Game Account Network $GAN provides the software to support online gaming and sports betting. Are they the next Donkey Kong? Fuck if I know but they have been mooning since their IPO on they listed on the NASDAQ on May 5th. The downside, since they just listed you can't buy options. So the only way to get in is to hike up your boomer pants well above waist level, start yelling at the kids for their avocado toast, and buy stocks. Here is the boilerplate description: GAN Limited provides enterprise Software-as-a-Service solutions for online casino gaming and online sports betting applications. It offers a proprietary internet gambling enterprise software system, GameSTACK, which it licenses principally to the land-based U.S. casino operators as a turnkey technology solution for regulated real-money internet gambling, encompassing internet gaming, internet sports gaming, and virtual simulated gaming. It also offer a range of professional and managed services designed to deploy and provide ongoing operational support for its software systems Their clients include Betfair, Borgata, and Fanduel, as well as a shit ton of local casinos in several states. https://www.gan.com/about-us/customers-and-partners Market Cap is only about 700 mil with a float of 57.5M shares. 47.27% held by insiders and 31.94% by institutions. Revenue growth in 2019 increased 114% from 2018. They have been active this year adding contracts with more an more partners so revenue should continue to grow nicely. The numbers 2018 vs 2019 May 2020 Prospectus As always this is not investment advice or a recommendation of any sort to buy or short. Do your own DD. EDIT - Changed flair to "Stocks" TL;DR - Stocks only, pretend your a boomer.
[FORTUNE1000] MGM Resorts International - CMO Change
2020-05-25 -- College Station Ann C. Hoff appointed as new CMO of MGM Resorts International About MGM Resorts International: MGM Resorts has temporarily suspended operations at its Las Vegas properties for the good of its guests, employees and communities... To view and book offers for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, click here... If so, you'll need to activate your account to enjoy all the features and ben.. Website: mgmresorts.com
[FORTUNE1000] MGM Resorts International - CEO Change
2020-05-25 -- College Station William (Bill) Hornbuckle appointed as new CEO of MGM Resorts International About MGM Resorts International: MGM Resorts has temporarily suspended operations at its Las Vegas properties for the good of its guests, employees and communities... To view and book offers for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, click here... If so, you'll need to activate your account to enjoy all the features and ben.. Website: mgmresorts.com
[FORTUNE1000] MGM Resorts International - Chairman Change
2020-04-05 -- College Station Paul Salem appointed as new Chairman of MGM Resorts International About MGM Resorts International: MGM Resorts has temporarily suspended operations at its Las Vegas properties for the good of its guests, employees and communities... To view and book offers for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, click here... If so, you'll need to activate your account to enjoy all the features and ben.. Website: mgmresorts.com
A Live Performance of Every Paramore Song (That They've Played Live)
I decided to make an archive of sorts of my favorite performances of all Paramore's songs that they’ve done live (to my knowledge). Sorry if some are low quality. With some of these songs, low quality video/audio is all there is. Added date and location to each just for some more context. Most of these are the ones I find myself watching most frequently which is why I chose them - not really based on any criteria other than that. Hope I didn’t miss anything :) ALL WE KNOW IS FALLING All We Know September 3rd, 2006 House of Blues; Anaheim, California, USA credit: ChloeHayes Pressure June 14th, 2008 Norwegian Wood; Frognerbadet, Oslo, Norway credit: Daniel Garcés Velasco Emergency May 10th, 2008 BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend; Maidstone, England, United Kingdom credit: juan ferro Brighter April 30th, 2010 Trump Taj Mahal; Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA credit: RTMorasonMD Here We Go Again September 3rd, 2006 House of Blues; Anaheim, California, USA credit: ChloeHayes Never Let this Go May 22nd, 2015 Open Air Theater; San Diego, California, USA credit: TheRealConcertKing Whoa June 15th, 2008 Provinssirock Festival; Seinäjoki, Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland credit: hanu767 Conspiracy March 9th, 2014 Parahoy! credit: Shannon Moore Franklin June 15th, 2007 Rocketown; Nashville, Tennessee, USA credit: Kerrie Simmons My Heart December 18th, 2009 Wembley Arena; London, England, United Kingdom credit: nayrh89 RIOT! For A Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic July 20th, 2011 Warped Tour; Cleveland, Ohio, USA credit: propertyofzack That's What You Get March 13th, 2008 MTV Spring Break; Panama City Beach, Florida, USA credit: yxXParamorexXy Hallelujah August 12th, 2008 Congress Theater; Chicago, Illinois, USA credit: amaia182 Misery Business September 1st, 2009 MySpace Secret Show; Munich. Germany credit: Warner Music Germany When It Rains June 14th, 2008 Norwegian Wood; Frognerbadet, Oslo, Norway credit: Manon Let Let the Flames Begin May 26th, 2013 BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend; Derry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom credit: Bianca Rodrigues Miracle March 10th, 2014 Parahoy! credit: TheLeaD88 Crushcrushcrush July 16th, 2009 Rexall Place; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada credit: catcrackermusic We Are Broken August 12th, 2008 Congress Theater; Chicago, Illinois, USA credit: musicfan556 Fences August 14th, 2012 Fox Theater; Pomona, California, USA credit: RTMorasonMD Born For This June 13th, 2007 The Sauce on FUSE credit: yxXParamorexXy BRAND NEW EYES Careful October 17th, 2009 The Electric Factory; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA credit: RTMorasonMD Ignorance September 8th, 2009 Taratata credit: zildjiandrum1 Playing God September 7th, 2011 