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Volume 14 | Issue 6 | November 2012 Subscribe at SouthernGaming.com TODAY!

5 Winter Wonderlands:

Southern Sensations Page

28

Holiday Gift Guide for Gamers Page

22

Ron White King of Casino Comedy!

Page 10

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Day

Game Type

Time

Dec. 14

Fri.

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No-Limit Hold’em

12 PM

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Dec. 14

Fri.

2

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4 PM

$360

$40

Dec. 15

Sat.

3

No-Limit Hold’em

12 PM

$300

$40

Dec. 15

Sat.

4

Limit Omaha 8 or better

4 PM

$200

$30

Dec. 16

Sun.

5

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12 PM

$100

$20

Dec. 16

Sun.

6

Pot Limit Omaha 8 or Better

4 PM

$200

$30

Dec. 17

Mon.

7

No-Limit Hold’em Seniors

12 PM

$200

$30

Dec. 17

Mon.

8

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4 PM

$100

$20

Dec. 18

Tue.

9

No-Limit Hold’em (1 Day)

12 PM

$100

$20

Dec. 18

Tue.

10

Stud 8/B

4 PM

$200

$30

Dec. 19

Wed.

11

No-Limit Hold’em

12 PM

$300

$40

Dec. 19

Wed.

12

Limit Omaha 8 or better

4 PM

$200

$30

Dec. 20

Thur.

13

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12 PM

$200

$30

Dec. 20

Thur.

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4 PM

$65

$15

Dec. 20

Thur.

Mega Satellite

6 PM

$80

$20

Dec. 20

Thur.

Mega Satellite

9 PM

$40

$10

Dec. 21

Fri.

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10 AM

$80

$20

Dec. 21

Fri.

No Limit Championship Flight 1

12 PM

$750

$50

Dec. 21

Fri.

Last Chance Mega Satellite

2 PM

$80

$20

Dec. 21

Fri.

No Limit Championship Flight 2

5 PM

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Dec. 22

Sat.

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INSIDE this ISSUE

Cover

White: 10 Ron The King of Comedy

Features

OF CASINO COMEDY: 16 KINGS Good ’Til the Last Laugh Holiday Gift Guide: 22 Best Buys for Every Enthusiasm Winter Wonderlands: 28 Super Stays for the Holidays Southern Sanctuaries: 32 Spas, Salons and Plush Amenities SPORTING SPECTACLES: 38 Memorable Moments of 2012

Ron White:

The King of Comedy  10

Tips & Insights

14 Blackjack: 5 Mistakes Winners Don’t Make Sports Gambling: 20 Football Betting: How to “Invest” Like the Best

26 Craps: 42 The Oddsman’s Bet Casino Knowledge: 46 Q & A with John G. Horseracing: 50 Breaking the Bond of Unfair Odds Video Poker: 54 Have Fun Without Breaking the Bank Poker: 60 Never Give Up

Golf: Shake the Shanks

Hot Reviews

H o l i d ay G i f t G u i d e f o r G a m e r s :

Best Buys for Every Enthusiasm  22

Winter Wonderl ands:

Super Stays for the Holidays  28

Horticulture: 36 Holiday Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Property Profile: 44 L’Auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Profile: 48 Property Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant Biloxi, Mississippi

Shreveport52 Bossier City, Louisiana: Your Home for the Holidays

S p o r t i n g S p e c ta c l e s :

Memorable Moments of 2012  38 Vol um e 14  I ssu e 6  

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Up Front

...with G. Douglas

’Tis the Season! Ready or not ... here they come! I love the energy in the air leading into the holidays each year. Thanksgiving seems to serve as a time to spend with family and friends and give thanks for all of the wonderful things we have been blessed with. The day is filled with traditions that lead to memories to last a lifetime. Whether it is watching the Detroit Lions or the Dallas Cowboys on the big screen or preparing the potatoes, snapping green beans and cooking the turkey for the feast to be, it is like the calm before the storm of long lines at the malls and terrible traffic on the streets as everyone rushes to get gifts for intended recipients. Our family tradition entails a visit to our hometown racetrack, Churchill Downs, for a day of handicapping the world’s top thoroughbreds in hopes of earning some “Turkey Dollars” for the day. For some reason, that turkey always tastes better with a pocket full of freshly earned greenbacks! So, I hope you and yours have a blessed holiday season and take time to enjoy every moment to its fullest as you make your memories! In addition to the traditions of the holidays at home, there is an abundance of great getaways throughout the South that are worthy of a road trip. From the Winter Wonderland in the atrium of the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, to the extravagant illumination of two million lights at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee, on page 28 we highlight some of our favorite attractions that we hope you will consider visiting. Speaking of attractions, one of the biggest draws for casinos is the entertainment they bring in for their guests to enjoy. When you see a concert or performance at a property, there are a lot of factors that go into determining who gets booked since certain entertainers draw certain types of people that all lead into play in the casino. Think about how an audience might differ from a Justin Bieber concert to a Jay Leno comedy show. Which leads us to our cover story and feature article, “Ron White: The King of Comedy.” Comedy shows are huge right now. Most dates have two performances per night, as names like Ron White, Ray Romano and Kevin James play to sold out auditoriums throughout the country. One of the biggest names in comedy today is Ron “Tater Salad” White. Made famous by his involvement with the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, everything he touches seems to turn to gold. He regularly performs in Las Vegas as part of the Aces of Comedy series at The Mirage, as well as several southern casinos. He also recently came out with an 80-minute internet special called A Little Unprofessional that he sold for just $5 per download. Southern Gaming recently caught up with him to chat about his new special, the Kentucky Derby and more. Check it out on page 16 ... we hope you enjoy it! Enjoy the Holiday Season and as always, if you can’t be good ... be lucky!

G. Douglas Dreisbach General Manager

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Publisher Bisig Impact Group Chief Executive Officer Larry Bisig President & Creative Director Chip Dumstorf General Manager G. Douglas Dreisbach Managing Editor Brittany Cecil Accounting Peggy Harris Contributing Authors Linda Boyd Will Cary Eric Floyd John Grochowski Phil Hellmuth, Jr. Wayne Allyn Root Frank Scoblete Henry Tamburin Jeremy White Colby Wolitz Letters to the editor, address changes and other correspondence should be sent to: Southern Gaming and Destinations 640 South Fourth Street Louisville, KY 40202 (502) 583-0333 Fax (502) 583-6487 e-mail: editor@southerngaming.com The goal of this publication is to help drive awareness of the ever-growing popularity of the gaming industry and to assist the gamer in enjoying their gaming experience to the fullest. Southern Gaming and Destinations is published for those who seek the best in gaming and in life. ON THE COVER: Ron White is the King of Casino Comedy. Check out our exclusive interview with him on page 10. Southern Gaming and Destinations is produced bimonthly by Bisig Impact Group of Louisville, Kentucky. Copyright 2004 by Bisig Impact Group. All Rights Reserved. This publication is printed by Publisher’s Printing Co., Inc. of Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Postage is paid in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky. Opinions of columnists are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor does Southern Gaming and Destinations assume liability for claims of advertisers. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Southern Gaming and Destinations, 640 South Fourth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202.


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The Scoop

...with Southern Gaming

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

SKEE-BALL® from Bally Technologies is Rolling Strong! Bring on the fun with the video slot version of everyone’s favorite classic arcade game—SKEE-BALL®! Get ready to roll in the SKEE-BALL® bonus where players can touch the screen, roll the balls, earn tickets, and pick prizes. This game also features a Wild Flip Bonus in the base game where a Wild symbol will flip to reveal another base game symbol, turning all matching symbols wild. For more information on SKEE-BALL® and other products from Bally Technologies, visit BallyTech.com.

Southern Gaming!

Cruisin’ The Coast Named Best Event for 2013 If you like hot rods and sandy white beaches, the annual Cruisin’ The Coast festival in Biloxi, Mississippi is a sure bet. The event was recently named one of North America’s 100 Best Events for the second time by an expert tourism industry selection committee. Deemed ‘America’s Largest Block Party,’ the festival celebrates antique, classic and hot rod vehicles and features nostalgic music and other related events. Over 5,000 cars register for the event each year and enthusiasts from across the country attend and showcase their rides as they cruise a 30-mile stretch of beachside highway. The 2013 event will be held October 6 – 13 so be sure to save the date! For more information, visit www.cruisinthecoast.com. 6 

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Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi Keeps on Rocking with Hotel Expansion The Southern Gaming award-winning, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi has announced that they will build a 12-story hotel tower boasting an additional 154 guest rooms and suites. The expansion is expected to be completed in 14 months—just in time to ring in the New Year for 2014. “This announcement is a true milestone for the property and shows Hard Rock Biloxi’s commitment and confidence in the Gulf Coast,” said Duncan McKenzie, President and General Manager. The property currently has over 300 rooms and suites, a casino, outdoor pool, fine dining restaurants and premium entertainment venue that hosts some of the country’s biggest music stars. For more information call 1-228-374-7625 or visit HardRockBiloxi.com.


Say Cheese! Fan Photo Winner: Tony S. – Sunrise, Florida Ron “Tater Salad” White Gets A Little Unprofessional in his $5 Internet Special Comedian Ron “Tater Salad” White recently released his new internet special called A Little Unprofessional, and it’s only $5! All three of White’s past comedy albums have reached #1 on the Billboard charts so you know you are in for a treat with this one too. The new 80-minute comedy special can be downloaded and played on computers, tablets, mobile devices and internet-ready televisions. White is famous for his humorous storytelling and anecdotes taken from real life experiences ranging from growing up in a small town in Texas, to his daily life, to his joining the ranks of some of the most successful comedians in America. He has sold over 10 million albums, has been nominated for two Grammys, and has been one of the top grossing solo stand-up comedians on tour for the past seven years. For guaranteed laughs, order A Little Unprofessional today at RonWhiteSpecial.com.

Congratulations to Tony S. from Sunrise, Florida for winning the first Southern Gaming and Destinations Fan Photo Contest. Facebook fans were encouraged to post their favorite gambling moments on the Southern Gaming Facebook page and the photo with the most votes won a trip to their favorite casino along with gambling and gas money. The winning photo is of Tony (in green), his uncle, his younger sister and his grandmother, who came to visit from Greece for Christmas in 2006. Tony said holidays and special occasions with his family have always included a game of poker and many of his greatest childhood memories were playing cards with his grandfather. Tony chose to go to the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. He took his mother there for her birthday a couple of years ago and they had a blast, so this year he is bringing her again! Look for a recap of Tony’s trip in the January issue of Southern Gaming and Destinations. For more great giveaways and contests, ‘LIKE’ Southern Gaming and Destinations Magazine on Facebook!

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

Vol um e 14  I ssu e 6  

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Facts and Fun

Did You Know? 1.  Which president established Thanksgiving as a National Holiday to be held on the 4th Thursday in November? a. Abraham Lincoln b. Franklin D. Roosevelt c. Thomas Jefferson d. James Madison 2.  In what year did the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade take place? a. 1904 b. 1934 c. 1914 d. 1924

“There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune … go there with a large one!”

3.  What was the title of Ron White’s first comedy CD? a. Drunk in Stupor b. Drunk in P.J’s c. Drunk in Mexico d. Drunk in Public

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

4.  Of the following states, which does not offer casino gambling? a. Oregon b. South Dakota c. Tennessee d. North Carolina

Fun with Numbers

5.  In what game would you bet a “Little Joe”? a. Craps b. Baccarat c. Roulette d. Craps

6 8

1

4

3

5

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"Did You Know" Answers: 1.) b-Franklin D. Roosevelt 2.) d–1924 3.) d–Drunk in Public 4.) c–Tennessee 5.) d–Craps

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Numbers of spaces on standard roulette wheel

85

Percent of adults who have gambled at least once The year Christmas officially became a National Holiday

364

The amount of gifts you would receive if you were given every gift from the song “12 Days of Christmas”

320

Number of yards Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III threw in his first game for a win over the Saints, making him the first rookie to ever throw over 300 yards.

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9

38

1870

2

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Say What?

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The Sudoku Puzzle

4

Up to the challenge?

2

Complete the grid so that each column, row and block of nine squares includes numbers 1 through 9 only once. Answers on page 18


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by Southern Gaming & Destinations Magazine

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ron white King of Casino Comedy By G . Douglas Dreisbach

Comedian Ron “Tater Salad” White is best known as the scotchdrinking, cigar-smoking bad boy from the Blue Collar Comedy series with Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall. But, with two Grammy nominations, a Gold Record, three of the biggest one-hour TV specials in Comedy Central history, CD and DVD sales of over 10 million units, and a recent 80-minute internet special performance he sold for just $5, he has certainly made a name for himself and is now a star in his own right. He is part of the Aces of Comedy series at The Mirage in Las Vegas and regularly performs at casinos across the nation and in the South, including the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. While we recommend you leave the kids at home for this show, it is certainly a must-see performance that will fill your evening with laughter and give you plenty of ‘water cooler one-liners’ for weeks to come. We caught up with the world-renowned, jet-setting comedian for an exclusive one-on-one interview. Southern Gaming: When you decided to get into stand-up comedy did you have a plan? Did you ever think you would be one of the world’s biggest comedians? Ron White: I had no plan and there was no thought of me ever becoming a big comedian. Even when I was doing Blue Collar we were doing huge shows, but that was all Jeff (Foxworthy). I watched it happen to him, he blew up right next to me, but it never dawned on me that it could happen for me. It always seemed like I was always the kind of guy that kind of thing didn’t happen to. I don’t have an education; I have learning disabilities. I just never saw it coming! SG: The Blue Collar Comedy Tour really seemed to kick things off for you. How did you get involved with it and what did you think about the concept? RW: Well, I got the Blue Collar spot because of my friendship with Jeff Foxworthy. He needed a strong comic for that spot. So, 10  

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the first time he told me about it we were on our way back from some gig on this little plane that he rented. He told me about the concept of Blue Collar and I said, “That’s stupid!” I thought it was a bad idea to put four comics in a show and it turns out it was a really good idea.


SG: Where do you get your material and do you test it in front of a live audience? RW: Well, you can’t really test it without a live audience because you are looking for a response ... and my dog doesn’t laugh. You have to go to the clubs and try it out, but usually I have a pretty good eye or ear or whatever it takes for comedy. Most of the time I will try it out in front of 3,000 people and if it doesn’t work, I will find a way to make it funny. I’m not afraid of new stuff at all. I will try it anywhere. SG: What makes the perfect show? RW: When I’m not talking and I can hear a pen drop. That’s a perfect show. I don’t want hecklers. I want to hear nothing when I’m not talking. When there’s a pause, I want to hear absolute silence. I want them completely focused on me, just waiting to hear what I say next. That’s a perfect show. SG: So, if somebody goes against that and they’re being a disturbance, do you get on them or do you ignore them? RW: I throw them right out. It’s pretty simple. SG: Is dealing with ‘the unexpected’ a big challenge for live performances? RW: No, not at all. I am not real approachable when on stage so the audience has a tendency not to do anything silly. But when they do, I have no tolerance for them because I have a couple thousand people there that I am going to entertain. If somebody thinks they are going to get in between me and doing what the rest of the crowd came to see me do, they will be very, very surprised on how unapologetically they will get thrown out of my show. SG: You recently came out with your internet special, A Little Unprofessional. Tell us a little about it and why fans should check it out. RW: A Little Unprofessional is available for internet download and costs just $5. It was a way for me to offer an 80-minute special, which is a half hour longer than anything I have ever done, to my fans for a really good price. If they don’t know how to download it, there is usually a 12-year-old standing around somewhere that can tell them how, or eventually it will come out in a hard copy.

