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FANTASY FOOTBALL DREAMS? HOW TO GET STARTED NOW!

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JULY 2014 Vol. 16, Issue 4 SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

MAGAZINE READERS’ CHOICE

AWARD WINNERS

ONLINE

WAGERING FIGHTING FOR THE FUTURE PAGE 24

SHERYL CROW ...and other top acts at Hard Rock Biloxi.

PAGE 6

PLUS TIPS ON CRAPS * VIDEO POKER * BLACKJACK * HORSE RACING * POKER Covering Florida, Indiana, Las Vegas, Louisiana, Mississippi and the entire South! SOUTH E R N GAM I NG.COM

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LETTER

from the Publisher

UP FRONT with G. DOUGLAS

PUBLISHER

Bisig Impact Group CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Larry Bisig PRESIDENT & CREATIVE DIRECTOR

care about the lavish spas, golf courses and pools that adorn many of the premier properties today and simply want great customer service, their favorite machines and their fair share of comps. And of course, there are players who really love the feeling of being on a first-name basis with a casino host who invites them to special events and gives them comps for lavish meals, massages and other VIP services that only his property can offer.

This is an exciting time to be a gamer, especially a Southern Gamer! It seems that every day I read about a new casino being built or an existing one announcing a million-dollar renovation, or that another state has allowed casinos. In addition, the online gaming landscape is undergoing somewhat of a re-birth, with legal websites currently being operated in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, and soon to be California. Today there are more options for places to wager and relax than ever before, and we love it. I look at the ever expanding gambling world with the philosophy of survival of the fittest. The properties that give their customers what they want, and treat them well, will ultimately survive and thrive. Those who don’t, won’t. But with more gaming outlets available, the opportunity to find that niche property that has exactly what you want is greater than ever. On the flip side, it puts pressure on the properties to fill those wants and desires with the best of everything so they can retain their current customers and bring in new ones. We receive a lot of feedback from readers through contests, surveys and questionnaires and have found there is a wide range of expectations from a gamer’s perspective. Some of these expectations have to do with winning, or losing, and the frequency thereof. For example, a majority of slot players responded that they would prefer to win small amounts more often, than larger amounts less often. There are players who don’t necessarily 2

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In this issue, we reveal the winners of our annual Best of Readers’ Choice Awards. Determined by you, the readers of Southern Gaming, gamblers of the South and most importantly, casino customers! Separated into four main regions (Indiana, Tunica, Mid-South and Gulf Coast), we feature an array of categories from best rooms and suites to best golf courses and entertainment venues. Why? Because there are so many factors that go into determining your gambling getaway, we want to give you a good start, from a reputable source, so you can spend less time planning and more time playing! We also want to congratulate Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi for celebrating their 7-year anniversary. When they came onto the scene in 2007, they were welcomed by Hurricane Katrina and had to overcome the many challenges that came with it, including opening the new property. Today, they are among the upper echelon of properties on the coast, and we are excited to highlight the property in our cover story. Be sure to tell your friends about The Comps Club by Southern Gaming. It is the best deal around! For just $29, members receive six-issues of Southern Gaming and six Member Coupon Paks loaded with casino coupons and special offers. Join at SouthernGaming.com. If you can’t be good ... be lucky!

Chip Dumstorf GENERAL MANAGER

G. Douglas Dreisbach MANAGING EDITOR

Joseph Grove ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Lauren Reisdorf ACCOUNTING

Peggy Harris CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS

Erica Block Linda Boyd Eric Floyd Phil Hellmuth, Jr. Hudson Lindberger Frank Scoblete Henry Tamburin Bridgette Varone Darron Young Letters to the editor, address changes and other correspondence should be sent to: SOUTHERN GAMING AND DESTINATIONS

640 South Fourth Street Louisville, Kentucky 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 evergrowing 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, and 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

G. Douglas Dreisbach GENER AL M ANAGER

address changes to Southern Gaming and Destinations, 640 South Fourth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202.


July 2014

ON THE COVER

TIPS & COLUMNS

6

10 Craps:

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi Turns 7 How they keep it rockin’ year after year

So many superstitions

Make your big bankrolls even bigger

Gaming Readers Choice Awards:

28 TournEvent: 40 Property Profile:

34 Blackjack:

12 Best of Southern

HIGHLIGHTS & HOTSPOTS Slot machine heaven

20 Video Poker: Deuces Wild

FEATURE ARTICLES

CONTENTS

Hollywood Casino’s new Poker Room delights

36 Horseracing: Betting straight, not narrow

The votes are in! Check out the winners

44 Poker: Small pairs before the flop

24 Online Wagering:

As gambling legislation changes, casino owners look for ways to adapt

6

30 Vive la Difference, Y’all: A tourist guide to speaking South

38 Game Time:

How to score at fantasy football

12

40

Find us on Facebook

@SouthernGaming SOUTH E R NGAM I NG.COM

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FACTS & FUN

DID YOU KNOW

1 2 GOLD RUSH BOURBON SLUSH As the summer heat continues to broil the South, one can never have too many cold cocktails to cool the body. This bourbon slush just might be the answer you’ve been looking for. With a few simple ingredients and a couple hours in a freezer, this recipe can provide a nice splash of refreshment into your favorite rocks glass.

3

?

WHICH IS THE LARGEST CASINO IN THE UNITED STATES? A. Foxwoods Resort Casino B. Winstar World Casino C. Casino Royal D. Diamond Casino

WHICH IS THE BUSIEST AIRPORT IN THE UNITED STATES? A. Hartsfield-Jackson Airport B. Los Angeles International Airport C. O’Hare International Airport D. Miami International Airport

WHOSE GUITAR WAS THE FIRST TO BE HUNG ON THE HARD ROCK CAFÉ WALL? A. Pete Townshend B. Eric Clapton C. Paul McCartney D. Eddie Van Halen

4 5

WHICH FAMOUS SINGER WROTE A SONG ENTITLED “HARD ROCK CAFÉ”? A. Janis Ian B. Neil Diamond C. Carly Simon D. Carole King

WHICH FAMOUS ARTIST DESIGNED THE HARD ROCK CAFÉ LOGO? A. Bob Ross B. Norman Rockwell C. Alan Aldridge D. Gerhard Richter

“Did You Know” Answers: 1. B-Winstar Casino 2. A-Hartsfield-Jackson Airport 3. B-Eric Clapton 4. D-Carole King 5. C-Alan Aldridge

SIPS WITH SOUTHERN GAMING

RECIPE 7 cups water 4 black tea teabags 12 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate 12 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate 2 cups bourbon Instructions: Boil 2 cups of the water and steep tea bags for 5 minutes. Mix freshly brewed tea in a bowl with water, orange juice concentrate, lemonade concentrate and bourbon.

666

2,598,960

Freeze for 8-12 hours. Scrape and serve. Serves 8-10.

A special thanks to Eric and Mary Beth Brown for sharing this recipe with us. S ub mi t yo ur f avo ri te re c ip e s to Editor@southerngaming.com for a chance to win a free 1-year subscription to Southern Gaming and the Comps Club.

4

| SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

The number of potential 5-card poker hands within a 52 card deck.

All the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to this, earning it the title “the devil’s game”.

70 million

65 million

The number of people who play poker on a regular basis in the United States.

38

The number of playing cards sold each year around the world.

The percentage of people who visit Las Vegas in order to gamble.


Our awards are your rewards. IP Casino Resort Spa is proud to be the best and

Southern Gaming Magazine readers agree! IP was voted BEST in the top resort categories–dining, entertainment,

BEST DEALERS & SLOT ATTENDANTS

amenities and guest service from the gaming floor to the top of the resort hotel towering above Biloxi! Come experience for yourself why it’s good to B Rewarded at IP. Must be 21. Management reserves all rights. Call 888-946-2847 for information. Gambling Problem? Call 1-888-777-9696.

BEST RESTAURANT - THIRTY-TWO

MAGA READERS

AWA

ZINE

’ CHOIC

RD WI

E

NNER

BEST ENTERTAINMENT

BEST AMENITIES

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE

SM

| IPBiloxi.com


OfO P r o p e r t y PC ro i lK eI N G H a r d Rwith o c k Trisha H o t e l Yearwood & Casino B i l ox i , M i s s i s s i p p i

AS THE CROW ROCKS SH E RY L CROW I S J U S T ON E OF T H E M A N Y TA L E N T S T O H AV E PL AY E D AT T H E H A R D RO CK HO T E L & C A S I N O I N BI L OX I , M I S S I S S I P P I . N OW I N I T S SEV E N T H Y E A R , T H E PROPE R T Y I S S T I L L RO CK I N G W I T H A L L-S TA R AC T S . by

S

HERYL CROW. The name says it all. When people think of southern pop/rock music, it’s her voice and wellstrummed guitar that fans across the world hear in their minds. All I Wanna Do, Soak up the Sun and If It Makes You Happy are amongst her biggest hits. Her genre-blending music has earned her nine Grammy Awards and a spot on VH1’s list of the Greatest Women of Rock N’ Roll. She has performed for millions of fans over the years at venues world-wide including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, where she has earned a top spot 6|

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B R I D G E T TE VA R O N E

among the best shows at the rock n’ rollthemed property. The Hard Rock is known for its great shows. Now, on the seventh anniversary of their opening, it’s time for a look at how they put the rock in Hard Rock. Before the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Miss., could put on its first show, Mother Nature decided to stage one of her own. It was called Hurricane Katrina, and while the inconvenience of a delayed opening shrinks against the storm’s many tragedies, plans had to be held for two years to fire up the soundtrack for the iconic brand’s newest franchise. On 07-07-07, Kid Rock made up for lost

time. He grabbed his guitar, strutted the new stage and became the first performer to bathe in the sweltering lights. The Mississippi Gulf Coast hasn’t been the same since. Entertainment matters, and high-profile acts have been a part of casino management since the first operators realized that not only would the bills draw ticket-buying fans, but that those fans would likely come early and stay late to feed the slots and put chips on tables. If gambling is the casino’s steak, performers from Frank Sinatra to Britney Spears are its smoking-hot sizzle. And if performers are the sizzle, it’s people like Robyn Smith who turn up the heat.


Left: The Stone Temple Pilots are another major band to have headlined at the Mississippi casino and resort. Right: Rick Springfield ranks with Sheryl Crow as a Hard Rock favorite.

Smith has served as the Entertainment Director for the Hard Rock Biloxi since it’s inception. One thing she’s learned is to expect the unexpected. “It is hectic and crazy, and you can plan it out to the minute detail, and still there is change,” she said. “You have to adapt.” She also has mastered the art of planning ahead. Shows that are over in a couple of hours take up to nine months to set up. The process starts with market and artist research, with Smith trying to predict which performers will be at their peak when she wants to schedule a show. Negotiations are conducted through countless phone calls and emails with the agencies representing the acts. Part of the contract is the rider, where items outside of actual dollar amounts are stipulated, such as having some of the same comforts of home, or having a certain wine or luxury vehicle at the star’s disposal. Over the years, she says, she’s seen the demands evolve with the times. Whereas once artists frequently requested what amounted to junk food and large quantities of booze, many know ask for more healthful offerings, including gluten free or organic fare. To the outsider, some of those details may seem frivolous, but Smith realizes that she becomes the artists’ lifeline from the moment they step off the plane or tour bus until they board it to head on to the

next date. She’s responsible for their meals, transportation, catering and recreation. Sometimes they want to drive to New Orleans, or they’ll bring their kids to do something fun on the Gulf Coast. Smith said the Hard Rock Biloxi always tries to offer the artists a great experience and a home away from home.

Cantone, entertainment buyer and senior vice president of the Mohegan Sun.

With Smith and Hard Rock Biloxi, the entertainers aren’t the only ones who have a great experience. The fans come away having enjoyed an exciting show in the one of the South’s most appreciated venues.

