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by Stu D. Hoss

Stu D. Hoss is a retired Air Force officer and aviator. He has visited and served in over 40 countries including flying combat missions in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa. Most of it under the guise of keeping the world safe for democracy, better blackjack, and for a few other personal reasons. He has been playing blackjack for over 20 years, and cut his teeth on the tables of South Lake Tahoe during flight training in Northern CA. Mr. Hoss uses basic strategy and the HiLo count method to give himself a chance against the house edge. He currently resides in NV and is weighing his options for a second career.

Note: The observations of casino conditions were made in June 2013. The casinos visited in Las Vegas include:

Silver Sevens Hotel and Casino, 4100 Paradise Road

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 4455 Paradise Road

Throughout history, countless conversations have no doubt started with the infamous phrase "I’ve got some good news and some bad news." In fact, I believe the origin goes all the way back to when God spoke to Adam and said, "I've got some good news and some bad news. First, the good news…I have given you a brain and a penis. The bad news...I've only given you enough blood to work one of them at a time!"

This good news/bad news theme seems to hold true in the current casino landscape in Las Vegas, as well. This month I ventured just east of the Las Vegas Strip on Paradise Road to check out two properties, the newly named Silver Sevens Hotel and Casino and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Read on to find out what I found, but be warned: Folks, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

Silver Sevens Hotel and Casino, 4100 Paradise Road

Readers and Las Vegas denizens may know this property by its former name, Terrible’s Hotel and Casino. In case you missed it, Herbst Gaming is out and Affinity Gaming is in. Located east of the Strip at the intersection of Flamingo and Paradise Roads, Terrible’s is getting a name change. That’s good news for some as many visitors felt the property was aptly named in its later years.

The property had continued to operate under the Terrible Herbst brand name through a licensing agreement following the ownership change due to Chapter 11 reorganization. Now it’s being rebranded and transformed to the Silver Sevens. The name change took place this month and the cowboy logo marquee and signage have been removed and donated to the Neon Museum, 770 Las Vegas Boulevard North. A grand unveiling of the "new" property is set for July 7, or 7/7, with promotions and specials leading up to it throughout the first week of the month.

I frequented this property in its early days thanks to playable double-deck blackjack, 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker, plus fantastic slot club coupons, promotions, and point multipliers. Good food and fantastic specials in the coffee shop didn’t hurt either. However, things change. In recent years, one could count the number of times I set foot in the property on one hand. Thinking back to better days, who doesn’t have a Terrible’s T-shirt (or several) somewhere in their drawer? Heck, I wore one to the gym today!

Let’s start with the good news at Silver Sevens...

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