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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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A Cool Fourth in Tahoe

6 July 2000


Eat your hearts out. Tahoe only hit 66 degrees! Thousands of vacationers headed for the hills, and more continue to come. The Fourth of July marked the beginning of the 2000 AMERICAN CENTURY CELEBRITY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP at EDGEWOOD TAHOE GOLF COURSE. Running until July 9th, there is a $500,000 purse on this big event. The casinos are full of celebrities and onlookers for this one. This is one gigantic party for Tahoe. There is a link to the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on the on the new "links" page. I stuck the Harley photos in there too.

The Lakeside Inn had a huge fiesta on July 3rd to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Tavern, Sportsbook, and La Taberna...great Mexican food....and the place was packed from top to bottom. If you click on the delivery truck on the that has the Lakeside Inn's name on it, you can sneak a peak at the new La Taberna...and there's a link to a great picture of Rory (Mr. Bingo) along with his sombrero, and the pinata that almost did him in....they pulled him from the pile of people diving for the digs from the pinata! The sombrero did not survive...but Rory did!


Back in time, not really that long ago...say 15 years ago...there were no player's clubs with their plastic cards and magnetic strips. Well, how did we get comped, you ask? Simple! Before arming ourselves with change and sitting down, we picked up a card from the slot department (change or cashiers), put our pertinent info on it, and every time we purchased change (or "bought-in") the change person or cashier would enter the amount, the denomination, the date, and the time on it. Fill up one, turn it in, and start another. Hungry? All you had to do was just ask! All money was counted equally. There was no "cash back", or souvenir tee shirts, and other gift shop items given for our play. But food, drinks, rooms, and shows poured freely. The comp rate worked out to 8-10% of money gambled... There was a small team of "slot hosts and hostesses" whose job was to keep the gambler happy at all costs. Didn't matter if you played dollars, quarters, or nickels. They knew your name, and their job was to serve you.

Thinking about it now, I really miss those days. Now comps range from about a quarter of a percent to a half percent. I try to break down the cost per point of both cash and comps. Also, I processed out the cost of a shirt offer recently...any penny, or nickel players that want to spring for an $18,750 shirt in a 24 hour period? If that ain't your cup of tea, then maybe I could interest you in getting a $10 bill back after $20,000 worth of nickel play at another club? Maybe I am just being sentimental, but I liked having a name, and the attention was phenomenal!

Ahhhh....back to the present. I have to hand it to a friend, a local bartender, that I know for the win of all hard-to-wins...He played a few hands on a nickel 50-Play video poker machine, and was DEALT four 4's, which counted on all fifty hands (max bet = $12.50) so his take was a cool $5,000! And to another friend, who won over $16,000 in one night, and "forgot" to tell me about it for a week! I don't think I could forget a jackpot like that! Maybe that's what happens when your 4-quarter 8-spot comes in?

Tahoe is such a blessing in the summer. Everybody is smiling this year, the cool weather is responsible for many of the smiles. But in my roaming around town this week, I saw meters that were pretty high ($40,000) and medium high ($15,000) missing those amounts, and some lucky soul went to my favorite Crystal Bay, Nevada hangout, the Tahoe Biltmore, and won themselves over a million bucks on a quarter Jeopardy a couple of weeks ago. I would say the slots are still pretty darned hot at any Tahoe casino you pick!

Like I always say: "Luck is just a nanosecond away!"