Saturday, June 05, 2010

Poker gems, #365

Steve Fischer, author of When the Mob Ran Vegas, in an article on the demise of Binion's Horseshoe, in Poker Pro magazine, June, 2010, p. 43. The background is that Benny Binion owns the casino, but has to rent the land on which it sits from the Silvagni family, represented by Bill Coulthard. They renegotiated the rate every ten years--this time in 1972.

"You want how much rent, you sum'bitch? declared Benny. "If you think there's anyway in hell that I'm going to sit still for you doubling my rent for the next ten years, you better think again, shyster!"

Coulthard told him he didn't mind if Benny wanted to pack up his casino and get out when their current ten-year agreement expired later in the year. And then Benny told Coulthard what he could do with his new rent. And Bill Coulthard walked out of the Horseshoe into the heat, walked across the street to his car in the parking garage, sat down in his car, turned on the starter, and Bill Coulthard and his nice new 1972 Cadillac were blown all over the second level of the parking garage. The Metro police and the FBI were in agreement that it was probably four sticks of dynamite that blew him and his car to Kingdom Come.

With Coulthard out of the picture, the Binions and the next of Silvagni's relatives sat down with Benny to discuss the terms for the next ten years. For some reason, the Silvagni family, who didn't much like Bill Coulthard anyway, was very eager to reach a new rental agreement with the Binions. It took less than ten minutes to agree to terms.

"Damn shame what happened to Coulthard," Benny said. "Just a damn shame."

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