SG: Do you think that is the way entrainment is going—good prices with an internet download? RW: I don’t know for sure, but that is the way this one is going. I think Louis CK did it first and it seemed to work really well for him. So, I am sure it will work well for us too. SG: Your wife Margo Rey has also had some recent success with her music career. Can you tell us a little about her and her career? RW: Well right now Margo is on tour with David Koz, who is a famous Jazz saxophone player. Margo is easily the most talented person I have ever met. She is classically trained in opera but she sings other things too. Pretty much any genre of music is easy for her to sing because of the way her voice is trained. Her writing partner is John Oates and she has two hits on the radio right now. I think her time is coming real soon. SG: What’s it like with two entertainers living in the same house? Do you talk about next steps in your careers or does that stay out of the house? RW: Oh no, I am her biggest supporter and she is my biggest supporter. I am all about Margo and we talk about our careers all the time. When I play Vegas, she plays BB King’s so I get to listen to people go, “Yeah you’re really good, but your wife has more talent in her little finger than you!”

SG: So is it a live show?

SG: You have become a regular at the Kentucky Derby in recent years. What do you like about coming to Louisville for the first Saturday in May?

RW: As opposed to what? Yeah ... it’s my big special! An 80-minute long show recorded at the Fairmount Theater in Austin, Texas. Just like my other ones were recorded somewhere, you can’t do stand up without an audience.

RW: It’s just a fun hang. Margo and I like to dress up and we have Tater Air (his private jet), so it’s fun to just fly into town, do our thing and fly out. We went this year and I think it was our third year in a row. We did the Kentucky Derby on Saturday and then Vol um e 14  I ssue 6  

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we did Talladega on Sunday where Margo sang the National Anthem and I was the Grand Marshall. So that was a busy, busy weekend for us, but the Derby is the best two minutes in sports and it is a fun, fun hang. We were up there and Prince Albert of Monaco was sitting at the table next to us. He was just hanging out wearing regular clothes and talking like a regular guy. You get to meet some fascinating folks up there and it is just a really fun hang that we look forward to every year. SG: Do you have any favorite Derby memories? RW: My memory always seems to be when I place my bets and get those little tickets and I still have some hope that I might have a winner. Margo kicks my butt at the Derby and almost everything she does wins and almost everything I do doesn’t. SG: What do you think about playing in casinos? RW: I really enjoy the casinos and am really grateful that so many of them are opening up. They have great rooms that I can perform in—it’s fantastic!

For more information on Ron White’s upcoming performances and more, visit TaterSalad.com.

To order Ron White’s 80-minute In ternet Special, A Little Unprofessional, for just $5, visit RonWhiteSpecial.com.

Quick Hits with Ron White Favorite Song: “Between Us,” by Margo Rey Favorite Band: The Allman Brothers (“Whipping Post” is favorite Allman Brothers song) Favorite Movie: Sling Blade Most Recent Book: Half Asleep in Frog’s Pajamas, by Tom Robbins Favorite Book: Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut Favorite Sports Team: Dallas Cowboys Favorite Sport: Golf Favorite Food: Anything fried that is made by my mother, who is still alive and doing well. She makes the best fried shrimp, best chicken fried steaks, best fried chicken. I 12  

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still have a poor boy’s palate. I like good Southern food. Hobbies: Golf ... and I play too much according to some people (14 handicap). Favorite Charities: The Armed Forces Foundation (AFF) out of Washington D.C., an organization that gives money to families and wounded soldiers. But a lot of the support is for the family of the wounded soldiers because when these guys get injured, they are living with those injuries that would have killed them before. Many times the families have a tough time supporting them and there is a little bit of a crack. With this group, they try to make sure nobody falls through the crack—families or soldiers. It is a fantastic organization.


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Blackjack

I’ve been playing blackjack in casinos for some 35 years, and that includes many casinos in the South. During this time, I have seen many players who are doomed to lose because they exhibit one or more of the following characteristics when they play:

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

Blackjack: 5 Mistakes Winners Don’t Make

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1. Playing by the Seat of Their Pants You would think in this day and age all blackjack players would know that to win at blackjack they must learn, and use correctly, the basic playing strategy. The basic strategy has been around for a long time and is readily available in books, magazines and on the Internet. For a couple of bucks you can even purchase a plastic strategy card and bring it with you when you play. How easy is that? Nevertheless, I would venture a guess that at best, 20% of the playing public knows basic strategy perfectly. Even the experienced players who tell me “sure I know basic strategy” rarely know all the plays. It is not good enough to know half the strategy and guess at the rest or worse, deviate from the right play because you get a “feeling.” When you play blackjack, you need to play like a robot. This means every time the dealer gives you a 16 and he shows a 10, you must hit, regardless if you lost the last time or last ten times you made this play. The same goes for the pair of 8s against a dealer 10. You shove out more money and split. Why? Because these are the correct plays to make, the ones that in the long run will either save you money or make you more money. Don’t believe me? I have billions of computer-generated hands to back me up. 2. Trying to Beat the House with a Betting Progression I see this all the time. It seems players have a fascination with betting progressions because they mistakenly believe that what happens on previous hands will somehow affect their chances of winning future hands. Well it won’t and it can’t. In the history of blackjack, there has never been a study that proves your chances of winning the next hand increase based upon whether previous hands won (or lost). Using betting progression in blackjack might be fun because in the short run you might get to make some adrenalin-pumping, big bets that you will win. However, in the long run, guess what? The house edge doesn’t change one iota. And what’s worse, you will lose more using a betting progression in the long haul then just betting the same on every hand because your average bet increases when you use a progression. Betting progressions don’t work in the long run, so forget about it.

3. Not Knowing When to Quit Player gets ahead by $100. The tide turns and he starts losing. What do you think the player does? Do you think he will quit with some of his profit intact, or keep Henry Tamburin playing to win back what he just lost? I would venture a guess that 90% of players would keep playing because of greed and the desire for action. I ask you this: Is it better to play three hours and wind up losing your profits back to the house or quit with a $100 profit after playing one hour? I know what I would do. 4. Playing Blackjack Games with Terrible Rules Nowadays, there are some terrible blackjack games in casinos. For example, single-deck games that pay only 6-5 for a blackjack are terrible games. An eight-deck game where the dealer hits soft 17, and the player’s only option is to double down after pair splitting is a terrible game. Playing on a table that uses a continuous shuffling machine is a terrible blackjack game. There are so many good blackjack games with good rules that there is no excuse to play a bad game with terrible rules. 5. Believing the Game of Blackjack is All Luck These players put blackjack in the same category as slots. It’s all luck, so why bother? You can say that about slots, roulette and most other casino games but you’d be dead wrong to say it about blackjack. Why? For the simple reason that blackjack is a game of skill and the odds can be changed in your favor if you know how to play the game skillfully. Being a winner at blackjack is not rocket science. Take some time and learn the basic playing strategy. Bring along a strategy card with you when you play. Scout the tables and play only games with good rules. Watch the cards as they are played from one round to the next and only increase your bets after you’ve seen a disproportionate number of small cards in previous rounds (leaving a higher percentage of big cards in the unplayed decks). Just doing these simple things will help you become a winner. Note: If you are still not convinced that an ‘average Joe’ can’t win at blackjack on a part-time basis, then do this: read the new book, The Blackjack Life by Nathaniel Tilton, or read his articles in my Blackjack Insider newsletter (www.bjinsider.com).

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


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kings of casino comedy Good ’Til the Last Laugh! By Will C ary

Stroll through just about any casino and you are sure to see an array of interesting characters ranging in age, gender, personality and style. People go to casinos for all kinds of reasons— entertainment, birthdays, to hold business conferences during the day and to let loose at night. Casinos have a variety of ways to attract this wide assortment of guests—they offer free buffets, award double points on slot machines, encourage you to purchase golf packages and, probably the most enticing attraction, they promote exciting live shows and concerts. If you haven’t yet attended a live performance at a casino, you should. Whether you’re seeing a world-famous musician or a big name comedian, you won’t be disappointed. Most performers take the stage for about an hour and a half and the staff will help you find your seat quickly so you can enjoy every minute of the entertainment. Afterwards, ushers escort guests back to the casino floor so you can continue your night chatting and mingling at the bar or enjoying a round (or two) of blackjack or craps. Such nights are a win-win for both the casino and its guests. The casino gets a crowd to drop some coin after the show, and guests have a memorable night that starts with a great live performance and ends with plenty of fun in the casino. Some of the hottest tickets in casino show business today are headline comedy acts. Ridden with names made famous by television sitcoms and other hit shows, these guys have come a long way from the smoky comedy clubs. Today, they are playing two shows a night on the Strip in Sin City and charging a premium for tickets. And when they aren’t in Vegas, they’re touring the country with stops in other casino venues, including several in the Southern Gaming region! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite comedic acts. See a trip to Vegas in your near future? Excited about trying one of the great casinos in the South? Check out this list for more information on where you can catch one of these comedians live on stage! 16  

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Ron “Tater Salad” White Hometown: Fritch, Texas Age: 56 Birthday: December 18, 1956 Known for: Member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy; Standup DVD They Call Me Tater Salad; author of the book, I Had the Right to Remain Silent But I Didn’t Have the Ability; Hit CDs including Drunk in Public, You Can’t Fix Stupid and Behavioral Problems. His latest 80-minute special, A Little Unprofessional is a big hit and can be found for only $5 at www.RonWhiteSpecial.com Find him at: www.Tatersalad.com and www.Comedians.jokes.com/ron-white


The scotch-drinking and cigar-smoking Ron White began his career in 2000 when he joined the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry The Cable Guy. Soon after, his solo career began to take off and today he rolls around his own private jet, Tater Air. White produced two of the top rated onehour specials in Comedy Central history, and he also received two Grammy nominations. He produced a book that was on The New York Times Best Seller list and his DVD and CD sales have grossed over 10 million units. Today, White is continuing his bad boy antics on stage and has just released a new DVD called A Little Unprofessional. To read more about Ron, check out our exclusive interview with him on page 10.

Daniel “Tosh.0” Tosh Hometown: Titusville, Florida Age: 37 Birthday: May 29, 1975 Known for: His hit television show on Comedy Central, Tosh.0 Find him at: www.Danieltosh.com

Jay Leno Hometown: New Rochelle, New York Age: 62 Birthday: April 28, 1950 Known for: Host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Find him at: www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show and http://www.mirage.com/entertainment/jay-leno.aspx

Since 2001, Daniel Tosh has been dishing out his unique brand of comedy and has amassed a wide variety of fans. In 2005, Variety named Tosh one of its “10 Comics to Watch” and since then, he has been one of the most requested headliners in the country. Tosh found success early in his career, which helped him land his own television show on Comedy Central, Tosh.0, which is now the highest rated, non-animated show on the network. His routine on stage consists of racial humor, satire, sarcasm and improv. He is currently performing his stand-up on select dates at The Mirage in Las Vegas.

Jay Leno has been one of the leading, late night television comedians since 1992. His particular brand of comedy appeals to a wide audience—young and old—and his stand-up performance gives audiences a glimpse of a different Leno, one that people do not get a chance to see on television. Before he was a late night talk show host, Leno was performing at comedy clubs, which helped earn him a regular spot on The Johnny Carson Show. Before long, Leno took over as host of The Johnny Carson Show and as they say, the rest is history. Leno is currently listed as one of the Mirage’s “Aces of Comedy” and is performing in the Terry Fator Theater on selected dates throughout the year.

Kevin James Hometown: Mineola, New York Age: 47 Birthday: April 26, 1965 Known for: His starring role in The King of Queens as well as his onscreen roles in the films, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Grown Ups, The Dilemma and ZooKeeper. Find him at: www.kevinjames.com Vol um e 14  I ssue 6  

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Kevin James began his comedic career performing at various clubs in Long Island, NY. He was first discovered at a comedy festival in Montreal where he was given the opportunity to create his own show, The King of Queens. James was quickly become a known star and found himself with his own stand-up comedy special on Comedy Central, Sweat the Small Stuff, which lead him to his career in the movie industry. In his stand-up routine, James likes to address the comedy seen in everyday life. You can catch this “Ace of Comedy” performing at the Mirage on selected dates alongside Ray Romano.

George Lopez Hometown: Los Angeles, California Age: 51 Birthday: April 23, 1961 Known for: His hit TV shows, George Lopez and Lopez Tonight. Find him at: www.georgelopez.com

Ray Romano Hometown: Queens, New York Age: 54 Birthday: December 21, 1957 Known for: His hit television shows, Everybody Loves Raymond and Men of a Certain Age. He was also the voice of Manfred in the animated film, Ice Age. Find him at: www.rayromano.com

George Lopez is a multi-talented entertainer who has seen success in television, film, stand-up comedy and late night television. His career began with his hit show on ABC, George Lopez, which ran for six seasons. His talents have landed him numerous stand-up specials, several award-show hosting opportunities and even his own autobiography, Why You Crying?, My Long Hard Look at Life, Love, and Laughter, which was on The New York Times Best Seller list. His stand-up routine is filled with jokes that poke fun at the Mexican-American culture, race relations and everyday life. Be sure to check out his website and find a tour coming to your region soon because Lopez is a must-see! Ray Romano’s career jump-started with his starring role in the hit series, Everybody Loves Raymond. Before landing the show, Romano was performing at nightclubs and looking for that big break. His hard work paid off when he was offered a role in a CBS sitcom that played into his style of comedy. Romano’s stand-up style circles around observational and blue-collar comedy, while also incorporating everyday occurrences of the husband and wife relationship. Romano will be performing his routine with fellow comedian, Kevin James, at the Mirage on selected dates.

Will Cary is a freelance writer based out of Louisville, Kentucky. He was born and raised in Louisville and developed a passion for writing during his years at Bellarmine University. He is an avid sports fan with the University of Louisville being his favorite team, and enjoys playing poker, craps, and placing wagers at Churchill Downs.

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Sports Tip

We are in the throes of one of the most exciting football seasons in recent memory. There have been issues with the referees, players and coaches, and picking games is the toughest it has ever been. So I have provided four helpful tips to get you on track for a winning season.

Wayne Allyn Root is one of the most-honored professional sports handicappers and Vegas oddsmakers in the world. This national handicapping champion has been profiled by CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and Fortune, among others, and he is the only sports handicapper or oddsmaker to have a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. Wayne is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, TV and radio host, television producer and founder/creator of WinningEDGE.com, a worldrenowned sports handicapping website. Visit www.WinningEDGE.com for Wayne’s exclusive advice, analyses and game-winning picks!

