart and four other sweets to choose from, but the French-press coffee just might be the best way to end this meal, unless of course you prefer a sip of cognac, a cordial or a good scotch.

Hollywood Casino

Robinsonville, Mississippi 1-800-871-0711 hollywoodcasinotunica.com Fairbanks Steakhouse Executive chef: Bryan Lanier Many fine dining restaurants in the South make a passing effort to offer a few dishes with Southern influences, but Chef Bryan Lanier at the Fairbanks Steakhouse takes it a step further. All over the world Southern cuisine is being accepted as one of the great food traditions and Southern flavors, techniques and unique ingredients are the rage. Chef Lanier hammers this menu with his Cajun flair and adaptations of great Southern classics. If you grew up in the South, then you spent a lot of time eating pimento cheese sandwiches; they have been popular since the early 1900s when the peppers were first imported. A quick look at Fairbanks previews, or appetizers, and you’re going to notice the baked crab and pimento cheese gratin. This is a great revision of classic pimento cheese baked with creamy lump crabmeat, where the pimento cheese is crusted in a hot oven for the gratin effect. Chef Lanier also knows when to leave something alone that would be hard to improve on, and so he offers simple cornmeal fried oysters and a remoulade sauce. Corn meal is a Southern staple in a part of the country that grows no wheat and adds a unique texture and flavor. Not everything on the menu is Southern inspired and a good example of the Chef’s flexibility is the spinach and arugula salad. The unlikely combination of garden greens with strawberries, goat cheese, pine nuts and honey vinaigrette may be common on the menus in the Pacific

Northwest, but not on this side of the Mason Dixon line. The simple tomato salad with blue cheese, greens and herb vinaigrette seems much more a local inspiration. The smoked double-cut pork chops with sweet potatoes and Tasso ham hash continues the restaurants theme. There are also steaks from 8 to 24 ounces to choose from and the New York strip comes with a bourbon and peppercorn sauce. Bourbon is also seeing a great upswing in popularity and fine examples are being compared to French cognac. The seafood selections are headed up by the seared scallops that come with smothered corn and orzo pasta. Smothered corn almost always refers to what is also called maque choux, a real Cajun classic made with corn, bell peppers, tomatoes and onion. It is a simple but great match for the sweet scallops. The pan-roasted sea bass, one of the most popular fishes in America today, known for its firm and delicious flesh, is nicely plated with garlic potatoes and a Creole reduction cream sauce. A cream reduction has got to be the grand sauce of the South, as the sauce reduces over a low flame the flavors intensify and pair well with many ingredients. There are nine sides to choose from, but the baked sweet potato is a must. Northern Mississippi is known as the sweet potato capital of the world and produces some of the sweetest sweet potatoes anywhere. Also look at the macaroni and cheese with country ham. This is another example of simple Southern dishes being taken in a much more serious manner and combined with nontraditional, but in this case local, ingredients and the results can be delicious. Fairbanks is a great steakhouse with its Cajun inspirations and manager Rex Lafayette is going to greet you at the door with Southern charm and ensure your meal is the way you like it. If you’re in the mood for something different, then the Epic Buffet is where you should head. Look for live carving stations, great Southern home-style favorites, as well as Asian and Italian specialties. Epic offers surf and turf Thursday through Saturday nights with crab leg specials. There is also a great dessert line up. Breakfast along with a quick burger, sandwiches or hot dogs can be found at the Celebrity Grill. The 16-ounce bone-in country ham steak breakfast is a hearty way to start your day. That concludes our top picks in Tunica. Be sure to check these spots out, as well as some of the other casino properties!

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Roulette

Roulette should need little introduction. It is a simple game of luck any 10-year-old could understand and play; however knowing the house edge and a few basic facts can help stretch your winnings.

Stratosphere have run low-minimum single-zero games for several years now.) The Grand Casino in Tunica also features a single-zero wheel.

To get started, there are two basic wheel variations that can greatly affect the house edge. These variations have to do with the number of zeros on the wheel. In almost all cases, there are either one or two zeros on a roulette wheel, and some casinos offer different variations of what happens when it hits. While the single-zero wheels are most common, try to stay away from the double-zero wheels if possible, as the extra zero can cost you in the long run.

Strategy The only strategy in roulette is finding wheels with favorable rules. Most important is to play single-zero rather than double-zero when possible. This may sound obvious, but on occasions where both are available side by side, players will usually be split between them. The double-zero players are oblivious to the fact the casino edge is cut almost in half just a couple of steps away. If the half-back rule is in force, make even-money bets only. Always stay away from the 5-number combination bet offered in double-zero roulette. Otherwise, there is no strategy in predicting numbers, bet size or bet placement.

Some casinos offer what is called Half-Back, where the player loses only half their wager on even money bets when the ball lands on zero or double-zero. The chart on this page shows the house edge based on four combinations: single-zero, half-back, even money bets and all other bets.

Betting System Contrary to popular belief among roulette players, no event (number, color, column, etc.) in roulette is ever “overdue.” It doesn’t matter how many times in a row the ball has landed on red, the odds of a red on the next spin are always equal to those of black. Roulette has been around for some 300 years and throughout its history, players have searched for a way to overcome the house edge. Some players believe (incorrectly) that the odds favor numbers that are overdue to hit. Others believe (incorrectly) that methods of bet-size variation can cause wins to exceed losses. It is mathematically impossible to gain an advantage over a fair game of roulette.

Michael “the Wizard of Odds” Shackleford is the author of Gambling 102 covering the bestproven strategies for all casino games. He holds a degree in mathematics/economics and is a prominent gambling consultant and acclaimed computer programmer.

Roulette: Cashing in on Half-Back

26

SingleZero

HalfBack

Even Money Bets

All Other Bets

Yes

Yes

1.35%

2.7%

Yes

No

2.7%

2.7%

No

Yes

2.63%

5.26%

No

No

5.26%

5.26%

European roulette wheels generally feature just one zero, plus the half-back rule on even money bets (often known as “en prison”), or some variation. Following are some other rules you might come across. Berlin: If the ball lands on zero, all even money bets are “imprisoned.” The next spin is used to resolve the bet. If the next spin results in a win, the bet is released and returned to the player without winnings. Otherwise the bet is lost including on a subsequent zero. This results in a house edge of 1.39% on even-money bets. Holland: Same rule as Berlin, except if zero is hit two consecutive spins, the bet becomes double imprisoned. In this case two consecutive wins are necessary to release the bet. Any further zeros result in a loss. This results in a house edge of 1.37% on even-money bets. Hamburg: If the ball lands on zero, half of all even-money bets are returned. This results in a house edge of 1.35%. Most roulette games in the United States feature the unfavorable double-zeros and no half-backs on losses. However, there are exceptions. In Atlantic City, the double-zero wheels feature the half-back rule. There are also plenty of single-zero wheels in Atlantic City, but they don’t feature the half-back rule. Las Vegas has several single-zero wheels around town, often with high minimums (but not always; Nevada Palace and

Dealer Signature and Biased Wheels I have been asked on numerous occasions about the effectiveness of wheel tracking. Believers in a theory known as “dealer signature” maintain that, due to muscle memory, roulette dealers spin the ball at the same speed every time. Thus, they believe the player can predict where the ball will land according to the wheel’s position at the time of the ball release. I’m very skeptical the human eye is precise enough to accomplish this and have seen no evidence it has ever been done successfully. On the other hand, roulette is known to have been beaten by exploiting biased wheels and with computer-aided prediction. The former involves finding a wheel with a pronounced mechanical deficiency that favors certain numbers. The latter involves using (hidden) modern technology to ascertain wheel speed, ball speed and ball position to predict at least what part of the wheel the ball will land in. In 2004, a team in London using laser scanners and microcomputers was believed to have won 1.3£ million with roulette prediction before being caught. Before you get excited, using a “device” to gamble in Nevada is illegal. Summary As in keno, it isn’t the numbers you bet on that matter when you play. Look for wheels with a single-zero or half backs on losses if the ball lands on a zero, or better yet, both.

For more free roulette tips, visit southerngaming.com/roulette


Casino Dining Guide 2012 c o ntin u e d

Top: The filet mignon and Chateaubriand top the menu at DJ’s Steakhouse at DiamondJack’s Casino. Left: DJ’s Steakhouse at DiamondJacks Casino Resort. Right: Peanut chile basted sea scallops from Phillip M’s at Pearl River Resort. 28  

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Mid-South The South has long been thought of as a culinary stalemate where traditional foods held sway and none of the hip new world haute cuisine could be found, but that barrier has come crashing down. Today from small town to large city you will find chefs and country cooks alike that are taking the good things that grow locally and putting a spin on them like never before. Country stores, diners and elegant restaurants all seem determined to offer the best in fresh, seasonal food that is prepared to the highest standards and with an innovative twist. That doesn’t mean that you won’t find half a dozen places claiming to make the best fried chicken in the world, filé gumbo or cornbread and field peas. The old standards are still around, but you will find that the South has become much more health conscious. There will still be plenty of spice and zip, but it will be leaner and with an emphasis on fresh and local. What you’ll find on restaurant menus is a reflection of the rich harvest that continues to grow in the South. From the rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico you’ll find salty and succulent oysters, white shrimp that range in size from modest to jumbo, blue crabs that make some of the best crab cakes in the world and an abundance of fish. From the gardens you’ll find a great seasonal variety of vegetables that Southern cooks have been turning into delicious sides for generations and, if you visit a local farmers’ market you’ll find homemade jellies and jams, sorghum and cane syrup to top those famous biscuits with and so much more. The South has always been focused on what will come out of the kitchen next, but with new Southern cuisine you just might be surprised and delighted. The Mid-South encompasses an array of casinos in multiple markets including Vicksburg, Mississippi; Shreveport/Bossier City, Lake Charles, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and more. We are excited to bring you a few of our favorites that are spread throughout the region that we think you will enjoy!

many have called it the finest restaurant in the South for fine casual dining. Pearl River Resort is self-described as “Vegas with Sweet Tea” and it is a moniker that seems well deserved after a slow look at Phillip M’s classy menu. The appetizer selection begins with a classic French combination of Camembert, the soft cheese that has been made in Normandy, France, since the eighteenth century, served en croute, or wrapped in pastry dough and baked. There isn’t much that can match this delicious and creamy cheese melting out of its crust. Continuing the French theme is escargot Bourguignonne, snails in a very classic French sauce that features red wine, shallots, bouquet garni and espagnole sauce and jumbo lump crab au gratin. Honey lime shrimp, shrimp cocktail and grilled lamb chops finish out the appetizer list with a great balance of Deep South and serious grill. The steaks Phillip M’s offers are of course prime, the best cut available, but they take their steaks so seriously that a conventional grill just won’t make it. They prefer to sear their filets, ribeyes and New York strips over a pecan wood fire. The smoky, spicy heat makes a profound difference and you won’t find steaks like this on very many menus. There are also three sauces to choose from: port demiglace (one of the kings of French sauces), boursin herb butter or peppercorns with au poivre sauce. Specialties of the house include pan seared duck breast with coriander and cracked pepper that adds just the right bite to this rich dish, and with a nice Asian touch it is paired with glass noodles and a miso-citrus broth. Veal De Bertagna needs a mention too as a dish that is as imaginative as it is lush. Veal tenderloin is wrapped in prosciutto then sautéed in butter and white wine and served with jumbo lump crab and béarnaise sauce. If you’re in the mood for something elegant and delicious this should be your selection.

Philadelphia, Mississippi

The seafood offerings include lobster tail two ways, orange roughy with macadamia nuts and coconut milk and sea scallops grilled over pecan wood and flavored with hijiki and mango lime coulis. There are also three ways you can order market fresh fish, Creole, with jumbo lump crab, shrimp and beurre blanc, which is an emulsified butter sauce, or sautéed with the same crab and shrimp but with a hollandaise sauce and the third option is grilled with beurre blanc.

1-866-447-3275 PearlRiverResort.com Phillip M’s Executive Chef: Tracy Castleman Phillip M’s is a restaurant with a serious reputation and

Soup and salad finish out this perfectly balanced menu, but the crowd pleaser has to be the saffron chowder. Spanish saffron, the best in the world, is infused in cream and mixed with lobster, shrimp, jumbo lump crab and topped with a pastry lid.

Pearl River Resort: Golden Moon Hotel & Casino – Silverstar Hotel & Casino

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Former Governor of Mississippi Kirk Fordice, a gourmet in his own right, loved this place and rightfully so. There’s no slacking in this kitchen where serious sauce making meets imaginative pairings and the extra step is always taken. If fine dining is not your choice there’s Remo’s Italian Restaurant, Fajitas for Mexican specialties, the Eclipse Grill and Chef’s Pavilion Buffet. Pearl River Resort has a great selection of restaurants covering almost any style and atmosphere from fine dining to a great place for the kids and family.

Bok Homa Casino

Heidelberg, Mississippi 1-866-447-3275 bokhomacasino.com If you find your way to Heidelberg, Mississippi, a small town born of the timber and railroad industry, you just might make your way to the Bok Homa Casino and there you’ll find Lucky’s Restaurant. Bok Homa is owned by the same tribe as Pearl River (The Choctaw Nation) but is a more relaxed setting than a full-scale casino. The restaurant is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and mainly offers all the American fare someone with a serious case of the munchies could ask for. Burgers, dogs, wings, fries, subs, pizzas and sandwiches are all there for the earnestly hungry, but there are a few offerings that might get your attention. If you somehow missed the fact that this is a Deep South restaurant you’ll know it when you see the Ham Biscuit Basket on the menu. Folks take their biscuits very seriously in this part of the world and a slice of cured ham in a fluffy biscuit is a tradition that should be tried. Deep frying is also a cooking technique that the South has been in love with for generations and is well represented at Lucky’s; chicken tenders, French fries, shrimp and onion rings are all done just right and will take the bite off that empty stomach. There are two items on the menu that don’t seem Deep South at all, but they fit in nicely. The Chicago style hot dog, a steamed dog with obligatory poppy seed bun is one of the best hot dog combinations in the country and the capicola sub, of Italian heritage, is a great addition as well. This menu is diverse enough to be practical any time of the day or night whether you’re in a rush or you’ve got time on your hands.

