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A beating, robbery — just another day at the office for Texas poker great

Tell us, Amarillo Slim, what beats a full house?

Two fists, apparently.

Slim, given name Thomas Preston, once again took a whipping following a card game in Amarillo, Texas, Thursday night. This time, he was beaten while trying to collect collateral from a $3,000 gambling debt, according to The Associated Press and the Amarillo Globe-News. The 80-year-old former Binion’s Horseshoe World Series of Poker champion suffered a broken jaw, hand, and thumb.

He reported also being robbed of $8,000 in cash and an expensive diamond ring.

You’d think by now Preston would understand that some people consider poker a contact sport and perhaps it was time to pick a better class of criminal to hang around. The guy gets beaten more than the Italian army and the Detroit Lions combined.

TASSLE TRADE: Rumors continue to circulate about the pending sale of several local topless cabarets, which have fallen on tougher times now that customers are finding their $1s, $5s, and $10s harder to come by.

It’s just a thought, but does this mean the bottom is falling out of the topless racket?

Anyway, Fred Marik of Las Vegas Commercial & Business Sales confirms the Minxx Gentlemen’s Club at 4636 Wynn Road is for sale. Asking price for the two-story, 12,249-square-foot facility is $12.8 million.

For that price you also get $1.5 million worth of furniture, fixtures, poles, lighting, sound and 15 high-definition televisions.

I am presuming the build-out includes removing any stains or bullet holes that might remain from that little incident at the Minxx involving NFL hoodlum Adam “Pacman” Jones.

THE CENTURION: What’s a guy have to do to get his name in the newspaper, rob a bank? John Abbott of Sun City turned 100 years old recently. That basically makes Abbott, who moved to the valley in 1953, as old as Las Vegas.

Bet he wishes he had bought more real estate.

TARA’S EVENING: Speaking of good causes, the Tap House is sponsoring “An Evening For Tara” to benefit cocktail waitress Tara Morgan. Tara suffers from synovial cell sarcoma, a soft-tissue cancer that can be devastating, and is overwhelmed by medical bills. The event is Friday, Jan. 30, at the bar at 5589 W. Charleston Blvd. For more information on Tara’s struggle and the event, go to www.supporttaramorgan.blogspot.com.

GOOD KIDS: The children at Whitney Elementary School are among the poorest in Clark County, but it looks like they found friends in a group of agents and employees of the Farmers Insurance Group.

The agents are collecting hygienic supplies and clothing, which they will deliver to the Whitney students on Jan. 28.

Located at 5005 Keenan Ave. in east Las Vegas, Whitney’s faculty and staff have made headlines for their innovative approach to educating students from extremely modest circumstances.

RECKLESS DRIVING: Speaking of insurance, if you’re reading this column while driving, pull over. Now count the next five cars in traffic. Chances are good, the Insurance Research Council reports, that one of six drivers in Nevada are on the road but uninsured.

If those five other drivers are insured, you’d better check the glove box and make sure your policy is in force.

That 15 percent of uninsured motorists is slightly higher than the national average of 13.8 percent, the council says.

IN THE CARDS: You’ve heard it repeated a thousand times: No one picked the Arizona Cardinals to get to the Super Bowl.

Make that almost no one. In August, sports handicapper Chris Jordan named Arizona, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and San Diego as his future bets that offered the best value for the money and odds. At that point, the Cardinals were 16-to-1 to win the NFC.

But did Jordan follow his own sound advice?

WISHFUL THINKING: If you’re like me, there’s still plenty of time to get in shape for Kendall Tenney’s Run For A Wish and Fun Walk event Saturday, Jan. 31, at Town Square Las Vegas. Proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada. Sign up at snv.wish.org.

ON THE BOULEVARD: UNLV’s football Coach Mike Sanford sure picked a tough time to renegotiate his contract. Since there’s serious talk of severe cutbacks at UNLV, will anyone in administrative power suggest letting the air out of the football program?

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith/.

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