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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Still Jingling in Tahoe

2 June 2000

Memorial Day weekend didn't deliver us any new millionaires in Tahoe, but that doesn't mean that it was exactly quiet, either.

As I ran around both sides of the lake collecting the progressive jackpot amounts for the, I was greeted by employees on the casino floors telling me that "someone won over $30,000!" and someone picked up ten grand here, and forty grand there...and I had to dodge people carrying full coin buckets. Several times I backtracked and told employees at every darned casino I went into that they had a 'hand pay' here and a 'hand pay there', and several times I just paused to admire someone's big win. This little venture of mine gets me hugged, kissed, squeezed, and 'high-fived' a whole bunch of times! Better is an every day affair for me. What better boost could you find at 4 am on top of a mountain?

I wanted to mention how pleasant the VLC coinless slots are to play. No more filthy, heavy, germ-laden coins. No more busted fingernails and blown manicures. No more blackened hands, or 'skid-marks' from the more empty more waiting for a 'fill'. No coin trays full of cigarette ashes and butts, or trash. Fun. Need I say more?

Just be aware that some clubs are not savvy to the fact that keno is supposed to be a random game with incredibly long odds. A few have left it off the menu entirely, and others have barely put it on, and then limited the bet. Now how many keno players do you think are going to hit a 10 spot (8.9 million to one odds) with 250 pennies in, that happen to be playing "Alley Cat Keno" and manage to simultaneously 'hatch' three wedges of cheese into three mice and win $50,000? Maybe it should be REQUIRED that if you are going to be the one purchasing and setting up slots for your guests that you have been a GAMBLER for at least 3 years?

While everyone else was sweating in 100-109 degree weather in Las Vegas, people enjoying the holiday weekend in Tahoe had a windy, but hey...70 degrees?! It was a reminder of why I, along with so many others, endure the lower paycheck, the few tips, and the sometimes very short workweek during the off season. I haven't received a dime (yet) for the, but I have persisted for 120 days and collected the progressive jackpot amounts and put them online everyday by 6 am. Twice a week I drive the 78-mile round trip to the other side of the lake and include their progressives. Why? Because I like Tahoe enough that I want to share it with the world. Because I like the gaming business a whole bunch...myopic as it often can be. Because I like the people who call themselves GAMBLERS, because I consider everyone I meet in this venture a FRIEND...The EMPLOYEES in Tahoe are wonderful. Probably the most underrated, underpaid, under-tipped and forgotten group of souls on the planet...but I love them dearly.

And if that isn't reminder enough, maybe the three young deer standing on the side of the highway on the road to Crystal Bay, or the bald eagle swooping with its breakfast in its talons just above my windshield headed over that big lake with its snow-capped Alpine serenity is reality check enough. We all should be so lucky!

I don't want to lose any friends, so here's what's going on this weekend in Tahoe! I'm going to start on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe with the BIKE SHOW at the Tahoe Biltmore June 3 & 4 ... If you like bright and shiny Harley's and probably some real nice classic have to get friend Greg has been working on this for months...Now...if that isn't your idea of fun, then you just have to check out the South Shore of the lake. Things are still going ka-ching as far as I can tell...$$$ There are still car shows, craft fairs, and other things...including, for YOU RENNIES, the Rennaisance Fair at Camp Richardson is going on for the next two weekends...this is always such a's a great way to stretch in between gambling sessions!

Harvey's is still going gang busters with their "Play a Year on Harvey's" ($100,000 worth) with the tournament on the 16th of June for the grand prize...Caesars Tahoe has Chaka Khan and THAT CAR...the neon yellow Lamborghini Diablo you could win for $3! Harrah's has all kinds of new slots to offer and is doing major remodeling on the upper floor restaurants. They re-open their new digs on June 23. Lakeside Inn is opening a new Mexican food restaurant, sportsbook, Tavern, and gaming on their ground floor...opening June 23 with the Grand Opening July 3rd. Horizon is deleting Lily's Beach Club and re-opening it as ClubZ!, which sounds like a more upscale nightclub atmosphere. That should reopen in about a month. They always have something going on at the Horizon. can preview the progressive jackpots in Tahoe at: And if you just want to gamble-chat...there is a rather lonely looking message board with absolutely no personal information required where you can vent, talk, tell stories, rage, praise, or glorify anything about gambling you want to