Monday, February 28, 2011

Aces Casino Blog: The 2011 Academy Awards Redux, A.K.A. "What In The HECK Was THAT?"

Aces Casino might be the gold standard when it comes to orange county casino party companies, but, here at our main office in beautiful downtown Whittier, CA., we like to think of ourselves as, shall we say, "Well-Rounded," when it comes to the important topics of the weekend.  We've been known to add our two cents to the water cooler chat on a wide range of pertinent topics of the day, from national news (Do NOT get me started up about gas prices again) to sports, and sometimes, to the world of entertainment.

Hey, when you have the word "entertainment"prominently displayed on your business license, you'd best have an opinion or two about the genre you profess to know something about.  And, BOY, do we have an opinion when it comes to that Sunday night "train wreck" that the TV Guide was describing as "The 83rd Annual Academy Awards Show" that aired on ABC-TV this Sunday evening. 

Now, right up front, we have to mention that we're a SUCKER for the "Oscars."  We LOVE the movies, ALL TYPES of movies - Comedies, Horror pictures, Action/Adventure, Drama, Sci/Fi's, Documentaries, you name it.  We love 'em ALL,   We're total saps for this type of drivel.  We're a tap-in putt on the golf course of entertainment when it comes to the Oscars.  It's almost IMPOSSIBLE to disappoint us with the Academy Awards presentations, year-in and year-out.

Notice that we used the term, "almost."

Friends, I'm here to tell you that not even Denzel Washington, Chris Pine or Rosario Dawson could have kept THAT "Unstoppable" train from running off the rails.  The MINUTE that the broadcast was over, we all looked at each other and said, "Holy MOLY.  There's a whole WEEK of Blog meterial in just that one show."

Indeed there is, my Aces Casino co-workers, indeed, there is.

Now, I'm sure that the Hollywood press agents-turned-spin doctors are already weaving their journalistic magic on Sunday's Kodak Theater-based mushroom cloud to distance their highly coiffed meal tickets (the "stars")  from the "accident," so we thought that it would only be fair if this orange county casino party company press agent beat them to the keyboard, and we came up with what we'd like to call ...

"The Top 5 Faux-Pas of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards."

Two years of College-course French went right down the drain.  Sorry, that's all the French we remember.  OK, without further adieu (Hey, wait a second, there's something ELSE we remember!), here they come, in reverse order....

#5 -- The Network's selection of the hosts for the telecast

If the Oscars have one thing going for it, that would HAVE to be the plethora of talent in and around Hollywood that ABC-TV could choose from when you're looking for an entertaining host for the Oscar broadcast.   This show has had FABULOUS hosts over the years, from Bob Hope to Johnny Carson, to Steve Martin and Billy Crystal.  Professional entertainers that always seemed to shine at the Oscar telecast, year-in and year-out.

Then came 2011.

Suddenly, Ricky Gervais doesn't look so bad, now DOES he, you members of the Hollywood Foreign Press?  I remember when I personally saw that James Franco and Anne Hathaway had been selected to host the 2011 Oscars.  My first response was, "What?  Who?  The guy from Spider-Man 2, and that girl from "The Devil Wears Prada?  You're KIDDING."

Nope.  No kidding, Aces. Now, I admit that I haven't seen Franco's latest film, the one he was nominated for Best Actor for, but he truly had no business hosting something like this.  He looked bored at times, and other times, he looked like he was searching for the right thing to say at the right time, but went 0-for-37 on the night in that regard.  The telecast seemed to LAST 127 hours with him doin' the hosting.  He is NOT an entertainer in any sense of the word, seemed to have NO experience in carrying off a show like this, and will truly be remembered as the worst host the Oscars have ever had.  It's a one-and-done, no doubt.  Put him on the milk carton, baby.  He's missing.

"Have You Seen Me?  Call 555-Bore."

Now, Anne Hathaway I like, but for sinister reasons.  One, she's beautiful, and two, she's intelligent, a rare mix in Tinseltown.  Unfortunately for her, she was saddled with the aforementioned James Franco, and had NOTHING to play off of when it was her turn to speak.  The good news was the fact that she must have had a NASCAR pit crew backstage working for her, because she changed dresses for the broadcast every four minutes.  It had to be tough to get that clothing off of her: most times, it looked like she was wearing PAINT, the dresses were so skin-tight.

And what was that song she sang about an hour into the telecast about the missing Australian guy for her duet (Hugh Jackman, I'm guessing)?  Since when do we need filler for the OSCARS?  She CAN sing, no doubt, but the song was just unnecessarily awful.  Memo to Anne: inside jokes don't work on the Oscars, good-lookin', especially when only YOU and Jackman get the joke.  Fire THAT writer immediately.  Yep, the hosts didn't help the cause, that is for sure.  Grade: D.  A "C" for Hathaway, because she's gorgeous, but an "F" for Franco.  The columnists are going to tear him apart.

#4 -- Kirk Douglas 

OK, OK, put down your torches and pitchforks, get rid of the Tar and Feathers.  Hear me out, now.  Me?  I was glad to see him, and yes, I have known for some time that "Spartacus" has suffered a stroke a while back.  My problem with Michael Douglas' dad is, he had the wrong job.  HE should have been hosting the show, and NOT James Franco.  LOVED Kirk's line to Hathaway, "Hey, Anne - Where wre YOU when I was making pictures?"  Imagine the children THOSE two would have had.  But, I digress....Grade: a solid "A" for a true Hollywood icon that we wished would have gone over and booted James Franco off the set.

#3 -- That opening monologue

When I think of the Oscar opening monologues, I think of true entertainers like Steve Martin, and especially Billy Crystal.  Crystal would write up an impromptu song that touched upon the five "Best Picture" nominees (at that time), a song that made you laugh, and got you right in the mood for the telecast to come.  When Billy was done, it was "on with the show!"