Sports Betting: How to “Invest” Like the Best

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1. Professional Football Handicappers If you are frustrated with your inability to make a consistent profit betting on football, then you have probably made the decision to start using football betting professionals. Professional sports handicappers offer a valuable service to those who don’t have the time or simply do not know how to do the research necessary to win. Just like hedge fund managers, professional sports handicappers live in front of their computers looking at numbers, analyzing numbers and dissecting numbers. And of course, they talk to a lot of people-bettors, Vegas wiseguys, scouts and other professionals. There are very reputable professionals out there, but no matter how good they are, no one is always successful in betting. No sports handicapper or professional gambler can be profitable all of the time. What you should look for is consistency in their results. 2. Money Management If you are like me, then you are wagering (or as I call it, investing) on the NFL to make money. Sure, betting adds a lot of excitement to watching NFL games and is a lot of fun, but I bet solely to make money over the course of the season. I would not do it unless I could profit from it. If I wanted a hobby, I’d play golf! If you are at all serious about sports betting then you know that money management is the key to long-term success. It doesn’t matter how many winners you can pick if you eventually go broke with the biggest bet. Don’t bet what you can’t afford to lose. Always put your family and the important things in life before your wagers— mortgage, groceries, car payments, your kid’s college fund all come first). Betting what you can’t afford doesn’t make it any more exciting. It just makes you reckless and could eventually land you in a lot of trouble. Remember, “going for broke generally leaves you broke.” It’s paramount to keep an eye on your betting budget. Money management is unquestionably the single most important aspect of sports betting. 3. Contrarian Betting  I’m a Contrarian bettor (or as I prefer, “investor”). That means I almost always wager the team that others aren’t

willing to bet on. I’m a big believer in going against the public, often referred to as “squares” in this industry. The masses of “squares” are generally wrong, most of the time. If you bet Contrarian, you Wayne Allyn Root are not always going to win, but in the long run you will win a large percentage of the time. Sometimes gambling is easy, simply bet on the team the public is betting against. One reason for that failure rate is the public loves to bet parlays and teasers. With sports betting there are many good quality or value bets, there are a great deal of poor value bets, and there are also “sucker bets” where wagers overwhelmingly favor the bookmaker or the house (meaning odds are stacked up against you). Many of these odds may look tempting, almost too good to be true, especially when you get to move the spreads in your favor with “teaser bets.” However, there is a reason they are called “teasers”. They are there to tempt bettors into making dumb decisions. Teasers are often sucker bets and the books want you to fall for this trap. They want you to think you have a good chance of winning big money, without the big down payment. Don’t force bets because you want action and want to make NFL games more exciting. If you want to make a profit this NFL season, find a few good plays each weekend and bet them with a maximum of 2-3% of your bankroll (practice money management). 4. Think Like an Oddsmaker  The Las Vegas Oddsmakers take a lot of football stats into consideration when setting the point spread on each game, but the biggest factor they consider is where the public’s money is going. Football bettors need to be aware of key numbers, as well as injuries and matchups. Key numbers indicate the margin of victory (or defeat) most common in the NFL. Key numbers in football betting can indicate what the oddsmakers are trying to do with a particular point spread and how impactful a line movement is. They also consider the perception of the two teams. They love to overvalue or undervalue teams based on how you saw them play last week. They also put emphasis on scheduling. They take into account if a team is on the road for two weeks in a row, or if this week’s non-conference game is sandwiched between two conference rivalry games. Oddsmakers also want to know who the team is playing next week, or if they on a short week, with a look-ahead game coming up. There are dozens of factors that go into creating a line (or point spread) that is hard to beat.

For more free sports tips, visit southerngaming.com/sportstips


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2012 Holiday

Gift

Best Buys for Every Enthusiasm

When it comes to the holidays, waiting in lines, sitting in traffic or endlessly searching for the perfect gifts can turn even the jolliest of souls into a grumpy, old Scrooge. And while it can be exciting to go out and get into the spirit of holiday shopping, we know most people would rather be spending time with family instead of participating in the chaotic mall madness. To help you tackle your to-do list and avoid a last-minute scramble on Christmas Eve, we came up with some unique gift ideas ranging from the hottest high-tech gadgets and apps to the most lavishly chic accessories and extravagant splurges, so you can find something for every friend and

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For the Tech Guru

For the Top Chef

$99.95, mophie.com Stop lugging your charger around. No more stressing about turning off apps and wi-fi to conserve battery power. We discovered another high-tech miracle to erase those no-phone worries. The Mophie Juice Pack Plus is an innovative iPhone case that can more than double the average battery life of your device. This durable, ultra-thin case is available in a variety of colors, and houses a rechargeable battery to let you browse the web, talk and text without worrying about wasting your battery.

$79.99, store.igrillinc.com We’ve all been there. You are hosting a great party or tailgating before the big game when suddenly you remember you’ve volunteered to man the grill, and the tasty burgers you’ve all been craving are now a little too overdone. Fortunately, we found a cool, new tool that will solve all your cooking catastrophes. The iGrill works as a wireless thermometer and sends temperature and cook time updates to your phone via Bluetooth. Simply set the desired temperature for your meat and the iGrill sends an alert to your phone. The iGrill also comes with recipes and tips to teach you how to grill every meal to perfection. Now you can enjoy socializing and keep your eyes on the score without worrying about burning the meal. Talk about a win-win situation!

l Mophie Juice Pack Plus

lThe iGrill Thermometer


Guide

For Gamers

For the Gamer

l Zeus II by WMS Gaming and Phantom EFX!

$19.99, PhantomEFX.com WMS Gaming and Phantom EFX are back to bring you the next exciting, must-own slot game for your computer: Zeus II! Play on twenty, all new, neverbefore-released slots including Zeus II, Rome & Egypt, Invaders from the Planet Moolah and many more. You will see G+, Spinning Streak, Collapsible, and Hot Hot Super Respin titles in this incredible boxed set. Unlock more slots as you spin and as the more you win, the more your bankroll will grow, turning you into a true Vegas high roller. Every slot in this outstanding title has seen Casino floors across the world and now it is your chance to bring them home with WMS Slots: Zeus II.

For the Adrenaline Junkie

For the High Roller

$272-292,000, astonmartin.com What is your dream car? Maybe it’s an energy-efficient hybrid model, or maybe it’s a spacious SUV that can take on even the most rugged terrain. For those who are unsure, consider this beauty: a 2012 Aston Martin DBS. The 5.9 liter V-12 Aston Martin DBS has over 510 horses. Translation? This car is fast. In fact, this car is so fast that a new and improved stability control system was added to help the wheels find better traction during the 4.2 seconds it takes to reach 60 mph. This hard top convertible comes with a 13-speaker sound system, a single clutch automated gearbox and a uniquely designed trunk lid. Remember, it’s okay to dream!

Priceless Ever fantasized about standing in the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs, your head still spinning from the excitement of owning a horse that just won the Kentucky Derby? Well for only $16 million, this dream could become a reality. Did your jaw just hit the floor? Green Monkey, the most expensive horse in the history of thoroughbred racing, was sold at an auction in 2006 for a mere $16 million. Unfortunately, Green Monkey turned out to be a complete bust and ended up retiring two years later, but don’t let that kill your spirits. There are still plenty of strong, young thoroughbreds out there!

l 2012 Aston Martin DBS

lWorld Class Thoroughbred

continued next page Vol um e 14  I ssue 6  

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Holiday Gift Guide continued

Tracking the Time

l Oakley Transfer Case Watch

For the World Traveler

lA stay at The Venetian Macau Resort Hotel

Total airfare: $3,200 round-trip One week stay: $2,474.16 Total Estimated Cost: $7,500 Want to get away for a few days? Why not grab a friend and catch a flight to Macau to experience China’s own exotic version of Las Vegas. While in Macau, book a stay at the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel ($268/night) which offers 3,000 spacious suites, four pools, 330 retail shops, 35 restaurants, a casino, a stateof-the-art health and wellness center, as well as live entertainment every night with regular performances of Cirque du Soleil. Whether you choose to spend your stay perusing the stores, relaxing at the spa or hitting the casino floor, you won’t be disappointed. The Venetian Macau Resort Hotel is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience!

For the Well-Rounded Player

l Oakley Holbrook Sunglasses

$129.95, oakley.com There are few things worse than spending a day in the sun without sunglasses to shield your eyes from the intense rays. Ease your mind (and your eyes) and invest in a durable, stylish pair of pair of sunglasses from the Oakley Holbrook Collection. These trendy shades, which come in a variety of color combinations and have 100% UV protection, are perfect for a leisurely round on the greens or to hide your eyes from your competition during a hand of poker. 24  

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$525 Oakley.com Crafted with design cues from the cogs of industrial automation, Oakley Tr a n s f e r C a s e ™ honors the machine la ng uage of our coveted Gearbox™ timepiece. The chassis is aligned away from the ordinary to put a fresh angle on originality. Powered by a 45-month battery, the Swiss Made quartz movement is bunkered in 316L stainless steel matched with a pure sapphire crystal. The dimensionally sculptured strap is composed of Oakley Unobtainium® rubber and paired with an impact-forged stainless steel buckle. With its three-hand analog display, Transfer Case respects the simple beauty of design purity, and the might of mechanized automation.

For the Poker Extraordinaire

l 24-Karat Gold-Plated Poker Playing Cards

$114, yourbestdeals.com Then check out this impressive 24-karat gold-plated poker playing card deck. The perfect addition to a night of gambling with friends, this gold-plated deck comes housed in an exquisite mahogany presentation box and includes a certificate of authenticity. Display the cards on your desk at work or find a special spot to showcase them in your home, either way these cards will make a statement.

Nice Apps! Here are a few of our favs, $1.99 each at the iTunes Store.

l Cash Spin

If you love playing Bally Technologies’ hot new Cash Spin™ video slot at your favorite casino, you can now take the same winning excitement with you wherever you go. Touch and drag to spin the colorful bonus wheel backwards, forwards, slow or fast, like the popular casino game with its revolutionary U-Spin™ touch-enabled wheel. It’s just like playing the real thing. Cash Spin. Enjoy it anywhere, any time. Take it for a spin!

lVegas Hits

If you love the excitement of Las Vegas—and the thrill of a Las Vegas-style slot machine—you can now have the anythingcan-happen spirit of The Entertainment Capital of the World in your pocket. Bally Technologies popular Vegas Hits™ slot machine is now a mobile app! Touch and drag to spin the wheels backwards, forwards, slow or fast, just like the casino game with its innovative U-Spin™ touch-enabled wheel. Win jackpots, free games or any one of 16 bonuses. It’s just like being in Las Vegas or in your favorite casino playing Vegas Hits. Play anytime, anywhere!

l Bally’s Cash Wizard

Are you ready to have a magically good time? Step into a world of fun as the Cash Wizard guides you through an array of exciting bonus features with music that is pure magic. Unlock the Wizard’s full potential by choosing the Wizard Bonus bet to release the whimsical Wizard Wild and Wizard Mystery Wheel features! While the Wizard on this game may be small in stature he is huge on amazing excitement by offering three levels of progressives and five fabulous features to keep you mesmerized. We warn you: you’ll find this little Wizard hard to put down!


Golf Tip

Who in their golfing career has never hit the occasional shank? After you shank a ball, one of two things happens next. Either you will able to ignore the fact that you just ‘hosel rocketed’ a ball and will get back to sinking great shots, or you will be unable to overcome what just happened and will continue shanking the ball. The latter scenario is commonly referred to as “The Shanks.”

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

Golf: Shake the Shanks

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Some golfers can easily shake off a shanked shot, refusing to let it affect their game. I played college golf at Methodist University and a good friend of mine would shank one shot almost every day. The shank would always occur on the range and it would never affect her game on the golf course. And, she was a 4-time Division III National Champion and ranked first in the country for 2 years! However, most people are not so lucky. Let’s look at what the shank really is and what causes it so you can avoid making these common mistakes. What is a Shank? A shank occurs when the hosel of the golf club strikes the ball. Since the hosel is round, a shank may fly off in any direction. The most common result is a shot that flies low and sideways. (To the right for right-handed golfers, and to the left for left-handed golfers.) What Causes a Shank? A shank happens when the club head moves farther from the body in the golf swing than it was at address. If you slice the ball, you have a much greater chance of hitting a shank than someone that draws the ball. A slice is caused by an over-the-top swing path with an open clubface, where the club head is farther away from your body than necessary at a point in your downswing, just prior to impact. Any time you are striking the ball with an open clubface, you are effectively moving the hosel closer to the ball than it would be with a square clubface. Here are some common causes of the shank: • Arms too close to body at address. • Standing too tall at address. • Shaft is too upright. • Weight is not evenly distributed (from heel to toe) at address. • Weight shifts towards toes during downswing. • Over the top swing path with an open clubface. How Do You Cure the Shanks? It is extremely important to pinpoint which of the above factors is causing you to shank the ball. I recommend first using a mirror to see if any of the below causes and cures applies to you. If you cannot diagnose your own problem,

consult with your local PGA Professional. Causes and Cures Arms too close to body at address: At address your arms should be hanging from your shoulders and reaching Colby Wolitz slightly toward the ball. Be sure that your arms are not hanging straight down to the ground or inside your shoulder line. Standing too tall at address: Standing too tall at address will cause you to go down after the ball to achieve more power, which will also result in the club head moving farther from the body at impact than it was at address. Start with your feet shoulder width apart with slightly flexed knees. Place your hands on the top of each thigh with your arms straight. Bend at the waist with a straight spine (feel like your raising your tailbone to the sky) sliding your hands down your thighs until your fingertips touch the tops of your knees. If you are looking in a mirror, the angle of bend in your kneecaps should be similar to the angle of bend at the waist and your back should be straight, not curved. Shaft is too upright: If at setup your shaft is pointed above your belt line, it is too upright. The more upright the shaft is, the closer you move the hosel to the golf ball. Use a mirror to make sure that your shaft points near your belt buckle in your set-up. Weight is not evenly distributed (from heel to toe) at address: If at setup your weight is not centered, you will likely shift it during your swing to remain balanced. Therefore, if you setup with your weight on your heels and shift it toward your toes through impact, you have moved your body’s center slightly towards the golf ball, which in turn means that you have also moved the hosel slightly closer to the ball. Be sure that you are in an athletic, balanced position at setup with your weight evenly distributed from heel to toe on both feet. Over the top swing path with an open clubface: As I mentioned earlier, anytime the club is approaching the ball from outside the target line with an open face, the hosel is closer to the ball at impact than it was at address. This does not mean that if you come over the top with an open clubface you will shank the ball and if you come from the inside with a square clubface you won’t. However, a person that slices the ball has a greater chance of hitting a shank than someone who hooks the ball. I hope you never have “The Shanks” but if you do, use the above list of causes and cures to diagnose your problem and get back to hitting great golf shots.

