The gaming market has seemingly been covered by dark clouds for much of the past six years. Last week’s announcement that Revel, the Boardwalk’s newest resort, was filing for bankruptcy less than a year after opening, didn’t shock anyone.
Bad news has become expected.
Atlantic City gaming revenues have declined more than 40 percent over the last six years. The Boardwalk suffered through labor strife, competition from resorts in neighboring states, casino closures, stalled investments and the recession.
When Hurricane Sandy washed ashore in October, shutting down portions of the Boardwalk for as long as to a week, several analysts quietly wondered whether the freakish storm was a warning sign from above.
Hard as it seems, Peter Carlino and the folks at Penn National Gaming outdid Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn and Donald Trump in terms of political lunacy this year.
And it only cost the regional gaming giant $42 million to embarrass itself.
Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., dumped at least $53 million of his own money into a variety of super PACs that supported Republican candidates around the country, including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Other than U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., all his picks fell flat.
Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd., seemed to spend more time appearing on Fox News than in his company’s boardroom. Wynn used any and every occasion to attack President Barack Obama’s policies.
“It would be a complete disaster if Obama wins, which is why I’m urging my employees to vote for Romney,” Wynn told the Huffington Post the week before the election.
Obama beat Romney in Nevada by more than 66,000 votes.
Not a surprise. Trump got in, then out, of poker early in the boom (remember the US Poker Championships in Atlantic City?). That was a few years before Joan Rivers beat Annie Duke heads-up on Celebrity Apprentice. Trump’s 29-year-old daughter, Ivanka, explains the partnership as Trump Entertainment contributing the gambling licenses, Lasry putting up the capital, and The Donald offering his name and likeness to recruit future players.
“In terms of the Internet, brand is essential toward attracting players,” Ivanka told Business Week. “The Trump brand would be the most powerful one in this space.”
(h/t @TheWookieWay. NOTE: DonaldPoker.com is available should anyone wanna gamble $8 that such a URL might become the most powerful domain in poker.)
In this episode, I think Phil is headed to the next stop on the WPT Craps Tour (inside joke, or is that just something I didn’t know existed?) on Donald Trump’s helicopter … it’s a little hard to follow, but that’s probably the point … kinda like Lost.
I’m sure many people missed last night’s High Stakes Poker episode on GSN to watch Annie Duke get slowrolled by Donald Trump. The show featured the debut of the day 1 lineup with a few new faces so check it out below:
Congratulations to Annie Duke (and Joan Rivers) for making the final 2 of Celebrity Apprentice. I never woulda guessed in 2008 that these two ladies would be such a significant part of my 2009. I’m personally thrilled Annie has gotten this far, because now maybe we can force Huff to give the topic even more airtime on The Poker Beat. I’m hearing two lines of commentary amongst poker players — either shameless rooting for “one of our own” or tales from the bitter about her oppressive bitchiness on the felt, in the hallways, and just about anywhere else she’s done business.
Serious question though:
Is there anywhere you can bet on Celebrity Apprentice?
I mean I’m sure you can’t now, because you know, a few people already know the results. But could you have, at the beginning of the season, or before? I’m pretty sure Vegas casinos don’t offer non-sports entertainment betting lines … but online?
That’s the word … according to a YouTube commenter, Annie got herself a two-for-one on this week’s episode of Celebrity Apprentice, knocking out not just Melissa, but also Joan Rivers … who wasn’t even on the losing team!
Donald Trump said on Regis & Kelly this morning that Joan did quit. Next week will be the final four. 2 weeks from now is the finale.
So that leaves:
UPDATE: I should probably add a question mark to the hedline, because some “inside” info has come in to say Joan will indeed be back in the mix and that my predictions below are way off. We’ll have to see …
I’ve gotta say, I really enjoyed watching the WSOP-Europe final table … it was the first time I saw these episodes on TV … and probably a smart move to air them in marathon format. It offered a refreshingly different look, and featured some truly great poker. Seeing John Juanda lay down his K-5 … well it was at least as exciting as Fulham’s 0-0 draw against Arsenal! Even though I haven’t seen the heads-up yet (west coast delay), I’ll agree with Kevmath’s assertion that his eventual heads-up battle should be a model for a remix of Demidov vs. Eastgate. Seriously, how ironic is that — we all know who the winner of the near-live November Nine was, yet we’d all get excited to see how-won-it in the event that was supposed to be all about who-won-it.
But, I’m almost ashamed to admit, I think I’m pretty much hooked on Celebrity Apprentice. Annie Duke is a total star of the show — Omarosa for sure (but will she rebound or spiral downward!?! Ooh, tune in next week to find out!). Fun cameo by Erik Seidel … and even Annie’s enemy teammates were impressed by her rallying of poker players willing to throw around thousands to buy cupcakes. I’m wondering who the “Tony” was that she called … and her duking it out with Playboy bunny Brande Roderick … oh yeah!
Donald Trump is talking poker, too, and Herschel Walker’s kinda a wimp!
No offense HSP and WPT.
UPDATE: After watching a WPT rerun, I’m now watching the first rerun of tonight’s HSP Season 5 premiere. The tivo (and I think GSN) thought this was going to be a Season 4 episode. I’m glad it’s not.
All of the speculation has proven true; Annie Duke did participate in the second season of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, according to E! Online and every other media outlet. The 16 participants were announced this week, and Duke’s name was on the list, as was the charity (Refugees International) that she played for.
Photo courtesy of Mitch Haaseth of NBC
The show will begin airing on NBC March 1st with the Donald and the cast, with their corresponding charities, that follows:
* Clint Black, country legend; International Rett Syndrome Foundation
* Andrew Dice Clay, comedian; Stand Up for Kids
* Annie Duke, World Series of Poker champ; Refugees International
* Tom Green, comedian and talk-show host; Butch Walts and Donald Skinner Urologic Cancer Research Foundation
* Natalie Gulbis, professional golfer; Boys and Girls Club
* Scott Hamilton, Olympic figure skater; The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
* Jesse James, TV host, restaurateur and clothing line founder; Long Beach Education Foundation
* Claudia Jordan, Deal or No Deal model; NAPSAC Foundation
* Khloe Kardashian, reality star and boutique owner; Brent Shapiro Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Awareness
* Brian McKnight, singer and Broadway star; Youthville USA
* Joan Rivers, Emmy-winning comedian and red carpet terror; God’s Love We Deliver
* Melissa Rivers, red carpet cohost and producer; Lili Claire Foundation
* Brande Roderick, actress and production company owner; California Police Youth Charities
* Dennis Rodman, former NBA star; Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Orleans
* Herschel Walker, former NFL star; Alternative Community Development Services (Project Turnaround)
* Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, singer, former TLC member; Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia
As for Annie’s charity, Refugees International offers support and aid for displaced people around the world and works toward solutions for crises that cause that displacement.