Now, I knew that Billy Crystal wasn't in the 2011 starting lineup, and that we were going with two "rookies" on the hill. But...Whomever thought of that idea of intertwining Franco and Hathaway into scenes from the Best Picture lot in 2010 should have been given the day off, instead.  Our esteemed hosts don't have enough star-power or comedic talent to make the montage work, the lines edited into the piece from the films didn't say anything worthwhile or funny, and the whole thing was just poorly done.   An unfunny beginning to a broadcast that immediately sounded the alarm of what was unfortunately coming in those next three-plus hours.  THe only thing I could say upon it's completion was, "Uh-Ohh."

#2 (Tie) -- The lack of usage of what makes Hollywood great during the broadcast, coupled with the lack of mystery about who was going to win the big awards

Right off the bat in the 2011 Oscar broadcast, the theme from the 1939 classic "Gone With The Wind" was used as a backdrop for the appearance of Tom Hanks, the first presenter of the night.  I thought to myself, "Did someone nominate "GWTW" THIS year?"   Whose idea was it to kick off the show with that one film's theme?  Someone had best help this orange county casino party company with where all of that was supposed to go.

It was clumsy, was a VERY loose fity fit with what Hanks was presenting that night, and to top it off, later on, if I remember correctly, the theme from "Shrek" was used for what was it, ART Direction, or something?  "Shrek?"  Really?  Well, it's nice to know that the Academy places that all-time classic, "Shrek," right up there with "Gone With The Wind."  Yeah, right.  This broadcast, like Shrek himself, was "Far, Far Away."

Yep, Me and Clark Gable.  Ask Tom Hanks.

Were those the only two times that type of segue was used during the telecast?   If so, that was ONE good usage of the proverbial "DUMP" button.  The OTHER?  That had to be when Melissa Leo, who won for Best Supporting Actress, forced the guy manning the "DUMP" button to use it when she uttered the "F" word when giving her acceptance speech.  Hey, she was still in character!

Don't worry, Melissa.  After three hours of THAT Oscar broadcast, I must have used that word about five more times, courtesy of the timing-challenged hack that IS James Franco. 

And when you watch the Oscars every year, don'cha just LOVE it when the telecast pays homage to all the great films of the past, showing short clips from all the masterpieces that Hollywood has made over these many years?  I know I love it, but it appears that THIS broadcast didn't have any TIME for drivel like that.  The good news?  The broadcast only ran over it's alloted time by about 14 minutes.  The BAD news?  They didn't touch on ANYTHING "Hollywood!"  Someone tell ABC to get back to showing what makes Hollywood great, and forget about Anne Hathaway singing about her missing duet partner.

Then, when you move to the last hour or so of the broadcast, was there ANYONE in the viewing audience that DIDN'T know that Portman, Hooper, Firth, and "The King's Speech"  were going to take home the gold?  There wsn't any mystery or drama involved with the Oscars, in my not-so-humble opinion.  We have awards shows like the Golden Globes and the Writer's and/or Director's Guild Guild Awards Ceremonies to thank for that.

#1 -- Did I mention James Franco?

Oh.  Yeah, I guess I did.  I knew Franco was toast the minute the dog began to growl at the screen whenever Franco appeared.  The only other time our Aces Casino mascot did that was when somebody turned on a Pauly Shore film.

Not good company to be in, James, not good at all.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aces Casino Blog And The Academy Awards: Top 5 Films That We Think Flat-Out STOLE The "Oscar"

Yes, we admit it: We're "Academy Award" geeks.  Without question, if the gang here at Aces Casino, the orange county casino party company leader, had ANY chance at attending an Academy Awards show, they would, in a HEARTBEAT.

Oh, but NOT for the "stars, glitz and glamour," mind you.  Nah, that's not as interesting to US.

We're not "Star-Struck."  What WE love about the Academy Awards is the fact that, when it comes to the Oscars, there seems to be more bad calls by the academy concerning which film of a given year is selected for the Best Picture Oscar than all of the horrible calls in the last five years of NFL games.  COMBINED.

I mean, come ON, be honest - How many times have you watched the yearly presentation of the Oscars and thought to yourself, "What in Hades are they THINKING?"  Yeah, us, too.

So, since it's "Oscar-Time" in Hollywood once again, we here at Aces Casino, the orange county casino party leader, thought that we'd throw OUR two cents (and that's probably all that it's worth) out there and play "Hollywood Reporter."  Hey, why not?  We COULDN'T possibly be as bad as Joan Rivers, so here they come in reverse order: The "Aces Casino Top 5 Films that WE think flat-out STOLE the Oscar from the rightful winner....

#5 -- (2005) -- "Crash" steals the statue from "King Kong"

OK, let me get this straight.  Maybe I'm an orange county casino party guy, and NOT a Hollywood "Insider," but "Crash?"  "CRASH?"  A movie about an auto accident wins over one of the most beautiful and absolutely STUNNING pictures in quite some time?  Peter Jackson poured his heart into re-making the 1933 epic that he loved so much, and got robbed by an academy that seems to LOVE "little statement movies."  Get off the race kick, people, and get back to awarding the trophy to the most deserving films.

Yeah, it "crashed," all right.  If it made $60M, I'd be shocked.

#4 -- (2008) -- "Slumdog Millionaire" ROBS "The Dark Knight"

I suppose that  the academy thought, "hey, let's give Heath Ledger the Oscar to appease the 'Dark Knight' fans, that'll cool their jets.  THEN, we can vote for another 'statement' film."  Another miscarriage of justice here, a TRAVESTY.  The two films don't even compare.  Ledger's performance in the film was spectacular, and the cast around him was incredible.  Mix in the fact that Christopher Nolan shows in this marvelous film that he is one of the greatest directors of film in the last 20 years, and the upset is complete.  Boy, academy, I sure hope you enjoy THIS decision.  AWFUL.

