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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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One Hundred Times

16 November 2002

If my count is right, this is the one hundredth column I have written here. I had to think back, remembering all the ups, and all the major downs.... sometimes shuddering.... that have occurred during that time.

When I started writing, I was new to the business, having just started the Tahoe Gaming Guide..... I had no doubts, no fears, only optimism, cheerfulness and hope.... I could see no reason the casinos in Tahoe wouldn’t gladly accept my help in spreading the word for them--no, cancel that--with them..... about Tahoe. I had a house, a family, several cats, two dogs, and a degree. There would be no stopping me.... or so I thought.

Little did I know that Harrah’s would buy Harveys on the very day that I was in making my proposal.... that Harrah’s would eliminate the local contracts, that some marketing people were deathly afraid of my energy.... that I made them uncomfortable.... because I worked around the clock, and made my self available around the clock. I didn’t see the pain ahead, I was too busy being "Happy" about Tahoe.... and the gaming.

I almost made a fatal mistake earlier and sold all three gaming guides to a fellow in South Africa, and while living without the income was painful, I hadn’t sold my soul. I got it all back together, started banging on doors again, was building the Reno Gaming Guide.... and things were starting to look up until the morning of September 11th.... when I turned on the television some 635 days into my venture, and watched the disasters on the East Coast, I knew in my heart, heck, my whole soul knew it was over, like it had never been. It was too late to get financing... I skipped another Thanksgiving, and yet another Christmas, and to avoid the foreclosure and total loss, had to sell the house in January of this year.

I’ve been living in a 22' RV since then.... pretty close to that vision I had where I would wind up a bag lady with my computer in a shopping cart.... it’s just a metal cracker box..... it isn’t home, and it looks like another Thanksgiving is going to be shunned, because for the life of me, I don’t want to be around anyone on Holidays... not until my mission is completed..... not until the Reno casinos all know who I am and where I am coming from.... i.e., not until I get funded again. I’d rather be a hermit on the side of the road than try to pretend it’s all okay yet.... it isn’t.

Now, getting on with gaming..... off my miserable little track..... I’m still out to educate people about things..... and I’m going back to writing about the pay tables..... Gamblers Beware!!!! I was sitting at a slot playing keno.... regular keno.... and a man sat next to me and started playing the four-card keno. Now I don’t play that one much.... I like to think and poke along.... when he started marking his numbers, and looked at the accompanying pay table, he spit his cigar out of his mouth and started cashing out without one play..... the reason???? SUB-STANDARD pay table..... a nine spot was going to give him a lousy $75 worth of nickels.... not the $500 or so a normal pay would be..... so I started checking pay tables around Reno and Tahoe, there was some variance, but nothing like the place I usually hang.... and note.... I started hanging elsewhere.... there is no reason to short the players on keno with crappy pays.... the last place that did that was the littlest one in Tahoe, who, though owned by a huge corporation, shorted the players on 7 spots..... where else would a dime bet only give you $32 for a 7 spot..... when the normal is $700????? I, for one, will not tolerate businesses that think they can rip us so badly on a win, and I think I am going to check, and post.... the pay tables everywhere, so the gambler can truly be aware. Just maybe, some slot director will get their head out in the sunshine, and take notes. Notice, the word maybe....

Look for more on this subject next week..... it’s time to take some to task for what they do.

I intend to do just that.... even if I have to open another website just to deal with the rip-offs!

Meanwhile, just a note to say quite a few people are subscribing to the Reno-Tahoe Gambling Weekly.... the newsletter in your e-mail every Saturday..... and you are welcome to subscribe over at the .... and it’s free. Doesn’t get easier than that, folks!