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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Hold'Em Poker Table Game Different from "Real Thing"

5 September 2007

Readers take over the column this week with questions and comments, starting with this one about Texas Hold'em poker:

"What is the difference between the Texas Hold'em in which you play against the dealer versus in a poker room?" - Terry B.

When you play the game in a poker room, you're competing against the other players at your table. The house makes its money by taking a "rake" from each pot. The table game version is World Series of Poker Texas Hold'em Bonus. By playing against the dealer the house gets the edge, a fraction above two percent according to the experts. Depending upon the pay table, the optional Bonus Jackpot wager has a house advantage of 8.54 percent or 8.91 percent.

"Do you have any idea if the Four Winds Casino Resort has a non-smoking section? I have health issues and can't be around all that smoke." - Roberta C.

Four Winds (New Buffalo, Michigan) does have a dedicated non-smoking section, but as it is with most casino properties, the area is small when compared to the grand expanse of the floor. The air filtration/ventilation system is state-of-the-art, however, so my guess is the air quality will be very good even with smokers present.

"I go to the Grand Victoria (Elgin, Illinois) about twice a month. I read an article that said MGM/Mirage owns the casino. What I would like to find out is why I cannot use my MGM player's card there?" - Joe S.

According to the Grand Victoria's director of communications, Marilou Pilman, MGM is not the sole owner of the Grand Victoria Casino, which is in fact a 50/50 joint venture partnership between a company owned by the Pritzker family interests and an affiliate of Hyatt Gaming Management, Inc. and MGM/Mirage. As a joint venture property, Grand Victoria Casino operates as an independent property with its own players club program.

"Is it true that a new casino has better payouts so as to attract return customers?" - Andy K.

Inflating slot payback percentages for the opening of a new property is not a business plan embraced by casino owners.

"We want to play in next year's World Series of Poker. Do you know when the schedule is due out so that we can plan our trip?" - Bill C.

The dates for the 2008 World Series of Poker have not been released yet, but the recently announced 2007-08 WSOP Circuit is set for stops at 12 casinos around the country including two at Caesars Indiana, Oct. 17 through Nov. 2, 2007 and April 2 through April 16, 2008. You can keep tabs on when the next World Series of Poker in Las Vegas will be held at www.worldseriesofpoker.com.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp