The USA PATRIOT Act: The Story of an Impulsive Bill that Eviscerated America's Civil Liberties
The USA PATRIOT Act provides a textbook example of how the United States federal government expands its power. An emergency happens, legitimate or otherwise. The media, playing its dutiful role as goad for greater government oversight, demands "something must be done." Government power is massively expanded, with little regard for whether or not what is being done is efficacious, to say nothing of the overall impact on our nation's civil liberties. No goals are posted, because if targets are hit, this would necessitate the ending or scaling back of the program. Instead, the program becomes normalized. There are no questions asked about whether the program is accomplishing what it set out to do. It is now simply a part of American life and there is no going back. The American public largely accepts the USA PATRIOT Act as a part of civic life as immutable, perhaps even more so than the Bill of Rights. However, this act – passed in the dead of night, with little to no oversight, in a panic after the biggest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor – is not only novel, it is also fundamentally opposed to virtually every principle on which the United States of America was founded. It might not be going anywhere anytime soon, but patriots, liberty lovers and defenders of Constitutional government should nonetheless familiarize themselves with the onerous provisions of this law, which is nothing short of a full-throttle attack on the American republic.
What’s Even in the USA PATRIOT Act?
What is in the USA PATRIOT Act? In the Michael Moore film Fahrenheit 9/11, then Rep. John Conyers cracked wise about how no one had actually read the Act and how this was in fact par for the course with America's laws. Thus, before delving into the deeper issues surrounding the PATRIOT Act, it is worth discussing what the Act actually says. Here’s a brief look at the 10 Titles in the PATRIOT Act:
Title I: Enhancing Domestic Security Against Terrorism: This provision dramatically expands the powers of the President, the military and the intelligence community whenever the specter of "terrorism" is invoked. Bizarrely, it contains a provision condemining discrimination against Arabs, Muslims and South Asians, which seems to have very little to do with protecting Americans from terrorism.
Title II: Enhanced Surveillance Procedures: Title II contains the meat of the Act with regard to massive, industrial-scale surveillance on the American public. Beyond the simple spying on Americans and their communications, Title II increases the ability of federal intelligence agencies to share your private communications with one another.
Title III: International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act: Not simply a section of the USA PATRIOT Act, Title III is an Act of Congress in its own right. You might have noticed how much more difficult it is to open a bank account or send a wire transfer after 9/11. You can blame this provision, which shredded banking privacy rights in the United States.
Title IV: Protecting the Border: Other than expanding the number of federal employees (of course), the provision of the USA PATRIOT Act charged with protecting America's borders does little other than point toward paths for future action and study. It is worth noting that the weakest provision of the Act is the only one explicitly authorized by the Constitution -- protecting the border.
Title V: Removing Obstacles to Investigating Terrorism: Title V authorizes bounties for the apprehension of alleged terrorists, broadens government power to conduct DNA analysis, allows for greater data sharing between law enforcement agencies and, perhaps most disturbingly, requires private telecommunication carriers to comply with government requests for electronic communication records whenever requested by the FBI. It also expands the power of the Secret Service to investigate computer fraud.
Title VI: Providing for Victims of Terrorism, Public Safety Officers and Their Families: Perhaps the most innocuous portion of the USA PATRIOT Act, Title VI provides for a victims' fund for victims of terrorism and their families.
Title VII: Increased Information Sharing for Critical Infrastructure Protection: The subtitle of this section of the Act is a rather wordy way of saying that the United States federal government is allowing for law enforcement agencies to share information across jurisdictional boundaries in an easier fashion than was previously legal. To that end, the Bureau of Justice Assistance was given a $50,000,000 budget for 2002 and a whopping $100,000,000 budget for fiscal year 2003.
Title VIII:Strengthening the Criminal Laws Against Terrorism: Title VIII is where the rubber meets the road: What exactly is terrorism, according to the federal government? Unfortunately, this Title does little to clarify what terrorism is, instead focusing on declaring a number of actions (such as attacks on transit) as “terrorism,” regardless of intent.
Title IX: Improved Intelligence: The section subtitled “improved intelligence” largely expands the powers and responsibilities of the Director of Central Intelligence.
Title X: Miscellaneous: When the federal government titles a segment of a law “miscellaneous,” you know it’s going to include everything and the kitchen sink. And so it does: The definition of electronic surveillance, additional funds for the DEA in South and Central Asia, research on biometric scanning systems, a limitation on hazmat licensure and infrastructure protections are all addressed in Title X, which is a catchall for everything the federal government forgot to address in the first nine sections of the law.
Most of the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act were set to sunset four years after the bill was passed into law. However, the law was extended first by President George W. Bush and then by President Barack H. Obama. The latter is particularly scandalous given that, at least in part, a rejection of the surveillance culture that permeated the Bush Administration was responsible for the election of Obama in 2008.
Passing the USA PATRIOT Act
Next, it’s important to remember the environment in which the USA PATRIOT Act was passed: Post-9/11. It is not the slightest bit of exaggeration to label the environment in which the PATRIOT Act was passed as “hysterical,” nor is “compliant” a misnomer for the Congress of the time. Opposition to the Act was slim and intensive review of one of the most sweeping Acts of Congress in American history was nonexistent. All told, Congress took a whopping six weeks drafting, revising, reviewing and passing the PATRIOT Act. That’s less time than Congress typically spends on totally uncontroversial and routine bills that don’t gut the Fourth Amendment. The final vote found only 66 opponents in the House and one (Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold) in the Senate. The entire passage of the PATRIOT Act, from start to finish, took place behind closed doors. There were no committee reports or hearings for opponents to testify, nor did anyone bother to read the bill. “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” is the bloated and overwrought full name of the bill, crafted by a 23-year-old Congressional staffer named Chris Cylke. This ridiculous name puts the focus not on the surveillance aspects or the erosion of basic civil liberties enshrined in Western society since the Magna Carta, but on patriotism. At the time of its creation, the messaging was very clear: Real patriots support massive intrusions on civil rights. As President George W. Bush said at the time, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” This sentiment very much seemed to apply to American citizens. While the argument that if you have nothing to hide you shouldn’t fear investigation is anathema in a Constitutional republic with regard to citizens, it should be standard operating procedure when it comes to our organs of government. If we cannot expect transparency from the United States Congress – elected officials charged with representing the will of the people and protecting the Constitution – then we certainly can’t expect it anywhere else.
The Unfortunate Growth of the USA PATRIOT Act
It’s no surprise to those in the liberty movement that given an inch, the government (in particular the military-intelligence community) took a mile. Even the nebulous definition of “terrorism,” largely centered around a long litany of acts rather than the motivation behind them, has expanded to include receiving military training from a proscribed organization (without actually committing any terrorist acts or even acts of violence of any stripe) as well as “narcoterrorism” – the latter particularly convenient, as the United States government continues its losing “War on Drugs.” Indeed, in many ways, the War on (Some) Drugs was the template for the War on Terror. Both wars have no defined enemy, no defined terms of victory. Instead, they are waged against a nebulous concept, while enjoying bipartisan support for their ever-expanding budgets. What’s more, it didn’t take long for the Feds to start using the USA PATRIOT Act for things it was never intended for, including prosecuting the War on Drugs. Perhaps the silliest application of the USA PATRIOT Act is the prosecution of Adam McGaughey. McGaughey maintained a fansite for the television seriesStargate SG-1. The Feds charged him with copyright infringement and computer fraud. In the course of their investigation, the FBI leveraged the PATRIOT Act to get financial records from his website’s ISP. This was made possible by the USA PATRIOT Act amending the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, allowing for search and seizure of ISP records. The New York Timesdiscovered in September 2003, that the USA PATRIOT Act was being used to investigate alleged drug traffickers without what would otherwise be sufficient probable cause. These were investigations into non-terrorist acts using a law ostensibly designed to investigate terrorism. There was some suspicion that the Act was being used to investigate crimes occurring before the Act was passed, violating the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution. In one of the biggest power grabs (excluding virtually everything we know from Edward Snowden – more on that below), the FBI sent tens of thousands of “national security letters” and procured over one million financial records from targeted businesses in Las Vegas. These businesses were primarily casinos, car rental bureaus and storage spaces. The data obtained included financial records, credit histories, employment records and even people’s personal health records. The FBI maintains and databases this – and, indeed, all information collected through the USA PATRIOT Act – indefinitely. In the good old days before the PATRIOT Act, the Feds were compelled to destroy any evidence they collected on someone later found not guilty of a crime. Note that the aforementioned data collection brought to public attention by Edward Snowden (which, again – we’re getting to that) falls under this provision. Not only is the government collecting obscene amounts of private and personal information about you, they’re also storing it indefinitely with no plans to stop. What’s more, the FBI has approached public libraries to turn over the records for specific terminals, collecting information not about specific users who might be under investigation, but about anyone who has ever used the computer at the public library. Libraries, to their credit, have been very much at the forefront of resistance against the PATRIOT Act, with some litigating compliance despite operating on small budgets and others posting “canary letters,” which effectively say “The FBI Hasn’t Been Here Yet.” The removal of such a letter would warn patrons that the FBI has been sniffing around in their records. Indeed, the greatest criticism of the PATRIOT Act is the simplest and perhaps most obvious: Why does an Act ostensibly passed to fight terrorism so drastically expand the government’s power to investigate virtually everyone else? The PATRIOT Act is not merely unconstitutional, it is an unprecedented expansion of state power in the Anglosphere, a culture based on restricted government and the primacy of individual rights. An excellent example of this is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) expansion. Most people are familiar with the term “FISA court,” but very few people actually know what it is – a special federal court created under the Carter Administration that grants approval of electronic surveillance of both citizens and resident aliens in the event that they are accused of acting in the service of a foreign power. The last part of this sentence is very important: The FISA courts are not simply for allowing surveillance of anyone that it might be expedient to collect information about. The scope of their powers is very, very limited. Or was. The PATRIOT Act lowered the burden of evidence required to obtain a FISA warrant for electronic surveillance and expanded the overall scope of the FISA courts. Any savvy federal agent can now drape his charges in the garb of (what else?) “national security” and obtain electronic surveillance privileges hitherto only dreamed of by investigators. FISA courts have become pliant tools in the hands of the Feds, gladly approving their requests to monitor phone and internet surveillance, as well as access to medical, financial and educational records.
The Future of the USA PATRIOT Act
Do we still need the PATRIOT Act? Did we ever? All laws are certainly a product of their times. But this seems much more acutely true of the USA PATRIOT Act, which was passed in a rush and under duress without due consideration. Particularly in light of the revelations from Edward Snowden – that the government is spying on everything they possibly can – it’s worth asking if there’s any walking back. He points out that the police state apparatus was originally for drug dealers, then for terrorists, but ultimately ended up being applied to anyone and everyone. What’s more, Bob Bullard notes another frightful aspect of the USA PATRIOT Act: Terrorism-related cases are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. This means that there is little or no oversight. There is no surer hallmark of a police state than an all-powerful domestic surveillance agency with no transparency or oversight. While the USA PATRIOT Act might not create an American Stasi as such, it certainly paves the way for one. Continue readingThe USA PATRIOT Act: The Story of an Impulsive Bill that Eviscerated America's Civil LibertiesatAmmo.com.