#3 -- (1977) -- "Annie Hall" swipes the trophy from "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind"

Again, it's time for the academy to, in THEIR minds, "right the wrong they've created," and give an award to that  miscreant, Woody ALLEN, of all people, someone that the ACADEMY seemed to LOVE to rob in the PAST, and give him the Oscar for Best Picture instead of Steven Spielberg, who made yet ANOTHER fabulous film from HIS impressive resume'.  Here, Woody, take this statue and your rap sheet, and leave us alone.  Sorry, Steven, but if it costs us your Oscar to get rid of this guy, so be it.

#2 -- (1990) -- "Dances With Wolves" over "Goodfellas"

Take a sleepy western film, give the director the green-light to make a 4-hour film, mix in the guy from "Field Of Dreams,"  and there you have it.  The Academy's FAVORITE mix.  Holy moly, SNOOKI would have been a better pick for Costner's role.  "Goodfellas" was a FANTASTIC film, gripping story, perfectly directed, memorable cast.  Yep, no WAY we're picking THIS film for the win.  "Oooh, it talks about the Mafia.  We're SCARED, we can't vote for this film.  What kind of statement would THAT make?"  Uh-huh....Yeah, you've already MADE enough "statements," Academy.  By the way - Joe Pesci, you were TERRIFIC in that role.

"Am I funny to you?  Funny HOW?" Yeah, the Academy IS a CLOWN.

#1 -- (1981) -- "Chariots Of Fire" beats out "Raiders Of The Lost Ark"

Om my lord, do NOT get me started HERE.   Another Spielberg snub.  For some reason, the Academy HATES popular, boffo box-office hits.  I mean, come ON - CRASH only made $54M.  I don't know how much cash "Chariots" made, but for the Academy to even THINK about suggesting that "Chariots Of Fire," the Academy's gift to those who suffer from chronic Insomnia, was a better picture than "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" is 100% laughable.  Silver medal in the "Laughable" division was my decision NOT to see the film until it came out on DVD -- Being a San Diego Charger fan, I couldn't make myself pay money to see a movie with the word "Raiders" in it.

I know, that's as stupid as anything the academy has done in the last 25 years, too.  Hey, I finally broke down and saw the film.  It was TERRIFIC, and a LOT better than ANYTHING the Oakland Raisers have done in the last 25 years.  Take it from the Aces Casino guy, the guy that knows good films just as well as he knows the orange county casino night business - Spielberg's film deserved the 1981 Oscar for Best Picture.

And BOTH of those facts, my friends, makes me smile.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Aces Casino: 3 Things To Avoid If You're Planning On Hosting A Successful Casino Party Fundraiser

Here at Aces Casino, the orange county casino night equipment rental leader, we take pride in giving each and every client of ours the most entertaining, unique, and imaginative casino night parties possible. It's just what we do. And, we do it VERY well. 17 years in the business means quite a lot of practice.

As a matter of facct, Aces Casino ALSO does something that no other casino party company in the industry would EVER do: We also will go the extra mile to help out someone in dire straits that ISN'T a client of Aces Casino; some poor party coordinator or fund raising group that has found out too late that rock-bottom pricing and promises that are too good to be true usually are, and all their hard work to put on their party for their guests is going to be ruined by an unscrupulous casino "business."

There's nothing we hate more than hearing that an event has been ruined this way.

So, we were sitting around the offices the other day, when one such telephone call came in; someone that had called us originally, then found a "company" on the internet that beat our price by $25, and booked with them sight unseen, because of the "savings." Alas, you DO end up getting what you pay for. The company they ended up hiring didn't show up for their fund raiser, because (we found out later) they got another party from another client that PAID THEM more, and they ditched their first client so they could make more money for themselves.

Boy, we've grown SO incredibly tired of hearing results like this.

So, we thought, if we really ARE the orange county casino night industry leader, we need to do something about this. Hence, the meat of our blog post today. It seems that we we keep hearing the same three complaints from highly unsatisfied people and groups, people that were unhappy with the service from their "cut-rate" casino companies. So, it would seem totally logical to take these same three recurring complaints, and broadcast them to the casino party throwing community.

So, without further fanfare, here are three biggest complaints that event planners and fund raising chairs have, after they decided that saving an extra $25 was more important than going with Aces Casino, the orange county casino night industry leader for Southern California;

#3 -- The casino company's "Management, Pit Boss and Staff" don't have any clue about how to help their client

-- Usually, this particular situation DOES begin to show itself early on in the beginning itinerary meetings you'll have with your casino party company -- They don't have ANY suggestions on how to maximize profits at the fundraiser, how the fund raiser even WORKS, how much equipment that the client should have at their event to make sure that there isn't too much or too little casino power, what the chips are worth, how much chip power to start each guest with....Sometimes, we've found that the client knew more about the overall operations of the casino event than the CASINO COMPANY did.

 A "Must-Have" For Incompetent Staff Members

Red Flag. Reputable casino party companies WELCOME all of your questions, and are FULL of great ideas and scenarios to help YOUR next party or fund raiser become an instant hit. Don't go with the cheapest company to save a buck, then end up losing money or killing the ambience of your event because you got a casino company that doesn't know what they're doing.