O T H ER AC T S

Smith shares the credit with the hotel and casino’s technical team. Corey Cochran, production manager, is the go-to guy for everything technical for the show. Cochran manages the needs of the band according to the contract to perfect the sound, lights, video, load-in and stagehand details, whether a band uses all of the venue’s equipment or travels with their own. Stagehands get the venue ready for fans and the stage ready for the band. They also manage the equipment check, the line check for hums or buzzes and the sound check for the instruments. Smith’s hard work has not gone unnoticed by the industry. Smith has twice been named the Casino Buyer of the Year award by the International Entertainment Buyers Association. In 2013, she was nominated for the G2E Entertainment Executive of the Year award, going against one of the acknowledged greats of the industry, Tom

The good work contributes to the prestige of the entire property. The Biloxi location has been recognized four out of five years as the Hotel and Casino of the Year among all other Hard Rocks.

Not everything is about merely selling tickets, booking rooms and gambling. Hard Rock Biloxi also gives back. Local music talent has the opportunity to be discovered by competing in the Battle of the Bands. Roscoe Bandana was noticed there and signed to the exclusive Hard Rock label. Brandon Green is in the final stages of Battle of the Bands and also won the Keith Urban Songwriting competition. The Hard Rock brand also is focused on supporting charitable cases. Heart, Foreigner and Lynyrd Skynyrd have signed music equipment or donated part of the ticket price for Hard Rock causes. Other performers have followed suit and have signed a guitar for Hard Rock’s nonprofit “Rockin the Coast” fund, which has given over a hundred thousand dollars to local charities. SEVEN YEARS, SEVEN ACTS

On the occasion of the hotel and casino’s 7th anniversary, Smith shared what she considers her most memorable acts. SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

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U P C OM I NG AC T S:

HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO, BILOXI, MISS. Left: Adam Lambert was a picture perfect artist, giving an electric performance and stopping to meet some fans. Right: Bret Michaels trusted the Hard Rock with his comeback performance after suffering a terrible anneurism in 2010.

STEVIE NICKS

Smith said that her most exciting accomplishment to date has been booking Stevie Nicks. Every year since 2001, when Smith was with another venue, she submitted an offer to the highly selective booking agency. In 2008, her seventh year trying, she got lucky. Very lucky. Nicks chose to kick off her tour at the property, and she stayed there four nights before the show, sharing some of the art she created during Hurricane Katrina. KID ROCK

Kid Rock not only performed an incredible opening show, Smith said, he also spent time with the guests as he floated on a bed in the pool. BRET MICHAELS

Sometimes a performer’s life is filled with mundane and boring activities. Pity poor Bret Michaels was asked to judge Hard Rock Biloxi’s first bikini contest at its pool party, Detox. The contestants must have made a good impression on him, since he chose to launch his first tour there after suffering an aneurism in 2010. 8|

SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

“He felt conf ident that if anything happened on stage, he would be in good hands,” Smith said. “He did a full set, and he was amazing. He didn’t miss a beat.” She recalls that the energy in that room from the fans was electric. Smith says that energy from the fans can make or break a show. Michaels’ audience lifted him up, making it yet another of his shows where it seems like he has the passion of someone singing their first song in front of an audience. HEART

“Heart is legendary,” Smith said, “and their show is flawless every time. They are so cool and down to earth, they chat with the employees as they pass them in the hallway.” RICK SPRINGFIELD

Rick Springfield doesn’t like a lot of security detail, Smith says, which can be a problem when women flock to him all over property. Once he was spotted at Hard Rock Café, and chose to make a quick exit through the kitchen. That didn’t stop his female fans-they chased him there anyway.

ACT

2014 SHOW DATE

Get The Led Out

July 5

Tesla

July 17

Air Supply

July 25

Air Supply

July 26

Sevendust

July 31

KC & The Sunshine Band

August 1

Ted Nugent

August 15

Boz Scaggs

August 16

Bret Michaels

September 5

Montgomery Gentry

September 20

Styx

September 26

Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone

October 11

ADAM LAMBERT

“Lambert was a picture perfect artist. He took extra time at the Meet & Greet for his fans,” Smith said. “He reached out and touched the audience members during the show. He was electric!” SHERYL CROW

Southern Gaming and Destinations’ July cover girl, “Crow never disappoints,” Smith says.


THE COAST’S HOTTEST ENTERTAINMENT

GET THE LED OUT JULY 5

AIR SUPPLY

JULY 25–26 • SEATED SHOWS

KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND AUGUST 1

TESLA JULY 17

SEVENDUST JULY 31

RALPHIE MAY

AUGUST 2 • SEATED SHOW

TED NUGENT

BOZ SCAGGS

BRANDON BENNETT’S REMEMBRANCE OF THE KING

DEEP PURPLE

AUGUST 15

AUGUST 23 • SEATED SHOW

JUly 06

orphan annie

july 13

5 Finger Discount

july 20

Voodoo Gumbo

July 27

The Phunky Monkeys

August 03

August rush

august 10

Crashing Broadway

August 17

Spank the monkey

August 24

Perkins Road

August 31

big Richard

DOORS OPEN AT NOON $40 Cover

AUGUST 16 • SEATED SHOW

AUGUST 29

Must be 21. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Biloxi reserves all rights. Hotel guests, Hall of Fame members and invited guests receive free admission.

777 BEACH BLVD., BILOXI, MS 39530 | 2 2 8 -3 7 4 -R O C K | HARDROCKBILOXI.COM For more information, go to hardrockbiloxi.com or . Unless specified otherwise, all Hard Rock Live shows begin at 8 PM. Events subject to change or cancellation at any time. In Hard Rock Live, under 21 must be accompanied by an adult 30 years of age or older. Management reserves all rights. Gambling problem? Call 1-888-777-9696.


PLAYER STRATEGY

C

CRAPS: Those Wondrous Superstitions

RAPS IS A GAME FILLED with tradition, much of it on the order of superstition. Still, many craps players swear by these superstitions, so when you play craps you should at least pretend to believe these unbelievable ideas. You know the saying, “When in Rome … .”

• The shooter starts to crack jokes

Some of the superstitions are easy to explain and some—to be polite—are off the wall. I wrote about such superstitions way back in 1989 in my first craps book. Alan Mendelson has correlated these superstitions and added some new ones. His website is alanbestbuys.com. It is worth visiting.

• The shooter stops to count his chips

So here we go. The seven is more likely to show if: • A die or dice fly off the table, and you call for the “same dice” • There is a change in stickmen during someone’s roll • A new player comes to the table and buys in while someone is shooting • A player colors up while a shooter has the dice • A chip refill comes for the table bank while the shooter has the dice • A “don’t player” comes to the table and throws out a don’t-come bet • A “don’t player” comes to the table and throws out a “big red” or “any seven” bet • A player at the table mentions the word “seven” • An observer asks, “Is rolling a seven good?” • An observer asks how to play the game and someone explains what happens when a seven is rolled • A player says, “Don’t roll a seven!”

• A cocktail waitress asks the shooter if he wants a drink as he is about to throw the dice • The shooter puts odds behind his pass line bet when he didn’t have odds before • The dealers are slow paying off bets and the dice get “cold” waiting for the next throw • The shooter throws three horn numbers in a row • The shooter throws three craps numbers in a row • The shooter’s wife comes to the table and says, “What’s going on?” • Players touch the shooter to congratulate him: slap on the back, fist pump, shake hands, slap hands You can see why these superstitions can take hold of players. The seven has a 16.67 percent chance of showing on any random roll. Just about all craps players have seen the seven come up after all of the above situations. Just a few “seven-outs” in such cases and suddenly it becomes obvious to the players that the seven will come after such events. Such is the thrust of our attempts to find patterns in events even if such events have no patterns. The observers are wrong, of course, since about 83 percent of the rolls will be non-sevens. Still, the seven sticks in the mind and players feel the force of their beliefs even though these beliefs make no actual sense. There are other superstitions, too. For example:

• There is a dispute between a player and a dealer about a payoff

• A young man will have a poor roll his first time with the dice

• The stickman pushes the dice to the wrong player for the next roll

These superstitions are harmless although they can cause chagrin. At the tables there is no sense in trying to convince superstitious players that their superstitions are at best silly, at worst idiotic. Just play the game and enjoy the show.

| SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

Frank Scoblete is a bestselling casino gambling writer. His newest book is Confessions of a Wayward Catholic. Frank’s books are available on amazon.com and Kindle, in bookstores or mail order. Call 1.800.944.0406 or visit frankscoblete.com.

• The shooter pauses to take a drink

• The Virgin Principle means a young woman will have a great roll her first time with the dice

10

FRANK SCOBLETE

• The shooter orders a drink

• An accounting team comes to the table and does a count of the table’s bank

• The stickman pushes the dice to the shooter with a seven showing

by

“THERE IS NO SENSE IN TRYING TO CONVINCE THOSE PLAYERS THAT THEIR SUPERSTITIONS ARE AT BEST SILLY, AT WORST IDIOTIC.”

FOR MORE FREE CRAPS TIPS, VISIT SOUTHERNGAMING.COM/CRAPS


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BEST OF

SOUTHERN

GAMING AWARDS 2014

Sponsored By:

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MAGAZINE READERS’ CHOICE

AWARD WINNERS

THE 2014 BEST OF SOUTHERN GAMING AWARDS

THE RESULTS ARE IN!

OUR READERS HAVE SPOKEN and it is time to reveal the winners of the 2014 Best of Southern Gaming Awards. A big southern thanks to everyone who participated in the voting and supported their favorite casinos, racetracks and resort locations. And congratulations to the properties that won these prestigious awards. On the following pages you will see the top three winners of each award organized by region. We hope this will serve as a guide for planning your next gambling getaway and allow you to you do less planning and more playing! Southern Gaming and Destinations covers properties from Indiana to the Gulf Coast and beyond. We keep up with all the new properties, renovations and other industry-related

news to make sure you are informed. There are so many incredible developments happening throughout the South, including world-class casinos, five-star restaurants and topof-the-line racing facilities, and our goal is to make sure you are in the know. In addition, we are excited to announce that Ethel Ellis from Jefferson, Louisiana, was the winner of our VIP Casino Getaway that includes an overnight stay, gambling money, fine dining and more! She is really excited about her trip and we look forward to publishing her trip recap in a future issue of Southern Gaming! So, without further delay, here are the winners!

For the complete list of winners, visit southerngaming.com/bestofmicro 12

| SOUTH E R N GAM I NG.COM


BEST OF AWARD WINNERS | GULF COAST

Best Restaurant: Thirty-Two BEST RESTURANT: 1. Thirty-Two – IP Casino Resort & Spa 2. Jia - Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. Mignon’s – Palace Casino Resort BEST AMENITIES: Beau Rivage

1. IP Casino Resort & Spa 2. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Gulf Coast | Best Overall Casino: Beau Rivage

GULF COAST The Mississippi Gulf Coast has 62 miles of beautiful shorelines where visitors can sit back and relax or join in on some fun aquatic activities. Beach vendors offer jet skis and paddle boats, or you can rent a catamaran and cruise the Gulf shore. After drying off, hit one of the Coast’s premier golf courses or head up to one of the casino resorts for a night of fun and gaming. Our main area of focus stretches from Bay St. Louis and Gulfport to Biloxi. Guests will f ind plenty of shopping and local food finds stretched along the beaches and throughout the areas. Be sure to check out the charming town of Ocean Springs, located just minutes from Biloxi. BEST OVERALL CASINO

1 BEAU RIVAGE RESORT & CASINO The exquisite Beau Rivage Resort and Casino is located in Biloxi, Miss. The towering 32-story building is 3.2 million

square feet. It features the most games, meeting space and guest rooms on the Gulf Coast with 1,740 rooms and suites. Each of those rooms is filled with the most beautiful, contemporary décor and 32inch flat screen televisions. The Beau Rivage Resort and Casino also contains 10 restaurants, four lounges and bars, 12 retail venues, spa and salon, and a pool and convention center. With all that Beau Rivage has to offer it is no surprise they are a favorite among voters.