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Shrimp is a classic staple of most menus in the South.

DiamondJacks Casino & Resort Vicksburg, Mississippi & Bossier City, Louisiana

1-866-552-9629 (Bossier City) 1-877-711-0677(Vicksburg) diamondjacks.com DJ’s Seafood and Steakhouse Executive Chef: Heather Sexton DiamondJacks offers two locations where DJ’s Steakhouse can be enjoyed, Bossier City and Vicksburg. This is a classic steakhouse with on open kitchen so you can see the chefs in action and watch your order from the fire to your plate. The beef served here is USDA certified Angus, hand cut from aged beef, so you can expect only the best quality. The local culinary shtick is “where steak sauce meets hot sauce,” so you can look forward to some interesting menu selections. Start your meal with a real seafood connection


Mid-South and try the shrimp basket, Cajun crab cakes or classic shrimp cocktail. If you’re not in the mood for something from the warm Gulf waters, try steak tips served with mushrooms, mozzarella and caramelized onions. A very tempting appetizer, and one you’ll not often encounter, are avocado halves stuffed with your choice of shrimp, blue crab or a combination of both and then topped with chili, mayo, brandy sauce and chopped egg. The Angus steaks are served with a butter sauce or caramelized onions, two great choices that help accent the incredible flavor of the beef. Filet mignon and Chateaubriand top the menu, the two most tender cuts available, but if you’re a bone-in sort of steak eater the T-bone would be the choice for you. The steaks vary in size from six ounces to twenty, so there’s a size for everyone. Surf and turf, that great American pairing of foods from such diverse environs includes lobster tail and shrimp, grilled or fried. If you want to go straight seafood, there’re four offerings to tempt you; fried shrimp with cocktail and tartar sauce, one and one half pounds of Alaskan king crab legs, baked stuffed shrimp and twin lobster tails. But that’s not all, there is also fresh fish to choose from based on what the market has to offer. What could be better than sautéed fish, with just a hint of lemon, served with broccoli or asparagus and your choice of sauce meunière, the French sauce the miller’s wife gave us (or sauce Provençale) that’s made with capers, Roma tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and white wine? DJ’s offers other solid entrees that include Chicken Saltimbocca, Veal Oscar and slow-cooked pork ribs made with the chef’s own sauce. But if fine dining doesn’t fit your gastronomic mood, try The Grill for a good burger or sandwich with friendly service all day, every day of the week. There are also the international selections at Legends Buffet with made-to-order stations, including great breakfast, lunch and dinner favorites with flavors from the Far East, Europe and great American classics as well.

Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Atmore, Alabama

1-866-946-3360 windcreekcasino.com Fire Steakhouse Executive Chef: Jesse Belle If you find yourself in the Deep South traveling on Interstate 65 or 10, or anywhere close to Mobile or

Pensacola, you are not far from the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel just outside of Atmore, Alabama. You can’t miss the 17-story hotel and massive 225,000 square foot facility! Chances are you are tired of typical roadside fare and just might be ready for something substantial; Fire Steakhouse at Wind Creek may be just what you are looking for. Start your meal at the Fire Steakhouse with a rare find on Southern menus; a Moroccan spiced rubbed lamb Carpaccio. This recipe was invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, in the 1950s and is typically made with beef. The use of lamb and the Moroccan spices is inventive and sure to be delicious. If you’re in for a hot appetizer with a Southern twist, try the Southern fried green tomatoes with a crawfish-Tasso cream sauce. Tasso cream sauces can be found on the menus of some of New Orleans’ finest restaurants, but it is delightfully paired here with two real Deep South classics. Another selection on this menu that you won’t find just anywhere is the mixed grill of seafood. Prawns, scallops and a combination of the day’s freshest fish and salmon are grilled with herb butter and topped with grilled peppers and onions. This would be great paired with a chilled chardonnay. There are four steaks to choose from and all are USDA prime grade aged quality beef featuring Allen Brothers Beef. Allen Brothers is known for hand selecting some of the finest beef in the world, beef so good that only one to two percent of the beef raised in the USA qualifies. These steaks are served with a choice of five toppings and sauces, but the crab Oscar or grilled prawns seem the most tempting. The chef’s specialties also offer some delectable opportunities. The seared boneless pork mignon, served with cane syrup butter (another delicious nod to Southern ways), roasted fingerling potatoes and sautéed spinach sounds too good not to try. In the same category is the jumbo shrimp brochette; en brochette to the French, which means something served on skewers. These jumbo shrimp are served over mushroom rice pilaf and toasted garlic breadcrumbs for that just right crunch and texture. If after one of these special entrees a light dessert is in order, try a classic crème brule, Fire’s cheesecake creation or, with a more Continental touch, a simple but delicious cheese board. Wind Creek also offers a great buffet with specialties from around the world. Look for your favorites from Mexico, Asia and pasta and pizza from Italy. There’re plenty of American standards, as well as a large salad

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Mid-South

bar and specialty desserts. There are also monthly specials like BBQ or prime rib, and on Saturday there is a Champagne brunch. Wind Creek also offers something very special that you’re not likely to find at any other Southern casino and its aimed at the growing numbers of aspiring foodies in this food crazy country; hands-on cooking classes taught by culinary professionals using world class equipment. There is no better way to sharpen your skills than by learning from a seasoned chef. Whether it’s red Thai curry, grouper and bay scallops en Papillote or saffron beurre blanc you want to learn to conquer, there will be a class just right for you. There are normally six classes a month with menus that are sure to tempt those serious about enhancing their

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culinary skills. Class topics vary as much as BBQ to pan Asian fusion and Middle Eastern cuisine and normally three to six recipes will be discussed and prepared in each class. This is an opportunity any self-respecting foodie just can’t turn down! Also, if Maitre d’ Gene Schnell is there, ask him to make the table side bananas foster with his famous flaming volcano … it is pretty awesome! That wraps up our tour of the Mid-South. In addition to these mentioned, be sure to check out our friends at Delta Downs Casino in Vinton and Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana. Also, at the time of print, the new L’Auberge Casino in Lake Charles wasn’t open yet, but promises to be a gem of a dining experience and worth the trip to check it out!


WE ARE Pearl River Resort Vegas with Sweet Tea!

Look no further than Pearl River Resort, for the ultimate Mississippi casino resort experience. With over 2,700 slots, 75 exciting table games, 11 great restaurants, two award winning golf courses and a relaxing spa - we have everything you need for the perfect getaway! Visit Pearl River Resort and experience the thrill of big city gaming with a true Southern charm.

Scan Here! Pearl River Resort • Choctaw, MS • 1.866. 44PEARL (1.866.447.3275) • www.pearlriverresort.com

A development of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians


Casino Dining Guide 2012 c o ntin u e d

Top: Bone-in Veal Parmesan from Vibe Restaurant at the hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Left: Crispy Italian Cheese appetizer from Thirty Two at IP Casino Resort & Spa. Right: Pan Seared Pacific Salmon from BR Steakhouse at Bea Rivage Resort & Casino. 34  

Southern G aming an d De s t in a t io n s


Gulf Coast The Mississippi Gulf Coast’s white sand beaches have long been a Deep South vacation spot of choice. Studded with historical, cultural and outdoor fun possibilities, the string of small towns that ring Mississippi’s share of the Gulf of Mexico will offer you more to do than you might think. Fish the rich waters of the Mississippi Sound, Biloxi or Bay St Louis Bays, the Pearl, Jourdon, Biloxi, Tchoutacabouffa Rivers or the Pascagoula River, the last free-flowing river in the lower forty-eight states. Visit the world-renowned Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art or the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, one of the nation’s top fifty children’s museums. Drop by for a tour of the historical Biloxi Lighthouse, or Beauvoir, last home of Jefferson Davis. And, while you’re on the road, pick one of those funky little ethic restaurants that the Coast is famous for; you’ll find Korean, Jamaican, Vietnamese, Greek food or seek out a local café and try the gumbo, fully dressed pressed po-boy stuffed which shrimp or fried oysters, or red beans and rice, but only if you’re there on Monday. And, a couple of Southern Gaming’s local spots include Half Shell Oyster House, The Shed Barbecue and Mary Mahoney’s French House. You won’t go wrong with any of these choices! There’s a lot to choose from on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast and you won’t find a better gaming site in the entire South. You’re sure to find friendly people paired with gentle Gulf breezes, and all for a price that you’ll find very affordable.

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Biloxi, Mississippi

1-888-750-7111 Beau Rivage.com Executive Chef: Joseph Friel The Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi has a stunning array of restaurants that covers just about any genre of dining a guest could ask for. Executive Chef Joseph Friel has assembled a team of chefs with the chops few other resorts could boast of, including his own experience at the famed 21 Club and The Plaza in New York City and an invitation to cook at the James Beard House. It just doesn’t get any better than that. BR Prime is the flagship in the Beau’s line-up and Chef Joseph Caratozzolo has a menu that is as solid as they get. He has his own list of accolades too, but his time spent in New Orleans with superstar John Besh speaks the loudest. This restaurant is an architectural stunner that

features two wine cellars, one for red and one for white. His menu is a tight mix of classics with French inspirations and traditional flavors from the Gulf Coast. It starts with tartar three ways, but the Steak 21 Club has got to get your attention as a dish inspired by one of the most famous restaurants in the country. There’s also Louisiana Crab Cakes and Biloxi Blonde BBQ Shrimp, both serious contenders with roots in the Gulf Coast culinary past. BR is a steak house by design and the menu is topped with what is perhaps the monarch of beef; Chateaubriand, a classic dish of French origins from the early eighteen hundreds. All of the steaks and chops are worth a look, but remember the beef is all prime, the highest quality available. If you’re not in the mood for beef, take a look at the international seafood selection; lobster from South Africa, Dover sole, Ahi tuna from Hawaii and Gulf of Mexico red snapper all stand out. There’s also a great selection of chilled seafood and oysters. Just next door to BR’s is a cutting-edge Asian fusion restaurant, Jai, which Chef T.J. Antell has turned into a Gulf South sensation. This is a restaurant with an attitude that starts as soon as you walk through the curtain of water entrance; pass that threshold and you know you’re not in Kansas anymore. Chef Antell’s menu is a two-pager and is a wonder of Asian inspirations. Start with a Crispy Skin Fried Snapper with Japanese citrus ponzu, take a look at the 72-Hour Braised Short Ribs with kimchi and Korean BBQ sauce or take on a selection of Dim Sum that includes Tempura Oysters on the Half Shell and Firecracker Shrimp. The third jewel in the Beau’s line-up is Stalla, an Italian place with a style that is elegant and warm too. Start with Frutti Di Mare or the Grand Antipasti Platter if you’re serious about it. The wood oven pizzas are the best on the coast and a steal for only fifteen dollars. There are nine pasta dishes, but the lobster ravioli is the one that will get your attention. There’s also a good selection of seafood and classics like osso bucco for the hearty, steaks and chops and don’t forget to take a look at the Stalla Fisherman Stew. If you’re in the mood for casual dining, the Beau has you well covered with four restaurants to choose from: the Terrace Café, Memphis Q, the Buffet and Coast Restaurant. Each of these establishments offers their own brand of dining with class and emphasis on fresh and right. The Beau Rivage really is in a culinary class of its own on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The restaurants, each as individualistic as the chefs that run them, offer unique Vol um e 14  I ssue 5  

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ambiance, innovative menus and world-class fare. If you insist on dining that gets it right, this is a resort that you will be returning to again.

IP Casino Resort & Spa Biloxi, Mississippi

1-888-946-2847 IPBiloxi.com Executive Chef: Chris Poplin The IP Casino stands tall in the Gulf South culinary line up and offers an array of dining possibilities with eight choices. Thirty Two is the most sought after fine dining locale on the coast and offers a stunning view of Biloxi and surrounding area. This top-of-the-line establishment offers the best in fresh seafood and prime USDA steaks with a continental flair and the finest wine selection in the South. The wine list comes in at a dazzling thirty pages and is overseen by Sommelier Harry Hall. Thirty Two offers the type of menu that will make any serious foodie swoon. With a decidedly French smack the Duo of Duck appetizer combines confit leg, foie gras and truffle mousse along with grilled bread, stone fruit and a micro mint salad. This is the sort of studiously prepared dish that tells you a serious chef is in the kitchen. At the same level, but with a Creole touch, are Gulf Coast Crab Cakes, an all-time favorite that is made with colossal lump crab, the best crab meat available that is always delicate and sweet and is topped with a traditional remoulade sauce. Pair these cakes with your favorite viognier or Chenin Blanc. One of the most popular selections on the menu is the succulent Lobster Bisque, another item with French connections. When done right this puree made with cream, wine and the best lobster is a show stopper and Thirty Two gets it right. If you are looking for just the right light touch before the main course take a look at the Tomato Cart; heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella and aged balsamic vinegar in a caprese style salad that is an international favorite. This salad would go wonderfully with a red zinfandel or syrah. A fresh seafood entrée that is a joy to see on the menu is the Seafood Cioppino. This recipe originated in San Francisco but has Italian beginnings and cousins in almost every Mediterranean cuisine. This delectable combination of little neck clams, shrimp, scallops, fennel, roasted tomato, and crabmeat in a Riesling broth is a dish you will long remember.

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The 28 oz. Bone-In Tomahawk Rib Eye from BR Prime at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

Another crowd favorite is the Chef’s Choice, a seafood inspiration that is based on the availability of the freshest and best quality seafood and the chef’s imaginative parings. The seafood offered at Thirty Two is flown in fresh daily, a point of quality few restaurants can claim. There are six options on the steak menu and they range in size from the eight-ounce Petite Filet Mignon to the huge Cowboy Steak that comes in at twenty ounces. The sauces offered to go along with your prime beef are a great balance of what they should be; the traditional béarnaise sauce, Oscar, which includes asparagus, lump crab and Hollandaise sauce, a simple but delicious crumbled blue cheese and a Michelle topping that is a sublime blending of crawfish tails, lump crab and sauce Béarnaise. Thirty Two house specialties are worth a good look as well, and the list of accompaniments is ten strong and represents great pairings.