#2 -- The equipment that the casino company brought to the event was substandard, and not up to the quality promised by the casino company

-- This is a BIG one, but it's not even the number one problem with some disreputable casino companies. We can't say this enough: NOT ALL CASINO EQUIPMENT IS THE SAME. CHECK OUT what your casino party company plans to bring to your event. Ask for references, and USE them.  To be honest, Aces Casino isn't the only reputable orange county casino party company out there (there are actually 5 very good companies in SoCal that do a great job), but we ARE the one casino party crew with the best of everything, from the tables, to the dealers, and the staff members.  (Hey, I said we'd be HONEST!  Grin)

I wish I had $5 for every time that I heard a client tell us that their LAST casino company literally brought TOYS to their party, and pawned them off as "Casino tables." There are some companies out there that will literally show up with plywood sheets, and wrap cheap Blackjack layouts around them that are half the size of the size of normal BJ tables, fasten the layout on with tape, and put them on spindly cheap legs that wobble like hula dancers when touched.

Other companies will promise a Craps table at your event, then show up with a plywood box, a "tub," if you will, that's a miniature table at BEST, THEN tell you that you only purchased the "discounted model," and that the REAL casino size and quality Craps tables cost more. By THEN, it's too late; your party is about to start. You're stuck. Ask for pictures, or better yet, visit the casino company at an event that they're hosting for another client. If they refuse to give you this kind of info, RUN AWAY, as fast as you can.

But, the most blatant equipment problems that we've heard about seem to center around the Roulette tables. Two words. "TOYS ABOUND." You'll know that you got the wrong casino party company when they show up at your next event with a 12" plastic toy wheel, and call it a "Roulette Wheel." Friends, here's the straight dope -- Casino size and quality Roulette Wheels are 32 inches in diameter (from one end across to the other).

There's NOTHING worse than trying to play Roulette on a cheap, toy wheel. If they send you pictures of toy Roulette wheels upon request, find another company. Take it from Aces Casino; NEVER settle for toy tables at your casino event, especially toy Roulette tables. If you want to see what "casino size and quality" tables look like, check out our Web site link here - It's just like our ol' 20-story buddy, Godzilla - "Size Matters!"

"I Just HATE Those Toy Roulette Wheels!"

#1 -- The casino party game dealers are morons, and don't know a thing about the game they're dealing

Yes, as hard to believe as this sounds, there are disreputable casino companies that will just bring "bodies" to your event, and try to bluff their way through the games they've been assigned to. Sometimes, this happens because the casino company is just too busy for their own good, and have spread themselves too thin. Sometimes, they're just small companies that don't even ASK their staff if they can actually DEAL.

We've even heard of dealers that are brought to events, especially in Southern California, and they DON'T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH. I'm not kidding. There's a company out here in SoCal that will stop off over at the local Home Depot on their way to their party, pick up the necessary people to fill their party, and off they go. Can you imagine not being able to even CONVERSE with your dealer during your party?

Other problems abound with sub-standard dealers, too. They don't know the game they've been assigned to. They can't help you with your game -- They're too busy asking YOU about how the game is played. Oh, my word.... Unfortunately, this happens all the time. There's nothing worse than playing casino-style games for fun only, and finding out the fun itself has been lost, because the dealers are IDIOTS, and can't deal games like Blackjack, 3-Card Poker, 3 Way-Action, Tournament Texas Hold-'Em, Craps, Roulette, or Let It Ride. They've got a better chance of piloting the Space Shuttle than create and provide a split-pot at the Hold-'Em table.

Aces Casino has always prided itself on having top-flight casino-quality dealers, tables, and staff at each and every casino event they perform at. We're not the only company that does -- That's why, again, it's important to CHECK THOSE REFERENCES. Go and SEE your casino party company in action, at another event, see how the fund raising event works for THEM. Call your prospective company, and ask questions. LOTS of them. Hey, if they're any good, they WELCOME the questions.

Bottom line -- Aces Casino is here to help all of our clients have fun, and raise funds for their favorite charities. We aren't the orange county casino night leader for nuthin'. Give us (or your local casino party company) a call, and find out everything you ever wanted to know about how much fun these casino events can be.

Oh, one more thing -- Check out the casino company's chips. If they're plastic chips, run away. It's one of my personal pet-peeves. Can't stand plastic chips. If I wanted plastic, I'd go to Hollywood.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Aces Casino Fantasy Football Addiction #5 - Looking At The DFFL's "Origin Of The Name"

Here at Aces Casino, Southern California's orange county casino party company leader, we strive to not only provide the best and most innovative ideas about how to maximize the efforts of your next casino party, but also to show our more irreverent (and some say mindless) side.  That's where fantasy football comes in.  Ask my wife: "There's nothing more mindless than fantasy football!"  This coming from a woman that thinks the definition of the word, "Benihana," is Japanese for "It's OK to eat off of someone else's plate."  But, as usual, I digress, but not before saying that Benihana is the BEST.  (She stole my Shrimp Tempura, but I'm not bitter.)

Where was I .... Oh, yes, Fantasy football.  Everyone knows that Aces Casino LOVES the Dunn-Edwards Fantasy Football League, our home for mindless fantasy football, but after playing in this fantastic league we call the "DFFL," there has always been one burning question that has befuddled us for some time - Where did the 12 league members ever come up with those interesting team names they have?  (I know... This orange county casino night guy has too much time on his hands.  Hey, they gave me this job to write the blog, so I'm writin' it.  Sue me.  Grin)

Pretty much what my wife thinks.

Well, since the DFFL was on a seven-month vacation, we thought that this might make an interesting topic.  So, without further adieu, here are the results of a pain-staking 20-minute in-depth article from the orange county casino night company known as Aces Casino on just how the teams came up with their names.  Some of the answers might just surprise you.....

Your Name Here — When he joined the DFFL in 2008, Ben Miller announced that he had named HIS team “Your Name Here” to pay homage to his friend’s 2007 DFFL team name at the time, which was “This Space For Rent.”  Before the ‘08 season began, Ben later found out that “TSFR” had changed THEIR name to “Full Tilt Poker,” but decided to keep the “Your Name Here” team name anyway, and has kept it to this day.

