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You just never know who you might run into in a poker game. Case in
point was when players at the Binion’s Horseshoe poker room found themselves
dueling for chips with veteran Quaker Oats pitchman and actor Wilford Brimley
this past week.

Those who follow major poker
tournament play would already know that it was no bargain going up against this
charming, rustic-looking actor with his famous walrus-like mustache. He is a
veteran player, and he definitely knows how to play poker.

Although unable to play in this
year’s World Series of Poker, Brimley is one of two celebrities (Gabe Kaplan
being the other one) to regularly hit the tables each spring, looking for THE
championship title in poker at the WSOP. In fact, in 2001 Brimley nearly made it
to the final table of the main event.

“I had pocket queens and went all-in
for about $265,000 with a fella that had A-8,” Brimley explained. “He drew
out on me (he hit another ace). I was the favorite in that hand, you know, but
he beat me fair and square, and then ended up making it to the final table.”
he explained.

It wasn’t really poker that brought
the affable Brimley to the Horseshoe tables this past week, but he did manage to
work in a little poker during his brief stay. He was married on Thursday, and
then he and his new bride Joan celebrated his 68th birthday on

“Binion’s Horseshoe is the only
place I ever play poker in Las Vegas,” said Brimley. “I usually only make it
here three or four times a year, but this is the best place to play. I didn’t
get to play long, but Joan knows how much I enjoy it and wanted me to play some
while we were here.”

Born in Salt Lake City, where he now
lives, Brimley was raised in Santa Monica, CA. He did some interesting work
prior to becoming an actor, including stints as a farmer, rodeo rider, ranch
hand, racehorse trainer and blacksmith. And a little known fact about Brimley
was that he also was a bodyguard for Howard Hughes for a short time.

He started his acting career working
mostly as an extra and a stuntman in western films with his good friend, the
late Richard Farnsworth. His true acting debut came in “The Electric
Horseman” (1979), and was followed by many more film roles that included an
acclaimed role in “The China Syndrome” (1979), plus “Brubaker” (1980),
“Absence of Malice” (1981), “The Natural” (1985), “Cocoon” (1985),
“Cocoon: the Return” (1988), “The Firm” (1993), “My Fellow
Americans” (1996) and many others. He was a regular on the TV series “Our
House” (1986-1988) and “The Boys of Twilight” (1992), and appeared in many
TV movies.

When asked if he will be back to play
in the WSOP again, he responded, “If at all possible, I will be there.
There’s nothing else like it in the world.”


The Hustler Casino will hold its first annual Ladies VIP Passport Poker
Tournament the weekend of Oct. 18-20, which will kick off opening night in the
Sports Bar with an all male Hustler Hunk review, followed by tournament play at
3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s tournament will be limit Hold’em,
while Sunday’s action features a mix of Hold’em, Stud and Omaha Hi-Lo. Both
tournaments will cost $50 plus $10 with no re-buys and will include a free
buffet meal. Winners will receive a poker cruise for two or a trip to Costa

Manager Ric Baum at Circus Circus shows player appreciation by
offering several promotional cash rewards in addition to treating his players to
an evening food buffet at 4 o’clock each day Monday through Friday. Cash
prizes up to $100 are given each day for fours of a kind or higher, with $20
prizes going to losing full houses. T-shirts and $50 cash prizes are drawing
prizes given to players during Monday night’s pro football game telecast, and
graveyard shift players earn drawing tickets starting from midnight to 8 a.m.
every night for $100 prizes given at 8:30 (winners must be present to win). See
Ric for more details. Sam’s Town will play host to a $5,000 free roll
tournament on Nov. 5th.  Poker
room manager Dick Gatewood says players must log in 50 hours of play
during the month of October to qualify for a seat in the tournament. Players
will receive a Sam’s Town logo shirt for every 50 hours of play they record
during the month. Gatewood also announced that bad beat jackpots are starting
for Omaha and 7 card Stud games (they’ve had one for Texas Hold’em), and a
lucky player each quarter of Monday night’s pro football telecast could win up
to $100 if their ticket is drawn. Players start earning drawing tickets for full
houses or better from 9 a.m. Sunday. Ask Dick for more details.

you have poker news or items of interest for GamingToday
poker readers
, you can call me at 702-798-1151 Monday through Friday 8:30
a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, fax at 702-798-2069, or send me an email at
[email protected])


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