Monthly Archives: May 2006

Columbia Entertainment’s Superior Proposal to Acquire Aztar

The board of Directors of Aztar Corporation (NYSE: AZR) has admitted that the revised proposal of Wimar Tahoe Corporation d/b/a Columbia Entertainment, the gaming of Columbia Sussex Corporation to acquire Aztar is superior in comparison with the terms of the current merger agreement with Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.

The terms of the revised offer are as the following: Aztar would be acquired in a merger transaction. The holders of Aztar common stock would get $ 54 per share in cash, whilst the holders of Aztar’s Series B preferred stock would get $ 571.13 per share in cash. The offer also contained a merger agreement in accordance with which Aztar receives in certain circumstances a substantial deposit. In case there is an increase in the purchase price, the agreement provides for it at the rate of $0.00888 per share per day beginning six months, and then to $0.01184 per share per day beginning nine months, after the signing of the merger agreement in the event all required regulatory approvals have not been received by such dates. Besides that, Columbia Entertainment provided a signed financing commitment letter.

According to the revised offer of Columbia Entertainment, it would remain open till 2:00 p.m. (NY city time) on Friday, May 19, 2006.

According to the terms of Aztar’s merger agreement with Pinnacle, Aztar is to wait three business days before it can terminate the merger agreement with Pinnacle and enter into a merger agreement with another party. As it has already been announced the merger agreement with Pinnacle dating 5th May, 2006, determines the purchase price for each share of Aztar common stock as $47.00 per share in cash and $4.00 of Pinnacle common stock, subject to a collar.

At the moment no news is coming from Aztar’s Board with respect to the Columbia Entertainment offer. Nobody is sure whether the agreement will take place.

Turnkey Program Offered by Advocate Development System to Create Future Growth

If a casino is looking forward to creating its future growth and profitability, there is nothing like a combination of Robinson & Associates’ Advocate Index™ methodology and best business practices offered by Advocate Development System.

Martin R. Baird, the chief executive officer of Robinson Associates, a customer consulting firm for the gaming industry worldwide says: “The business environment in the gaming industry is highly competitive and casinos must be equipped with the proper tools to drive themselves forward for continued success. Advocate Index is the one number casinos need to plan their future growth and Advocate Development System gives them a structured program to leverage the index and take action”.

The methodology behind Advocate Index announced by Robinson & Associates last October, is the result of a thorough and profound research in more than a dozen of industries that shows that the index has tight correlation to future growth. Regarding casinos Advocate Index is the “baseline number that reflects where a casino is at the moment”, through a simple survey it measures the degree to which casinos have guest advocates that would be willing to risk their reputation by acting as casino’s advocates. Baird adds that “Advocate Development System utilizes the index and best practices to gauge, monitor and improve the casino’s performance and guest service. The end result is creation of more guest advocates and ever higher index scores. The higher the score, the more successful the casino will be because advocates are highly likely to return to play again and generate new business through the positive word they spread about the casino.

Leadership, program management, goals and metrics, incentives, action planning, improvement, guest and employee closure are the best business practices admitted by the Advocate Development System. Baird comments:

Leadership. It is necessary for the management to act as leaders to show how important guest advocates are. It’s not enough for the management staff to support any changes necessary for the company’s improvement, but they have to lead showing the example.

Program Management. Robinson & Associates partners with a casino on the implementation of Advocate Development System designs the developed and monitored formal program so that the casino can take it over when it’s high time.

Goals and Metrics. All the casino departments have goals and metrics established for them but being tightly connected with the casinos goal to become a success.

Incentives. Incentive, reward and recognition programs implemented will spur employees on providing customer service that turns guests into advocates.

Action Planning. Action plan will determine who will do it, when and why they will do it.

Improvement. The internal improvement processes implemented to create more guest advocates will involve educational, fun and participant-centered training for all employees.

Guest and Employee Closure. Keeping employees informed about the state of things gives them closure. At the same time guests will be asked how the casino can be a better place to play. They have closure when they are told by the casino how their input was used.

Baird admits: “Advocate Development System creates a focus on methods and programs that will bring increasing numbers of guests to a casino and cause existing guests to return more often, play longer and have such a positive experience that they themselves tell others to visit the casino. The System is reliable, consistent and effective; it will revitalize and support phenomenal growth at casinos”.

For more details, please go to the Advocate Development System Web site at AdvocateDevelopmentSystem.com.