Fueled By Ramen 15th Anniversary; New York, New York, USA credit: marcellaaac Brick By Boring Brick June 18th, 2010 Hurricane Festival; Scheeßel, Germany credit: TerpMusic Turn It Off July 28th, 2017 Grand Casino Hinckley Amphitheater; Hinckley, Minnesota, USA credit: Jonathan Hanson The Only Exception December 10th, 2010 Jingle Ball; New York, New York USA credit: 106.5 The End Feeling Sorry August 3rd, 2010 Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion; Gilford, New Hampshire, USA credit: saskatchawan Looking Up July 16th, 2011 Warped Tour; Montreal, Quebec, Canada credit: RTMorasonMD Where the Lines Overlap August 7th, 2009 Summer Sonic; Chiba City, Chiba, Japan credit: Paramore Videos Misguided Ghosts July 11th, 2018 Concrete Street Amphitheater; Corpus Christi, Texas, USA credit: JasonJude1 SINGLES CLUB Renegade June 7th, 2013 Rock Am Ring; Nürnberg, Germany credit: FueledByPmore Hello Cold World August 14th, 2012 Fox Theater; Pomona, California, USA credit: RTMorasonMD In the Mourning April 5th, 2013 The Garage; London, England, United Kingdom credit: steveatgigs PARAMORE Fast In My Car September 4th, 2013 iTunes Festival; London, England, United Kingdom credit: LiveConciertLive Now February 1st, 2014 Celebrity Beach Bowl; New York, New York, USA credit: MaisParamore Grow Up October 23rd, 2013 Viejas Arena; San Diego, California, USA credit: jsradiohead Daydreaming November 11th, 2013 Sands Event Center; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA credit: RTMorasonMD Interlude: Moving On April 20th, 2013 Grimey’s; Nashville, Tennessee, USA credit: StevenSalazar1995 Ain't It Fun August 22nd, 2014 Reading Festival; Reading, England, United Kingdom credit: Paramore BR Part II July 12th, 2014 Bunbury Festival; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA credit: Amanda S Last Hope June 19th, 2014 Xfinity Theater; Hartford, Connecticut, USA credit: RTMorasonMD Still Into You September 20th, 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA credit: LiveConciertLive Anklebiters July 31st, 2013 Espaço das Américas; Barra Funda, São Paulo, Brazil credit: Bianca Souza Interlude: Holiday March 9th, 2014 Parahoy! credit: Roxi Proof May 1st, 2013 Wiltern Theater; Los Angeles, California, USA credit: Lauren Leialoha Hate to See Your Heart Break June 16th, 2017 Waterfront Hall; Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom credit: Mark Withers (One of Those) Crazy Girls May 8th, 2015 Borgata Event Center; Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA credit: Paul Roma Interlude: I'm Not Angry Anymore January 9th, 2014 Brisbane Entertainment Center; Brisbane, Queensland, Australia credit: crabsmen Be Alone March 7th, 2016 Parahoy! 2 credit: Michael Esposito Future April 27th, 2015 Bell Auditorium; Augusta, Georgia, USA credit: MizBizSav AFTER LAUGHTER Hard Times June 17th, 2018 Lakeview Amphitheater; Syracuse, New York, USA credit: John Mann Rose-Colored Boy January 19th, 2018 Manchester Arena; Manchester, England, United Kingdom credit: towerxoverxme Told You So July 2nd, 2017 Admiralspalast; Berlin, Germany credit: Domi Diamond Forgiveness October 17th, 2017 The Ryman Auditorium; Nashville, Tennessee, USA credit: karunadreamer0 Fake Happy July 5th, 2017 Rock For People; Hradec Králové, Czech Republic credit: Johny362 26 July 7th, 2017 Cirkus; Djurgården, Stockholm, Sweden credit: Sofia Blomgren Pool February 14th, 2018 Genting Arena; Birmingham, England, United Kingdom credit: Aisling Meade Grudges July 5th, 2018 The Armory; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USAcredit: Jonathan Hanson Caught in the Middle June 20th, 2018 Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook; Gilford, New Hampshire, USA credit: John Mann Idle Worship April 8th, 2018 Parahoy! 3 credit: Kaz No Friend April 8th, 2018 Parahoy! 3 credit: Kaz Tell Me How September 7th, 2018 Art + Friends; Nashville, Tennessee, USA credit: karunadreamer0 B-SIDES Rewind February 14th, 2006 Beat Kitchen; Chicago, Illinois, USA credit: NadeHQproductions Temporary February 11th, 2006 Ascot Room at The Quest; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA credit: s0c0ntroversial Oh Star March 7th, 2016 Parahoy! 2 credit: Kaz Stop This Song (Lovesick Melody) June 14th, 2008 Norwegian Wood; Frognerbadet, Oslo, Norway credit: Luiza P Decoy May 19th, 2009 Save Mart Center; Fresno, California, USA credit: k9ripper85 Decode August 7th, 2009 Summer Sonic; Chiba City, Chiba, Japan credit: Paramore Videos I Caught Myself March 7th, 2017 Hamburg Stadtpark; Hamburg, Germany credit: ANJA_SIMBA T. Monster February 22nd, 2013 Sydney Enmore Theater; Sydney, New South Wales, Australia credit: Luque Coolhand Escape Route March 7th, 2014 Parahoy! credit: Anna Smart Tell Me It's Okay April 30th, 2015 SunFest; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA credit: Mikey Nguyen
If you have read about Steve Wynn (LasVegas, duh! of course you have!) you'll know that he made an exit from the Las Vegas Strip last year selling off roughly 11% of his company that he built due to sexual misconduct allegations and walked away from the city that he built with a net worth (according to Forbes Billionaire list) of $3.5B. If you watch this interview right here, Wynn discusses his journey dating back to the Rat Pack (1967) and showing up in Vegas as a young man with very little money ($50,000) and invested into The Golden Nugget in Fremont, eventually making a segway to ownership of the Mirage, Treasure Island, Monte Carlo, Boardwalk, Bellagio, 50% stake in Borgata, and apparently Beau Rivage before Mirage Resorts was bought out by MGM Resorts with an agreed price of $21 a share by Kerkorian. Including Wynn & Encore (Vegas), Wynn Macau, and Encore Boston Harbor, in the event that Wynn had maintained majority ownership in all these properties, just how much would Wynn have been worth? Any estimates because these casinos do billions of dollars every year in total revenue, and not to mention a copious amount of real estate that he would own that has increased in value. Also, is Steve Wynn the only person in the world with his autograph on a $2.7B building? Trump has his name on buildings but not his autograph.
