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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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18 May 2003

I think summer has found its way to Reno, at last. The days have been nice and sunny and warm... highs around 81 degrees, but the lows have been around the low to mid 40s. It has been "sandal weather." I went and stood overlooking the Truckee River, from a vantage point at Boomtown Reno... the water flow looked good, as the snow starts to melt off in the Sierra Mountains. As I watched, a slow-moving train pulled into view... It was a pleasant view, so I sat in the sunshine on a picnic table for a long time. I had pulled the RV into the Boomtown Reno RV Park earlier, and the space I was assigned was a nice pull-through with a very large lawn area and a couple of nice small pines... for those who might be coming through in the RV this summer, this is a fine park to pick. Nestled on a bluff below the mighty skyline of Boomtown, in all its western glory, it is a really scenic setting.

Getting on with the fun life in Reno... Eldorado’s Bucks and Benz Giveaway Weekend is going on this weekend (May 16-19) and they are giving away $150,000 in cash and prizes including two Mercedes Benz luxury cars, so if you are in town, I hope you don’t let this one go by. All it takes is one ticket, and if you aren’t there, someone else is going to drive away in your car, or party on your Princess Cruise... also being given away $500 Eldorado Credit Cards, 2 Breitling Watches, and over 70 Home Electronic Prizes. But remember, the only way to win one of those prizes is to play during the Bucks & Benz Weekend from Thursday at midnight through Monday at 7:30 p.m. To earn tickets, simply use your Club Eldorado Card (free) on select nickel, and any quarter, dollar or higher slot machines. For every 100 points earned, you will receive a Bucks & Benz ticket. You also get a ticket for any hand-paid jackpot or hopper fill. I should have pictures of the winners soon after... so keep checking.

There’s something for everyone on Memorial Day Weekend at Harrah's Reno, May 23-25 with free entertainment on the Plaza, and for the ladies, Harrah's Reno is such a happening place that the world-famous Chippendales has selected it as the place to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Their show includes 11 choreographed and staged numbers all designed to showcase the talents and physical attributes of these calendar men for the entertainment of the women they adore -- the audience. The high-energy and very potent Chippendales perform Friday through Monday, May 23-26, at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $24.95 with VIP seating available at $34.95.

Reno's only resident headliner, Gordie Brown, continues his sensational run in Sammy's Showroom. Brown is a master impressionist and comedian who manages to bring to life countless memorable personalities, from classic movie stars like Jimmy Stewart to modern superstars like Michael Jackson. He then combines them with the one personality you will not forget -- his own. Come see the reason Gordie Brown has been playing Sammy's Showroom for two years when he performs Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39. And if you happen to be around with the kids in tow, they have even thought of the kids this time... so check out the new Xtreme Park, offering a variety of thrill rides...

From Fitzgeralds Reno... The Fitzgeralds Card is Reno’s Best Players Club as voted by Casino Player Magazine. Not only do you have the chance to receive free room, food and beverage six times a year, you can now use your O’Lucky Bucks for gasoline. Yes, gasoline! Use your Fitzgeralds Card playing slots, table games or keno and you will earn O’Lucky Bucks and Cents. With your bucks, you can purchase many different items. One of these great items is gasoline at the Downtown Texaco Gas Station in Reno. Basically, Fitzgeralds is giving away FREE gas. You can purchase gas in increments of $10 O’Lucky Bucks. Each O’Lucky Buck is worth one dollar in gasoline. This is a great opportunity to fill up on the way home from a fruitful stay in Reno. Just pull into the Texaco Gas Station on the corner of Virginia and 9th St. on your way out of town, hand them the O’Lucky Buck gas coupon and fill up your tank.

Over at The Atlantis Casino Resort there is a whole lot of winning going on, and I guess if I’m not the lucky one, it is an opportunity to see what those winning combinations on the slot machines really looks like... I have the latest photos going with the stories on the RENO GAMING GUIDE so you can take a look and see the smiling faces!

Shiela Mackin, of Reno, came to town to meet a relative and left the Atlantis $25,000 richer after playing a $5 Double Black Tie slot. When asked what she will do with her big win Mackin said, "I am going to buy a great toy for myself and then come back to the Atlantis. Wow, I love the Atlantis!" When Holly Kidd, of Keenesburg, Col., came to Reno for a volleyball tournament she never thought she would go home a big winner. But her luck changed while playing a $1 Ten Times Red White and Blue slot at the Atlantis. Kidd hit $20,000 after putting in only $12 during her five minutes of play. "I am going to pay bills and spend it on vacations," Kidd said. In mid-April Drew Mellis of Reno, decided to try his luck at a Draw Poker, video poker machine. After playing for only 45 minutes, Mellis was dealt a hand putting $10,166 in his pocket. When he first hit the jackpot he thought about his wife. "She is going to be so happy," he said. "It was my turn." Mellis said he visits the Atlantis about three times a week because he likes everything about the Atlantis, especially the people. He plans on spending his big win fixing up his house. Feelings, nothing but feelings, is what Delma Sewald, of Reno, was experiencing the day she came to the Atlantis. After a little while in front of a 10 Times Pay slot, those feelings turned into pure bliss and $10,000. I think these people are the luckiest people in the world, and have to say, "Congratulations all!"

And last but not least, from Mr. Dave in Reno, who posted the following on the message board on the Reno Gaming Guide... "Star mentioned a local's casino, Tamarack Junction. I live nearby and have often been in to eat at their coffee shop. Here are some observations: Tamarack Junction is new and clean and in a safe, modern area of town -- the South Reno suburbs. You won't have to worry about walking to your car at any time, day or night. The neighborhood immediately around is a nice, suburban, shopping area. As a single man I have noticed that a large proportion of the players are women, apparently alone, in their middle years -- not all elderly as in some of the local's casinos. For a solo woman who wanted to feel safe, relaxed and comfortable, Tamarack Junction would be a good choice. Most everybody I've seen there looks clean and healthy ... none of the rough-around-the-edges look as at some other local's casinos. Oh, yes, and the food is good. Nothing great, but pretty good. Gaming is 200+ slots, Keno, and a tiny sports book, (more like a sports booklet). No table games. Location is far South Virginia street, about 15 minutes drive." Mr. Dave has it right too... Tamarack Junction is a clean, neat, upscale casino. Almost all the slots are ticket-in and ticket-out equipped. The Keno and, as he calls it, the Sports "Booklet" are owned by Club Cal Neva, the rest of the place is a venture with the O’Sullivan Family and the Eldorado. I go there to get away from the downtown scene. They also have a terrific Happy Hour on Mondays-Fridays with half-price pizzas, nachos, things like that... son recommends the nachos because they are buried under "stuff" and I like the gourmet individual pizzas... so go.

So if you are looking for something to do, haven’t been here, or have been here, maybe you should consider Reno. It has all the history, all the entertainment, the best gambling and food, and it is a place you can bring your family to. If you have any questions, just drop by the RENO GAMING GUIDE and send me an e-mail, I’m always glad to try to answer questions... and if you haven’t subscribed to the Reno-Tahoe Gambling Weekly which is a free e-newsletter in your e-mail weekly, then maybe you should stop by and plop your e-mail into the subscribe window... you’ll be glad you did! See ya in Reno!