2 IP CASINO RESORT & SPA 3 PALACE CASINO RESORT BEST SUITES: 1. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 2. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 3. Palace Casino Resort BEST ROOMS: 1. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 2. Palace Casino Resort 3. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino BEST CASINO FLOOR: 1. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 2. IP Casino Resort & Spa 3. Palace Casino Resort BEST POKER ROOM: 1. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 2. IP Casino Resort & Spa 3. Harrah’s Gulf Coast

BEST ENTERTAINMENT: 1. IP Casino Resort & Spa 2. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 3. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino BEST ENTERTAINMENT VENUE: 1. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 2. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 3. IP Casino Resort & Spa

Best Golf Course: Fallen Oak BEST GOLF COURSE: 1. Fallen Oak – Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 2. The Preserve – Palace Casino Resort 3. Bridges Golf Club – Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis

BEST DEALERS & SLOT ATTENDANTS: 1. IP Casino Resort & Spa 2. Island View Casino Resort 3. Palace Casino Resort

BEST BUFFET: 1. The Buffet - Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 2. Back Bay Buffet - IP Casino Resort & Spa 3. The Buffet - Island View Casino & Resort BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE: 1. IP Casino Resort & Spa 2. Palace Casino Resort 3. Silver Slipper Casino

Best Theme: Hard Rock

BEST NIGHT LIFE:

BEST THEME:

1. Coast Nightclub – Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 2. The Record Company – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 3. Chill Ultra Lounge – IP Casino Resort & Spa

1. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 2. Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant 3. Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis

SOUTH E R N GAM I NG.COM

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BEST OF AWARD WINNERS | INDIANA

INDIANA People of different ages and interests can find gaming entertainment scattered t h roughout Ind ia na a s the gambling landscape is rich in the history of the state. From the days of Al Capone and bootleggers, there has been gambling in Indiana. Scattered around the state from Indianapolis to the banks of the Ohio R iver nea r L ou is v i l le , Cincinnati, and a couple of towns in between, the idea of riverboat gambling takes on a whole new meaning. BEST OVERALL CASINO

1 FRENCH LICK RESORT The French Lick Resort, located in French Lick, Ind., is one of the premier resorts in the country. Striving to be on the level of Greenbrier in West Virginia of The Biltmore in Asheville, this property has recreated the elegance if its storied past. The 51,000-square-foot Vegas-style gaming facility is a small part of what makes this property a true gem. It boasts three golf courses including a Pete Dye course that will host the Senior PGA Championship, a spa featuring 28 different treatment rooms, and a variety of restaruants and pools. You owe it to yourself to make your visit sooner than later!

2 BELTERRA CASINO RESORT 3 RISING STAR CASINO

Indiana | Best Overall Casino: French Lick Resort

BEST ROOMS: 1. French Lick Resort 2. Rising Star Casino 3. Belterra Casino Resort BEST ENTERTAINMENT: 1. Belterra Casino Resort 2. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino 3. Horseshoe S. Indiana Best Restaurant: Wellington’s BEST RESTURANT: 1. Wellington’s Streakhouse Rising Star Casino 2. Jack Binion’s Steakhouse Horseshoe S. Indiana 3. 1875: The Steakhouse French Lick Resort BEST POKER ROOM: 1. Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg 2. Belterra Casino Resort 3. Horseshoe S. Indiana BEST AMENITIES:

Best Suites: French Lick Resort

1. French Lick Resort 2. Belterra Casino Resort 3. Rising Star Casino BEST GOLF COURSE:

BEST SUITES: 1. French Lick Resort 2. Belterra Casino Resort 3. Tropicana Evansville

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1. Pete Dye Course French Lick Resort 2. The Links – Rising Star Casino 3. Tom Fazio Course Belterra Casino Resort

BEST CASINO FLOOR: 1. Horseshoe S. Indiana 2. Indiana Grand Casino 3. Tropicana Evansville BEST BUFFET:

BEST DEALERS & SLOT ATTENDANTS: 1. Rising Star Casino 2. French Lick Resort 3. Tropicana Evansville BEST ADVERTISING: 1. Rising Star Casino 2. Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg 3. Horseshoe S. Indiana BEST PLAYERS CLUB: 1. Horseshoe S. Indiana 2. Tropicana Evansville 3. Belterra Casino Resort

1. Market Buffet - Indiana Grand Casino 2. Temptations Buffet – Tropicana Casino Evansville 3. The Buffet – Belterra Casino Resort BEST NIGHT LIFE: 1. Boogie Nights – Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg 2. Blush Ultralounge Tropicana Evansville 3. Legends – Horseshoe Southern Indiana

Best Racetrack/Racino: Indiana Grand

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE:

BEST RACETRACK/RACINO FACILITY:

1. Belterra Casino Resort 2. Indiana Grand Casino 3. Rising Star Casino

1. Indiana Grand Casino 2. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino


PLAY. STAY.

GETAWAY! Resort Amenities • 294 deluxe rooms and suites

• 18 hole “Scottish Links Style” Golf Course

• Over 1,200 slot machines

• Headliner Entertainment and local bands

• Featuring all your favorite table games

• Sparkling indoor pool, sauna & fitness center

• Great restaurants from Starbucks® to fine dining • 12,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space

2 014 S ou th er n G a m i n g Readers’ Choice Awards * Always striving to serve you better! Best Restaurant: Wellington’s (1ST )

Best Advertising (1ST )

Best Dealers & Slot Attendants (1ST )

Best Golf Course (2ND)

Best Overall Casino (3RD)

Best Rooms (3RD)

Best Amenities (3RD)

Best Customer Service (3RD)

777 RISING STAR DRIVE • RISING SUN, INDIANA 47040 • 800.472.6311 • RISINGSTARCASINO.COM *Within the state of Indiana. Must be 21 years of age or older. For help with a gambling problem, call 1.800.994.8448. ©2014 Rising Star Casino Resort. All Rights Reserved.


BEST OF AWARD WINNERS | MID-SOUTH

Mid South | Best Overall Casino: Paragon Casino Resort

MID-SOUTH Immerse yourself in the culture of the South and travel through the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. No matter what season it is, it’s always a perfect time to check out some of the hidden gems in these three states. Indulge in some of that delicious southern comfort food and continue that comfort with a few nights stay at one of the premier Casino Resorts. BEST OVERALL CASINO

BEST SUITES: 1. Paragon Casino Resort 2. L’Auberge Casino Resort 3. Pearl River Resort BEST ROOMS: 1. L’auberge Casino Resort 2. Paragon Casino Resort 3. L’auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge

Best Casino Floor: Delta Downs BEST CASINO FLOOR:

The Paragon Casino & Resort spans 1,000,000 square feet, and 64,048 of them are dedicated to pure gaming. This gamer’s paradise has more than 2,000 slot machines and tables and machines and a state-of-the-art off-track betting center that features races from all Louisiana tracks and others across the country. Guests who would rather spend the day relaxing can hang out at one of the pools or make an appointment at Spa La Vie. The Paragon Cinema, Convention Center and Mari Showroom are only a few other reasons this casino and resort was voted the best of its class.

1. Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino 2. Pearl River Resort 3. Coushatta Casino Resort

3 HORSESHOE BOSSIER CITY 16

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1. L’auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge 2. Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel 3. Horseshoe Bossier City BEST RESTURANT: 1. The Vintage – Eldorado Resort Casino 2. 18 STEAK – L’auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge 3. Phillip M’s – Pearl River Resort

BEST NIGHT LIFE: 1. Celebrity Lounge/Allure Ultra Lounge - Eldorado Resort Casino 2. Bottleneck Blues Bar Ameristar Casino Hotel 3. Jack After Dark – L’auberge Casino Resort BEST DEALERS & SLOT ATTENDANTS: 1. Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino 2. Paragon Casino Resort 3. Horseshoe Bossier City

BEST BUFFET:

1 PARAGON CASINO RESORT

2 L’AUBERGE CASINO RESORT

BEST ENTERTAINMENT VENUE:

BEST POKER ROOM: 1. Horseshoe Bossier City 2. L’auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge 3. Pearl River Resort

1. Bon Temps Buffet - L’auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge 2. Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino 3. Heritage Buffet – Ameristar Casino Hotel

Best Golf Course: Contraband Bayou BEST GOLF COURSE:

Best Racetrack: Oaklawn Park BEST RACETRACK/RACINO FACILITY:

1. Paragon Casino Resort 2. Pearl River Resort 3. Coushatta Casino Resort

1. Oaklawn Park Racing & Gaming 2. Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel 3. Fairgrounds Race Course & Slots

BEST ENTERTAINMENT:

BEST PLAYERS CLUB:

1. Horseshoe Bossier City 2. L’auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge 3. Pearl River Resort

1. Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino 2. Horseshoe Bossier City 3. L’auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge

BEST AMENITIES:

1. Contraband Bayou – L’Auberge Casino Resort 2. Tamhaka Trails - Paragon Casino Resort 3. Dancing Rabbit Golf Club Pearl River Resort BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE: 1. Paragon Casino Resort 2. Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino 3. Ameristar Casino Hotel BEST ADVERTISING: 1. Paragon Casino Resort 2. Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino 3. L’auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge


E

MAGA ZIN

ICE

READERS’ CHO

E N N I W A WARD

R

THANK YOU FOR VOTING

PARAGON 1 #

Best Overall Property • Best Amenities Best Customer Service • Best Suites

STAY YOUR WAY Receive a $25 Paragon gift card when you make hotel reservations. Enjoy endless possibilities when you book a stay and receive a $25 gift card to use at any of Paragon’s restaurants, shops, cinema, spa, golf course and more. Plus, new Preferred Players Club members get $10 in Free Play! Call 800-784-7760 and mention code GFTPK25, or book online at ParagonOffers.com.

Offer based on availability for a limited time. Plus tax and resort fees. Restrictions may apply. Visit website for more information. Game responsibly. Need help? Call 877-770-7867.

800-WIN-1-WIN • Marksville, LA • ParagonCasinoResort.com


BEST OF AWARD WINNERS | TUNICA BEST POKER ROOM: 1. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 2. Horseshoe Casino 3. Hollywood Casino BEST RACETRACK/RACINO FACILITY: Best Restaurant: Fairbanks BEST RESTAURANT: 1. Fairbanks Steakhouse Hollywood Casino Tunica 2. Twain’s Fine Dining – Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 3. Jack Binion’s Steakhouse – Horseshoe Casino

1. Southland Park Gaming & Racing BEST ENTERTAINMENT: 1. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 2. Horseshoe Casino 3. Gold Strike Casino Resort

BEST THEME: 1. Hollywood Casino 2. The Fitz Casino & Hotel 3. Tunica Roadhouse BEST SUITES: 1. Gold Strike Casino Resort 2. Hollywood Casino 3. Horseshoe Casino Tunica | Best Overall Casino: Gold Strike Casino Resort

TUNICA Tunica, Mississippi is one of the top casino destinations in the country, boasting eight properties, each carrying its own sense of Southern hospitality and offerings. Featuring everything from delicious dining, exquisite entertainment, great golf and sensationa l spas, gambling is just one of many activities you can enjoy on your visit. Be sure to check out the Hollywood Café, located among the cotton fields at 1585 Old Commerce Road just off Highway 61. The restaurant was made famous by musician Marc Cohn in his hit song, Walking in Memphis. Try the fried pickles—they’re delicious! Plus, downtown Tunica has some great finds for food and shopping!

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BEST OVERALL CASINO

BEST ROOMS: 1. Horseshoe Casino 2. Hollywood Casino 3. Gold Strike Casino Resort

1 GOLD STRIKE CASINO RESORT Gold Strike Casino Resort, located in Tunica, Miss., is a premium Hotel and Casino. The third tallest building in the state boasts over 1,100 rooms, including 125 suites. The 50,000-square-foot casino includes an expansive casino floor, a new non-smoking slot area (upstairs), headliner entertainment and production shows, an indoor pool and more. The award-winning Chicago Steakhouse never disappoints and the stunning new $8 million Buffet Americana is also part of what makes Gold Strike shine.