What drives a person to cover themselves in gasoline and drop a match by their feet? That was the question that ran through the minds of many in a crowd outside the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 23rd, 2019. At approximately 7:45PM on that cold spring eve, a Mr. James Ferdini, age 47, covered himself in gasoline and was prepared to drop a match in the fuel. As the crowd shouted for him to stop and several witnesses called the police, Mr. Ferdini reportedly stood unfazed, simply grinning and appearing to revel in the crowd’s shock. “It was a suicidal action but it didn’t look like a suicidal person,” says Sam Kenset, an eyewitness to the incident. “I guess I don’t really know what a suicidal person looks like, but his movements and the way he was talking -- he just didn’t seem like a man down on his luck.” Ms. Kenset is quite astute in her observation -- Mr. Feredini was certainly not down on his luck. In fact only moments before covering himself in gasoline, Mr. Ferdini had cashed out more than $1.3 million in winnings from the Borgata Hotel and Casino, making his suicidal action all the more puzzling. However dangerous, Mr. Ferdini’s gasoline soaked stunt would not lead to his death on March 23rd, but his life was not long for this world either. Three days later on March 26th he would be found dead from an entirely different cause. In Mr. Ferdini’s incredible winnings and suicidal tendencies leading up to his unusual and grizzly death on March 26th, many questions remain. Who was James Ferdini? What happened to his more than million dollars in winnings? And what was the lead up of events that caused his demise? Based on interviews with management at the Borgata Hotel and Casino, local police and investigators, and corroborated with eyewitness accounts, independent investigative reporter Myra Kindle, for the first time, brings you a report on the man who nearly bankrupted a casino, and whose luck seemed to make him invincible until his highly improbable death.
What are the Odds?
As the match fell to James Ferdini’s feet outside the Borgata Hotel and Casino, the crowd stood agasp as they waited for the inevitable fire and horrible death of a gas soaked man. This moment would never come however, and the match reportedly landed in the puddle of gasoline meeting it as though it were water. “The crowd started to look away the moment he dropped the match,” says Matthew Gershowitz, a witness to the event. “I couldn’t though -- I needed to see what would happen. I mean we all thought we were witnessing a suicide or something, but the guy was jovial, happy, making jokes with the crowd before he lit the match. And then when it hit the gas, it just burned out, and the man started laughing. We were all amazed. It was like a miracle -- we thought he’d die for sure.” While it’s quite understandable that the crowd believed they had witnessed a miracle when James did not burst into flames, professor of organic chemistry at Villanova University, Marcy Li, says the odds of Mr. Ferdini’s death were far less than certain. “Gasoline is certainly flammable, but not like in the way shown in movies and TV,” says professor Li. “It’s the layer of vapor above that gasoline that is most likely to combust. There could be a number of factors like wind, humidity and temperature that improved Mr. Ferdini’s chance of avoiding being burned alive. I would certainly say he’s lucky, but I wouldn’t say it’s a miracle he didn’t burst into flames.” If Mr. Ferdini relied on luck that day to survive, it would appear to have been with him in spades for quite some time. Having just come from the Borgata casino floor, James was reportedly on a ‘hot-streak’, winning tens of thousands of dollars an hour over the preceding two days. “You have to imagine we were pretty happy when he left the casino,” says Richard Markelson, a floor manager at the Borgata. “Normally we want customers to stay as long as possible so the house can win our money back, but Mr. Ferdini never had a bad roll, spin, or lever pull the whole 40 consecutive hours he was gambling at the Borgata. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Mr. Markelson was able to confirm through cash-logs and casino surveillance that Mr. Ferdini had indeed won big at the Borgata, and records show his total winnings amounted to $1,348,427. Mr. Markelson said of the winnings: “It was enough of a loss over a short period of time that the owners of the casino were worried our insurance premiums were gonna jump. A casino in Atlantic City simply doesn’t lose that much money in such a short time, at least not to a nobody, and Mr. Ferdini was certainly a nobody.”
A Career Loser
While management at the Borgata Hotel and Casino did not know Mr. Ferdini prior to his 40 hour lucrative gambling binge, many on Atlantic City’s boardwalk have been acutely aware of James for years. For example after James’s stunt with the gasoline, he was arrested and taken to the Atlantic City jail and held on the possible charge of disorderly conduct, but was released after the charges were dropped. The reason? The police had a long record of interactions with Mr. Ferdini and thought of him only as a minor risk. “We were more worried about the guy’s mental health than him causing a scene on the boardwalk,” says Atlantic City officer Paul Stevenson. “We’ve known James for years -- I mean he’s a loser. Is it a shock to me that he would try and commit suicide like that? Absolutely not.” When asked why the police did not opt to commit Mr. Ferdini to a hospital on a psychological evaluation, officer Stevenson replied: “The plan was to have him committed, but some lawyer showed up and we didn’t want a legal fight, so we decided to release him instead. I felt a bit mixed about it. I mean the guy was clearly suicidal -- why else would you douse yourself in gasoline?” When told that Mr. Ferdini was reportedly jovial and happy during the gasoline incident, and that he had in fact won more than a million dollars immediately prior to the event, officer Stevenson struggled with the narrative: “That doesn’t sound like the James Ferdini I know. He’s always been a depressed gambler, and never won a game in his life as far as I know. He couldn’t win a hundred bucks, let alone a million. I can’t even believe they let him into the Borgata in the first place, but I guess the cash winnings explains the lawyer.” Officer Stevenson asked if I could confirm the details of the winnings and that Mr. Ferdini was in a jovial mood during the gasoline incident. When I showed documentation of Mr. Ferdini’s winnings provided by Mr. Markelson and relayed several eyewitness accounts as to his temperament, officer Stevenson replied: “I don’t get it. So, why’d he try to burn himself alive?”
