LAS VEGAS — MISSISSIPPI STUD!!!

Texas has Hold’Em so Mississippi decided on Stud. Around 2005, Mississippi Stud Poker came into the casino world, and people are loving it. Even though the house holds approximately 4.91 percent. So it’s a little different from most other games, because you’re not playing against the dealer.

Actually, the dealer doesn’t even get any cards. You get two down cards, and the dealer places three community cards on the table which are called 3rd Street, 4th Street and 5th Street. You peep your two hole cards and can do one of three things. Fold, bet 1x your ante, or, if you’re feeling strong, 3x the ante.

This is called a “paytable game” because you are NOT playing against the dealer, but rather odds on the felt. All the odds are listed, starting with a push on a pair of 6s to 10s. Anything less and you’re a LOSER. Pair of jacks or better returns EVEN money. Two pair and you’re looking at 2/1. Three of a kind is 3/1, a straight is 5/1, a flush is 6/1, a full house is 10/1, four of a kind is 40/1, a straight flush is 100/1 and a royal with cheese, OK, a straight flush, is FIVE HUNDRED TO ONE!

Mississippi Stud might not be available in every online casino, but MAN, it’s a BLAST! There’s also a little something somethin’ called the Millionaire Progressive. You put up $5 before the deal, and if you get a royal straight flush, in ALL spades, it’s a MILLION BUCKS! Of course the odds are VERY slim and you can’t find it everywhere. But if you’re coming to Vegas, the Venetian and Palazzo both offer the wager. And I’ll meet you there for a selfie!

ICE ICE BABY!!!

Skating on to the NHL ice for the start of the 2022-23 season and gonna throw out a HOT futures bet for my millions of fans and it’s the Flames.

Calgary was at the top of the Pacific Division last season with a 50-21-11 record. We know that they lost some key pieces, like Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan, which is why the Flames are a VERY generous 15/1 to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. That’s 242 points leaving the stat sheet.

But guess what? Calgary added Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar, who combined for 246 points last season.

And then there’s the VOICE! The Flames might not win the Cup, but we can listen to coach Darryl Sutter’s press conferences day and night. And it’s not only the voice. Sutter won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top head coach last season. At 15/1, Calgary is worth a handful of chips!

WINNERS ONLY!!!

Gonna roll with the Dodgers over the Padres tonight. Totally understand that San Diego drives up to L.A. with Uncle Mo(mentum) in the back seat, but Dodger Stadium has a way of stopping Uncle Mo dead.

Why? We looked at Mike Clevinger and the optics are UGLY. Clevinger started three times against the Dodgers this season, and never made it past the fifth inning. He started one game down in San Diego and was kinda OK, giving up four earned runs in five innings. But when the Padres rolled up the I-5 and got off at Stadium Way, the results for Clevinger were – lemme find the right word – PATHETIC comes to mind. He was BOMBED for 11 hits and 10 earned runs in only eight innings. YIKES! That’s an 11.25 ERA. OUCH!

Padres owner Peter Seidler said, “The Dodgers are the dragon up the freeway that we’re trying to slay.” Unless San Diego finds a scorpion dart from Game of Thrones, don’t think there is gonna be any slaying tonight!

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email... ben@americasline.com.

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