THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's that time of year...World Series of Poker!

This item on Gaming Today:

World Series of Poker kicks off in Las Vegas
(May 27, 2009 10:31 AM)

by David Stratton

The World Series of Poker landed in Las Vegas on Tuesday as registration opened and satellites and cash games began.

The actual action begins today with the $500 buy-in Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em Event.

On Thursday, well-heeled players can enter a special event commemorating 40 years of World Series events, the $40,000 buy-in 40th Annual No Limit Hold’em event.

Overall, players will be able to compete in 57 bracelet events, up from 55 last year. Buy-ins will range from $1,000 up to $50,000.

Besides the thrill of competing against the best poker players in the world, entrants this year will have a few rule changes to contend with.

One of them, which many thought was a long time coming, involves a player’s behavior at the table.

After losing a large pot in last year’s televised main event, Phil Hellmuth railed against his opponent as an idiot and "the worst player in history," but officials issued only a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct. Under the new rules, anyone doing the same could be forced to sit out part of the tournament.

"We saw some things last year we weren’t very proud of, but we’re talking about a limited number of incidents and a handful of players over a tournament that will run 50 days," WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack said. "So this is about a very select and limited number of players.

"That said, our intention is to make sure the behavior of a few doesn’t impact the experience of the many. We want the tournament conducted in a civil, courteous manner."

It’s about respecting the game, he added. The penalties will be enforced for taunting other players and intentionally playing hands out of turn, which can provide an advantage for others at the table.

Oh, there’s another new rule that goes into effect: Players can’t use Twitter at the table. Exactly what that means is a mystery onto itself, but people who live their so-called lives on the Internet will understand.

Be sure to follow GamingToday for significant World Series of Poker updates as they occur.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mob Speak...Test your knowledge

Seeing as how this blog is called Mob Speak, I decided to find out how it was ranked on various search engines. In the process, I came across a couple of interesting Internet sits on the same topic.

Here's the link to one: It's called Mobspeak: The Language of the Mafia. It describes the history of certain phrases and gives colorful examples of actual mob talk.

Another site:, is a mob lingo dictionary. Learned some new ones like "typewriter party - a murder carried out with a number of machine guns." And "Hot plate - a crude name for the electric chair." Boy I sure don't want some Shovel Man hanging around me before I'm ready...

And one more:, a mobspeak glossary similar to the last site but with additional words, especially from the traditional Mafia. The author comments that he "lifted" most of the material from the book The Mafia Handbook by Douglas Le Vien, Jr. and Juliet Papa, Penguin Books 1993.

Knock yourself out, Gumba.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Historic Moulin Rouge Now a Pile of Rubble

Las Vegas NOW TV posted this story on its Website:

May 7, 2009 08:56 PM EDT

One day after the Moulin Rouge burned to the ground, news has come that the historic casino may officially be gone forever. Investigators continue to comb rubble and there is no word on what may have started a blaze.

All that's left of the Moulin Rouge is memories buried beneath the rubble. For years there has been a lot of talk about re-inventing the property. Coincidentally, it was up for auction on Tuesday for $10 million. No one bought it.

By Wednesday, the Moulin Rouge was gone forever -- over 50 years of Las Vegas history is gone.

"I'm sure once the findings are found, they'll be made public because the public is entitled to know when something is established," said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Goodman says a full investigation is underway to find who or what may have caused the fire. He says there is an indication the fire may have a suspicious origin, but nothing is confirmed yet.
"My reaction was I better get a plane ticket and get down to Las Vegas and take a look at our property," said Jon Hoss, President of Olympic Coast Investments.

Ironically, Hoss became the new owner on Tuesday. Moulin Rouge was on the auction block and since there were no bidders, by default, Hoss became the owner.

Thursday, Hoss saw his property for the first time. "I wasn't surprised. It's been a strange story, the Moulin Rouge," he said.

It's a strange story indeed. The Moulin Rouge has a history of fires -- four of them in the past six years. In 2003 an arson fire destroyed the facade of the building leaving only the familiar sign.
Hoss says he has no plans of bringing back the past and the heyday of what once was. "You'll have to speak with next owner. This property is going to go for sale shortly and we won't be part of the development," he said.

Hoss says his firm is in contact with three potential buyers, however he would not disclose who they are or their plans for the property.

Slick had his own experience with the ill-fated casino years ago. This excerpt is taken from the book,Thief. It was the 1970s:

"I passed by the old Moulin Rouge, a black and white club, closed long ago. Back in 1947, when I was in the Air Force, you saw more prejudice in Las Vegas than in Mississippi. Colored people had to stay in their own neighborhood on the West Side and all the hotels and casinos were strictly off limits to them except when they were entertaining. It was years later during the Rat Pack era when Sammy Davis, Jr., became the first colored guy allowed to stay in a "white" hotel on account of Frank Sinatra's pull. Sinatra threatened to take the Rat Pack elsewhere unless Sammy could stay at the Sands. Sands big shot Carl Cohen reconsidered when he thought about the revenue he'd lose.

Bitsy also told me that Joe Louis, the ex-boxing champ, was host at Caesar's Palace, one of the ritziest places in Las Vegas. Boy! Things really were changing."
It wasn't long after the above incident that the Moulin Rouge had one of its 6 fires. Somebody said the competition proved too much for other casinos and a sore loser had it torched.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Online gambling legal again?

There's currently legislation underway that would once again make online gambling legal. If such a bill passes, would there be an increase of problem and underage gamblers? And what about creating favorable conditions for fraud?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Card Counter's Guide to Casino Surveillance - Update

Well, I checked several Web sites including the Gambler's Bookshop, Amazon and a few other sites and found out the book The Card Counter's Guide to Casino Surveillance by Cellini is out of print. That's too bad since it's jampacked with useful info and titillating tidbits about clueless floor people, unbelievable player antics, wiley surveillance personnel, and many of the strategies casinos use to make sure they continue to rake in (and keep) your money.

If I've wetted your appetite for more, you might wish to contact the publisher, Huntington Press, in Las Vegas at 702-252-0655 or

Happy hunting!