You may call 206-774-8856 or e-mail Lydia Baird, director of business development, at e-mail protected from spam bots.

Note that the Web site also outlines 11 reasons for why a casino can benefit from the system, 7 mistakes casinos make when they come to improving their guest service and 10 top reasons for why customer satisfaction surveys fail. The site also has a link to an Advocate Index white paper.

Robinson & Associates has a Casino Customer Service Web site at CasinoCustomerService.com.

About Robinson & Associates: it is located in Annapolis and is a member of the Casino Management Association and is and associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.

Macau vs. Las Vegas

Nobody knows what will happen to the world in the nearest future, let’s say in three years. Everyone guesses. So do the gamblers. They can’t stop asking themselves where the biggest poker tournaments will be held; who will run the biggest online poker site; where will the world go to gamble, etc. There are a lot of questions, but if to answer them regarding present day situation, we should say that now thousands of people go to Las Vegas to gamble. It has been a gambling city since its legalization on 19th March, 1931. As for the biggest online gambling sites, the majority of them have manly American and European themes.

What concerns Macau, it’s a small area on the southern coast of China. The approximate number of arrivals made up 19 million in 2005 (the majority of them come from China), thus Macau overtook Las Vegas. Popularity of the city is determined by the increasing role of tourism and gambling in the Greater China Region. Being the only city in the Region where casinos are legal and with the Chinese population of about 1.3 billion people, Macau has a lucky chance to develop. No wonder, the city attracts investors from all over the world, from MGM Mirage to Steve Wynn, to say nothing of Stanley Ho – the 84th richest man in the world owning 90% of all Macau’s casinos. Now the city is planning 25 high class resorts and casinos, all to be built by 2009: the Wynn Macau Casino in 2006, the Venetian Macau in 2007, the Grand Lisboa, etc.

Eric with MacauTexasHoldem.com says that with the increasing popularity of gambling, and playing poker particularly, we “can expect that Macau will have tournaments for traditional Vegas games and many Culture specific games that are new to most Americans”. Such great changes in the world of poker prompt that very soon eastern flavor will soon prevail in the poker business, for Macau is becoming a more serious rival, not only in real casinos, but also online.

The Fearsome Foursome Have Proved to Be Really Fearsome

That happened in Las Vegas at the poker table when during Day 3 from the initial 209 players 27 left, and that amount included half of the Fearsome.

The leader of the Fearsome Foursome and BetHoldem Poker Room Manager Alex Jagodik showed a really impressive game within three days of the tournament. He didn’t manage to qualify for the final table, but despite it he got $ 27, 504. Here is what he said about his play: “I’m really pleased with how I played. I really can’t say there’s anything that I shouldn’t have done, or that I should have done to come out with a different outcome”. What happened in his final hand is that he had Ace-Jack versus John Spadavecchia’s pocket Jacks and Bill Baxter’s Kings. When another Jack appeared on the turn, everything changed: someone should be eliminated and that was Jagodik, as Baxter had enough chips to cover Spadavecchia’s stack.

The other member of the Fearsome Foursome was the WSOP veteran Brian Jensen who earned $ 19, 646. After being placed second in Atlantic City back in February, his total winning is about a quarter of a million – and all that is entirely his profit as Betholdem sponsored his buy-ins to the tournaments.

The other two members of the team who did not earn money, but who showed good poker are Steve McGugan and Don Gatlin. Gatlin was rather quick to finish – on Day 1 when his pocket Kings ran into pocket Aces. As for McGugan, he finished on the second day, but it should be noticed that it was his live tournament.

The next time we’ll be able to see the Fearsome Foursome will be in June, at the WSOP Circuit main event at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Jagodik, Jensen and two new members that are to be chosen from qualifier tournaments will fight for their luck. As it has already been arranged, the first qualifier tournaments will begin on May 22, and the Fearsome Foursome Finals when the two members are to be selected are said to take place on May 28, June 4.

Please go to http://www.betholdem.com/fearsome.asp to get more details about the Fearsome Foursome.

CelebPoker Win’s Business Britain Award

What we are observing now is the enormously increased number of UK gamblers since 2003 (the amount staked online has risen dramatically by over 550%), and it is expected to have increased even more by the World Series of Poker in July. Hardly anyone doesn’t try to benefit from this boom. New poker rooms and online casinos are born regularly. Business Britain has studied the development of the online gaming market over the last 18 months, and has taken it upon themselves to access the increasing number of companies in the online gaming industry.