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In the following sections, we’re going to look at Spin Casino’s games. That way, you can get an idea of the games they offer so that you can decide if they’ll be a good fit for you. Unlike most casinos nowadays, Spin Casino uses only Microgaming software for its animated casino games. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s just that you won’t have the game or graphics variety that you will have at casinos that work with multiple software providers. Trust us, though; this casino is plenty good enough. Spin Casino offers a little bit of everything here including slots, video poker, and table games. They have a live dealer casino, too. Their live games come from Evolution and Ezugi, who are heavy hitters in the live gaming space. The result is a robust selection of live games. We’ll look at these later. The one confusing aspect of their casino is that there are three sections — a casino, live casino, and Vegas (casino). We’re going to list some of their games below, but we’re only going to make a distinction between their animated and live dealer games. We also noticed that their Vegas casino section doesn’t have any filters. You can’t select the type of games (slots, table games, video poker, etc.) that you want to see. This can make it tough to find the type of game you’re looking for unless you already know what it’s called. The good news is that most, if not all, of their Vegas games, are also available in their main casino. This means there’s a chance you won’t need to visit the Vegas section at all. Anyway, that covers the basics. Let’s now jump into each section and look at some specific examples of casino games you can play at Spin Casino.
We’re going to start with Spin Casino’s table games. The following is a list of card and poker games that we found during our review.
Atlantic City Blackjack
3 Card Poker
Double Exposure Blackjack
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
Multi Wheel Roulette
Super Fun 21
Vegas Strip Blackjack
Triple Pocket Hold’em Poker
There are both pluses and minuses to Spin Casino’s table game section. We’ll start with the downsides. The most frustrating thing about their table games is that there’s no way to filter for specific games in the Vegas section. This can make it incredibly tough to find the games you want to play unless you already know what they’re called. Another thing we were sort of unimpressed with is the lack of non-blackjack and roulette games. There are not enough games to offset all the blackjack and roulette options. However, that brings us to one of the good things about their table game selection. They have lots of blackjack and roulette games. In fact, you’ll find more than 30 blackjack games and more than 10 roulette games. Some of these are merely high-stakes variants or duplicate titles with improved graphics. Even discounting those, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better selection elsewhere. Another thing we’re fans of is some of the unique games that you’ll find at Spin Casino that aren’t readily available elsewhere. For example, we can’t think of another casino that offers Triple Pocket Hold’em, Hold’em High, or Card Climber. That’s always a good thing. Table Game Testing, Graphics, and Stakes Once we were done browsing their games, we opened a few of them up to make sure they worked well and to see what their graphics and stakes are like. The graphics for the games we tested are pretty good. They’re not glossy, overly polished, or even realistic. They look more like animated games. There’s nothing wrong with that, though. They don’t make it clear the stakes you can play for. We had to manually decrease and increase our bets to figure out the limits. The stakes we found varied from $2/hand or round to as much as $1,000. But keep in mind that this may vary depending on the game you play. These aren’t bad limits — they’re higher than what many casinos offer. No t only that, but we also anticipated their live dealer casino offering even higher stakes. This means that we’re less concerned about how high the stakes are in this section of their casino. We’ll look at their live dealer section in a few minutes.
The next section we checked out was Spin Casino’s video poker games. Here are the games we found during our review.
Aces & Eights Poker
Aces and Faces
All Aces Poker
Deuces Wild Poker
Deuces Wild Bonus Poker
Double Double Bonus Poker
Jacks or Better Poker
Deuces & Joker Poker
Louisiana Double Poker
Tens or Better Poker
This is an okay selection. On top of this, you’ll find “power,” “multi-hand,” and “Gold Series” variants that you can also choose from. We counted nearly 25 poker games in their main casino. There are video poker machines in the Vegas section too, but we didn’t find anything different than what’s listed above. Testing Their Games, Graphics, and Stakes We tested a couple of their poker games during our review. The games we played had average graphics, but that’s to be expected with video poker machines. They’re not meant to be fancy. They worked great, though. We experienced no lagging or bugs. Some of them had neat features, too. For example, the machines we played offered the chance to double your winnings. When you make a winning hand, you can click the “double” button to play a mini-game to see if you can double up. Keep in mind that if you lose this game, you lose everything. The best feature, though, had to be the automatic hold. Many video poker machines will tell you when you made a winning hand so that you don’t forget to hold those cards. However, one of the machines we played automatically held the best cards according to the common video poker strategy. Now, we don’t know what strategy these machines are using or how optimal that strategy is. However, they did hold the cards we would have had this feature not existed. This is a neat option if you’re new to video poker and aren’t sure how to play optimally. As far as stakes go, we found machines that let us play for as little as $0.25 per coin to as much as $50 per round. We recommend you bet the max number of coins, though, which means your minimum bet will be $1.25. This will vary from machine to machine, though. Overall, we liked Spin Casino’s video poker section. We’d like to see more unique titles to choose from, but our opinion is that this lineup will work for most people reading this.
Next up is Spin Casino’s slot selection. They have far too many slot machines to list here, but here is a small sample to give you an idea of what you’ll be able to play.
5 Reel Drive
Snow & Sable
Book of Oz
Cash of Kingdoms
Fruit vs Candy
Girls with Guns
Game of Thrones
Lady in Red
Kings of Cash
Oink Country Love
Robin of Sherwood
So Much Sushi
The Great Albini
The Phantom of the Opera
Win Sum Dim Sum
Fat Lady Sings
Jekyll & Hyde
The Legend of Olympus
Throne of Egypt
Steam Punk Heroes
Untamed Bengal Tiger
Old King Cole
You’ll find all these slots in the main casino. There are plenty more where this comes from too. You’ll also find more slots — including unique titles not found in the main casino — inside the Vegas section. That said, their selection of slots is much smaller than we expected considering that they work with Microgaming. We still can’t complain, though, especially after seeing some of the titles that you can play here. For example, the slots that stood out to us are the licensed/branded slots. Licensed slots are machines that revolve around IP that other companies own. This includes movies (Jurassic Park), video games (Hitman), TV shows (Game of Thrones), and more. These are fun to play because it’s highly likely that you’re going to be a fan of whatever the slot machine is about. For example, we like Jurassic Park. This means we get to kill two birds with one stone — play slots about a theme we really like. Not only that, but you can play many of these slot machines in brick-and-mortar casinos. We’ve played Game of Thrones countless times during our trips to Las Vegas. And this is just the licensed slots. You still have all the other slots that Spin Casino has to offer. This includes slots with bonus rounds, 3 and 5 reels, progressive jackpots, and features such as free spins, wilds, scatters, and more. As for stakes, they vary so much that it’s hard to give concrete numbers. That said, we found machines that allowed us to play for as little as $0.10/spin to as much as $200. Most of the machines we looked at maxed out at $30 or less, though. This means that you might have to do some digging to find the machines with higher limits. Overall, while Spin Casino’s slot section can definitely be bigger given that they’re powered by Microgaming, what they do have will be more than enough for most people. >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
Live Dealer Games
Last up is Spin Casino’s live dealer section. Here are the games we found during our review.
Shangri La Roulette
Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Baccarat Super 6
Evolution Party Table
This is a solid selection of live games, especially when compared to other online casinos. But that’s not a surprise since some of these games come from Evolution Gaming, who’s a heavy hitter in the live gaming space. Once you click on one of these games, you’ll be redirected to a section where you’ll find several tables to choose from (depending on the game). You’ll also find a navigation bar at the top with several filters to help you quickly find the game you want to play. The lowest stakes we found for these games is $5 for blackjack. This is sort of a bummer since some live blackjack games can be played for as little as $1. However, $5 is pretty standard for a live game, so it’s not something we can hold against them. You can play some of their other games, like baccarat or roulette, for $0.10-$1 per round. The highest stakes we found were $5,000 for blackjack, $2,000 for roulette, and as much as $5,000 for everything else. These aren’t th highest stakes online, but they should work for most people. One of the most impressive things about their games is the camera work. The different angles they use and the close-ups make it look like you’re watching a movie. Depending on the game, you can also change the camera option. For example, the roulette game lets you choose from 3D, immersive, or classic camera angles The streams were very good considering how good the camera work was. We noticed a few lags, but they didn’t take away from the game much. The resolution was pretty good regardless. Other features include the option to chat with your tablemates and the dealer, adjust the sound and camera angles, bet behind, and set up automatic actions. You can even multi-table several games at once. Overall, we’re impressed with the live dealer casino at Spin Casino. You’ll have plenty of games to choose from, stakes, features, and men and women dealers that speak different languages. We recommend you check it out. >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
Spin Casino is unique from some of the other casinos under The Palace Group brand in that they also have a sportsbook. It’s called Spin Sports. Here’s what you can expect to find if you choose to bet here.
Sports, Market, and Betting Options
Spin Sports has an excellent selection of sports that you can bet on. Here’s what we found during our review.
Snooker and Pool
Super Spin Specials
Many of these options have dropdown menus, too. For example, click on the soccer option, and a dropdown menu containing options such as England, Europe, Spain, Italy, and Germany will appear. This goes for many of the other options, too — you’ll find countries as subcategories. You’ll need to click on these to find the different leagues that play in those countries. Your betting options will obviously depend on the sport you bet on. We found plenty of choices, though. For example, you can bet outrights or money lines for Europa basketball. You’ll find spread betting, more money lines, oveunder, and outrights for NBA games. Click on a match, and you’ll find additional markets. For example, we checked out an NBA game and found options to bet on different quarters, total points, team points per quarter or half, overtime, and more. There are plenty of betting options here, which was a surprise, honestly, considering who’s running this sportsbook.
Spin Sports also offers live sports betting. When we were there, you could bet on soccer, basketball, tennis, ice hockey, and cricket. We wouldn’t be surprised if they covered more matches than this (when those games are available). In fact, we know that’s the case since we looked at their Event View and Live Schedule tabs. This is where you’ll see all the sports you can bet on, all the matches, and the number of betting opportunities available for each one. And that’s about it for their live sportsbook. The one thing we’d really like to see added in the future is the option to watch live streams. It’d make sense to add a racebook too. Here’s hoping that Spin Sports has both items on their to-do list. >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
Spin Sports is a much better sportsbook than we expected. It’s hard to expect something this impressive from a company that has been running only casinos for more than a decade. We’re fans, though. There are plenty of sports and markets to bet on. You also have your standard options for betting in American, fractional, or decimal odds, as well as using the sportsbook in different languages. That said, there is room for improvement. They could add a racebook, live streaming, and additional features and build out their esports section. But we think they’ve done a good job so far, and it’ll be more than enough for your typical casino player or recreational bettor.
Something we noticed during our review is that there’s the option to deposit inside both the casino and the sportsbook. As far as we can tell, it looks like you’ll want to deposit to the section you plan to spend your time in. In other words, if you want to bet sports, you’ll want to deposit to your sportsbook account. If you want to play blackjack or slots, you’ll want to make your deposit to the casino. The good news is that it looks like the same banking options are accepted in both sections. Find an option that works for you, and you can use it in both places. When we reviewed Spin Casino, we didn’t find any evidence that suggests they charge fees on their deposits. This is great news. However, it’s not clear whether they charge fees on withdrawals. As for limits, you can cash out as much as €4,000 per week if the amount you’re trying to cash out is more than 5x the amount that you’ve deposited over the life of your account. Otherwise, it looks like you can cash out as much as £10,000 in a 24-hour period. This will depend on the banking option you use, of course. Progressive jackpots are exempt from these rules, which is great to see. It’s no surprise, though, considering that they work with Microgaming. That wraps up their banking details. The following two sections will list the banking methods you can use to fund and cash out your account.
You can claim a few promotions as a customer of Spin Casino and Spin Sports. The following sections summarize the offers you can claim and the terms you need to fulfill if you do.
Spin Casino Promotions
The following are offers that you’ll find under the promotions tab on the casino side of things.
New Player Bonus
This is an offer available to first-time customers. Spin Casino is offering a 100% match bonus of up to $1,000. It’s spread out over your first three deposits like this.
