THE LAST HAND – Gambling action heats up

By Bob Sweeney Publisher

By Bob Sweeney

I like to watch Poker After Dark late at night on television.

They like to chatter too much, but I like the play action. There are so many different styles of play, but big money always seems to talk the loudest. Those “all-in bets” are dynamite and gutty plays.

It’s always been said, “Good cards make the player.”

So true, but the player must know how to play those good cards and just how much to wager to “sucker in” those unsuspecting players with pairs and challenging hands. Winners also learn to bluff.

Close to home, and the Colorado Gambler, my daughter Sharon, who has shared the reins of the paper for the past 26 years, won a buy-in into one of the “World Series of Poker” tournaments that get underway this week in Las Vegas. She played in a local tournament and won an seat at this year’s competition.

Sharon is a savvy player and started playing online many years ago, and is good at math and lucky. Those are two ingredients that make for a decent poker player. She has never played at this level, so it will be an interesting experience for her.

I hope she wins it all by playing her game, and she will last the three-day endurance contest.

Along with this poker experience, we are planning some new changes and features to the Colorado Gambler.

Meanwhile, her father is celebrating Father’s Day without two of his three daughters. Saundra, Sharon’s older sister, is riding shotgun to Las Vegas and is also a pretty good poker player too.

Decades ago, when our four children were little and we lived in Craig, we owned the Craig Daily Press prior to moving to Denver in 1980. We would take an annual vacation to Las Vegas and I would visit with Hank Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun and stay at his Sahara hotel. He was one of the owners of the hotel. We both met with Jimmy Carter in the cabinet room at the White House when a few western U.S. publishers were invited to a White House briefing. The president commented on my Lions Club pin and told me he was a member of the Plains, Ga. Lions Club.

We received special VIP treatment along with RF&B. That means that room, food and beverages were complimentary. The kids would spend the day in the pool ordering ice cream drinks charged to the room. They loved that action, while dad played blackjack and mother shopped.

During many years of this annual trip, we saw great shows, Elvis Presley, Wayne Newton, Charo, Sister Sledge, Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, Liberace and many more.

They were great trips and so many fond memories. I also played in a number of golf tournaments and they were so much fun, and I made some lifelong friends, many of whom I still enjoy today. 

At that time, I never would have imagined publishing a newspaper called, the Colorado Gambler along with my wife Gerri and daughter Sharon. Patrick, our youngest, keeps all of the computers operating that we use for our various publications. He is a part of the team, along with Becky, our editor, and Tom, our graphic designer/production manager and graphic assistant, Renee.

In addition many changes are also going on around the gaming communities with ownership, from the Canyon going to The Lodge being torn down and turned into a larger joint with a new hotel and parking facility. The foundation being prepared for the new Monarch hotel and the Gregory St. project.

Johnny Z’s is also expanding. We see Johnny and John Jr. walking around their new casino, The Reserve Casino Hotel,  making big plans for their third casino property. They also operate the gasoline station where one can buy chocolate-coated beef jerky. Wish they would lower the price on their gas pumps—they would sell more gasoline and attract more beef jerky customers unless you’re lucky enough to win at Z or Johnny Z’s casinos and convert your comps, up to $20 towards free gas.

You might want to take the smooth Central City Parkway into Black Hawk/Central City until the road paving is complete. Read the Colorado Gambler on the bus trip up.  We estimate millions of people have read this newspaper since it started more than 25 years ago with the birth of legal gaming in Colorado.

We’re shooting for another 25 years and some good “turn” and “river” cards for the “Gambler” in poker and in print.   

Good luck, Sharon!!!

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