Perhaps no individual has a better sense of who Mr. Ferdini is and what happened to him than the floor manager at the Borgata, Mr. Markelson. For 40 hours prior to the gasoline incident, Mr. Ferdini bet heavily at the Borgata casino, and Mr. Markelson was in close proximity for much of his hot-streak. “I was actually supposed to be on vacation that week,” says Mr. Markelson, “but I got called in because the other cooler was sick.” A ‘cooler’ as Mr. Markelson explained, is a relic of old casinos that today is rarely used, however some establishments still invest in what could be called ‘charms’ to bring bad luck to high rollers. “I got hired because I’m unlucky,” explains Mr. Markelson. “I can do the job of floor manager just fine -- don't get me wrong -- but it was my knack for bad luck that got me the job for sure.” A cooler operates by simply being present around those that are on a run of good luck. In Mr. Markelson’s account, he says that being around him will bring such bad luck to any gambler that their cards will go cold, their lever pulls result in no winnings, and their wheel spins doomed to lose money. “It’s a talent I’ve had since, well, forever,” says Mr. Markelson. “If I just stand near someone, they’ll start to have bad luck like me. I know it sounds crazy, and sometimes I don’t believe it myself, but it’s true. I mean, like I said, I think that’s why the casino hired me. They could count on me to go onto the casino floor and bring bad luck to anyone that’s winning a bit too much. Best part, since it’s based on superstition, it’s completely above board.” With James Ferdini, Richard Markelson found that his power did not work however. “I don’t know about before I showed up, but for when I was watching him, that man could not lose. The casino made me stay multiple shifts, I’m talking nearly 40 hours to watch him and were hoping I’d bring him bad luck, but it never happened. He just kept on winning no matter what game he played.”
An Escalation of Bets
In attempting to find James Ferdini’s state of mind prior to the gasoline incident, floor manager Richard Markelson provided unfettered access to video of the casino floor, even though he realized he could be breaking several state gambling commission laws by allowing a reporter to look at such surveillance. In fact, more than taking the risk, it was Mr. Markelson that called me and led me to this story in the first place. “The police didn’t send him to the hospital after the gas thing I’ve been told. I figured the truth has to be somewhere and when police won’t do their job, I guess it’s reporters that have to step in,” says Mr. Markelson. “The most important thing to be me personally is finding out why he died just a few days later in that horrible freak accident -- the one on March 26th.” When asked if Mr. Markelson had any interest in finding Mr. Ferdini’s still missing $1.3 million, he replied: “Of course, but that’s not my primary concern here. I just want to know what the fuck happened. How does a guy who should have felt on top of the world go to dousing himself in gasoline, and then ends up dead a few days later? I really want to know.” In the video access provided by Mr. Markelson, I managed to find new clues that might be able to explain Mr. Ferdini’s downward spiral. It could best be described as an escalation of bets that appeared to take place soon after Mr. Ferdini began his run of good luck. According to video of the casino floor, around the time manager Richard Markelson appeared, Mr. Ferdini started his miraculous winning streak. The video shows Mr. Ferdini starting with craps, moving to baccarat, then slot machines, and followed by a long run at twenty-one. He continues to gamble for 40 straight hours, much of it with Mr. Markelson in close proximity. “I was the only cooler around, so the higher ups at the Borgata made me stay the whole time. I got a lot of overtime that week,” says Mr. Markelson. Curiously, the video shows that at around the 25 hour mark Mr. Ferdini attracts something of a crowd. While the video offers no sound, it appears as though Mr. Ferdini is making several wagers with his new found groupies. At first a few in his new entourage gamble him directly in casino floor games like Texas Holdem, but it appears as though they make several bets outside of the casino games as well. In one instance Mr. Ferdini appears to bet that he can drink boiling hot water. The video shows him drinking a scalding hot cup and immediately receiving a small payout from several people he was talking to before beginning the stunt. It became clear to me after reviewing the video surveillance that for this story, I would need to speak to at least one of the people who witnessed Mr. Ferdini taking on these non-casino game bets. Thankfully, with Mr. Markelson’s help I was able to track down Maria Nowak, who in the video appears to spend several hours with Mr. Ferdini. A resident of Atlantic City, Ms. Nowak was able to confirm that Mr. Ferdini was taking part in what she describes as “extreme behavior”, and that he was seemingly willing to bet on anything and everything. Even games that were clearly not of chance, like drinking boiling hot water.
”For $500, Right?”
