Gutshot Straight

Gutshot Straight

Released in 2014, Gutshot Straight is an action film starring the famous Hollywood star Steven Seagal. The plot revolves around a professional poker player who finds himself stuck in a web of deception and murder, and has to find a way to get out alive.

Gutshot Straight was filmed in the casino capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada, with a plot centred on the world of professional poker. The film was produced by Jay-X Productions in association with Noordinay Films and AMJ Productions. Released on the 2nd of December 2014, Gutshot Straight is just under an hour and a half in length.

Gutshot Straight Crew and Cast

The main protagonist of Gutshot Straight, Jack, is played by George Eads. Co-starring alongside George Eads is Steven Seagal as the loan shark Paulie Trunks, Stephen Lang as the gambler Duffy; with Ted Levine, and AnnaLynne McCord as the antagonists.

Gutshot Straight was written by Jerry Rapp, produced by John Yang, Tiago Mesquita, and Ross Otterman, and directed by Justin Steel.

The Plot of Gutshot Straight

Jack, the antagonist of Gutshot Straight, is a professional poker player that has met some hard times during his poker career, and now finds himself in large debt to a loan shark. Not knowing how to solve his predicament, Jack turns to Duffy, played by Stephen Lang, who proposes a scheme in order for Jack to earn some money to repay his debts. After spending the night with Duffy, Jack awakens the next morning to discover that things are not quite right. Jack soon finds himself stuck in a game of deception, where a married couple are trying to convince Jack to kill the other.

Realising that he is in trouble, Jack turns to the only help he can think of: his loan shark, Paulie, played by Steven Seagal. Paulie decides to help Jack with his trouble, as he realises Jack would not be able to settle his debt if anything were to happen to him. With Paulie’s help, Jack has to try and outwit his opponents before any harm can come to him.

Reviews of Gutshot Straight

Reviews of Gutshot Straight were mostly mixed to negative, with some critics giving it a positive review. Criticism was aimed toward the plot of the film, where many believed it started out promising and quickly became too much of a drama. Much of the criticism was directed toward the little screen time that actors like Steven Seagal and Vinnie Jones had during the film. Conversely, many enjoyed the film, noting the crime noir tone and theme of the film, while praising the performance of lead actor George Eads. Further praise was given to Stephen Lang and AnnaLynne McCord.

Gutshot Straight Review

While the film may not appeal to many, a solid cast giving strong performances, as well as a classic noir theme may provide an hour and a half of entertainment. This is especially true for those who are fans of casinos and Las Vegas.


Groom Porter

What Is A Groom Porter?

In days of old a groom porter oversaw the lodgings and furnishings of the royal high court. He also saw to it that, should dice or cards be played in the royal court, everyone playing had what they needed. This included tables, chairs, the dice themselves, and decks of cards. Later, when disputes arose during the gambling in the high court, as will generally happen wherever people gamble, the porter was given the duty of settling the disputes. Being seen as an independent body, the man was allowed to decide a final winner, and settle the matter once and for all. An amusing fact is that gambling was only permitted in the royal high court during certain periods of time, and that the king himself would sometimes like to take part.

Since it was frowned upon for the king the gamble, the groom porter would announce to the court that the king was out, meaning that he was not in the court. Those involved would obligingly turn a blind eye to the king playing cards or dice. When the king was done gambling, the porter would announce his majesty is at home, at which point everyone would forget they had seen the king gambling.

Evolution Of The Job

As time went by the job became more and more focused around the gambling, and less around the actual furniture, which had been the original job. The name groom porter soon became associated with dice and cards, and it was not long until the job soon lost any association to chairs altogether. Eventually the porter was overseeing gambling in other areas of London, being given the duty of dealing with licensing in gambling establishments, and generally seeing that the establishment ran according to regulations. Gambling was, of course, eventually banned from the high court altogether, and the groom porter office removed from the premises entirely. Other gambling areas of London and the regulating of these places, however, still remained the duty of the porter.

