24 Feb 2014
Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian at the Kentucky Derby

Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian at the Kentucky Derby

While most people associate the Kentucky Derby with horse betting and mint juleps there is another sideshow that appears annually at Churchill Downs:  a wide array of fancy hats on women (and some men).  In fact, women in stylish dresses and loud—sometime garish—hats is synonymous with every major American horse race.

So how did all of this start?  You have to go back to the early days of the Kentucky Derby to find the answer.  The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875, the brainchild of Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, who was the grandson of William Clark of ‘Lewis and Clark’ fame.  Clark traveled to Europe and was captivated by England’s Epsom Derby horse race at the famed Epsom Downs race track.  When he returned to Kentucky he set about recreating the track and race in his home state. The land for the track was donated by Clark’s relatives, John and Henry Churchill, and the horse racing facility soon became known as ‘Churchill Downs’ although it wouldn’t be officially incorporated under that name until the 1930’s.  After some rough going in the early years the Churchill Downs race track and the Kentucky Derby itself became the signature event for the region and the sport.

Part of the success involved changing the image of the Derby.  In the early days—and quite honestly today, at least most of the time—horse racing was viewed as something of a low brow masculine enterprise.  In fact, the race track was considered a place that women and children would not usually be seen.  This was in marked contrast to Europe, where high society flocked to the big events like the Epsom Derby in London and the Grand Prix in Paris.  Clark knew that if his horse race was to become a big event and not just another 'day at the track' he had to change the image.

For that he enlisted the help of his wife. With her he did what was in essence an political campaign to convince the upper crust of Louisville that the race track was where they wanted to be seen.  The media quickly caught on to his plan and they began to speculate that if Clark could make the Derby 'fashionable' that the rich and famous of the region would flock to what was being pitched as 'a picnic at the race track'.

Somehow the Clark's ersatz campaign worked.  On the day of the first Kentucky Derby nearly 10,000 people showed up—among them a coterie of well dressed ladies with regal hats.  It was such a big event that it received coverage in major publications like the New York Times and the rest was history.  The following year the upper class was back but so too were the lower socio-economic classes with one common bond—they were all wearing fancy hats.  Historians speculate that the hat was something that even a person of average means could aspire to and for one day at least they could look like part of the 'upper crust'.

So it continued for years but the trend gained new life in the 60's when the convergence of history and the prevailing sartorial trends created the rush to wear more and more elaborate hats.  This trend continues through the present.  Now fashion magazines and style sections of newspapers focus on the dresses and hats as the sporting press focuses on Kentucky Derby betting.


20 Feb 2014

Sandra Bullock , George Clooney, and Alfonso Cuarón

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are spotted on the set of the science fiction thriller Gravity at Pinewood Studios in the U.K. Also seen is director Alfonso Cuarón. The film is nominated for an incredible 10 Academy Awards.

PICTURES: Check out more on the George Clooney page

On the eve of the Academy Awards, Cuarón explains what motivated him to make the film:

“I have always had a fascination with space and space exploration. On the one hand, there is something mythical and romantic about the idea of separating yourself from Mother Earth. But in many ways, it doesn’t make sense to be out there when life is down here.”

*18 Gravity pictures total in the gallery:

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20 Feb 2014

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion are spotted on the set of Castle in Downtown Los Angeles yesterday (2/17). The two were filming at the Valerie Grand Central Market, which is filling in for New York (the show is set in New York but filmed entirely in Los Angeles).

PICTURES: Check out more on the Castle page

Stana recently told Glamour who she's rooting for at the upcoming Academy Awards:

"There's so many great films and performances. Michael Fassbender is phenomenal in 12 Years a Slave. Meryl Streep, of course. You know you're going to walk into something that I love, and once again she delivered in August: Osage County. There's a lot to choose from and root for."

Who are you rooting for to win an Oscar? Tell us in the comments!

*6 Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion pictures total in the gallery:

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7 Feb 2014

As a celebrity fan, you probably know all ins an outs about all your local and not so local celebrities. If you Google a celebrity name like Justin Bieber or Jenifer Aniston or any other you can find loads of information. You can read everything from what they eat, where they sleep, with whom they sleep and so on, but did you also know that a lot of celebrities place a few wagers every now and then?

