Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bonus Code IGGY On Party Poker, damnit! 

It's been a howler of a couple days here in Ohio. The kind of endless winter gray sameness that makes one day silently slip into another.

Ice & snow & cold. During the ice storm, a local ten year old girl was killed by a falling branch while walking her dog in front of her house.

Winter is officially evil.
And cold as hell.

When I leave work and it's windy outside, I hustle to my car in the parking lot.

And as I start the engine, I inevitably think of Sean, the homeless guy living in the tent out in the woods, maybe 150 yards away. But hell, my view from my desk looks right down upon his camp so who am I kidding? I wonder about him all the time, especially after a fellow hobo froze to death a week ago.

From poker player to hobo observer. That's my lot in life and I've accepted it.

My lovely co-worker, Susan, was also concerned about Sean, especially when we never saw anyone stop in to see him since the weather turned bad.

Random anecdote: After asking Susan to hit the Waffle House for lunch across the river in Kentucky, she would only go if she could change clothes first, because of the supposed lingering WaffleWouse stench. And so she did.

Who has clothes in a desk drawer just for eating at WaffleHouse?

Anyway, Susan went and talked to Sean, discovering that he needed food and tobacco. Because it was close to lunch, I was in the same boat.

So later that afternoon, I made a food run.

I returned, parked next to his camp, and carried the grocery bags into the woods. Upon calling out, he appeared and shook my hand, thanking me. We talked for a bit and then he asked if I could help him out and get some gas sometime soon, he was nearly out. "Hell, let's go right now," I replied so we took off for the nearest gas station to fill up his jug.

When we drove past the train bridge where the old man had frozen earlier that week I asked Sean about Wolfie, the guy in the newspaper article from my earlier post.

"How the hell do you know about Wolfie? He's a Neanderthal. Been on the streets for 15 years and ain't even got a tent, I don't know how he does it."

We gab and gas up and when we return, I bitch a little about him staying out in the cold like this.

I want to ask him. Is it the booze? I want to ask him. Would you leave if you could? I want to ask him. Can I come drink some beers with you? I want to ask him. How many people help you?

Sean laughed.

"Come on in and see how warm it is," and led me to his tent.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Saw this interesting article today from the AP and thought I'd share it. Poker winnings totaled $160.9 million, up 14.8%.


Nevada casinos win big in '06
Gamblers bet a record $170 billion in the state, but the Strip's revenue is eclipsed

CARSON CITY, NEV. — Gamblers bet a record $170 billion in Nevada casinos during 2006, and the clubs set another record by winning $12.6 billion of the total, according to a state report released Friday.

A breakdown of the win shows that the Las Vegas Strip accounted for $6.7 billion of the total. That's also a record — but it wasn't enough to fend off booming Macao, the Chinese territory that apparently eclipsed the Strip for the first time with 2006 gambling revenue of $7 billion.

"Macao probably has surpassed the Las Vegas Strip gaming win," state Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said in releasing the Nevada report. "But there's a lot of uncertainty because the computation of their gaming win may not be the same as ours. It may not be a true apples-to-apples comparison."

Macao aside, Streshley said, the Nevada figures showed that even with some softening in the second half of 2006 the state's casinos showed 8.3% growth over their 2005 win. He added that 2006 ended with a $1.1-billion win in December, up 17% over December 2005.

The win is what was left in casino coffers from the $170 billion in bets during 2006. That means the clubs held on to 7.4% of all money wagered.

Win is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. And it is casino revenue only — separate from hotel, restaurant or bar revenues generated by the resorts.

The Las Vegas Strip win of $6.7 billion was up 10.9% over the 2005 win. For all of Clark County, encompassing the Strip, downtown Las Vegas and other southern Nevada cities, the total was $10.6 billion, up 9.5%.

Throughout the state, a breakdown shows record wins for all major markets except for downtown Las Vegas, casinos on Lake Tahoe's south shore and the Minden-Gardnerville-Carson City area.

Downtown Las Vegas won $630.4 million, down 3.6%, while the south Tahoe resorts won $333.7 million, down 0.5%. The Minden-Gardnerville-Carson City win of $124.3 million was down 0.3%. Although slight, that's the first decline in 13 years.

Resorts in the Reno-Sparks-North Tahoe area in northern Nevada took in nearly $1.1 billion. That included $767.7 million for Reno, up 1.7%. Clubs in Elko County, on the state's border with Utah, won $272.2 million, up 5.3%.

The $12.6-billion statewide win included a record $8.3 billion from slot machines, up 6.9% from 2005, and a record $4.2 billion from table games, up 11.1%.

A breakdown of games that produced the most revenue in 2006 shows the clubs won $1.38 billion on blackjack, $463.4 million on craps and $835.8 million from baccarat.

In slots, multi-denomination devices won $3.5 billion of the total. Dollar slots won $1 billion, quarter slots won $1.3 billion, and penny slots won $1.3 billion.

Sports betting produced $191.5 million in winnings, up 52%. Poker winnings totaled $160.9 million, up 14.8%.

For the current fiscal year to date, the state's revenue from gambling totaled $443.6 million, 1.6% below forecast. That included $51.1 million in taxes based on the December casino win, which was up 11.6% from forecast amounts.

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