Why did Mr. Ferdini cover himself in gasoline and drop a match? It’s a question essential to understanding his mindset, and one for which the answer appears to be quite simple. After tracking down Ms. Nowak, a long time resident who often partakes in long gambling binges herself, she claims Mr. Ferdini covered himself in gasoline and dropped a match in the fuel simply because of a wager. “We had been doing side bets for hours,” says Ms. Nowak, who agreed to meet me at Hayday Cafe, a local coffee shop. “I was with a group of friends and we noticed that this guy [Mr. Ferdini] had not been losing any bets for hours. The guy was pretty much throwing money around and that type of attitude attracts the crowd I was with. So, we started making small talk and then made a few bets, dumb, small ones to start.” When asked what bets her group made with Mr. Ferdini, Ms. Nowak replies: “At first it was things like, how many casino chips he could fit into his mouth. But then it escalated pretty quickly, like soon we were betting on how much money he could win in an hour. Then a bit after that he did this really stupid boiling hot water challenge -- he simply bet he could drink boiling hot water without having to go to the hospital. The bet didn’t make any sense, but like everything else, he won.” “The gasoline challenge was the craziest though,” she continues. “It was clearly a joke when my friend suggested it, but James took him up on it right away. The challenge was, like, ‘can you cover yourself in gasoline, drop a match, and survive?’ James said he would do it for $500, and we just assumed he was kidding, but sure enough he was dead serious.” Ms. Nowak claims that she too was present in the crowd outside the Borgata when Mr. Ferdini made good on the gasoline bet, and that immediately prior to him dropping the match, he said to her and the rest of the gambling entourage, “This is for $500, right?” “He said it but I’m not too sure how many people heard it,” Ms. Nowak says. “I mean the whole crowd was screaming for him to stop. They all thought the guy wanted to kill himself. I guess one of us nodded our heads to James’s question, and then he dropped the match. I’ll be damned, but he won that bet too. We gave him $500 alright, not that he needed it after making all that money at the Borgata.” When asked if Ms. Nowak saw Mr. Ferdini after he was released from the police station, she responds: “Yea, we hung out for the next two or three days -- all of us -- the gambling group that had formed at the casino, James Ferdini, and then, oh yea, that guy Richard Makel-something. I think he worked at the Borgata but he hung around with us for a couple days while we partied at a different hotel. It was around the time Richard and the rest of us left that James was in that freak accident.”
The details of Ms. Nowak’s account have confirmed two things to this reporter. One, Mr. Ferdini’s suicidal gesture to cover himself in gasoline was nothing more than a bet to earn more money. Feeling high from his good luck at the casino, it would appear Mr. Ferdini thought himself invincible and was willing to take on any challenge, even if it put his life on the line. Two, Borgata floor manager and ‘cooler’ Richard Markelson has not been fully forthcoming in his account of what happened. For example, he never mentioned spending time with Mr. Ferdini after leaving the Borgata. Confronting Mr. Markelson, I ask him for a more accurate account of what happened after Mr. Ferdini’s gasoline soaked stunt. Mr. Markelson is nervous in his reply, realizing he’s been caught withholding valuable information. “You have to understand that James is not particularly good with money,” starts Mr. Markelson. “I know I’m saying that having really only met the guy at the Borgata casino, but you could just tell he was something of a loser. Maybe other people told you that too, I don’t know. My point is James was destined to spend that money on drugs and alcohol, and well, we all kind of just tagged along for the ride.” Mr. Markelson goes on to describe a drug fueled binge that lasted from Saturday March 23rd until sometime before Mr. Ferdini’s death on Tuesday, March 26th. “James and I had been awake for more than 40 hours when he left the casino, and I was going to go to bed, but somehow I got roped into his entourage he found at the Borgata when he was raking in cash. I would’ve gone home, but free cocaine is free cocaine. I’m not particularly proud of saying that, but it’s true -- I really like the drug.” Richard Markelson says that in addition to drugs, Mr. Ferdini hired prostitutes and strippers for the group’s amusement. “I’m not into all the seedy stuff, but we had been awake for a long long time and on so much shit. I mean we were taking meth rips and stuff. Yea, it’s weird now that I look back on it, but a binge can be like that sometimes.” The most important question to this reporter is what happened in the final hours of Mr. Ferdini’s life. In this respect, Mr. Markelson claims to know nothing. “I left before he died on Tuesday,” says Mr. Markelson. “It doesn’t surprise me that he died though. The gasoline bet was just the beginning of it. That girl, Maria Nowak, the one that told you I was hanging out with the impromptu entourage -- it was her boyfriend that really stepped things up in a pretty violent way in terms of betting.” When asked what he means by “violent”, Mr. Markelson responds: “I mean they were actually gambling on Russian roulette in the hotel room when I left.”