First Deposit – 100% match up to $400
Second Deposit – 100% match up to $300
Third Deposit – 100% match up to $300
This is a nice offer because you have multiple opportunities to claim as much as you can. It’s especially helpful for players on a budget who can’t deposit $1,000 in one shot. You will need to roll over this bonus 50x, though the playthrough will depend on the casino game you play. We recommend reading their terms if you plan to play a game other than slots. The downside to this offer is that if you do happen to complete the playthrough with money to spare, and you want to withdraw it, cash-outs will be limited to 100 casino credits. You’ll forfeit the rest of the bonus. That being the case, it might make more sense to play the bonus (and lose money) until you only have 100 credits left. Then make a withdrawal if you want. That way, you can enjoy the bonus money/winnings for as long as possible. And that’s all they have for bonus offers. Spin Casino does say that they offer bonuses on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. We have no idea what those offers look like, though. While we were there, we did notice that they have a “bonus wheel.” You spin the wheel, and you can earn prizes, such as bonuses to claim. It looks like you can spin the wheel once every couple of hours. This is pretty neat.
Spin Casino also offers a loyalty club. This is a multi-tier program that awards more perks the higher your status. This program has six levels.
As you ascend, you’ll receive additional perks such as bonus points, more entry points, exclusive tournaments, VIP support, phone support, and exclusive gifts and bonuses. You can receive monthly bonuses too. Climb the ladder to the very top of their VIP program, and you can receive more than $10,000 every month in bonuses. Getting to each tier is straightforward — you need to earn so many points to reach a specific status, and then so many points to maintain that status each month. You’ll earn 1 point for every $10 you spend in the casino. We recommend you read their promotions page to determine for sure if this program will be a good fit for you. But if we understand their points setup and minimum point requirements correctly, then this looks like a good program to use — even for low-stakes players!
Spin Sports Promotions
You’ll need to be in the sportsbook section in order to find their sports betting promotions. The following are the promotions we found during our review, including what you can get and the terms you need to fulfill. Free Bet – First-time sports bettors will be able to claim a free bet bonus. This is a 100% match up to $200. To claim the offer, deposit at least $10. This offer has a 5x rollover ($1,000 if you claim the entire $200) before you can withdraw any winnings. We recommend you read their terms and conditions for their other rules, as you’ll need to abide by odd minimums/maximums when you make your bets. And that’s the only offer we found for sports bettors during our review. This isn’t a bad offer by any means. That said, it would be great if they had a few other promotions running. It’d be nice to see some kind of cashback or rebate offer or additional bonuses. But as the saying goes, something is better than nothing.
Both Spin Casino and Spin Sports are mobile-friendly. You don’t need to download any apps. All you need to do is go to the casino or sportsbook from your phone or tablet and log in. You’ll be able to play all games and make bets from your browser. It looks like you’ll have the full sportsbook at your disposal. And considering that they work with Microgaming and Evolution Gaming, we wouldn’t be surprised if most or even all of their casino games are available. >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
You can use the following options to contact Spin Casino.
The email address above is addressed to the parent company of Spin Casino. The issue with that is they manage several other casinos. For that reason, we recommend that you make it clear that you’re a Spin Casino customer when you contact them. That way, you eliminate any confusion and reduce the chances of any unnecessary back and forth. We were disappointed to see that they don’t offer phone support despite saying they do in multiple places throughout their website. That said, phone support still isn’t a standard communication method offered by online gambling sites. It wouldn’t be fair if we held the lack of phone support against Spin Casino. Besides, you can contact them 24/7 using the methods above. We sent Spin Casino an email, and we were surprised to receive a response less than two hours later. They answered our questions, too. That’s better than the average casino for sure. For that reason, we give Spin Casino’s support two virtual thumbs up.
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
NOTE: I mentioned it in the first post of 2002 but a lot of y'all are aware that a few months ago, SaintRidley picked up the Observer Rewind reins after I stopped and started doing his own recaps from the 1980s. Well, he's been doing great work with it and he just finished posting the year of 1987. I went ahead and added it the Previously" section up there. ↑↑↑ Just wanted to make sure to bring it to everyone's attention.
It's been awhile since we've had major PPVs going head-to-head with each other, but it happened this week when WWA aired it's 2nd ever PPV live from Las Vegas, going head-to-head with PRIDE. Dave recaps the history of head-to-head PPV battles, specifically the WWF vs. Crockett war in the late-80s. How Vince McMahon created Survivor Series specifically to run it in direct competition with Crockett's first ever PPV, Starrcade 87. The resulting loss of needed revenue was a huge reason why Crockett eventually had to sell the company to Ted Turner and, in retrospect, set into motion everything that led to WCW's eventual death last year. He goes on to recap how Royal Rumble was created and aired on free TV to go head-to-head with Crockett's next PPV attempt, Bunkhouse Stampede. Then Crockett responded by creating the first Clash of the Champions and airing it against Wrestlemania IV. Not sure PRIDE vs. WWA is up there in the same league as that PPV battle. Which, to be fair, Dave admits it's not the same thing.
Anyway, the PRIDE show was among the greatest events of all time, one of the very few times in the history of the Observer that a show got a unanimous 100% thumbs up vote on the reader poll. It aired in Japan live and in the U.S. on a bit of a delay, with the matches edited in a different order. In Japan, the card was headlined by Vanderlei Silva vs. former UWFI wrestler Kiyoshi Tamura, which was an excellent fight that Silva won. In the U.S., the show was built around Ken Shamrock vs. Don Frye in the main event (in Japan, it aired 3rd from last) and the 2 men had an absolute war that should shut up critics who say both are too old. Shamrock lost a split-decision in a fight that Dave thinks should have legitimately been a draw. (This fight is considered to this day one of the all-time wars in MMA history. An utter slobberknocker. Neither fighter was the same again afterward and Frye has said that the damage Shamrock did to his legs in this fight led to him later getting addicted to painkillers). After the fight, Shamrock went over to ringside and hugged his girlfriend Alicia Webb, who you may remember as Ryan Shamrock. The girl that played his sister in WWF.
And then there was WWA. A low-budget, amateur-ish event, marred by bad production and no-shows. Not that the crowd would even know, because most of the lineup was never even announced ahead of time anyway. The scheduled main event of Jeff Jarrett vs. Randy Savage didn't happen because Savage held promoter Andrew McManus up for more money at the last minute. Savage originally had agreed to work the show in exchange for a 30% ownership stake in the company, which was agreed upon. But three days before the show, Savage upped the ante, saying he wanted the 30%, plus an extra $50,000 in cash. At that point, they started haggling back and forth to try to strike some kind of deal. Ownership got pulled off the table and then Savage asked for a flat $250,000 fee to work the show. WWA turned that down and came back with a flat $150,000 offer instead. Savage turned that down and at that point, everything broke down. For what it's worth, a lot of the lower card wrestlers on the show worked for $300. Last second attempts to bring in Sting to save the show didn't work either. Road Dogg was also supposed to appear on the show but couldn't because of legal issues. Word is he got arrested 2 days before the show in Florida on a probation violation. As a result, the PPV was headlined by Jeff Jarrett defending the WWA championship against Brian Christopher.
The whole show was simply an embarrassment. The production was completely minor league and the crowd was totally dead for all these long matches with guys nobody cares about. The in-ring work was fine, but the booking often made no sense, with overbooked three-ways and 6-way undercard matches that ended up being more clusterfuck than match. It was also one of those Russo-type things where the commentary team made endless inside-references that only the hardcore internet fans would get. But then again, this show only drew hardcore internet fans anyway, so why not? They also constantly made reference to WWF, which came across as desperate and sad. In particular, Larry Zbyszko was given the chance to cut a meandering promo, challenging Vince McMahon to a fight over some unspecified grievance from 20 years ago and criticized them for having Chris Jericho as their world champion. Dave thinks Zbyszko was actually angling for a job from WWF by trying to start his own angle and says this promo was basically his job application. And he thinks it was pretty pathetic. Backstage, the disorganization was apparent and most even within the company saw what a mess it was and have already given up on the promotion as a lost cause. Dave said this PPV made it clear that nobody will be challenging WWF anytime soon.
Other notes from the WWA Revolution PPV: yes, in case you're wondering, that Japanese man sitting behind the commentary table all night who very briefly (literally blink and miss it) got involved in the Scott SteineDisco Inferno tussle was indeed NJPW star Hiroyoshi Tenzan and yes, they flew him all the way from Japan (and had him bring his ring gear just in case), only to have him do almost nothing and never be acknowledged on camera. Eric Bischoff was backstage, as a guest of Ernest Miller. Bischoff laughed off any questions about going to WWF but said the ol' "never say never" shtick. The crowd was about 2,800, most of them freebies and they were desperately giving away tickets in the casino before the show. During the first match, the building looked practically empty so they quietly began moving everyone closer to ringside to pack the area around the ring to make it look presentable for TV. Opening 6-way match featuring all the hottest indie stars was a sloppy mess, with too people flying everywhere trying to get their shit in and the cameras missing most of it. Bret Hart came out and cut a long, rambling promo before announcing Brian Christopher was replacing Randy Savage in the main event, to zero crowd response. By the 5th match, people in the crowd could be seen leaving, never to return. Jerry Lynn showed up, interrupting an Eddie Guerrero interview, at which point Dave mentions, oh yeah by the way, the WWF released Jerry Lynn 2 days before the PPV. Considering WWF has been talking about reviving the cruiserweight division after Wrestlemania, Dave doesn't know why they'd get rid of a guy who could be one of the best in the division. Anyway, yeah, this show sucked. Here ya go, enjoy.
WWF's latest investor conference call took place and wasn't particularly newsworthy, but there's some stuff to note. The new agreement with DirecTV is until August of 2003 and is under the exact same terms they were operating under last year, which means WWF gained nothing while losing an estimated $4.4 million in revenue over the last few PPVs. Following the brand split, WWF plans to run 16 PPVs per year, and increasing the price by an extra $5. Linda McMahon said Wrestlemania 18 has sold 58,000 tickets as of the time of the call, for a record gate of $3.96 million, breaking the record set by last year's WM. Dave goes through all the numbers and for the most part, in comparison to previous quarters, almost everything is down. Which is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention because WWF is clearly on the downswing. Linda also said they're currently interviewing new writers and are hoping to double their writing staff, which Dave thinks is a terrible idea (and time has damn sure proven him correct). Finally, Linda was also asked how the purchase of the WCW library has benefited the company, which Dave thinks is an interesting question since revenues have declined since then and the Invasion angle flopped so hard that it killed any brand value the name "WCW" may have had. Linda talked about the value of the tape library but Dave points out that it's been a year and WWF has done practically nothing with that library (of course, in the end, they found ways to monetize that WCW library and it more than paid for itself).
In his first match as an official member of the AJPW roster, Keiji Muto lost the Triple Crown championship to Toshiaki Kawada in a match nearly a year in the making, before a sold out crowd at Budokan Hall. He hasn't seen it yet, but the match was reported to Dave as a near-classic (he ends up giving it 4.5 stars). The other 2 NJPW stars who jumped ship, Kendo Kashin and Satoshi Kojima, also worked their first official AJPW matches. Kaz Hayashi, formerly a member of Jung Dragons in WCW and who worked in WWF's developmental until asking for his release a few weeks ago, also debuted on the show and will be part of Muto's faction.
Obituary time for Swede Hanson, who worked primarily in the Carolinas and had a brief run in the WWF as a cult favorite babyface in the early 80s. Sadly, he passed away in a mental hospital because he had advanced Alzheimer's disease which made it impossible for his family to handle him and they had him put away. Jeez, that's rough. He also had a litany of other health problems. Dave gives an in-depth history of his career in the 60s and 70s as a heel in the Carolinas before talking about the WWF run. Vince Sr. brought him in as a monster heel to challenge Bob Backlund, and Dave thinks someone else must have backed out at the last moment or something. By this time (in 1979), Hanson was well past his prime and hadn't been a major star anywhere in years but he was a big dude and so they brought him in to face Backlund and they actually sold out Madison Square Garden with Backlund vs. Hanson in the main event (though Dave says Bruno Sammartino working the undercard sure didn't hurt). The match sucked and almost immediately after, he became a jobber in the WWF, but Vince Jr, on commentary, just loved to call him "Rawboned Swede Hanson" and the "Rawboned" nickname caught on. Vince said it with such gusto that Hanson briefly became a cult favorite jobber from it and the crowd turned him babyface at damn near 50 years old. It led to a brief career resurgence and him having a small role in the Backlund/Billy Graham feud for the title before he finally faded into oblivion.
