The Story of GSH Casino Parties (Part 1)
“I can do it better than these guys,” I had been telling myself for years while traveling to set up and deal casino-themed parties. I have been all over Chicago and the suburbs doing casino-themed parties and have even traveled to Iowa, Wisconsin, Saint Louis, Michigan, and Ohio to conduct events. And for what? So other people could take all the credit, make all the money, and not listen to any of my suggestions? A lot of people have ideas and inspirations but most of those never get off the ground. Dealers had talked for years about starting their own casino party companies. I had even received an offer to partner up with a dealer to start a casino party company. It definitely didn’t seem like an attractive offer, and trusting my instinct was a good thing as that casino company ended up being a complete scam with the owner disappearing along with all of the investors’ money. Rather, in 2014 with my experience and determination, I decided I could make it happen on my own.
In the spring of 2013 I knew it was time to get started. I contacted Mike Oboikovitz (who later would become general manager of GSH Casino Parties) to build me five custom poker tables. By the summer of 2013, I was ready to roll. With my five (5) poker tables, chips, and poker cards, I was ready to do small poker tournaments. My business plan was not elaborate; I would conduct small events and reinvest all the profit back into the company topoker rental buy more poker tables so I could do bigger events. Pretty smart, huh? Well not exactly. While waiting for my first poker tournament phone call, I received a request to do a four-table event with 2 craps and 2 roulette tables. I had set out to do only poker events, and right away that was going to have to change.
Like any good businessman I figured out a way to satisfy my first potential client. I couldn’t believe it; I was getting a referral even though I wasn’t even officially in business. I rented the tables I needed from my friend Dan who was also in the casino rental industry. I was off and ready to sail with two craps tables and two roulette tables on a boat cruise on Lake Michigan. What a great setting for my first-ever casino event. The Chicago skyline in the background, roulette balls bouncing in between red and black, high-fives, screaming at the craps table, and the cocktails were flowing (The event was for The Heineken beer Company). As we cruised Lake Michigan I paused to enjoy the moment. I thought about how I had reached this point—all the events I had run, all the tables I had moved, all the hands I had dealt, and thought, “man, I finally have made it.” Boy! That moment was casino-themed partiesshort-lived because I heard a couple of craps dealers yelling “G” we need you. I broke from my day dream and rushed over to see how I could be of assistance. They yelled, “We can’t see; there are no lights.” Oh, no, I thought, this great event has now run into a problem. I had years of experience in event management and we quickly decided that the dealers would use the lights from their cell phones to illuminate the tables. That solution proved to work well as the gaming continued for the final hour of the cruise making my first event a success!