Nevada Casino Poker Going Online

The Nevada legislature passed the first Internet gambling bill in the US on Monday, June 3, 2001, but it took until 2012 to grant approval to South Point Poker LLC as Nevada’s first interactive gaming operator for intra-state gaming. The state’s operators will have a tough time competing with established company’s like William Hill, which already has millions of subscribers and offers a 200% deposit bonus for new players.

Las Vegas’s South Point casino owner Michael Gaughan launched a free online poker site several months ago, setting the stage for the live-money play. Global Cash Access holding was approved as an interactive gaming service provider and will partner with online wallet Live Gamer to facilitate the purchase of chips for play at the South Point poker site.

Although Nevada is 10-years behind in the adoption of real-money online poker, the mad scramble for licenses proves there is great demand anticipated for US player participation. Players hope new US-based operators will offer large signup bonuses like UK operators.

William Hill Online Casino

A number of online poker rooms have been successfully providing safe, fun platforms for players worldwide for nearly a decade. A few of the major players, like William Hill, were founded before legendary Nevada casino operator Bill Harrah, who opened his first casino in Reno in 1937. William Hill was founded in 1934.

Today, William Hill PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange (WMH) and is one of the largest bookmakers in the United Kingdom. Headquartered in the suburb of Wood Green in London, the company employees more than 17,000 people worldwide with offices in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar. A well-known name, William Hill has 2300 licensed betting offices, the largest UK operator, and handles more than a million betting slips each day.

Thanks for reading – Al W Moe

 

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Harrah’s 30-years Ago

Next door to Barney’s at Lake Tahoe was Harrah’s Sports Casino. I walked in and was surprised by how small it was. There were about a dozen chairs for a keno game, several TV’s by the bar, a craps game, and half-a-dozen blackjack tables. They had little yellow signs with $1 to $100 on them. Who the hell would bet $100 at blackjack? Come on, this place didn’t even have a poker room.

What it did have, in plenty, was cocktail waitresses, each in little black and white striped shorts. They didn’t look like any ref’s I had ever seen before! Not that I noticed, I was looking for a poker game. When I looked some more, there still wasn’t a poker game, but the waitresses were still there. These apparently were a different species than at the Park Tahoe. These ladies all seemed to be about 5’2 with very short hair. They were in tennis shoes. I wasn’t interested in drinking and they weren’t interested in me, so I left.

Across the driveway towards the state line, underneath a statue of a Pony Express rider, I found a set of carpeted stairs leading through a double set of glass doors into Harrah’s. The real casino, the big one. Really! Over 1000 slot machines, sixty table games, a high-rise hotel with rooms too expensive for me, and a poker room.
 
Well, not so much a room as a roped-off area at the end of a pit with six tables. Excellent. I was experienced now, things would go better for me. Plus, I got a stack of chips from the podium guy and they were really cool. Better than the Park Tahoe. These were hard plastic with little brass inserts and Harrah’s name in the middle. The $5 chips were red, with just four inserts, but the same middle part, a little brass nameplate.
 
I played two hands before I realized it wasn’t 7-stud, it was 6-card stud. Well, no problem, I thought. I’m a smart guy, I can play with one less card. Apparently, however, I may have been playing with one less brain cell than my opponents who were more than happy to rake my chips into their stacks.
 
At least I didn’t smash my leg into the stupid drop-box this time, but I felt just as much pain as I limped away from the table. I headed towards the back of the casino, past the hotel elevators and the front desk, toward the light. Head for the light, I thought.
 
This time I left with just one chip, and no, it wasn’t the $5. I hit the parking lot and looked around. There were a lot of cars. I could see way far away into the Park Tahoe’s parking lot, and somewhere in that lot was my car. A 1970 Mustang with a Boss 302 engine. I had just made my last $105 monthly payment on it. Now I had money for poker. 
 
Well, no, not really, but I was hooked. I walked back to my car and started it up. The double glass-pack mufflers thumped away, but my gold Mustang wouldn’t go toward Highway 50. It really wanted me to go back and play, so I spun a donut and drove the 200-yards back over to Harrah’s and went back along my previous route to the poker room.
 
They were just putting up a poster that announced a low ball tournament: $11 buy-in. I could afford that. I found a snack bar with $1.95 sandwiches and 50-cent sodas and became refreshed, just like the sign said I would. Then I wandered around until the tournament started, spending a total of $1 in nickles that drained through the polished-silver Pace slot machines with the Bar-Bar-Bar jackpots and bouncing yellow Genie’s.
 
