GT’s mission to remain unchanged

Mar 16, 2004 5:10 AM

The condolences came in many forms. There were cards, flowers, plants and hugs. Gifts of food, phone calls, emails and visits. The tears flowed freely from all to help wash away the pain of our loss.

Then a card came from a neighbor in my hometown. She summed it up beautifully in one line — "after a storm the birds sing." This morning as I walked our three French bulldogs, I heard the birds; I knew it was going to be OK.

Throughout the past week, however, amidst the grieving, there was one ever-present question. Quite a few people tried to gently work it in. Some were bold enough to ask outright. Most simply let their eyes do the talking.

What will you do with GamingToday?

Well, my friends, I can think of no better tribute to Chuck Di Rocco than to continue publishing our newspaper every week as Chuck and I have done ”” side-by-side ”” since that very first issue, May 1, 1976.

Yes, it will be different. Chuck will not be here. His Marker Down column is retired. The pipes and rosebuds of Heard on the Strip have been silenced.

And though that seems to leave a gaping hole in the tapestry of our publication, it is not one we can’t mend. GamingToday has a capable and experienced staff that will continue to bring you exactly what you’ve grown accustomed to reading for the past 28 years ”” news you can bet on.

A body of writers and editors anchored by Ray Poirier, Dave Stratton, Mark Mayer and Richard Saber have their fingers on the pulse of Las Vegas and the gaming industry. They will continue to root out news before it’s news and report on the latest trends in the gaming, pari-mutuel and sports betting industries, what’s hot and what’s not, where to bet, how to win and, most importantly, how to enjoy the gaming experience.

GamingToday’s columnists, who include some of the most accomplished writers in the gaming industry, will continue to offer their exclusive insights not available anywhere else on the planet. GT’s boxing columnist Michael Katz, for instance, a Hall of Fame writer from New York, last week boldly predicted that underdog Winky Wright would beat "Sugar" Shane Mosley in their unification bout on Saturday.

True to form, Wright came through with a unanimous decision and, more important to Katz followers, paid off handsomely at 3-1 odds.

Sports bettors can find more of the same this week as we provide the most comprehensive March Madness coverage of any publication. Starting with today’s issue, we have complete analysis of the brackets, predictions, the latest trends and which teams have the meddle to go all the way to the Final Four.

In upcoming week’s we’ll bring bettors up to speed on the baseball season, where they can find "dime lines" and other helpful betting hints, as well as analyses of the teams to watch over the course of the long season.

Our coverage of the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown races is legendary and this year will be no exception. This season we’ve already identified a few good future bets, at odds much higher than you will expect on Derby Day. To ensure winning tickets, don’t miss our ongoing coverage leading up to the first Saturday in May.

Casino players, whether they’re into poker, craps, blackjack, slots or video poker, are provided with the best winning strategy, from week to week to week, as well as the latest news and views.

Among GT’s exclusive casino columnists are Dale Yeazel, a practicing craps dealer who provides insights no player could possibly glean on his own; L.J. Zahm, the only known video keno expert whose Cluster Keno system is the rage of Vegas players; and Elliott Frome, the son of legendary player/writer Lenny Frome, who pioneered the video poker age in the 1980s.

There are also some new things being developed. As the gaming industry changes and evolves our coverage will change and evolve with it. But, rest assured, changes will always be made with you, the reader, in mind.

Chuck never hid the fact that GamingToday was dedicated to supporting the commercial casino and gaming industries, as well as providing players with News You Can Bet On. While some changes might be on the horizon, his mission will never change.