2 SAM’S TOWN HOTEL & GAMBLING HALL 3 HOLLYWOOD CASINO

BEST ENTERTAINMENT VENUE: 1. Bluesville Showcase Nightclub Horseshoe Casino 2. Gold Strike Casino Resort 3. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall

Best Casino Floor: Sam’s Town BEST CASINO FLOOR: 1. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 2. Hollywood Casino 3. Gold Strike Casino Resort BEST NIGHT LIFE: 1. Gold Strike Casino Resort 2. Tunica Roadhouse 3. Hollywood Casino BEST DEALERS & SLOT ATTENDANTS:

Best Buffet: Buffet Americana BEST BUFFET:

1. Hollywood Casino 2. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 3. Horseshoe Casino

1. Buffet Americana Gold Strike Casino Resort 2. Epic Buffet Hollywood Casino 3. Village Square Buffet Horseshoe Casino

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE:

BEST AMENITIES:

BEST ADVERTISING:

1. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 2. Hollywood Casino 3. Horseshoe Casino

1. Hollywood Casino 2. Gold Strike Casino Resort 3. Horseshoe Casino

BEST GOLF COURSE: 1. Cottonwoods Harrah’s Casino 2. Tunica National 3. River Bend Links

1. Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 2. Gold Strike Casino Resort 3. Horseshoe Casino

BEST PLAYERS CLUB: 1. M Life – Gold Strike Casino Resort 2. B Connected - Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall 3. Total Rewards – Horseshoe Casino


CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF INCREDIBLE ACTION The anniversary extravaganza is underway and with our all-new casino floor, spectacular video wall and enclosed poker room, the stage is set for a blockbuster celebration 20 years in the making.

AND THE AWARDS GO TO A special thanks to Southern Gaming & Destinations Magazine for awarding us: MAGAZINE READERS’ CHOICE

AWARD WINNER

H Best Dealers H Best Slot Attendants H Best Steakhouse

11 5 0 C a s i n o S t r i p R e s o r t s B l v d . H T u n i c a R e s o r t s , M S hollywoodcasinotunica.com

1 - 8 0 0 - 8 7 1 - 0 7 11

©Hollywood Casino Tunica. Must be 21 or older. Gambling Problem? Call 1-888-777-9696.

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PLAYER STRATEGY

VIDEO POKER: Full Pay vs. Not-So-Ugly Deuces

Y

OU MAY THINK THE STRATEGY for all deuces wild games is the same, but that’s not the case at all. Two popular deuces games are Full Pay Deuces Wild (FPDW) and Not-So-Ugly Deuces Wild (NSUD). Although both are good choices, they do not have the same game strategy. FULL PAY DEUCES (FPDW)/ NOT-SO-UGLY DEUCES (NSUD)

Referring to Table 1.1, you can see that FPDW with an expected return (ER) of 100.76% and a variance close to that of NSUD is clearly the better choice of the two games. However, the problem is that FPDW is more difficult to find than NSUD, especially in denominations higher than quarters. So your best bet is to learn the basic strategy for both games so you’re prepared to play the one available in your chosen casino.

HOLDS FOR TWO PAIR

Notice that for FPDW 25 coins are returned for 4OAK and 15 for a FH (5-coin bets); for NSUD both 4OAK and a FH return 20 coins (5-coin bets). As a result of the different returns for these two hands, you will hold just one pair (either one) for FPDW, but you would hold both pair when playing NSUD. Because this is a relatively frequent hand, it will be costly to play the two pair deal incorrectly.

Winning Hand/ 5-Coin Bet

FPDW

NSUD

Royal Flush/No Deuces

4000

4000

4 Deuces

1000

1000

Royal with Deuces/ Wild Royal

125

125

5 of a Kind

75

80

Straight Flush

45

50

4 of a Kind

25

20

Full House

15

20

Flush

10

15

Straight

10

10

3 of a Kind

5

5

Expected Return (ER)

100.7620%

99.7283%

Variance

25.83462

25.78027

TABLE 1.2 FULL PAY DEUCES/NOT-SO-UGLY DEUCES

Percent of Return

FPDW

NSUD

Four of a Kind (4OAK)

32.47%

24.42%

Full House (FH)

6.37%

10.45%

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LI N DA B OY D

You also can see that the payout for four of a kind (4OAK) and a full house (FH) are different for these two games. That means you cannot use the same game strategy for both. If you want to play using perfect strategy then you should purchase a tutorial program (I recommend Dean Zamzow’s WinPoker) and practice before heading to the casino.

TABLE 1.1 FULL PAY DEUCES/NOT-SO-UGLY DEUCES

20

by

Linda Boyd was a long-time table-game player before turning to video poker. You can see her videos on YouTube or view them on American Casino Guide’s website. Her book, “The Video Poker Edge,” includes free removable pay schedules and strategy cards for the most popular games.

STATISTICS

Just to give you some sense of the magnitude of making a mistake on the correct hold, dealt two pair, consider the percent of the each game’s return for both the FH and 4OAK as indicated in Table 1.2. You can see that a whopping 38.84 percent of FPDW’s return (32.47% +6.37%) of the 100.76% ER comes from the two hands impacted by the two pair hold. With NSUD 34.87% (24.42% + 10.45%) of the 99.73% ER comes from the FH and 4OAK hands. I’m certainly not implying that you’ll lose these percentages entirely, but you cannot expect the indicated ER for either game unless your play is accurate. Making a mistake on the hold for two dealt pair will have a significant and negative effect on your theoretical return for these two games. Remembering the correct way to play this hand is so simple to do that nobody should make a mistake. Just be aware that I am only referring to these two games. There are other key plays for the many other deuces wild games.

“YOUR BEST BET IS TO LEARN THE BASIC STRATEGY FOR BOTH GAMES SO YOU’RE PREPARED TO PLAY THE ONE AVAILABLE IN YOUR CHOSEN CASINO.”

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ON L I NE WAGER I NG

FIGHTING FOR THE FUTURE

World Wide Won’t The

T O COMB AT CH A NGI NG DEMOGR APH ICS , G A MBL I NG E X ECS LOOK T O T H E W EB F OR H EL P. W I L L I T EV ER COM E? by

ERICA BLOCK

E

VERY SOUTHERN STATE IN THE U.S. NOW allows some form of legalized gaming. But as recently as the early 1990s, state lotteries—which by that time were already ubiquitous in the northern and eastern enclaves of the United States—were only starting to catch on in the South. It’s easy to forget that at one time, the region led the country in gambling. During the post-Civil War period, many southern states such as Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi, seeking to repair the region’s broken economy, legalized some forms of gambling to finance public projects and rebuild the region’s war-torn infrastructure. The region’s acceptance of gambling lasted until the late 19th century, and then waned significantly after political corruption and scandal marred the credibility of the Louisiana state lottery. Regardless of its past, casinos and other gambling-focused enterprises not only in the South but across the country have much to be concerned about in their future. The solution, many say, is as close as the nearest Internet connection. A WEB OF LAWS

Late on Christmas Eve in 2011, the Justice Department withdrew its long-held opposition to Internet gambling when the department reinterpreted the Wire Act of 1961. In essence, the change freed state legislatures to sanction online gaming for the purpose of mitigating state budget deficits. It is worth 24 |

SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

EVEN IF ADVOCATES OF ONLINE GAMING WERE TO SUDDENLY TRIUMPH, SOUTHERN RACETRACKS AND CASINOS MAY STILL NEED TO LOOK TO OTHER REVENUE SOURCES TO SECURE THE LONG-TERM FUTURE. noting, however, that the new policy only reverses the Justice Department’s longstanding position that all modes of online gambling are illegal in the United States. The decision does not necessarily pave the way for nationwide legislation governing online gaming. And that is a problem, because the gaming industry is evolving more rapidly than the legislation regulating it can be drawn up and passed. The borderless landscape of online gambling presents legal uncertainties and questions of jurisdiction for both federal and state governments. Score gaming, then, as one more industry still trying to understand the role the Internet will play in its future. In the South, opponents who lost the cause against casinos have been more successful halting the advance of legislation that would carry gambling to the web. For gaming executives, however, the matter is more significant than merely adding an additional source of revenue. It’s about reaching a new demographic and protecting their future. A look at the revenue of casinos in Missouri tells the story.


The aggregated take of the six venues in the St. Louis area was $92.7 million in March 2014, down 8 percent from the same month in 2013, according to a story from St. Louis Business First. The drop follows a trend that began assaulting the figures more than a year and a half ago. “The typical slot machine patron is a retiree or from the baby boomer generation, and slot machines aren’t attracting the younger generation that is just coming out of college,” said Daniel Holmes, practice leader with accounting firm RubinBrown’s

Gaming Services Group. He made the comment in an April 2014 interview with the publication. The target market is aging, and the younger generation grew up on technology and video games, and slot machines don’t provide the same level of appeal, he said. The subject has dominated conversations both at the podium and on the floor of the Southern Gaming Summit the last two years. The Summit is a weekend-long event that combines networking, education

and a “dose of southern hospitality” for many of the industry’s most influential executives. This year, Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, put the matter bluntly: “The industry can’t thrive without change.” Freeman’s remarks led opponents of online gaming to draw comparisons to the tobacco industry’s marketing campaigns of the 1980s and ᾽90s, that heavily targeted adolescents. SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

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To be sure, opponents of online gaming cite the ease with which minors can participate in online gaming and the difficulty inherent in enforcing age requirements for an activity that doesn’t require physical presence. Computers can’t card people. Not so fast, says Michelle Minton, a consumer policy fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. In a conversation with Roll Call she questioned the reasoning of people who champion an online gambling ban. Those who take such a political position, Minton says, “claim to be concerned about a host of social ills legalization would visit upon our society, including children gambling, increases in addiction, and crimes like fraud and money laundering. A ban would make all those problems worse by moving online gambling into the black market.” SIDE BETS

Perforce of economic reality, casinos must do something to reverse nationwide trends. Even if advocates of online gaming were to suddenly triumph, southern racetracks and casinos may still need to look to other revenue sources to secure the long-term future. In Kentucky, for example, lawmakers are locked in ongoing 26 |

SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

debates whether to permit state racetracks to install slot machines. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved pari-mutuel wagering in July 2010 to allow Instant Racing at the tracks. The machines debuted at Kentucky Downs in September 2011. The move has met strong criticism. The Family Foundation of Kentucky, for example, argues that the games both resemble and function as illegal slot machines.

run such additions can detract from the sport and cause operations shareholders to neglect the actual horse racing taking place at the track.

Advocates of slots and pari-mutuel machines maintain that installing the games may allow a broader group of guests to attend the race tracks in Kentucky. The thought is that featuring gambling opportunities (aside from racing) at the track will bring people to the racetrack who aren’t huge horse racing fans but nonetheless enjoy other kinds of gambling.

While it’s true that slots are profitable, they don’t bring in the kind of money and business that traditional casinos are able to. For this reason, the horse racing industry in Texas has been advocating legalized casino gaming; the state’s racing business continues to be hurt by lucrative race tracks in neighboring states like Louisiana and Oklahoma, which do allow casino gambling. Other states, such as Missouri, have attempted to give their gambling industry a boost by proposing a bill that would allow gaming establishments to allow gamblers to bet on credit. That is to say, the policy would allow casinos to cater t o high rollers who bet big money.

Other experts in the industry counter that the slots are a gimmick, and while pumping that money into the racetrack might be profitable in the short term, it’s not a solution over the long haul. Furthermore, while the instant racing and slot machines will generate profit for the tracks in the immediate future, some gaming law experts say, in the long

It will be interesting to see how the proposed changes to the legislation will affect the gaming industry as a whole. Since the beginning of the 21st century, we’ve seen digital technology disrupt and reshape one industry after another. Legalizing online gambling seems like not only a logical but an unavoidable development in the South.