Home Field 45 — Robert Abundis’ NFL loyalties are tied to his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, so when he joined the league in 2009, he decided to pay homage to the Cowboys by naming his team “Home Field 45” after the actual site of Super bowl 45—which was also the actual home stadium of the Cowboys. Robert was obviously hoping that the Cowboys would be the first team to advance to the Super Bowl while also playing in their actual home stadium at the same time.  (The Cowboys subsequently finished the 2010 season out of the playoffs.  I’m guessing that a team name change is in our future.)

Baltimore Ravens — The NFL Ravens are Grant Herman’s “second favorite” NFL team besides the Chargers, most likely as a result of his love for the team’s current starting QB, Joe Flacco.  Grant liked the uniform colors and the success that the team had been recently enjoyed, and since Commissioner Francis already had the name, “Bolts,” Herman chose the Ravens as his franchise team name when he joined in 2009.

Full Tilt Poker — This team owner has a ritual for his fantasy football teams when it came to naming them — He would name the team after the very first sign or commercial he would see (either on TV or in person) when the time was chosen to name the team at some time during the league’s draft.  In 2008, when it was determined that the next thing seen on a nearby TV would be the 2008 name, a commercial for the poker site called “Full Tilt Poker” appeared on the screen at the National Sports Grille.  The Full Tilt guy isn’t superstitious at all, but has decided to keep the current team name while the team is successful.  

Norsemen — At first glance, assigning meaning to the team name Rob Mielke has given his DFFL franchise doesn’t seem too tough; yes, Rob’s a big Viking fan, but he comes by his NFL fandom naturally….Rob grew up in what he calls the “Northern Tundra of Minnesota.”  He’s used the term “Norseman” in many different online forums when discussing subjects like football, so it wasn’t a big leap to use the name for his DFFL team.

Mr. Go Lucky —It seems that with the DFFL team owners, the right nickname can strike at any time, in some of the craziest places.  Case in point: Anthony Pitassi, one of our two Buffalo Bills’ fans.  As the story is told, Anthony’s nick came about as a result of a membership to the social networking site, “MySpace.”  He created a page for himself by posting a picture of his nephew, and instead of using his own name, he posted the page under the nickname, “Lost Cause.”  Then one day, Anthony received a note from a girl that told him “Don’t be a ‘lost cause’ — He should be ‘Happy Go Lucky!”   He immediately changed the website name to “Mr. Go Lucky,” and now Anthony says he uses the nickname everywhere.

J-Squad — Sometimes, the humorous personalities of our DFFL brethren will make itself apparent during e-mail communications between the teams, and this question to Jesus Cortez triggered that personality.  After declaring that the origin of his team name was to remain a “secret,” Mister Cortez finally spilled the beans on January 5, 2011....  “The ‘J’ is for Jesus, Steve.”  Yeah, I kinda figured, my friend, but I had to ask…. We love taking on the tough topics and asking the tough questions here at the Dunn-Ed League….(Grin)

Run & Gun — Fantasy football is one of Ron Bolton’s passions, but it’s not his ONLY fantasy sports addiction—He’s also a big fantasy basketball fan (I want to say this is something I found out last year at a prior league meeting).  So, when Ron became one of the “original DFFL team members” in 2007, and the time came to submit the name of his DFFL team to the commissioner, he went with the same name that he’s used in his basketball league, one that he figured also fit the game of football.  He submitted “Run&Gun,” and the name stuck.

Burbank Thumpers — Alas, this is the only representative of the DFFL that did not respond to our numerous attempts at finding out just how Jose’s team got it’s name.  Hey, the guy gets 500 e-mails a day.  He probably has me on his SPAM list, anyway, after that playoff game.  I don’t blame him: My wife and kid already have me on that list, among others.

Grim Reaper — When pre-production for this article started taking shape, this was the one team name I had in mind when I thought, “what’s up with THIS name?  Where did it come from?”  The anticipation was killing me on this one, so when the January 2011 DFFL Owner’s meeting approached, this reporter saw his chance to finally find out what the deal was when it comes to Alan Sullivan’s team name.  The day of the meeting, we approached Alan, and asked him the $64 question—”Why “The Grim Reaper, Alan?”  His answer?  “Well, I always thought the name and the character was cool, it was really neat, so that’s what I named the team.  Plus, I found a really cool picture of the Grim Reaper, carrying that blade, and used that for the team logo.  It looks great!”   Can’t argue with that, Alan.  Who’d ever argue with “The Grim Reaper?”

Trojans — This one’s another one of those Jesus Cortez-like “Duh” situations.  I know that you’ll find this surprising, but, incredible as it may seem, team owner Andy Gillette is a BIG USC Trojan fan, so, when it came to DFFL team naming rights, “Trojans” seemed a natural fit.  There’s still one question that needed to be asked…”Andy, you’re a big New York Jets fan.  What not name the team the ‘Jets?’”  The answer?  Haven’t gotten it, yet...When I do, I’ll pass the answer along.

Bolts — In 1992, Commissioner Jim Francis decided to purchase season tickets to the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, a team whose fans have attached the catchy nickname, “The Bolts,” to the team.   Jim immediately decided that HIS DFFL team would wear the same nickname as a nod to his favorite NFL franchise.  

Well, there you have it, straight from the orange county casino night kingpins at Aces Casino.  During the off-season, the DFFL / Aces Casino Fantasy Football blog is updated once a month, a time frame which my wife says should be cut down to once every ten years.  Give me back my shrimp tempura and we'll talk, you thief.....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Aces Casino: 10 Tough Questions About America's Favorite Casino Game - Blackjack! (A.K.A. '21!')

