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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Off the Chest

22 June 2003

I think it is time to put the heart back on the sleeve and express myself a little clearer and a little better about the purpose of and reasons for the Reno Gaming Guide because I think somewhere along the line a little of the purpose has been lost, at least on the end of the prime receivers of the benefits of the website... which would be the Reno casinos. I noticed that the purpose was slowly being carved away when someone asked me how many exit hits I was giving their casino, while at the same time being asked for statistics regarding banner ad placement and such.... terms I had hoped to move past gracefully in the progress being made.

The website was made by a gambler (me) for all the gamblers wanting to come to Reno. It is made to not resemble any other website anywhere on purpose. I don't know about everyone else on the planet, but personally I am sick of frames... web frames that leave a letterhead image in their wake, and mental frames people put themselves into thinking this or that has to be done one way only, with no alternative. It was designed to provide information from all the Reno casinos to draw new visitors, bring back old visitors, and give new life to the way marketing has been done in the past.

Reno has new competition, Thunder Valley is open, and trip reports from people indicate that it is crowded... and more will be built in between Reno and its feeder markets in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area... the state of Nevada has even figured in their budget an amount to cover the expected loss in revenues. So it has been considered a problem by someone.

I have provided a whole bunch of free advertising to the Reno casinos to show them how well a website covering all of them can work, shown them what a little bitty corner of the gamblers I have nibbled away at, and suggested multiple times that they learn to look at this website as an indication of what could be and will be probably the biggest web event Reno has ever had if they would take off their blinders and look around and sponsor this website and make it known that this website exists... a small but wonderful giveaway of information and specials on their part... all I asked for was a few months to show them all the superb things that can be done to bring them closer to their gamblers without having to do much of anything in return.

This little website has struggled and struggled to become the best free information site for the gamblers, and it never has had an ad budget, it is all word of mouth... people find me eventually... but how wonderful it would be if the casino would drop the old standards for once...and acknowledge the existence of the Reno Gaming Guide by sponsoring it, letting their database of players know that there will be all kinds of photos of their special events, and let people see something other than their letterhead pages for once.... on my end, it isn't the hits that count... I don't buy hits and I don't charge by the hit, as well as not being a banner ad site. The way I look at it, as a gambler, is that the casinos owe this to us... we are their gamblers... why not make information harvesting easy? What's wrong with being a little louder or a little different? I thought (and still think) that they should be thinking of sponsoring it fully without too many questions asked, and if it's the damnable web budget that usually only covers the costs of their own casino site, then maybe they should spread out the cost from their club budget or their comp budget. It would only cost them nano-pennies if it were spread out as cost per visitor... Anyway, that is all off my chest. Now I will move on with the fun things in Reno...

Summer always brings new ways to win in Reno... new promotions, new slot machines, new things to see and do, and as always, a lot of festivities in the streets. And this week ahead is full of fun and festivities! And Reno has a lot of winners running around too!

Boomtown Hotel and Casino winner Michael Padilla Sr. recently Let It Ride for a big $35,000 jackpot. The Aztec, New Mexico retiree visits Boomtown often for an RV Park stay. On a recent trip, he sat down to a Boomtown Let It Ride table. Not long after, the Player's Club member was dealt a Royal Flush, and a big $35,000 win. "Oh man," Padilla thought in disbelief as he began making plans for his biggest payday ever. Also, Boomtown Hotel and Casino Reno Poker Corral's two Bad Beat jackpots have risen to a combined total of over $30,000. The continually rising jackpots are awarded to Texas Hold 'Em and Seven Card Stud players with a pre-specified high hand that loses to a better hand. The Poker Corral's Texas Hold 'Em Bad Beat jackpot is $17,949 as of June 17. Half of the Bad Beat payout goes to any player losing with four of a kind from one player's two cards during any daily Boomtown Texas Hold 'Em game. Players can also ante up to their chance to win the Seven Card Stud Bad Beat jackpot. Half of this Bad Beat goes to any player losing with four sevens or better in Boomtown's daily Seven Card Stud games. The Seven Card Bad Beat is $12,176 as of June 17. "Bad Beats are a great way to get even more for playing. Even better, they increase daily," Boomtown Poker Manager Joe Bennett explains. Prize payouts reset once Bad Beat jackpots are hit. The jackpots add another round of fun to a full schedule of Boomtown Poker excitement.

