Teddy Binion - Sex, Lies and Hidden Treasures

I hope I never grow too old to play poker. But if I do - if it happens to me like it's happened to a lot of other people -- I know what I will do.

I'm going to buy me a metal detector and become a treasure hunter.

Why not? A lot of people out there just don't trust banks. They would rather bury their money, gold, diamonds and other valuables. That way, there's no paper trail and they don't have to worry about the IRS snooping into their personal affairs.

A while back, I wrote a column on Teddy Binion for this website. Teddy was the younger son of Bennie Binion who built the Horseshoe in Las Vegas and who was almost single-handedly responsible for creating the World Series of Poker.

In the column, I mentioned that a movie for television had been made about Teddy's life and death. Jade, one of my readers and a regular contributor to this column, asked the name of the movie. It is 'Sex And Lies in Sin City.' While the title is rather blah, the story about Teddy and the Binion family and their associates is true and gripping.


Teddy Binion was a volatile mixture that was rare even for Las Vegas. He was the feared head of security at the Horseshoe. Several people who worked at the downtown Las Vegas casino told me that Teddy once had pursued a cheat into a back alley behind Binion's and shot him dead when the man refused to stop. No charges were filed in the killing, which gives ou an indication of the power of the Binion family.

Before he met his death from a drug overdose, Teddy accumulated a fortune estimated at being worth between $7 and $14 million. Like his father, Teddy didn't trust banks and chose to bury his silver, gold and currency.. While some of Teddy's fortune has been located, most of it is still believed to be buried somewhere between Las Vegas and Pahrump, NV.

During my many years as a gadabout journalist and magazine writer, I have panned for gold in Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico. While I managed to collect a few gold nuggets, I have never hit a mother lode.

Joe Wilcox, one of my old gold prospecting buddies from Sedona, AZ., once described a gold mine as a 'hole in the ground owned by a liar.' Maybe so. But I'd still like to find that special hole in the ground, especially if it's filled with the kind of stuff that drives men mad. Wish me luck and let the games begin.

“hole in the ground owned by a liar”

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    You never know , a lot of people dig around for gold out there ...and who knows you may find a substantial amount one day. Metal detectors remind me of when I was growing up along the beach . When sunset would hit all ( especially older retired looking people ) mostly for a hobbie , would comb the beaches after a busy day and tourists would leave . I would see them find everything from watches , jewelry ...dig with their hands as well and find all kinds of things . Looked odd watching a bunch of people walking around waving them back and forth . Whether it be panning or looking for gold or using your metal detector ...it seems it does take a lot of patience. As for scanning between Las Vegas and Pahrump , might have better luck getting a decent size group of people on a sweep , but I guess you'd have to all trust each other..lol
  • Jade lcb


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    Wish YOU luck...... It was my idea to get a couple of metal detectors, a lot of patience and see what we could dig up. If you do it without me I will be waiting for my share via courier, cash, no checks........ Thank you for the movie title, I'll let ya know when I find it. I don't know why, but I like those kinds of flicks. Binion reads like a real eccentric character, the kind movies are made for. Now, since it looks like your headed to Vegas, metal detector in hand, alone (greedy little ...... ) some day, could you at least, narrow down the area a bit. That location, 'some where between Las Vegas and Pahrump, NV,' is kinda vague. Oh, that's the point.... Hmm...... What to do. Hmm......

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