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Best of Rudi Schiffer

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Heard it on the River

31 January 2005

You could sense an upset in the making as the underdog hung on tenaciously while the opposition circled, waiting for the kill that never came. After all, he was just a college kid from Wisconsin and they were three of the world's top poker professionals playing out of Las Vegas. He was the appetizer before the main meal, a tune-up, an aberration and they would run over him like DOYLE BRUNSON bluffing a tourist.

But they couldn't get rid of him and he kept piling up chips and gaining confidence and momentum and finally there he was, going on all in the last two hands and putting his arms around a stack of over $5 million in chips and grinning from ear-to-ear and in almost mocking derision, hollering in triumph, "I love poker."

It was a big day, in all likelihood the biggest he would ever experience although at only 23 he has a lot of years ahead of him to prove me wrong. But it was his day, a moment in time that would never be forgotten by JOHN STOLTZMAN who just won the JACK BINION WORLD POKER OPEN over 512 other contenders for the $1.51 million prize for the Texas Hold'Em Championship. Just think of the players he faced and beat on the road to the title. Pros like PHIL IVEY, and final table opponents SCOTTY NGUYEN, CHAU GIANG and the World Poker Tour's leading all-time money winner, the irrepressible DANIEL NEGREANU. No chopped liver here.

The victory was even more amazing when you consider this philosophy major

who will graduate this spring from the University of Wisconsin had only been playing online and in some live games and tournaments for four years. Many serious players make light of online learners mistakenly thinking they are easy marks in live competition but the last two winners of the WORLD SERIES OF POKER, Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker, both came from this green felt cyber world. Look for another wave of players coming from the collegiate ranks seeking the easy road to fame and fortune by playing poker like their new icon, Stoltzman. No cheesehead, he.

The 6th Annual WPO was another great success with a record shattering 8,702 participants in the 20 events and some $12 million in prize money. HORSESHOE'S Co-Tournament Director KEN LAMBERT, who conceived the WPO, said it would get bigger and better next year. He and his co-director, BOB MCGOVERN of GOLDSTRIKE, and their staffs and dealers performed at peak efficiency to plan and implement the event. If you missed the championship finale, you can watch in June on a Wednesday night to be announced on the TRAVEL CHANNEL.

There is another potentially huge event coming to TUNICA RESORTS June 2-5, the TUNICA CHAMPIONSHIP AIR RACES. The exciting event is expected to include up to 60 aircraft and it will be only the second air racing competition in the world and will attract national and international attention. Described as "the fastest motor sport in the world," aircraft like World War II vintage fighter planes and trainers will compete in different classes. The event is being produced by the newly formed Tunica Air Race Association, a private-public partnership between the CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU, the CHAMBER of COMMERCE and the TUNICA AIRPORT in association with JL IMAGES ENTERTAINMENT of Brentwood; TN. Attendance is being conservatively projected at 50,000. In addition to the races, there will be stunt performances and aerial acrobatics and civil and military aircraft displays. Our CVB CEO WEBSTER FRANKLIN rightly labels this event "extraordinary and unique" with a definite economic development benefit for the region. One plane I want to see in action is the WWII fighter, the fabled P-51D MUSTANG. This baby, named SWEETIE FACE, served in the EIGHTH AIR FORCE over Germany and was the nemesis of the Luftwaffe

HOLLYWOOD CASINO has kicked off its $200,000 STEPS to STARDOM daily slot tournament and each Sunday through Friday until April 22 there will be a daily "Audition" slot tournament where players can earn points to advance to the cash. The top 40 semi-finalists and wild card entries will compete in the "Final Cut" on April 30 where $50,000 in prize money will be awarded with a first place prize of $10,000.

FREESTYLE FIGHTING returns to GRAND CASINO on March 8 and last time it was held there it sold out. The bash-up features eight light heavyweights with such colorful monikers as Melvin "Young Assassin"Guilliard, Steve "The Dragon" Kinison and Jake "Man of Steele' Short. This hard-hitting no-holds barred martial arts action was a definite hit with fans the last time around. Tickets can be purchased in advance at TicketMaster by calling 901-525-1515.

Congrats to COELENE GUINN of Lone Grove, OK who took home the $60,000 first prize in BALLY'S 25TH Ultimate Blackjack Tournament. The next $150,000 event is coming up in April. GRAND'S ACES 21 $150,000 blackjack tournament offers $150,000 in prize money with a $60 grand first place prize. It takes place Feb. 26-27 with a $500 buy-in. Call 1-800-550-4473, code 150KBJ. SAM'S TOWN OPEN DICE tournament is set for Feb. 26 with $50,000 total prize money. Call 1-800-946-0711.

"FISTS OF FIRE" was a great night at FITZGERALDS with some real slugging matches for a second sold-out event promoted by PRIZE FIGHT BOXING of Southaven. Our local lady favorite, CHRISTY NICKEL, was on the featured bout and took on brawler MIRIAM BRAKACHE who mauled our girl with her in-close rapid-fire slugging to the body. Somehow Christy survived the onslaught to notch her seventh win against one loss. The split decision was not well received by the audience. Promoter BRI.AN YOUNG tells us the next fight night is set for Feb. 19 at the ISLE OF CAPRI down the road in Lula.

Everywhere you turn there is something on health and weight loss, which is a good thing. The ISLE of CAPRI in Lula has jumped into the middle of the action with a weight loss program for employees that pay off by adding cash to their accounts. The 26-week incentive program requires employees to lose 50 percent of the required weight for a $250 reward. Another $500 will be awarded to a team member who has lost all of the required weight. There's another $250 waiting for anyone who keeps the weight off for at least six months. There is a big kicker here. Team members who meet their assigned goal are entered into a drawing for a brand new SUV. I wonder if outside vendors can qualify? Sign me up! If you can't get into the weight loss program you can take in February's PRESIDENTIAL CASH giveaway at the Isle. On Wednesdays and Fridays the casino is running this event on those days giving away 50 Lincolns ($500), 50 Hamilton's ($1,000), 50 Jackson's ($2,000) and 50 Grant's ($5,000). There will be two winners each night, a total of 48 in all during the month.

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Best of Rudi Schiffer
Rudi Schiffer

Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for casinocitytimes.com, the world’s leading casino industry internet news distributor. He is also owner and co-host of the 20-year-old Goodtimes Radio Show, now simulcast on Fridays from 3-6 PM Central Time from Country Classic 1180 AM, Memphis networked with KMIS 1050 AM, and 103.9 KGLU FM from Kennet, MO covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. His radio show is also archived at audiovegas.com. A Boston University Journalism graduate, he resides in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Voice of Tunica" for his support the gaming jurisdiction for two decades, he was also recently named to Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine’s 3rd annual “The Power Players, Who’s Who” of Memphis.He is also a contributing writer for Southern Gaming & Entertainment and Mississippi Gaming.

Rudi Schiffer Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com
Rudi Schiffer
Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for casinocitytimes.com, the world’s leading casino industry internet news distributor. He is also owner and co-host of the 20-year-old Goodtimes Radio Show, now simulcast on Fridays from 3-6 PM Central Time from Country Classic 1180 AM, Memphis networked with KMIS 1050 AM, and 103.9 KGLU FM from Kennet, MO covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. His radio show is also archived at audiovegas.com. A Boston University Journalism graduate, he resides in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Voice of Tunica" for his support the gaming jurisdiction for two decades, he was also recently named to Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine’s 3rd annual “The Power Players, Who’s Who” of Memphis.He is also a contributing writer for Southern Gaming & Entertainment and Mississippi Gaming.

Rudi Schiffer Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com