Movies – The Color of Money

Movies - The Color of Money ‘The Color of Money’, released by Touchstone Pictures in 1986, was the sequel to ‘The Hustler’ and, once again starred Paul Newman, reprising his role as ‘Fast’ Eddie Felson, 25 years after his final showdown with Minnesota Fats in the original film. Minnesota Fats does not appear in ‘The Color of Money’, but Tom Cruise co-stars as Vincent Lauria, a talented protégé, not unlike Felson in his early years.

Together Felson, Lauria and his manipulative girlfriend, Carmen (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) embark on a tour of less-than-salubrious pool halls across the Midwest from Chicago to Atlantic City, where the professional ‘Nine-ball Classic’ tournament is their ultimate objective. Felson tells Lauria, ‘Pool excellence is not excellent pool’, but Lauria has difficulty coming to terms with his words of wisdom and insists on flaunting his talent at every opportunity, including, on one occasion,

to the accompaniment of ‘Werewolves in London’ by Warren Zevon, much to the dismay of his mentor. Felson and Lauria fall out and part company, at which point Felson comes out of retirement and resumes his previous career as a pool hustler.

Inevitably, their paths cross again when they come face-to-face in Atlantic City. Felson wins their match, only to learn that Lauria ‘dumped’, or intentionally lost, as part of a betting scam. Lauria gives $8,000 out of his winnings, but Felson forfeits his next match and returns the money. Felson requests a private rematch, in which, just before breaking off, he looks Lauria in the eye and tells him, ‘I’m back!’

Tonda Dickerson’s Lottery Win Mayhem!

Tonda Dickerson's Lottery Win Mayhem! Though we all like to create a narrative where we’re in control of our lives and destiny, so much in life is down to chance. Somebody is no doubt at this very minute getting blindsided by a out of control rickshaw or  clobbered in the head by a for sale sign, due to an ill-timed gust of wind. If you can imagine it happening, it probably has, and though some misfortune is self inflicted, Darwin Award style, often it’s a case of ‘nobody saw it coming. The same of course applies to good fortune. Fate hands some a free pass in life and endless riches without much of a struggle along the way. Tonda Dickerson’s story stands out on account that she experienced both the best and worst of what fortune can offer.

Dickerson’s life was as ordinary as can be, divorced and in her late 20s she was just going through the motions of everyday life. By day, she worked as a waitress at the Grand Bay Waffle House in Alabama and any one day resembled the next. That was until the day that Edward Seward walked in, ate a hearty breakfast and then handed her a lottery ticket as a tip. This simple task was a set a chain of events into motion that she could have never in her wildest dreams or nightmares anticipated. The date was Sunday, March 7th, 1999. The lottery took place on the following Saturday. She won that lottery.

Suddenly in possession of a winning lottery ticket worth $10 million, Dickerson’s fortunes looked to suddenly be massively on the up as she accepted $375,000 over the next 30 years rather than the lump sum payout.

Fate however had other ideas. She soon found herself embroiled in multiple legal battles, with both her work mates (who deemed that the lottery ticket tip should be split between them all), the IRS and even the man who gave her the ticket in the first place!  Though Dickerson stated that she didn’t agree to split the winnings, it took a jury took just 45 minutes to decide against her. She had turned down a settlement that would’ve allowed her to keep a cool $3 million of the Florida jackpot.

Not willing to let her millions evaporate into thins air, Dickerson took the case to the Alabama Supreme Court, which reversed the Circuit Court decision in 2002. Two years later she was taken to fend off a case by Seward, who had stated that Dickerson offered to buy him a stuck if the ticket was a winner. Her respite didn’t last long though, as the very same week her ex-husband who she divorced in 1997 was shot after attempting to kidnap her! He had taken her to a remote area and threatened to kill her, but while pleading with him to let her answer her ringing phone on account that people would be looking for her, she pulled a .22-caliber handgun out, shooting him in the chest.

Anticipating that possibly she’d experienced her last bit of bad (or rather harrowing) luck, her troubles were not over yet. She spend the next decade battling with the IRS, as they argued about how much she owed them. In March 2012 though her attorneys successfully argued that the IRS was wrong to demand $1 million in gift tax  after Dickerson gave most of her winnings away to her family business.

Finally past these challenges (but without any money), Dickerson has not been heard of much since, though the fact that she now works as a poker dealer at the Golden Nugget casino in Biloxi, perhaps is a strange yet fitting endless to her ‘run in’ with ‘good fortune’.

Of course this isn’t the first rags, to riches, then back to rags again type story of huge lottery wins. How about  Ronnie Music Jr, the Waycross, Georgia man who won $3 million then had the bright idea of using it to invest in a meth ring. or Urooj Khan, poisoned with cyanide a day after a $1 millon win. Sometimes getting everything you’ve ever dreamed of is just the beginning of the story, rather than the end.


Twenty One

Twenty One

If only getting 21 was this easy!

Should You Trust Online Casino Reviews?

Should You Trust Online Casino Reviews? Ever questioned the reliability of online casino reviews? How do reviewers analyze a website’s authenticity and what’s in it for them? Are the websites we know as trusted worth the hype and are all new casinos trying to scam players? We delve deeper into the story in a bid to get to the truth.

Casino Bee analyzes online casinos from the players’ point-of-view while keeping their feedback in mind. Not every reviewer, however, takes a neutral approach and this is a reason for concern. Let’s follow a few examples.

Financial Incentives

As surprising as it might sound, online casinos will pay a few trusted reviewers a hefty sum as remuneration in exchange for positive reviews. Some reviewers can even go to the extent of criticizing rival websites in a bid to sweeten the deal. As unethical as it sounds, this is a fairly common practice today.

In fact, most user reviews are fake! These are simply written to coax unsuspecting players into signing up on a particular website. However, not all review platforms are prone to malpractice. Forums are an excellent platform to interact with fellow enthusiasts and learn about their experiences.

How to Identify Fake Reviews?

The easiest giveaway is self-promotion and rival-bashing. Reviews that try and establish its patron as an authority in the respective field, are mostly fake. The only way to stay neutral is to keep away from such reviews.

Honest reviews stick to facts. However, graphs and charts can be misleading. Always validate facts before making a decision. This can be a struggle at first but becomes second nature with practice.

User reviews that all sound the same are fake and probably written by one person. A well-written review will be thorough and highlight both the positive and negative sides of the story. It’s the detail that counts! But no reviewer will analyze websites in great depth.

An honest review will cover all the important points without leaving any major surprises for the last minute.

Do Players Need Review Websites for Guidance?

Humans instinctually depend on peers for guidance. Searching for reviews is hence quite natural. The best way to get neutral feedback is to ask fellow gamblers for advice. There are numerous forums where people interact with like-minded individuals, and online casinos are no different.

Casino Bee is an attempt to highlight legitimate online casinos, to help newbies make informed decisions. Every casino listed on the website is top-rated by the users, and the list is updated according to the latest feedback.

However, the best way to stay protected is to never trust a single source. Check out what people are saying across multiple forums, run background checks on shortlisted casinos, and signup using a free account before trusting a website’s authenticity.

Identifying fake casinos isn’t rocket science. Stay away from unbelievable bonuses, question players on multiple forums, and watch out for fake reviews. The pattern is simple and is easily identified. Just need to know what to look for!

Good Fortune

Good Fortune