I was assigned a seat and they handed out some old, obsolete Harrah’s chips. Most had been drilled, but the one-dollar chips were still nice. When we hit the first break in the tournament I was still alive, and they said we were going to “race for the one dollar chips,” but it was too late for mine. I had already pocketed the three I had left.
 
At the final table they colored-up our chips again and broke out some white $100 chips – no drill holes, but I never got a chance to get one to my pocket because we had to let everybody know how many we had and besides, I was afraid I might not win if I took a whole $100.
 

I didn’t win anyway, but I did get paid, and they also gave me a couple tickets to see the Captain and Tennille show in the South Shore Room. I didn’t have anybody to go with, so I gave them to the guy who came in third. I’m a nice guy. Who knew just one of those obsolete $100 chips would someday be worth more than the prize money I did win?

Thanks for reading – Al W Moe

My Early Poker Games and Chips

I saved my first casino chip in 1978. Although I wasn’t old enough to legally play poker at the Pacheco Inn (now the California Grand), I managed to get away with a few hours of Low ball to start my playing career. I lost.

I didn’t go home completely empty-handed, because, from the $20 in chips that I started with, I still had three $1 chips in the pocket of my jeans as I drove home. I was disappointed since I had a job that paid $2.50 an hour, and a $20 crunch was more than a day’s pay after taxes.

On the other hand, I convinced myself that I had gone through a great learning experience, and decided to keep the chips forever, as a kind of tribute to my first poker game against what I thought were really tough players. After four years playing against my high school buddies who could blame me for being optimistic?

In fact, in the very first game I ever played for money as a freshman in high school, I was ahead almost $5 before by some strange turn of events I started losing hand after hand. By the end of the night my buddy, Barry Wilson, was losing $10. I was stuck $9.20 and had to give a marker to one of the big winners.

It was problematic that the player I gave the marker to was a senior, while I was just a freshman, but the real issue was that I had a crush on his 15-year old sister, Denise. When I scraped up the money, I walked over to their house and rang the doorbell, hoping Steve would answer.

Did he? Of course not. Denise opened the door, looked excited to see me, and then asked why I was there. When I explained that I had to see her brother, she gave me a strange look, called him, and then passed quick judgment on me as I paid Steve and got my marker back.

Denise said anybody that would play poker for money was stupid. Strangely enough, she wasn’t the only one. Denise completely dismissed me after the poker payoff debacle. I was heartbroken but got over it when I started beating the games I was playing in on a regular basis. ‘Twas not the case for my buddy, Barry.

Barry had to take a job at Village Inn Pizza to pay his poker loses at the tender age of 14. Plus, I lost the time we had spent together swimming, shooting pool, and watching him crash his bike, which was a regular occurrence. I will admit that one of the times it was because I threw a pool towel at his head, missed, and it landed in the spokes of his bike.

Immediately after that, the towel stopped his back tire, the bike skidded to a fast stop, and my friend Barry continued on – in the air – until gravity brought him back to earth.

He got up from the asphalt with burns on his arms and knees and never complained, just gave me a grin and pulled the towel out of the spokes and the chain. What a guy! I eventually took to calling him, Wipe-out Wilson. Cooking pizzas was probably a safer experience for him.

I rather enjoyed beating the seniors each week, but eventually, they stopped inviting me. My first barring. A number of casinos in Nevada would later add me to the list of 21 players they barred, but fortunately, they don’t exclude you for being a good poker player, and I’ve been able to supplement my income with poker winnings for the past thirty years.

As for those poker chips I saved from the Pacheco Inn, they were brown with a covered wagon on the inlay. The mold was a Hat & Cane (Christy & Jones Co.), and there was a $1 symbol on them – but no name.

When I made it up to Lake Tahoe in 1978, the first club I collected a chip from was the Park Tahoe. They were gray with a gold hot stamp in the middle with the “Park Tahoe – $1 – Stateline Nevada.”

I was too cheap to save one of the red $5 chips with the coin inlay, but the rim of the $1 chips had four sets of dice and four sets of cards around it – made by the Nevada Dice company. I wrote Nevada’s Golden Age of Gambling after that. It’s about the casinos of Nevada from 1931 to 1981 – Kindle is free for Kindle Unlimited members.

Believe it or not, I still have one of each of those two early examples of now old (obsolete) casinos. That early trip also netted my a few chips from Harrah’s, Harvey’s, and the Sahara Tahoe. Every one of those chips is now worth some money ($5-$20 each), and whenever I saved chips, I saved more than one – and traded them with other collectors. It has been a lot of fun.

Do you remember your first collecting experience?

Thanks for reading – Al W. Moe.

 

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