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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Winners, Jackpots, Snow, & Memories...

10 November 2000

Lake Tahoe had loads of people with fat wallets again... It has not slowed down for what seems like forever now. For 282 straight days I have wandered through the casinos daily, notebook in hand, hopes and dreams on my sleeve, taking notes of what is "up at the lake" and putting over 150 progressive jackpots online by 7 am. I have shared the joys and the sorrows of people close to me, and people I do not know. There have been hugs, high-fives, and shared tears. There have been weddings, and there have been funerals. Meters promising treasures unlimited have climbed, and been hit, and climbed again.

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe gave away tons of money last weekend. Over $65,000 went on a three-quarter slot, and another $18,000+ went on another quarter bank.... And then there was the $35,000+ royal flush and the $46,000+ royal flush on $5 video poker... And... and.... and.... I drooled my way through both Sunday and Monday mornings! I could live years on that kind of money!

Horizon Casino has quieted down with the colder weather, but the slots are still hot, hot, hot.... And they are the only casino in town with the CDS "Jackpot Bingo," which is now over $500,000 for 30 nickels, and over $85,000 for the 15 nickel meter.... And it plays very , very well.... And with the approaching ski season.... YES, SOME LIFTS AT AREA RESORTS ARE OPEN.... You will have to visit their page on the and see the lodging and lift ticket deals available. You can find all the ski links combined with the area weather. For friendly gaming and a great selection of new slots and old favorites, you’d be crazy not to visit the Horizon.

Caesars Tahoe is still playing "Break the Bank" for a chance at a million bucks, plus the great second chance party on Saturday night’s in Cleopatra’s Lounge for a shot at 10 grand, and a bunch of other neat prizes, and they are still doing the "Road to Riches" daily slot tournament.... For the rest of November... and you can win all kinds of stuff there too... plus a shot at being one of the 100 people in the final tournament, where one person is going to walk with $50,000 cash.... and lots of other folks will walk with chunky wallets too! Plus, if you haven’t seen their version of Caesar... you gotta gotta gotta check out the Donny Osmond guy in a toga.... no kidding!

Harveys just held their second "Play a Year on Us" promotion of the year, and this time it was a lucky fella named Ken Seymour who won $100,000 worth of REEL REWARDS cards... which are just like credits on the reel slots...... You cannot believe how envious I am of the people who get what seems like an endless supply of these things... and you can get some too.... just visit the Tahoe Player’s Club inside Harveys and you are on your way....

Lakeside Inn is losing their head Innovator and Marketing Director, Todd Majoris; this Saturday is his last day. I am going to really miss Todd.... He was the first to believe in the and lent an awful lot of support throughout this project of mine. Also leaving with Todd is the possibility of retaining their sponsorship until a new marketing director is found. I doubt that the will still be in existence because these things don’t happen fast, and technically, their quarter is up. While I will continue to offer the progressives daily as long as I can, you are on your own as to finding out what they are up to.

It had been my dream, my vision, and I thought, my purpose in life to spread the word about Lake Tahoe, to all that would listen. It is a tremendous place. It has been my home for 15 years, shared with creatures that some will never see, except in a zoo, or on television. There have been bears, raccoons, squirrels, pine martins, skunks, blue jays, Oregon jockos... we call them "snowbirds"... and coyotes, mountain lions, and last week, a bobcat. Living at an altitude above 6000 feet, there have been blizzards, sleet, snow that is gentle, and winds, and rain... but above all else, there has been the beauty of the mountains themselves.

I took pride and great joy in living where I do, and over the years, I developed a love for the gaming industry, and the casinos that populate the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.

That is why I created the, and started putting over 150 progressive jackpots online daily by 7 am. I lost fifty pounds, and gained a hundred years in age. I thought that the casinos would appreciate my efforts to increase visitor traffic, to restore the communications between gamblers and corporate... and to get a little of the personality that all the properties lost during the expansion and growth process.... Admittedly, I gambled with my life, my marriage of 29 years, my parent’s life, my kid’s life, and all of our futures to do this. I honestly thought that if all the clubs in Tahoe could witness what one person could do DAILY with NO BUDGET, that they would be capable of envisioning what could be done by ALL with a budget. I have heard excuses ranging from "no budget" to "you don’t have enough hits, how come you only have 6-7500 a month?" They don’t seem to hear the part where I mention that I have NO BUDGET, that all advertising is pretty much word-of-mouth, that I had hoped that their involvement would increase the hits part, a little recognition wouldn’t hurt.... to say that you participate in a regional effort by the "little guy" and lend a little advertising via press release, or blurb in existing print ads wouldn’t hurt me... or them either. Then there is the "we don’t want to duplicate anything we are doing currently" line, which tells the world that they really are clueless about the web. They still think that I appeal to "locals".... When it is they who advertise thousands of bucks worth of print ads in the local newspaper.... and they who put commercials on tv that people with remotes never see unless by accident... But the truly global possibilities of the web... and this column.... just don’t seem to be noticed by the truly myopic. I took the web marketing class.... and know they did not.

Oh well, if I fold, I fold. I have ruined my parent’s future and their retirement years in one swoop, trashed my mountain life-style... and unless someone lets me create the photo holiday greeting card from Tahoe..that I have offered... with up to 5000 photos and greetings .... which had a plan that allowed each casino to benefit in added food/toy/clothing donations to their own holiday charity drives.... The only thing I asked was to be allowed to charge $5 per photo with a donation, and $7 for photos with no donation, the added $2 going into a fund the employees would control for turkeys or stuff... To benefit the whole community... To augment and supplement what employees already do, to make the photo opportunity available to all their employees AND THEIR FAMILIES, to leave them online until Jan 2.... so their friends and families.... many in Mexico and the Philippines, could share a part of Tahoe.... And guess what? No bites from most on that one either.... I think maybe I need to call the General Managers.... or the CEOs..... It would save my butt, pay off bills, probably not rescue anyone from bankruptcy..... maybe not even save my house.... But it sure would help the community at a time when it always needs help. And I really would like to do something good for someone else.... having already canceled all holiday plans for my own family. I don’t have any spirit or humor left that I can spare.

If anyone out there knows anyone with the bucks that might want to buy my and domains..... Have them email me.... It is with deep regrets that I have to put them on the block.... They were supposed to be part of the "master" plan.... but until some people involved in the web business get the reality check, they will just have to pass me by.

Meanwhile, I want everyone who possibly can to plan on visiting Tahoe.... You won’t find another place like it on this planet, and you can’t find friendlier people, greater scenery, or super casinos in an alpine atmosphere..... Check Lake Tahoe out.... questions? Email me.... What's up at Lake Tahoe?