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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Scouting report on slots and tables at the new 'Shoe

24 September 2008

Just in case you haven't already experienced it for yourself, the new Horseshoe in Hammond is something to behold.

A gaming environment that gives new dimension and stature to this market has been created, not only in sheer numbers (3,200 slot machines and 100 table games) but also variety, the quality of product that's available, and comfort room.

There's an outstanding selection of slots in all denominations representing the latest technology and operating platforms from the world's leading manufacturers, including IGT, WMS Gaming, Bally, Aristocrat and Konami.

Video poker players will find an expanded inventory of machines including IGT single-hand Game Kings featuring nickel, dime and quarter denomination play, something gamblers on a budget will certainly appreciate.

Quarter video poker players have more stand-alone machines from which to choose, plus there's a progressive bank of Triple Play/Five Play units as well as a sequential royal progressive.

If you're a dollar video poker player, the popular Double-Double Bonus game comes with a 9/6 pay table (nine coins for one for a full house, six coins for one for a flush) while the Double Bonus option has a 9/7 pay table.

Slot players who enjoy the penny games are accommodated with a selection of the latest two-cent and three-cent machines. There's also a two-cent Star Wars-themed progressive carousel.

Other low-denomination progressives (keeping in mind that max play can run into dollars) include Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, both of which are nickel games, plus the hot new Indiana Jones-themed carousel of nickel machines.

Horseshoe's expansion has made room for more traditional table games, which have been equipped with LCD screens and video. They include roulette blackjack, and 10 craps tables. There's even a 12-player position Rapid Roulette wheel for those who prefer the touch-screen version of the game.

Then there's something that'll really make you feel like you're in a Las Vegas casino: a 20-seat live keno lounge, never before available at a casino in the Chicago area. A new game is played every few minutes.

The live poker room, which is set to hold World Series of Poker circuit events, is beautifully appointed and spacious with 34 tables and an atmosphere that'll make you feel like you're in Las Vegas.

If you prefer the fully automated version of the game, there are two PokerPro electronic tables located outside of the entrance to the room.

The artfully designed Asian-themed gaming area features a 12-player big baccarat table, two hand-held mini-baccarat tables, blackjack, plus three pai gow poker and three pai gow tiles tables.

High rollers will appreciate the dedicated High Limit room with 125 machines in denominations from one dollar to $1,000.

CASINO NEWS: A $100,000 first prize is being offered in the Hollywood Casino Poker Challenge. Single table mini-satellite tournaments are being held in the casino's poker room seven days a week starting at 11 am. The buy-in is $120. The winners of these tournaments will make up the field of 176 players for the qualifying events which start Nov. 7. The top 40 players from the qualifiers will meet in the main event on Dec. 7. For details call Hollywood's poker room (630-801-7471).

Construction of the new 22-story, 302-room deluxe hotel tower and 20,000 sq. ft. convention center at Blue Chip Casino Hotel in Michigan City, Indiana, is on schedule for a January 2009 grand opening. The $130-million expansion will also include a spa and fitness center in addition to dining and nightlife venues.

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