I have completely re-mastered the winners' photos on the website, so look for the new design, and see if you don't think it looks better than ever... new photos are up from The Silver Legacy and the Eldorado so go take a look...

Fitzgeralds Reno has some new slots to talk about...Newly added to their repertoire of machines is Jackpot Hotline. Hear the ringing of the jackpots on this three-coin quarter slot machine. Located on the first floor of Fitzgeralds right next to the entrance, you can win big playing on these reel machines. During the bonus game hear the Hotline Operator connect you to a gypsy Fortuneteller, or Uncle Sam offering a tax rebate. Each bonus round offers a different challenge to the player. It's a payphone, it's a slot machine, it's a Jackpot Hotline! I'm going to go see about those!

The world famous Reno Rodeo kicks off on Saturday and runs from June 21 - June 29. There's a whole world of fun awaiting those lucky enough to be here for that! However, you can go out to the Reno Livestock Events Center on Friday, and the grounds and the carnival will be opening at 4 p.m. with cowboy country shops and exhibits, as well as a PCRA special event, with Xtreme Bulls $75,000 bull-riding contest in the outdoor arena.... it is going to be a really fun time in Reno. On Saturday, from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. on the Harrah's Plaza in downtown Reno, there will be a Buckaroo Breakfast, followed by the Reno Rodeo parade down Virginia Street... bring your buckaroos to this event, it is a don't miss part of the cowboy experience!

Since it is summer and it tends to get hot at times, and we all like to go cool off somewhere, I spotted the perfect solution. It is at the Sands Regency Casino Hotel and they are having their free Party by the Pool which offers visitors the perfect way to cool off! They have a band along with poolside activities to cool off everyone in attendance! The Sands is also having cash drawings at the Bonus Beach Club after every party. The party schedule is broken down into three styles of music on three days: jazz on Sunday, country on Wednesday and rock on Friday. Guests must be 21 or older for the parties on Wednesdays and Fridays, and the jazz parties don't start until July. Country Wednesdays parties will run from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m every Wednesday through August 20. Women drink free from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Friday Rockin' Pool Parties will run 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. with live music starting at 6 p.m every Friday through August 22... and the parties will feature men's and women's swimsuit competitions. Guest may register to win a grand prize trip to San Diego. Sounds like some fun ahead!

Speaking of the Sands, their other property, Gold Ranch Casino & RV Resort is having their monthly drawings, the last one on Flag Day was packed with happy winners during the $2500 cash drawings, but if you haven't noticed, the next monthly drawing will be on July 3 and includes a customer appreciation barbecue and live entertainment... and remember, all the drawing entries are dumped into a grand prize drawing drum for the 2003 Jeep Liberty drawing on September 15... so if you need some new wheels or a little cash, or just some good free barbecue... earmark July 3! Oh, and looks like Mickey the bartender will be grilling for us... so say hi when you grab your BBQ!

Speaking of BBQ, the Great Eldorado BBQ, Brew & Blues Festival is coming up on June 28-29... with free live Blues by such greats as John Lee Hooker, and even the Marshall Tucker Band... so c'mon up to Reno for this special event, you won't be sorry. Terrific food, entertainment, loads of fun, and mixed with the end of the Reno Rodeo Week. Have fun!

Over at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks they are giving away a 1965 Corvette! Their newest promotion, Winning a-Go-Go runs from June 19 through August 3... you can earn drawing tickets just for playing John's Club... and the Nugget Go-Go Prize Patrol will be giving away $50- $500 cash instantly. Just use your John's Club Card while playing slots or video poker from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and you could be an instant winner too!

And up at Lake Tahoe... some great entertainment from the Lake Tahoe 2003 Summer Outdoor Concert Series from Harveys Resort & Casino kicks off July 12 with Melissa Etheridge, and on July 19, Bob Dylan, followed by Kenny Chesney on July 24, and Steely Dan on July 27... and Boston on July 29. August 3 brings Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent, August 9 is the San Francisco Blues Festival starring Otis Rush & His Big Band, Booker T. and the MG's, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruth Brown, and the Duke Robillard Band... with Third Eye Blind on August 16, and ZZ Top on August 23, and topping it off is Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band on August 29. For tickets you can call 1-800-804-5825. It's great entertainment lined up... and it is a class act!

Now that you know all there is to do, and all there is to see... what are you waiting for? See ya!