Modern Times

Over time the term has evolved and changed, and today can more or less said to be any owner of a gambling hall or casino. Similar duties still apply, with the job requiring that all aspects of the establishment be overseen. Furnishings will still be organised, as well as dice, cards, and whatever else might be needed which is never the case with your favourite Canadian online slots. Today, of course, the job will likely be designated to others, who will perform the duties on behalf of the owner.

It is interesting to note that it is still the tradition in many casinos that the groom porter personally be involved in resolving any disputes that may arise, should a gambler in the casino have problems with the proceedings. This is generally considered a courtesy, however, and most owners will only have a real interest if it is a high stakes game that threatens the reputation of the casino. This job in most cases falls to a manager, or a dedicated security and complaints office.

Gambling Ship

About Gambling Ship

A gambling boss, Ace Corbin, decides he has had enough of the dangerous world of gambling, and decides to find a new life somewhere else. The main plot of the film is revealed to the audience early on, while the characters themselves spend the film figuring out the various deceptions set in place, while dealing with the consequences of the deceptions in question. The gambling in the film is set against the prohibition laws of the 1930s, with Ace Corbin’s racket being tied to beer in particular.

Gambling Ship was set and filmed during 1933 in Hollywood, California, and was created during an era when sound was first being introduced into Hollywood movies. Filmed in black and white, Gambling Ship was one of the many early films produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film was first played at the Rivoli on the 23rd of June 1933. Some may know Gambling Ship alternatively as Casino del mar.

Gambling Ship Cast and Crew

The main protagonist of the film, Ace Corbin, is played by famous actor Cary Grant. Alongside him stars Benita Hume as his love interest and Jack Le Rue and Glenda Farrel as the antagonists. Gambling ship was adapted from the written works of Claude Binyon, with the screenplay being created by Max Marcin. Max Marcel also directed the film, along with Louis J. Gasnier.

Gambling Ship Plot

Having lived his life as a notorious, gambling boss, Ace Corbin decides to leave it all behind and search for a different purpose in life. He travels across the country to find a new place to settle, planning to change his name when he arrives and leave his old life behind him. During his time on the train, Ace meets a woman named Eleanor Le Velle, and the two quickly fall in love, but the two do not wish to share their pasts with each other.

Eleanor herself has a past of sordid affairs. Things go awry as Ace’s old life catches up with him, and Eleanor own history begins to create trouble. Things continue to intensify as their pasts clash, creating new problems for the pair. Eventually, both Ace and Eleanor manage to move forward, and start a new life together.

Review of Gambling Ship

Gambling Ship has received mixed to positive reviews, with some criticising the uninspired story, as well as a long, drawn out plot. Many, however, praised the directing of the film, as well as the performances given by the cast, most notably the two roles lead by Cary Grant and Benita Hume. Gambling Ship also received praise for the comedic relief provided by actors Roscoe Karns and Charles Williams.

Gambling Ship Verdict

While not a masterpiece by any right, Gambling Ship still provides an enjoyable experience that still holds up even in modern times. Strong performances and intelligent direction combined with a reasonably tight script makes Gambling Ship one of the better films produced by Paramount Pictures during a young Hollywood.

Finder’s Fee

Finder’s Fee

Released in 2001 and directed by Jeff Probst, Finder’s Fee is a North American film centred on a man who finds a wallet containing a lottery ticket worth six million dollars, and the consequences of his decisions regarding the ticket.

The Plot of Finder’s Fee

The story of Finder’s Fee revolves around a man named named Tepper, played by Erik Palladino. Tepper lives in a small village in Greenwich, and spends his days assisting his elderly neighbour Mrs. Darmsetter, as well as going out to play poker with his friends, Quigley, Bolan, and Fish. Tepper has a girlfriend, Carla, whom he loves dearly and plans to propose to.

As Tepper and his friends spend much of their time playing poker together, they have all vowed to not check the winning numbers of any of the lottery tickets that they add to their total ante for poker games. Whoever wins the final five man standing poker game wins the entirety of the pot, and it is this rule that creates the premise of the rest of the film.