Gulf Coast If you want to change gears completely then try Tien, the Asian inspired restaurant that is getting rave reviews. Sushi and Sashimi appetizers are a sound beginning and the list of house specialty sushi offers seven distinct choices. Tien offerings cover China and Southeast Asia and include Vietnamese Pho, the national beef and noodle soup of that country, Beijing BBQ duckling and a great sampling of small plates with a good sampling of dumplings and rolls. Tien’s menu is a four pager and worthy of a long and studious look. Other restaurants offered at the IP are the Back Bay Buffet, one of the best and most sought after buffets on the coast, Highlights Sports Lounge, High Tide Café, Quench and Infusion Coffee Bar. Costa Cucina deserves special mention as an Italian venue that serves perhaps the best Italian food in the South. It is as beautifully appointed at Thirty Two and offers a carefully crafted menu. Be sure to try Bistecca Puttanesca, a rib eye steak grilled and topped with fried potatoes, hot cherry peppers, onions, artichoke hearts and puttanesca sauce. If you’re on the Mississippi Coast this is a classy destination that competes with fine dining anywhere in the world.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi, Mississippi

1-228-374-7625 HardRockBiloxi.com Executive Chef: Anthony Rametta Anthony Rametta is Hard Rock’s executive chef at their fine dining restaurant, Vibe. This trendy spot is located just off the gaming floor with a black and red theme that says modern, sharp and edgy. Chef Rametta is of Japanese and Italian heritage and he takes his multi-national skills and combines them with Gulf South culinary traditions in a rather spectacular way. His great passion for his trade shines through in everything he makes. Great care is given to use local ingredients and upscale versions of recipes visitors to the Mississippi Coast have come to expect. There are eight starters, seven of which are made with good things that come from the sea, and many of them from the clear and beautiful blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Crab cakes are served with lemon butter that complements the sweet crab meat and doesn’t compete with its delicate flavor. Fried green tomatoes, which are just about as Southern as you can get, are topped with apple wood smoked bacon, jumbo lump crab and a Tabasco aioli. This famous sauce from southeastern France

Chef Rametta turns on its head with the addition of the equally famous Louisiana hot sauce. Deep fried oysters are served with a spicy ranch reduction and Eggplant Creole is matched with crabmeat, shrimp, crawfish and a Cajun cream sauce. If you are looking for a lighter introduction to dinner try the lobster bisque, another French inspiration that is made divine with a sherry crème reduction. Vibe also offers a good selection of prime beef and has fresh red snapper, cobia, sea bass and tuna and there are six toppings or sauces to choose from as well. Try the panseared filet of sea bass with blackened shrimp. Other entrees include the Italian inspired chicken piccata with capers and white wine lemon butter and a rack of lamb prepared in perhaps the most classical way with Dijon and herb bread crumbs and glace de veau, demiglace to most English speakers. The Black Angus short ribs are one of the post popular dishes and are slow roasted and come with a Chianti glaze. Vibe offers a great selection of entrees and there’s not one that comes up short, but there is one that stands up and waves the flag of this chef’s brilliance—bone-in veal Parmesan. Everyone knows that bone-in is best and the combination of this large veal chop, topped with fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce and served to your table bubbly and hot is nothing short of visually stunning. Hands down this has got to be at the top of the list. Vibe is a swank locale with a sexy round bar top-lit with a gas light and some of the best food on the Gulf Coast. This is a combination that not only makes it a great place to eat but also a cool place to hang out with friends and a glass of wine. But Hard Rock has more to offer with its equally impressive Hard Rock Café. The burgers are legendary and when matched with hand-breaded onion rings they are off the chart, and there are eleven to choose from. A offering that might sound too old fashioned but is almost too good to describe is the 21-day-aged center cut New York strip grilled and topped with merlot garlic butter and served with herb smashed potatoes and gravy. This is comfort food at its very best. The Café is Americana personified with great food and a rock and roll atmosphere that, well, rocks! Hard rock also offers the Satisfaction Buffet and 24/7 Grille for casual dining or when you’re on the run. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is located in downtown Biloxi and is within walking distance of what this three-hundredyear-old town has to offer. When you visit the Gulf Coast, rest assured that one thing you won’t lack is quality dining destinations. We hope you enjoy some of these suggestions!

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Q&A

Q. In casino statistics online from various

gambling states, I see casino hold percentages and win percentages in blackjack listed at 16, 17 and 18 percent. How can that be? I know there are some bad players, but no one should be giving the house 16 percent.

Casino Questions: With John G.

A. Those hold percentages are not the same thing as the house edge. When gaming board statistics list a hold percentage of 16 percent, it doesn’t mean blackjack players have lost 16 percent of wagers. It means they’ve lost 16 percent of buy-ins. Let’s take an average player—not a basic strategy player or an advantage player, but the kind of player who fills most of the seats and bucks a house edge of about 2 percent. And let’s say he buys in for $500, wagers $25 a hand, wins a little, loses a little and sticks around long enough to play 200 hands. He’s made $5,000 worth of wagers. His expected loss at a 2 percent house edge is $100. But, if he actually loses $100, casino statistics won’t see that as 2 percent of his $5,000 in wagers. They’ll see it as 20 percent of his $500 buy-in. That’s the hold percentage. Electronic games are reported differently. There, actual wagers are tracked, and what you see on gaming board reports as a hold percentage or win percentage is the percentage of money wagered that’s kept by the house. If the same situation described above happened at a slot machine—say a $500 buy-in at a $5 slot, $5,000 worth of wagers and $100 in losses—it would be seen as a 2 percent casino win. Hold percentages on tables and slots are not comparable statistics, and can’t be used to compare what kind of deal you get on the games.

Q. I have a question about slots strategy. I went

Syndicated gaming columnist John Grochowski has been covering the casino industry for 17 years in his weekly column distributed to newspapers, websites and magazines. He is also the author of six books, including The Slot Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. You can also find him online at CasinoAnswerMan.com.

to the casino last night and got back a chunk of my recent losses. A little background: I’m very old-fashioned and only play the max (75 cents) on mechanical machines. There’s too much going on with most video machines, and I have no idea how I won or how I lost.

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I won off a particular machine that KILLED ME this winter. My question is how long do you keep playing a winning machine? I kept hitting multicolored 7s with one or two doubler 7s thrown in. My rule of thumb is when I win a big chunk, to round it off and play that. I find it keeps me from giving it all back. For example, if I’m up to 356 credits I’ll play the 56, and then convince myself to walk away. Last night was tough, that machine was in an uncharacteristically giving mood. I think I played down 50 or 60 credits. Should I have stayed on longer?

A. Past wins or losses have no affect on future outcomes on slot machines. No matter what your results have been,

the expected return on a game remains the same from that point forward. However, slot machines are what analysts call “negative expectation games,” meaning there is a house edge and players will lose money overall. In any negative John Grochowski expectation game, it makes good sense to protect a large portion of any winnings. I like to play mental games that amount to floating win goals and loss limits. If my buy-in is $100 and my credit meter reaches $150, I tell myself, “OK, I want to give this game a shot, but I don’t walk away a loser.” So I’ll set $100 as my floor, and if the credit meter drops to that point, I’ll cash out. If I get a nice win or two and the meter rises to $175, I’ll revisit my limits, and tell myself that I’ll walk away at $125, for a $25 profit. The details of any such system are up to the individual, but it helps discipline me to walk away from any negative expectation game without blowing my full stake. With larger wins, you can give yourself more leeway, but target an exact amount to protect. If I buy in for $100 and the meter is down to $60 before I hit a $1,000 jackpot, I have a decision to make. Do I want to set my floor at $1,000, so that the most I spend is my original buy-in, and I walk away with the full jackpot? Do I tell myself it’s OK to invest another $100 in addition to my original buy-in, and set my floor at $900? Either way is valid, and enables me to walk away with a good chunk. That’s a roundabout way of saying there is no hard-andfast rule. It’s up to the individual. But I do suggest setting in your own mind a walk-away point that will protect most of your winnings.

Q . I was reading a website about poker

probabilities. It said there are 40 possible straight flushes, and that four of them are royal flushes. If you separate out the royals like you do in video poker, there are nine times more straight flushes than royal flushes, 36 to four. So why do royal flushes pay 16 times as much as straight flushes in video poker? You get 4,000 on the royal, but only 250 on the straight flush? Shouldn’t you get more like 400 or 450 on straight flushes?

A. Some video poker games do pay 400, and even 500 on straight flushes. I’ve seen IGT Double Bonus Poker games that paid 400—though not in a long time—and WMS’ Multi-Pay Poker not only paid 500 for the straight flush, but also paid on the flush and straight contained in the hand. But that’s all really beside the point. Video poker pay tables are not designed to reflect the exact odds of the game. They’re designed to be fun to play and to keep us coming back for more.

For more free gambling tips visit southerngaming.com


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recipe roundup Tailgating Time For more great recipes for tailgating, parties or just a casual cook-out, visit ManTestedRecipes.com today!

If you are from the South, chances are pretty good that you have been to a football tailgate or a casual cookout with friends. Whether you are hosting one of these social shindigs, or simply bringing a dish to one, you are usually in need of a great recipe. We teamed up with ManTestedRecipes.com to share some tasty treats for you to consider on your next outing. Bon Appetit!

Makes: 6 hamburgers; Prep time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 20 minutes; Ready in: 50 minutes

Ingredients 1 pound ground beef sirloin 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 8 slices apple wood smoked bacon 1 1/2 cups shredded Tillamook® sharp Cheddar cheese 1 cup peanut butter 1 tablespoon maple syrup 6 hamburger buns 6 leaves lettuce 2 tomatoes, sliced

Preparation Method

Peanut Butter Bacon Burger Recipe by: skootrz Dating back to the early 1900’s, the hamburger has certainly come a long way from its origin in Hamburg, Germany. Adding a slice of cheese on top of the meat patty became popular in the 1920’s, and it has been a staple at cookouts and tailgates ever since. So, when we saw this recipe using peanut butter, we had to share it! From the Chef: The best ingredients make the best burger. These ground sirloin burgers are topped with apple wood smoked bacon, peanut butter and sharp Cheddar cheese, making them the best burgers around! 40  

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1. Place the ground beef in a mixing bowl, and season with onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper. Combine thoroughly using your hands, then form into 6 patties, each 4-inches wide. Ensure the patties are the same thickness on the edges as in the middle. Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes. 2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grates with olive oil. 3. While grill is heating up and burgers are chilling, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. The crunch adds a nice texture to the burger. Drain bacon slices on a paper-towel-lined plate. 4. When the grill is hot, cook burgers to your desired degree of doneness. About 4 minutes per side for medium, depending


on your grill. Top the burgers with the Cheddar cheese a minute or two before they are done. 5. While burgers are grilling, place peanut butter and maple syrup in a microwave safe bowl. Stir together and warm in microwave for about 25 seconds. Stir again. It should be slightly runny. 6. Spread the peanut butter onto the hamburger buns, and dress with lettuce, tomatoes, and bacon. Top with a burger patty and enjoy with your favorite beer!

Amazing Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Shrimp Recipe by: Ramey Bekish Shrimp is one of the most versatile foods on the planet. You can cook them several ways from steaming or boiling to grilling or deep frying them. While sometimes all you need is a skillet, some butter and garlic for a quick sauté, we grew fond of this recipe adding a little kick to the bite. While a deep fryer may not be practical at a tailgate or cookout, the chef also recommends grilling them. From the Chef: “My father and his Chinese ‘brother’s’ recipe for the best deep fried shrimp is now famous in our town. You can even put these on the grill. For a sauce, ketchup and horseradish works great, but these are great by themselves!” Makes: 32 shrimp; Prep time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 20 minutes; Ready in: 50 minutes

Artichoke and Parmesan Cheese Dip

Ingredients

Grilled Cheese. Macaroni and cheese. Cheese and crackers. Cheese soup. How could someone not like cheese? It can be used on a sandwich, in a dish or simply eaten plain as a quick snack. According to Cheese.com, there are almost 700 cheeses, and new ones are being made all the time. We hope you enjoy this quick and easy recipe using Parmesan cheese!

32 medium or large tiger shrimp 1 (4 ounce) can pickled jalapeno peppers 1 (1 pound) package thick-sliced bacon, cut in half toothpicks as needed vegetable oil, for frying

Preparation Method

Recipe by: BOBMCD

1. Peel shrimp but leave tails on. Butterfly shrimp deeply by cutting through back almost all the way but not in half.

From the Chef: “A quick and easy appetizer similar to what is found in restaurants. It’s pretty tasty stuff, and it’s always the first to go at get-togethers!”

2. Cut the jalapeno peppers into small slivers and stuff one into each shrimp. Wrap two or three times with bacon halves, and secure with a toothpick.

Makes: 3 cups; Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 2 minutes; Ready in: 17 minutes

Ingredients

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or wok to 350˚ F.

1/2 bunch green onions, minced, divided 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 3/4 cup sour cream 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon celery salt pinch ground white pepper

4. Deep fry the shrimp in batches until the bacon is golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper-towellined plate.

Preparation Method 1. Set aside some of the minced green onion for garnish. Place the remainder in a microwave-safe bowl, and add the chopped artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, and garlic. Season with celery salt and white pepper, then whisk until evenly blended. 2. Heat in the microwave on high in 30 second intervals until hot (do not boil). Stir every 30 seconds to ensure even heating. It should take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave. Vol um e 14  I ssue 5  

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10 Rockin’ Wing Recipes! Buffalo Chicken Wings have become somewhat of a staple when it comes to American pub fare. While there are thousands of ways to cook the versatile snack, it all dates back to 1964 at The Anchor Inn in Buffalo, New York, when the Bellissimo family got creative. The stories vary on how the wings were actually created; one thing is for sure … they are here to stay! Here are our Top 10 chicken wing recipes that we found on ManTestedRecipes.com. For the full recipes, visit SouthernGaming.com/RecipeRoundup today! Baked Blazing Hot Wings by Jim M. This blazing hot wing recipe is baked instead of fried and stays juicy rather than crisp. I started making these about 5 years ago and they were an instant hit. My Dad’s Wings by Vince This is a recipe my dad got from somewhere and has used for years. It is a basic recipe, easy to make and always a big hit every time he makes them.

Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe by: POPS OHIO Let me get this straight. So you take some chicken, add some cream cheese and hot sauce, heat it up and eat it? SOLD! This recipe is easy and tasty and always a fan favorite! From the Chef: “Spicy and creamy with chunks of chicken breast, this dip comes hot and bubbling out of the oven. Serve with scooper chips for those Ohio State Buckeye Football Saturdays!” Serves: 15; Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 45 minutes; Ready in: 1 hour

Ingredients 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 (1 ounce) package dry ranch dressing mix 1/2 cup Frank’s® Red Hot® Sauce to taste 2 cups Cheddar cheese

Preparation Method 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan and cover with lightly salted water. Simmer gently over medium heat until no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool for a few minutes, then dice. 3. Stir the softened cream cheese, garlic, and ranch dressing mix together until evenly blended. Spread into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. 4. Toss the diced chicken breast with the Frank’s Red Hot sauce to coat, and arrange over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese and cover the dish with aluminum foil. 5. Bake in the preheated oven until hot and bubbly, 20 to 30 minutes. 42  

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Super Crunch Oven Fried Honey Dipped Wings by BoomDog02 These wings are coated in Kellogg’s® cornflake crumbs, oven fried, and drizzled with spicy honey. They are hot, crispy and addicting … best of all, not fried! Sports Wings by DFries These wings are easy with a short preparation time. The combination of teriyaki, soy and honey make them a tasty and excellent treat for any televised sporting event spent with friends or family. Crispy Fried Chicken Wings by Patrick Super crispy and delicious wings! The recipe uses buttermilk and saltine crackers for a great combination of smooth flour and crisp breading. Cracked Chicken by tkusko Sometimes basic is best! This recipe consists of chicken drumsticks and wings dusted with garlic, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning, grilled to crispy perfection and served with your favorite BBQ sauce. Deep Fried Hot Wings and Drumettes by LeeJeannine Another classic recipe here, but no need to complicate things! Sometimes all you need is a wing deep fried to a golden brown and coated with hot sauce. Yummy! If you like it hotter, by all means dump more hot sauce on. Serve with Ranch or blue cheese dressing. Brandon’s Naked Buffalo Wings by Brandon T This recipe loses the breading and still holds up great! They are best when they are extra crisp. Beware … they are spicy! Matt’s Kickin’ Hot Wings by Matt & Barb Spicy triple baked hot wings! Fall off the bone delicious! You can adjust the hot sauce and red pepper to increase or decrease the heat, but overall this one is awesome! Wally Wings by buckeyewalt This is a fantastic recipe when you want some good wings without the usual “butter/hot sauce” main ingredients. Even though these are deep fried, very little is absorbed because of the coating. When they come out, they will be crisp, so they’re perfect for those who like crispy wings instead of the softer version. They also have a nice touch of surprising sweetness … enjoy! To see these tasty wing recipes, scan the QR code on the right or visit SouthernGaming.com/reciperoundup


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Golf

When it comes to golf instruction, I firmly believe that every golfer is in need of advice specifically intended to help their individual swing. No two golfers are the same, thus, no two golf swings will be the same. That being said, there are several common swing flaws, each with a simple fix, that I see every day on the driving range. While reading this article, please keep in mind the following quote: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!”

Colby Wolitz is a certified teaching professional and is currently the assistant pro at Hunting Creek Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

Golf: Swing Flaws and Fixes

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Flaw 1: Loss of Spine Angle As pictured below, the angle of your spine should remain fairly constant during the golf swing. Most over the top swings that I see occur in part because the spine angle shifts towards the target in transition, which will start your club outside the proper swing path on your downswing. If the opposite occurs and your spine angle falls back in your transition, the result is usually a block, fat or thin shot. Fix for Flaw 1: Feet Together Drill Try hitting balls on the range with your feet together. Having your feet together narrows your base and prevents you from being able to slide your weight drastically from one foot to the other during your swing. If you lose your spine angle, you will not be able to follow through without moving your feet to prevent yourself from falling over. Practice this drill with any club and about a 70% swing and you will see a great improvement in ball flight consistency and balance. Flaw 2: Breaking the Left Wrist at Impact (Flipping the wrists) At impact, the left wrist should remain flat. Often times players will “flip” their wrists by breaking down the left wrist to help get the ball airborne. The result is usually a mishit shot or a hook.

Fix for Flaw 2: Left Arm Parallel/ Shaft Parallel Drill In order to hit solid shots consistently, the left wrist must remain flat at impact and the club must strike the ball as it is travelling downward (with an iron). This results in the compression of the golf ball, which will produce a longer, straighter golf shot. A great drill to work on compression is what I call the Left Arm Parallel/Shaft Parallel Drill. Take your normal set-up with a 7 iron (stance width, ball position, grip, etc.) and make a backswing only until your left arm (for righthanded golfers) is parallel to the ground. Use your core to pull your arms and club through impact and only follow through until the shaft of your club is parallel to the ground. This drill will force you to hit down on the ball more and control your swing with your body’s rotation, thus helping relieve you of the flipping of the wrists. Flaw 3: Reverse Pivot The reverse pivot occurs when a player’s weight transfers to their front foot in their backswing and then to their back foot in their follow through. A lot of players that fall victim to the reverse pivot also possess what I refer to as a “fake follow through.” A fake follow through is when a player finishes his swing with his back foot planted on the ground, then, long after the ball has left the clubface, raises the heel on his rear foot into a traditional follow through position. F ix for Flaw 3: Step-through Drill The step-through drill is very simple. Take your normal stance and set-up and focus on transferring your weight onto your back foot in your backswing. As you transition the club, push off your back foot to transfer your weight and finish your swing by stepping your back foot over your front foot. If you are like most reverse pivot players, it will take you several attempts at this drill before you feel comfortable and hit some solid shots. All of these drills will help you improve contact and consistency, which in turn will improve your distance and accuracy. For a more specific practice drill for your swing, please consult with your local PGA Professional.

For more free golf tips, visit southerngaming.com/golf


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kentucky bourbon Distillery Delights By Whiskey P rofessor B ernie L ubbers

In 1857, the first Golden Age of Bourbon, a gentleman by the name of Ben Parley Moore wrote to his employer about his Kentucky visit to secure business, “Everywhere, Sir, I am greeted by gentleman with their hearts in their right hand, their right hand in mine, and surely in their left, a bottle of unequalled old bourbon.” So, here we are in the modern Golden Age of Bourbon and you’ve been either turned on to bourbon, or been a fan for a while now, and you’re inspired to come visit us here in Kentucky. I’m telling you, once you visit, you’ll be back. They all come back. Year after year, from Australia (the biggest bourbon market outside the U.S.), Germany (#2) and Asia (#3). It’s a vibrant area with great restaurants, nightlife, live music, and, as a nice bonus, it’s not that expensive to visit. Since we are in the heart of the country, a large percentage of the population can drive here too. Why wouldn’t you want to feel, smell, hold, and best of all taste all this rich history? Not since Ben Parley Moore wrote his employer about that “unequalled old bourbon” has there been such unbridled enthusiasm about the Native Spirit of the United States! Napa Valley has almost 5 million visitors each year. I’ve been myself, and it is wonderful. You can stay in San Francisco and then drive up to the wine country and come back and enjoy the food and nightlife of one of the most stunning cities in the world. The Bourbon Trail is very similar, albeit on a smaller scale, but much more accessible to most of the country than San Francisco. I would argue it is also just as stunning (just a different kind of stunning). And although we might not hit 5 million visitors each year anytime soon, 1 million per year is probably only just a couple of years away! If you are coming, I would suggest the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (KYBourbonTrail.com) where you can follow the trail of six prominent distilleries that welcome more than 250,000 visitors each year. Come on by anytime, but avoid mid-July through August, since most distilleries do not distill during 46  

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A s tat u e o f bo u r bo n l eg e n d Booker Noe sits at the Jim Beam distillery. the hottest months. If you would like a recommendation about the best time, I would first suggest coming the third weekend in September for the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival (KYBourbonFestival.com). Also, Keeneland Race Track is open in April and October in nearby Lexington, and Churchill Downs runs from May through July and then again throughout November. So pretty much any time is good, just avoid the last week of April and the first Saturday in May, which is Derby, unless you have a few very full buckets of money. A couple weeks before the Kentucky Derby is the historic Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, which is a don’t-miss event! And right after the Derby in Louisville, Churchill Downs is open until July, so you can take in a LOT of Kentucky flavor then. Stop by the Blu Lobby Bar at the Marriott on Second and Jefferson Street, where my buddy Hickory Vaught plays bluegrass music every Thursday evening for “Bourbon & Bluegrass” with Hickory & Friends, and if you’re lucky, Clare behind the bar just might sing a number too. Also, the kick-off event for all of the Derby festivities is Thunder Over Louisville and is held in April two weeks before the


Derby. It is the largest fireworks display in the world and is one of the coolest days and nights ever. As mentioned, it serves as the opening ceremonies for the Kentucky Derby Festival, and throughout the day there is an air show, while 600,000 people assemble downtown for the world’s largest fireworks display over the Ohio River at night. Military cannons roar as fireworks light up downtown for miles. Don’t believe me? Find it on YouTube, then go to ThunderOverLouisville.org and you’ll see what I mean. Hotels downtown can get a little pricey then, but you can still find some really good deals, and it’s quite something, especially if you have children. Don’t bite off more than you can chew when visiting the distilleries. You can only visit two on a given day. Don’t try to do three; you just won’t make it. Trust me, I’ve tried. I’m not a spokesperson for the great folks at the official Bourbon Trail, but in this article, I would like to talk about four of the distilleries on the tour that I think are pretty special and give you some insights from my visits to each of them, and the folks I know there. I hope you enjoy it … if you do, check out the expanded version of bourbon in my book Bourbon Whiskey – Our Native Spirit at WhiskeyProf.com.

from Four Roses, and Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace are not far away either and certainly worth a stop.

H e av e n H i ll Di s t i ll e r y recently opened a multi-million dollar facility.

HEAVEN HILL DISTILLERIES BOURBON HERITAGE CENTER 1311 Gilky Run Road, Bardstown, KY 40004 Phone: 502.337.1000, BourbonHeritageCenter.com Just under an hour from Louisville or Lexington, Kentucky. The master distillers are Parker Beam and his son, Craig Beam, of the famous Beam family distillers.

J i m R u tl e d ge i s t h e m a s t e r distiller at Four Roses Distillery.

FOUR ROSES DISTILLERY 1224 Bonds Mill Road, Lawrenceburg, KY40342 Phone: 502.839.3436, FourRoses.us Just over an hour from either Louisville or Lexington, Kentucky. The master distiller is Jimmy Rutledge, an inaugural inductee to the Kentucky Distiller’s Hall of Fame. This distillery is built in a Spanish Mission style, and is really picturesque. Four Roses is a small distillery, so Jimmy Rutledge has been given the freedom to do some of the coolest distilling there is with two recipes and five strains of yeast, which can give them many options for a final product. Their Brand Ambassador, Al Young, has written a book on the rich international history of this distillery titled Four Roses – The Return of a Whiskey Legend that I highly recommend if you are into history. Al has also been recently inducted into the Kentucky Distillers Hall of Fame. I love to see the old wooden fermenters at Four Roses and if you visit, take in the picturesque grounds there. It is really stunning country, and you can just really feel the passion for all they do for the brand. I’d suggest popping over to see Eddie and Jimmy Russell at Wild Turkey which is just a few miles down the road

Heaven Hill’s Heritage Center really raised the bar for everyone else when they built their multimillion-dollar facility. They received Whisky Magazine’s Global Icons of Whisky and the Distilleries Award for Visitor Attraction of the Year in 2009. A fire destroyed a total of six rack houses and their distillery in 1996, as well as their Bardstown Distillery, but they rose from the ashes like the Phoenix! And just look what Heaven Hill has in store for 2013! The only distillery to open a visitors’ experience in the heart of downtown Louisville, dang near across the street from Evan Williams’ original distillery! This will be the $10 million Evan Williams Bourbon Experience including a working still! Come see, smell, touch and experience how Whiskey Row was on Main Street back in the 1800’s!

J i m Be a m i s t h e n u m be r o n e selling bourbon in the world.

JIM BEAM AMERICAN OUTPOST 526 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY 40110 Phone: 502.543.9877, JimBeam.com Only 30 minutes from Louisville, and a little over an hour from Vol um e 14  I ssue 5  

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Lexington, Kentucky. Master distiller, Beam family member and bourbon ambassador is Fred Noe. Fred Noe is really proud of what is going on at Beam’s Visitors Experience. Jim Beam is the #1 selling bourbon in the world, so although the grounds are breathtaking, the distillery is large and industrial. But don’t think that they’re cutting any corners, goodness, no! Beam takes as much care as any of the smaller, quainter distilleries … they just make more of it. Colonel Jim Beam built “big” as soon as Prohibition was over, and that’s one of the reasons they’re still around today. He just had no idea any of you all would be coming around and visiting, so the distillery was set up to make a lot of whiskey but not to entertain guests. So they’ve done a great job with a $33 million renovation and showing off the distillery that includes everything that goes on at the world’s largest bourbon distillery giving you an inside look at the process. It truly is the latest and greatest, and just shows how much growth is expected from the current 250,000 visitors a year to the Bourbon Trail. Come and see just why we say the Bourbon Trail is the Napa Valley of the Bourbon World. And, at Beam, experience for yourselves the feeling of arriving as friends, and leaving as family!

the bottle, name, font and wax) started up the family business again in 1959. A re-creation of their kitchen is here and you get an inside look at how this family created and built this now-iconic brand. Take your camera, there are photo ops a plenty. You top off your tour by being able to purchase a bottle of Maker’s Mark and dip it in that famous red wax your own damn self. Maker’s Mark itself draws well over 100,000 visitors a year which is pretty amazing once you see just how far out in the middle of nowhere it is in Loretto, Kentucky. But it’s more than worth the drive, and they have a little café on the property too, so you’re not going to starve. You also want to visit the cooperage, Independent Stave Company that serves most of the distilleries close by Maker’s Mark. By the way, a cooperage is where they make the bourbon barrels, in case you were wondering. Maker’s Mark just expanded and now boasts one of the best tasting rooms on the trail. There are three glass tasting rooms with thousands of aging Maker’s Mark barrels surrounding your tasting experience for this soft and sweet wheated bourbon. It’s kind of like being in a bourbon cathedral. I hope you liked this mini-tour of some of the noted distilleries of Kentucky. There are a lot more, so don’t be shy to explore some on your own.

