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hits since 8/12/03

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Re(1): Magic City questions for Stu Neiman

Sorry for the delayed response. The beginning of the meet is always a hectic time. First-off thanks for the question and for supporting M.C.J.A. I recognize its not for everyone but having worked in both traditional and non-traditional Jai-Alai environments I can honestly say we will put on a good show.

First the specs: The season begins this Wednesday 7/3 and will run through November 30th. We'll play Wednesdays - Saturdays at 3 & 7p and there will be a 1p Matinee on Sundays. W,P,S,Q,E,T wagers in each game with a $1.00 Q-Box and $0.50 Tri. We've added a Pick 3 with a $1.00 base in games 4,5 & 6. Game 8 will continue to be the Superfecta and a $0.10 Super is available.

Like last year the "Singles Championship" will be awarded to the player who wins the most singles games through the end of the season - $15,000 for 1st, $10,000 for 2nd & $5,000 for 3rd. The format for doubles has changed. We will have 3 "Doubles Seasons" (I'm not sure of the dates - just dont have them in front of me). $20k for first and $10K for second. Like last year the teams were made by Sr. Management and pair a "Strong" player with a "Weaker" player (current teams appear in the entries). In the second doubles season the top 16 players will participate and individuals will choose their partners. Prize money is the same at $125-W, $50-P, $25-S and the prize money is doubled in the doubles games. The players had December off and have been practicing 3-4 days-a-week in 1.5 hour supervised practices since January. Some players have practiced up to 3 hours daily x 4 days-a-week.

We moved the front camera off the centerline of the court to give the front view greater depth and it looks pretty good. Were signed-up with W & W and Connecticut O.T.B. and are available through Roberts and Youtube. We have an "early games" (1-3) & a "late games" which we call 1st and 2nd team. 1st team players play one more game than 2nd team players. Assignment to 1st team and 2nd team was based on how players did in the April tournament which is why you will notice a few of the better players playing early. The top player from games 1-3 will move up weekly and the bottom player in 5-8 will move down with $100 weekly bonus for moving-up. I'm doing a bit more in management so I'll be announcing Wed & Thurs with Paulie then a new announcer is being trained for the weekends. Sundays are "family days" (bounce houses, face painting, kids will come onto the court after the last game along with some players) and Saturday night is being tried as "The Jai" - a 21 & over club atmosphere.

As for the roster we have 20 players total, 15 returning from last year and 5 new additions. Nate and Baller did not return. Vuelo is scratched following ankle surgery in May. He required marrow transplantation and we hope he will return by mid-August. Douglas fractured his ankle in practice last Thursday but thankfully did not require surgery. He tried to sneak onto the court today in a boot but I believe he will be able to join us full-time for Aug 1st. Asier injured his chest / rib area in practice and will miss the start of the season and we hope to have him back within two weeks. Juice had been out for 30+ days with a partial tear of a foot ligament but he started practicing this week and is scheduled to start Wednesday.

With respect to our new players of particular note is Douglas. His father played under "Douglas" in the 80's / 90's in Milford, Daytona & Melbourne. His name is Matt Langhans and he is a stand-out on this roster. The first truly natural Jai-Alai player I have seen since Adam at Miami (personally speaking). Whatever future someone can have in this sport - he has it and we look forward to his return. Chad Barnes "C.R.B." is a former football player who only started playing in January. He has progressed more quickly than many of last year's beginners - he's quick, (left handed), has good power on both sides and good foot speed. His catching is slightly below the average of the roster. Kyle Kubala comes with amateur experience from St. Pete. He's one of our best catchers and gravitates towards the backcourt. He's got decent power and a good rebote. He played beneath his skills in the April tournament and has to get used to the pace of Quiniela play. Oliver "Limonte" started playing amateur in North Miami last year and was a frequent guest with family last season. He just retired from active duty Coast Guard and has got a tremendous work ethic. He has a very good serve and is working on catching consistency, rebote and court positioning. Finally we have Chris "Bueno" (yes - this is Benny's son). Chris has obviously been around Jai-Alai his entire life and was the ball boy at Miami in 2004 & 2005. He had not previously played Jai-Alai competitively but came to us with the basics on both sides and a comparatively good rebote. He's definitely one of our better players and a most positive influence on the roster.

I'd encourage anyone interested to visit magiccityhustle.com - a feature-length documentary about our first season was directed by Billy Corbin (Cocaine Cowboys / The-U") and actually won Best Documentary at The Miami Film Festival earlier this year. A 2.5 min trailer is available on the site and the feature can be downloaded for $5.00 - its actually very entertaining and VERY different for Jai-Alai.

Entries and program pages are up on our site (magiccitycasino.com). The statistics will update after our first performance when we post the results. I will try to have results up on our site and out to W&W withing 30min after each performance. I'm happy to answer any questions I can but I don't check the board every day. I welcome feedback but don't feel much like debating these days. I / we very much appreciate whatever support we get and look forward to a fun season. We may have our "rough" games but the play will be overall much better with some SIGNIFICANT improvements being seen overall.

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