That Other Roulette
Once again reaching out to Ms. Nowak, I ask her about Mr. Markelson’s description of partying and gambling in a hotel with Mr. Ferdini. It was at this point that Ms. Nowak declined any further questions, only providing the statement: “I’ve said everything I’m going to say.” While this seemed like a certain dead end to discovering what happened in the final hours of Mr. Ferdini’s life and also possibly to tracking down what happened to his $1.3 million in winnings, I by luck received a phone call shortly before I was ready to call it quits on this investigation. The phone call was from one Mr. Samuel Howlser, boyfriend to Ms. Maria Nowak. Mr. Howlser said he wished to speak with me to clarify a few details that Ms. Nowak had shared with me and to dispute any “lies” stated by Mr. Markelson. “Me and Maria didn’t steal nobody’s money and we’re not gonna get in trouble for what Richard Markelson or anyone in that entourage might be telling you,” Mr. Howsler said to me in a phone interview. When asked about details of the drug fueled gambling binge shared by Mr. Markelson and Ms. Nowak, Mr. Howsler mostly confirms their accounts, however his description of floor manager Makelson is less favorable than what Mr. Markelson told me himself. “He was the craziest fucker of the bunch, definitely,” says Mr. Howlser. “He knew the hookups for the crystal and coke, got us ketamine too. But the nuttiest thing about him is what the fuck he’d bet on. Like if Ferdini thought he was invincible, doubly so for that manger from the Borgata. Markelson was the one that brought out a revolver for Russian roulette too, and they played like dozens of games.” Russian roulette, a lethal game of chance that has the player hold a loaded pistol to their head and fire, is an extremely dangerous game that has been popularized in media and fiction for decades. The game requires a loaded revolver to have at least one bullet chambered before firing, with the odds of death usually being one in six. “It was fucking crazy when Markelson said he’d play it, but the dude was having as good luck as Ferdini so he thought he could do it,” says Mr. Howlser. “So they load a pistol with a bullet and start playing each other cause they were the only two fuckers crazy enough to do it. They play one round, but no winner so they go again. Second round, no winner so a third. Eventually they play enough rounds where they figure they gotta up the odds. So instead of loading one bullet, they load two. They play round after round with two out of six chambers loaded with bullets, spinning the revolver cylinder each time before they pull the trigger. This goes on for a while right, and then they load another fucking bullet. Each round now these guys have a one-in-two chance of blowing their brains out, but they keep playing.” In Mr. Howlser’s recounting over the phone, I hear he is deeply disturbed by this story and ask why him and everyone in the gambling entourage continued to sit in the hotel room. In response he says, “We had been up for days smoking crystal and doing other shit. We were fuckng zombies. It’s only looking back now, sober, that I can see how crazy it was.” But the game of lethal roulette was not over yet. Mr. Howlser claims that Mr. Ferdini and Mr. Makelson continued to play round after round, occasionally loading another bullet until finally the revolver was fully loaded. “With six out of six chambers loaded, the odds of them dying on the next trigger pull was 100%,” says Mr. Howsler. “And I’ll damned, but they both went, and they both fucking lived. Somehow, they both got dud cartridges. After that, they both just had huge laugh for a while. A little bit later, Richard Markelson leaves and James Ferdini and the rest of us stay doing drugs for a bit until the rest of us guests leave too.” Before Mr. Howlser ends the phone call, he stresses again the reason for contacting me. “What happened is a messed up story, I know, but the point is that me and Maria don’t know anything about James Ferdini’s death or where his money is. Once we were sober enough to leave that seedy hotel outside Atlantic City, we left along with the rest of the people that were following James. And when we left, he was alive, and he had his money.”
While Mr. Markelson, Mr. Howlser, and Ms. Nowak all say they only know the most basic details of how James Ferdini died, his death has actually been well documented by investigators and the coroner's office for Atlantic City. Prior to this report, it was the mindset of Mr. Ferdini that was previously unknown. Sill up in the air is the whereabouts of his $1.3 million. But from what I've found, the report on his death is fully accurate, and even clears any of the entourage that was following him from being involved in any possible wrongdoing related to James Ferdini’s death. On Tuesday March 26th at approximately 4:30AM, it would appear Mr. Ferdini’s luck simply ran out. In that early morning hour, someone on Mr. Ferdini’s floor had ordered room service. As the porter was delivering the food, he slipped and fell outside of Mr. Ferdini’s room. The noise from the fall awoke Mr. Ferdini who opened his door to find the porter picking up a tray of food in the hallway. Upset at the disruption and the clanging of silverware outside his room, Mr. Ferdini proceeded to yell at the porter, pushing him against the wall in the hallway. The confrontation ended when Mr. Ferdini told the porter that he was so upset that he was going to go down to the lobby and speak to management about the disruption. Heading to the elevator, the porter told Mr. Ferdini that it was out of service. Frustrated, he turned to the stairwell and began walking downstairs. Mr. Ferdini would never make it to the lobby however. What Mr. Ferdini didn’t know was that the porter had also used the stairs to walk up to his floor, and that along the way he had spilled a small dish of ketchup. When Mr. Ferdini walked across the spot where the porter had dropped the ketchup, he slipped and fell, falling down the stairs and knocking himself unconscious on the ground floor. While in bad shape, investigators say that Mr. Ferdini was still alive at this moment, but what came next would be the fatal blow, or series of blows. With the elevator out, the stairwell was the only way up and down the hotel floors. While Mr. Ferdini was unconscious on the ground, he blocked the entryway to the stairwell from the ground floor. A guest a moment later would attempt to open the door to the stairwell, but found that it was blocked by some obstruction that he could not see. Bothered and wanting to get to his room, the guest then started slamming on the door, thrusting it open with all his energy. He did not realize it, but the door he was thrusting over and over was slamming into the left side of Mr. Ferdini’s temple. The heavy metal door banged away over and over again, causing Mr. Ferdini’s brain to hemorrhage, and eventually doing enough damage that it would kill him fully. The guest only stopped thrusting as the porter came back down the stairs to see Mr. Ferdini with his head being repeatedly bashed in by the door. The porter screamed and soon the guest was made aware that he had accidentally killed Mr. Ferdini. In this unusual and grizzly death, a confluence of bad luck came together to end Mr. Ferdini’s life. If the elevator had not been out. If a guest on Mr. Ferdini’s floor had not ordered room service. If the guest had not ordered a dish that came with ketchup. If the porter had not spilled ketchup in the stairwell or dropped plates outside Mr. Ferdini’s room. If Mr. Ferdini had not waken up. If he had not confronted the porter and decided to go down to the lobby. If he had not slipped in the stairwell. If a guest on the ground floor did not repeatedly try to enter the stairwell. If any of these things had gone slightly differently, Mr. Ferdini would still be alive. It could be said that Mr. Ferdini had finally found a run of bad luck, and incredible bad luck at that.