When we say a few wagers we actually mean ridiculously high wagers. As you might have noticed a lot of celebrities have quite a good income. According to a couple websites the average celebrity has a net worth of $10m and up. So, you can imaging that they have to cash to wager a few bucks on your local slot machine.

Celebrities like Allen Iverson, the famous basketball player, further illustrate the above. This former NBA player is now on the brink of bankruptcy thanks to his love for slots and other gambling games. As an NBA player you make a couple million a year, so you can figure how much he most have wagered. A lot of casinos now ban Allen from gambling and hitting their slot machines.

Another famous gambler is Ben Affleck. This celebrity has placed a couple bets in his live time. He is famous for betting exuberant amounts at the poker and blackjack tables. We have also heard that he likes to hit some slots as well, but he favoures poker or blackjack. Affleck had a lot of bad luck gambling, but at one point he won so big at the blackjack tables in Vegas that his net worth actually jumped a few million.

Not just actors and NBA stars like to place a few wagers. Other celebrities play slots and other games as well. For example, US senator John McCain. It’s not known how much he lost of won. What we do know is that he tried to keep his love for gambling a secret during his political career.

Beside the celebrities mentioned above there a many other celebrities who play blackjack, roulette, or slots. Even the world famous celebrities are more normal then you thought, right? Maybe not if you look at the amounts they bet, but besides that, they have the same urges that we have.

You can also try your luck at the tables and slots and do as the celebrities do yourself. A lot of slots and table games that you can find online are very accessible for people with a non-celebrity bankroll. You can play slots for as little as 10cents if you want. Maybe if you’re lucky and win big, you can get a glimpse of how it is to live like a celebrity.

If you’re interested in trying your hand at online blackjack or slots yourself we know a great website that you should check out. Just follow the link and you will notice that a lot of other celeb fans playslots machines as well.

8 Jan 2014
Roulette Table

Roulette Table

Whether you’re a diehard casino-loving gambler or a regular Joe who likes the extravagant atmosphere of casinos, you can get some of the rush of betting big on your TV screen. Here’s our choice of the top five casino movies to watch next.

1. The Sting (1973)

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Running time: 129 min

The Sting tells the gripping story of Johnny Hooker, a young con-man in 1930s Chicago, who accidentally crosses mob boss Doyle Lonnegan during one of his stunts. This mishap gets Johnny's partner killed and, fearing for his life, Johnny flees the Windy City.

After meeting up with master con-man Henry Gondorff, Johnny plots an elaborate scheme to relieve Lonnegan of a huge sum of money. With the help of a team of tricksters, a high stakes game is set up with more than just a lot of money on the line. From poker to horse racing, the play for money is as intense as it can be. To pull it off, Hooker and Gondorff will not only need huge playing skills; they’ll also need guts.

The Sting was a hugely successful movie and although dated, it still makes for great viewing. The film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, in 1974.

 

2. Bugsy (1991)

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel
Running time: 136 min

Released in 1991, Bugsy is an American crime-drama that tells the tale of mobster Bugsy Siegel, the man who dreamt it big in Las Vegas and founded the seemingly impossible, the extravagant Flamingo Hotel & Casino. The story of how Bugsy became a driving force in the development of The Strip as a gaming haven started off almost by accident. Flying in to Los Angeles in order to gain control of betting parlours from rival gangs, Bugsy visits a gambling den in Las Vegas and sets his sights on constructing a casino right in the middle of the desert, in a state where gambling was legal.

The financing of the Flamingo soon goes off the charts, as its budget tops $6 million. Bugsy is determined to see it finished, fueled also by his desire to impress Hollywood starlet and seductress Virginia Hill. However, betrayal and murder threaten the fulfillment of Bugsy’s dream.

If the movie was redone today you’d probably find some young Turk trying to fund set up a site where punters could play games online. Oh wait, that was already done in Runner Runner - a film which did NOT make this list. Bugsy brings old school class to mob gambling and makes this an excellent film in all respects.

 

3. Swingers (1996)

Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Heather Graham, Jon Favrea
Running time: 96 min

Let’s hold off the drama for a moment and unwind with some laughs. Swingers is a comedy film that recounts the troubles of two single, unemployed actors living in California and waiting for their big break.

When Mike is dumped by his girlfriend, he decides to leave New York and heads out on his own to Hollywood, where he meets his friend Trent. Seeing him so dejected, Trent takes Mike to Las Vegas to cheer him up a bit and teach him about living the good life. From one misadventure to the next, the two friends realize that life is a lot harder than the movies, and in Sin City only the toughest can win.