5 Facts About Kentucky Bourbon • Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon, producing 95 percent of the world’s supply. • Bourbon is America’s only native spirit, as declared by Congress in 1964.

Bo ttl e s o f M a k e r ’s M a r k r o ll off the line at the distillery.

MAKER’S MARK DISTILLERY 3350 Burk Spring Road, Loretto, KY 40037 Phone: 270.865.2881, MakersMark.com Just over an hour from Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky. The master distiller is Greg Davis; president is Rob Samuels, and his “retired” dad, the legendary Bill Samuels, Jr. The Maker’s Mark visitor’s experience gives you a look at how Bill Samuels, Sr. and his wife Marjorie (who is responsible for

• Bourbon must be made with a minimum of 51% corn and aged in new oak barrels that have been charred. • Only Kentucky has the perfect natural mix of climate, conditions and pure limestone water necessary for producing the world’s best bourbon. • The Mashbill is the recipe used to make whiskey. Source: The Kentucky Distillers’ Association, DISCUS

Bernie Lubbers is The Whiskey Professor. Not only the best job title on the planet, but it translates to his talking about bourbon. A veteran comedian of 25 years he is entertaining, but he can also tell you more about bourbon than you ever thought you could know. Bernie is a master of reading bourbon labels. Reading labels? That’s right. There are more to labels than a name. You can find out where a whiskey is made, its age, proof and much more. By knowing this, you can tell a lot about a whiskey/bourbon, before even taking a sip, or making that purchase. “Bourbon Whiskey – Our Native Spirit” is Bernie’s recently published book. It’s a great overview on the subject; how it’s distilled and aged, why it was distilled and how it became aged in the first place. Along the way you’ll discover bourbon’s rich history and great stories that dovetail with the history of the U.S. itself. Of course, he also teaches you how to read a label, which is not only fascinating, but when put to use, invaluable. Now available nationwide in selected Books-A-Million, amazon.com, BN.com, on kindle and Nook, and from his own website/blog/calendar of appearances; www.whiskeyprof.com

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2012 Breeders’ Cup Racing’s Richest Day

No matter the genre, every epic saga requires a climactic conclusion. Thoroughbred racing’s calendar year is not exempt from this charter and though an array of fantastic equine competitions have been contested on the North American continent since New Year’s Day, this year’s curtain on “The Sport of Kings” essentially falls at Santa Anita Park on November 2 and 3. Santa Anita will proudly host the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships for the sixth time this fall yet, unlike the editions staged at this oval in 2008 and 2009, conventional dirt will once again be the surface of choice for all maintrack engagements.

P hotos courtesy of B reeders’ Cup LTD

By Eric Vaughn Floyd

This year marks the twenty-ninth anniversary of the Cup and since its inception in 1984, the event has exponentially grown in the areas of participatory horseflesh and total revenue. When Hollywood Park originally launched the Breeders’ Cup, fans and horsemen alike were turned inside out by the prospect of a seven-race card worth a cool $10,000,000. Three decades later these figures are nearly matched on the spectacle’s first day! The second day of bouts adds another nine-pack of sprints and routes worth $15,500,000, bringing the grand purse total to a whopping $25.5 million! I’m not afraid to laugh at myself and you’ll probably do the same when you hear what a “green” horseplayer I was in the 50  

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19 8 7 C l a s s i c : Ferdinand duals with Alysheba. infancy of my career. The year was 1997 and after sweeping the Triple Crown Series in my initial pairing with the pari-mutuel window, rumblings of something called the Breeders’ Cup seized my interest. As previously mentioned at this juncture I was still gaining a handle on the “Sport of Kings,” and sadly enough mistakenly thought the Breeders’ Cup was just one single race. On November 8, 1997, I proceeded directly to the Daily Racing Form’s back page, located a race titled Breeders’ Cup Classic and after applying some rather crude handicapping technique; wagered $50 on a runner named Skip Away to win. If you’re now expecting a tale involving an extended stretch duel or driving photo finish, sorry to disappoint. The day’s feature was no contest


and after Skip Away (who was the 9-5 favorite) wired the Classic field by six lengths under jockey Mike Smith, I jovially strode back to the tellers’ station and collected $140. Later on I was informed that there were in fact a total of seven Breeders’ Cup races that day, but the elation brought home by Skip Away forever cemented a personal mentality still retained fifteen years later. Look, I’m well aware that the Breeders’ Cup undercard is chock full of world-class equine talent and ridiculously lucrative payouts. In fact if you want to declare that the Breeders’ Cup Turf (which consistently boasts Earth’s finest grass specialists), or the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (which showcases our planet’s fleetest of hoof), highlights the weekend, then who am I to argue? Personally speaking though, my young body contains an old soul. Therefore when it comes to horseracing I’ll permanently gravitate towards classic distances and ludicrous purses. Naturally this pair of elements is stumbled upon in the World Thoroughbred Championship’s main event; the $5,000,000 1¼ mile Breeders’ Cup Classic. As far as Western Hemisphere horseracing goes, the Breeders’ Cup Classic offers the highest purse and prestige … period. More up for debate is where the Classic ranks within the globular equine system, for some vehemently argue that the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Longchamp Racecourse – Paris, France; 1½ miles–$4 Million Euros), Japan Cup (Tokyo Racecourse – Tokyo, Japan; 1½ miles–476,000,000 Yen) and Dubai World Cup (Meydan Racecourse – Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 1¼ miles–$10,000,000) all easily eclipse America’s richest route. Regardless of how much importance a turf enthusiast places on the Breeders’ Cup Classic as a whole; undeniable is the meritorious roll call of champions that has been produced by this event. Therein reside stories of expected triumph mixed with tales of those who succeeded against a public who left them for dead. Chronicling the twenty-seven Breeders’ Cup Classic Champions exposes a cross-section rarely seen in the annals of horseracing, but in spite of enormous diversity, all listed here dug into untapped reserves when the eternal title of “World Champion” was on the line. Here are a few of our favorite Breeders’ Cup races over the years. I hope you agree and they bring back some memories! For a full list recapping my favorites from every year, visit SouthernGaming.com/2012BreedersCup.

1984 Wild Again I once heard an analyst from the Television Games Network ask Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, “Which ride in your career are you most proud of?” This God fearing soul didn’t hesitate to reply, “I don’t think any other jockey could have piloted Wild Again to a victory in the 1984 Breeders’ Cup Classic.” Supplemented into the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic for $360,000, Wild Again (31-1) held onto a pressured lead for six furlongs before surviving a three-horse photo that involved 1983 Three Year Old Champion Slew o’ Gold and 1984 Preakness Stakes Champion Gate Dancer.

1985 Proud Truth Most aficionados of the turf agreed that the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Classic would go a long way in determining “Horse of the Year” honors in both the three-year-old and older horse division. Things didn’t quite pan out that way as Proud Truth (7-1), a racer

that had been on the Triple Crown trail earlier in the year, wore down Gate Dancer in the day’s finale at Aqueduct Park. Proud Truth was the first-ever three year old to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic while “Horse of the Year” honors went to 1985 Kentucky Derby Champion Spend a Buck.

1986 Skywalker The third edition of the Breeders’ Cup Classic figured to be a two-horse race between Turkoman and Precisionist; the top pair of older horses in training. Skywalker (10-1) didn’t get the memo though and boxed in Precisionist while sitting in a twowide second position rounding the clubhouse turn. By the time Precisionist broke free, Hall of Fame Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. had Skywalker two lengths in front. Favored Turkoman made a last desperate rush at the leader, but couldn’t overcome getting fanned six wide entering the stretch.

1987 Ferdinand The two horses that everyone came to see in the second Breeders’ Cup held at Hollywood Park were 1986 Kentucky Derby Champion Ferdinand and 1987 Kentucky Derby Champion Alysheba. Under prescribed race conditions of the Classic the four-year-old Ferdinand (Even Money) gave four pounds to Alysheba (7-2) and as predicted the final furlong of the feature became a match race between the betting favorites. Ferdinand gamely prevailed by a nose over his late charging nemesis to deny the three year old crop “Classic” bragging rights for the second consecutive year.

1988 Alysheba This son of Alydar (runner up 1978 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) waited an entire year for redemption in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and surpassed John Henry as thoroughbred racing’s all-time leading earner after besting a field of nine that included six millionaires. Alysheba (3-2) rolled into retirement with $6,679,242 in the bank and was undoubtedly the star of the first-ever Breeders’ Cup held underneath the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs.

1989 Sunday Silence Those horseplayers following the Triple Crown trail of 1989 were only concerned with two names, Sunday Silence and Easy Goer. Sunday Silence claimed victory in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but in the Belmont Stakes Easy Goer served the Triple Crown hopeful an eight-length helping of revenge. Bettors made Easy Goer a 1-2 favorite over Sunday Silence (2-1) in the Breeders’ Cup Classic with the third wagering choice on the board at 16-1! Through the lane Sunday Silence opened up four lengths on Easy Goer but only held on by a neck to take the winner’s share of a $3,000,000 purse, thus breaking Alysheba’s single season earnings mark set one year earlier.

1990 Unbridled The Kentucky Derby Champion drew the far outside post at Belmont Park in a full field of fourteen and was largely dismissed at odds of 7-1. Still seven lengths back of the leader with a quarter of a mile to go, “Patient” Pat Day waited for the opportune moment to send Unbridled, then stormed past the field to win by a length over a 38-1 shot named Ibn Bey-En. Vol um e 14  I ssue 5  

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1991 Black Tie Affair

1995 Cigar

The presence of returning Classic Champion Unbridled, Summer Squall (1990 Preakness Stakes Champion), Strike the Gold (1991 Kentucky Derby Champion) and multiple Grade I winner Festin created the most competitive Classic to date, yet a shrewd handicapper knew the scratch of Farma Way was the key to correctly selecting the race. Coming into the Classic on a four-race winning streak, Black Tie Affair (4-1) was now the lone speed of the contest and under a masterful ride from Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, this five-year-old gray coasted to victory by nearly two lengths.

The twelfth Breeders’ Cup Classic was closer to a coronation than a horserace. Heavily favored Cigar won by 2½ lengths over the slop at Belmont Park in a record time of 1:59.58 paying a modest seventy cents on the dollar. Reigning Classic champion Concern could only manage an eighth place finish in the elevenhorse field. This was Jerry Bailey’s third Classic win in a row and fourth overall.

1992 A.P. Indy This son of 1977 Triple Crown Champion Seattle Slew won the Santa Anita Derby and would have been favored in the “Run for the Roses” if not scratched the morning of the race. After a triumphant return in the Peter Pan Stakes and Belmont Stakes A.P. Indy steadily improved and entered the Classic at 2-1 odds with Jockey Club Gold Cup Champion Pleasant Tap the second choice at 5-2. Under Eddie Delahoussaye A.P. Indy scored by two lengths over Pleasant Tap, secured “Horse of the Year” honors and was retired to Lane’s End Farm with 2.9 million dollars in career earnings.

1996 Alphabet Soup Cigar (3-5) was looking to become the first horse to repeat in the Classic, but finished third by a neck in the final race of his career behind winner Alphabet Soup (19-1) and runner up Louis Quatorze (18-1).

1997 Skip Away Did I mention I had $50 on him to win?

1998 Awesome Again With its $5.12 million purse, the 1998 Classic was the richest thoroughbred horserace run to date. Headliners included Skip Away (1997 Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion), Silver Charm (1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes Champion), Victory Gallop (1998 Belmont Stakes Champion) and Swain (Europe’s top older horse). In deep stretch Swain and Silver Charm both lugged out leaving a gaping hole for Awesome Again (9-2) who notched his sixth win from as many starts that season.

1999 Cat Thief In a race where the big guns didn’t fire, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas took full advantage. Despite winning one race out of eleven starts that year, Cat Thief (20-1) out dueled Budroyale (26-1) and Golden Missle (75-1) through the lane at Gulfstream Park to give “The Coach” his only Classic title.

19 9 3 C l a s s i c : J e r r y B a i l e y guides 133-1 Arcangues around the third turn. 1993 Arcangues The Bobby Frankel trained Bertrando (6-5) headed a three-horse entry that seemed invincible, but with a quarter mile remaining in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Jerry Bailey got busy seven lengths back of the leaders on a 133-1 French shipper that had never raced on dirt. Arcangues stunned the horseracing nation by rallying for a two-length win over Bertrando, this hopeless long shot’s $2 win mutuel of $269.20 remains a Breeders’ Cup record.

1994 Concern Six European horses along with American standouts Tabasco Cat (1994 Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes Champion), Go For Gin (1994 Kentucky Derby Champion) and Best Pal (1992 Santa Anita Handicap Champion) headlined the 1994 Classic, but it was a homebred shipped in by van just thirty-six hours before the race that stole the show. After conceding the field thirteen lengths Concern (7-1) circled the field to nip Tabasco Cat by a neck giving jockey Jerry Bailey his third Classic win. 52  

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2 0 0 1 C l a s s i c : T i zn o w bec o m e s the first back-to-back Classic winner under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs. 2000 and 2001 Tiznow The only back-to-back winner of the Classic, in 2000 Tiznow (9-1) outlasted European Horse of the Year Giant’s Causeway (7-1) beneath the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. One year later at Belmont Park, Arc de Triomphe Champion Sakhee (9-2) headed the defending champion late, but Tiznow (6-1) ensured the Classic trophy would remain on American soil.


2009 Zenyatta This mare’s fantastic last-to-first flying finishes had become the stuff of legend in Southern California, but most handicappers questioned whether or not she could hang with the boys. These doubts were put to rest in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park when in typical fashion Zenyatta (5-2) came from second to last to sweep by runner up Gio Ponti (12-1) in the wire’s shadow. This popular result marked the first time a thoroughbred had won two different Breeders’ Cup races (Zenyatta won the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic) and ran the super mare’s lifetime record to fourteen wins out of fourteen starts.