Supporting Racing Through Slot Revenue

M

I A M I VA L L E Y Gaming, a joint venture o f D e l aw a r e No r t h Companies Gaming & Entertainment and Churchill Downs, has recently completed the extraordinary task of building a spectacular, new racino and revitalizing the fairgrounds of Warren County, Ohio. In the buzz of all of the excitement, we had the chance to speak with Jim Simms, president and general manager of the racino, to get the inside scoop on the venue’s success, its competition and the industry as a whole. SOUTHERN GAMING: The first few

months of operation for MVG seem to have been pretty solid. What do you attribute this to? JIM SIMMS: December is typically a

slow month, but we were able to generate a lot of interest in our opening, and many customers came to see us for the first time, especially leading up to New Year’s Eve. From that point, we were confident that once the cold weather broke, we’d continue to ramp up our business volume, and we have done just that. SG: With gaming revenue accounting

for just over $1 billion for Ohio, (with four casinos and four racinos), how do you see 2014 and beyond based on that performance and future expectations? JS: Gaming is a new industry in Ohio,

and more competition is coming, so it’s difficult to clearly project forward until there is stability. We’ve built a business model that we feel will be extremely competitive in conjunction with our business strategy. We’ve got great gaming product, great food and beverages at affordable prices, an easy-to-understand rewards system that let’s you comp yourself and great service from our staff.

SG: How does continued expansion help

or hurt those expectations?

JS: On one hand, more competitors

and have the most fun you can have at a machine. Combine that with the luxury reclining chairs and wide, spacious aisles and you have “comfortable excitement” at it’s very best.

naturally dilute per-store share, but that also provides more avenues for customers to experience gaming for the first time and SG: In regards to the racing product at grow the overall market. Looking forward, MVG, what is the plan, if any, to market and increase the level of racing we’d like to see expansion at the track? of product offerings at our WHEN YOU venue, such as video poker HAVE BETTER JS: The track at Miami Valley and table games. These would FACILITIES Raceway is larger than the provide ancillary revenue AND LARGER current track at the Warren streams for both our business PURSES, YOU County Fairgrounds and will and the state. ATTRACT offer a brand new, modernized BETTER facility for drivers, breeders SG: How much competition is HORSES AND and fans a like. Our new too much? At what point does a THE STATE’S i ndo or g r a nd s t a nd w i l l state get diluted with too many BREEDING accommodate more than gaming options? PROGRAM 1,000 racing fans and we’ve IMPROVES. JS: Every market is different. got a great new simulcast room In many cases, there are a to entertain our racing fans limited number of licenses year round. available. A new venture requires a large investment of capital, significant planning, SG: Do you see properties that support large scale construction build out, hiring racing through slot revenue as a benefit and staffing and operations management. to the horse industry? Or just a band aid/ Detailed financial and due diligence is short term solution to a bigger problem required ahead of time, and new entrants facing the sport? balance the risk/return equation before JS: In Ohio, we’re already seeing an choosing to enter a market. Many factors uptick in the industry. Investments are considered, including the competitive are being made in the horse racing set. industry, in terms of infrastructure and SG: What does Miami Valley offer that

should appeal to players as they vet their gaming options? JS: The main reason people go to gaming

establishments is to game and we’ve got the best gaming product out there. We have the latest, most popular titles and the best-in-class Bally EBS Bonusing Suite, which gives our players the chance to receive instant bonus credits, participate in floor-wide progressives and promotions

facility improvements, unlike any seen in decades. There is also an increased level of awareness and interest about the sport. Guests are coming in for gaming and in turn, learning more about the racing side as well. It’s very much a situation where a rising tide lifts all boats. When you have better facilities and larger purses, you attract better horses and the state’s breeding program improves. We are at the beginning of this process, but the early trends are promising. SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

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ON THE ROAD

SLOTS TO GO

The TournEvent of Champions Makes Slots a Movable Feast

A total of $500,000 in cash prizes is available to players in the 2014 TournEvent of Champions for slots players.

F

A NCY YOURSELF A DAR N F INE SLOTS player? The 2014 National TournEvent of Champions Championship is on its way this summer to a casino near you to help you prove it. Time to go big or go home.

This year, the world’s grandest slots tournament is even bigger and better than before, with 98 participating casinos across the country and $500,000 total cash prizes up for grabs. Two TournEvent tour buses will travel across the country during the casino semi-finals and finals tournaments. You can compete or show up to cheer on your favorite contestant. After early rounds, the competition selects 120 finalists through the casino semi-finals and finals rounds and sends them to the National TournEvent Champions Championship at Wynn XS Nightclub in Las Vegas on October 1, 2014. The semi-finals will take place six to 12 weeks prior at each of the 98 participating casinos. The winners of the semi-finals will receive their Golden Passes for the two-day casino finals and be one step closer to qualifying for the national title. At the end of the casino finals, there will be an awards reception, complete with premier food, drinks and door prizes. Not only will all finalists receive the Championship VIP trip to Las Vegas, they will play for a chance to win the $200,000 grand prize. Other awards are handsome, too. Second, third, fourth, even fifth place winners receive cash prizes ranging from $10,000 to $75,000. All championship participants are guaranteed a prize of least $500 just for playing. No one leaves empty-handed. Up to three casino-sponsored finalists will receive 28

| SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

the VIP championship trip for themselves and a guest, including airfare and a four-night stay with luxury accommodations. Even people who don’t sit in front of the machines can have a good time. “The players and crowds bring such fun energy to each event, and then The Money Man and his MGirls bring their own brand of enthusiasm and cheer as well, so the entire event is a party, whether you’re playing or not,” said a TournEvent spokesman. “There is no strategic key to playing well,” he said, adding that, “It never hurts to have great enthusiasm and a strong desire to go home with a big check.” Casinos also benefit from taking part by hosting the event and sponsoring contestants. Participating venues receive a turnkey program that supports up to a six-month campaign to enhance any current promotions. They also will have the support of the promotions and marketing teams of Multimedia Games, which produces the TournEvents. Finally, the events help draw in meaningful additional traffic. “For our TournEvent of Champions finals, we had a 17 percent attendance increase compared to our past four Saturdays, as well as an 18 percent coin-in increase compared to the same days,” said Johnnie Barrientoz, slot director for Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in Michigan. For more information on the 2014 TournEvent of Champions, visit TournEvent.com.


YOUR TRIP BEGINS HERE

Southland Park Gaming and Racing, West Memphis

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From an authentic Mississippi River town to America’s oldest national park, Arkansas offers two great places to play all your favorite games. Either way, you’ll discover lots of easy side trips to reward yourself for the win. ORDER YOUR FREE VACATION PLANNING KIT AT ARKANSAS.COM OR CALL 1-800-NATURAL.

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Différence, Y’All T H E S O U T H C A N F E E L L I K E A DI F F E R E N T C O U N T R Y. HER E’S YOUR PASSPORT T O SURV I V I NG I T by

P

EOPLE WHO AREN’T from the South tend to have a lot of pre-conceived notions of what the region is all about. Whether taken from movies, books or simple word of mouth, people have amassed a number of misconceptions of how life is south of the Mason-Dixon. In a valiant effort to dispel some of this erroneous info swirling around about life in the heart of Dixie, here is a guide that will help the greenest of greenhorns, the Yankiest of the Yanks or the most foreign of foreigners navigate their way through the South.The first thing one needs to understand about the South is the idea of Southern Hospitality. Southern people have a reputation for being some of the warmest, most welcoming, “salt of the earth” folk around. We greet strangers as if we’d known them all our lives. When walking through a Southern neighborhood, if you see people sitting on their porches, don’t be surprised to have them wave at you. If there are people out at every door then yes, that means every single one is prone to wave. What starts out as a simple jaunt down the block can quickly turn into a veritable gauntlet of 30 |

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DA R R O N YO U N G

waves. A wave gauntlet, if you will. A Gauntlet of People Waving, maybe? No, let’s go with wave gauntlet. By the time you reach the end of the block you’ve managed to get in something of a workout. But wait ... You may accurately note that there are still plenty of, ahem, less than slender folk down South. Well, see, that’s because also waiting on every block is something Southerners like to call the cake gauntlet. It’s similar to the wave gauntlet, only instead of people waving, you face legions of kindly Southern ladies giving out free food to whomever happens to pass by. UNDERSTANDING THE PEOPLE

Southern folk are, for the most part, easygoing and laid-back. People take things a lot slower here. This lifestyle frequently comes at odds with people who are used to a much faster way of life. If you call a plumber on Friday to come look at your pipes, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from him until Monday morning because he blew the whole thing off to go fishing with his buds.

IF EVER YOU HEAR A SOUTHERNER SAY HE’S “FIXING TO” DO SOMETHING, JUST GET OUT OF HIS WAY AND LET HIM DO IT. Consider the following scenario: A traveler stops by a Southern hardware store. He’s helping a friend out with a home improvement project and needs a hammer. He walks up to the counter, asks the wizened old shopkeep behind it if he has a hammer and gets a dirty look. No pleasantries, none of that famous Southern hospitality, just a piercing stare that makes him feel two feet tall. What went wrong? There’s a fine art to buying things in the South. Sure, the region has the same massmarket chain stores you find everywhere else, ones where you go in pick up what you want and walk out again without having to talk to anyone. For smaller stores, the local mom-and-pop operations, it takes a more personal touch.


Upon entry, the first thing you should do is greet the person standing behind the counter. Comment about the weather to break the ice. Tell him all about your day then ask him about his. Complain about your in-laws, brag about your kids and listen as she tells you a little about her own. Later, near the tail end of your conversation just sort of throw in lackadaisically, “Oh, by the way, since I’m in the neighborhood you wouldn’t happen to have any hammers, would you?”

always secretly believed all Southerners practice voodoo.

It’s important when meeting new people not to make assumptions. Don’t just assume Southern people are a certain way just because of what you’ve heard or something you saw on TV or in film. Southern people, underneath it all are just regular folk like anyone else.

SOME SCHOOLIN’ FOR YOU

A man once related a story about meeting a Northern relative for the first time. The two spoke at length about their lives: their friends and families, what they did in their spare time, all the usual pleasantries. The two found that despite having grown up in very different parts of the country, they had a lot in common. At length their conversation came around to the differences between people up North and folks from down South. The Northerner confided to his cousin that he’d

The Southern man was completely taken aback. It was inconceivable to him that, in the super-connected world of the 21st century someone could still hold such outdated beliefs. He got so upset he gathered together some chicken bones, a lizard tail and some toenail clippings, tossed them all in a pot and put a hex on him.

UNDERSTANDING ‘FIXING TO.’ If there’s one expression from cotton country that always seems to mystify visitors, it’s “fixing to.” Depending on how much twang is in a Southerners’ slang it might even come out as “fixina,” “fissina” or even “finna.” Given the operative word, one’s first thought might be that it has something to do with repair. This couldn’t be further from the truth. (The obvious exception being, of course, when someone is fixing to fix something.) Southerners reserve “fixing to” for those times when direct action is needed, right dang now. It could be an action as benign as going to pick up a few things (“I’m fixing to run to the store”) or something much

thornier. No Southerner is ever “fixing to” hug someone or “fixing to” give them flowers. They are frequently, however, “fixing to throw a fit” or “fixing to whup somebody’s a--.” Southerners are generally slow to anger, but even the best of people lose their tempers sometime. If ever you hear someone “fixing to” do something, just get out of their way and let him do it.

UNDERSTANDING ‘GIT.’ Another word that always seems to throw tourists for a loop is “git.” The word is used when telling someone to go, wherever that place may be, so long as it is nowhere in the current vicinity. (Read: “You ain’t got to go home but you got to get away from here.”) “Git” is like “go” to the tenth power, an exponential increase in the magnitude of need for someone or something to leave. Much like the imperative of “fixing to,” if you ever hear a Southerner tell someone to git then that person had best get to gittin. And woe be unto those against whom a Southerner is fixing to git. No good can ever come of that. If you even hear a rumor of a Southerner fixing to git something, just leave. The country. Take a nice, relaxing vacation in Aruba. Come back in a month or two after whatever they were fixing to git has done been got. SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

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Dispensing with the obligatory small talk can get visitors off to a slow start with the locals.