Mark Henry won the "world's strongest man" competition at the Arnold Classic bodybuilding and fitness event. Henry has been out of WWF for the past 2 months training for this competition and the training paid off, with Henry capturing first place and making a legitimate viable claim to his "strongest man in the world" moniker. During the event, Henry became the first man in 50 years to cleanly press the 366 pound Apollon wheel weight above his head. In another event, he carried an 800 pound block of bolted together railroad ties up a 40-foot ramp faster than the other competitors. For his victory, Henry won a $75,000 Humvee and some other cash prizes. Over the same weekend, he also won another $1,000 in a contest where he was able to lift an inch dumbbell (which weighs 172 pounds) to his shoulder with one arm. There's a bunch of other weightlifting stuff here, but you might be surprised to find out....I dunno shit about any of this. I got winded lifting pizza to my mouth earlier. Mark Henry strong.
Another obit for former wrestler, promoter, and father of 80s valet Baby Doll, Nick Roberts who died of pancreatic cancer. Once again, a bunch of details and stories about someone I've never heard of in wrestling history that Dave somehow knows everything about. I know I've said it before, but these obituary pieces are some of the greatest reasons for subscribing to the Observer.
Masahiro Chono says he wants to take NJPW in a more serious, realistic direction. No sports entertainment gaga nonsense, they want it to be like a real sports product. So much so that, in his own match with Manabu Nakanishi at the last big NJPW show, Chono wouldn't even bounce off the ropes, saying that it's not credible and no one would do that in a real fight. Ah yes, Inoki's gonna love this.
FMW wrestler Kodo Fuyuki has said he plans to try to keep the promotion running after it was announced it was folding last week. FMW still has 8 shows scheduled for this month and Fuyuki said he plans to try to run them himself and keep the company going (no such luck buddy).
Japan Today, an American newspaper that covers Japanese news daily, had a story on Antonio Inoki battling diabetes. It says he was first diagnosed in 1982, which Dave says is right around the time Inoki's in-ring work dropped off considerably when he lost his stamina. The story said for the last 20 years, Inoki has eaten a ridiculously healthy diet and is in better health now at 59 than he was then at 39.
Dave said he got tons of positive feedback on the debut of RF Video's Ring of Honor promotion in Philadelphia. The show was sold out in advance, was well organized, and had several really good matches. They limited a lot of the mistakes that most indie companies fall victim to, such as too many matches, too many run-ins, too much mic work, too many guys trying to do too much stuff, etc. Steve Corino and CZW announcer Eric Gargiulo did commentary. Eddie Guerrero faced Super Crazy in an excellent match and the main event was a three-way featuring Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, and American Dragon that Dave has heard rave reviews for. And thus, ROH was born.
Vic Grimes took the most insane bump of all time at an XPW event before 1,500 fans in Los Angeles. Grimes was facing New Jack in a scaffold match said to be at least twice as high up as the fall Mick Foley took off the Hell in a Cell. The ring below had tables stacked 4-high to break his fall, but Grimes ended up missing most of the tables when New Jack overshot him. Perhaps on purpose. Grimes missed all but the corner tables at the edge of the ring before coming down on the corner turnbuckles. After the bump, they tried to rush fans out of the arena since it was almost 1am and gave many the impression Grimes life was in danger. But he was surprisingly okay and was walking around backstage after, although he was definitely banged up. Grimes was really nervous about the bump earlier in the day, as you might expect and Dave says he's pretty damn lucky he didn't miss the ring because he almost certainly would have died if he took that bump straight to the floor. Elsewhere on the show, there was a match where porn star Lizzy Borden (wife of XPW promoter Rob Black) faced another porn star, Veronica Caine, in a match that was supposed to end only when someone was stripped totally naked. But right before it happened, the lights went out and the women were rushed out of the ring and when fans realized they'd been ripped off, they were so pissed the arena feared a riot. (Anyway, here's the bump and yeah....Grimes very easily could have died from this. No mention from Dave on the fact that New Jack also tazed him before this)
Shane Douglas is expected to take over as XPW booker when his WCW contract with Time Warner expires next month.
Former WCW journeyman wrestler Chip Minton's primary career was bobsledding. He only wrestled in WCW occasionally while doing that, primarily as a jobber on the C-shows. Minton was part of the US bobsledding team in both the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics and was planning to compete this year, but failed to make the team. Soon after that, he failed a steroid test and has been suspended from the sport for 2 years.
Remember a couple weeks ago, it was mentioned that Roddy Piper was in a car accident but he was playing down how serious it was? Turns out....very serious. Piper suffered 4 broken ribs, one of which punctured his liver and nearly killed him. He also suffered severe back injuries and shattered his ankle. Piper was taken to the hospital and was near death but obviously, he managed to pull through and has still been making all his appearances for XWF in recent days. (Yeah I think in Piper's autobiography, he dedicates the book to the guy who saved his life by rushing him to the hospital and even says he was clinically dead for a few moments. Then again, Piper was like a lot of those old time guys and was prone to exaggeration, so who knows).
Eric Bischoff is teaming up with Mark Burnett, the producer of the hit show Survivor, to produce a MMA reality show called Skien. From Dave's understanding, it will basically be a reality show with K-1 kickboxers leading up to a PPV event. (Here's an article about it from Variety at the time, but this ends up going nowhere).
Notes from Raw: only one thing really notable, they filmed a segment at referee Tim White's bar The Friendly Tap. The bar really is owned by White and WWF pretty much always films angles there when they're in town (Providence, RI). This time, the skit featured the APA going into the bar to drink and the bar was filled by a bunch of gay men and drag queens (played by a bunch of wrestlers from indie promotion Chaotic Wrestling) while the APA guys acted all grossed out by it all. Then Billy and Chuck attacked them. Dave thinks this played on all the typical homophobic stereotypes and he seems pretty irritated by it. Anyway, among the wrestlers from Chaotic were Todd Sinclair (better known now as ROH's senior official), Rich Palladino (ring announcer for Beyond now) and John Walters (indie wrestler and former ROH Pure champion).
Next week's Smackdown hasn't aired yet but it was taped and Dave has details. Notably, this is the episode where Austin chases down the NWO and tries to shoot them with a net gun. Dave says this was a mess, with the gun going off but no net being fired from it and they'll have to fix the whole thing in post-production. It went horribly when they filmed it and it aired for the live crowd and it killed the crowd and basically forced them to improvise on the spot (on one of the Something To Wrestle podcasts, Bruce Prichard tells this story and how frustrated they were with this net gun being a piece of shit). This episode also featured Stephanie yelling at Chris Jericho for getting her the wrong hand lotion and Booker T and Edge feuding over a Japanese shampoo commercial. (Rock/Hogan was great, but man, the build for everything else at Wrestlemania 18 suuuuuucked.)
Prototype won the OVW title from Leviathan at the latest OVW tapings. After the match, they did an angle to set up David Flair as the #1 contender for the title. Prototype's only singles loss in OVW came last week, when Flair beat him, so there ya go (this video covers ALL of that. The FlaiCena match, the Leviathan match, the post-match angle, etc).
Wall Street Journal did an article talking about the decline in Smackdown's ratings, saying they were down 28% from last year and down 42% from the year before that. The article blamed it on Smackdown changing networks. Here's the thing though....it hasn't. Raw changed networks in 2000. Smackdown has been on UPN since its debut. Also, UPN has grown overall in ratings while Smackdown has declined. So....no. It's just because the show sucks now.
Charlie Haas, fresh off returning to the ring and winning the HWA title after the death of his brother, tore his ACL this week. He just had surgery and will be out 4-6 months. Rough few months for that dude.
A Washington newspaper did a story on James Dudley, who you may know as....WWF Hall of Famer James Dudley and little else. On-screen, he's never really done much. But Dave says Dudley started working for Vince Sr. back in the 1940s, when Sr. was a boxing promoter, and was essentially his Vince Sr.'s driver and assistant. Dudley did a lot of odd jobs for the company during those early years, working ticket booths and stuff like that, but to most people, he was just kinda known as Vince Sr.'s limo driver. So when he was indicted into the WWF Hall of Fame a few years ago, it was a pretty controversial decision among a lot of people, given that someone like Bruno Sammartino isn't in, by the company's limo driver is. Anyway, before his death, Vince Sr. made Vince Jr. promise to take care of Dudley and keep him on the payroll. So for the last 18 years or so, even though he doesn't work for the company, Vince McMahon has continued to pay him a salary. He also bought him a new car as a gift some years back.
Billy and Chuck's recent tag team title win makes Billy Gunn the most decorated tag team wrestler in WWF history, as he's now held the tag titles 9 times (3 as part of the Smoking Gunns, 5 as part of New Age Outlaws, and now once with he and Chuck). The previous record was Mick Foley, with 8. (to the best of my research, if we're only talking WWF/WWE tag title reigns, that record is now held by Edge).
USA Network CEO Barry Diller took part in a lecture at Syracuse University and talked about losing the WWF to TNN. When asked why it happened, he responded, "Because I'm a dope." He said he didn't fight hard enough to keep the WWF and admitted the loss hurt, but also said it may have been the best thing for them in the long-run because pro wrestling doesn't really fit the direction they're planning to take the network. He said wrestling fans came for wrestling and left immediately after it was over and there was never any cross-over fans who stuck around to watch the next show or anything like that. He said they could never figure out what to connect wrestling to within the rest of their properties.
WWF held a try out camp in Cincinnati and reportedly, nobody was particularly impressive, including AJ Styles. The knock on Styles was that he's average looking and too small. Wrestler Sonny Siaki was said to be the most impressive, but he also rubbed people the wrong way with his attitude so probably not gonna make the cut this time. Matt Morgan, who was on the Tough Enough casting special last season got a tryout and since he has no formal training, he was pretty awful but he's big so Dave seems to think he'll get a chance anyway. The other one they were impressed by was a woman named Erin Bray, who was one of the final 25 picked for the original Tough Enough. But then some other contestants spotted her out on a date with one of the show's judges and they threw a fit, which resulted in Bray not making the final 13. Another wrestler, Travis Tomko, is a guy who has worked some indies and is a former bodyguard for Limp Bizkit ("Tomko, gimme a beat." "No.")
Rock was a presenter at the NAACP Awards and Dave thinks he looked pretty great for a guy who was almost murdered in an ambulance by the NWO a few days earlier. Cheeky Dave is just the best.
Speaking of, Dave throws in a random paragraph to backhandedly shit on Kevin Nash. For years, people in the business joked that Lex Luger made the most money with the least ability or drawing power of anyone ever in wrestling. Dave says it's gotta be Nash. For example, Nash is not wrestling and is only going to be in Hall's corner for the match at Wrestlemania (his knees really are giving him problems), but he has been promised that he's going to get the same type of payoff as if he was the guy in the match working with Austin in the semi-main event. Not to mention all the huge contracts he signed in WCW, or how he got a huge-by-WWF-standards deal here, plus got Vince to cave to almost all his other demands regarding schedule and bringing back Scott Hall, among other things. (I mean, while Dave is being kind of a dick here, I don't think he's really wrong either. When it comes to top draws in the history of the business, Nash isn't anywhere near even the top 10 or 20. And he's never exactly been a great wrestler. But since the 90s, Nash always managed to make sure he gets PAID like he's in that upper echelon. Nash is one of those very few wrestlers who isn't entranced by the fame or the fake accolades. He treats wrestling for what it is: a business. It's the way they pay their mortgages and buy groceries, just like you and me at our jobs. I love it. I laugh my ass off every time I hear "Brock Lesnar signed a huge new contract to only work 6 matches a year." Good for him. I hope he gets even more money for less dates next year. You should always know your worth and never let your employer take you for anything less. Nash has always been one of the guys to do that and he's probably going to die comfortably in a nice house while these other guys from his era are still clinging to fame at 60 years old doing $300 indie shows on crippled knees. Anyway, that's my soapbox). Dave seems to feel the same way and admits, love him or hate him, you gotta give Nash credit for being one of the smartest guys in the biz.
