Monday, June 9, 2003


Newport Grand Seeks Permission to End Jai-Alai. I've been going every other week or so this season, having a great time each outing. Been making modest gains overall, despite one utter loss of a trip, with my 1-2-3 Q box and occasional 4-1-8 Trifecta wagering strategy. I love jai-alai. I was bummed I missed out on the Whack the Wall competition last week and can't wait for the chance to make an easy hunny next time they run it. If there is a next time. Stupid slot monkeys are killing me -- killing jai-alai. Why sit there and pump quarters into a ching-a-ching-a-ching machine when you can enjoy an evening of watching an exciting sport and still get your wager on? C'mon, get into the fronton! Mace, portliest of the players, needs you! And Hoey, strong armed but so maddeningly inconsistent! And Jaime, who lays it out for every point! These guys are living the dream and it's great fun to watch 'em play.

This is it for the Northeast. Hartford, Bridgeport, and Milford are gone already. If Newport dies, jai-alai is consigned to grainy monitors in scumbag holes like Lincoln Park. Stupid Rhode Islanders, the greatest live entertainment value in the state is wasted on you.

Shame on Newport Grand for failing to promote their product. I think I've seen one ad for it in all the time I've lived here. All they needed to do was get one infomercial on opposite the Set It and Forget It Rotisserie guy to draw a crowd. But, no. They let it languish in obscurity and put up slot machine billboards instead. Nice move.

Gambling's not for everybody. Some people should never get near it. I feel a bit like the guy who drew up Joe Camel as I sit here and pimp for jai-alai. But, it really does meet an entertainment need. It's wagering for people who think slots are for zombies and dog racing is a brutal and revolting display of animal cruelty staged for degenerates. Having a few beers and a slice of pizza while watching and wagering on a couple hours of quality jai-alai doesn't have to cost more than $30 bucks. It's not a wicked expensive night out, especially if you did nothing but bet the quinela 1-2 in the last ten games of the night -- most nights you'd get at least some of your money back, if not come out ahead on the deal.

Follow Up: Jai Alai Players Protest for Jobs, The Pawtucket Times. Mike Warner, an announcer at the fronton, said the Newport Grand owners are "virtually sabotaging the game. They purposely tried to tank the operation." Asked for details, Warner said he wanted to wait until there are legislative hearings on the question of eliminating the live games. He said jai alai could be made profitable again "if they used a more aggressive and creative (advertising) campaign." He could have said, "if they used any kind of advertising campaign at all."
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