A L I NGU IST IC ST EW Listening to the average Hollywood portrayal of a stereotypical Southerner, it’s easy to get the impression that the states below the Mason Dixon line are aff licted with one comically twisted accent. Truth is, there are many accents— none of them comical to the people who speak them—resulting in multiple subdialects influenced by many different parts of the world. Here are just a few influences you may hear. African American. Gullah is a Southern dialect that originated with African American slaves on the coastal areas and islands of Georgia and South Carolina. The dialect was used to communicate with both Europeans and members of African tribes other than their own. African American Vernacular English originated in the Southern states where Africans were, at that time, held as slaves.

UNDERSTANDING SOUTHERN CUISINE. As we briefly mentioned earlier, the South is world-famous for its many culinary delights, from the cobblers, cakes, and pies signature to the region, to the staples like cornbread and cabbage, black-eyed peas, and Southern fried chicken. During your trip it is absolutely essential that you experience as many of these favorites as possible. Don’t fret about quantity; no self-respecting Southern cook is going to let you leave his or her table without double or even triple helpings. If you ever get a hankering for freshly caught seafood there’s always plenty of fishermen who stay on call. But be forewarned: If you call a fisherman on Monday to buy some trout don’t be surprised if he blows the whole thing off to go repair somebody’s toilet. Ours is a weird system sometimes, but it works. On the flip side, Hollywood seems to have this weird idea that all Southerners eat any manner of wild, gamey food, from deer, raccoon and alligator, to possum, rabbits, turtles and everything in between. This is absolutely, unequivocally 100 % not true... 32 |

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...except when it is. The truth is, certain very woodsy country folk love this sort of stuff. And a lot of other Southern people who aren’t quite so woodsy give them just as much side-eye for it as any visitor might. And yet, there’s nothing wrong with having a little variety in one’s diet. Look at it this way: If you’re a foodie, the South can provide a hungry traveler the ultimate taste experience. You get to be the envy of all your friends at your next get together when you report, “Oh really, you went to Nagasaki and tasted fugu? Big whoop. I tried Southern fried armadillo in Huntsville.” A wise man once said, When in Rome, enjoy the roasted possum. Or something like that. We hope this guide is somewhat helpful in planning your next trip down South. It is our sincerest wish that you’ll find the region just as warm, friendly and accommodating as we all do. Come on down. Enjoy the food, the music, the fun, the people. Just be sure to watch out for the six-legged, three-eyed, saber-toothed bearwolves. What? You folks have those in your neck of the woods too, right?

British. Immigrants from the Southern portions of England settled along the Southern coastline. Coastal Virginia, is a major center for the development of Southern speech. Governed by an elite aristocratic class, they retained close ties to England which reflected in their speech. The accent is characterized by loss of -r in many words, which had become part of Standard British English by the mid18th century. French. Cajun French, which combines elements of Acadian French with other French and Spanish words, is a dialect spoken by many of the older members of the Cajun ethnic group. It is said to be dying out. Younger Cajuns speak Cajun English, which also retains many Acadian French influences. Louisiana Creole French has many resemblances to other French creoles in the Caribbean. Scottish-Irish. The Highland Southern dialect arose in the inland areas of Appalachia settled largely by Scots-Irish, Scottish Highlanders, Northern and Western English, Welsh and Germans. This dialect can be traced back to Scots or Scots-Irish ancestors. Several Welsh English tendencies can be noted as well. - Lauren Reisdorf


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PLAYER STRATEGY

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BLACKJACK: Doubling Your Bankroll READER SENT ME THIS question about her chances of doubling her bankroll:

I’m a basic strategy player. I sit down at a $10 minimum table with a $200 bankroll. I say I have a greater than 50 percent chance of doubling my bankroll before going broke. My husband says I have less than 50 percent chance. Can you settle this argument and tell me who’s right? This is an interesting problem and one that mathematicians have studied for centuries. Actually, a mathematical equation was developed, called the Gambler’s Ruin, which allows you to calculate the probability of doubling a bankroll before going broke for a given house edge, bankroll size and number of betting units. The equation assumes an even-money payoff, which is not always the case in blackjack (due to doubling down, pair splitting and 3-2 payoffs for a blackjack). However, for many reasonable numbers of units of bank, it gives a close approximation of the probability of doubling a bankroll vs. going broke. If we assume that the basic strategy player is facing a –0.5 percent edge, the math says that a basic strategy player has about a 46 percent probability of doubling a $200 bankroll, playing $10 units. (Your husband wins the argument, but not by much!) To be clear, the above assumes no time constraints when you play, meaning you sit down and play until you either win $200 or you lose $200. Under these conditions, your chance of doubling your bankroll is 46 percent, and your chance of busting out is 54 percent. Now let me pose this question. Would you think the probability of doubling your bankroll would increase or decrease if you decreased your starting bankroll, say, from $200 to $100? What if you started with a bigger bankroll? Do you think that would improve your chances of doubling it? The answers to questions like these can be found using the risk of ruin calculators on qfit.com, adapted from the formulas in Don Schlesinger’s book, “Blackjack Attack.” The calculator gives these results for different size bankrolls, assuming a negative expectation game (for which a “trick” must be used to the inputs). 34

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Bankroll (units)

Profitability of Doubling (%)

10

48.11

20

46.33

50

40.66

100

31.95

200

18.06

The percentages in the table clearly show that the chance that a basic strategy player has to double his bankroll (vs. going broke) decreases the larger his starting bankroll. This makes sense because the larger the bankroll that you try to double when you bet one unit on each hand, the longer you will have to play, and the more your bankroll will be exposed to the house edge (thus increasing your chance of going broke before doubling the bankroll). However, note that even if the player starts with a relatively small 10-unit bankroll, he still doesn’t have a greater than 50 percent chance of doubling his bankroll, which is logical, given that he is playing a negative-expectation game, with nearly even-money payoffs. Now, what if a basic strategy player takes a more conservative approach and instead of trying to double, say, a 20-unit bankroll, he sets a goal to win just 10 units (i.e., he is satisfied with winning 50 percent of his starting bankroll)? Would he now have a chance greater than 50 percent of achieving his goal? The answer is yes. His chance of winning 10 units with a 20-unit starting bankroll, before tapping out, is 64.12 percent, again by the calculator. The above analyses bring up two important points for basic strategy players who face a negative expectation: 1. You stand the best chance of doubling your bankroll by making a minimum number of large-size bets in relation to the size of your bankroll (ideally, the best bet is to wager your entire bankroll on one hand, but few blackjack players would want to play that way). 2. You have a greater chance of achieving a conservative goal of winning, say, 20–30 percent of your starting bankroll than you do of trying to double your bankroll.

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H E N R Y TA M B U R I N

Henry Tamburin is a blackjack and video poker expert. He is the host of the smartgaming.com website and the editor of the Blackjack Insider newsletter. For a free three-month subscription, visit www.bjinsider.com/freetrial. For a free copy of his Casino Gambling Catalog, which contains books, strategy cards, and software for casino players, call toll free 1-888-353-3234, or visit the web store at smartgaming.com.

“WHAT IF YOU STARTED WITH A BIGGER BANKROLL? DO YOU THINK THAT WOULD IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF DOUBLING IT?”

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PLAYER STRATEGY

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HORSERACING: Shooting Straight

AYBE IT’S JUST A SIGN OF the times, but lately, most every horse player I converse with is dead-set on procuring a life-changing score. The advent, and hence marketing of, elaborate pari-mutuel menus which promise acute financial solvency has no doubt led to this shoot for the moon mentality among punters. But while attempting to take down the Pick 6 at Santa Anita Park is admirable, it’s also highly unlikely. On some days (maybe you can relate) I can’t select a single winner, never mind six in a row, and although keying multiple racers in each leg of a prolonged horizontal wager augments one’s margin for error, bankrolls become devastated when copious equine inclusion goes awry. Rather than face the lottery-like odds associated with a Pick 6, many adventurous players will focus their efforts on less perilous ventures which still may levy passage to the IRS window. Obviously, sessions are exceedingly amplified by cashing bets like the Daily Double (selecting winners in consecutive contests), Pick 3 (selecting winners in three consecutive contests), exacta (selecting the top two finishers of a race in precise order), trifecta (selecting the top three finishers of a race in precise order) and superfecta (selecting the top four finishers of a race in precise order). In some instances, however, handicappers should simply shelve gross speculation and take what they are giving. Virtually lost within today’s cornucopia of parimutuel exotics is something entitled straight wagering. Comprising the win bet (selecting an outright victor), place bet (selecting a runner who may finish either first or second) and show bet (selecting a runner who may finish either first, second or third), straight betting (in most cases) won’t precipitate an early retirement, though quite honestly brethren, neither will shredding tickets aimed at winning $50,000 jackpots. When referencing horse racing’s three traditional straight wagers, there’s little doubt that place betting has practically become a lost art form. This is largely because conventional straight wager players typically gravitate towards either aggressively betting on the nose or conservatively selecting a racer to hit the board. Furthermore,

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E R I C F LOY D

place betting possesses a pessimistic stigma. It’s basically jumping with a net: said horse warrants a bet but he or she isn’t good enough to win and won’t pay squat to show. Ask your average grizzled punter how to best utilize a place bet and they’ll likely say, hedge an enormous win bet. You see, insuring large win bets with par place bets is quite common. Such a ticket might read -$300 Win #2/ $300 Place #2-. In this hypothetical example we are hoping to break even via an equivalent place bet should our selection be plagued by second-itis. While I stand in agreement regarding the aforementioned methodology, it’s worth noting two additional instances where wielding a place bet may prove most advantageous. The first occurs when a heavy favorite goes post ward at odds of 1/5 or 1/9. In almost every instance, Horse Racing Nation will look to take advantage of this sure thing by accepting a short win price or a ridiculously short show price, like five cents on the dollar. This dynamic often generates a deficient place pool, thus producing the following fictional payout – WIN $2.40 – PLACE $2.60 – SHOW $2.10. Another advantageous place-betting scenario arises when an upcoming contest showcases a dominant entry. Conditions vary from race to race, but usually, if two horses owned or trained by one individual are pointed towards the same race, they are pari-mutuelly coupled. In laymen’s terms, bettors receive two runners for the price of one! Consequently, if either equine finishes first or second, a punter cashes their place bet but here’s the catch. Extremely talented entries (customarily designated 1 and 1A or 2 and 2B) habitually round out a pursuit’s top two positions. When this occurs, place bettors receive what amounts to a win payout because the place pool remains intact instead of being divided between two separate entities. For instance, if an entry goes post ward at 4/5 and the race finishes 1A - 1 - 4, the tote board would resemble something like: WIN 1A $3.60 PLACE 1 SHOW 4 $2.80

$3.60

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

“WHEN REFERENCING HORSE RACING’S THREE TRADITIONAL STRAIGHT WAGERS, THERE’S LITTLE DOUBT THAT PLACE BETTING HAS PRACTICALLY BECOME A LOST ART FORM.”

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DRE AM T E AMS

F A N TA S Y F O O T B A L L I S A F U N R E A L I T Y F O R F A N S W H O P L AY A N D P R O S P E R by

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MERICANS FOOTBALL.

HUDSON LINDENBERGER

LOV E

pairings, ones that you could only wish for from your favorite team.

Sure, they may also watch baseball, basketball and other sports, but football is king. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that 49 percent of the American public are football fans. That’s 150 million people, more than the populations of Canada and Mexico combined. Increasingly, more and more of those fans are going beyond just cheering on their favorite teams and are diving into fantasy football, both for pleasure and money.

