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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Big Win at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe

9 February 2001

Walking into Harrah’s the morning of the first birthday of the, the first scene I encountered was a young man jumping up and down, unable to contain the total delight of winning over $53,000 for three quarters just seconds before. His three friends were just standing there with their jaws on the floor. One of them told me that he had only played four machines a couple of times before hitting the jackpot. I silently slid the three quarters I had in my hand that had been reserved for that particular bank back into my pocket. They are still working on the entire western end of the property, but have squeezed everything they had to move back into the casino area with grace and dignity. How Harrah’s of them!

Caesars Tahoe is re-doing the Sports and Race Book, and it is still partitioned off so I can’t tell you what it is exactly they are doing. Judging from afar, I think it would be fair to guess that it is pretty major! They are still giving Emperors Club members a daily shot at a million bucks with Break the Bank, and they are still throwing the best second chance party of record every Saturday night, with a chance to spin for ten grand given to ten lucky people every week, plus the three extra names that don’t even have to be there, but get invited back... and all the cash and prizes on the wheel... nobody spinning loses! Also... they have the only paycheck promotion on the South Shore worth discussing.... so it is a must stop.... and the buffet... and the shows... and the....did I mention the?????

Horizon Casino has added even more new slots, adding some of the popular Aussie-style slots and "99 Bottles of Beer" into their arsenal of slots. They just keep adding and adding and still are the only casino that has the increasingly popular CDS linked progressive, Jackpot Bingo, which is now over $450,000 for the 30-nickel jackpot, and over $160,000 for the 15-nickel jackpot. This one rates a winner... it does not need a whopping 45 nickels to play for a progressive, and it climbs fast and plays well. Give me this over the Addam’s Family or Double Jeopardy anytime! It is my personal thought that slot manufacturer’s who play the gamblers for dumb and keep increasing the coinage and downsizing the jackpots will ultimately lose in the long run. Thumbs up to CDS and thumbs up to the Horizon for giving us this one!

Harveys is still the largest of the Tahoe casinos and offers treats like the Hard Rock Café, which is a log cabin built in the middle of Harveys, complete with its own pit area, music videos, and lots and lots of rock memorabilia that is displayed in the columns on the casino floor. There is also a Hard Rock Café retail shop. I love to walk through this section when collecting the jackpots, because the music always ranges from excellent to fantastic and nothing less. Harveys also offers great player’s club benefits, with "Reel Rewards", which gives you more gambling options and chances to win when playing with your Tahoe Player’s Club card.

Lakeside Inn is still giving away the progressive keno jackpots... four quarters got some lucky soul close to $13,000... people keep getting eight spots here and making money. The temptation is the four-quarter bank behind it that is now over $15,000 for a nine spot. Lakeside Inn offers more video keno choices than anyone in Tahoe with the best pay backs... and more variety than anyone as to what kind of keno you want to play. The "live" keno game is really fantastic at the Lakeside too!

Lake Tahoe got more snow last night, and there is more shaping up for our near future, too! This is good news, as the area has received only 40-50% of the normal season snowpack, which is so vital to the water supplies come summer! I always brace myself when those in authority start sniveling like a rat eating onions about the lack of snow or water. There have been many of the fifteen years I have been in Tahoe where snow was light until March, and then we really would get it, four feet at a time. They were sniveling last week. Those of us who have it figured that it works most of the time "our way" went right out and stocked up on storm supplies, batteries, firewood, food, and battened down the hatches... and lookie what we get... lo and behold... a snow storm, followed by another one. Someone said every 24 hours we are going to get another one. Wonder what would happen if they didn’t snivel?

Come on folks, somebody take me up on this.... I built up a new section, available on the, and the which lets you rate your favorite or worst casino. Look for the rate it banner. No, it doesn’t have to be a Tahoe casino, and yes, it could be an online casino. If you want to spread the word about what was good or bad, or better yet, WHO was good or bad, here’s your chance. I made it as easy as I could to fill out, and when enough of you get a "round tuit" and visit this section, I will publish all the details (except private info... I am really into privacy) as soon as enough of you say something. Knock Knock... is anybody out there reading this? And remember.... it isn’t just about Tahoe anymore.... Las Vegas, Laughlin, Reno, and Sparks casino information is all available, and if you want more, just email me, and I will see what can be done to produce. This site is about gamblers, for gamblers, from a gambler.

The was forced to take several days off this week when I was viciously attacked by my own molar, and yielded immensely to the wonders of penicillin to fight the infection and vicoden to fight the pain, resulting in sleep of the deepest kind. If I can get the blood pressure back down by Friday, the vicious attacker will be sentenced to removal, offering me a great sense of relief. So if you think I’ve been a little fuzzy around the edges lately, you are totally correct. The dentist predicts that my fine fighting form will return soon.

With all the fresh powder, and all the new things to see, and all the great casino action, topped with a new gondola from downtown to Heavenly, grab your bankroll, grab your skis, pick out some jackpots, don’t forget the tire chains, did someone grab the snowboard? Everyone have their jackets and their ID? It is time to be snowbound and to be Tahoe bound. It doesn’t get prettier, and the slots and tables don’t get any hotter. Don’t mess with the big boys and their large crowds... Gamble Tahoe.