The participants had to meet a list of the following criteria that consisted of a number of different areas, and were based on a points scoring basis. They are:
• Ease of use of site and game play
• Efficiency of payment transactions
• Help line and guidance for gambling issues
• Security and supervision of site
• Table and tournament options
• Prize money of tournaments based on *value
• Customer Support and response time
• Graphics and artwork of site and players
• Poker community, appropriateness to Business Britain’s readers
• Company Ethics

Having spent much time on the research, we are glad to inform that The Award for the Leading Online Gaming Company of 2005/2006 is presented to CelebPoker.com.

Why CelebPoker.com? In the past six months its traffic has increased, the number of players has grown towards the upwards of 600 %. Besides, it provides the most realistic playing experience. It was launched only in April, 2004, but it was a celebrity based, interactive poker room where you could log on and play games with stars. CelebPoker.com is very ambitious, and that is superb. Recently CelebPoker.com was awarded “Best Communication” to players by Top Pair Magazine April 2006.

CelebPoker.com gained the same marketing success in America within the same period. Having appeared at the market as a celebrity poker room, it could not but be noticed. CelebPoker.com was asked to deal the cards backstage at the World Music Awards show in Los Angeles in August. CelebPoker.com was there teaching new celebrity players the way Internet poker works, sharing stories of poker exhilaration with current A-List celebrity players.

During the summer 2005 Celebpoker.com brand was recognized throughout the USA. The success was immediate, and Hollywood news quickly spread among both online and offline players. When the prestigious American Music Awards show was held in Los Angeles in late November, CelebPoker.com was asked again to deal the cards Hollywood’s elite. The play took place throughout the awards and poker was being played both online at CelebPoker.com and in the theatre. A lot of US magazines and television stations covered the Celebpoker action.

PokerBodyguard Helps You Protect Yourself from Poker Cheats

PokerBodyguard that is available for downloading at http://www.StopPokerCheaters.com is a freeware product of Advanced Interactive Marketing, Inc. (AIM). It works with most online poker rooms, and players using it are provided with information concerning history of fellow players, i.e. how often they play together, how many times they have been winners, if they have ever been reported rude, etc. Besides, the program discussed also blocks poker Trojans and poker viruses from getting into your computer.

PokerBodyguard also makes it possible for users to watch instant replays of all online games, with a feature to fast-forward and rewind as with DVDs. With a built-in file-share system the program gives an opportunity to take notes on other gamers and share poker games with their friends.

Other free programs such as CustomXML, a powerful XML and RSS aggregator, MySearchBot, a tool to tap multiple search engines and share search results, and SystemBodyguard, which protects personal computers from online threats, are downloadable from the PokerBodyguard too.

Founder of AIM Larry Brunken says: “With one download, this freeware product gives you online protection and efficiency as never before. Poker players in particular can play their favorite game online with an enhanced sense of freedom and enjoyment”.

Some words about Advanced Interactive Marketing, Inc.

The company was founded in 2005 by Larry Brunken with an aim to produce a group of new free software applications. Brunken experienced in the online marketing business and AIM will release free products for both end users and online marketers.

For more information, please go to http://www.StopPokerCheaters.com

“Practical Low and No Limit to Texas Hold’em Ring Games” – a New Poker Book by Kim Isaac Greenblatt

The aim of the book is to remind the poker player the basics of low limit poker they often tend to forget. The author claims that “the trick to playing is to first, see if you are a winning player, second, if not, tighten up the game, and third, start tracking one’s winnings honestly. A lot of players get burnt out after going to card clubs or playing online and losing money ‘for fun’”. But is it so funny to lose money? – Of course, not. A lot of poker players get burnt out after having lost money for fun.

Kim Isaac Greenblatt doesn’t agree with the approach presented in some books. They say that poker playing is business. Greenblatt states: “Since I don’t know how people must handle their businesses I think that is an incorrect approach”.

The author in his book reviews an approach for playing low limit ring games, reviews a low limit gaming session and gives a clear explanation of how to calculate the binomial distribution formula for making an attempt to foresee and to predict how well the player will do over the course of future sessions.