Fear Factor featuring the Hardyz, Lita, Test, Molly Holly, and Jacquelyn aired this week. First they had to climb up a rope ladder hanging from a helicopter over the river and they all made it up except Jeff Hardy who slipped near the top and fell (knowing Jeff, he probably purposely let go so he could take the big fall for fun). Lita also got eliminated for being the slowest one up the ladder. Next they had to chug a gross drink that included bile, rooster testicals, spleen, and some animal brains all blended together. Molly Holly almost vomited after one sip and was out. Jackie and Matt succeeded. Test refused to even try. So then it came down to Matt vs. Jackie and they had to walk across the tops of high poles and move flags around. Matt Hardy ended up winning the whole thing and won $50,000 for charity.
Sunday Night Heat is being converted into one of the B-shows like Metal and Jakked. Awhile back, they started airing Heat from the WWF New York restaurant but the production costs of that were high. So in a cost-cutting move, they're just gonna tape dark matches and throw them on Heat the same way they do those other shows, featuring all the nobodies that can't ever get TV time on the main shows.
As mentioned last week, Scott Hall has been taking a drug called Antabuse, which makes him violently sick when he drinks or even smells alcohol. It caused him to get sick after Raw last week when Austin poured beer all over him in a bit after the cameras were off. Hall has said he is clean and has been clean for awhile, except for the incident a couple weeks ago where he fell off the wagon. Others are skeptical and question if Hall only takes his medication on TV days and needless to say, there's some doubt here.
Everywhere he goes, Brian Christopher has been telling people he's coming back to WWF after Wrestlemania, but contrary to what he's saying, Dave says there are zero plans for that (indeed, it does not happen).
FRIDAY:More on WWA's PPV disaster, the landscape for any new promotion attempting to start up, WWF huge show in Japan, WWF loses appeal over "WWF" initials, Bret Hart given offer for Wrestlemania 18, and tons more...
40 Best Songs of All Times About Poker, Dice, Cards and Addiction
40. Go Down Gamblin’ - Blood Sweat and Tears
Released in 1971, Go Down Gamblin’ by Blood Sweat and Tears is a song describing a gambler who is “born a natural loser.” He never wins, no matter what game he plays, but, he doesn’t feel like a loser. As the song goes – “Cause I've been called a natural lover by that lady over there, Honey, I'm just a natural gambler but I try to do my share.”
39. Gambler - Madonna
Gambler is a song written and played by Madonna, made for the film Vision Quest. Although the song reached the top 10 in the charts of the UK, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, and Norway, Madonna performed it only once on her 1985The Virgin Tour. It’s a catchy song, we suggest you play it as you spin the reels of some of your favourite retro online slots.
38. The House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
Our list wouldn’t be complete without the 1964 hit song - The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals. Everybody knows the famous lines ”My mother, she was a tailor, sewed these new blue jeans, my father was a gamblin' man way down in New Orleans.” This single had a major success and made it to the top 10 songs on mainstream rock radio stations in the USA. Likewise, the hit was featured in the video game Guitar Hero Live.
37. The Winner Takes It All - ABBA
Whether we admit it or not, we all love at least some songs played by the very well-known Swedish pop group, ABBA. According to some sources, Bjorn Ulvaeus wrote the 1980 hit song The Winner Takes It All which was inspired by his divorce to his fellow band member, Agnetha Fältskog. The winner takes it all is a sort of a comparison to a divorce (especially the part ”I've played all my cards and that's what you've done too, nothing more to say, no more ace to play”), where one of them is the winner and the other one is left with nothing. And things are just the same when it comes to gambling, so we’ve decided to put the song on our list.
36. Shape of my Heart - Sting
We’re all aware of the fact that our gambling behaviour can be influenced by certain types of music and that's because online gambling and music go hand in hand. So, we suggest you start playing your preferred games with one of everyone’s favourite songs by Sting called The Shape of my Heart. It was released in 1993 and used for the end credits of the film Léon. In one of his interviews, Sting explained that the lyrics of the song tell the story of a card player who places bets not in order to win but to figure out something that’s been bothering him - “some kind of scientific, almost religious law.”
35. All I Wanna Do Is Play Cards - Corb Lund
“Well, I guess I really oughta be makin up songs but all I wanna do is play cards. I know it's dumb and sick and wrong but all I wanna do is play cards. Got the studio booked in Tennessee, and my record producer's callin me, the tape will roll in just three weeks and all I wanna do is play cards.” Does it sound familiar? It’s a 2005 hit by Corb Lund called All I Wanna Do Is Play Cards, once you hear it you’ll be playing it on repeat.
34. Gambling Man - The Overtones
When you’re falling in love, it’s perfectly normal to feel like you want to gamble everything just to attract that person’s attention to notice you and love you back. Well, Gambling Man is a lively 2010 song that tells a story of a guy fascinated with his love, so he places all his bets on her, as the song goes - “I played my hand, I rolled the dice, now I'm paying for my sins, I got some bad addiction.” This time, he feels that this love affair is different from any other – “Baby, it's you, yeah, yeah, that's right.” The song was released in 2010 and has been popular ever since.
33. Poker Face - Lady Gaga
Although the Poker Face song is more about the game of romance rather than the game of poker, the catchy refrain that starts with “Can't read my, no he can't read my poker face” kinda reminds us of winning at the tables, so we couldn’t skip it this time. Released in 2008, the song achieved worldwide success, topping the charts in the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada and several European countries.
32. Little Queen of Spades - Robert Johnson
Moving on to the Little Queen of Spades, a song title by the American blues musician Robert Johnson who recorded the song in 1937 and first released it in 1938. The first version of this gambling-themed song has a playing time of 2:11, whereas the second one lasts 4s longer (2:15), and is considered an alternate take and first appeared on Johnson's album The Complete Recordings, in 1990.
31. Train of Consequences - Megadeth
Another great song Train of Consequences is the title created by Megadeth, released as the first single from their sixth studio album Youthanasia in 1994. The song was later included on their compilation albums and its music video was the 26th most played video on MTV. There’s this part of the song “No horse ever ran as fast as the money that you bet, I'm blowing on my cards and I play them to my chest” – which is about a person’s gambling problem, who realises something’s wrong with this lifestyle, but it still hunts him down. Could be just the thrill, but he just can’t stop playing.
30. Gambler - Whitesnake
Released on the album Slide It In (1984) and appearing on the compilation album Gold (2006), Gambler is the song by the British hard rock band Whitesnake. These words may sound familiar - “No fame or fortune, no luck of the draw, when I dance with the Queen of Hearts, a jack of all trades, a loser in love, it's tearing my soul apart”. And in case you’ve never heard it, we think you should give it a shot, the chances are you’re going to love it!
29. Gambling Man - Woody Guthrie
Now here’s one single from 1957 - Gamblin' Man. The song was taped live at the London Palladium and published as a double A side, with Puttin' On the Style. Reaching #1 in the UK Singles Chart in the summer 1957, it was “the last UK number 1 to be released on 78 rpm format only, as 7' vinyl had become the norm by this time.” Written by Woody Guthrie and Donegan, this gambling themed song was produced by Alan Freeman and Michael Barclay.
28. Roll of the Dice - Bruce Springsteen
According to Songfacts, Roll of the Dice was the first Springsteen’s song he didn’t write by himself. In fact, E Street Band’s pianist Roy Bittan helped with the music, while Springsteen was in charge of the lyrics, starting with – “Well I've been a losin' gambler, just throwin' snake eyes, Love ain't got me downhearted. I know up around the corner lies, My fool's paradise in just another roll of the dice.” After he broke up the E Street Band in October 1989, Springsteen wrote lyrics for the Roll of the Dice (with two other songs) and liked them to the point where he began writing and recording more songs.
27. Queen of Diamonds - Tom Odell
Here’s one song about a gambling fanatic who’s trying to satisfy his own addiction but also someone else, hoping it’s going to save him. Released in 2018, Queen of Diamonds is Tom Odell’s song from the album Jubilee Road, based on the local characters that inspired this British songwriter to include the whisky-soaked gamblers who regularly visited one betting shop.
26. The Angel and the Gambler - Iron Maiden
Now, this song may divide Iron Maiden fans and it’s most probably because of its repetitive lyrics that can be a bit annoying. The release we’re talking about is The Angel and the Gambler. Truth be told, the melody in general is very catchy and, even a bit similar to The Who in some moments. As the song was released in 1998 while Blaze Bayley was its frontmen, it’s missing the well-known high-pitch vocals from Bruce Dickinson.
25. Ramblin' Gamblin Man - Bob Seger
We’re moving on to a rock single from 1978 - Ramblin' Gamblin Man by Bob Seger. The author meets an old acquaintance, a professional gambler who happens to be a swagger. As such, he attracts people’s attention whenever he bets. Putting so much of his faith in the cards (rather than in people), he walks away every time, just before avoiding loss. Along the way, the narrator realises that, if you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find he’s a very cynical man, who will never change. Another gambling-themed song worth mentioning by Bob Seger is Still The Same.
24. Blow Up The Pokies - The Whitlams
Blow up the Pokies is the next song on our list, played by The Whitlams. It is the second single by the group from their 4th studio album, Love This City. Released in the year 2000, the song became a hit and made it to number 21 on the ARIA Singles Chart. According to several resources, the lyrics written by singer Tim Freedman were inspired by the destruction he saw in original Whitlams bassist Andy Lewis's life, due to his gambling addiction.
23. A Good Run of Bad Luck - Clint Black
Now here’s one 1994-song packed with gambling-related terms. As you listen to A Good Run of Bad Luck, recorded by American music artist Clint Black, you'll have a bit of fun as you try identifying what all these gambling terms mean. The song is a bit fast and is about falling in love by using gambling metaphors. The main character is willing to spend a lot of money to win his special lady over and, although he has had a period of bad luck, he is not giving up – “I've been to the table, and I've lost it all before, I'm willin' and able, always comin' back for more.”
22. When You’re Hot, You’re Hot - Jerry Reed
Jerry Reed won a Grammy for the song When You’re Hot, You’re Hot which was released in 1971. Most people remember it as it was a major hit, ranked as number 1 in the country charts, also making its way up the Pop Top 40. It’s an enjoyable novelty song about the ups and downs of the gambling life, about one’s winning streak caught in an illegal game of Crap. Country star Jerry Reed also came up with a version The Uptown Poker Club in 1973.
21. Lawyers, Guns and Money - Warren Zevon
Next one up - Lawyers, Guns and Money is a song by Warren Zevon, the closing track on his album Excitable Boy, released in 1978. An edited version of this song was distributed as a single and found itself on the A Quiet Normal Life best of compilation on the CD and LP. The song goes like this - “I went home with a waitress the way I always do, how was I to know she was with the russians, too? I was gambling in Havana, I took a little risk Send lawyers, guns, and money Dad, get me out of this, hiyah!”
20. The Lottery Song - Harry Nilsson
According to the man in the 1972 pop-rock song The Lottery Song by Harry Nilsson, there's more than one way to get to Vegas. Addressing his lover, the narrator mentions a few different options for buying a ticket and going to Sin City – “We could win the lottery we could go to Vegas,” and “We could wait till summer, we could save our money” as well as “We could make a record, sell a lot of copies, we could play Las Vegas.”