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


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winter wonderlands Super Stays for the Holidays f f f Winter is upon us and with it comes an array of exciting holiday attractions to discover throughout the South. Countless hours are dedicated to perfecting every detail. From meticulously decorating larger-than-life Christmas trees, to finding a Santa with rosy cheeks and a heartwarming smile, properties across the Southern Gaming region boast the best of the best in holiday décor.

f Beau Rivage Resort and Casino Biloxi, Mississippi BeauRivage.com 1.888.750.7111

H o l i day de c o r at i o n s t r i m e v e r y inch of the space at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino. Everything is big at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi and when it comes to celebrating the holidays, guests are sure to get into the holiday spirit and join in the festivities. Preparations begin a year in advance for the elaborate 28  

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decorations that trim every inch of the space—from the floor to the glass atrium ceiling hovering sixty feet above. There are over 200 Christmas trees, 5,000 poinsettias and hundreds of huge, sparkling ornaments. Guests can have their picture taken with Santa or enjoy the delicious creations of elite pastry chef, Lou Canillo, whose stunning gingerbread village is on display and entirely edible. The winter wonderland setting serves as the perfect backdrop for Christmas cards so be sure to bring your camera! The Beau Rivage sets the standard as a premier resort destination for gaming properties across the Gulf Coast and throughout the region. The towering 29-floor structure can be seen from miles away and has nearly 2,000 guest rooms and suites, including a 1,200-square foot suite with its own dining and living rooms. During your stay, visit the premium spa with intimate treatment rooms as well as shared spaces, and set aside time to enjoy the many incredible spa services. Relax in the steam room, dry sauna or hot tub after a massage or workout, then shower off in one of the marble-lined shower bays. Guests are given private lockers located amongst the lavish sitting area with plush leather chairs, a flat screen television and a great selection of current magazines—including Southern Gaming and Destinations! And don’t miss out on a quick post-workout bite with complimentary snack mix, fresh fruit and lemon water—a nice bonus to an already relaxing experience. When the sun goes down, there are several top-rated and award-winning restaurants on the property including BR Prime and Jia. Read more on page 28 about other amenities offered at this great property. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the live entertainment, like the Holiday Ice Spectacular. From December 11-30, guests can get into the Christmas spirit with this fantastic production that includes sensational ice skating, great tunes, and of course, plenty of holiday cheer! Tickets start at just $9.95 a person. Other upcoming headliners include Rita Rudner and Brad Garrett, Daryl Hall & John Oates, and The Molly Ringwalds.


f Gaylord Opryland Hotel

Nashville, Tennessee ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com 1.866.972.677

During your stay, experience the world-renowned stage that put country music on the map—the Grand Ole Opry. And now, a limited number of fans can have a taste of what goes on backstage with the exclusive Behind the Opry Curtain VIP Tour. Guests can also choose to purchase A Night at the Opry package, which is available year round and includes a one-night stay at Gaylord Opryland Hotel as well as a preferred seat at a live performance at the Grand Old Opry. Come discover all the energy and excitement this resort has to offer.

f Biltmore Estate

Asheville, North Carolina Biltmore.com 1.800.411.3812

MORE THAN T W O MILLION LIGHTS adorn Gaylord Opryland Hotel during the holidays. No one knows how to celebrate the holidays quite like Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. All your favorite events are back and better than ever, as this year marks the resort’s 29th annual A Country Christmas. Each year, over one million visitors travel to Nashville to experience the resort’s spectacular holiday events and décor, which include more than two million lights, 15,000 poinsettias, horse-drawn carriage rides, acres of stunning decorations and a 48-foot tall Christmas tree on display in the hotel’s gorgeous Delta Atrium. And, you won’t want to miss the ever-popular ICE! attraction that, this year, features Dreamworks’ Shrek the Halls. This incredible display brings the animated TV special to life in an interactive world of colorful ice sculptures and massive 20‑foot ice slides created from two million pounds of ice. Another fun-filled holiday event is the annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the worldfamous Rockettes. Experience the sights and sounds of New York City at Christmas as you’re transported to an incredible holidayfilled world in this 3D movie shown at the Grand Ole Opry. Located on the banks of the Cumberland River and just minutes from downtown Nashville, Gaylord Opryland Hotel is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway or family weekend. With nine acres of indoor gardens, beautiful waterfalls and an indoor river with its very own Delta flatboat, this resort is nothing short of paradise. Within the property you’ll find stylish and swanky restaurants, several unique stores, as well as a 20,000 square-foot spa and fitness center. There are over 2,800 newly remodeled guest rooms and suites including 757 rooms with garden atrium views, for an unparalleled mix of comfort and luxury. There are also several fine and casual dining restaurants to choose from, as well as bars, lounges and places to grab a quick bite. Traveling to Nashville for business? Besides being centrally located, Gaylord Opryland has more than 600,000 square-feet of flexible meeting space, boasting the largest non-gaming, in-hotel exhibition space in the world!

THE BILTMORE ESTATE o f f e r s p l e n t y of holiday activities that the entire family can enjoy. This year, make plans to celebrate Christmas in the lap of luxury at the Biltmore Estate. Each year, thousands of guests enjoy Christmas at Biltmore where a 35-foot Christmas tree, miles of festive décor and tons of exciting events make for a unique holiday season. The fun begins November 1 with the Biltmore House Tree Raising ceremony in the property’s spacious Banquet Hall. Festivities begin at 9:30 am with cheerful music and a horse-drawn carriage that delivers Santa and the towering 35-foot tree. Throughout the holiday season there are daily craft sessions including traditional wreath making and tabletop decorating. And, every Saturday and Sunday from November 10 – December 23, children of all ages can visit Santa Claus in the Antler Hill Village from 1-5 pm. Originally the home of George Vanderbilt and his family, guests today can experience the timeless beauty of this exquisite mountain escape for themselves. The 8,000-acre estate in Asheville, North Carolina offers a breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and lets guests indulge in a variety of activities, from tours of the gorgeous gardens to shopping in the charming Antler Hill Village and dining at one of several exceptional restaurants, all of which feature seasonal menus and awardwinning wines. And although you are more than welcome to explore the grounds on your own, there are several guided tour options available that range in price and feature everything from Vol um e 14  I ssue 6  

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behind-the-scenes history to wine tasting. During your stay in this stunning resort, be sure to enjoy afternoon tea, which takes place every day from 2:30-4:30 pm. And if you plan on visiting during December, reserve a spot for Gingerbread Afternoon Tea. For $35 you can enjoy your tea while you design and decorate your very own gingerbread house with the help of a Biltmore Pastry chef. On November 10, don’t miss out on the Moveable Feast, an incredible al fresco dining experience held at Biltmore’s Lagoon. Enjoy true fine dining under the stars surrounded by a canopy of fall foliage as Executive Chef Damian Cavicchi serves dishes inspired by the season. Tickets are $185.00 a person. If you’re interested in the history of the property, be sure to check out The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad, an exhibit that takes a closer look into the historic Biltmore and the family that called it home.

f Shreveport-Bossier City Louisiana

and throwback favorites, as well as live theater and symphony performances. However, you haven’t really experienced Shreveport until you have taken a trip down the Red River and spent an afternoon walking, shopping, dining and gambling on the Louisiana Boardwalk. You’ll be amazed with the endless opportunities to explore. So whether you holiday plans include blackjack in a casino or a quiet retreat to a historic inn, we hope you find time to visit at least one of our incredible holiday getaway recommendations.

Charming Southern Cities Southern Gaming’s Holiday Hit List

• ATLANTA, GEORGIA Ice skating at Centennial Olympic Park: For just $9 you can rent skates and enjoy the rink for 90 minutes. Talk about an inexpensive holiday treat! Pink Pig Train Ride at Macy’s Lenox Square: 56 years and still going strong; visit Lenox Square in Buckhead and catch a ride on Priscilla, the adorable pig train, for only $3 a person. Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park: Looking for something to do to shake those post-Christmas blues? How about sledding down a 4 0 0-foot snow-covered hillside? Open star ting December 26, Snow Mountain also offers a $4 “s’mores kit” to toast marshmallows for a yummy snack and a huge open field with fresh powder for snow angels. Passes are $25 per person. Take a day trip to Helen, GA: You won’t want to miss the German  Christmas Market, Hofer’s Bakery & Café, Windmill Dutch Imports and The Christmas Shoppe.

• CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

SHRE V EPORT- BOSSIER C ITY h a s s o m e of the best holiday attractions in the region. Shreveport-Bossier City is the perfect mix of Southern charm and urban excitement—the people are friendly, the food is tasty and there’s always plenty to do and see, especially during the holidays. Coined “Louisiana’s Other Side,” this corner of the state has some of the best holiday attractions in the region, all served up with that local Cajun spirit. To kick off the seasonal celebrations with a bang, check out Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival. On the first Saturday in December, enjoy a night of family fun with local entertainment, concessions and fireworks, all for free! Other winter attractions include: Christmas in Roseland, where a 60acre park is transformed into a winter wonderland with lights and eight-foot Christmas cards created by local students; a live performance of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, presented by the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet; and Candlelight Christmas Tours, where you’ll enjoy an exclusive tour of two beautiful homes trimmed with stunning holiday décor. Besides its spectacular holidays attractions, Shreveport-Bossier City is also known for its festivals, which are held all throughout the year. Thousands of visitors travel to experience all that this artistic city has to offer in live entertainment. Every event provides family-friendly fun, delicious food, hours of dancing, unique art and a variety of great music with contemporary artists 30  

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Roasted Pecans: Forget chestnuts roasting on the fire, when you visit Charleston it’s all about their delicious roasted pecans Eggnog with a Kick: This holiday season try a traditional beverage with a twist—eggnog and bourbon. Yum! Peninsula Grill: Chef Robert Carter is a genius in the kitchen, especially if you’re looking for low-country favorites with a little bit of flair, like country ham and mushroom soup followed by a rack of lamb served with coconut-mint pesto. Drayton Hall Spirituals: Don’t miss the enchanting choir that performs at Drayton Hall plantation, one of the country’s oldest and most exquisite surviving colonial homes.

• LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY Actors Theatre’s A Christmas Carol: A slightly updated take on a holiday classic, this fantastic performance is in its 34th year on stage. Tickets start at just $27 a person. Woodford Reserve Distillery: Set in Versailles, Kentucky, just 60 miles from Louisville, this fine bourbon distillery serves holiday specialties that include shrimp bisque, Julia Child’s Famous Beef Bourguignon and caramel-iced cake, $25 per person WednesdaySaturday from November 28–December 27. Kentucky Derby Art: Even though the track isn’t open for racing during December, you can still take home a souvenir. Visit The Derby Store at Churchill Downs and pick up an official Kentucky Derby poster.


Book a stay with us and receive a $50 SPA CREDIT.

Mention code ESC1112SGM. Call 1-855-393-7227 for rates and availability.

Congratulations Chef Stafford T. DeCambra CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC Chairman of the American Academy of Chefs Professional Achievements: 2012 International Culinary Olympics Gold Medalist 2011 American Academy of Chefs Chairman’s Medallion 2010 Global World Cup Culinary Gold Medalist 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist 2006 ACF National Humanitarian Award 2006 ACF Southeast Regional Chef of Year 2005 ACF President’s Medallion 2004 ACF National Chef Professionalism Award Awarded over 60 ACF Gold Medals, Plaques & Food Awards in various Hot & Cold Culinary Salon Competitions, both Nationally & Internationally.

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I-65 Exit 57, Atmore, AL

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southern sanctuaries spas, salons and plush amenities

When it comes to pampering guests, no one does it better than casinos. Whether you are looking for a simple steam room or whirlpools and Jacuzzis, there are several top tiered properties throughout the South that will roll out the red carpet for your next visit. We recommend you reward yourself with the startreatment—kick back and relax with a massage or other services to make you feel like a King or Queen for a day. We are excited to highlight a few of our favorite Indoor Oases of the South and hope you make time to visit a few of them on your next trip. Enjoy!

ranging from facials and body wraps to soothing steam baths, aromatherapy and invigorating Swedish massages, it will surely be a relaxing escape.

Gold Strike Casino Resort Tunica, Mississippi

Pearl River Resort Casinos & Hotels Philadelphia, Mississippi Located near Jackson, Mississippi, Pearl River Resort is home to two magnificent casino properties, Silverstar Hotel & Casino and the Golden Moon Hotel & Casino, Geyser Falls Water Park and one of the South’s most prominent golf facilities, Dancing Rabbit Golf Club boasting two courses. Inside the walls of this expansive retreat owned by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians lie an abundance of excellent amenities, exceptional restaurants, gaming and an array of other exciting features. The Spa & Salon at Pearl River offers premium spa services with a cool, tranquil atmosphere for the perfect pampering experience. Margaritas and mimosas are offered to guests and with traditional options 32  

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If you are looking to indulge in a day of pampering, trust us when we say that Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Mississippi near Memphis Tennessee is the perfect place to treat yourself. The property’s Golden Reflections Spa encourages guests to be a little selfish as they spoil themselves in this indoor oasis fit for a king ... or queen! With a menu that includes a range of exceptional services like facials, wraps and invigorating massage therapies, you will begin to feel your stress melt away. And during the chilly winter months, close your eyes and relax in the heated indoor pool and oversized Jacuzzi surrounded by a unique setting of rock formations and plants for some serious rest and relaxation time. Two of the most popular treatments are the Milk & Honey Wrap, a soft and versatile formula that restores balance and harmony to dry, sensitive skin, and the White Sugar


Body Polish that uses luscious sugar to exfoliate skin, while honey and a variety of oils nourish skin leaving it softer than ever. As strange as these concoctions sound, they work! And, if you are feeling energetic, there is also a fully equipped fitness room with treadmills, free weights and other machines to help you stick to your exercise routine.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi, Mississippi

Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino Shreveport, Louisiana Let spa blu in Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana, lift your spirit as you are greeted with a warm smile and southern hospitality. The facility includes a spa, fitness center and a beautifully landscaped pool area that serves as the perfect retreat in the warmer months. Within the spa area, relax in dry saunas and steam rooms and enjoy the array of private offerings including showers and lockers. Upon arrival, guests are offered a robe and slippers, and from there you are invited to sit back and enjoy the serene lounge before your scheduled massage or spa service. Prior to treatment, guests can select from a range of music styles with genres ranging from traditional spa music to smooth jazz and everything in between. Spa blu offers a variety of services including massages, facials, body treatments, as well as manicures and pedicures, all of which include the use of the exclusive signature spa blu product line. One of the most popular services is the ‘Shades of Blu’ body treatment. This particular option takes you on a journey to revive the body, quiet the mind and touch the soul. It begins with a full body exfoliation followed by customized masks, which are made with antioxidants and firming properties. After the mask is painted on your body, you will enjoy a relaxing scalp massage as well as a full body massage. Another incredible option to consider is the ‘Peditini,’ where you can relax in the private nail room and sip on a signature spa blu cocktail while receiving a ‘My blu Heaven’ foot treatment—spa blu’s own unique take on the traditional pedicure. Spa blu also offers customizable spa celebrations when you need a weekend getaway with the ladies or a romantic service for two. Whatever the occasion, spa blu is a premier destination for a truly unique spa experience.

When a property is known for fun and excitement like the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, you know there will be plenty of plush amenities to help you unwind. The Biloxi property’s premier pampering facility, Rock Spa, is located on the third floor, away from the buzz of the casino and other property activities and events. The spa offers a variety of exceptional packages as well as a full range of hair, skin and make-up products from Aveda to make your experience a true rock star treatment. Choose from an assortment of treatments including body wraps, facials and massages and enjoy the beautiful relaxation room, aroma steam room, sauna, or take a dip in the cold plunge pool. In addition to the spa and massages, guests can appreciate a true resort style experience in the fitness room and swimming pool.