I cannot speak to Mr. Ferdini. He died long before I came to Atlantic City. For this story I’ve had to rely on the video surveillance from the Borgata casino and several eyewitness accounts of the drug fueled binge at the seedy hotel outside Atlantic City. In those accounts from Mr. Ferdini’s hotel room, I’m left with conflicting views and shattered narratives. It is clear to me that Ms. Nowak, Mr. Howlser, and Mr. Markelson cannot be trusted to give a full accounting of what happened. In my mind, the clearest liar of them is Mr. Markelson, who both omitted his story of seeing James after the gasoline incident, and also whose story is in direct conflict with Mr. Howsler and Ms. Nowak. While Mr. Markelson claims it was Mr. Howlser that had a revolver to play roulette, Mr. Howlser and Ms. Nowak both say it was Mr. Markelson. Embedded in these lies and less than full accounts is a still missing $1.3 million. Something I believe Mr. Markelson is desperate to try and find, and for which was his original impulse to contact this reporter. Now with an understanding of James Ferdini’s mindset leading up to his death, I am left with the unanswered question of what happened to Mr. Ferdini’s missing money. I head back to where this story started, the Borgata where the gambling binge took fold. I seek an interview with Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM resorts and a majority stakeholder in the Borgata Hotel and Casino. He agrees to speak with me and provides a full record on floor manger Richard Markelson. I start the interview by asking if he’s aware if Richard Markelson owns a handgun, and in particular a revolver. In response, he says: “Our records indicate Mr. Markelson has a concealed carry license from the state of New Jersey for a Ruger LCR Six-Shot revolver. We have this in our records because Mr. Markelson is authorized to carry the weapon on the premises.” Mr. Hornbuckle asks if I believe Mr. Markelson was involved in Mr. Ferdini’s death, to which I tell him I do not believe he is. I give the accounts of Mr. Markelson, Mr. Howlser, and Ms. Nowak, and while Mr. Hornbuckle is disturbed by the story, he agrees that Mr. Markelson has done nothing strictly illegal outside of drug use. He does add however: “The story with Russian roulette, if true, would certainly make us reconsider allowing Mr. Markelson to carry a weapon in the casino.” Confirming that Mr. Markelson was the owner of the revolver has led me to believe Mr. Howlser and Ms. Nowak’s account over Markelson’s. It seems likely now that like Mr. Markelson did indeed play a dangerous game of Russian roulette with Mr. Ferdini, and that it was he who provided the gun to use. Before I leave the Borgata, I ask Mr. Hornbuckle about another detail Mr. Markelson told me that I am no longer sure is true. I ask if a ‘cooler’ is something casinos really use, and if specifically Mr. Markelson is designated as one at the Borgata. His response is to laugh at first, but he goes on to say: “Yes, a cooler is a real term. I actually believe in them myself. Luck is real. It’s a tangible thing that follows people around -- good luck and bad luck. I believe coolers have saved my casinos a lot of money over the years, and Mr. Markelson certainly fits that role at the Borgata. He's terribly unlucky, couldn't win a game of cards if his life depended on it. Still, he's invaluable at cutting the luck high rollers short." He pauses before continuing: “There is of course the problem of the double negative, or when two coolers are together. It happens when a cooler is around someone who has luck just as bad as him or her. Like two positive or negative charges on a magnet, they repel each other, and the cooler’s effect instead of bad luck is one of incredible good luck. I’ve never seen it myself, but I’ve heard that even the most unlikely people on earth can have incredible runs of good luck if someone as equally unlucky as them is near.” I propose the idea that maybe Mr. Ferdini was as unlucky as Mr. Markelson, and that together they achieved this ‘double negative,’ bringing them good luck while they were together. “Yes,” Mr. Hornbuckle says. “I suppose that’s possible. It’s a very dangerous situation though for an unlucky person to suddenly be met with non-stop good luck. It could make you think yourself invincible, unable to be defeated in any challenge. You might even start to take on bets on things that aren’t real games of chance, like harming yourself by drinking boiling water. There’s also the danger of what happens when the double negative effect is over. One cooler parts ways, then each would fall into their own run of terrible luck, not realizing that their hot-streak has ended.” As the interview concludes and I leave the Borgata, I think about the good luck Mr. Ferdini and Mr. Markelson had. I consider the incredible odds that both survived firing a loaded gun to their temples only for each to find a dud cartridge. I ponder the unfortunate series of events that would kill Mr. Ferdini after Mr. Markelson left his hotel room. Lastly, I think about Mr. Markelson’s own luck since March 26th. Maybe it hasn’t been as bad as Mr. Ferdini's, but I know he contacted a reporter and as a result management at his casino will be looking into his behavior. I consider and think, that is not too lucky.
What was meant to be a short report about an unusual death in Atlantic City has grown into something longer. This is now a meandering investigation with unreliable characters, newly discovered details, and a still missing $1.3 million. Before I leave New Jersey and return to New York, I go to the seedy hotel where Mr. Ferdini and his entourage consumed drugs and played Russian roulette, and where he would eventually die. It is my hope that I can speak to the porter -- the last person to ever see Mr. Ferdini alive. At the hotel I speak to the manager and ask her who was the porter in the early morning hours of March 26th. The manager tells me that the porter no longer works for the hotel, and that in fact he had quit the very same day Mr. Ferdini died. “After the police left, he flipped us all off,” the manager says. “That son of a bitch quit in style, telling us he didn’t need to work here no more. He said he was set and that we can kiss his ass goodbye.” I ask the manager if they knew where the porter could have gone, to which she replies: “No idea. After he was done talking to the police about the death in the stairwell, I think he was out of New Jersey for good. He used to live nearby so I saw him when he left. He was fully packed. Had all of his stuff with him and three really full duffel bags I’d never seen before. He really didn’t seem like he was coming back -- had everything with him.” Like the porter, I load my bags and finally prepare to leave New Jersey. As I do a thought pops into my mind: Could the porter that night have discovered Mr. Ferdini’s $1.3 million in three duffel bags in his room? I consider and think, maybe, and if he did, maybe this porter is the luckiest man in Atlantic City. Myra Kindle is an independent investigative reporter. She covers tech, law, politics, and other stories that would be impossible to write about in more traditional outlets.