2 0 0 3 C l a s sic : R ich a rd m a ndell atrained Pleasantly Perfect claims victory at 14-1. 2003 Pleasantly Perfect Making just his second start off an eight-month layoff, Pleasantly Perfect (14-1) was responsible for rubbing salt in the wound of Medaglia d’Oro (5-2), the entry once again favored by the betting public. This Classic upset brought trainer Richard Mandella his fourth win of the afternoon, a Breeders’ Cup record.

2004 Ghostzapper Pleasantly Perfect (5-2) was back to defend his title, but on the day before Halloween Ghostzapper (5-2) controlled the early pace and pulled away from runner up Roses in May (8-1) by three lengths through Lone Star Park’s straightaway. The final time of 1:59.02 still ranks as a Breeders’ Cup Classic record.

2006 Invasor (ARG) Thoroughbreds that excel in the Triple Crown Series are given a little extra consideration when they participate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, unless their Triple Crown exploits took place in Uruguay. This was the case with the Argentinian-bred Invasor (6-1) who won Uruguay’s Triple Crown in 2005. Lightly considered when entered into the Breeders’ Cup Classic against 2006 Preakness Stakes Champion Bernardini (Even Money), Invasor showed no ill-effects from a three-month layoff on rote to a one-length victory over the heavy favorite.

2007 Curlin Unraced as a two year old, Curlin (4-1) completed an ambitious three-year-old campaign In Monmouth Park’s only Breeders’ Cup. Over a main track labeled sloppy, Curlin pulled away to a four-and-one-half-length victory over a field, which included Street Sense and Hard Spun, the two colts that had bested him in the Kentucky Derby five months earlier.

2008 Raven’s Pass Before traveling to Santa Anita Park for an attempt to defend his Breeders’ Cup Classic title, Curlin notched victories in the Jaguar Trophy Handicap, Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster Handicap, Woodward Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup. Sent off as the odds-on betting choice, Curlin struggled over Santa Anita’s Pro Ride synthetic surface, but the soft strip suited Raven’s Pass (13-1) just fine. Jockey Frankie Dettori turned in a masterful ride and with a length-and-three-quarter triumph Raven’s Pass became the first European-based Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion.

2 0 10 C l a s s i c : Bl a m e p u ll s T HE ultimate upset against the heavy favorite, Zenyatta. 2010 Blame Every time I watch a replay of this particular race I think that Zenyatta (Even Money) is going to somehow erase the twentylength deficit she found herself in on the backstretch. Hat’s off to Blame (5-1) though who got first run on the pacesetters and held on by a whisker to deny Zenyatta not only another Classic title, but a twentieth straight victory.

2011 Drosselmeyer The 2010 Belmont Stakes Champion was dismissed at 14-1 due to having just one win in seventeen months, but this underdog’s late rally past Game On Dude (14-1) gained a measure of redemption for jockey Mike Smith who suffered the most horrendous defeat imaginable one year prior on Zenyatta. In the weeks leading up to the 2012 Breeders’ Cup, many top thoroughbreds will begin booking passage to Santa Anita Park. Expect to hear names like Game On Dude, Wise Dan, Shackleford, Ron the Greek, Mucho Macho Man, Bodemeister, Paynter and Dullahan in the discussion of horses that could possibly capture the Classic. As we have witnessed over the last three decades, the Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion can arrive from anywhere and taking one stab at a perennial outsider just might secure you bragging rights for an entire lifetime! Eric Vaughn Floyd is a turf writer for various gaming publications and a Triple Crown pari-mutuel consultant for several nationwide media outlets. Excerpts from his gambling memoir, My First Decade Playing the Game, can be read at LuLu.com

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HORSERACING

There is an ancient axiom in thoroughbred racing that states, “Weight can stop a freight train.” In an effort to paint the proper illustration, I’ll now reference a one-mile contest run at Aqueduct Racetrack earlier this year. Soon after the break, a horse to the inside veered left, smashed into the rail and dislodged his rider. The field scooted well clear as the fractious entry attempted to regain balance but, by the time a proper gait was located, ten lengths separated our straggler from the pack’s rear racer.

Eric Vaughn Floyd is a turf writer for various gaming publications, and a Triple Crown pari-mutuel consultant for several nationwide media outlets. Excerpts from his gambling memoir, My First Decade Playing the Game, can be read at LuLu.com.

Horseracing: Weighing in on the Sport

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Most horseplayers are aware that if an entry loses their rider during the course of a bout they are immediately disqualified; however a fair percentage of runners who find themselves in this position utterly refuse to give up the ship. Our pony of reference adhered to this inbred mentality to compete and was racing mid-pack by the far turn due to the fact that his back was now free of over a hundred pounds of human flesh. As those still capable of seizing win honors struggled through the lane, the thoroughbred with no accomplice drew away besting his rivals by four lengths. Obviously the referenced example is extreme, but it hammers home the point that a horse will run faster when the hindrance of weight is eliminated. If you listen to the old timers that still scarcely lurk along the fence of most ovals, they will declare that for every five pounds a racer sheds, one length or one-fifth of a second is annexed. Such a measure might seem inconsequential, but in actuality a great percentage of races are decided by less than a single length. So how does a thoroughbred carry the assigned weight? In handicap races an expert will delegate weight to each entry depending on their perceived ability. Evening out the field in this manner typically creates highly competitive clashes and lucrative prices across the tote board. Interestingly enough, this type of practice forced history’s most celebrated thoroughbred into retirement. Man o’ War carried as much as 138 lbs. during his three-year-old campaign, conceding as much as 32 lbs. to hopelessly outmatched rivals. Seeking to halt the barrage of carnage left by Man o’ War, racing officials sought to pile even more lead onto this “freak’s” back but, instead of giving in to such lunacy, owner Samuel D. Riddle opted to retire his racer. Matters of weight are spelled out in the conditions of a race, but before citing a specific example know that allowances in burden are typically given due to age, sex, recent lack of success and jockey tenure.

B elo w is a t y pic al condition that would appear in the Daily Racing Form: - 1 M i l e - ( 1 : 3 3 .1) C L AIMI N G . P u r s e $18,000 3-year-olds a n d u p . Wei g h t s : Eric Floyd 3-year-olds, 120lbs., older 122 lbs., nonwinners of 2 races at a mile or over since Nov. 12 th allowed 3 lbs., of such a race since then, 5 lbs. Claiming Price $35,000. In this fictional route, the top weight that can be carried by any one horse is 122 lbs. A three-year-old participant receives a 2 lb. allowance, and racers with resumes failing to feature a pair of victories at a mile or over since November 12 fall under 3 lbs. of grace. The maximum weight concession any runner will obtain is 5 lbs., yet only horses that haven’t succeeded at a mile or more since November 12 qualify for this advantage. A type of weight concession will appear inside a thoroughbred’s running lines when they are being handled by an apprentice jockey. During their first year on the circuit, jockeys maintain a weight allowance and while these matters vary from state to state, a rookie in silks usually begins with a 10 lb. allotment. Thoroughbred conditioners often employ even the most unproven “bug boy” simply to ease a racer’s lumbar, but as the wins pile up a fledgling’s favor flees. A pre-determined number of triumphs will reduce a novice’s 10 lb. weight allowance to 5 lbs. and here it remains until the inaugural year lapses. If a horse is slated to carry 120 lbs. and their jockey tips the scale at a stealth 109 lbs., then action must be taken to get said equine “up to weight.” The practice of adding lead ingots to pockets in the saddlecloths used to be commonplace, but technology has improved this crude methodology. Recently saddles that vary in weight have been introduced, so our hero mentioned above would simply acquire an 11 lb. seat from the jock’s room. Consequence of weight toted is probably the single most disputed angle among horseplayers. Some ignore the statistic entirely, while others consider this elementary measurement more essential than breeding and Beyer Speed Figures. As with most facets of handicapping, individual players must discern for themselves the impact from pounds acquired, but putting in my two cents I’ll state that as race distance lengthens, consideration of weight carried should intensify. Finally, one should be wary of betting on a three-year-old thoroughbred that is surrendering weight to a group of older horses.

For more free horseracing tips, visit southerngaming.com/horseracing


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playing the ponies Wagering on the Web

Depending on your age, you may remember that not so long ago placing a (legal) bet on a horse race required a trip to the racetrack. Once there, you would sit through nine or ten live races and wager only on the racing action provided by your local track. Times have certainly changed. The first step in broadening the reach of horse racing was the advent of “full-card simulcasting.” No longer would a horseplayer at Belmont Park in New York City be limited to playing the races at Belmont Park. Full-card simulcasting opened the doors to a multitude of other racetracks across the country, in effect allowing that Belmont Park bettor to wager on races from as far away as Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky or Santa Anita in California. The growing popularity of full-card simulcasting spawned the advent of Off-Track Betting (OTB). For the first time, horseplayers no longer had to physically be at the racetrack in order to place a bet. Simulcast outlets and OTB parlors popped up everywhere, from neighborhoods to shopping malls. Horseplayers now had multiple options, and it wouldn’t take long to see that many were gravitating away from the racetrack experience. As we approached the door of a new century—one in which technology was growing at the speed of light, and racetrack attendance was dwindling at the same rate—racing needed something “new” to engage the regular horseplayer while at the 56  

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T w i n s p i r e s .c o m i s o w n e d by Churchill Downs and offers an array of player features. same time appealing to a new class of players that were younger and more mobile. The answer was Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW), which allows horseplayers to place live wagers from the comfort of their home, or “on the go” with a variety of mobile devices. Advanced Deposit Wagering allows horseplayers, in certain licensed states, to fund accounts and then legally place wagers on horse races from around the country—and most ADW companies now offer live wagering on races from far-away locations such as England, France, Hong Kong, South Africa, Japan, Peru and Sweden, just to name a few.


At this point you may be wondering, “What is the difference between an ADW company and an offshore wagering site?” The answer is the ADW companies are licensed in the U.S. to legally accept wagers— and more important, they work in tandem with racetracks, horsemen and breeders to ensure that some portion of each wagering dollar goes back into the industry. Just as the simulcast outlet pulled people away from the racetracks, Advanced Deposit Wagering websites pulled people away from the simulcast outlets. As a result, ADW wagering is the fastestgrowing segment of the pari-mutuel betting industry. Racetracks have taken notice, with several jumping into the ADW business in an effort to retain—and gain—market share among horseplayers. Having the ability to place live wagers at a racetrack, a simulcast outlet, or from a computer seemed like the perfect scenario for horseplayers. Unfortunately, in its early stages, ADW companies were in a constant battle for supremacy, and players were put in a difficult position. Due to relationships between certain racetrack companies and ADWs, not every racetrack signal was available to every bettor. For instance, a horseplayer might need an account with one ADW to bet races from Kentucky; another account with another ADW to bet races from California, and another account with another ADW to bet races from Florida. It did not take long for horseplayers to rise up and voice their opposition, and frustration. Thankfully they were heard—for the most part. While there are several ADW companies in operation today, three have risen to the top: TwinSpires.com, Xpressbet and Television Games Network (TVG). In a competitive marketplace, these three companies have put aside many of their differences for the benefit of horseplayers. Today, a horseplayer looking to lay a wager on a race at Suffolk Downs can choose among the three websites, rather than being forced to choose a single one. As a result, players are no longer drawn to a particular ADW solely based on the list of tracks they offer, but in many cases because of the “services” they offer. TwinSpires.com is an online wagering platform owned and operated by Churchill Downs. As such, it is the official online wagering site for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. Launched in 2007, TwinSpires.com was the product of three other account-wagering platforms, which were acquired by Churchill Downs. When Churchill Downs completed its acquisition of Youbet.com in 2010, TwinSpires.com became the largest accountwagering service in the country. TwinSpires.com allows it customers to choose their “wagering experience,” choosing from options such as TwinSpires Classic,

T w i n s p i r e s T V o ff e r s p l ay e r s live video streaming of races. TwinSpires Express and TwinSpiresPro. What TwinSpires.com attempts to do, in an effort to best equip bettors, is provide access to interactive programs and past performances to aid in the handicapping process. TwinSpires.com offers Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances for free when you play the races, as well as free Brisnet Insider Picks and Power Plays. Players using the TwinSpires Express interface are able to enjoy a streamlined program layout with Brisnet SuperStats. These interactive Super Stats allow players to drill down on nearly every element in the program to get important statistical handicapping data. Brisnet SuperStats include a lifetime activity log for each horse, which serves as an interactive look at the horse’s past performance, including charts and workout information. The SuperStats also include detailed pedigree information, as well trainer and jockey statistics. “ Tw i n S p i r e s . c o m p l ay e r s h a v e a n e d g e b e c a u s e Brisnet.com handicapping information is so heavily integrated into the wagering experience,” said Jeremy Clemons, Vice President of Marketing at TwinSpires.com. “The quality of the free handicapping products and innovative tools available at TwinSpires.com arms our players with the very best chance to win.” Another popular feature at TwinSpires.com is TwinSpires TV. This interface provides live video streaming for every racetrack on the wagering menu, and allows the horseplayer to watch video from five different racetracks at one time. In addition to the live video and streaming odds, players can use TwinSpires  TV to place wagers and check results without having to navigate back to the main website. Although TwinSpires.com is the only company among the “big three” without its own dedicated television channel, it is a partner in HRTV with Xpressbet. Vol um e 14  I ssue 5  

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Xpressbet is the online wagering platform owned and operated by The Stronach Group, also the owner of racetracks such as Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park and Pimlico. Founded in 2001, Xpressbet is the official online wagering site for the Preakness Stakes, and title sponsor of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. It was recently announced that through its television company HRTV, and sister site, HRTV.com, this year’s Breeders’ Cup races will be broadcast live over the Internet for the first time. Xpressbet is a global company with two subsidiaries: XB Net, a European-based company that packages North American racing content for European, Asian and Latin American markets; and XB Select, a rebate program for Elite players, which offers an array of ultra-premium products and services. Through a website redesign in 2011, Xpressbet streamlined the betting process for its customers, making it faster and easier to place wagers. Recently, Xpressbet launched “Multiview,” a highly customizable way for bettors to play the races. This interface provides live video, streaming odds, a wagerpad, results and program information. Xpressbet customers can take advantage of free Equibase past performances for thoroughbred racing, TrackMaster past performances for harness racing, and international past performances for tracks around the world. Television Games Network (TVG) has been offering online horse wagering since 1993. The company is now a subsidiary of Betfair, a publicly traded company on the London stock exchange. Earlier this year Betfair confirmed a five-year naming rights deal with Hollywood Park in California, the first of its kind for a racetrack in this country. The racetrack is now known as Betfair Hollywood Park.