While on his way to Carla one night, Tepper comes across a wallet lying on the street. Upon inspecting the wallet, he is unable to discover the owner of the wallet, and decides to do what he can to identify the owner. Not long after, he finds a lottery ticket hidden in the wallet, and after checking the numbers, realises the ticket is worth $6 million.

Tepper finds himself at a loss, as the money would help set his life up with Carla, but at the same time, he does not wish to break the vow he made with his friends. He then discovers that the wallet and its contents belong to a fireman named Avery, who is also a regular poker player at their games night. Tepper decides to swap the ticket with the ticket of his own before arriving at the poker game, and realises that Avery will be joining them for the poker. The rest of the night Tepper goes through a range of emotions, such as the guilt of what he’s done, and the suspicion that Avery has figured out what he has done. His own suspicions of Avery continue to grow as Avery exhibits strange behaviour, as well as the fact that the local police are searching for a man of Avery’s description.

Despite all this, Tepper decides to play poker anyway, hoping to win the pot and the lottery ticket. By the end of the game, Tepper realises that he has the winning hand, but decides to fold, meaning that nobody ends up winning. Soon, Tepper’s friends begin to learn the truth of what has happened, and a small fight breaks out, leading to Avery being injured. Tepper then decides that the ticket rightfully belongs to Avery, and gives the ticket back to him, after which Avery leaves. Not long after, there is a knock at the door which Tepper answers, and behind the door is the real Avery, and Tepper realises that they were all fooled by the fake Avery.

Finder’s Fee Verdict

Finder’s Fee is an interesting take on the way people can be manipulated and lead on beyond the Poker table, and the surprise ending makes it worth a watch.

Coin Board

Raffles As Gambling

Raffles are not commonly associated with gambling, but are in fact exactly that; a simple form of gambling. The only real difference between buying a raffle ticket and playing a slot machine is the odds of wining, and how the game is presented. And, one should keep in mind; the odds of winning when playing a slot machine are infinitely better. Raffles are dressed up to seem like more then simply buying a ticket and hoping for the best, but the basis of the system is always the same; the more people buy tickets, the less chance each person has of winning a prize. Raffles, therefore, are similar in a sense to tote betting, which involves bet makers at a race track winning money based on how many others made the same bet, should that bet win. That is to say, the more people that participate, the worse for any individual bet maker.

Coin Board

A coin board involves people buying tickets, with the potential for ticket numbers to match up with prizes. It is unknown which ticket will grant a prize, of course, so each person is essentially gambling on a ticket having any value at all. What makes a coin board stand apart from other forms of raffles is that the prizes are seductively presented on a board, with winning ticket numbers displayed beside each prize.

The prizes may be a large cash sum, or, in days of old, might have been a coin of considerable value, hence the name coin board. The act of displaying the prizes does not make the chance of winning any better, or the process of simply buying a ticket and hoping for the best any different, it is simply a matter of presenting a gambling game in a way that is enticing. What is also most interesting about these games is that they are acceptable in places where other forms of gambling would simply not be.

System Evolution

Another interesting aspect of coin boards is how they evolved over the years. Instead of offering cash prizes, coin boards began to offer merchandise instead. Items of value would be placed on the board, with ticket buyers having the chance to win the object. The prizes are generally of moderate value, but in most cases far less value then the cash previously offered. Those buying tickets, however, are not aware of the exact value of the prizes.

The prizes, therefore, offered a similar allure while reducing the amount having to be paid out by event organisers. Similar tactics can be seen in carnivals, or in old-fashioned video game arcades, where tickets earned at games bought prizes of little monetary value. The trick is to find prizes that have sentimental value, as apposed to real value. A teddy bear sells itself on the cute factor, getting a positive response from almost everyone, depending on the design of the toy. Material and stuffing, however, has very little monetary value, and is not at all expensive. A teddy bear, therefore, is a way to sell stuffing and material at a much higher value then it is worth.

Casinos in Spain

Major Land Based Casinos in Spain

Casino gaming is a very popular pastime in Spain, making the country one of the most forefront world regions based on revenues generated by gambling. Due to this and to Spain’s popularity with tourists, there are over 40 land based casinos located throughout the country.