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Biloxi, Mississippi When you build a 29-floor resort style hotel that boasts nearly 2,000 rooms, you certainly can’t skimp on spa services and the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is no exception. This premium resort’s incredible spa, salon, pool include intimate treatment rooms and impeccably decorated shared spaces, creating a true oasis that is anxiously awaits your arrival. When you enter the lobby of the spa, the glass enclosed fitness room greets you with a row of treadmills and elliptical machines overlooking the pool area and charming cabanas with poolside cocktail service—talk about a motivation to finish working out! And, there are gender specific relaxation areas, each with its own steam room, dry sauna and plunge pool, as well as a shared space with personal lockers near the showers. As with the other featured southern selections, there is a variety of packages for individuals, couples or larger groups, but there really is something about the unique ambiance of the spa areas at Beau Rivage.

IP Casino Resort & Spa Biloxi, Mississippi The Gulf Coast’s IP Casino Resort & Spa has something for everyone. The 32-story tower is home to 1,000 rooms and suites, an amazing roof top pool with cabanas and bars, premium restaurants including one of Southern Gaming’s favorites, Vol um e 14  I ssue 6  

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SPAS OF THE SOUTH Thirty‑Two, and an award winning entertainment facility hosting the region’s hottest acts. And when it comes to relaxation, Senses Spa & Salon is the perfect place to indulge your mind and body. The physical transition from the casino into this luxurious, tranquil oasis begins when guests are greeted by cascading water features, fresh flower arrangements and calming scents—the perfect setting for a day spent in the care of comfort of this gorgeous spa and its attentive staff. There are intimate areas on both the men and women’s sides, as well as a co-ed area that includes a steam room and relaxation area. There are several packages available with varying price levels to accommodate every budget.

Guests can choose from traditional treatments or from packages that include multiple services like The Ultimate Escape, also referred to as ‘The Ultimate’. This four hour service is exactly what you need to kick start your gambling getaway. It starts with a 50-minute Escape Signature Massage followed by a 50-minute Discover DeLaine Facial and finishes with an Essential Manicure and Pedicure. And, don’t forget to spend some time relaxing before and after your treatment in the steam room or Jacuzzis too. This package also includes a light lunch/snack, as well as a DeLaine gift travel set. Looking for the perfect girl’s getaway? Then the Girl’s Day Out Package might be for you. Turn your next girl’s night out into a full day of fun and relaxation with this package designed to make you look and feel your best. It includes the Escape Signature Scrub, Signature Massage, Dermalogica Signature Facial, and the Essentials Manicure and Pedicure all accompanied with a light lunch. Upon departure, guests can relax in a special lounge, lined by private banquettes, or return to use the spa’s amenities. You may also be tempted to pick up a trendy accessory or beauty product to bring home as a reminder of your day of indulgence.

Find Your Oasis Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore, Alabama Refresh your mind and rejuvenate your body at the plush Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Atmore, Alabama. Their beautiful spa is a place that proves the lost art of true Southern hospitality is alive and well. Guests can enjoy an array of therapies, relax in beautiful cascading whirlpools, awaken their senses in ice baths, de-stress in one of the cedar saunas or detox in one of the steam rooms. The spa also has the luxury of private co-ed meditation decks for a nice break before or after your treatment to soak up some sun, enjoy a snack and a cocktail or read a good book. The spa experience begins when you are greeted by the Spa Maitre d’ who leads you to either the men or women’s locker room to change into your robe and sandals. Soon after, the lights are dimmed and soothing music plays as guests enjoy aromas reminiscent of spices, herbs and fruits as they prepare for their preferred treatment. Not a regular at the spa? Here are a few things to know before you go!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Spa Etiquette • Turn off your cell phone You can’t relax while checking emails and text messages and neither can the person next to you. Turn it off! • Take a shower It’s nice to freshen up before your spa session, especially if you’ve been in a pool or hot tub with chemicals.

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The Spa & Salon at Pearl River Philadelphia, MS 1.866.447.3275 x33700 PearlRiverResort.com

The Spa at Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore, AL 1-866-WIND.360 WindCreekCasino.com

The Golden Reflections Spa at Gold Strike Tunica, MS 1.888.245.7529 GoldStrike.com

Rock Spa at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi, MS 1.877.877.6256 HardRockBiloxi.com

spa blu at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino Shreveport, LA 1.877.429.0711 SamsTownShreveport.com

• Speak up Do you prefer a male or female therapist? Is there something you specifically like or dislike during your treatment? It’s all about making guests feel comfortable so don’t be afraid to voice an opinion. • To talk or not to talk It’s your choice whether you want to talk during your treatment or not. Either way, the therapist will understand, but remember to always use your inside “spa voice.” • How much to tip For most day spas, the average gratuity is

The Spa at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Biloxi, MS 1.888.750.7111 BeauRivage.com Senses Spa & Salon at IP Casino Resort & Spa Biloxi, MS 1.888.946.2847 IPBiloxi.com

between 15-20%, but be careful because some spas include a service fee, which may or may not go entirely to the therapist. So, if the experience was amazing, be sure to tip the therapist directly. • Cancel or Reschedule? If something comes up, be sure to cancel within 24 hours or your credit card may be charged. • Arrive Early You need to arrive at least 15 minutes early so you can check in, change into a robe and enjoy the sauna, steam room or whirlpool.


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holiday horticulture Teresa Malone, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi is known for its premium amenities and lavish décor from the lobby to the penthouse suites. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by an open-air atrium filled with fresh flowers and plants that reflect the current season or upcoming holiday. It’s hard to determine which plants are real and which ones aren’t, but after sitting down with Teresa Malone, the Head of Horticulture at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, we found that everything is real! Malone stays busy working with her team to ensure the attention to detail is second to none. Charged with frequent property theme change outs, some of which are planned a year in advance, her energy and compassion for her profession is evident in everything she does. From working with growers for flowers grown exclusively for the resort, to finding the perfect decorations and props to match seasonal themes, Malone always has a full plate but she continues to step up to the challenge.

THE FRONT ENTRAN C E o f

Malone started working at the Beau Rivage in July of 1998; that’s before the property even opened! A the time, the MGM-owned property was overseen by casino mogul, Steve Wynn, and was undergoing a $700 million build-out of one of the most lavish casino resorts in the region. One of the resort’s first hires was its horticulturist, illustrating the property’s keen interest in providing guests with a transformative atmosphere that takes them from Mississippi to an enchanting, paradise-like world inside the resort.

We caught up with Malone to talk about what it’s like to be the Head of Horticulture, and see just how much planning and preparation goes into transforming the casino lobby into one of the area’s leading attractions.

One of the most awe-inspiring times of the year at the Beau Rivage is the holiday season. Starting in November until the end of the year, guests are surrounded by vibrant tropical plants and colorful flowers when the property is turned into a winter wonderland. The exquisite decorations stretch from the floor to the atrium hoisted sixty feet above and include 5,000 poinsettias and 200 Christmas trees. Whether guests are coming to gamble or check out the holiday events, it’s hard not get into the spirit of the season with such festive décor.

Teresa Malone: Wow, that’s hard to describe. We typically get in early, around 5:00 am, so we can walk the floor before the guests are around. It tends to get busy in the lobby for check in and check out so we have the walk-throughs done far before the rush starts. The walk-through gives us a good overview of what exactly needs to be addressed. We also work with the eventplanning department to provide the floral arrangements for big parties and meeting spaces throughout the property. So we have our hands full, but love every minute of it.

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Beau Rivage Resort & Casino during the holidays.

Southern Gaming: What is a typical day like for you and your team?


Holiday Happenings at The Beau Rivage ♦ Dec. 1–Dec. 24 Mistletoe Money Get some Mistletoe Money at the Beau when you play in December. M life members will receive $5 per 1,000 points earned on their M life Players Club account and when they want to cash in, they will receive a voucher redeemable at the various Beau Rivage retail shops. HOLIDAY DE C ORATIONS on display throughout the entire resort. SG: The holiday decorations at the Beau Rivage have become quite the attraction for guests. What is involved in this “winter wonderland” transformation? TM: Our team puts in an enormous amount of time with every decoration change-out, whether it is for the holidays, Mardi Gras, Easter or even an ordinary month. We meet to start design and flower discussions a year in advance and build it from there. I go to the Dallas market to find props and get ideas. We use a local grower for plants and flowers that are grown specifically for us, and our decorations. So it is quite the undertaking. We have a big warehouse full of different decorations with pretty much everything you can imagine in there. As far as the time involved, the holiday change-out is quite involved. Our entire team puts in a lot of hours to get everything in place with the least amount of guest disturbance as possible. It usually takes about ten days to fully execute from start to finish. SG: Wow, that sounds pretty labor-intensive. How many people are on the horticulture team? TM: It is, but we all really get into the spirit of the theme and get done what needs to get done. Our team consists of ten gardeners: five who focus on the outside and five who focus on the inside, and another five or six who serve various roles from arrangement design to layout transformation. SG: What gives you the most satisfaction about what you do to stay motivated day in and day out? TM: The Beau Rivage carries a certain prestige that can’t be found anywhere else. It is our brand and guests know what to expect when they arrive, but are always surprised about the enormity of the atrium—their first impression. When I see that expression of awe on a guests’ face, it makes it all worth it; it is a very satisfying feeling. For more information on Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, visit BeauRivage.com or call 1-888-750-7111.

♦ Dec. 11–30 Holiday Ice Spectacular Get into the spirit this season with The Holiday Ice Spectacular where you will see a great production, filled with dazzling ice skating set to music with Santa’s elves and much more all taking part in the show. It’s a holiday journey filled with good cheer! Cost: $9.95. ♦ Dec. 14–24 3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Pictures with Santa Make the memories last with free photos with Santa. Bring the family or just get a memory made. Plus, kids can enjoy free milk and cookies in The Roasted Bean Coffee Bistro while they wait. ♦ December 15 Holiday Open House Find the perfect present at the Annual Holiday Open House. There’s no better time to stroll the resort’s stunning retail promenade and browse its dozen shops in search of great gifts. Representatives from top luxury brands will be on hand to showcase the latest trends. Vol um e 14  I ssue 6  

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sporting spectacles Memorable Moments of 2012 by Jeremy W hite

Let’s begin with some key events that transpired on the field.

Photo by R yan P ierse/G etty I mages

Every year has its ups and downs in the wide world of sports, but 2012 will stand out for decades as the year where as many major stories were made off the field, as on the field. From a highprofile U.S. showing at the London Olympics, to talk of implementing a college football playoff system, 2012 has been interesting, to say the least.

>>> 2012 Olympic Games: The spotlight was on London this summer as the entire world focused its attention on this year’s host country of the K e r r i Wa l sh J e n n i n g s (l e f t ) a n d 2012 Olympic Games which Misty May-Treanor (right) celebrate winning the Gold medal. were, as usual, sprinkled with major news stories. Here are some of the most talked about volleyball in high school and still enjoy watching it to this day. headlines from London: While I have never really played beach volleyball, watching those two is always such a pleasure. It’s always one of the highlights of >>> Beach babes do it again: Kerri Walsh and Misty Maythe Olympics for me, along with women’s gymnastics.” Treanor have been fixtures on the Olympic beach volleyball scene for more than a decade. More impressively, the dynamic duo >>> Phelps sets records: We all watched in awe as the great managed to end their career this year with their third consecutive Michael Phelps continued his reign and dominated the pool once Olympic gold medal. When they beat Jennifer Kessy and April again to complete his goal of earning more Olympic medals than Ross in an All-American final, they pushed their Olympic record any other athlete in history. Before the Games began in London, to a perfect 21-0. Phelps told media these would be his last Olympic performances. He looked vulnerable by his own lofty standards and did not “I remember watching them in Athens and Beijing,” says Carla Leep, a physician’s assistant in Louisville, Kentucky. “I played thoroughly blast the competition as we have all come to expect. 38  

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But that is perhaps an unfair assessment when considering all he has accomplished during his career as a professional athlete. Though he did not win gold in the 200m butterfly, his best event (he finished second), Phelps still managed to earn four gold medals and two silvers, a showing that raised his overall Olympic medal count to 22, making him the most decorated Olympic athlete in history.

half effort that netted James and his cohorts a 107-100 win over the Spaniards.

Phelps finished his career with 18 gold medals—more than double the second place Olympian in this prestigious category. The greatest Olympian ever? Hard to argue against that… >>> Women’s Gymnastics: The last time the U.S. women won a team gold in gymnastics was in Atlanta at the 1996 Games. This year, the incredibly talented lineup of Gabby Douglas, Alexandra Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, McKalya Maroney and Kyla Ross absolutely destroyed the competition with an overall team score of 183.596—a whopping five points higher than the second place team from Russia.

>>> Ryder Cup Meltdown: It’s a good thing the United States had such a grand showing in the Olympics because the same can’t be said when it comes to golf. In this year’s Ryder Cup, the Americans were anything but golden. Early on in the tournament, the Americans built a comfortable 10 to 4 point lead with only two four-ball matches remaining. Then came what pundits are now calling the “Medinah Meltdown.” When Germany’s Martin Kaymer nailed a par putt from five feet out on the 18th hole, Europe capped an improbable comeback to win 14.5 to 13.5. For Europeans, it was a miraculous comeback. But American fans don’t quite see it that way. “I’m gutted by what happened,” says David Dixon, a golf enthusiast from Schaumburg, Illinois. “I woke up sick from it the next morning.” >>>  Alabama Blanks LSU: Louisiana State University

fans also woke up sick the morning after their beloved Tigers were bashed 21-0 by The University of Alabama in the college football national championship game in January. The Crimson Tide proved it was once again the best team in college football with the decisive victory in the all-SEC final, but that doesn’t mean fans everywhere were happy with the way the national champion is decided. “It’s a joke. An atrocity,” says Gerrard Collins of Lexington, Kentucky. “Yes, Alabama was the best team and proved it. But college football can’t be taken seriously until it has a playoff system like every other sport. The bowl system is about money and nothing else. It’s disgusting.”

>>> LeBron and Company Get it Done: Another talented

lineup was the U.S. men’s basketball team, where NBA sensation, LeBron James, helped lead the Dream Team to another team gold. However, there were bumps on the road to victory. In the final game against Spain, the U.S. had only a one-point lead at halftime. Still, the outcome was never truly in doubt and the Americans proved they deserved gold with a second

Photo by Christian Petersen / G etty I mages

In the individual competitions, the U.S. was victorious again. The coveted all-around gold medal went to the aforementioned Gabby Douglas, whose infectious smile and adorable personality won her respect and fans the world over.

L e Br o n J a m e s c e l e br at e s a f t e r the Men’s Basketball gold medal game between the United States and Spain. “LeBron two, haters zero,” says Patrick Kanst, an avid NBA fan from Chicago. Kanst is referring to James’ Miami Heat team winning the NBA finals in June. James was named MVP of the series after the Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder four games to one. “People love to hate on LeBron, but he’s the best basketball player in the world, and he proved that this summer.” Now let’s replay some highlights that happened off the field ...

