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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Winter Wonderland and Jackpots

26 January 2001

As I write, the snow is falling once again... nature’s paintbrush, a world white-washed to ultimate cleanliness. Driving home from collecting the morning’s progressive meters brought new meaning to why my neighborhood is called "Christmas Valley"... the road resembled a luge run, with high sloping white sides, the large pine trees draped with half a foot of fresh powder.

This weekend in Lake Tahoe will be busy. It always is when the snow comes in the form of nature’s finest powder. The casinos will be bustling, hot drinks will be flowing, and the river of jackpots will be steaming. They haven’t cooled down yet, and I have been collecting the jackpots for 357 days now. Watching, recording, memorizing. Lake Tahoe gives away far more money than I ever realized. There are fat jackpot temptations everywhere, dream jackpots, middlin’ to fair jackpots, and multiple smaller jackpots... all just a nanosecond away from being won.

Caesars Tahoe has given away a quarter of a million dollars worth of nothing but "second-chance drawing" prizes now with their "Break the Bank 2000" promotion... players belonging to the free Emperor’s Club can swipe their card daily for a chance to win a million bucks... plus automatic entry into the second-chance drawing every Saturday night in Cleopatra’s Lounge... many people have spun the wheel at the drawing and won $10,000. Can’t beat the "free" part.

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe has a shiny new Mercedes SUV parked in front of their high limits area... to be won on April 22 by some lucky person. There is also a drawing going on for Total Rewards members... you can get details at the Total Rewards booth inside Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

Harveys still is the place to stop to grab some seafood, and the privilege isn’t just one day a week. We recently had an offer of dinner at the Seafood Grotto inside Harveys, a pleasure that we always savor. But unfortunately we did not get to take up that offer, because our son’s girlfriend did not get off work until after the Seafood Grotto had closed :( Harveys also has the only Poker Room on the South Shore.

Horizon Casino Resort is still enjoying the growing success of their upscale nightclub, Club "Z".... Home to all, I have seen young gentlemen in zoot suits accompanying some finely dressed young ladies en route to or from Club "Z". Horizon also keeps adding new slot machines, so you will definitely see no lack of activity here.

Lakeside Inn is still home to the most easily accessed Sports Book.... with 31 televisions, the Tavern Bar, and the Taberna Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant, you will find all your needs met at one convenient stop. The upstairs bar features $1 drinks all the time.

My son has offered his input this week on a couple of the new Aussie-style slots. He enjoys most of the new ones, but has tried repeatedly to find a single redeeming feature that he likes in both "Perfect Game" and "Money to Burn". While he often makes money on games like "Winning Bid", and, to my dismay, "The Addam’s Family", he has never found the formula to the others. I try to pay attention to his perspective, because he is only 22 years old, and represents the future gaming market. His other joy is found in the video keno machines, having been spoiled by various wins. He also plays everything with great gusto, seeing things that people like his old parents would miss after 15 years of exposure to the gaming industry.

I have spent the past week taking out life’s frustrations by building websites like a mad woman. Now there isn’t just the lonely little, but the births of the and the, plus a new look for all the sites, including the Banner links can be found on the’s home page. There is also a new link to my new friend Larry’s site.... where you can learn all about playing craps. Anyyone who wants to help out a new kid on the block can go visit Larry.... Also new on all my sites is "GAMBLING GRIPES AND GIGGLES" so if you have a beef with a ‘real’ casino that you would like help resolving, then this is where you need to go. If you have a funny tale to share about gambling, there will be a place to do that too... All the sites, with the exception of Tahoe, still have much much much more to be done to them, and will be undergoing rapid changes as they take shape. You are invited to drop in and visit and your comments are welcome. When I once again have the cash (not rich yet, unless $3 counts...). All the sites will eventually be found at their own URLs... right now the accounts are ‘parked’ under the and that is why you will wind up with that in part of your address window.

Just remember, there is no place like Lake Tahoe. There are not Vegas-sized crowds in Tahoe... there is natural beauty in Tahoe... it is like visiting another planet in Tahoe... and that there are lots and lots of jackpots in Tahoe. What’s your excuse for NOT visiting?