Swingers rides on the swing revival that took the early 90s back to the classy elegance of the 40s. The film was a commercial success and shot Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau to stardom.

 

4. Hard Eight (1996)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow
Running time: 102 min

Hard Eight’s style harks back to the classic noir films with its gritty storytelling full of intrigue and twists. The film opens with a shot of John, a washed out gambler brooding over his recent losses, at a diner. Fate, however, seems to have an unexpected card to deal to him in the form of Sydney, a veteran gambler who agrees to turn John into a star player and help him raise enough money for his mother’s funeral.

Through Sydney’s coaching, John becomes a successful professional gambler and starts dating Clementine, a cocktail waitress who moonlights as a prostitute. Clementine’s lifestyle doesn’t seem to bother John, until they get married and dark secret about Sydney’s past threatens to turn their lives upside down.

Hard Eight isn’t your usual movie fare, but with its solid acting and tight plot, it guarantees a riveting viewing experience to share with your casino-loving friends.

 

5. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts
Running time: 116 min

Danny Ocean and his gang have entered movie history with their thrilling heist involving three Las Vegas casinos being robbed at the same time. This 2001 release was a modern take on the classic Ocean’s Eleven from 1960 that starred the Rat Pack. Soon after he is released from prison, Danny Ocean meets up with this partner-in-crime Rusty Ryan with a fresh idea for their next caper. The plan consists of an ambitious and complicated scheme to rob three of Las Vegas largest casinos: the Bellagio, The Mirage and the MGM Grand, simultaneously.

A plot this big cannot be pulled off by the two of them alone, so Danny and Ryan seek out the help of their millionaire friend and former casino owner Reuben Tishkoff who explains to them the obstacles they’re likely to meet in this endeavor. Undaunted by the enormity of their project, Danny and Ryan recruit eight of their former colleagues and band together to execute the heist of the century.

The movie was wildly successful at the box office, grossing over $450 million and wowing critics all over the world. Ocean’s Eleven spawned two sequels, each adding an additional member to the original cast. Although the 2001 version and the original one from 1960 largely tell the same story, both come highly recommended for your next movie night.

 

It’s show time!

Now you know what’s showing at your next DVD night -- heck, we got five planned out for you and your friends. Switch on the telly, dim the lights, and for tonight, pass the popcorn, not the poker chips.

25 Oct 2013

Alexa Vega

Alexa Vega is spotted on the set of a promotional photoshoot for Adrian Vera's new music video He Don't Know (Remix). What a sexy dress!

PICTURES: Check out more on the Alexa Vega page

How did Adrian manage to snag one of Hollywood's rising actresses for his new video? He dishes: "As a Latino, you always keep tabs on and root for other Latinos doing well in the industry. You feel like you have a vested interest in their success, so I knew of Alexa and was a big fan. When someone first mentioned to me that she had loved the song, we hoped we could get her for the video. Fortunately she agreed to do the video and I couldn’t be happier with her performance!"

*17 Alexa Vega pictures total in the gallery:

  • Alexa Vega Tight Dress
  • Alexa Vega Wedding Dress
  • Alexa Vega Cleavage
  • Alexa Vega Makeup
  • Alexa Vega Hot Body
  • Alexa Vega Topless!
  • Alexa Vega Nice Boobs
  • Alexa Vega Cleavage Dress
  • Is Alexa Vega a Virgin?
  • Alexa Vega Feet Pictures
  • Alexa Vega in High Heels
  • Pictures of Alexa Vega\'s Shoes
24 Oct 2013
Ray Rice

Ray Rice

While many of the NFL's eyes are on Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine watching young college promises, the Baltimore Ravens have to be aware of a problem of one of their stars, their running back Ray Rice.

Louisville’s Terry Bridgewater is considered the best quarterback of this Draft.  However, the odds for being the first overall pick favor Defensive End Jadeveon Clowney from South Carolina. At SportsbettingDime.com you can see who else is generating interest in the top five.

Ravens running back, Ray Rice, had a physical altercation with his fiancée, Janay Palmer, at a casino in Atlantic City last weekend. The player's lawyer said it was "a mild physical aggression", but a video acquired from Revel Casino showed something else.