Stories from the Steer: The Hidden Poker Chip

The year is 1960 at The Golden Steer Steakhouse in Las Vegas when drinks were flowing, money was flying and mob families were very prevalent in this desert gem. All of the most powerful families would escape their East Coast fortresses and come to stay at their favorite casinos, and of course, dine at their favorite restaurants. 


Mobsters were notorious for their epicurean lifestyle of the finest furs, the flashiest cars, and the most lavish homes. Hotels and restaurants on the Vegas Strip were trained to know the exact specifications and preferences of each family. 


Maitre D’s always ensured that their private rooms were set up just the way the respective families liked it when they were in town. You may wonder, how would they know who might darken their doors during dinner service? Poker chips. 


If you looked closely enough in the local newspaper you would find a hidden poker chip that was a signal to which Mob family was in town. This alerted all hospitality professionals to start airing out the family’s respective wine and ensure their private rooms were set up just right. 


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