Occasionally, we here at Aces Casino, the orange county casino party leaders, will overhear what we'd classify as a "spirited discussion" about some of the casino games that our play-for-fun casino team offers to the masses all across this great state of California, specifically, Southern California.  (Yes, we do service the los angeles casino party area as well.  VERY well, we might add.)

At a recent event in Anaheim, it seemed that the "topic of the day" was Blackjack, one of the staples of the casino gaming industry.  Boy, were the inaccuracies about the game of Blackjack flying around the room THAT night.... (grin)

Here at Aces Casino (the orange county casino night leader), we take pride in our ability to keep all of our many Blog-Readers as well as our many clients here in southern California mentally sharp and ready to do battle in the Vegas casinos.  So we thought, "what better way to do THAT than by testing our casino party flock from time to time?" Here, it doesn't COST you anything.  The price is right, so to speak....

Yeah, we thought it was a great idea, too. We already test the SoCal masses at our just-for-fun casino tables with live dealers; Why not add a written test to the "blog" mix? For the record, we'll be utilizing our Aces Casino Blog for all kinds of testing, reaching out to ALL of the casino games that you love to play. We just HAD to start with Blackjack, though. It's only fair.

For each of our "mid-term tests" that we'll propose over the coming weeks, the format will most likely remain the same; Ten questions, with all 10 questions dealing with the chosen game of the day, and all the questions being of the True/False variety. OK, if the orange county casino night Professor is ready, let's begin. (Ed. Note: all of the answers will appear at the end of the blog. No peeking.)

 Score well on our test, and pull up a seat right here.

OK, all you "expert Blackjack players:" The Professor is handing out the papers. Take one, and pass the rest back, please. It's time for all of you to take the Blackjack version of the "Aces Casino Mid-Term Gaming Test." Today's exercise deals with what most people consider the most popular game in Las Vegas -- 21, Blackjack.  Ready?  Begin.

Question 1. You should always hit a hand of 16 against a dealer's 10.

Question 2. A player that loses four hands in a row is due to win the next hand.

Question 3. It is not recommended to split 8's against a dealer's 10 or Ace.

Question 4. It doesn't matter which spot you sit down at when joining a game of Blackjack.

Question 5. You should always take even money when you have a blackjack and the dealer's up-card is an Ace. (2-point question.)

Question 6. Referring to a strategy card while playing at a Las Vegas casino Blackjack table is perfectly legal.

Question 7. A Blackjack player who is misplaying their hands will always cause the other players at the table to lose.

Question 8. The house edge against the player changes, depending on how many decks are used at the table.

Question 9. A Blackjack player that enters the game in the middle of a shoe will change the flow of the cards and ultimately alter the game in favor of the casino.

Question 10. When splitting Aces at the table, you are only allowed one up card per Ace.

OK, let's see how you did. I'm SURE that our students know their Blackjack. (Aren't we? Gee, I hope so....Grin)


Question 1. FALSE. Did we get you already? Yes, surprisingly, that IS false. Remember, some casinos in Las Vegas use what is called the "Surrender" play at the table, where you can surrender half of your bet before hitting or standing. If you have 16 and the dealer is showing a ten, "Basic Strategy" suggests the player "surrender."

Question 2. FALSE. The deck of cards has no idea how the previous hands were dealt or played. Therefore, there is no mathematical theory around that has EVER suggested that this could possibly be true. Nope, false.

Question 3. Sorry, that's FALSE, too. Basic Strategy suggests that you do just that -- Split 'em. Look it up. I ain't lyin', here.

Question 4. TRUE. I'm sure that some might think the 3rd-base position is where the experts should play, but your personal chances of winning have nothing to do with actual seat position. Math wins again.

Question 5. FALSE. People, you're giving the house back a significant edge if you take the "even money" bait. ALWAYS take the 3-to-2 odds in your favor. Remember, thirteen possible cards under the dealer's hand, and only 4 of them make Blackjack (10-J-Q-K). Take the 3-to-2, baby. Two points for getting this one right.

Question 6. TRUE. I know you've heard all of the card-counter stuff, but here's the straight dope; having a basic strategy card to assist in your play is not only legal, but a VERY good idea.

Question 7. FALSE. Who told you THAT lie? Believe me, you have to take all of the superstition out of your game, if you believe this one. Doesn't matter if you're playing with rocket scientists or Raider fans: Those other players do NOT change your odds of winning. Trust me.

Question 8. TRUE. The house edge DOES change when fewer decks are used. Check out this link to see how much the differences are between using one deck and using an eight-deck shoe.

Question 9. FALSE. The flow of the cards dealt out might change, but there's no way to predict if this helps or hurts the players. Think about it.

Question 10. TRUE. Las Vegas casinos only allow the one mandatory card on each Ace. I know, sometimes you wish you could hit again. Uh-uhh. Nope, no-can-do. Aces Casino wouldn't be doing it's orange county casino night job right, if we weren't trying to help out a lil' bit.

Well, how did you do? Hopefully, you all scored a perfect "11." Come back any time, we're always discussing your favorite games here at the Aces Casino Blog.  Have a favorite game that you'd like to see the Aces Casino team put through it's paces in testing form?  Drop us a line on the Aces Casino web site link attached to our blog, and let us know!  That's what we're here for - Fun and GAMES!  (And an occasional pop-quiz.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Aces Casino: Top 5 Things That We HATED About The Super Bowl (Including that Half-Time Show!)

Fellow football fans, the dreaded day has finally arrived: It's now the day after the Super Bowl.  (Crap, I did it again. MORE royalty payments.  I gotta knock that off.)  Yes, the "Big Game" (Ahh, MUCH better, and less costly) has come and gone, and now, the orange county casino party leader in SoCal must concentrate on more important things, like actually working over here at Aces Casino.  Now, I'm not bitter that the Steelers' 2-point conversion at the end of the game cost me $750.  Big Ben ran the OPTION, and the Packers couldn't STOP IT?  I lost 750 clams on the OPTION?  OK, maybe I AM bitter.  Stupid option play.  Stupid football pools.