>>> Playoff Picture: Gerrard Collins’ point brings us to another off-the-field highlight of 2012. First, steps have been taken to implement a college football playoff system in the future. It’s far from perfect, but at least it’s a start. In June, a four-team playoff that will commence in 2014 was approved. The four teams will be chosen by a selection committee and they will play at current bowl sites. Which bowl will host the national championship, you ask? You guessed it—the highest bidder. “It is a step in the right direction,” says Collins. “I would rather see 16 teams, or at least 8. But really, when it comes down to it, only 3-4 teams are really capable of winning the title each year anyway. So four is a good start. This, at least to me, will bring some legitimacy to the way the national champion is named.” Vol um e 14  I ssue 6  

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>>> Lance Loses Jerseys: Speaking of sanctions, cycling

fans are still discussing the news about one of the sport’s all-time greats, Lance Armstrong. In August, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles (a record) after he stopped fighting allegations that he had used performance-enhancing drugs during his illustrious career.

P hoto by J ustin E dmonds /G etty I mages

Armstrong, who is considered the greatest American cyclist ever, has long been accused of doping. Cycling is a notoriously unclean sport and the list of cyclists accused of or charged with doping is long. Armstrong was the target of several investigations so when he refused to fight the most recent charges from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, he was issued a lifetime ban from the sport and his Tour titles were revoked.

Pey ton Manning >>> Mile High Manning: After a tremendously successful 14-year career with the Indianapolis Colts, pro quarterback, Peyton Manning, was released from the Colts roster and joined the Denver Broncos. After getting the blessing from another quarterback legend, John Elway, Manning made the announcement without hesitation. Manning sat on the sidelines for the 2011 season due to surgery to repair a neck injury sustained during a game. Time will tell if he will get back to his previous stature, but all indications and results so far point to ‘YES’. >>> Mighty Magic: Magic Johnson is no longer just another

retired Hall of Fame basketball player. A group led by the basketball legend purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers after agreeing to terms of a deal worth a record $2 billion. The group also included longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten and movie executive, Peter Gruber. The controlling owner is Mark Walter, chief executive officer of Guggenheim Partners, the financial institution that also ponied up a big chunk of the $2 billion. Johnson reportedly put up $50 million of his own money to make the deal happen.

>>> Audacity at Augusta: Augusta National Golf Club made history this year when the club admitted its first female members for the first time in 80 years. Under increasing criticism about its strict membership policies, the club extended membership invitations to former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and South Carolina financier, Darla Moore, as they became the first women to wear green jackets on the grounds. The exclusive club is home to one of the largest golf tournaments in the world, The Masters, where the winner receives the coveted green jacket in addition to a nice payout. It is rumored that members of Augusta National do not apply for membership rather they are invited. It is also said that there are no membership dues but rather, members receive an annual bill at the end of the year to cover the club’s expenses and if you do not receive a bill, you are no longer a member.

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signs with the Denver Broncos.

A controversial Call in the Seahawks - Packers game.

>>> Where are the Zebras?: And last, but certainly not least, there was the NFL replacement ref fiasco. The 2012 NFL season got off to an interesting start with a referee lockout that resulted in replacement referees officiating games. The three-month lockout ended quickly after replacement refs made several calls that drastically changed games, the most notable call leading to a Seattle Seahawks victory over the Green Bay Packers. On the final play of the game, Packers safety M.D. Jennings appeared to have made an interception to secure a Green Bay victory. This is after Seattle receiver Golden Tate had clearly committed an offensive pass interference. Jennings and Tate tussled over the ball on the ground and the replacement officials ultimately decided to call the play in favor of Seattle, resulting in a touchdown for the Seahawks. Some claim it was the worst call in NFL history. Whatever your opinion, the referee lockout ended not long afterwards when the NFL and Referees Association reached an agreement to get the real zebras back on the field. With all this past year’s sports madness, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013! Jeremy White is a freelance writer and editor currently living in Indiana. He regularly covers gaming, sports, food and business for a variety of regional and nationwide publications. He has a degree in creative writing and journalism and frequently travels to gaming destinations.


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Craps

Hi Frank: What is the etiquette around playing another person’s odds bet at the game of craps? Should I put my odds on top of their odds or somewhere else? I am looking at the technique to make the bet.

Craps: The Oddsman’s Bet

I am a pass line bettor who ma ximizes my odds bet because I want the house edge as low as possible and I am lucky enough to have the bankroll to handle the up and down swings of the game. At almost every table I’m at there are other pass line bettors who are not maxing out the “only free bet in the casino” (as it is called)—say only placing 1X behind their pass line bet when they could place 2X or more behind their pass line bet Usually when I’m playing with a friend who is not maxing his odds I will add to his stack (increasing him to 3X-4X5X or more in odds if allowed) and take my winnings/ losses appropriately to lower the house edge against me even more. When I do this with a friend, I generally “combine” my bet with my buddy’s so the dealers don’t have any extra work to do; for all they know my buddy made the bet with his own cash. No problem. What is the etiquette around deploying this strategy with a total stranger who is adjacent to me? Is this unheard of? Do the bosses mind if the player doesn’t? Is my odds bet placed in a separate stack next to the other player’s bet so the dealer knows that it is mine (and therefore is more work for the dealers)? Thanks for your input, David

Frank Scoblete is the number one best-selling casino gambling writer. His latest books are Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos At Their Own Games!, Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! and Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines! Book is available in major bookstores, on Amazon.com or call 1-800-944-0406 to order. Frank is giving a free 60-day subscription to his private website. Just email him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Dear David:

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The late and legendary Captain of Craps developed the idea of the “Oddsman’s Bet” in the 1970s and it appears in my book The Captain’s Craps Revolution! which was published in 1993. As you wrote, it is a terrific way to decrease the house edge. In fact, if you only make the Oddsman’s Bet, you will have no house edge against you except when you shoot. Not a bad tactic, right? In addition, some foolish Don’t/Darkside players will turn off their no-six and/or no-eight “don’t pass bets” when one or the other of those numbers is the point. This is a bad move on their part but a good move if you give them their money and take over their bet on the pass line. And then place full odds on the don’t pass bet! The no-six or no-eight gives you 6-to-6 odds. Not bad at all. These Darkside players think the numbers six and eight aren’t strong enough to risk their own money on

them; sheer nonsense, of course, but craps players are of ten quite superstitious as you probably know. I am guessing they could start their own religions with their various superstitions.

Frank Scoblete Back to the late Captain’s Oddsman’s Bet. First the impor tant technical requirements:

1. Your bet must be placed on top of the odds bet of the other player. 2. You can’t put the bet next to it. 3. In short, it has to ride along with the other player. 4. If the bet wins, you have to be able to split it easily between you and the other player. 5. The wager and payoff cannot slow down the game or make the dealers and/or box person get involved. The Oddsman’s Bet is a great idea, especially when playing with a friend who does not take full odds. Your friend understands what you are doing and the game proceeds with no confusion. It is good to have such friends! Now, yes, I have used this bet, especially in the 1990s but I found there was a major problem with it. Most of the players I asked to allow me to do it had no idea of what I was talking about. This bet was great when I got to make it but it became too much trouble as the game slowed as I tried to explain the bet to the other players. The hassle just wasn’t worth attempting it. If you can get away with it, not slow down the game and enjoy reducing the house edge to the lowest of the low, go for it. Maybe today’s craps players are savvier than those in the 1990s? As far as the dealers go—never make it harder for them. They have a tough enough job keeping track of everything as it is. Therefore when you are using the Captain’s Oddsman’s Bet make sure that those odds wins can be easily divided between you and the other player. You don’t want any disputes that will cause the game to slow down and the dealers and box people to get involved. If they do get involved, they will think of you as a smartass; that’s not good. They will also probably tell you to keep your bets to yourself. I would like to offer you a free 60-day subscription to my private members-only website GoldenTouchCraps.com. If any readers of Southern Gaming and Destinations would like a free 60-day subscription just drop me a line at fscobe@optonline.net.

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


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l’auberge casino hotel Baton Rouge, Louisiana By Stu B arash

Even a hurricane couldn’t dampen the excitement of opening the L’Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge. On September 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM the ribbon was cut and thousands of people streamed into the new casino—over 18,000 people to be exact. The property is the newest, and perhaps the most upscale, casino in Louisiana, and the hotel deserves a 5 Diamond rating. Yes, it’s that good! L’Auberge is just a short drive from I-10. Upon arriving, you are a greeted by a beautiful 12-story structure towering over the mighty Mississippi River. As the only hotel outside New Orleans built on the Mississippi, you will definitely want to check out the amazing views and verandas. From the moment you arrive, you will be greeted with a warm, friendly welcome—from the valet and the doorman, to the bellmen and front desk attendants—everyone is genuinely happy and eager to accommodate you. It is true example of southern hospitality and an exceptional standard of quality that a local team of Louisiana professionals has worked hard to establish. Guests can choose to stay in one of the hotel’s 205 Louisianainspired rooms featuring the latest amenities or one of 40 impeccably designed suites. Want to try breakfast in bed? You will be amazed at how quickly your meal is delivered—I know 44  

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THE PROMENADE at L’Auberge Casino Hotel. I was! Within 10 minutes of placing my order, I was enjoying a delicious, fresh feast of Eggs Benedict in bed. And, be sure to enjoy Baton Rouge’s only rooftop pool with breathtaking views overlooking the Mississippi. The property boasts an array of dining options from casual to premium fine dining. PJ’s Café is located outside the casino and is open 24-hours a day, making it the perfect stop for a light snack after a late night of play in the casino. It’s also a great place to grab a sandwich, pastry or a cup of freshly brewed New Orleans coffee in the morning.


At L’Auberge everything from the lobby to the guest rooms is first-class. The hotel is beautiful. The dining options are incredible. And, the casino is calling! The 74,000 square foot casino is located on one floor and features 1,500 slot machines, a poker room and an array of traditional tables games, as well as a few new ones.

18 STEA K — One of the many fantastic restaurants at the property. Are you a sports fan with a big game you want to catch on TV? Head down to the Stadium Sports Bar and Grill and grab a seat in front of one of the 50 flat screens. This phenomenal bar and grill is filled with sports memorabilia commemorating Louisiana’s rich history and has several Southern specialties on the menu. (Hint: If you’re looking for a great hamburger the size of a Frisbee, step into the Stadium.)

After hitting the casino, if you want to unwind, Edge is the spot for you. The 115 seat indoor-outdoor bar/lounge offers enjoyable music and a picturesque view overlooking the Mississippi River. Edge is a great place to kick back and relax, but if you are into live entertainment, be sure to check the upcoming acts in one of the property’s two performance venues. The Event Center seats around 1,500 people, is located above the casino and has hosted well-known entertainers like Harry Connick, Jr. and Al Green. There is also an Outdoor Festival Area that celebrated its grand opening with country music star Darius Rucker and Better Than Ezra. The area holds approximately 3,500 and is located in front of the casino and hotel entrance.

If you are looking for more variety, then the Bon Temps Buffet is for you. Buffets can be hit or miss, as there are some good ones and some not-so-good ones, but Bon Temps exceeds all expectations. The food is fresh, majority of the seafood is from Louisiana—no Chinese crawfish here—and most everything is prepared right in front of guests. Prices range from $12.95– $19.95 for dinner. Be sure to stop by on Friday for the Seafood Extravaganza or Saturday for the Surf and Turf dinner, each priced appropriately at $29.95. We all know there is nothing that goes better with winning than a tender, juicy steak that has been cooked to perfection and at 18 STEAK, no matter what you order, it will be perfection. Named in honor of Louisiana being the 18th state in the United States, the inviting atmosphere has a relaxed vibe with a tempting aroma of aged whiskey or bourbon. The menu is comprised of several Louisiana classics like crab cakes and gumbo, and of course, outstanding steak options. At 18 STEAK, they serve Prime Beef, as well as a wet-aged Wagyu Beef, which is a savory Louisiana treat. The steaks are cooked over hickory, pecan and oak giving them a truly unique taste, but try to pace yourself during your entre because the desserts are well worth the wait. The L’Auberge Baton Rouge’s “Chocolate 18 Ways” dessert is a rich, enticing dish that offers 18 different small bites of chocolate, all complementing each other to completely please your palate.

STADIUM SPORTS B AR & GRILL is a great place to cheer on your favorite teams. So if you are looking for a getaway that makes you feel like a VIP with a stunning casino, well-priced meals at fantastic restaurants, rooms with excellent amenities, and an accommodating staff that shines with southern sophistication, then L’Auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge should be at the top of your list. For more information and reservations, visit MyLauberge.com or call 1.866.261.7777.

Known as The Louisiana Travelin’ Man, Stu Barash moved to New Orleans in 1974 to work for a small luxury hotel in the French Quarter. Shortly after, he started a tour company called Travel New Orleans, which packaged New Orleans along with a travel agency that packaged other destinations. He then sold the companies and started a marketing company called Destination Marketing Consultants. He also had a travel radio show in New Orleans and Houston and currently blogs for TourLouisiana.com where he is searching for the best gumbo in Louisiana. Contact Stu at TheTravelinMan@tourLouisiana.com and check out his blog at www.TourLouisiana.com.

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Q&A

Q. My friend says that when you’re dealt a winning hand or have four parts of a royal flush in video poker, you should pull out your player rewards card before you draw. She says it’ll help your comps. Is that true?

Casino Knowledge: Q&A with John G.

A. No, it doesn’t help given today’s modern player tracking systems. The system registers your play when you hit the button to start the hand. It tracks your full hand, even if you pull your rewards card out before you draw. A couple of electronic generations ago, when player reward systems were a little less sophisticated, video poker pros hit pulling the card as a scheme to save themselves a few bucks at tax time. When they were dealt a potentially big hand, such as four parts of a royal flush, they would pull the rewards card from the reader. Then, if the royal came up, there would be no record of it in the rewards system, and they wouldn’t declare it to the IRS. Trying to hide winnings from the taxman is bad policy and a risky business that I never recommended to readers, not even when the practice was at its height. Those days are gone; I’ve also seen players pulling cards on modern machines. A player once told me, “If the casino thinks you’re winning, they’ll cut your comps. So I don’t let them know I’m winning.”

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

Comps are usually based on how much you play, rather than whether you win or lose. Casino operators know that if you play enough, they’ll get their percentage. But the bigger issue here is technological. If you pull your player rewards card on dealt winners, or potential big winners, it does you no good. The play is tracked and the result is recorded anyway.

