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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: Two steps forward, one step back edition

30 Jul 2021

By Dan Ippolito
Las Vegas got to taste a sense of normalcy briefly over the last couple of months, but that has already changed. Workers that are at indoor public areas are now required to wear masks again due to the rise in cases and the Delta variant of the virus coming around. Before diving deeper into that, we have some positive news to cover as well. We saw a couple of major jackpots awarded by IGT, a third-career gold bracelet win for David Peters, a slot of the month at Intertops and an annual poker series returning to a Las Vegas casino.

Let’s begin with the slot of the month:

5. August slot of the month at Intertops
Intertops Poker is taking players to the sun-drenched African savannah this month with its new Safari Sam 2. The new slot game from Betsoft has Safari Stacks that triple payouts and a Call of the Wild feature that turns entire reels into wilds.

Until 31 August, players can get up to 100 bonus spins on the new game and win up to $250.
Safari Sam 2 is a five-reel, 50-payline game where every spin can sound the Call of the Wild, turning all symbols on up to four reels into wild compass symbols.

4. IGT awards two major jackpots in June
International Game Technology PLC announced that Wheel of Fortune Slots and Powerbucks slots continued making millionaires in June by awarding two huge jackpots.

On 3 June, an online Powerbucks slots player won CA$1,110,065 playing Wheel of Fortune Cash Link Exotic Far East in Ontario, Canada.

On 28 June, a Wheel of Fortune Slots player won $1,544,325 playing Wheel of Fortune Gold Spin Triple Red Hot 7s at The Venetian Las Vegas.

3. 13th annual Grand Poker Series coming to Golden Nugget Las Vegas
Golden Nugget - Las Vegas Hotel and Casino proudly presents the 13th Annual Grand Poker Series from 28 September to 18 October, hosted in the Grand Event Center and featuring 50 poker tournaments spread across 21 days.

Of the 50 events on the schedule, 36 are in various forms of No Limit Hold’em games and tournaments. Other events include stand-alone Omaha 8 or Better, Pot Limit Omaha, Triple Stud, and Big-O events, along with mixed game formats including No Limit Hold’em, Razz, Stud, Stud 8 or Better, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, 2-7 Triple Draw and Big-O.

Buy-ins will range from $100 to $600.

“We’re thrilled to host the 13th annual Grand Poker Series at The Golden Nugget,” said Andy Rich, Golden Nugget Las Vegas Director of Poker Operations. “With a bustling schedule of events, affordable buy-ins, and combined guarantees that total $1.2 million, this year’s series is sure to be a roaring success.”

2. A step backwards for Las Vegas casinos
Things for Las Vegas casinos and across the country had slowly been getting back to normal, but then came the Delta variant of coronavirus. Now, the situation for Vegas casino workers has taken a step backward toward the restrictions we saw during the height of the pandemic. So where do we go from here?

The Clark County Commission has decided it’s time for Vegas casino workers to mask-up again. They voted to reinstate mandatory mask wearing for all employees who work indoors at casinos, stores, clubs, and other places where they deal with the public.

They County Commission made this move after several casinos decided on their own to place mask mandates on their employees. In fact, the Venetian has returned to mandatory weekly testing of employees. This decision was somewhat predictable, given the recent rise in the Delta variant of the coronavirus in and around the city. The mandate stops short of a full mask mandate that would apply to tourists on the Strip and casinos.

The new Vegas casinos mask rules will be enforced regardless of the Vegas casino workers vaccination status, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board said they will be out inspecting to ensure the mandate is being complied with.

1. Third WSOP bracelet win for Peters
The $7,777 NLH Lucky 7's High Roller was the largest buy-in event on the 2021 WSOP schedule, and after more than 10 hours of play, it was poker pro David "dpeters17" Peters coming out on top to win a $283,940 and his third bracelet.

The event saw 151 entries (113 players, 38 rebuys) powering the prize pool into the seven-figure territory, with $1,113,927 up for grabs.

Now, Peters currently sits seventh on the all-time money list with $34,806,289 in total live earnings, according to the Hendon Mob.

The heads-up match between "CherryHillPd" and Peters proved to be a battle as both players rode the rollercoaster with each acquiring doubles until "CherryHillPd" grew short and had to settle for the $175,443 second-place prize.
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