19. Casino Queen - Wilco
Now here’s one black-humoured gambling-themed song, released in 1995 and titled after a casino. Featuring a dirty electric guitar, Casino Queen was composed by an American songwriter, Jeff Tweedy, who wrote this song after playing a game in a riverboat casino accompanied by his dad. Inspired by the event, the author wrote: “Casino Queen my lord you're mean, I've been gambling like a fiend on your tables so green.”
18. Have a Lucky Day - Morphine
Another song on our list that you simply must check out starts like this: “I feel lucky, I just feel that way, I'm on a bus to Atlantic City later on today. Now I'm sitting at a blackjack table and swear to God the dealer has a tag says, "Mabel." Hit me, hit me! I smile at Mabel, soon they're bringing complimentary drinks to the table.” Check it out yourself - it’s called Have a Lucky Day by Morphine.
17. Kentucky Gambler - Merle Haggard
Written by Dolly Parton and released in 1974, Merle Haggard’s Kentucky Gambler is another song on our ultimate gambling playlist that you should pay attention to. It’s about a miner from Kentucky who leaves his family to gamble, under the bright lights of Reno. Unsurprisingly, his winning streak comes to an end, and he loses all his winnings. All broke, he decided to return back home only when he arrived, he found out his wife was involved with someone else.
16. The Jack - AC/DC
The next song on our list will give you some adrenaline boost, for sure. It goes like this - “She gave me the queen, she gave me the king, she was wheelin' and dealin', just doin' her thing, she was holdin' a pair, but I had to try…” Sounds familiar? This song from the 1975s is called The Jack and is played by AC/DC and there’s no way you can skip it.
15. Blackjack - Ray Charles
Moving on to something a bit different - a melody that blackjack lovers can listen to as they play is Ray Charles’ Blackjack. Apart from being a good quality song from 1955, it carries an important message with an emphasis on how brutal the game of blackjack can be. Some sources say that Ray Charles wrote it after beating T-Bone Walker at a blackjack game session. Yet another Ray Charles’ famous song about gambling is called a Losing Hand.
14. Ooh Las Vegas - Gram Parson
“Ooh, Las Vegas, ain't no place for a poor boy like me”... is a song-into for Ooh Las Vegas which was written by Gram Parsons and Ric Grech. It was first released by Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris in 1974. Playing this song would be perfect for the beginning of the road trip (i.e. to Las Vegas), especially if you have the energy to sing along.
13. The Stranger - Leonard Cohen
Published in 1968 and performed by Leonard Cohen, The Stranger appears in the The Ernie Game movie about a man released from a mental asylum. More appropriately, it is the perfect opening song in the 1971 Western McCabe & Mrs Miller, in which Warren Beatty plays a gambler. As you listen to this song (without watching the movie), it makes you see fascinating images of card games, smoky dreams, and concepts of risk versus safety.
12. Desperado - Eagles
Written by Glen Frey and Don Henley, Desperado song is one of The Eagles’ greatest hits from their 1973 album of the same name. The song features a classic tune while the ballad tells the story of a lone wolf imprisoned by his loneliness. As for the lyrics, they have loads of card references mentioning the queen of diamonds, the queen of hearts, and so on.
11. Huck's Tune - Bob Dylan
The next song on our list is about the risks of poker, money, and relationships, which are precisely what the movie Lucky You is all about. Does it ring a bell? That’s right, this 2007 song is called Huck’s Tune and is performed by Bob Dylan. Each of us can all relate to lines "You push it all in, and you've no chance to win, you play 'em on down to the end." Play the song and you’ll enjoy more than 4 amazing minutes of Bob Dylan. Likewise, Bob Dylan recorded Rambling, Gambling Willie and Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts, both excellent and both inspired by gambling.
10. Four Little Diamonds - Electric Light Orchestra
A song by the British rock band Electric Light Orchestra Four Little Diamonds was released in 1983 and found itself on the album Secret Messages. The single wasn’t so popular in the US, being only 2 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, at number 86, and number 84 in the UK. This song refers to the singer’s cheating lover who tricked him out of a ring which had 'four little diamonds' on it.
9. You Can't Beat The House - Mark Knopfler
Moving on to our next choice for the day, You Can’t Beat the House. It’s the third song on the Get Lucky studio album released in 2009 by British singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler. The album and the songs received favorable reviews with the album reaching the top three positions on album charts in Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Poland. The singer’s divine voice combined with beautiful music and lyrics goes like this – “You can't bear the house, you can't bear the house, tell the man somebody, you can't beat the house.”
8. Deck of Cards - Don Williams
Deck of Cards is a recitation song that tells the story of a soldier who gets caught while playing cards in church and then faces a sentence from a superior officer. The soldier defends his case, explaining he wasn't about to deal a hand of poker, but was rather confirming his faith with the cards. Performed by T. Texas Tyler, the song managed to become a major hit in the 1940s and 1950s. Also, Wink Martindale had an even bigger hit with his 1959 cover, with a successful version by Don Williams featuring Tex Ritter and Buddy Cole.
7. Gambler’s Blues - B.B. King
First recording of the song Gambler’s Blues by B.B. King was in 1966, and it was released in 1967. The song appears on the album Back in the Alley (1970). Some say gambling and blues go hand in hand, so if you (gambling fans) haven’t heard it, listen and see for yourself.
6. Tumbling Dice - Rolling Stones
One of our favourite songs on the list is Tumbling Dice, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It tells the story of a gambler who can’t remain faithful to any woman. Being released in the 1970s and featuring a blues boogie-woogie rhythm, the song was and still is one of the greatest singles of all time. Rolling Stones also recorded Casino Boogie, and it’s from their 1972 album, Exile on Main St.
5. Luck Be A Lady - Frank Sinatra
The next song on our list is about a gambler who hopes that he will win a bet, the outcome of which will decide whether he is able to save his relationship with the girl of his dreams. You probably know what song we’re talking about; it’s called Luck be a Lady released in 1965 and performed by one of the most popular musical artists - Frank Sinatra.
4. Deal - Grateful Dead
Next one up is the song Deal. It was first performed by the Grateful Dead in 1971, as a regular part of the repertoire through their 1970's tour. Although being less common to the fans during the 1990s, the band continued to perform it. The singer opens with the message: “Since it cost a lot to win and even more to lose you and me bound to spend some time wondering what to choose,” that later kicks off with a chorus: “Don't let your deal go down...” Loser is another song first performed by the Grateful Dead in 1971 as well, heavily played during 1971 and 1972.
3. Ace of Spades - Motörhead
Ok, the next song is loaded with some great gambling verses like "The pleasure is to play, makes no difference what you say, I don't share your greed, the only card I need is the Ace of Spades" will definitely set you in the right mood for hitting some winning combinations. Released in 1980, the song was inspired by slot machines that the lead singer Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister played in London pubs.
2. Viva Las Vegas - Elvis
As soon as you start playing the second song from our playlist “Viva Las Vegas,” you’ll probably picture a huge casino and a great gaming atmosphere. Performed by the legendary Elvis Presley, the 1964-released song brings the glamour of the city, and its beat will get you in the mood for some serious gameplay. This song was written for the movie of the same name starring Elvis Presley, in which he plays a race car driver waiting tables at a hotel to pay off a debt. There’s this famous scene when he performs this song at the talent competition alongside many showgirls.
1. The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
Performed by the legendary country singer Kenny Rogers, The Gambler song is our number 1 - it's full of some betting advice that are relevant today, even though it was released more than 40 years ago, in 1978. Here’s how it goes… “If you're gonna play the game, boy you gotta learn to play it right, you've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” These classic chorus lines were told from the first-person perspective inspired by a conversation the author had with an experienced poker player on a train. Written in the form of poker metaphors, Schlitz wrote the tune in honor of his late father. Johnny Cash is also among other musicians who recorded The Gambler in 1978, on Gone Girl.
The Case of the Missing 40,000 Jerry Nugget Decks: A Detective Story NB: I first published this article (with pictures) at PlayingCardDeckshere. Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards. The story of the original Jerry's Nugget decks is a fascinating one, and there are many interesting side-stories to explore about along the way. You can read the main story about the Jerry's Nugget decks in my previous article here: The Legendary Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards. But the full truth still remains somewhat hidden, and there are aspects about the Jerry's Nugget story that even today we can't totally be sure about. And with the passage of time, several juicy tidbits of lore have become attached to this famous deck. In this article I invite you to join me in a quest to explore another juicy story that has become part of the Jerry's Nugget legend. Is it true that the final stock of 40,000 Jerry's Nugget decks was bought up from the casino by a mysterious overseas buyer? Because this is an oft-repeated part of the story, that you'll hear whispered rumours about across the landscape of the internet. But this a statement of fact or fiction, and is it truth or myth? It could mean that right now someone is potentially sitting on a small fortune of Jerry's Nugget decks worth around $500 a piece. If it's true. So please put on your Sherlock Holmes trench-coat and deerstalker hat, arm yourself with a good amount of deductive logic and persistence, and join me as we see if we can really get to the bottom of this mystery, and dredge up the truth behind this famed haul of 40,000 decks!
A Secret Stash of 40,000 Decks?
If you are curious - like I am - and do some digging about the story and history of the Jerry's Nugget decks, it won't take you long to stumble across mention of the claim that a stash of the final 40,000 decks of Jerry's Nuggets was bought up in a single swoop, cleaning out the casino's remaining inventory of these prized decks. The story about some lucky buyer nabbing a final stash of 40,000 decks is circulated quite widely around the internet. Do a Google search for "40,000 Jerry's Nugget" and look at how many hits this gets! Some places that sell the decks even include this in their ad copy. For example, here's the ad copy over at one online retailer, which was selling authentic decks for $525 before they sold out: Another online retailer says the same. Many reviewers have parroted this information as well, such as this example. So do various sites dedicated to information about playing cards, such as this example. As far as many people are concerned, this information is more along the lines of "fact" than fiction, and it's become part of the story that everyone accepts. Little wonder that it is often repeated by collectors in discussion forums about playing cards, and that it has given more than just one person a tinge of envy.
Who is the mysterious buyer?
So who is the lucky guy with 40,000 decks of precious Jerry's Nugget decks hidden in his basement or garage? And is the story even true? Some of the sources for this story seem quite credible. And they also reveal the buyer's name: French magician Dominique Duvivier. One person quotes Jordan Lapping, apparently among the first cardists to get Jerry's Nugget decks and use them for flourishing. Dominique Duvivier is a French magician who performs and works with his daughter Alexandra, and together they have a high profile in the world of French magic. They are even well known in the circles of international magic, and were featured on the cover of the June 2013 issue of Genii Magazine. Norwegian magician Allan Hagen has a long-time interest in the Jerry's Nugget decks, and he also mentions Duvivier's purchase of 40,000 Jerry's Nugget decks as apparent fact in something he posted on Reddit in 2015, where he describes his perspective on their rarity and value. You'll read similar reports in an article published by Ukrainian cardists Alexander and Nikolay about Jerry's Nugget decks in June 2017. Two things are common to all these accounts: the number 40,000 for the haul of decks purchased by the mysterious overseas buyer. And now his name: Dominique Duvivier. I contacted a number of different sources, including people who had personal connections with some of the key players who were closely involved when Jerry's Nuggets decks first became a fad among magicians and cardists in the late 1990s. One source told me: "Interesting, the name of the European magician - it was a big secret back then. Someone actually told me his name back then, but it was on the proviso that I never publish it. Well, I see it's out of the bag now."
Was Dominique Duvivier the buyer?