You know, it seems that every time someone at Aces Casino (the innovative orange county casino party company) loses the big money in the "Big Game" football pool at the last minute (but I'm not bitter), they usually take their wrath out on some part of the game itself, including all the commercial trappings and extra goodies that people tune in to, people that don't normally even WATCH football.  Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to list, in reverse order, the Aces Casino "Top 5 things that I hated about the Super Bowl" (crap, more royalties), or things that we as loyal football fans could have done without on Super Sunday.....

5.  Christina Aguilera's botching of the National Anthem.  OK, so, she's not my favorite singer, but she's one of the top "pipe sets" in the industry as we write this drivel.  According to ESPN and the Wall Street Journal, Aguilera was just "nervous" in regards to her participation in the Super Bowl.  (There goes another $3.)  So, as we scored this flub at home, the scorecard reads, "America's Got Talent 1, Short Attention-Span Theater, Zero."  You lost your PLACE, XTina?  Hell, the over/under on how long the song would take to SING was around 1:52.  I sound just like Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants when I sing, but at least I know I can remember the freakin' WORDS to our National Anthem.  Our servicemen stationed who-knows where around our globe that tuned in to witness this game must have swallowed their chewing gum.  Nice goin', XTina.

Aguilera reacts to her "Super Flub."  That'll leave a mark.

4.  That "Candid Shot" of Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz.  Holy smokes, that video-blurb of  Diaz feeding A-Rod popcorn set men's independence back 25 years.  Boy, A-Rod, way to look absolutely, positively, 100% "whipped" on the biggest national stage on EARTH.  Somewhere in Green Bay, there was a 300-pound female Packer fan telling her hubby to microwave some Jolly Time and pull up a chair.  Poor devil.  Hey, mister Packer Fan-Hubby - At least your team won.  Imagine the poor slob in the Steel City that had to do the deed while sobbing into his popcorn.  Ouch....I really feel sorry for HIM.

That's gonna cost ALL of us, A-Rod.  THANKS.

3.  The hype surrounding the Super commercials.  People just fell all over themselves praising the first commercial that came on after the game began, about the pug running towards the glass door while chasing the Doritos chip.  Wow, the dog knocked the door on top of the guy.  Gee, that's the funniest thing that I've EVER seen!  (NOT.)  Hey, if the Doritos company (whomever owns THEM)  had to pony up $1.8M to AIR the spot, they figured that they might as well save some coin in the cost of producing the spot.  Must've set them back about $20 to make that spot.  As a whole, we here at Aces Casino, the best orange county casino party company in SoCal, thought the commercials as a whole were, shall we say, "pungent."  (I DID like the Doritos spot where the guy knocked the urn full of ashes off the mantle, then brought "Grampa" back to life with a little help from the sponsor.  Funny.)

2.  Three Words: "The Half-Time Show."  OMG, WHERE do I BEGIN to talk about the freakin' "Black Eyed Peas?" They're AWFUL. What, you think standing next to each other on stage is cool? Give me a break....You can only rely on that "good night" song once, you guys. They have no stage presence, their "rap" stunk, Fergie makes Ashlee Simpson sound like Susan Boyle, and, quite frankly, appear to be habitual samplers of other music. Embarrassing... They're not entertaining, I'm sorry. Bad show. $hit, I can get out there and play someone else's music. Quit sampling, and quit relying on dumb-a$$ rap and mob mentalities in your crowd for energy, when all rap sounds the same.  Oh, the Silver Medal in Half-Time "awfulness" goes to Will.I.Am, for that metal hairpiece he was wearing.  Somebody has too many "Yes Men" hanging around THESE people.

Entrance AWESOME.  The Show was El-Stink-A-Dora.

1.  That "OPTION PLAY!"  It cost me $750!  Yes, the orange county casino party leader is upset!  Stupid Football Pools.....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Aces Casino Monthly Top 10: From the Super Bowl to the Academy Awards. ($990 for WHAT?)

 No one asked us, but the orange county casino party leader has opinions, and tons of them.  Here are (in no particular order) the top 10 things on the minds of the team here at Aces Casino, also the los angeles casino night party champion....

1.  The Super Bowl might generate more wagering than any other annual event in the United States (Look It Up), but this Packers / Steelers game is one we'd suggest is best left alone.  The two teams both have an above-average passing attack, and somewhat "questionable" secondaries.  (Yeah, I know. Polamalu, Woodson, et cetera.  Great individual players with better defensive schemes.)  If you like both teams, take that as a hint.  You're more likely to suffer a bad beat on this one at the end of the game when some player on one team makes the play of the year, when you SHOULD have had your money on the respective NFC / AFC Championship Games, which were easier to handicap.

2.  The Green Bay Packers haven't been behind in a game by more than seven points ALL SEASON, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have some 38 Super-Bowl-tested players heading for Dallas.  That's why we refer to thing #1 above.  Don't bet the game.  Too much heartache.  Wait for the 2011 season (If we HAVE one).

3.  Word was that parking, I repeat, PARKING, at the Super Bowl was going for as high as (are you sitting down?) $990.00, and THAT parking lot is already SOLD OUT.  At $990 a POP.  I'm in the wrong business.  Wait, and there's a TAX on the parking space you're paying for?  Yeah, I'm DEFINITELY in the wrong business.  Hey, there's parking available at the Arlington Bank Of America for just $55, but it's more than a mile away.  Bring your sneakers.  Hey, if I'm sitting at the drive-thru ATM, do I get hit up for the $55?  Just wondering....

