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.

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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Ameristar hosts Heartland Poker Tour

August 14, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Ameristar East Chicago is celebrating the grand opening of its new live poker room in grand style by hosting one of the Heartland Poker Tour’s biggest events of the year.

The 10-day extravaganza began Aug. 8 and runs through Sunday. The tournament is headlined by a nationally televised Main Event that begins today.

Because the tournament is expected to bring in between 400 and 600 players from around the country, the games are being held in the Ameristar Discovery Ballroom.

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Call your own shots with casino promotions

August 07, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Casino destinations bank on cash drawings and merchandise promotions of one sort or another to drive in business. They can be a powerful lure for players to plan a casino outing they hadn’t really intended to make on a day or at a time they normally wouldn’t even think about gambling.

That is the very strategy behind casino marketing divisions to plan such promotions and giveaways in the first place. They know if they entice you to visit the property, in all likelihood you’re going to wind up spending some money on the slots or the table games.

It must do the job quite efficiently because the offers keep coming and coming with ever increasing frequency.

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Birthday bash in Horseshoe's poker room

Birthday bash in Horseshoe's poker room
July 31, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Horseshoe Casino Hammond is celebrating the anniversary of the grand opening of its $500 million casino and entertainment complex with a party that’s guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of poker players.

The Chicago Poker Classic presents the 6-Year Anniversary Summer Mini-Series, which began July 30 and will run every day through Aug. 10. It will feature $300,000 in guaranteed prize money and another $40,000 in added money.

In the spotlight will be the No Limit Hold’em Main Event which boasts a $250,000 guarantee. A $660 buy-in will get you 20,000 in starting chips. The competition runs Aug 7 through 10. One World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event seat has been added.

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Penny slots dominate Illinois casino landscape

July 24, 2014 1:00 am  • 

The Illinois Gaming Board’s latest monthly report, covering May 2014 financial statistics at the state’s 10 riverboat locations, reveals penny slots are king in the Land of Lincoln.

Of the 10,962 “electronic gaming devices” (i.e. slots) aboard riverboat casinos in Illinois, more than half (5,300) are pennies. They accounted for approximately 39 percent of the adjusted gross slot revenues for May.

Gamblers wagered nearly $1.2 billion on slots during the month, of which $107,734,877 was retained by the casinos as “win”. That amounts to adjusted gross revenue PER DAY of $317.03 for each and every one of the machines.

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Quarter slots stand the test of time

July 17, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Before the penny slot revolution captured the imagination (not to mention bankrolls) of average recreational gaming enthusiasts, quarter slots were the games of choice for a majority of players.

According to statistics released by the Indiana Gaming Commission in its June report, 25-cent slots should still be at the top of their list.

Even though quarter games at casinos in Northwest Indiana have done a disappearing act in recent years, players stand to derive a bigger bang for their gambling buck by playing them rather than the pennies.

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Betting the 'Don't' at craps has its advantages

Betting the 'Don't' at craps has its advantages
July 10, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Have you ever seen a player smile when a blackjack dealer gets 21? I know that I never have.

When the dealer gets "blackjack" (a 2-card 21), there's no way to win. Only players who also have blackjack will "push" (tie). If the dealer draws to 21, the only way to win is to have a blackjack.

How about at the craps table? Have you ever seen a player smile when the stickman calls "seven out", the signal for the dealers to start raking in the chips from players who had wagered the dice would pass?

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Some Blackjack shopping tips

June 26, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Because blackjack is the only casino table game in which skill can play an important role, casinos have done everything they possibly can through the years to re-tool the game in an attempt to neutralize any edge studious players can acquire.

If you play the game with any degree of regularity and are serious about keeping the house advantage to a minimum, it is important to scrutinize the rules at individual properties to know exactly what you're up against.

Here are the primary categories for smart blackjack shoppers:

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Questions enquiring slot players want to know

June 12, 2014 2:00 am  • 

Is it possible for computer programs to control the speed of each reel on a slot machine?

Slot and video poker machines have many play characteristics and settings. Among them is the speed at which cards are dealt or the reels spin. On many video poker games, there is a touch screen function that allows guests to select the speed at which they feel comfortable playing. When such a function is unavailable, as it is on most slots, the properties are set internally.

Players will encounter traditional spinning reel slots on which decisions are reached faster than others. This characteristic has no impact whatsoever on the payback percentage of the game. The same outcome would occur had the reels spun slower.

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Belmont stakes puts 'horsepower' in gambling spotlight

Belmont stakes puts 'horsepower' in gambling spotlight
June 05, 2014 2:00 am  • 

The Belmont Stakes puts thoroughbred horse racing in the gambling spotlight once again this Saturday when California Chrome bids to become the first 3-year-old since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown.

The honor rolls of World Series, Super Bowl, and Stanley Cup winners through the years all boast teams of varying championship qualities. There's little doubt some were better than others. Some stand out as dynasties, others gather dust on the shelves of time. It's inevitable when there has to be a winner.

There doesn't have to be a Triple Crown thoroughbred champion, yet the opportunity exists to have a winner every year. The events that comprise the Triple Crown are held annually. Individually they are difficult to win; collectively they represent nearly insurmountable challenges.

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