To cater to both local and international casino players, most of the land based casinos in Spain offer familiar casino table games like blackjack, baccarat, punto banco and roulette, as well as some more unique or regional games like Spanish poker.

Casino Gran Madrid in Madrid

The Casino Gran Madrid is one of the most well-known casinos in Spain, and the casino is situated in the Spanish capital of Madrid as indicated by its name. Visitors to the Casino Gran Madrid will find a variety of amenities that includes bars, a nightclub and convention facilities, as well as the casino itself.

When playing at the Casino Gran Madrid, players will be able to choose from a number of slot machines and casino table games like French and American roulette, blackjack, punto banco and electronic casino game tables as well. Also offered by the casino are sports betting facilities and regular poker tournaments.

Casino Cirsa Valencia in Valencia

The Casino Cirsa Valencia is based in the major Spanish city of Valencia along the Spanish-Mediterranean coast. Valencia is the third largest city in Spain after Barcelona and Madrid, and many thousands of tourists are attracted to the region each year.

The newly built Casino Cirsa Valencia offers 116 slot machines and as many as 14 different table games, which are operated between 16:00 and 04:00 each day. On offer at the casino are roulette, poker, blackjack and more, as well as Texas Hold’em poker tournaments. Other amenities at the Casino Cirsa Valencia include restaurants, terraces and a party room that can seat 400 guests.


Gran Casino Sardinero in Santander

The Gran Casino Sardinero is located in the Spanish region of Santander, Cantabria. With 9 poker tables, slots, and a selection of table games, visitors to the Gran Casino Sardinero can play the slots from 14:00 to 04:00 and table games from 20:00 to 04:00.

As well as poker and Texas Hold’em tournaments, the casino also offers electronic casino game tables such as electronic roulette. A wedding salon and a showroom can also be found at the Gran Casino Sardinero.

Casino Zaragoza in Aragon

Yet another of the most popular casinos in Spain is the Casino Zaragoza which can be found in the region of Aragon, a historical area which was once part of a medieval kingdom. Today, the Casino Zaragoza offers over 60 slots games, which can be played between 22:00 and 04:30.

Also on offer is a selection of 18 classic casino game tables, at which casino players can enjoy blackjack, baccarat, roulette and Spanish poker between 18:00 and 04:00. Poker tournaments are frequently hosted at the Casino Zaragoza, and the casino premises is also home to a variety of restaurants, eateries and conference facilities.

Casinos in Lebanon

Land Based Casinos in Lebanon

Out of all the countries in the Middle East, Lebanon has one of the most colourful histories when it comes to casino gaming. This history is owed mainly to the Casino du Liban, which is one of the most well-known casinos in Lebanon and many the many other countries that surround the region.

Impressively, the Casino du Liban continued to operate for years despite the civil war until it closed for renovation, further adding to the historical value of the establishment. The casino is still in operation today, and serves as the main casino gaming establishment in Lebanon.

The Casino du Liban in Lebanon

The Casino du Liban is located in the region of Maameltein, overlooking the bay of Jounieh. This region is situated just 22 kilometres north of the Lebanese capital of Beirut. The casino was officially opened in 1959, where it operated throughout political turbulence right up until 1989.

At this point, the Casino du Liban was closed briefly to be refurbished and renovated, a project which cost close to $50 million in total. The casino reopened during 1996, and has continued to operate in Maameltein since.

Casino Gaming at Casino du Liban

The Casino du Liban contains a relatively large casino, which spans over 35,000 square metres of gaming space. The casino houses over 400 slots and video poker machines, as well as 4 separate casino table game rooms.

The International Room and the Mediterranean Room are both open from 16:00 to 04:00 each day, while the Cercle d’Or Room and the Salles Privees for high rollers open from 22:00 to 04:00.

Table Games and Texas Hold’em Tournaments

Each of the casino gaming rooms at the Casino du Liban offers blackjack, American roulette, punto banco and stud poker, while the international room also offers slot machines and progressive jackpot slots.

There is also a section of the casino dedicated entirely to slots, which can be played from 10:00 to 06:00 every day. The slots in the International Room and the Mediterranean Room are available between the hours of 16:00 and 04:00.

