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Best of Rudi Schiffer

Gaming Guru

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Heard it on the River

16 March 2005

Spring time brings many changes as the weather warms up and early flowers and trees bloom to brighten up the Delta and renew our hopes of winning a jackpot but one change that is equally dramatic and about to happen is the changeover of ownership for several Tunica casinos.

Soon to be official will be HARRAH'S ownership of GRAND and SHERATON, and RESORTS INTERNATIONAL takeover of the current Harrah's on Casino Strip and BALLY'S. And MGM MIRAGE is set to acquire GOLDSTRIKE. HORSESHOE, which will continue to operate as that popular brand, is already part of the vast Harrah's Entertainment empire and had made the transition with ease.

What these changes will bring about ultimately is the cause for much speculation these days among local employees and customers who wonder what might happen when their favorite casino has a new owner. If the Horseshoe is an example, then little will change at least as far as the public concerned. You can expect personnel changes and policy tweaks but that is normal when any business acquires another. Will those ripples be cause for concern by the gaming public? I doubt it. People love to gamble and so do I. We will get used to the new names and a few months after the changeovers it will be accepted and the games will go on.

The BOYS and GIRLS CLUB of the Mississippi Delta need your help as it seeks to sell tickets for their first STEAK 'N BURGER dinner to be held on April 9 at the Grand Convention Center. With only a few weeks to go, sales are lagging the goal of 700 seats sold. The proceeds will help clubs in Southaven, Tunica, Hernando, Clarksdale, Cleveland, Itta Bena and Grenada and tickets are only $100 with sponsor tables for ten also available. Let's get behind this worthwhile organization whose mission is to help its kids grow into responsible, caring and productive adults. We could use a few more of those. Call your local club or 662-846-4691 for ticket info.

If you are feeling charitable and like Texas Hold'em tournaments, then fork up $100 for the BLUFF CITY OPEN whose proceeds will benefit UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY of THE MID-SOUTH. Poker's much sought-after prize, a comp seat in the WORLD SERIES OF POKER, will be won by two good and lucky players at the tournament on April 9 and 10 at Grand Casino. There will also be plenty of cash prizes. There is space for just 240 players each day and entries are moving at a brisk pace. Top pro CLONIE GOWEN has committed to play and more top players are expected for this worthwhile event. See KARIN KAEGIN in the poker room for tickets or call 662-357-3311. Grand is presenting sponsor.

JOHN KOETTER'S 14 years of experience in Indian gaming will stand him in good stead as he takes over as the new VP of Gaming Operations at PEARL RIVER RESORT, which is comprised of the Choctaws' GOLDEN MOON and SILVERSTAR casinos in Philadelphia, MS. The resort just held a big time boxing night that was live on SHOWTIME and the event filled the Convention Center's 1,500 seats. Look for more slots, upgrades in table game, more tournaments and improved operation all around at PRR. The Resort has 14 restaurants but one of my favorites is the ECLIPSE GRILL operated under the watchful eye of ROOM CHEF DAVID PAUL. Try his favorite, PRIME DIVINE, a compilation of 8 ounces of tenderloin stuffed with jumbo lump crab and covered with porcini mushroom sauce. If you want to spend a little more, check out the fabulous new wine room at PHILLIP M's. Very posh.

If you haven't met personable TED BOGICH, the new VP and GM at SAM'S TOWN, check out the exclusive feature interview with him in this issue.

GOODTIMES RADIO, the only show about our casinos, will be doing a remote broadcast to help celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Fitzgerald's but it will be on Saturday the 19th to wrap up the celebration there. Stop by and say hello and you just might be asked to answer a trivia question for a buffet comp. Listen to the show every Saturday from 9:30 to noon on WMC790 AM, the Mighty 79, Memphis.

The 2005 AMERICAN CASINO GUIDE is now available and STEVE BOURIE and his staff have compiled a great resource book that has sold more than 400,000. The comprehensive guide covers all the states with casino gambling and lists more than 600 casinos plus all the Indian casinos as well. This year it also includes solid gaming strategies and more than $1,000 in valuable casino coupons. You can order it at 800-741-1596 but if you want more info, its web site is americancasinoguide.com or email can be directed to info@americancasinoguide.com I find this annual particularly helpful in finding telephone numbers for casinos and what their operation encompasses.

HOLLYWOOD's Steps to Stardom, which it calls "the biggest slot tournament in Tunica," continues until April 22 and over the course of the event, $200,000 will be given away to players. Tournaments are daily and the event culminates on April 30 when $50,000 in cash prizes will be awarded with first place paying off $10,000. The casino's poker room is now also offering a $15,000 Free Roll Poker tournament during April and May with $4,000 for first place. Contact the poker room at 800-871-0711, ext. 5005 for more info on this and the Texas Hold'em mini bad beat jackpot and the $1,000 Added Hold'em tournament. Also new at Hollywood, TONEY HALL to Assistant F&B director and ANNA CHAPMAN to Director of Human Resources.

My coveted ATTABOY AWARD goes to the employees and owners at AMERISTAR CASINO in Vicksburg who donated more than $114,000 to Methodist Rehabilitation Center to help fund the Jackson hospital's patient care fund and sports programs for the physically challenged.

LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!
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