But is there any evidence that Dominique Duvivier was really the mystery buyer whose name had been a carefully kept secret for some time at least? It was time for some more detective work. Google brought me to Duvivier's personal website. It didn't take long to discover that Duvivier does indeed have a real fondness for Jerry's Nuggets Playing Cards. They are everywhere - in his photos, his videos, and his instagram. Judging by the many French-language comments on his site, it also becomes apparent that Duvivier is highly respected and appreciated in his home country for his magic. It's also evident from reading some of the comments that his Jerry's Nuggets decks are a signature of his performance. Some even consider them to be the equivalent of a Stradivarius that Duvivier uses to perform with as a master magician. But it was when I checked Duvivier's youtube channel that I found some real gold: Dominique himself performing with Jerry's Nugget cards in this clip. In fact, if you check out his other videos there, you'll find quite a few where he performs magic with Jerry's Nugget playing cards, like this performance from 2014, this more recent ace cutting routine, and this false shuffle. Duvivier has even contributed a Jerry's Nugget themed trick to the magic industry, entitled Jerry's Nuggets Cards in Bag. You can watch the promo video for this trick in French or English. His daughter Alexandra Duvivier successfully used it to fool Penn and Teller on their show Fool Us. Here's the episode, and some unseen footage. But just because Dominique Duvivier happens to really, really like Jerry's Nugget playing cards doesn't prove that he bought out a massive stash of the last 40,000 decks from the casino. So this still begs this question: Did any of this even happen? And is there really someone on this planet with a hoard of 40,000 decks, whether it is Dominique Duvivier or anybody else? One of my favourite photos on Duvivier's site is this one here, with his haul. If that's any indication, surely the legendary haul was starting to seem somewhat plausible. It was time to ask around, and check in with some of the people who were around when the Jerry's Nugget decks first became the rage. Of the sources I consulted, few could be considered more reliable than Lee Asher. For many people Lee is synonymous with the Jerry's Nugget phenomenon. He also had close connections with the events of the time, and was instrumental in bringing the Jerry's Nuggets into the limelight in the first place, by singing their paises. He was kind enough to respond when I contacted him for comment about Duvivier's alleged haul of 40,000 Jerry's Nugget decks, and Lee bluntly told me the following: "This is misinformation. There weren't 40k decks left in 1999. We don't even know if Jerry's even printed 40k decks." Really? Apparently Lee Asher knew Duvivier personally, and he was the very person who first told Duvivier that the casino even had the cards for sale. He also visited his home and shop in Paris many times throughout this period of time. In Lee's words: "Without a doubt, I NEVER saw 40k of ANY deck there. That's basically nine pallets worth. The house, their magic shop and night club weren't big enough to house these decks. It also seems Duvivier isn't the last one to buy the remaining decks. Jerry's Nugget Casino believes they sold the last case of cards to someone in Japan in 1999." Well, it seems that the story had to be put to rest. Was this entire story perhaps just a magnificent urban legend after all? And if it was, where does the number of 40,000 decks come from, and how did this story get so much traction that it spread all around the internet, and is accepted unquestionably by so many people? My task had just become a bit harder, but I wasn't going to give up yet. It was time to try to track down where the many websites that quoted this story got the figure of 40,000 from in the first place.
Where does the figure of 40,000 come from?
With some more digging, the oldest article I could find on the subject was by a card collector who has a collection of fine articles on his site, White Knuckle Cards. This particular article dates back to 2009, and is one of the earliest references to the legendary stash of 40,000 decks that I could find. This particular article seems to be the first time the figure of 40,000 pops up, pre-dating all the more recent mentions of it. And it's not hard to figure out how it spread from there. On 6 August 2015, someone called "Doctor Papa Jones" added these details to Wikipedia's article on Jerry's Nuggets, evidently relying on the White Knuckle Cards article. As a result the Wikipedia article now read as follows: "In 2000, a private collector purchased the remaining stock of 40,000 decks". So now this "fact" is on Wikipedia and has some real "credibility". In fact, the number 40,000 stays up on Wikipedia for the next five years unchallenged! And that allows it to spread around the internet and go wild. Because where does everyone go when they're looking for reliable, authoritative, and trustworthy information about something? Wikipedia! Despite the mention of the magical stash of 40,000 decks, Duvivier's name remained out of the spotlight for a further four years. It was simply a mysterious "private collector" who had purchased the big haul. But in 2019, someone connected the dots to Duvivier, and so the Wikipedia article was changed to include his name. So how did that happen? Well the supporting reference that Doctor Papa Jones included in his 2015 edit was a link to an article by Dan and Dave Buck, dating back to 7 Dec 2011. This article is also no longer available, but can be tracked down with the help of the Internet Archive here. It doesn't give the figure of 40,000 but does drop Duvivier's name. So the evidence seems to suggest this development: Apparently relying on the White Knuckle Cards article from 2009 as a source, the number 40,000 first embedded itself in the WIkipedia article on Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards in 2015. Slowly the story grew, until somebody finally connected the dots that were hidden in plain sight elsewhere on the internet, and as a result Duvivier's name gets added four years later. Now things are set up for a great story: Mr Duvivier is sitting on a massive stash of 40,000 Jerry's Nuggets in France. The story gained even more traction as a result of the revived interest in Jerry's Nuggets that inevitably happened when a tribute deck was printed in 2019. It was inevitable that many would rely on Wikipedia as a source, and so the details even ended up being quoted in ad copy for the reprinted decks. What had previously just been a matter of quiet rumour or speculation, was now considered as fact. Oh, the joy of Wikipedia - it has certainly helped promote quite the legend here! And it doesn't take a genius to see that if this is true, Duvivier could be sitting on a small fortune. At $500 each, 14,000 decks would be worth around $700,000. Naturally a market flooded with them would drop their value. But even if the going price dropped to $100 a piece, that would still value his holdings at over $100,000. Even if he just sold the occasional decks at $500 a pop, this windfall could generate a nice little secondary income. That is, if the legend is true, a fact yet to be proven....
Revising the figure
Because this year, the Wikipedia article was changed. By now of course the (mis)information about Duvivier's haul had gone far and wide, and a lot of potential damage has already been done. But on 25 March 2020 someone called "TheCongressGuy" changed it to read that Duvivier "purchased the remaining stock of 1,500-2000 decks". Suddenly the number of Duvivier's legendary purchase had been reduced from 40,000 to something around 5% of the size. A figure of 1,500-2000 seems much more likely. So who made the change and what was their source? I did some more digging and managed to track down TheCongressGuy. He is Kevan Seaney, who describes himself as an "antique playing cards collector, specializing in the Congress 606 brand" and posts here. In February 2020 he wrote here that he'd learned that Duvivier had not purchased 40,000 decks. I was curious, and eventually found the following video that he posted about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2pctAEuiZA And who was his source that Kevan credits for correcting the previous (mis)information about the number 40,000? If you watch that video, you'll find out that it is none other than the great Lee Asher. Lee Asher isn't just "anyone". He's a playing card expert, and the current president of 52 Plus Joker The American Playing Card Collectors Club. He's the guy who first generated public interest in Jerry's Nugget decks, brought them to the attention of cardists like the Buck twins and Chris Kenner, and was later a purveyor of these icon decks via his website. He's also had personal connections with Duvivier, was the person who informed Duvivier that they were available from the casino, and has personally spent a lot of time with him in Paris. And Lee Asher is a key person that has helped get real Jerry's Nugget decks into the hands of a new generation today. He's the guy who was instrumental in making a collaboration happen between Jerry's Nugget Casino and Expert Playing Card Company, by suggesting that EPCC get the exclusive licence needed to reprint these iconic decks in 2019, as announced in an official press release here. It's plain that along with EPCC's Bill Kalush, Lee Asher (pictured below) was singularly responsible for getting an officially licensed Jerry's Nugget deck back into the hands of a new generation and into the collections of those who couldn't afford the massive sticker price of the originals. So if anyone has a passion for the original Jerry's Nuggets, it is Lee Asher. Of anyone in this picture, Lee is the person with the most credibility, and his opinion and perspective should carry a lot of weight. With Asher as his source, Kevan Seaney points out that 40,000 decks of Jerry's Nugget playing cards is the equivalent of around 8 pallets. That's a massive amount, and would weigh around four tons. And it would take up a tremendous amount of space! Kevan cites Lee Asher as saying (via voice messages in Instagram) that in 1999 Asher told Duvivier that he could get the decks from the casino, and that Duvivier bought around 1,500-2000 decks at the time. Lee subsequently visited his home and store - France's oldest magic shop - in France many times. And according to Asher, there was no way Duvivier had room for 40,000 decks. Kevin also says that Lee Asher pointed out to him that these were technically not the final lot of decks sold by the casino anyway, and that the last decks (a "case" of unknown size) probably went to Japan. Wow. That really changes things! So based on this apparent "new information" from Lee Asher - who to his credit has apparently been saying this all along - Wikipedia gets a new edit by TheCongressGuy aka Kevin Seaney. The impressive figure of 40,000 is reduced to a much more modest 1500-2000, which is paltry by comparison to the much larger figures circulating the internet, and not nearly as impressive a story. But this is only after Wikipedia has been singing a different tune for five years, so the `damage' has been done, and the story of Duvivier's windfall of 40,000 Jerry's Nuggets is already accepted by most people as a true story.
Duvivier's own story
Suddenly it occurred to me to investigate Duvivier himself. Was this perhaps a line of inquiry that might produce some solid leads and definitive facts? Has the man himself ever commented on all these stories about his legendary haul? Could I find anything directly from the man himself that would shed some light on these legends? In fact, why hadn't I thought of this earlier? Just because nobody else seems to have dug up or reported anything from the man's own mouth, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. I slapped myself for my own foolishness, and headed back to Google. As it turns out, Duvivier has written about this! But because it's an article in French, it's escaped notice from most people. Since he's popular as a professional magician in France, he not only has his own website, but he also writes his own blog. And sure enough, he's addressed this very topic in a blog article that he wrote in April 2011 under the title "Magiphageuh No 14: Les Jerry's Nugget". With the help of an online translation tool, we learn this:
"As most of you already know, I only use real "Jerry's Nugget" cards to work with and have been doing so for many years. As these cards happen to be extremely rare to find on the market (I am obviously talking about the original Jerry's Nugget cards and not the recently reprinted ones) and they excite the magical world a lot, I am therefore constantly asked how many I own, how long have I owned them, what deal I made to get them and with whom, why do I have so many cards, why did I choose these specifically, why don't I want to sell them, why, why, eh?! And I hear such amazing stories about myself on these famous "Jerry's Nugget" cards that I decided to speak on the subject myself today."
