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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Happy 2003!

4 January 2003

Well, as the old song goes... "Another one bites the dust!" Reno saw one heck of a celebration in the streets, and at midnight, as promised, 4000 rockets shot off of nine downtown rooftops lit the sky, and continued for about 15 minutes, a wonderful display to welcome the New Year. Several Reno casinos offered balloon drops, and champagne toasts at midnight... and Circus Circus even had indoor fireworks in the midway.

I opted to stay close and went to Gold Ranch Casino in Verdi. Jay (the Restaurant Manager of the Sierra Cafe) had prepared hors d’oeuvres by what looked like the tonnage, with chicken wings, shrimp, mushrooms, pizza rolls, you name it... all loaded on a cart and brought to your slot machine... plus they were having drawings every half an hour from 6 to 11:30 for cash, escalating to a final drawing at 12:30 AM for $1000. The employees did a great job, it was impressive! They also gave away party favors and had a champagne toast at midnight. It was like being with "family" to kiss off the old year and welcome in the new! Great job award goes to all employees of Gold Ranch.

New Year’s Eve morning had some awful weather with it, complete with blowing snow and blizzard conditions on the Interstate... which was closed due to white-out conditions for hours... and luckily the forecasters had it right this time... by noon the weather broke, and the roads melted down some... it was a cold night... in the 20's in Reno... and single digits in Tahoe... good old Tahoe... party capital central for New Year’s Eve... my daughter said local estimates have 60,000 participants in the streets to greet the New Year. I don’t miss that traffic! (Or the cold, for that matter!)

Last week had me questioning people as to whether they had seen the new Quarter Mania slots from IGT or had a chance to play them. I think the very day that question went out in the newsletter is when I looked across the floor of the Gold Dust West, and spotted two of the new slots. Kind of hard to miss, they must be something like nine feet tall, with three separate bonus reels offset at angles on the face, and a regular three-line, three-reel slot. One has "Texas Ted" from the "Texas Tea" slot, and the other is a "Diablo Diamond" slot. It now takes three quarters to play the game instead of the two of the past. I tried a few in each machine, but it didn’t look like I was going to get anywhere with it. Sometimes it’s just a feeling, but one I heed.

Bowling returns to Reno! The USA Bowling Amateur Championship is coming January 6th.... More than 175 of the best amateur bowlers in the US will try to earn spots on Team USA 2003 by competing in the USA Bowling Amateur Championships at the National Bowling Stadium in downtown Reno. Then, January 15th - 19th, The American Bowling Congress (ABC) Masters blows in, with the greatest bowlers in the world competing in the prestigious pro tournament. More than 400 of the country’s top pro and amateur bowlers will be competing for a record Master’s prize fund of $350,000...with $100,000 going to the winner! Then, in March... from the 20th until July 8th, the Women’s International Bowling Congress Tournament will be topping the news.... a big Reno welcome goes out to all the bowlers! There will be all kinds of special deals for bowlers going on in Reno, and I will post them as soon as I get the calendars.

Boomtown Reno, long a favorite truck stop for my trucker friends, is saluting the trucking spirit with "Spirit of Trucking" T-shirt, hat, and Jacuzzi suite giveaways. Some people don’t know that there is a whole little casino out there by the trucks, but that’s where it’s happening. Truck Stop gaming customers will be given entries. Hourly drawings offer winners a choice of a T-shirt or hat from 9 AM to 9 PM daily. Boomtown’s Spirit of Trucking emblem and a soaring eagle are emblazoned on a black T-shirt and hat. A monthly drawing awards a complimentary one-night Boomtown Jacuzzi Suite stay. (They also have food out there in trucker-sized helpings...)

There will be changes underway at the Reno Gaming Guide. The popular "Brew n’ Balls" section is gone, with the ending of Monday Night Football. There will be other events scheduled, and those...along with the Bowling section will appear. Changes are already being made to the casino tournaments guide. It should be up by the time this is published.

I’m also building a message board for those who want to post trip reports, and share conversation and details with others. That should be appearing very soon too. And I want to take a moment and thank every one who stuck a pin in my guest map... it is a delight to see... at least to me it is! I’ll invite you all to "stick me..." if you missed the begging in my prior writings. It’s fun to see where everybody is from. Thanks all... look for the new changes on the web site, and if you haven’t subscribed to the Reno-Tahoe Gambling Weekly in your e-mail yet... please stop by and do so. It’s free... all you have to do is drop me an e-mail and let me know!

Happy New Year to all. May your gambling be prosperous, and may the Goddess of Gambling bless you!