RSSCasino Scene By John Brokopp

Gaming and casino expert, John Brokopp has advice on beating the odds and how to play the game each week.

World Series of Poker returns to Horseshoe

One of the most anticipated events of the year for poker players based not only in the Midwest but around the country is underway at Horseshoe Casino Hammond.

The World Series of Poker Circuit Event returned to the Shoe on Oct. 16 and will continue daily through Oct. 27. What is heralded as the premier stop on this nationwide tour, the tournament will feature 12 gold ring events including the big Main Event.

Horseshoe is hosting the fifth stop on the 2014/2015 tour. Two seats to the National Championship will be awarded during the competition, one to the Main Event champion and one to the player in the series known as the “Casino Champion.”

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Road to million begins at Hollywood Joliet

October 16, 2014 1:00 am  • 

In the event you haven’t been fortunate enough to win a seven-figure jackpot in either the Indiana or Illinois state lotteries, perhaps the reels will spin your way in the Marquee Millionaire Slot Tournament which begins Saturday at Hollywood Casino Joliet.

This marks the encore season of the prestigious tournament, which will be held at Penn National Gaming-owned gaming destinations across the country through April 2015. Hollywood Joliet, along with its sister property, Hollywood Casino Aurora, were selected to kick off the competition.

Qualifying rounds for the free tournament, which is open to all slot players, will be held between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at both Hollywood Casino locations this Saturday and again the following Saturday (Oct. 25) to determine the four players who will go the million-dollar grand-prize championship event.

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Smart money management essential to success

October 09, 2014 1:00 am  • 

When it comes to playing the slots, there really is no strategy. No matter what you do, you are subject to lose over the long run in a direct proportion to how long, how often, and how much you play.

Every slot player is bound to “get lucky” once in a while. It is knowing how to take advantage of luck and how to properly manage your money during both hot and cold streaks that separates smart slot players from the crowd.

Video poker is in a class by itself in the genre of “electronic gaming devices.” Unlike their traditional reel and video slot cousins, long-term success on video poker is dependent upon strategy to a large degree, although there is no doubt luck also comes into play. Just as in kitchen and poker room games, if you are not dealt the cards, there’s not much you can do.

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No big deal grasping poker room play

October 02, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Live, hand-dealt poker in a casino poker room remains an intimidating frontier for a majority of players. Sitting down to venture your bankroll against strangers possessing various degrees of poker playing skill can be scary. You are forced to make a lot of decisions, and not necessarily cut-and-dried ones as in basic strategy blackjack.

Today, we'll discuss some poker basics in case you'd like to try your luck in a live game. We'll also highlight one of the most popular poker room games at casinos locally and in casinos across the country, Hold'em Poker.

In Hold'em Poker, players form the best five-card poker hand by using any combination of the two cards they have been dealt and the five community cards that the dealer has flipped over for all to see in the middle of the table.

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There's just no outsmarting casino games

September 25, 2014 1:00 am  • 

The American Gaming Association ( published an interesting pamphlet a number of years ago titled "The House Advantage – A Guide to Understanding the Odds".

It explains to gamblers that "house advantage" means just that. Casinos ALWAYS come out ahead, emphasizing most emphatically that "…with few exceptions, it's important to remember that the house continues to have a statistical advantage in every play of every game, even against a skillful player".

In the section about the "hold" percentages on slot machines, I found this very important fact regarding how long an individual plays them, the speed with which that person plays, and the amount of money wagered:

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Looking ahead to Poker's showcase event

September 18, 2014 1:00 am  • 

The high profile Main Event of the 45th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP), held earlier this year at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, was the fifth largest in the history of the competition.

The final nine players, known as “November Nine”, will reconvene at the Rio on Nov. 10 to battle for a first-place prize of $10 million and the much coveted gold bracelet.

In addition to the $10-million first place money, another $18,480,121 will be shared among the second through ninth place finishers.

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Method to change the way you play blackjack

September 11, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Being labeled as a "card counter" gives a blackjack player a bad reputation among casino owners and operators.

It has always struck me as odd that a person who plays the game with a high degree of skill is subject to being banned from putting that knowledge to work. I cannot think of another pursuit where similar discrimination is enforced.

A card counter keeps mental track of the cards that have been dealt in order to assess the collective value of the cards remaining in an effort to determine statistically whether the game's house edge has increased or if it has tilted toward player advantage.

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Chasing bonus rounds leads to diminishing returns

September 04, 2014 1:00 am  • 

If you’re a slot player, you must know how easy it is to fall into the trap of playing a slot machine longer than you had intended.

In all likelihood, it happened because you were waiting for "just one more bonus round" on one of the video games that have taken over casino floors nationwide.

Interactive bonus and free spin rounds are the new carrot-on-a-stick for slot players. They keep us pushing a machine's "play" button far more than we pulled the handle on traditional spinning reel slots when the only lure was an elusive jackpot.

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Local poker star shines in Amerstar's big tournament

August 28, 2014 1:00 am  • 

The final hand of the Main Event at the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) stop at Ameristar East Chicago on Aug. 18 boiled down to the luck of the draw as it usually does when all the chips are in the middle of the table.

Notable poker player Aaron Massey held two pair, while his heads-up opponent, Stan Jablonski, had hopes of drawing to a straight. The cards didn’t come for Jablonski on the turn and river, giving Massey the championship and a check for $177,502.

It was the culmination of a successful tournament stop in Northwest Indiana for HPT, which celebrated the return of live poker to Ameristar after an eight-year absence. The casino is home to a new dedicated poker room on the fourth level that’s open 24 hours seven days a week.

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Majestic Star hosts another successful tournament

August 21, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Last March when the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) made its local debut at the Majestic Star Casinos in Gary, Ken Baime took home the top prize of $77,681, but it was the third place finisher in the field of 301 players, Brian Zimcosky, who put up a spirited battle.

It was a particularly bittersweet performance for Zimcosky in light of the fact he had the chip lead at the final table.

Earlier this month the MSPT returned to the Majestic Star for another tournament. This time Zimcosky’s aggressive playing style got the job done to the tune of $61,870. Combine that with the $28,141 he earned in March and the Michigan native has cashed for just over $90,000 in the two tournaments.

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