X P r e s s Be t r e c e ntly l a u nc h e d ‘Multi-view’ giving players a customize-able interface. Thanks to its early entry into the market, and the wide distribution of its television channel TVG, this online company dominated the market for years. Like TwinSpires.com and Xpressbet, TVG customers can take advantage of free past performances and a variety of contests and promotions. The big difference is that TVG charges a pay-per-bet fee, or monthly rate, for wagering customers, and unlimited live video is only available to customers who reach a predetermined betting threshold each month. While on-track attendance and overall betting “handle” trend downward, Advanced Deposit Wagering continues to prop up the industry. With its growing popularity, and a dedicated push by racetrack companies to attract a new generation of younger customers, online wagering will remain at the forefront for the foreseeable future. As a result, ADW companies like those profiled here will continue to invest heavily in the latest technology and innovations to make wagering fast, fun, and easy—and most important, convenient.

Sudoku Answers From page 8

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Billiards

This is an excerpt from the book, McGoorty: A Billiard Hustler’s Life by Dan McGoorty as told by Robert Byrne. This is part of an ongoing series of stories Southern Gaming will publish about the colorful daily encounters of hustlers and gamblers over the years.

Robert Byrne was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa, received a degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado. He spent 20 years in San Francisco as editor of a trade journal and 20 years as a freelance author of books. He has written seven novels (one of which, Thrill, was made into a movie), seven books on the game of billiards, and six collections of humorous quotations. His latest books are Behold My Shorts, a 2009 compilation of short humorous essays available from Amazon, and The 2,548 Wittiest Things Anybody Ever Said, published in 2012 by Simon & Schuster and available online or through any bookstore. His website is byrne.org.

The Life of a Billiards Hustler

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Pool hustling is a very tough line of work. If you expect to make anything, you not only have to be a good player, you have to be a psychologist, an actor and a thief, as well. Marks aren’t easy to find, and once you get one it is quite an art to make the biggest possible score. There are a million tricks. You never make a tough shot, unless you can make it look lucky. Miscuing five times in a game of rotation is par … not just any miscue, but one that leaves no shot. Miscuing properly, so that it looks accidental and the cue ball goes where you want it to, is a good weapon. Sometimes it’s hard to get a mark to play for money at all. A way that worked many times for me was to offer to play a game of rotation “for fun.” I would set him up for the 1-ball, and when he made it, I would hand him a dime, saying that by “for fun” I meant a dime on every odd ball. Not many guys could turn down that dime. Once they took it, naturally I could go ahead and make the rest of the odd balls. We would make up all kinds of games to get people started. “You make the 1-ball in the side pocket, and I’ll make 50 balls on the other five pockets.” That sounds like a terrific handicap, but it really isn’t; you just make sure you never leave the guy a decent shot at the one in the side. If he gets his ball close to the hole, just knock it away. But, it sounds great—50 balls to one! There were a lot of places to hustle pool in Chicago in the 1920’s, a dozen rooms in the Loop alone within walking distance of each other. There were quite a few of us hustling at the same time, so we had to split up and spread out. You couldn’t just hang out or the cops would pick up on the vagrancy. You had to keep on the go. I used to carry a newspaper with a few classified ads circled to make it look like I was looking for a job. Standing on a street corner, I always had a bus transfer. We just kept going from room to room. In case a mark wandered into a place when we weren’t there, one of our bird dogs would phone us. I had a bird dog in every action room that would tip me off for a small charge. If a couple of us were in a room when a mark walked in, we would sometimes draw straws to see who got the first crack at him.

There is a risk in losing the first game on purpose because the guy might quit and walk out with your money. I soon learned to always win the first game as if by luck—then I could throw a game on the other guy’s money. In 3-cushoin billiards, a good way to hide part of your skill is to shoot into kisses. Try to kiss off the second or third rail. Not even good players will suspect you are doing it on purpose. On the road you can work a room for two or three days if you aren’t known, or even longer, climbing up to the better players as the bums drop off. When you get to the local shark you still have to hide your stuff because the guys you beat the day before might wise up and get unhappy if they see your true speed. Some hustlers I knew were terrific actors. You would swear they were drunk, or sick or just learning to play. Tugboat Whaley used to put on rain gear, rubber hat and all, and say he was a tugboat captain who just retired on a nice pension that he didn’t know how to spend. Marks figured there was no way he could have been practicing pool on a tugboat. Wimpy Lassiter, before the tournament prizes got big enough to lure him into the limelight, dressed up like a hillbilly, with bib overalls and a piece of straw a foot long hanging off his lip. That was his hustle, pretending he just fell off a hay wagon. The straw hat he wore was a work of art, the way it had been chewed on … just enough to fringe it. The hillbilly lingo he used, though, was no con; that was the way he really did talk. Just as much money changes hands among the “sweaters”—the spectators—as between the players, and that is where the real treachery comes in because the players might be in cahoots. When the best player throws a game it is called a “dump.” The next level is the “double dump,” when the mark thinks he is in on a fix and then is double-crossed. There is even a “double double dump,” when a guy thinks he has been let in on a plan to double cross a mark who thinks he knows the fix is on, only to be double crossed himself. All the players do is make the game come out so that their secret partner on the sidelines wins his bet. I have seen guys go to a lot of trouble to arrange a fix only to find out they were the marks all along. But using secret partners and pulling dumps and double dumps—lemonading, we called it—is bunco, real con. In fact, hustling where you hide your speed is stealing. I gave it up as soon as I could afford to, which was about 30 years later. I guess it was true what they said about me—too lazy to work and too yellow to steal.

For more great artciles, tips and stories, visit SouthernGaming.com!


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the name game How the games got their names By John Grochowski

Everyone knows how casino games get named nowadays. The game inventor, or perhaps the marketing department in a large company, decides what best describes the game, or what will sell the game to the public.

CRAPS: The French seem to have brought craps to North

Sometimes the names are descriptive. When Derek Webb invented Three Card Poker, he gave us exactly what the name says: a three-card version of stud poker. Easy enough, right?

It was derived from an earlier game called Hazard, played by English knights during the Crusades. It’s said that Sir William Tyre and his men played the game in 1125, during the time the English were laying siege to a castle called Hazarth—the source of the game’s name.

Other times, there’s a less obvious story behind the name of the game. In Caribbean Stud Poker there’s nothing Caribbean about having to beat a dealer’s qualifying hand. It was played on ships cruising the Caribbean before it was played on the mainland United States. Then there’s Spanish 21. It couldn’t help but catch the eye of anyone passing game creator Richard Lofink’s booth at one World Gaming Congress in the mid-1990s. There was Lofink, colorfully garbed in a ruffled shirt, puffy pleated sleeves and a flat-topped Spanish hat. I couldn’t pass up the chance to see what it was all about, so I stopped for a few sample hands. Lofink dealt out the game that has since carved out a lasting niche in table games pits, and explained the long list of rules beneficial to the player, such as the ability to double down on any number of cards, and the bonus payoffs on 6-7-8 and 7-7-7. I asked him how the house kept its edge with all those positive rules, and he said, “It’s because the 10s have been removed. There are only 48 cards. That’s the Spanish deck.” So it goes with modern patented, copyrighted, trademarked games—the ones whose names are capitalized when you see them in these pages. With older games, name origins are often obscure, accidents of history and location. Blackjack, craps and keno weren’t named by anybody’s marketing department, nor were terms such as jackpot, or “races” when used to describe games of keno. Let’s play the name game, and try to decipher why we call these games the names we do. 62  

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America, via Louisiana in the early 1800s, before Thomas Jefferson brought the lands into U.S. jurisdiction via the Louisiana Purchase.

The game itself had similarities to the pass line bet in the game of craps. At the start of play, the shooter rolled the dice until they landed on a total of 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9. That then became the main point. If the shooter’s next roll repeated the point, he won. If the next roll was 2 or 3, he lost. On 11, he’d win if the main point was 7, but lose on all other rolls. On 12, he’d win on points of 6 and 8 and lose on 5, 7 or 9. If the roll after the main point did not repeat the point, but was 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10, the roll became the chance point. From then on, only the main point and the chance point mattered. A shooter repeating the chance point first was a winner. Repeating the main point first brought a loss. All other numbers meant the shooter kept rolling. That’s a little more complex than the pass bet at craps, but note the similarities. The shooter establishes points. Numbers that are winners at one point of the game are losers at others. Rolls of 2 and 3 are linked as losers, while 7 and 11 are linked as winners. It’s pretty easy to see how that was refined into the modern game of craps. But why craps? Why not just all it “Haz” or some simplified form of Hazard, or perhaps a French version of the word— perhaps “risqué”? It seems to come down to the French borrowing the game and developing it into a form similar to the one we know today. French slang for a pair of 1s was “krabs.” Local pronunciation took it from there.


ROULETTE: If only the English had let it ride, we might all

be playing roly-poly today instead of roulette. The horizontal gaming wheel was first used for the game of roly-poly in 1720. Players bet on black or white, as the wheel alternated black and white slots instead of today’s red and black. The spin through England was not smooth for roly-poly. It was banned by the gaming acts of 1739 and 1740 and a version called E-O surfaced in Bath, where players could bet only on even or odd. That was banned, too, in 1745. So just as the French turned Hazard into craps, they morphed roly-poly into roulette. Wheels recognizable as the modern game can be traced to Paris in 1796. They had black and red slots, numbers 1 through 36, and both 0 and 00. That sounds a little odd, since the “French” wheel today has no 00, but the singlezero wheel didn’t appear until 1842. The name? Easy enough. “Roulette” is French for “little wheel.” While the horizontal wheel made its public debut as a gaming device with roly-poly, it’s believed to have originated with the French mathematician, physicist and philosopher Blaise Pascal, either in his research in probability theory or in his quest for a perpetual motion machine. It’s had gamblers on the move ever since.

KENO: Perhaps you’re getting the idea that the French had

quite a lot to do with the names of our games. The name game seems to run through France or French-influenced territory. In the case of keno, that would be New Orleans. Now, keno didn’t come to North America through New Orleans, and its roots aren’t French. It’s a Chinese game that became

known as the Chinese lottery when it was brought to the United States by the Chinese immigrants who worked on building the railroads in the 1800s. The game itself dates back more than 3,000 years, to a ruler named Cheung Leung who found the expense of defending his territory more than his budget could bear. He came up with the idea of a lottery that not only refilled his coffers, but also proved popular with his people. It was an idea that stood the test of time—governments are still using lotteries to bolster budgets today. It’s said that proceeds from the Chinese Lottery helped fund the building of China’s Great Wall. It originally used 120 Chinese characters instead of 80 numbers. That was eventually narrowed to 90 characters, and the further reduction to 80 happened in the United States. That the game would eventually reach New Orleans was only natural. In the days before Nevada legalized gaming, illegal casinos thrived in many U.S. cities. New Orleans was an early hotspot, with plenty of players ready to take a New World flutter from the early 1800s on. San Francisco was another, especially after the California Gold Rush of 1849. Somewhere along the way, numbers were substituted for the Chinese characters originally used by Cheung Leung, and that was a key to the new name of the game once the game had made its way to New Orleans. There, the French-speaking population called a set of five numbers a “quine,” as in “keen.” The name game rolled that all into “keno.”

KENO, PART DEUX: When I first started playing in casinos Vol um e 14  I ssue 5  

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in the 1980s, each game of keno was called commonly a “race.” If you wanted to play 10 games in a row, you could pay in advance for a 10-race card. When I marked up a keno card for a little entertainment over breakfast, the keno runner asked me how many races I wanted to play.

total—9 in baccarat, 7-1/2 in 7-1/2, 15 in Quinze, 31 in Trente y Quarente. The only one we commonly see in casinos today is baccarat, although Trente y Quarente is still around. Blackjack, with the bonus usually set at 3-2 regardless of card color, has outstripped all its ancestors.

What in the world is it about the Chinese lottery, or quine, or keno that makes a game a race?

BINGO: How’d you like to call out “Beano!” when you fill the

This one is not of French origin. Instead, the term dates to the legalization of gambling in Nevada in 1931. The legalization did not include lotteries, and keno at its heart is a lottery.

pattern on your card? That’s what you’d be doing if the name attached to the game by traveling toy salesman Edwin Lowe had stuck.

To offer this lottery-style game, casinos tried a little subterfuge. Each number was attached to the name of a racehorse, to make it seem as if instead of picking lottery numbers, you were betting on horses. No one was really fooled, but the game had its run under the name “racehorse keno,” with each game being called a race.

Like keno, bingo has its roots in a national lottery—not the Chinese lottery in this case, but the Italian state lottery introduced when citystates were unified into a nation in 1530. The game spread, and by the 1920s was a carnival favorite in the United States. There were no air blowers and balls in those days, and not even hand-cranked cages with balls rolling over each other. Instead, callers usually reached into a bag to pull out numbers. Players then covered their numbers with dried beans.

We could still be playing racehorse keno today if not for another act of government. In 1951, Nevada instituted a tax on off-track horse wagering. Now the big issue was no longer to have keno taken for a lottery. It was to avoid having it mistaken for horse racing and being subject to the tax.

Lowe found the game being played as Beano at a carnival in Florida, and decided to market it in his home state of New York. He first played it at his home, and when a woman filled her card, the cry of “Beano!” came out as “Bingo!” instead. Lowe had his new name to market the game.

The horse names associated with the numbers were removed, and the word “racehorse” was deleted from the name of the game. Keno it was, and keno it is. Whether to call a game a “race,” well, you pay your money and you take your choice.