This sounds very promising! Duvivier then goes on to tell the story about how the Jerry's Nuggets gained their legendary reputation, and the unique qualities they have. In France in the 1970s, American playing cards were quite rarely seen, and Duvivier knew a French pilot commandant called Reyno who loved magic, who would occasionally bring back cards from the US to a small circle of French magicians. At this time even standard Bicycle and Tally Ho decks were prized by these French conjurers, so besides them a Jerry's Nugget deck was considered a real crown jewel. Over the years Duvivier occasionally got more of the Jerry's Nugget decks, sometimes even an entire case of them at once, especially via his friend Michael Weber, who was his main supplier. We fast forward to 1999, when he finds himself heading to Las Vegas to perform at The Magic Castle. Here's the story in his words, courtesy of an online translation tool:
"In 1999 (if I'm not mistaken) my daughter Alexandra and I were hired to perform for a whole week at Magic Castle and then for a few contracts in Las Vegas. You may think that I had only one idea in mind at the time: a trip to the original casino where my favourite cards were from, Jerry's Nugget! Michael Weber had told me that there were still a few decks for sale there, so as soon as we arrived I immediately asked Philip Varricchio, who had come to pick us up in a limousine, to take us there. He was rather surprised, as we hadn't even put our bags down at the hotel (yes, I'm a fool) and the old Jerry's casino wasn't really known for being a must-see place! So I told him that I wanted to go there to buy Jerry's Nugget cards. According to him it was impossible to get them for the simple reason that they hadn't been around for a long time, but I was so insistent that he finally complied (hey, hey, hey!). When we arrived there, we went to the gift shop of the casino and I asked the salesman if he was selling their decks. - Yes," he told me, "I have a few. He shows me a small piece of wall in the back of the store where a hundred decks were on display. I ask about the price. Not even expensive! - Well, I'll take them," I say (laughs). And of course I ask if he has more in reserve! Yes, there were about a hundred boxes left (each box containing a large number of cards, 144 decks!). After a little negotiation, the unit price was even lowered to less than $1. That's it, that's how it happened and that's it. In fact, in all this story, the most difficult, the longest and the most expensive was to get the stock back to France. Since then, I've been seeing, little by little, the bids going up on these cards in a rather hallucinating way, whereas, of course, that wasn't my initial motivation at all. From the moment I bought the remaining stock, it's as if everyone wanted to own even more! But I just wanted to have enough stock of Jerry's Nugget decks because I'm a card fanatic and these in particular. I use these cards because they're the best cards I know and I've fought like a big man to own enough of them for me (I should mention that I never had a middleman or a partner to buy these cards). Anyone could have done as I did and I don't understand why no one did: you just had to take the trouble to go to this casino, because the cards were available! In any case, now they are all warm and cosy in different safes, which I won't tell you about. They say I'm the person with the most cards in the world, but I have to say I don't care. I know Chris Kenner is the one who planned it, he has a lot of them too. I've been offered golden bridges to sell a few packages, or even my entire stock. I've had some incredible offers over the years. I never intended to create a buzz with these cards: I just use them for my own personal consumption, that's all...because they're my favorite cards."
Probably the key sentence in that account is this, and the best translation seems to be something like this: "Yes, there were about a hundred boxes left (each box containing a large number of cards, that's 144 decks!)." The formula is simple: around 100 boxes with 144 decks each. If true, that would mean 100 x 144 = 14,400 decks. Given that this is directly from the horse's mouth, suddenly the story becomes slightly more plausible. So too is his additional statement: "In all this story, the most difficult, the longest and the most expensive was to get the stock back to France." That suggests he didn't bring the whole stash to France in one go, which might explain why visitors like Lee Asher and others who saw his home and magic shop never saw any evidence of them. I'm not a French speaker, so I'm happy to be corrected if I'm misunderstanding anything Duvivier has written - by all means check the article for yourself in the original French, to see if I've got it right. But the long and short of it seems to be that Duvivier is saying that what he bought from Las Vegas around 1999 was not a stash of 40,000 Jerry's Nuggets decks, but 14,000 decks. 14,000 is not nearly as impressive a figure. But even though it's only a third of the size of what the legend floating around the internet says, 14,000 decks is still an incredibly impressive haul. Certainly the amount of pictures and videos that show Duvivier performing with Jerry's Nugget cards, seems to suggest that they are very much part of his regular repertoire. It could just be possible, and maybe I've finally found the truth! Perhaps the most defining photo of all is this one (credited to Zakary Belamy), which shows Duvivier enjoying a bath with his Jerry's Nugget playing cards! Given the value of these playing cards on the market today, some might consider this sacrilege, but it sure suggests he has a large enough supply of Jerry's Nugget cards. At any rate, his collection of them seems large enough that he can even afford to take them to the bath for a photo op along with his favourite yellow rubber ducky.
But is it true?
Was the mystery solved at last? It was time to get back in contact with Lee Asher, and share my findings. But despite the claims of Duvivier in his 2011 article, Lee is not convinced that Duvivier is a credible source. To be fair, this is what Lee Asher has been saying all along, and for years he's been saying that the story about the legendary haul of 40,000 decks wasn't supported by the facts. Ultimately what this comes down to is: are we going to believe what Duvivier says? For the most part, Duvivier has appeared to have had little interest in setting the record straight, despite the fact that the rumour of him nabbing 40,000 decks persisted as long as it did. And if he does have a large stash, why has he shown little interest in selling any of the decks that he does have, instead being happy to hoard them or use them only for himself? Would he really have spent all the time, energy, and money necessary to ship even 14,000 decks of playing cards across the ocean from the United States to Europe, just for his personal usage, at a time when the street value of these was only a dollar or two a piece? And if he did, where did he put them, and why has nobody ever seen his stash, including those who visited his home? There are other details about Duvivier's record of events that call aspects of his narrative into question, such as his complete omission of any mention of Lee Asher, who was the one who made him aware of where he could get them. And in those days, the casino gift shop was very small, so is it really reasonable for them to display 100 decks on their back wall, as Duvivier claims in his 2011 article, when they had such little space to work with? I had some private correspondence with another magician/cardist who has also stayed at Duvivier's house, and that individual expressed similar sentiments. He agreed that there was no evidence of Duvivier ever owning that many decks. Just do the math: 40,000 decks would mean Duvivier could use a brand new deck every single day for more than 100 years before he chewed through a collection of decks that size. Again: very unlikely. If he really did have that many, it would be way more than he could ever use, and surely he would have sold some by now - which he hasn't. This person remains somewhat skeptical, but acknowledges that the figure of 14,000 is a more realistic number that is not beyond the realms of possibility, especially if Duvivier has them locked up in a storage facility in Paris somewhere. As an educated guess, it seems that there is good reason to cast some suspicion on this story, and there are some aspects about it that seem rather unlikely. Shipping that many decks, at the time only worth a buck or two each at most, all the way from Las Vegas to Paris would be crazy. But a man willing to jump into a bath with a yellow rubber duck and destroy $1000 worth of playing cards in the process strikes me as crazy enough to do it. Perhaps Duvivier's story is true after all.
A final twist
I was now several weeks into my adventures as an investigative journalist, and I was getting ready to wrap up my story and publish it. But there was one final lead that I had not yet explored. If I was really going to try every possible avenue of information, I had to try contacting Dominique Duvivier himself. Why not? Admittedly, the odds of getting a response from someone about his apparent stash of precious Jerry's Nuggets wasn't likely. If there was any truth to the story about his legendary haul, even to some degree, then he's undoubtedly had hundreds of inquiries over the years. Just imagine the long lines of people asking him about his stash, trying to convince him to part with some of it. If yet another email comes in on this subject, he'd probably roll his eyes and press `delete'. He is working full time as a professional magician after all, and has a career to worry about. I couldn't blame him if he was tired of responding to what undoubtedly would be countless messages from prospective buyers. But I had no intention to buy anything, so as a good amateur journalist, I had to try. It was a long shot, but to my surprise, I got a response from Duvivier the very same day! It wasn't much, but it included one unexpected bombshell - especially after the journey I'd been on so far: "You'll be glad to know that a special article is going to appear in next Genii Magazine. It's called Dominique Duvivier and Jerry's Nugget cards." I was stunned. Was someone else working on exactly the same story as me, and had they beat me to the punch? Maybe even Duvivier himself? Could it really be true that in little more than two weeks time, the next issue of Genii was scheduled to come out, and would potentially reveal all? Suddenly I knew that I had to wait with publishing my story. In further emails, Dominique was tight-lipped about any more details. At the very least, surely I would have to wait until that issue of Genii was available, and fork out my cash and purchase a subscription in order to read it. I owed it to my readers to explore every last clue, and give them a story that included all the evidence. So that is what I did. I waited for the July issue to appear online. Digital editions of Genii are released online each month on the 20th of the month. Finally 20th of June rolled around, and I eagerly perused the contents of the latest issue. Nothing. Nothing remotely Duvivier related. Nothing Jerry's Nugget related. Was Duvivier for real? An inquiry with the editor of Genii produced this response: "Not this issue. Coming up." Would it be August or September maybe? Further inquiries produced only silence. In follow up correspondence with the Frenchman himself, Duvivier told me "I wrote the article myself. It?s quite long." That sounded promising, but it could just be about his love affair with Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards, rather than a "tell all" story about his haul. There still was no guarantee that it would even be published. And I couldn't be sure that it would offer any more information than his blog article from 2011 which already gave his side of the story, or that it would be any more reliable than the version of events he'd provided there. Was it really worth waiting any longer? It was time to share my findings with the world anyway, and I could always provide an addendum to my story if any credible new information appeared.
Is this the final word on this subject? No. I've tried to do the best I could based on information available to me, and shared as much as I could with my readers, so that you can form your own conclusions based on the evidence so far. Undoubtedly there are still some missing puzzle pieces, and in future years some new information could come to light that shows that some of my conclusions were misplaced or that puts aspects of this story a slightly different perspective. Today we are two full decades removed from the time when the original decks first sold out at the Jerry's Nugget casino. And the further removed in time that we come, the harder it becomes to uncover the truth. Memories become murky. As it is nobody at the casino seems to remember the specific details of what happened. At the time they were probably only too glad to get the remaining stock out of their hands, and nobody could have anticipated how these decks would become the famous icons that they are today. Even their chief evangelist Lee Asher has to be somewhat surprised at the turn of events he's produced since first singing their praises some twenty years ago! So what can we conclude from all of this? Here's some final thoughts that I'll leave you with: 1. Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Unfortunately, it's a fact of modern life that not everything on the internet is true. And as we've seen, this also applies to sites like Wikipedia. For topics that have a large number of experts or people interested in a particular subject, changing the facts on a Wikipedia article will quickly see the changes being reverted. But with a more niche subject, like Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards, and especially when it concerns circumstantial material that nobody is quite sure about, it's easy for misinformation to enter Wikipedia. And once it's embedded there, eventually the lore spreads and becomes considered as "fact". So it's important to check your sources, and don't take everything you see online as gospel truth - even if it's on Wikipedia. 2. The legend about the stash of 40,000 decks should be put to rest once and for all. It's a myth, and there simply is no evidence for this claim anywhere. At most, there is the claim from Duvivier himself that he bought up about 14,000 decks. That might be true, but again, we only have his word for this. As a counter-point, there are those like Lee Asher who know Duvivier and have visited him many times, and insist that they never saw any evidence of this. The enormous cost of shipping a large stash like this to Europe already makes it somewhat hard to believe. There's no doubt that Duvivier is a huge fan of Jerry's Nugget decks, and he appears to own and use them more than most. But in the end, how credible is he? How seriously are you going to take someone who is happy to post a picture of himself in a bath with a rubber duck and playing cards from a Jerry's Nugget deck? Either that means he has far more decks than he knows what to do with, or he is a little loopy. Or perhaps it's a bit of both. You've had an opportunity to read all the evidence for yourself, so you decide. Either way, we can safely say that there has never been a stash of 40,000 decks, and the jury is out on whether there was even ever a stash one third of this size. But even if the size of the legendary stash turns out to be smaller than first thought, the reputation and magnetism of the Jerry's Nugget decks has only increased in size, and these now iconic decks will remain firmly embedded in playing card lore. ------------------ Update from the writer: After the original publication of this article, Dominique Duvivier personally phoned me on 24 July 2020 to discuss it, and to share his side of this story. He remembers events slightly differently than Lee Asher does. As Duvivier recalls it, his own interest in the Jerry's Nugget decks dates back to the 1970s and 1980s. At that time he was sourcing them from his friend Michael Weber, who along with magicians like Chris Kenner was also interested in these decks. According to Dominique, he only met Lee Asher during his USA tour in 1999, after he had already bought out the remaining stock from the Jerry's Nugget casino. Duvivier confirmed that the figure of 14,000 accurately reflects the approximate number of decks he purchased from the casino at this time. He shipped the majority of these to France by boat, and stored them in a warehouse, intending them to serve as a life-time supply for himself and his family. Look for his story in an upcoming issue of Genii magazine.
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