Additionally, the Casino du Liban started hosting Texas Hold’em Poker tournaments in 2007, and the casino continues to hold weekly poker tournaments which attract a variety of high profile Middle Eastern poker players.

Casino du Liban Entertainment and Performances

Entertainment at the Casino du Liban is offered mainly at the Theatre du Liban. This large theatre can seat over 1,000 spectators, and hosts local Lebanese plays, international operas and ballets, Broadway theatre productions, music concerts, jazz festivals and comedies.

Another performance and event venue at the casino is the Salles des Ambassadeurs. This 600-seat banquet venue and theatre also hosts regular performances and shows for guests at the Casino du Liban.

Dining and Nightlife at the Casino

Dining and nightlife at the Casino du Liban can be found at the International Room and the Cercle d’Or Room, both of which have their own in-house restaurants which can only be visited by casino players.

Another nearby venue is La Martingale Restaurant and Summer Terrace, which hosts live entertainment and offers both indoor dining and dining on their terrace with a view of the Jounieh bay.


The History of the Game of Fan-Tan

While fan-tan is no longer as widely known as it once was, with modern gambling games replacing it by and large, it used to be one of the most popular pastimes for the Chinese settlers in the United States of America.  The large section of San Francisco that the Chinese settled in, known as Chinatown, was home to many venues that provided for this game to be played during the 19th century. In 1889 there were 50 fan-tan games available in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and these further housed between one and 24 tables each, according to the room’s size. These facts were recorded for posterity by Jesse B. Cook, San Francisco’s former police commissioner.

Learn to Play Fan-Tan Online

Thanks to the Internet, a game of fan-tan is now never further away from an interested player than his or her device is, and it is very enjoyably played on a number of different types of these, including smartphones; tablets; desktop computers and laptops. Thanks to the fact that the majority of online casinos provide players with the opportunity of free play as well, wherein no real money risks are necessary, even those who have never heard of the game will be able to learn it at exactly the pace that suits them. The anonymity of the Internet allows players who may be intimidated by brick and mortar casino games to learn them in a totally stress-free environment, and real money betting only begins when the player decides that he or she is ready to do so.


The Rules for Fan-Tan Play

Fan-Tan is also known as sevens; parliament and card dominoes. It allows for between three and eight players, but is best enjoyed by four individuals.

The object of Fan-Tan is to be the first player who manages to play off all their cards, and there is a standard 52 card deck in use for the game. Aces are valued as low.

Play begins with each of the individuals taking part receiving an equal amount of chips. Cards are then dealt one at a time to each player until the entire pack has been dealt. It is not important if some players receive one card fewer than the rest.

Play begins with the individual to the left of the dealer, and each person taking part must play either a seven, or add on to cards in suit succession, either descending or ascending from the seven. Once a seven is in play, for example, both the eight and the six are possibilities for play. If the eight is put down, the nine can follow; if the six is used then playing a five becomes an option. Card sequences will ascend up to the king and descend down to the ace. Once an end card has been played the row is folded up and turned over.

When a player is unable to play a card, he or she will pass and add a chip into the kitty. Whoever manages to finish his or her cards first will be the winner of the money collected in the kitty, along with one chip for each card left in the remaining players’ hands.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Ultimate Texas Hold’em, based on the classic Texas Hold’em game, was invented and developed by Roger Snow of Shuffle Master. It is one of the newer Poker variations, and is very in demand in Las Vegas and around the rest of North America.

The game was originally available on multi-player electronic machines only, but its popularity increased steadily over the years and it was expanded into a table game. Today it is played in several land-based and online casinos.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em Basics

A single 52-card deck is used in this game, and to begin players need to make a Blind and an Ante Bet. The Ante remains in play even after a Raise has been made and even if the Dealer does not open, which makes Ultimate Texas Hold’em quite unique among Poker game variations.

After the bets are placed, the players and the Dealer are all given 2 cards. The player can see his or her cards, but nobody else’s, and must decide whether to check or to raise the Ante by 3 or 4 times based on this information.