There are many choices for joining a fantasy game, including neighborhood leagues, work leagues and gaming leagues. The newest and hottest options are online fantasy leagues that play for money, all following a pretty similar format.

The growth of fantasy football since its birth in 1962 is well documented. ESPN estimates more than 25 million people played last year in various clubs, online venues and email leagues. With that many people playing, you would think it would be easy to get involved, and it is. You just need to learn a few basics before running onto the field. G E T T I N G S TA R T E D

The first rule of fantasy football is to set aside your loyalties. You can still cheer for the Dallas Cowboys or the Crimson Tide on game day, but when building your fantasy team you will be selecting from every active player. To win, you will want to pick the best players available. As a result, you will undoubtedly find yourself in the uncomfortable position of cheering, quietly, for players from rival teams. Get over it. You need those valuable points. Fantasy football fulfills, well, the fantasy of every fan: You become the owner of your own team. Yes, you can pick Drew Brees as your starting QB. Not a fan? Then pick Aaron Rodgers. Just like every NFL or college team, your goal is to win by building the best team possible. You will have opportunities to create dream 38 |

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Each week you select a specific number of players to start in various positions. Typically they include one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex player (either RB or WR), one kicker and one defense or special teams. By kickoff time for the first game each week, you must choose your starters from your previously drafter roster. Each league has a set number of players you can carry at any time, usually between 14 and 18. KEEPING SCORE

You score points based on each individual player’s stats and touchdowns during their real games. Just as for every coach, one of the hardest decisions you will make each week is deciding who starts and who rides the bench. Nothing is more painful than watching a player on your bench score two touchdowns and rush for 120 yards, while your starter rushed for 15 yards. Before you start drafting your roster, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the scoring system used. You create your roster of players via two methods: through a draft or based on a salary cap. In a draft you are assigned a spot in the draft order and select a player each round when your turn arrives. Once the last individual has selected his player in a round, the draft order reverses: for example, the person who selected last in the first round gets first pick in the

second round. If there were 10 individuals drafting, the person with the first pick would select with next player at the end of the second round, with the 20th pick. In draft-based leagues, once you select a player, that player is yours for the duration of the season, unless you cut them. Draft prep is crucial, since just as in the realworld, selecting the wrong player can haunt you for the rest of the season. In a salary cap league, the main difference is that multiple people can own the same player. It eliminates the ambiguity of the draft, and puts everyone is on a level playing field. Each fantasy league participant starts with a set amount of money, and picks a roster based on a pre-calculated cost associated with each player. It works the same way a salary cap works in professional sports: You spend your money where you think you will get the best value, and you cannot go over the cap. If you want the star QB, say Manning, you can have him, but you will have to downgrade at another position. In both formats you can drop players at any time if you feel they are underperforming and pick up new ones. The main difference is that in salary-cap leagues your new selections obviously must fit under the cap, while in draft leagues you must pick from players not already on someone else’s roster. TA K E T O T H E F I E L D

So where to play? You can get a group of friends together and start your own league at numerous online sites. Some of the best ones for casual playing are CBSSports. com, ESPN.com, and NFL.com. You can set up your league and they will help you manage it. These are great places to learn the ins and outs of fantasy football before taking your game to the next level, online leagues with money on the line.


The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimates that over $1 billion traded hands last year through various pools and sites. That’s a lot of money. How can you get your hands on some of it?

fee of $100 each. The online site keeps 10 percent so the available pool is $900. First place for the week gets 50 percent ($450), second place gets 35 ($315) and third gets 15 percent ($135).

There are two primary forms of online fantasy gaming: season-long leagues and daily/weekly games.

The beauty of this style of playing is that it offers you a fresh slate each week, and you also can engage in numerous contests during that time. Entry fees range from $2 to $2,000, and you decide your own wagers. If you are a beginner, many sites offer free games that allow you to play while getting the feel for managing a roster.

In a season-long league, you will go headto-head with other team owners. You decide what league to join and pay your entry fee. After you build your roster, you compete head-to-head against others in the same league, all the while aiming toward the last three weeks of the season, the traditional playoffs for fantasy football. If your record is good enough for the playoffs, then the fun begins. If you win, you keep advancing, and the ultimate winner collects the lion’s share of the pool. This style is fun, but requires commitment for 17 weeks, and if you start badly, it can be tough to get back into contention. Daily/weekly games are becoming the most popular form, and one I recommend. These games offer the opportunity to build a fresh roster each week, discarding past mistakes or building upon victories. You sign up for a new league each week, pay your fee, pick a new roster using the salary cap, and engage in battle with friends or random players. After the games have concluded the winnings are divided among the top few players, depending on the total pool. For example, let’s say you were playing with 10 people with a

If you are looking for online options, check out Draftking.com, Fanduel.com, Draftstreet.com and Fanthrowdown. com. These sites are reputable, have large followings and offer non-stop action. WINING

To win at fantasy football, you need to be on top of players’ stats, the defensive matchups for the week, as well as key injuries. “The key to winning in your league, a season long or weekly one, is doing your homework. It’s not enough to just be a fan. You have to dig for the hidden gems that will put you over the top,” said Jonathan Shuford, host of the Fat Lazy Fantasy Show. “I am a huge fan of ESPN. com, because they seem to have the most updated info. You should pay for the insider subscription they offer. It’s $3 a month and has helped me win several championships.”

P L AY E R S t o W AT C H : QB: Peyton Manning (Denver): Peyton had a record setting campaign last year, and returns most of his squad. He probably won’t hit the same highs from last year, but still should be most valuable QB. Sleeper QB: Johnny Manziel (Cleveland): Johnny Football could be quite valuable this year if Eric Gordon plays. Their schedule is one of the easiest in the NFL, and Manziel is a dual threat with both his arm and legs. RB: LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia): The veteran is a dual threat as both runner and receiver. He moves to Philadelphia and Chip Kelly’s spread offense, which should lead to a monster year. Sleeper RB: Chris Johnson (NY Jets): The one-time leading running back in the NFL has slipped down the charts after several off years in Tennessee. The move to the Jet’s could offer just the opportunity he needs to escape his Titans funk. WR: Calvin Johnson (Detroit): Megatron shows no signs of slowing down, as last year’s numbers indicate. He consistently is one of the best in the game, and will go in the first round of most drafts. SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

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Hollywood Casino’s new poker room design was based on feedback from the casino’s regular patrons.

Room to Play HOL LY WO OD CA S I NO ’ S N E W P OK ER RO OM WA S DE S IGN E D W I T H T H E PL AY ER I N M I N D. by

K

R U DY S C H I F F E R

E N N Y ROGE R S SOL D millions of records when he told poker players they needed to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

leaving players with only two rooms among nine casinos. One of the remaining operators, however, is upping the ante to help those bereft players have a world-class experience nonetheless.

Turns out, the advice has been important to operators of dedicated poker rooms as well. Many of them realized it was time to turn their cards up and walk away from the tables. The closures made no one happy, neither the investors behind the shuttered rooms nor the players who suddenly found themselves with fewer choices of establishments.

That man is Dominick Morreale, the lead poker supervisor at the Hollywood Casino. No manager in the area has been in gaming longer, and one thing he’s learned over his career is the importance of listening.

The closures have been felt with particular pain in the Tunica, Miss., region. In recent months, several poker rooms have boxed up the chips and turned out the lights, 40 |

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“Players got used to their former locations. But I knew the new room would be well accepted, and all the comments to date bear that out,” he said. It’s no wonder the dedicated area is garnering praise. The previous poker room sat in an out-of-the-way corner that wasn’t

a comfortable distance from foot traffic that often distractingly watched from the sidelines, nor from the unrelenting noise of the slot machines. Now, the poker players lay out their chips across the aisle from the relatively calmer high-limit table area, in a room that provides just the right mix of size and intimacy. “We have six tables in a very nice setting where players feel comfortable and there is no hubbub to disturb the action,” said Morreale. “It allows us to better focus on our guests and their needs.” The intent is paying off. “I like Hollywood overall for what it offers beyond the poker room, so I also like to play Texas Hold ’em here,” said one player. “But I was not fond of the old room


Left: Dominic Morreale is the man behind Hollywood Casino’s new dedicated poker room. He is the region’s longest-serving manager. Right: This Mustang convertible is just one of the many prizes players can earn at Hollywood casino.

location. The new area is ideal for players and I feel very comfortable in it.” Although the room will offer a set of various games, Morreale will spread just about anything as long as the demand is there. “We’ll deal in anything, but Texas Hold ’em is our main game and the biggest attraction,” he added. “Other popular games spread include Seven Card Stud and Omaha as well as a couple of others. We also have a game now on the casino floor that is exclusive to Hollywood called Lunar Poker which is basically Five Card Draw Poker against the house. It is as unique as table games go because it gives players multiple options going against the house with never-before-seen payouts.” Check it out at www.lunarpoker.com. Some other popular attractions include an Aces Cracked promotion which wins $100 on Wednesdays. Thursday features hourly High Hand for $50. On Friday there is a no-limit Freeze Out tournament with a $30 buy-in plus a $10 entry fee for $3,000 in tournament chips. Every 30 minutes the high hand wins $50 and there are eight hands. A no-limit Freeze Out highlights Saturdays at 5 p.m., with a $30 buy-in and $10 entry fee that gets

players $3,000 in tournament chips. At noon on Sundays there will be a High Hand every 30 minutes that wins $50 with eight hands dealt. At 2 p.m. there is a re-buy tournament with zero buy-in plus $10 entry fee re-buys and add-ons with $1,000 guaranteed. Hollywood just recently hosted the HPO Regional that is promoted and staged at Penn National Gaming casinos. This year’s event drew a large crowd and will be held again next year. Two players won seats in the $500,000 June finals at the M Resort Spa & Casino in Las Vegas. Some players even camp out in the RV Park with 124 spaces, but those who earn a discounted poker room rate can stay in a five-story tower overlooking the gaming floor, or an eight-story tower next to the indoor pool and sundeck with a view of River Bend Golf Links, located just about a driver and iron from the back door. “With a comfortable room that is not overpowering, we give our players firstclass service and more attention,” said Morreale. “Poker players are important to us. We meet their needs and will continue to do so. We will continue with more events and tournaments and welcome new players who prefer a room like ours.”

Morreale also hopes that the room will approve appealing to poker players who have left the casinos in order to enjoy the game at home, on their computers. Hollywood features over 1,000 video slot and video poker machines and over 25 table games. The highly rated Fairbanks Steakhouse offers top-shelf dining in a room that overlooks the casino floor. Other dining choices include the Epic Buffet and the Celebrity Grill. The casino lives up to its name with a collection of movie/TV memorabilia including the Titanic slipping into the deep, the classic Batmobile, an Elvis “Spinout” racecar, the DeLorean from “Back to the Future” and much more. The room is open seven days a week, opening at noon during the week and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The six tables are spread by 12 experienced professionals and after four hours of play, players receive a complimentary meal in the Epic Buffet, and a preferred hotel room rate after five hours of play For more information regarding tournaments and promotions, call 800-871-0711, ext. 5005, or visit the website at hollywoodcasinotunica.com. SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

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SOU THERN GAMING’S

PREFERRED HOT SPOTS Whether you’re a frequent jet-setter or simply a casual traveler, Southern Gaming and Destinations strives to recommend highquality establishments to our readers. We feel this array of our preferred casinos, racetracks, racinos, hotels and restaurants will deliver the best in accommodations, entertainment and gaming. We encourage you to consider any of these incredible properties when planning your next getaway.