Waze mistakenly directed hundreds of drivers to a remote wildlife preserve
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 45%. (I'm a bot)
An ad for the casino in Waze was apparently tagged with the wrong geographical coordinates, CNN reports, and.... The Jackson township Police Department's public information officer Lt. Christopher Parise said the police department found out about the error when one his officers was out assisting a stranded car. The driver told the officer they were headed for the Borgata but wound up at the 12,000 acre wildlife area through unpaved roads after using Waze for directions.... "My department towed 10 cars in 5 days that were stuck," Parise said. "A Waze response to the error report stated 249 others reported the same location error in the past couple days, so hundreds have been misled back there." Police complained of a "Tremendous increase" in disabled motor vehicles - one driver found themselves at least 10 minutes away from any paved roads. The casino is still urging future visitors "To check the route before they begin driving" to make sure they're actually being routed to Atlantic City. "You can take the people out of the city but you can't take the city out of the people...". "I keep picturing in my head these people driving into the woods thinking its Atlantic City...".
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I have time off this week and I wanted to hit up AC for the first time. I've casually played poker with friends and also played when online poker was still legal but I'm a bit rusty since I haven't really played in a few years. The Borgata Poker Open is going on right now but I didn't want to jump right into the big buyin tournies. I would like to try out a small stakes tourney just to get a feel for live play in a casino. I see that Ballys, Trop, harrahs and Golden Nugget run daily tournies for ~$50 buyin. Which of these are the best on any given day?
Sports betting: Guy in Reno loses out on $565K in Kentucky Derby bets because he didn’t know the rules
A Nevada man could have won $600,000 on the Kentucky Derby, but it turns out his tickets were worth only $35,000. It is a dispute that is now in the hands of the Almighty, aka the Nevada state gaming commission. Horse player Steve Friedlander told the Action Network’s Darren Rovell that he went to the William Hill sports book at the Tamarack Junction Casino in Reno before the May 4 Derby and played, among others, a $40 trifecta box and a $100 exacta box. He bet more than $2,700 on the race. When Maximum Security was disqualified and Country House (at 65-1) declared the winner, with Code of Honor (14-1) second and Tacitus (6-1) third, Friedlander thought he was looking at 600 large. His trifecta would have paid $459,024, and his exacta was worth $150,480. But hold your horses. Friedlander placed his bets at a non-pari-mutuel shop that sets a cap of 150-1 for exactas and 500-1 on trifectas. It’s legal, and William Hill-US says there is signage making customers aware of this policy. “Because of the requirements of the gaming regulations, there are significant costs involved to offer pari-mutuel wagering in Nevada," the William Hill company said in a statement. "Unfortunately, it doesn’t make economic sense to offer pari-mutuel wagering at all of our 115 Nevada locations.” Such parlors do not exist in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware, at least not legally. (Exotic sports bets, such as 10-team parlays, could be subject to caps on maximum payouts. Always check with the 'book.) The Borgata is the only casino in Atlantic City that takes action on horses, including Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. Most of the casinos in Pennsylvania are either linked with a horse track, (i.e. the three Parx locations or Harrah’s in Chester) or don’t offer horse betting. It’s too risky for the house to not be involved in the pool of money that would cover such a huge hit. Delaware’s three casinos are connected to race tracks, as well. The 20-13 exacta for the Derby paid $3,009.60 for every $2 bet. The 20-13-8 trifecta was worth $22,950.60 for every two bucks. At the pari-mutuels, that is. Unfortunately for Friedlander, he is paying for convenience. A Google Map search found several pari-mutuel locations within 20 minutes of Tamarack Junction. “The capping of booked race payouts has been industry standard for decades and allows race books to book without taking on unlimited liability, which no one would want to do,” the statement continued. "Tamarack Junction, a small casino in Reno, is one of the locations where we have booked the Kentucky Derby for many years. We congratulate our customer at the Tamarack Junction for his winning exacta and trifecta bets. “The customer has the right to appeal to the Nevada Gaming Control Board but we are confident that we have fully complied with the relevant gaming regulations and had prominent signage alerting customers to the payoff caps.” https://www.philly.com/sports/sports-betting-horse-racing-kentucky-derby-exacta-trifecta-20190517.html
Hi all, Do you guys see arcade APing eventually transitioning into professional casino skill based gaming? The business model of an AP is to be both more skilled and more knowledgeable than the average patron, while being understated enough that their profits are written off as acceptable loss to the establishment. In recent history, the quintessential "skill based" game in any casino has been poker. An arcade AP differs from a professional poker player in that the AP is profiting from the house and not directly from the losses of other patrons. So you could win millions off poker and the casino would never cut you off or change their rules. They have no reason to ever nerf the game. However, casinos make the lion share of their profits from slot machines, and younger people just don't play the slots like their parents and grandparents do. In recent years, one of the big ideas to reverse this trend has been the introduction of skill based machines on the slot floor. Machines that play like an arcade game, and pay out depending on your performance (while still ensuring a casino profit, of course). Currently, these games are few and far between, but experts predict a steady increase in the prevalence of skill based slots over the next decade or so. So I guess my question is: is this something you guys think about? Do you see arcade APing as a natural transition to casino APing as skill based gaming slowly becomes mainstream? Links for the curious: Skill Based Gaming to Attract Younger CrowdBorgota Basketball Challenge
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