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Heard It On The River

3 August 2006

By Rudi Schiffer

Competition will pick up this month down on the Gulf Coast with the palatial BEAU RIVAGE set to open on Aug. 29 with what President GEORGE CORCHIS promises to be an even better operation than before. Look for new and improved features, including a celebrity chef in TODD ENGLISH with his own creation, OLIVES restaurant. English, one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People," is among the most honored, respected and charismatic chefs in the world. Olives is new to the Beau and will serve rustic Mediterranean cuisine. Also, a major addition and attraction in the form of a first-class golf course will be opening later. Also ready to open this month is the nearby GRAND BILOXI under the supervision of one of the top female gaming execs in the country, the ebullient KAREN SOCK. Sock, many will remember fondly, was the GM at Grand Tunica before Harrah's purchased it. Grand will open in its hotel-casino with 800 slots and some 25 table games. The duo will join five casinos that have been operating for several months now and raking in record amounts of cash. They are IP, the ISLE OF CAPRI, PALACE CASINO RESORT, TREASURE BAY and BOOMTOWN CASINO.

There is little time left to sign up for the $125,000 BA-DA-BING blackjack tournament at GOLD STRIKE, Aug. 4-6. The $500 entry fee gets you a shot at a $50,000 first prize and more. The money runs 36 deep. It's an offer you can't refuse says Big Adolph, so shut up and sign up! Call (662) 357-1111.

There are still a few weeks left to enjoy the state's top water park at PEARL RIVER RESORT before you send your kids back to school. Let mom watch the kids at GEYSER FALLS so pop can take in DANCING RABBIT with its two fab golf courses, the Oaks and the Azaleas. MISSISSIPPI MAGAZINE recently named both facilities Best in the State. Food is dear to the gambler and Hollywood Casino strives to keep it so. The recently expanded and renovated EPIC BUFFET has widened its already ample offerings and I like the new Spanish and Italian dishes, not to mention home-style cooking and Asian cuisine. The expanded Epic Buffet is not to be missed, not to mention the steak and king crab legs special on Tuesday and Thursday nights. If Friday is your play day, take in the seafood buffet with whole lobster. If eating all that food puts you to sleep, accordionist Tommy Volinchak will keep you awake on Wednesdays. The team of DON SALLY and SCOTT JACKSON keep on coming with new food ideas that keep Executive Chef GARY REILLY busy. But how about some German food in October, when I celebrate my birthday during the Oktoberfest, like Brats and sauerkraut mit Bier. Prozit!

Two other additions in Tunica in the coming weeks could add a lot of excitement to this jurisdiction. As far as we know, MYRIAD BOTANICAL GARDENS is still on for a groundbreaking in September, but no date has been confirmed as yet. Just a few miles away a groundbreaking will take place later this month on a $25 million master planned community built on 268 acres around TUNICA NATIONAL GOLF & TENNIS CLUB. The sales office, which now has information packets, is located across the street from the old HOLLYWOOD restaurant on 1568 Old Commerce Road, or you can get on the mailing list by calling (662) 363-9510. Tell 'em you heard about it in HEARD IT. We also "Heard" that a site is being checked out for a new casino for the Tunica market, which has not seen any growth in recent years.

Whatever happened to the big "NASCAR-like" track? Must be on a long pit stop. DON B's Steakhouse is said to be moving downstairs at THE FITZ but don't let that keep you away. Visited there recently and had to wait for a table as the new name and cuisine have spiked renewed interest into casino's previous fine dining restaurant. The new room manager, MARCUS RICHARDSON, who comes over from Binion's Steakhouse, greeted me at the door. KRIS SMITH makes up the rest of the capable front of the house team as restaurant supervisor. If you like single and two deck blackjack games with a very fair deck penetration, and low denoms, Fitz has it. With MAV and FUZZY working the floor like hungry sharks, the "power of the pen" was obvious. Maybe that's why Don B's was so busy.

Happy to report that my baby, THE GOODTIMES RADIO SHOW, which just celebrated its 12th anniversary, is looking forward to at least three more as the contract for the casino gaming show has been extended for another three years by the obviously wise and forward-looking folks at COUNTRY LEGENDS WMC 79 AM. The "Voice of Tunica" will also kick off the new run on August 5 with new hours from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Saturday morning and can also be heard by going to and clicking on "LISTEN TO US." If you miss the show go to where it is archived. The show will have a new format with new and fun segments by my co-hosts, handsome MIKE SCHIFFER, heir to the Schiffer Fortune, and the mucho talented senor DANIEL MARTINEZ, who does everything and does it well.

Many thanks to all our listeners and 2 billion Chinese who listen on the Internet and to the ongoing and very loyal support of our casino sponsors who make it all work. If you forget the show's time, check out our new ad starting in this issue of Jackpot! and also look for our rotating billboard on the local highways. Much thanks to the MCDONALD family for making our outdoor advertising presence possible, but also for the eye-catching and colorful design. By the way, if you need signs and such stuff for your casino or business, the MCDONALD OUTDOOR clan has a new office and fabricating/printing facility in Robinsonville at 3444-B Casino Way at Fitzgeralds Blvd. behind Casino College. Call (662) 357-0022 or (901) 372-0088.

This is not a new item but the cash being spread out is worth reminding you that HOLLYWOOD'S $500,000 THRILLER is as advertised and every Saturday the casino chips away the prize money by giving away $25,000. You gotta be there! The dates have been announced for the WSOP CIRCUIT and GRAND CASINO TUNICA will host two of the 11 events this season. The first one begins in September. Also in September, check out the DELTA RIVER CRUISIN' show at SAM'S TOWN. See stories on both on page one of this issue.

From The Quotable Gambler—The Lyons Press
"The biggest and first crap game is mentioned in Greek mythology. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades rolled dice for shares of the Universe. Poseidon won the Oceans. Hades won the Underworld. Zeus won the Heavens and is suspected of having used loaded dice."
Mario Puzo- Inside Las Vegas (1976)

Laissez le 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, 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 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.

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