Kim Isaac Greenblatt is a technical specialist. And as he has admitted it himself, he hates poker. Money received from the book sales will go to find a cure for Rett Syndrome – a disease affecting one out of 15,000 females. Males who are born with the Rett gene commonly die at birth.

The book is available in the USA; publisher – Barnes and Noble. Soon the book will be available abroad from Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

Three More April Winners of Satellite Tournaments in Germany are Sent to the Everest Poker European Championship

The decision has been taken by Everest Poker and the German Poker Players Association.

The Everest Poker European Championship is composed of live satellites around Europe and online satellites at EverestPoker.com. Up to 100 top players will compete in the final that will be held at the Casino de Barcelona on September 9, 2006. The event is going to be a 50,000 ˆ freeroll.

140 players participated in the satellite event on April 2 in Nuremberg. Martin Pongratz turned out to be a winner. Local TV station Bayerischen Rundfunk TV and local newspaper Nurnberger Nachrichten featured the event.

130 players took place in the Ulm satellite on April 7. Ralf Winkler of Stuttgart became the winner. The event was also covered by local media: the Sudwestpresse Ulm and Sonntag Aktuell newspapers and radio station Donau.

The Dortmund satellite event that was run on April 23 hosted 160 players. Ralph Klement became a winner there. The Bild Zeitung Dortmund and Waz newspapers, as well as radio station Radio 91, 2, featured the event.

Photographs, tournament results, as well as information on upcoming EPEC satellites, is available on the GPPA website at www.gppa.de and the Everest Poker Blog at www.everestpokerblog.com

No doubt, Everest Poker and the Everest Poker European Championship attract more and more players, giving anyone, not only pros and celebrities, a chance to win. The tour in Germany is being hosted by the German Poker Players Association. The upcoming live satellites in Germany are:
1) May 7, Leipzig
2) May 14, Regensburg
3) May 21, Frankfurt
4) May 28, Potsdam

Some more countries like France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark will also hold live satellites. All the winners will have a reserved seat for the final table. Moreover, they will receive 400 ˆ for travel expenses.

If you need some more information about qualification events in Germany and the Everest Poker European Championship, you may contact Karin Schmidt at kschmidt@affiliatedweb.com.

MGM Mirage has Partnered with Foxwoods

The partnership recently announced by MGM Mirage and Foxwoods, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, promises to have a lot of merits for either partner: on the one hand it will put the MGM Grand name on a $ 700 million Foxwoods hotel and casino expansion; on the other hand it will help Foxwoods spread its brand outside Connecticut.(According to the plan a new convention and gambling complex will be designed in the best traditions of a classic MGM Grand meeting complex and gambling resort.) Besides, the companies have agreed upon working on future projects at Foxwoods, opening new casinos around the country. For that purpose MGM Mirage is to provide up to $ 200 million in financing to back new gambling ventures around the country. To say more, Foxwoods Developing Group is planning to have MGM’s Backing for a huge number of new gambling ventures. A Gulf Coast casino resort at the site of the Broadwater Hotel in Biloxi, Miss., is one of the investment plans of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. $ 400 million is the sum needed. Foxwoods Resort Casino at Broadwater Beach is its future name.

So, it’s clear that their partnership is mutually beneficial.

Month-long May Tournament Announced by Everest Casino

Found at www.everestcasino.com, Everest Casino has announced May Lucky Dragon Mahjong Tournament. Lucky Dragon Mahjong was introduced in March and since that time it has proved to be a success. The key to the success is believed to be the newest video slot machines and resonance with Asian player base. But it’s obvious that the game attracts many other players who are fond Asian culture and traditions.

There is no difficulty to register for May Lucky Dragon Mahjong Tournament – the registration is free. The only thing needed for players is to enter coupon code 5DRAGONS with any deposit. Then you may start playing. Within the period from May 1 till May 31 Everest Casino will be tracking all eligible contestants and count the number of times of one of the four winds being a winner – East, West, South, and North.
The top five winners will be awarded with $ 2,500 for the first place, $ 1,500 – for the second place, $ 1,000 – for the third place, $ 750 – for the fourth place, $ 250 – for the fifth place.

Need more details about the event? Please go to www.everestcasino.com/promotions/tourn/luckydragon.html

Some other slot machines like Space Ace, Faerie Tale, Eureka!, Cactus Jack, Jurassic Cash, Go for the Gold!, Shopping Spree and GOOOAAL! are also available in Everest Casino.