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You can’t fool the player tracking software into thinking you’re losing on winning hands. Just leave the card in the machine and take the comps as they come. Q. My friend told me that in pai-gow poker it’s best to make your bottom hand as strong as you can. So when I was dealt two Kings and two 9s, I made the Kings my bottom hand. That beat the dealer’s bottom hand, but she took my money anyway. I asked why and she said I arranged my cards wrong. A. In pai-gow poker, you’re dealt seven cards, which you must arrange into a five-card “high” hand and a two-card “second high” hand. To win, both your hands must beat the dealer. If only one of your hands wins, it’s a push, and

you get your money back. The dealer wins ties. Making your secondhigh hand as strong as possible is good advice, but t here’s anot her consideration. You must arrange the cards so John Grochowski that your high hand is stronger than your second high hand. By letting your two-card hand outrank your five-card hand, you forfeit the bet. Q. I found a craps book that gives a lot of tips some of the other writers haven’t written about. That includes you, Frank Scoblete and Henry Tamburin. I’ve read craps books by all three of you, and it looks to me like you’ve all missed something. Who would know that you can win a bet on Big Red? I’ve done it a couple of times and won $100 and $20 just by timing and counting the number of 7s that have or haven’t shown up. It’s really a gut feeling. The first 7 can trigger a couple of 7s in a row, which worked for me. A. Any bet can win sometimes, and that includes a bad one like any 7—also known as Big Red. Unfortunately those wins aren’t predictable, or repeatable. What may have appeared to you as seeing an opportunity by counting the rolls between 7s was really just an accident of timing. You got lucky. Seven is the most frequently rolled number in craps. It will turn up an average of once per six rolls. That frequency doesn’t change just because a 7 has been rolled recently, or because it hasn’t rolled in a long time. The dice have no memory. They don’t know when the last 7 was rolled. If you tracked play and situations for a long time, you’d find that if a 7 had just rolled, it would turn up on the next roll about one in six times. If it hadn’t turned up in six rolls or 10, or 20, or more, it would turn up on the next roll about one in six times. When you make the bet on Big Red, the odds against you winning are 5-1. Every time. When you win, the house pays you only 4-1. That gives a 16.67 percent edge to the house, making this one of the worst bets in the casino. It’s nice for you that you got lucky a couple of times, but you can’t time the 7s. If you persist in trying, you’ll find you’re losing an average of $16.67 for every $100 you wager. Ouch.

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margaritaville casino & restaurant Biloxi, Mississippi By Julian B runt

Biloxi’s historic Point Cadet was once the heart of a seafood industry that was admired around the world, but today a different attraction overlooks the Biloxi Bay and is drawing admiration of a different sort. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville opened just this past May and has quickly become Biloxi’s hottest new gaming destination. This is a heavily themed resort and if you consider yourself a Parrot Head, or simply appreciate the laidback Caribbean lifestyle of what Jimmy Buffett might call, ‘island escapism,’ then this is the place for you! Buffett’s hallmarks can be found at every turn, from the Land Shark Lager signs, to a seaplane with a shark bite in it, there is no doubt that you are in a place with a unique vibe. A sign proclaiming ‘Let the Fin Begin’ greets you at the front door and the “have a good time” atmosphere abounds throughout the property. This is a colorful, vibrant resort where “every day is a party” is the attitude.

special events Margaritaville is quickly becoming known for. Like, on Monday nights there is a football throwing contest and the ultimate winner, to be decided on December 17, will drive away with a brand new Ford F-150.

Land Shark Landing is a sand-between-your-toes outdoor area where guests can enjoy a full bar and large screen TV’s for sporting events. It also has a great view of the picturesque Bay and shrimp boats in the nearby harbor that make for an excellent atmosphere found nowhere else. This is the spot to come to chill in the sun, listen to music or take part in one of the exciting

The Margaritaville Restaurant is another spot you will want to check out. The restaurant takes the Buffett theme to new levels with dining staged on the deck of three boats, a Volcano Bar, stilt walkers and other entertainment. There is so much fun packed into this cool space that allows seating for 400 guests. The Margaritaville Restaurant looks out onto Land Shark

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M a r g a r i tav i l l e C a s i n o i s the newest casino in Biloxi.


Landing and the Biloxi Bay through a 30-foot wall of windows, yet another amazing bonus of this casino. There is also outside seating on the balcony—the perfect place to enjoy a meal as well as the beautiful view. The menu follows the theme of “Buffett’s World Gone Mississippi” and you’ll find one-of-a-kind offerings like the Cheeseburger in Paradise, conch fritters and a delicious Caribbean Chicken Salad. Other favorites include Jimmy’s Jammin’ Jambalaya, the Swamp Platter piled high with crawfish tails and succulent shrimp atop a mound of French fries, as well as dishes featuring jerk salmon or chicken. If you’re interested in a more intimate setting, head upstairs to the back of the restaurant to the cozy Tiki Bar. It has a great view all its own, but offers the same service and selections as downstairs. If you are looking for a change of pace in dining, then the Feeding Frenzy Buffet might be just what you need. And trust me, this is not your typical buffet. The menu at the Feeding Frenzy Buffet changes every day of the week. It offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night dining and there is a great dessert bar and salad bar. The main buffet serves everything from macaroni and cheese to hand carved roast beef with all the fixings. While you’re there, be sure to snap a photo with the “I will play for Gumbo” sign. And of course, don’t miss the Its Five O’clock Somewhere bar where you can enjoy a cool drink while playing video poker. Behind the bar there is an event center that includes raised bleachers on three sides, a dance floor and the flexibility to hold almost any event imaginable, from concerts to big parties. Don’t forget, the best part about this fun property is the casino! The gaming area features more than 800 of the latest and greatest slot machines including Deal or No Deal, Godzilla, Paradise Fishing, Tarzan, Red Hot Fusion, Wheel of Fortune and Bally’s Platinum Quick Hits. In addition to the machines, there are also fifteen gaming tables that include roulette, double deck blackjack, six deck blackjack, craps, three card poker, four deck blackjack and 21, plus three blackjack tables. And, this casino stands on soft 17s!

A fun and festive theme runs throughout the property. Margaritaville also offers free slot play and you earn one point per dollar played, which is quite generous. Points can be redeemed for free play or comps ... it’s all up to you. The more you play, the more you earn. There are exciting specials that change every month and an array of other events that will make your visit to Margaritaville one you’ll never forget. Make sure to check the website for specials during your visit as well as fabulous giveaways, invitations to slot tournaments and other “fintastic” promotions. Whether you want to dig your toes into the warm sand, play the newest slots or go for that Cheeseburger in Paradise, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is the place to be. No other casino offers such a distinctive atmosphere that emphasizes fun and a laid back mojo. The music is upbeat, the mood is too cool and the slots are loose. This is definitely the Gulf Coast casino for players who want to have a good time! For more information on Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant in Biloxi, MS, visit MargaritavilleBiloxi.com or call 1-855-667-6777.

R e l a x i n t h e s u n a n d e n j oy the great view and exciting events.

Julian Brunt is a Southern food writer who spent his youth in Europe and then traveled the South, Southwest and Caribbean for the next 30 years. He has lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, since 1992 and writes for the Sun Herald Newspaper, Mississippi Magazine, Mississippi Visitors and Newcomers Guide, Eat.Drink Mississippi and other publications.

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HORSERACING

Though it doesn’t happen often, there are rarified circumstances where I flirt with shouldering a thoroughbred racehorse with a majority of my bankroll. In fact, leading up to this year’s Pacific Classic (the 1 ¼ mile feature event on Del Mar Racetrack’s calendar), I felt myself falling under a spell of equine lust so potent that a pair of ATM transactions were necessary. Now while some might attest that it is foolhardy to wager a dime (that’s gambling slang for $1000) while under the thumb of a stagnant economy, money is nothing more than a tool destined to be wielded in the circles where I conduct commerce.

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

Horseracing: Breaking the Bond of Unfair Odds

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For all intents and purposes, Game On Dude tops the west coast’s older horse division. After victories in the Californian Stakes (G2) and Hollywood Gold Cup (GI), this Bob Baffert trainee was assigned a 5/2 Morning Line for the Pacific Classic. Naturally, suspicion lurked that the oddsmaker’s number might ultimately be bet down; but given the presence of multiple Grade I winner Richard’s Kid, 2012 Bluegrass Stakes Champion Dullahan, and seven other runners marked with accomplishment, I held steadfast to reasonable expectation of the handle’s impartiality. However, as the first wave of odds appeared for the Pacific Classic, I realized there was a force driving the tote board that I hadn’t originally accounted for. Chantal Sutherland and Rosie Napravnik probably lead the discussion with regards to American female jockeys, but whether or not their merits matter to you personally, one thing remains certain: the presence of any X chromosome in a horserace produces psychological chaos. Given her outgoing personality, beauty and willingness to wholeheartedly promote the “Sport of Kings,” Sutherland transfixes a great percentage of horseplayers which in turn skew the pari-mutual landscape. When referencing California, entrants under the hold of this superwoman routinely close as underlays and given that Sutherland is Game On Dude’s regular rider, I should have known that getting anywhere near 5/2 on my money was impossible. Honestly speaking, the “Doctrine of Fair Odds” was one lesson that took my handicapping persona a particularly long time to fully absorb. Explaining the prescribed axiom is challenging because every horseplayer composes their own definition; but in a nutshell, just know it isn’t sound gaming methodology to put cold hard cash into play if reaping just reward eludes the equation. Unfortunately, due to stubbornness and an unquenchable thirst for action, I have often suffered the consequences of ignoring

this criterion. Be that as it may, with a cool grand hanging in the balance covering all bases was of high priority. Going into the Pacific Classic I estimated that the closing odds on Eric Floyd Game On Dude would hover in the range of 9-5; but as post time approached, an influx of cash watered down the fantasy of exiting my local Off Track Betting parlor with $1800 more than I walked in with. Suddenly, willingness to wager two weeks pay waned for no matter how talented a runner may be; it’s a very dicey proposition to take around even money in a Grade I race. With a minute until post for the Pacific Classic it was clear that public sentiment for Chantal Sutherland, Bob Baffert and Game On Dude had irreversibly infected the win pool. Booking my bet meant accepting 6-5 odds and at day’s end consenting to $600 less than what I perceived to be “fair” compelled me to pocket a sizable stake. After getting pinched at the break of the Pacific Classic, Chantal Sutherland positioned Game On Dude just outside the first flight of leaders before inching up to be a close running second midway down the backstretch. Game On Dude forged a one-length lead rounding Del Mar’s far but the stretch running Dullahan was just beginning to uncoil his run. The Bluegrass Stakes Champion came into the lane six paths wide yet despite losing ground landed on even terms with the leader seventy yards from the wire. At the finish, Dullahan defeated Game On Dude by almost a full length, thus rewarding his loyal contingent of backers with healthy 5-1 odds. Inside my normal rational there isn’t much cause to celebrate the act of sitting on the sidelines, but when this year’s Pacific Classic became official it was a personal coming of age. Five years ago yours truly would have bowed down to the game and compromised in the name of the almighty dollar, but in this instance, discipline’s call of warning was not only heard but adhered to. When the rubber met the road I simply wouldn’t risk hard earned money without the possibility of a fair return. Although this example makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, it’s important to note that whether we intend to wager $2 or $200,000 the “Doctrine of Fair Odds” doesn’t change. If a contest doesn’t shape up “fiscally” the way you think it should, then simply wait until the next race comes along.

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


Bet the World Championships of Horseracing, the Breeders’ Cup, at the premiere online wagering destination—TwinSpires.com. destination—TwinSpires.com It’s free, with no wagering fees. Plus our simple step-by-step instructions will put you on the right track to making “the richest two days in sports” hold true to its name. Your world of riches is just a click away. Sign up today at TwinSpires.com or call 1-877-SPIRES-1.

SIGN UP TODAY and get a $100 BONUS.* *New TwinSpires.com customers only. $100 promotion requires activating EZmoney, which allows for electronic transfer of founds to and from your bank account. See website for offer details. Persons under 18 (or 21 in certain jurisdictions) are not allowed to open or have access to accounts. Only available to customers who reside in a jurisdiction where the TwinSpires.com wagering system is available. Void where prohibited. Always wager responsibly. National Gambling helpline 1-800-522-4700.


Holiday

Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana: Your Home Away From Home for the Holidays The holiday season is here and if you haven’t already, it’s not too late to plan that perfect holiday getaway. We have found one of the South’s best-kept secrets, Shreveport-Bossier City. Located on the Red River in Northwest Louisiana, you’ll fall in love with this city’s local charm and wide variety of exciting attractions. In addition to first class casino gambling, the city also has several festivals throughout the year that attract thousands of travelers looking to experience great food, cool art, incredible music and of course, a great time. The city’s main attraction is the Louisiana Boardwalk that runs along the Red River. Here you will find great shopping, chic restaurants and plenty of places to gamble. This area is home to five riverboat casinos— Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino, Diamond Jacks Casino Resort and Hotel, Horseshoe Hotel and Casino, Eldorado Casino Resort and Hotel, and Boomtown Casino and Hotel—all of which have their own unique charm. And be sure to stop in and say hello to our friends at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino and Diamond Jacks Casino and Resort while you are there. These are two of our preferred properties that we highly recommend so you won’t want to miss out. They are top of the line properties that have trademark service and affordable accommodations. If you get a chance to visit during the holiday season, you will find an exciting mix of holiday-themed events that will definitely help get you in the Christmas spirit. The southern charm of the city shines in the bright lights of the city’s largest Christmas tree in the annual Boardwalk Christmas Lighting Ceremony on November 15 when the big man himself, Santa Claus, will make an appearance – the retail outlets, restaurants and trolleys will all be buzzing with excitement. There are more than 20 holiday festivities to take part in that all provide great fun and a bit of a reprieve from the casinos. This year, the Shreveport Regional Arts Council will be hosting their biennial party, Christmas In The Sky, and this year’s theme is “Apocalypse Wow—Party Like There’s No Tomorrow.” The event will be held on December 8 and is said to be one of the most prestigious and cosmopolitan events in the region, aside from Mardi Gras. The gala takes place at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs where they completely transform both the racetrack and casino into a gala atmosphere fit for royalty – with 16 live and silent auction areas, 10 stages, 12 bars and 11 themed buffets. Join in on the fun with over 2,000 other guests as they take part in all of the festivities.

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ShreveportBossier is one of the South’s best-keptsecrets.

Clearly Shreveport-Bossier City knows how to throw a fantastic party, but the city also knows a thing or two about great food. You will find a variety of different styles of food and restaurants throughout the city, but it wouldn’t be a true trip to Louisiana without at least trying one of the state’s famous favorites like fried catfish, seafood gumbo and fresh crawfish. If you find you are in the mood for something other than Cajun and creole, the area offers a great number of Asian, Mediterranean, Indian and Italian restaurants as well. The shopping districts of Shreveport-Bossier are filled with hidden treasures just waiting to be found. The Line Avenue District is comprised of over 75 boutiques filled with cool boutiques and unique items you won’t find anywhere else. There are trendy stores that offer the latest styles, one-of-a-kind vintage items, priceless antiques and original artwork. The most popular spot for shopping is the Boardwalk, which is the largest center for art, entertainment and dining in all of Louisiana. It is safe to say that there is something for everyone at the Boardwalk, whether you are looking for a nice coffee shop to relax and prepare for your day of shopping, or a hip bistro to have a few cocktails and food to start your night out on the town, you’ll find it here! We hope you will visit Shreveport-Bossier City soon ... and tell them we sent you! For more information and a full list of holiday events, visit http://holidaytrailoflights.com/shreveport-bossier or call the Shreveport Bossier CVB at (888) 45-VISIT.

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


Where Luck Comes Your Way Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana

Test your luck in Shreveport-Bossier: Louisiana’s Other Side. From hot gaming action at our five Vegas-style casinos and racetrack to upscale shopping and savory cuisine, we serve up everything with a generous helping of Southern hospitality. Book your hotel today.

