Just another schmuck…who’s redefined gaming

Not only is he a brilliant casino builder, he’s also self-deprecating. Commenting on the ad that ran during The Big Game On Sunday, Steve Wynn said:


“The humor is central — it’s what saves it. I’m just another schmuck.”

The story of the ad, if you didn’t see it, is quite interesting.

Continue reading Just another schmuck…who’s redefined gaming

Daily Quote for 2/7/05

“I don’t want to be the one to call it the dumbing down of Britain, but I think its the dumbing down of Britain.”
–Warren Lush, chief oddsmaker at Ladbrokes, on the huge upswing in novelty betting on everything from televised talent shows to whether someone will live to be 100. You can read the full story of novelty betting here: baltimoresun.com – English risk odds on oddest of wagers.

This came to my attention because I’m currently writing the chapter of Roll the Bones dealing with the initial English gaming mania (1660-1750), and novelty betting was huge back then, too.

A super flip

It was nice to see an actual football game in the midst of all the commercials, but as a lifelong Eagles fan I’m naturally downcast at the outcome. Still, can anyone from the Delaware Valley honestly say that they expected any better? I think Philly has just internalized low expectations, and that losing is now accepted quite readily.

I’m surprised that absolutely no one has commented on what I thought was the greatest controversy of the game–the coin flip.

First of all, I’m all for getting kids involved in sports, but it’s hardly fair to them to put them on the field in such a high-pressure situation. For those of you who didn’t see the coin flip, they brought one of the kids out to actually toss the coin. Instead of flipping it, he sort of pitched it (kind of like someone might slide dice), so that it didn’t actually spin over its axis and land on a random side. If you tired that sort of thing at craps you might get yourself in the black book, but the kid only got a grateful handshake from Donovan McNabb. Funny stuff, yet totally ignored by the play-by-play. I’m surprised Joe Buck didn’t rant about how the blatantly-rigged toss was a “digusting act.”

Oh yeah, people also bet on the game. Luckily for Nevada sports books, the Eagles scored that late touchdown. It was funny hearing people reference Philly’s phyrric victory, saying, “these fans are disappointed, but happy that their team…umm…played with pride.”

Casino carpet unleashed

If you like the casino carpet gallery and are in the vicinity of the Imperial Palace tomorrow morning at 10, stop by the Samurai room. I’m giving a talk entitled “Art for Gamblers’ Feet: Casino Carpet from Coast to Coast” at the 17th annual meeting of the Far West Popular Culture Association.

I’m not on the schedule, but I’m presenting with people doing activist environmental websites, mushroom clouds, and yoga. Seriously. Here’s a list of some other papers being presented at the conference:

The Culture of a Clothing Optional Beach
Sacha Baron Cohen�s Borat: (Re)Inventing Kazakh
Bodies as Commodities in Sin City: an Update of Decapitation Advertisement in Las Vegas, Nevada
Talking with Rivers, Rocks, and Trees
Fists of Celluloid: Kung-fu for Western Audiences
The Rise and Fall. . . .and Rise of Zombie Cinema
Comic Books and Literature: A Comparative Approach
Ronald Reagan: President and Poet
The Psychology of the Rat Pack: The Unseen Sinatra
Sports Violence in Detroit: A Lifelong Detroit Fan�s Reactions and Analysis

As you can see, presenting a paper about casino carpet at an academic conference is about par for the course here. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Lucky you…in movies?

A few months ago, I spoke to Mali Finn Casting about a prospective movie about poker players, Lucky You. Today I got a follow-up email, which might give you–yes you–your big break:


Casting is underway on Warner Bros./Director Curtis Hanson’s “Lucky You” to star Eric Bana (Troy, The
Hulk) and Drew Barrymore.

We’ve set up a website for poker players and dealers to submit pictures along with a brief form.

I encourage you all to submit and forward the info to your friends/co-workers, etc. as well.

Go to Malifinncasting.net for more info.

I checked out the website, and there is a fairly detailed questionnaire for you to fill out and return, along with a snapshot. If you play poker and live in Vegas or LA, this could be a chance for you to be in a major motion picture. I don’t think this kind of opportunity comes along everyday.

Fish and chips in downtown LV

NOTE: I stole that headline from the lede (or lead) to Liz Bentsen’s article, which seems to be the most complete coverage of the story that confronted me as I straggled into work late this morning.

The story is: Landry’s Restaurants is buying the Golden Nugget from Tim Poster and Tom Brietling.
Continue reading Fish and chips in downtown LV

No problem in Nepal

I really need to get some reading for Roll the Bones done, but this story was just too good to pass up. Add martial law to the things that will not stop the wheels from spinning in a casino. Plus, the page has the coolest ad I’ve ever seen.
Continue reading No problem in Nepal

Showgirl showdown

It seems that the Tropicana in Las Vegas has something called the “Showgirl Showdown,” which from its name suggests showgirls staffing casino games.
Either that, or The Price is Right has a new segment.
There’s a picture from the Sun that shows the showdown in progress. I just thought that this was a great opportunity to remind people what a bad bet the game is. Darwin Ortiz says that it is “superfluous to even talk about strategy at a game that offers such outlandishly high house percentage.” He doesn’t mean that in a good way, folks.

Las Vegas SUN: Photo: Jennifer Ron-Monroy mans the Big Six table game

Misplaced morals?

Adelphia Communications is going to start offering triple-x hardcore porn to its Southern California video-on-demand customers. I’m not posting about this because of any personal interest in hardcore porn, or just because I want to get lots of hits from people searching for “casino hardcore porn” or similar terms. Rather, I want to salute the brilliant writing of LA Times staff writer Sallie Hofmeister, who, by cleverly juxtaposing two paragraphs, made a sly point about would-be moralists.
Continue reading Misplaced morals?

Fuller not guilty

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Fuller did not, according to jurors, run a gambling house, even though prosecutors said he presided over games “like a pit boss.” Did the state fail to make its case, or are juries unwilling to convict people for the “victimless” crime of running a private casino?
Continue reading Fuller not guilty