4.  Aces Casino is the best orange county casino party company in Southern California.  Yeah, we're biased, it's a shameless plug, but we're also right.  No one puts on better events than Aces Casino Entertainment.  Entertaining dealers, casino-quality equipment and professional event staff. are some pretty fine shows appearing on TV right now... Our faves?  We'll go with Pawn Stars (LOVE the Old Man), 48 Hours Mystery, Winter Wipeout (John, Jon and Jill are too funny), Damages (Damn, that Glenn Close is EVIL), and The First 48.  Hey, we may be the orange county casino party giant, but we don't have a TV Guide.  Look 'em up, you'll be glad you did.  Oh, plus, The Amazing Race returns on Feb. 20.  LOVE "The Amazing Race."  Wish I could be on that, but my wife'd kill me 20 minutes after the race started.  I'm a crappy designated navigator.

I bet THESE guys wouldn't pay $990 to park.

6.  This "Ted Williams" thing is not going to do anything but end badly.  It really pains me to see the gossip media outlets like TMZ and the Faux-Doctors like Phil McGraw build this poor guy up so far for their own ratings-driven selfishness, just to purposely tear him down later on.  They can't WAIT for this poor man to fail.... I hope Ted can tame all of those drug and alcohol-induced demons, but I'm afraid he won't be able to.  And then, the media vultures will eat him alive.  Good luck living with yourself when he falls, "Doc."  Tim Conway, Jr. knows the deal.  See you at the track, Tim.

7.  I hope Colin Firth has room on his mantle for that Academy Award that he'll be receiving at the end of this month.  He really deserves it, he's wonderful in "The King's Speech."  But with all the hardware he's already received, the mantle might already be crowded.  Just like our mantle at the orange county casino night leaders, what with all those trophies.  (Really.)

8.  On the Ladies' side of all things Oscar, you have to love Natalie Portman in "The Black Swan."  Wow.  After seeing her with 683 hairdos in "Star Wars Part-Whatever," I thought Lucas had ruined her career opportunities right along with that little kid he hired to play Anakin Skywalker, Jake-Something.  Ten years later, Portman will undoubtedly get her well-deserved trophy, and Jake-Something, A.K.A. "The Paperboy," will deliver her the newspaper that tells her about her win, the day after.  There IS justice.
Taken from a milk carton two years ago.  Have YOU seen this actor?

9.  Movies I can't wait to see in 2011:  "Super 8," and "The Green Lantern."  No, not that awful "Green Hornet" film.  The OTHER one.  The GOOD one.  My gosh, who WROTE that Green Hornet script, my son?  He writes like that when he eats too many cookies.  I'm guessing that Seth Rogen doesn't have that "out."  Holy MOLY, Seth!  WHAT was THAT?  The film editor for that pic deserves the Oscar just for assembling that mess.  Quick note: I had a buddy that was working on "Super 8" in a place called Weirton, WV, and he says it'll be one of the blockbusters of the 2011 movie season.  Kind of a "Cloverfield 2" type flick.  

10.  Bet those football-fans-turned-popsicles in Dallas that are freezing their rear-ends off in all that pre-Super Bowl splendor aren't interested in hearing theories about "Global Warming" any time soon.  Anyone that wonders where all the used-car salesmen went can look no further than the list of goofball scientists that think that what little we do to give out "carbon offsets" actually amounts to a hill of beans in this fantastic place we call Earth.  Get real, you quacks.  Earth's been around a lot longer than your cockamamie theories, and will live on when you're gone.  

Well, that's all from the orange county casino party leaders for this month.  Remember, if you're looking to put together an inexpensive casino party, call Aces Casino.  Our parties are less expensive than parking spots in Dallas.  It doesn't get any better than that, my friends.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Aces Casino Fantasy Football Addiction #4 - The Football fans are forced to go "Cold Turkey"

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, may we please have a moment of silence.  The fantasy football season is now over.  Complete.  Kaput.  Adios.  And no, please don't remind the Aces Casino staff of those "Gridiron Challenge" games that use the playoff games for their statistic engines.  

That ain't REAL fantasy football.  

Sorry, we just can't do that.  We're the orange county casino party leaders.  We want REAL fantasy football, where the players care what kind of numbers Ryan Fitzpatrick put up against Miami last night.  Was that FG from David Akers a 49-yarder, or a 50-yarder?  Every point counts, you know.  You KNOW you're a fantasy football junkie when you're contacting the ESPN web site concerned about FG distance, but I digress. 

And then, suddenly, it hit us.  The season's over.  No more fantasy football.  (Shudder)  Oh, NO -- It's done!  We're going to have to go Cold Turkey!  Maybe we can get into a fantasy hockey or basketball league...What?  They're already GOING?  No more open leagues to join?  (sigh)  This isn't going to be easy...It NEVER is.  But, Fortunately for us here at the orange county casino party kingpins, we DO have two things that will help us get us thru these tough times --

Our TWO DFFL Championship trophies!

There's nothing like going back-to-back in the Dunn-Edwards Fantasy Football League.  Those two monuments in the office of Aces Casino, the orange county casino party leader, should keep things warm around here during those cold, football-free nights.

Speaking of cold nights, things are about to heat up at Aces Casino, the orange county casino night party leaders!  Casino night fundraisers start springing up all over the Aces Casino party calendar.  If your school, church or organization is looking for a fun way to raise some much-needed cash for your cause, look no further than Aces Casino Entertainment. Casino rental is easy, inexpensive, and a lot of FUN!  Contact us at our main offices any time Monday thru Friday from 10am to 6pm, and we'll be happy to tell you all about how much fun Aces Casino is.

Or, you can ask about the two-time champions of the Dunn-Edwards Fantasy Football League.  Oh, did we show you these?

Oh, I guess we did.  Sorry.... Pretty, aren't they?