JACKPOT: We use “jackpot” mainly as a slot machine term

BLACKJACK: The name of the game is a giveaway, right? Something to do with hands that include black jacks. Well, yes, but the details seem lost in the mists of time. The French game Vingt-et-Un (21) is a leading candidate as the direct ancestor of our game of 21, and it hit American shores early in the 19th century. It wasn’t the most popular game of chance—craps had it beat hands down, and for many years so did faro, which today is rarely seen. But the name blackjack didn’t appear until the early 20th century. No one is quite sure exactly when or where, but the traces seem to lead to Evansville, Indiana, and gambling in the backrooms of saloons. There, to goose the popularity of the game, the house started paying bonuses on two-card totals of 21 that included a black jack. How big a bonus? Some sources say 10-1. With a bonus like that, I’d be looking for a little of that black jack game, too. One other thing remains hidden in time. No one is quite sure if the Jack could be either clubs or spades, or had to be in spades, or if the Ace and Jack had to be in the same black suit. The game itself had multiple European ancestors, with Vingt-etUn seeming to be a last offshoot before approaching the modern game. Baccarat is an early game in the same family, which also includes 7-1/2, Quinze, and Trente y Quarente. They share a common characteristic of adding card values to reach a desired 64  

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today. Any slot player wants to hit the game’s biggest jackpot, and the allure of the jackpot is the main attraction of modern games with multiple progressive jackpots, such as Fort Knox, Cash Express or, of course, Jackpot Party progressives. Every slot manufacturer wants to convince us they’re throwing a jackpot party.

There are jackpots at table games, too. Caribbean Stud is the forerunner of the jackpot table games, with a progressive jackpot that has been known to reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, all there for a $1 side bet and an odd-defying hand. But the word origin for “jackpot” lies in poker, specifically in the game of five-card draw when it takes a pair of Jacks or better to open the pot. If no player has a pair of Jacks or better on the deal, all ante again and a new hand is dealt until someone is able to open. With it requiring a pair of Jacks or better to open the pot, it’s a short leap to calling it the “jacks pot,” and even a shorter one to calling it the jackpot. May your jackpots be large and frequent. That’s the name of the game. Syndicated gaming columnist John Grochowski has been covering the casino industry for 17 years in his weekly column distributed to newspapers, websites and magazines. He is also the author of six books, including The Slot Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. You can also find him online at CasinoAnswerMan.com.


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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 be happy to connect you with some of our preferred casino properties around the world! For more information, please e-mail comps@southerngaming.com or call 1-877-582-9478.

1 Gulf Coast Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi)

Lassing Pointe Golf Course (Boone County)

Shula’s Steak House (Tampa)

Nevel Meade Golf Course (Louisville)

1-727-812-3339

1-888-750-7111

Fallen Oak Golf Course (Biloxi)

1-813-286-4366

Half Shell Oyster House (Gulfport & Biloxi)

1-877-242-6464

1-877-805-4657

1-228-867-7001

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi)

1-502-228-9522

Mardi Gras Casino & Racing (Hallandale)

Pat’s Steak House (Louisville)

1-888-946-2847

Seminole’s (Coconut Creek, Hollywood & Tampa)

Island View Casino Resort (Gulfport)

Watermark Grille (Naples)

IP Casino Resort Spa

1-877-774-VIEW

Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant (Biloxi)

1866-2CASINO

1-239-596-1400

5 Georgia The Horseradish Grille (Atlanta)

1-855-667-6777

1-404-255-7277

Mary Mahoney’s French House Restaurant (Biloxi)

New York Prime Steakhouse (Atlanta)

1-228-374-0163

1-404-875-4242

Silver Slipper Casino (Bay St. Louis) 1-866-775-4773

The Shed BBQ (Ocean Springs)

Soho Restaurant (Atlanta) 1-770-801-0069

6 Indiana Belterra Casino Resort (Vevay)

1-228-875-9590

1-888-BELTERRA

2 Alabama

Casino Aztar (Evansville)

Riverside Casino (Wetumpka)

1-800-342-5386

1-800-897-7198

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail • Oxmoor Valley Golf Course (Birmingham) • Hampton Cove Golf Course (Huntsville) • Magnolia Grove Golf Course (Mobile) • Capitol Hill Golf Course (Montgomery) Wind Creek Casino & Hotel (Atmore)

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

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1-502-894-8686

Seelbach Hotel (Louisville) 1-502-585-3200

8 Louisiana Café Giovanni (New Orleans) 1-504-529-2154

Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino (Vinton) 1-800-589-7441

Fair Grounds Race Course (New Orleans) 1-504-944-5515

L’Auberge Du Lac Hotel & Casino (Lake Charles) 1-866-580-7444

Paragon Casino Resort (Marksville) Shreveport/ Bossier Visitor’s Bureau

9 Mississippi (Tunica)

The Bellagio

1-888-987-6667

Caesars Palace 1-800-HARRAHS

Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant 1-702-364-5300

Horseshoe Casino Southern Indiana

Gold Strike Casino Resort

Golden Nugget

1-888-24-KSTAY

1-800-634-3454

Harrah’s Tunica

Golden Gate Hotel & Casino

Indiana Grand Casino (Shelbyville)

1-800-WIN-4-WIN

1-877-386-4463

1-501-682-7777

Porcini Italian Restaurant (Louisville)

1-888-45-VISIT

7 Kentucky

Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

1-502-896-9234

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino (Anderson)

1-866-676-SHOE

3 Arkansas

1-859-331-0770

1-800-946-1946

1-800-526-7223

1-800-826-9121

Oriental Wok (Fort Mitchell)

Rising Star Casino Resort 1-800-472-6311

1-800-949-4444

1-859-384-2266

Miccosukee Resort & Gaming (Miami)

1-877-55-SLOTS

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Derby Lane Race Track (St. Petersburg)

21C Museum Hotel (Louisville) 877-217-6400

Brown Hotel (Louisville) 1-502-583-1234

Churchill Downs (Louisville) 1-800-283-3729

Equus Restaurant (Louisville)

Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 1-800-456-0711

Hollywood Casino Tunica 1-800-871-0711

10 Mississippi Boka Homa Casino (Sandersville) 1-866-447-3275

Harlow's Casino Resort & Hotel (Greenville)

1-502-897-9721

1-866-534-5825

Galt House Hotel & Suites (Louisville)

Pearl River Resort (Philadelphia)

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

Keeneland Racecourse (Lexington) 1-800-456-3412

1-866-44-PEARL

11 Missouri Ameristar Casino St. Charles 1-800-325-7777

Casino Queen

1-800-777-0777

Lumière Place Casino & Hotels 1-314-881-7777

River City Casino

1-800-426-1906 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 1-800-473-7625 MGM Grand 1-877-880-0880 Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino 1-877-632-7800 Mirage Las Vegas 1-800-627-6667 Palms Hotel 1-866-942-7777 Paris Las Vegas 1-877-796-2096 The Venetian 1-877-283-6423 Wynn Las Vegas 1-888-320-WYNN Wild Wild West Hotel & Casino 1-800-6-STATIONS

13 Nevada (Laughlin) Aquarius Casino Resort 1-888-662-5824

1-888-578-7289

Golden Nugget Laughlin

Aria Resort and Casino

Harrah’s Laughlin Casino and Hotel

12 Nevada (Las Vegas) 1-866-359-7757

1-800-950-7700

1-800-427-7247


For comps and information on these facilities, visit www.SouthernGaming.com!

14 Nevada (Reno)

Half Shell Restaurant (Memphis)

Atlantis Casino Resort

1-901-682-3966

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

15 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

16 South Carolina Aunt Chilada’s Easy Street Café (Hilton Head)

1-843-785-7700

Rendezvous Barbecue (Memphis)

CQ’s Restaurant (Hilton Head)

1-901-523-2746

Golden Bear at Indigo Run (Hilton Head)

1-901-274-2556

1-843-671-2779

1-843-689-2200

Harbour Town Golf Course (Hilton Head) 1-843-363-4485

Hilton Head National (Hilton Head)

Tsunami Restaurant (Memphis) Vanderbilt Legends Club (Brentwood) 1-615-790-1300

18 West Virginia Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races

1-843-842-5900

1-800-795-7001

Salty Dog Café (Hilton Head)

The Greenbrier (White Sulphur Springs)

1-843-363-2198

17 Tennessee

1-800-453-4858

Bound’ry (Nashville)

Mardi Gras Casino & Resort

Cherokee Valley Golf Course (Memphis)

Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort

Folk’s Folly (Memphis) 1-901-762-8200

Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino & Racetrack

Gaylord Springs Golf Links (Nashville)

Bahamas

1-615-321-3043

1-901-525-4653

1-615-458-1730

1-304-776-1000

1-800-489-8192 1-304-232-5050

Atlantis, Paradise Island

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1-800-777-5848

Vol um e 14  I ssue 5  

67


Poker

In 1989, the amazing Johnny Chan and I played heads-up for the World Series of Poker’s world championships and its first prize of $755,000. At the time, I was a young, up-and-coming professional poker player, pursuing my dream of winning the WSOP. I beat Johnny to become the youngest World Champion at the tender age of 24. Johnny was also playing for history, because he had a chance to win the WSOP three years in a row. What a feat that would have been! My hat’s off to Johnny for winning it two years in a row and finishing second the third time around. In fact, Johnny’s back-to-back first and second in 1987, 1988 and 1989, respectively, is one of the greatest feats in poker history.

Phil Hellmuth, Jr. is a 12-time World Series Poker Champion, leading all poker players in the world. He has two New York Times best-seller books, Play Poker Like the Pros and Bad Beats and Lucky Draws. Both books can be found at Amazon.com. Phil’s books, blog, tips and more can be found at PhilHellmuth. com. This column is an excerpt from Bad Beats and Lucky Draws that consists of an array of Phil’s favorite stories from the felt.

Poker: Hellmuth vs. Chan

68

A few months later, in 1989, in a heads-up match-play event (think brackets, like the NCAA tournament) at the Bicycle Club, Johnny and I each won our first three matches, which put us heads up for round four (our round two) in the semifinals. That time, the game was limit Hold’em, and we had quite a crowd watching us. I remember that I had Johnny way down in chips, and that he came back and beat me anyway. Then, in 1998, at the Rio’s Carnivale of Poker, Johnny and I beat the rest of the field (over 300 players) in a limit Hold’em event to face off heads-up for the third time. This time we played for over an hour at 5:00 a.m. to a standoff, and agreed to split the prize money (we didn’t even play it out), so that we could get some sleep for the next day’s no-limit Hold’em event. (I was impressed when I walked by the final table the next day at 5:00 a.m. and saw Johnny there with a ton of chips, despite the fact that he hadn’t had much time to sleep.) In the 2002 WSOP’s Gold Bracelet Heads-up Match Play event, I won four matches to make the finals and squared off with, you guessed it, Johnny Chan. That time around (round four), Johnny was the all-time career leader in money won at the WSOP with more than $3 million in earnings, and I was third on the list with about 2.8 million. (T.J. Cloutier was about $60,00 ahead of me. I had started the 2002 WSOP, one month earlier, first on the list.) I had a chance to win my eighth WSOP bracelet and tie Doyle Brunson and Johnny Moss for all-time WSOP win lead. At the same time, Johnny had a chance to win number seven and tie me for second place in WSOP wins. With a lot of history, but not too much money, at stake, we began the no-limit Hold’em match with $40,000 each in chips and the blinds at $100-$200. With over 200 spectators present, with all the lights, and with TV cameras recording the match, Johnny came out swinging, as I knew he would. I was content to let him dictate the pace, and to wait for him to overplay his hands when I was holding stronger hands. That’s exactly what happened. Johnny stole a ton of pots, but

I kept nailing him in the bigger pots. F i n a l l y, a b o u t 4 0 minutes into the match, we were even, and he changed strategies. He started to play a lot less aggressively. Phil Hellmuth, Jr. Up until this point, I had been playing my best game, but now I began to lose control. I believe this happened because I had just been eliminated the day before (day three) in the WSOP main event, and I hadn’t slept much in the previous four days. (No surprise. No one sleeps well during the main event, if they sleep at all.) I just didn’t play my A game, but be that as it may, Johnny made four final tables at the 2002 WSOP, and he was definitely on his A game.

I hadn’t been doing any bluffing in my heads-up matches up to this point, but then I changed strategies and tried to bluff Johnny in a big way. About 40 minutes into our match, I called Johnny’s $500 raise with 10♥-6♥. The flop came down A♦-Q♦-7♠, and I checked. Then Johnny bet out $1,000. I was reading pretty well after five weeks of playing poker, and I smelled some weakness. I felt that Johnny didn’t have an ace, and that if he didn’t have an ace, I could take the pot away from him. Bluffing after the flop really isn’t my style, but I decided to try to take this pot away from Johnny. I then check-raised his $1,000 bet, by $2,000 more, making it $3,000 to go. Johnny studied and called the bet. When a 2♣ made the board A♦-Q♦-7♠-2♣, I decided not to dog it, and I bluffed out $6,000. After a moment, Johnny called the $6,000. When the last card was an ace, for the board of A♦-Q♦-7♠-2♣-A♥, I fired out one more time (only $4,000 this time, though) in case Johnny had nothing (perhaps he had a straight draw and a flush draw like 10♦-J♦ or 10♦-K♦). Johnny said, “All right, I call.” I said, “You got it,” and then he flipped up his K-K. I was right he was a little weak! He didn’t have an ace, but he called me down anyway. Although I had read Johnny well, he had also read me well. I had forgotten the cardinal rule of poker: “Don’t bluff the great players.” Just because you correctly read that someone is weak doesn’t mean you will get them to fold their hand, especially in the case of Johnny Chan (Erik Seidel is also great at smelling weakness.) Johnny said, “I thought you had a pair of sevens and a flush draw.” I said, “Nope, actually I had the 10♦-J♦. Where was the king, so that we could end this thing?” Although I never lie outside of poker, to me, lying about what you just had in a poker hand is part of bluffing. Why give someone a “free read” on your play? Read the rest of this Hellmuth – Chan match-up at SouthernGaming.com/HellmuthPoker.

For more free poker tips, visit southerngaming.com/poker


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Southern Gaming and Destinations Magazine  

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