1-888-45-VISIT

Follow us on: LouisianasOtherSide

@sbctb

www.shreveport-bossier.org


Video Poker

I’ve visited a variety of gambling locations lately and have noticed a few visible and somewhat alarming changes. It seems like local jurisdictions, whether they are in Australia or the United States, have their hands stuck out for more money. It may seem virtuous to say all revenues are to be used for education, but when the piece of the pie becomes enormous, it’s bad for the players. Ultimately it becomes a “playing time” issue since gaming is no longer viewed as a way to make money, but rather a form of entertainment. In a nutshell, if $100 bought you approximately one hour of gambling in the past, the same $100 might not last as long in some casinos today. Of course, it’s your decision whether you want to continue frequenting gambling halls or go to a show in the future. However, if you choose to play, you should consider your gaming budget beforehand or you may be a sad sack on the way home. Here are some tips for keeping your play in your favor.

Linda Boyd, a long-time table game player and knowledgeable video poker player, writes for Southern Gaming, Midwest Gaming and Travel and Arizona Player. Look for her article in the 2012 and 2013 editions of American Casino Guide. Her book, The Video Poker Edge, includes free removable pay schedules and her free strategy cards for the most popular games. The second edition, published in 2010, can be found on Amazon.com, Square One Publishers and at a variety of bookstores. Kindle edition is now available.

Video Poker: Have Fun Without Breaking the Bank

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Do the Math: Use accurate statistical data to determine the game choice and denomination before you find a seat. For example, today it’s difficult to find 9/6 Jacks or Better (9/6 JOB), but you’ll probably be able to find 8/5 JOB, which has a lower expected return (ER). To make sure you are aware of the theoretical return, use the free removable ER tables in my book, The Video Poker Edge or WinPoker software. You’ll find that 8/5 JOB pays approximately 2.2% less than 9/6 JOB. This means that you’ll theoretically lose $2.20 more per $100 wagered when you play 8/5 JOB instead of 9/6 JOB. So if you normally bring $200 to the casino, you’ll need $204.40 to play for the same amount of time. This may seem minor, but some games are downgraded even more and some people bring a bigger bankroll. Denomination Choice: Honestly, I choose not to play if downgrading is ridiculous, like 7/5 JOB. However, some people say they are captive players in that they arrived with a group and are too bored to just watch. You should then consider playing a lower denomination. In other words, instead of playing dollars try playing quarters. Make sure the pay schedules are the same since some devices downgrade pay tables for smaller denominations. To check the pay schedules simply push the “see pays” button. Game Choice: If lowering the denomination doesn’t appeal to you, consider choosing a less risky game. You can refer to statistical tables for the exact variance but remember, the higher the variance the riskier the game choice. Volatile games rely on achieving the ER by

getting infrequent hands, like 4 Aces or 4 Aces and a Kicker (Ace, Two, Three or Four) in Double Double Bonus (DDB). If you fail to get these rare hands then your bankroll will disappear quickly. Instead, choose Linda Boyd a less risk y game like Jacks Or Better. However, I caution you to not give up ER in choosing a less volatile game. Avoid Multi-Hands: Today you’ll find multi-hand games in abundance on the casino floor. Make sure you determine the total cost of the game so that you’re not fooled into thinking you’re playing the same denomination. For example, if you’re typically a quarter player, then on a single line game it costs $1.25 to play. If you’re suddenly playing 5 hands, then it’s costing you $6.25 per hand; that’s more than it would cost to play a single line dollar device. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad choice but it could potentially drain your bankroll. And if you only bring a couple hundred dollars, then you could be out of cash fast. Self-Control: Never bet more than you can afford to lose, even if that means you’re a short-timer. If you tend to abuse your ATM card, leave it at home. Communicate With Management: If you have tried lowering your denomination, played single lines and selected less volatile games and find you are still running out of bankroll so fast it’s not fun, then you should inform management. You may think this is a worthless endeavor after learning games are only returning around 68% due to tax rate increases, but that’s not always the case. Management teams understand that without player volume they’ll lose money and will be forced to close their doors. Find The Right Person: Ask your casino host or staff at the slot club desk for contact information for the person you should reach out to with concerns. Many times there are feedback cards at the slot club desk. Casinos are competing for your business so management is interested in your comments and concerns. Put It In Writing: As tempting as it may be to start venting to the nearest employee out of frustration or expedience, this is rarely effective. Management needs to hear your thoughts first-hand and it is best to put things in writing. It is in your best interest to be specific and avoid being too negative.

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


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Scenes of the South

Photos courtesy of Keeneland A ssociation

Keeneland September Yearling Sale—Lexington, Kentucky Prior to World War II, most horse breeders shipped their yearlings to Saratoga, New York each year to be sold at auction. However, today the world’s largest thoroughbred auction house is in the “Horse Capital of the World”—Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. Keeneland takes pride in its history and the fact that it has sold more champion thoroughbreds and stakes winners than any other sales company in the world. They account for 19 Kentucky Derby (G1), 20 Preakness (G1) and 17 Belmont (G1) winners and show no signs of slowing down. They hold four annual sales with two in the fall—the September Yearling Sale and the November Breeding Stock Sale. There is also a sale for horses of all ages in January and a Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale in April. Take a look at some great shots taken at this year’s September sales event ... we hope you enjoy them! For more information, visit Keeneland.com/sales

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2012 Mississippi Governor’s Conference on Tourism— Tunica, Mississippi The Mississippi Tourism Association, the voice of the hospitality industry in Mississippi, in conjunction with the Mississippi Development Authority/Tourism Division, recently hosted this year’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Mississippi. The three-day event was filled with seminars and networking opportunities for industry leaders. The conference kicked off in style with a ‘Blue Tie’ opening reception that celebrated the Blues.

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Southern Gaming’s Preferred Hot Spots

Southern Gaming and Destinations Magazine strives to recommend quality establishments located throughout the region to our readers. On this map, you will find an array of our preferred casinos, racetracks, racinos, hotels and restaurants we feel will deliver a quality experience and encourage you to consider them when you travel. WANT COMPS? If you are a qualified casino player, let us know! We will be happy to connect you with some of our preferred casino properties around the world! For more information, please e-mail comps@southerngaming.com or call 1-877-582-9478.

1 Gulf Coast Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi)

Lassing Pointe Golf Course (Boone County)

Shula’s Steak House (Tampa)

Nevel Meade Golf Course (Louisville)

1-727-812-3339

1-888-750-7111

Fallen Oak Golf Course (Biloxi)

1-813-286-4366

Half Shell Oyster House (Gulfport & Biloxi)

1-877-242-6464

1-877-805-4657

1-228-867-7001

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi)

1-502-228-9522

Mardi Gras Casino & Racing (Hallandale)

Pat’s Steak House (Louisville)

1-888-946-2847

Seminole’s (Coconut Creek, Hollywood & Tampa)

Island View Casino Resort (Gulfport)

Watermark Grille (Naples)

IP Casino Resort Spa

1-877-774-VIEW

Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant (Biloxi)

1866-2CASINO

1-239-596-1400

5 Georgia The Horseradish Grille (Atlanta)

1-855-667-6777

1-404-255-7277

Mary Mahoney’s French House Restaurant (Biloxi)

New York Prime Steakhouse (Atlanta)

1-228-374-0163

1-404-875-4242

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

The Shed BBQ (Ocean Springs)

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

6 Indiana Belterra Casino Resort (Vevay)

1-228-875-9590

1-888-BELTERRA

2 Alabama

Casino Aztar (Evansville)

Riverside Casino (Wetumpka)

1-800-342-5386

1-800-897-7198

Rising Star Casino Resort

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

1-800-472-6311

1-800-949-4444

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

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino (Anderson) 1-800-526-7223

Horseshoe Casino Southern Indiana 1-866-676-SHOE

Indiana Grand Casino (Shelbyville) 1-877-386-4463

7 Kentucky

1-800-826-9121

3 Arkansas Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism 1-501-682-7777

The Faded Rose Restaurant (Little Rock) 1-501-663-9734

Hot Springs Visitors Bureau 1-888-SPA-CITY

Loca Luna Restaurant (Little Rock) 1-501-663-4666

Oaklawn Park Racing & Gaming (Hot Springs) 1-800-OAKLAWN

Southland Park Gaming & Racing (West Memphis) 1-800-467-6182

4 Florida Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room 1-386-252-6484

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

1-859-384-2266

Miccosukee Resort & Gaming (Miami)

1-877-55-SLOTS

1-877-877-6256

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Derby Lane Race Track (St. Petersburg)

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

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

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

Oriental Wok (Fort Mitchell) 1-859-331-0770

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

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

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

Paragon Casino Resort (Marksville) 1-800-946-1946

Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino (Shreveport) 1-877-429-0711

Shreveport/ Bossier Visitor’s Bureau 1-888-45-VISIT

9 Mississippi (Tunica) Gold Strike Casino Resort 1-888-24-KSTAY

Harrah’s Tunica

1-800-WIN-4-WIN

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

Hollywood Casino Tunica 1-800-871-0711

10 Mississippi

Equus Restaurant (Louisville)

Bok Homa Casino (Sandersville)

1-502-897-9721

1-866-447-3275

Galt House Hotel & Suites (Louisville)

Harlow's Casino Resort & Hotel (Greenville)

1-800-THE-GALT

1-866-534-5825

Golf Courses of Kenton County

Pearl River Resort (Philadelphia)

1-859-371-3200

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse (Louisville) 1-502-584-0102

John Phillip’s Restaurant & Bar (Crestview Hills/N. KY) 1-859-344-0444

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

1-866-44-PEARL

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

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

13 Nevada (Laughlin)

Casino Queen

Aquarius Casino Resort

Lumière Place Casino & Hotels

Golden Nugget Laughlin

River City Casino

Harrah’s Laughlin Casino and Hotel

1-800-777-0777 1-314-881-7777

1-888-578-7289

1-888-662-5824

1-800-950-7700

1-800-427-7247


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

14 Nevada (Reno) Atlantis Casino Resort

CQ’s Restaurant (Hilton Head) 1-843-671-2779

Rendezvous Barbecue (Memphis)

1-800-723-6500

Circus Circus Reno Hotel & Casino

Golden Bear at Indigo Run (Hilton Head)

Tsunami Restaurant (Memphis)

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)

1-843-689-2200

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

Hilton Head National (Hilton Head) 1-843-842-5900

Salty Dog Café (Hilton Head) 1-843-363-2198

17 Tennessee

1-901-523-2746 1-901-274-2556

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)

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Cherokee Valley Golf Course (Memphis)

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Folk’s Folly (Memphis)

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Gaylord Springs Golf Links (Nashville) 1-615-458-1730

Half Shell Restaurant (Memphis) 1-901-682-3966

Mardi Gras Casino & Resort Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino & Racetrack 1-304-232-5050

Bahamas Atlantis, Paradise Island 1-800-777-5848

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1-843-785-7700

Vol um e 14  I ssue 6  

59


Poker

While I was playing in Bellagio’s Five-Star World Poker Classic $1,000 buy-in, pot-limit Hold’em tournament in December 2002, the following series of hands unfolded. Two off the button, with the blinds at $100-$200, I opened the pot for $600 of my remaining $900 with K-9. Max Stearn, holding 10-10, just called in the small blind, because he was afraid to re-raise and possibly run into a big hand in the big blind. I don’t blame Max for just calling at this point in the hand; after all, it looked like he was going to get my last $300 in any case.

Phil Hellmuth, Jr. is a 12-time World Series of Poker Champion, leading all other poker players in the world. He has had two books on The New York Times Best Seller list – Play Poker Like the Pros and Bad Beats and Lucky Draws. Both books can be found at Amazon.com or PhilHellmuth.com where you can also find Phil’s blogs, tips and more. This column is an excerpt from Bad Beats and Lucky Draws, a great read that shares Phil’s favorite stories from the felt.

Texas Hold ’em: Never Give Up

60

With a flow A-10-8, Max checked, and then I checked. (By the way, if he had bet my last $300 here on the flop, then I would have called fairly quickly because of the pot odds—he could have had a small pair here as well.) The fourth card made Max four tens, and he checked. At this point, I’m folding my hand for a $300 bet. And I’m folding no matter what hits on the last card—although a king would have tempted me to call. The last card was a three, and now Max bet my last $300, and I quickly folded. With $300 left, I folded my next two hands, and shut my eyes to maintain focus—I was upset that I was going to be eliminated. But, if I was going down—and with $300 left, it sure looked as if I was going down—then at least I would give myself a chance and go down calmly. Under the gun, I moved all-in with A♣ -10 ♣, and was called by the button and the big blind. I scooped the $1,000 pot when the board came down A-K-Q-5-7. Then, in the big blind, I folded A♣ -4 ♣ for a $400 raise. (Again, I wanted to give myself the best-possible chance to double up, and A-4 isn’t it!) The next hand, while in the small blind, Kenny “Skyhawk” Flaton—a great player, but an even greater guy—raised two off of the button with 7-7, and I moved all-in for $800 total with A♠-Q♠. When a queen hit the board, I had won the $1,800 pot. Next hand, I picked up Q-Q on the button, and raised one player who called the $200 bet. Everyone folded, and now I had $2,300. The very next hand I picked up J-J, and moved all-in when someone else opened with A-Q. The A-Q called me, and my J-J won the $4,900 pot. Three hands later I was under the gun again (exactly one round after having the $300 under the gun), this time with A-A. I opened for $600, and Skyhawk raised me $2,400 more from the small blind. I moved all-in, and Skyhawk quickly called and flipped up Q-Q. My A-A held up, and now I had exactly $10,000! I had started the round with $300, and ended it with $10,000! Wow! “Ok,” I thought, “I must not lose a big

pot, as I often do when I make a big comeback like this.” But no, I couldn’t help what happened next (although I should have been able to!). I raised it up with 9-9, and was called by A-A (smooth calling with A-A can be Phil Hellmuth, Jr. very dangerous!). After a flop of 4-6-8, I bet out and was raised. I didn’t know my opponent from Adam, and I decided that he probably had A-8, and I moved him all-in. Knowing your opponents can make all the difference in the world in a situation like this-after playing with him the rest of the day, I came to see that I would do well to fold in the same situation the next time. But alas, he called, and his hand held up, and now I was down to about $3,000 again. Having been down to $300, $3,000 seemed like a lot of chips to me, and I felt confident that I would run it up again. I fought and fought and fought, and by the time we reached the final table, I had the chip lead with over $60,000. Short Stack vs. Big Stack An axiom that I love states basically that when you have little money, then take tons of chances, but when you have a ton of money, quit taking chances altogether. In my life I have found that this axiom manifests itself naturally: When I started winning big poker tournaments, I gave up riding motorcycles and piloting small planes. Why take chances now that I had a future? In poker tournaments the same thing has generally been true for me. When I have a ton of chips, then there is no need for me to gamble and take chances by playing weak hands. Status quo is good, protecting chips is better, and having a winning situation come up when I have a big stack—because I waited for it—is the best! So remember to protect your chips when you’re in the lead in a tournament. On the other hand, when you have no chips, and not too much to lose, then you can take a few chances. I’m not saying that you should go crazy, just that you should make a few more all-in moves. For example, with $2,000 left and the blinds at $200-$400 with a $50 ante, you should be thinking, “I need that $1,050 in ante and blind money!” If I have, say, Q-9 two positions off of the button with no callers, I like moving all-in here better than folding. If I win the pot uncontested, then I move up in chips at least 50 percent, from $2,000 to $3,050. A few well-timed moves like that and your chip position changes quickly.

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


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Southern Gaming and Destinations  

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