The remaining 5 cards of the hand are dealt as community cards, and everyone can see and use them. The first 3 of these are dealt in a round called the Flop. One of the key features of Ultimate Texas Hold’em is that you can raise once, and are then done with your active part of the game. The earlier you Raise, the more you are allowed to bet, so players who did not Raise the Ante before the Flop are now given the option to do so, but only by 2. Once this is resolved, the last 2 community cards are revealed.

At this point, players need to match their Ante or choose to Fold. After this is done all hands are revealed and assessed in combination with the community cards. The Dealer’s hand must contain at least a pair to qualify. If this is not the case, the ante pushes no matter what is in a player’s hand. If the Dealer does qualify, then of course the best hand wins the Ante.

If a player beats the Dealer, their Raise is matched while ties push the Raise and the Blind Bet. If the Dealer beats a Player, the Raise and the Blind are both lost. If a Dealer is disqualified, the Raise and the Blind remain in place.

It’s also possible to make a side Trips Bet, which pays out according to your final hand. This means you are always paid something unless you only hold a pair or less, but the House Edge is usually substantially higher than for the main wagers. Other side bets might also be available.

Developing Ultimate Texas Hold’em Strategy

As with all Poker variations there are plenty of analyses available for this one, with specific instructions on what to do in every possible circumstance.

Players will also develop their own skills and tactics over time, especially if they take advantage of the free play options that are available online. This is a great way to try out new advice or tools, or just to practice. When they feel ready they can start placing real money bets.

Things Change

Brilliant Mamet Writing in Things Change

Things Change is a 1988 comedy film co-written and directed by David Mamet. As a playwright and moviemaker, Mamet is revered the world over for his intricate plots and brilliant dialogue. Things Change displays both of these talents to the fullest, using a typical Mamet ensemble cast.

Many of the actors in Things Change, including Joe Mantegna, William H Macy and JT Walsh, are regulars in Mamet films. They had all appeared in House Of Games, Mamet’s previous crime drama, in 1987. On the face of it, Things Change takes place in a similar criminal underworld, but Mamet manages to reveal the good beneath the superficial evil of the mobsters’ world.

A Plot of Misunderstandings

Veteran actor Don Ameche is the star of Things Change, playing a humble Italian-American shoeshine man called Gino. Gino is summoned by a Chicago mob boss and talked into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit. In return for a three-year jail stretch, Gino will be rewarded with his retirement dream; his own fishing boat.


Mantegna plays Jerry, a low-level mobster assigned to keep an eye on Gino over the weekend preceding his confession. On a whim, Jerry takes Gino to Lake Tahoe for the weekend, where the two book into a resort and casino. Then the head of the local mafia mistakes Gino for an even more senior mob boss, and he befriends Gino, while Jerry is terrified that they will be found out. Back in Chicago, when Jerry learns he’s actually supposed to kill Gino, he is faced with some tough choices.

Intricate Writing and Acting Provide the Laughs                               

A bald outline of the plot does not do justice to a Mamet comedy, of course. His genius is taking simple, everyday language and using careful phrasing and simple repetition to create alternative meanings and clever comedy. At the same time, the humour is heightened by the constant menace undercutting the scenes, and viewers are never unaware of how much danger Gino is in.

The other key to the success of Things Change is the performances, particularly Ameche’s. His humble shoeshine guy, who is careful not to lie but is by no means a passive victim, is beautifully played. He makes the idea of a mobster so powerful that no one has ever heard of him believable.

Mamet is also known for ensemble work rather than star vehicles, and the other roles are also perfectly cast, leading to great interplay among the characters. Mantegna gets the tough-guy-with-a-soft-heart spot-on, and even Robert Prosky’s Nevada mob boss is a layered character, with levels of good and evil within himself.

Close Attention to Details Required

Like all Mamet works, Things Change is full of convoluted plot twists, with characters trying to deceive each other constantly. Audiences need to be awake and paying attention to follow it all, and it will appeal mostly to those who enjoy clever, intricate dialogue, with meaningful pauses and silences that are just as important as the action. For those who do make the effort, however, Things Change presents a skilful blend of wit, violence and farce.