1 GULF COAST BEAU RIVAGE RESORT & CASINO (BILOXI) 1-888-750-7111 FALLEN OAK GOLF COURSE (BILOXI) 1-877-805-4657 GOLDEN NUGGET (BILOXI) 1-800-777-7568 HALF SHELL OYSTER HOUSE (GULFPORT & BILOXI) 1-228-867-7001 HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO (BILOXI) 1-877-877-6256 IP CASINO RESORT SPA 1-888-946-2847 MARY MAHONEY’S FRENCH HOUSE RESTAURANT (BILOXI) 1-228-374-0163 PALACE CASINO RESORT (BILOXI) 1-800-PALACE-9 THE SHED BBQ (OCEAN SPRINGS) 1-228-875-9590 SILVER SLIPPER CASINO (BAY ST. LOUIS) 1-866-775-4773

2 ALABAMA BAHAMA BOB’S BEACHSIDE CAFE (GULF SHORES) 1-251-948-2100 FELIX’S FISH CAMP GRILL (MOBILE) 1-251-626-6710 LUCY BUFFET’S LULU’S RESTAURANT (GULF SHORES) 1-251-967-5858 THE TRELLIS ROOM RESTAURANT (MOBILE) 1-251-338-5493

3 ARKANSAS ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & TOURISM 1-501-682-7777

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THE FADED ROSE RESTAURANT (LITTLE ROCK) 1-501-663-9734 HOT SPRINGS VISITORS BUREAU 1-888-SPA-CITY

6 INDIANA

LOCA LUNA RESTAURANT (LITTLE ROCK) 1-501-663-4666

BELTERRA CASINO RESORT (VEVAY) 1-888-BELTERRA

OAKLAWN PARK RACING & GAMING (HOT SPRINGS) 1-800-OAKLAWN

RISING STAR CASINO RESORT (RISING STAR) 1-800-472-6311

SOUTHLAND PARK GAMING & RACING (WEST MEMPHIS) 1-800-467-6182

4 FLORIDA DAYTONA BEACH KENNEL CLUB & POKER ROOM 1-386-252-6484 DERBY LANE RACE TRACK (ST. PETERSBURG) 1-727-812-3339 SHULA’S STEAK HOUSE (TAMPA) 1-813-286-4366 MARDI GRAS CASINO & RACING (HALLANDALE) 1-877-55-SLOTS SEMINOLE HARD ROCK CASINO & HOTEL (TAMPA) 1-866-388-4236 WATERMARK GRILLE (NAPLES) 1-239-596-1400

5 GEORGIA ECLIPSE DI LUNA (ATLANTA) 1-678-205-5862 GARIBALDI CAFE (SAVANNAH) 1-912-232-7118 HAL’S THE STEAKHOUSE (ATLANTA) 1-404-261-0025 ROCKS ON THE ROOF @ THE BOHEMIAN HOTEL (SAVANNAH) 1-912-721-3901

SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

7 KENTUCKY 21C MUSEUM HOTEL (LOUISVILLE) 1-877-217-6400 BROWN HOTEL (LOUISVILLE) 1-502-583-1234 CHURCHILL DOWNS (LOUISVILLE) 1-800-283-3729 JACKS RESTAURANT & LOUNGE (LOUISVILLE) 1-502-897-9721 GALT HOUSE HOTEL & SUITES (LOUISVILLE) 1-800-THE-GALT GOLF COURSES OF KENTON COUNTY 1-859-371-3200 JEFF RUBY’S STEAKHOUSE (LOUISVILLE) 1-502-584-0102 KEENELAND RACECOURSE (LEXINGTON) 1-800-456-3412 LASSING POINTE GOLF COURSE (BOONE COUNTY) 1-859-384-2266 NEVEL MEADE GOLF COURSE (LOUISVILLE) 1-502-228-9522 PAT’S STEAK HOUSE (LOUISVILLE) 1-502-896-9234 PORCINI ITALIAN RESTAURANT (LOUISVILLE) 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 PARAGON CASINO RESORT (MARKSVILLE) 1-800-946-1946 SAM'S TOWN HOTEL & CASINO (SHREVEPORT) 1-877-429-0711 SHREVEPORT/ BOSSIER VISITOR’S BUREAU 1-888-45-VISIT

9 TUNICA (MISSISSIPPI) GOLD STRIKE CASINO RESORT 1-888-24-KSTAY HOLLYWOOD CASINO TUNICA 1-800-871-0711 THE HOLLYWOOD CAFE (OLD HWY 61) 1-662-363-1225 SAM’S TOWN HOTEL & GAMBLING HALL 1-800-456-0711

10 MISSISSIPPI PEARL RIVER RESORT (PHILADELPHIA) 1-866-44-PEARL

11 MISSOURI CIELO RESTAURANT & BAR (ST. LOUIS) 1-314-881-2105 LUMIÈRE PLACE CASINO & HOTELS (ST. LOUIS) 1-314-881-7777 RIGAZZI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT (ST. LOUIS-HILL DISTRICT) 1-314-772-4900 RIVER CITY CASINO (ST. LOUIS) 1-888-578-7289

12 LAS VEGAS (NEVADA) ARIA RESORT AND CASINO 1-866-359-7757 THE BELLAGIO 1-888-987-6667 CAESARS PALACE 1-800-HARRAHS FERRARO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT 1-702-364-5300 GOLDEN NUGGET 1-800-634-3454 GOLDEN GATE HOTEL & CASINO 1-800-426-1906


WANT COMPS?

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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.

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5 HILTON HEAD NATIONAL (HILTON HEAD) 1-843-842-5900

1

SALTY DOG CAFÉ (HILTON HEAD) 1-843-363-2198

4

17 TENNESSEE BOUND’RY (NASHVILLE) 1-615-321-3043 CHEROKEE VALLEY GOLF COURSE (MEMPHIS) 1-901-525-4653 FOLK’S FOLLY (MEMPHIS) 1-901-762-8200

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 LAUGHLIN (NEVADA) AQUARIUS CASINO RESORT 1-888-662-5824 GOLDEN NUGGET LAUGHLIN 1-800-950-7700

HARRAH’S LAUGHLIN CASINO AND HOTEL 1-800-427-7247

14 RENO (NEVADA) ATLANTIS CASINO RESORT 1-800-723-6500 CIRCUS CIRCUS RENO HOTEL & CASINO 1-800-648-5010 ELDORADO HOTEL & CASINO 1-800-879-8879 HYATT REGENCY RESORT SPA & CASINO (LAKE TAHOE) 1-800-233-1234 PEPPERMILL RESORT SPA CASINO 1-866-821-9996

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 ARTHUR HILLS GOLF COURSE AT PALMETTO DUNES (HILTON HEAD) 1-866-380-1778 BLOODY POINT GOLF CLUB & RESORT (HILTON HEADDAFUSKIE ISLAND) 1-843-341-3030

GAYLORD SPRINGS GOLF LINKS (NASHVILLE) 1-615-458-1730 HALF SHELL RESTAURANT (MEMPHIS) 1-901-682-3966 THE PEABODY HOTEL (MEMPHIS) 1-901-529-4000 RENDEZVOUS BARBECUE (MEMPHIS) 1-901-523-2746 VANDERBILT LEGENDS CLUB (BRENTWOOD) 1-615-790-1300

18 WEST VIRGINIA HOLLYWOOD CASINO AT CHARLES TOWN RACES 1-800-795-7001 THE GREENBRIER (WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS) 1-800-453-4858

CQ’S RESTAURANT (HILTON HEAD) 1-843-671-2779

GOT A FAVORITE SPOT? LET US KNOW!

MARDI GRAS CASINO & RESORT 1-304-776-1000

GOLDEN BEAR AT INDIGO RUN (HILTON HEAD) 1-843-689-2200

MOUNTAINEER CASINO RACETRACK AND RESORT 1-800-489-8192

HARBOUR TOWN GOLF COURSE (HILTON HEAD) 1-843-363-4485

WHEELING ISLAND HOTEL, CASINO & RACETRACK 1-304-232-5050

We do our best to list some of our favorite places to gamble, stay, eat, drink and be merry. If you want to share a hidden gem, email us at editor@southerngaming.com or call 1-877-582-9478!

SOUTHERNGAMING.COM

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PLAYER STRATEGY

POKER: Majority Play Hands Before the Flop

E

PHIL HELLMUTH, JR.

VERY APPROACH OFFERS its own risks and its own possibilities.

It’s time to examine the play of the majority play hands of 6-6, 5-5, 4-4, 3-3, 2-2, A-x suited, and K-Q before the flop, all of them weaker than the “top ten” hands. Common sense and deception are two important concepts in the play of these hands. I view the pairs 2-2 through 6-6 as basically being of the same value before the flop in limit Hold’em. A-x suited is slightly below the value that I assign these pairs, and K-Q is the weakest. CALLING WITH SMALL PAIRS

Most theories agree that you should be the first raiser with a pair before the flop, that is, that with your small pair you should usually make it two bets to go. But when it is already two bets to you, a popular theory says you can either call the two bets or fold. Some top pros want you to call two bets with these pairs in order to lure other players into calling and therefore “build the pot” before the flop in hope that you’ll flop a set. So they’ll have you passively call someone else’s raise before the flop, leaving you hoping that other will call two bets before the flop as well. Although this sounds good on paper, keep in mind that you’ll flop a set roughly once in every eight tries. Now what do you do with your 3-3 when the flop comes down J-10-2? You’re forced to fold, because you’ve let other people into the pot, some of whom probably have you beaten at this point. (If you’d re-raised, they would probably have folded.) RE-RAISING WITH SMALL PAIRS, BEFORE THE FLOP

I have a different preference. I like to re-raise with a small pair before the flop and then “represent” whatever hits the flop (to your opponents, you seem to have started with something before the flop, and to have hit it on the flop). This is a more deceptive approach, allowing a chance to win every pot you play. Imagine having made it three bets with 4-4 over the top of your opponent, and now the flop comes down A-8-2. Your opponent checks to you, and then you bet out with your 4-4, just as if you have A-K, Your opponent now folds his K-Q , and you have won this pot fairly easily.

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But let’s suppose you play this hand according to the mainstream “calling” theory. You call the two bets with 4-4, and one other player and the big blind also call. The flop comes down A-8-2, and now the big blind checks. Now the original raiser bets out with his K-Q , hoping that no one calls him. By just calling the pre-flop raise, you’ve given the K-Q the chance to use deception. The K-Q is now representing an ace! You have to fold your hand right here. You can’t call the first bet, because you have to fear that someone has an ace, or maybe the big blind has an eight. You have gone from a position of power to a position of weakness simply by not re-raising before the flop. Quite a difference. By re-raising, you’ll win more pots, but you’ll also get yourself into trouble more often. Consider the following scenario. You have three bets in with 4-4, but the original raiser has K-K. He decides just to call your raise and then play his hand hard on the flop if an ace doesn’t come. This common strategy for people who hold aces or kings. The flop comes down 7 of diamonds- 8 of diamonds2 of clubs. This appears to be a good flop for you. After all, it’s unlikely that the original raiser has a seven or an eight in his hand, so unless you’re up against a big pair instead of the more likely two big cards, you’re winning at this point. The K-K bets out and you raise him, and now he re-raises (three-bets) you. You have a fair amount of money already invested in this pot. If you had known your opponent had kings, you would have thrown your hand away, but it’s also possible that he could have been playing a big flush draw this way. You end up calling him all the way down, only to have him show you K-K. You have just lost a fortune using my re-raising approach! Every approach offers its own risks and its own possibilities.

Phil Hellmuth Jr. is a 13-time World Series of Poker Champion, leading all other poker players in the world. He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, and his latest book, “Deal Me In,” also is widely popular. Visit phillhellmuth.com to check out his clothing line, blog and exclusive gaming tips.

“BY RERAISING, YOU’LL WIN MORE POTS, BUT YOU’LL ALSO GET YOURSELF INTO TROUBLE MORE OFTEN.”

FOR MORE FREE POKER TIPS, VISIT SOUTHERNGAMING.COM/ POKER


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Southern Gaming & Destinations - July 2014  

In this issue, we reveal the winners of Southern Gaming's Best of Awards highlight some of the best acts at Hard Rock Biloxi and look into t...

Southern Gaming & Destinations - July 2014  

In this issue, we reveal the winners of Southern Gaming's Best of Awards highlight some of the best acts at Hard Rock Biloxi and look into t...

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