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Best of Rudi Schiffer

Gaming Guru

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Heard it on the river

13 August 2007

Was it a coincidence that upon returning from HARRAH'S CAEASAR'S PALACE in Las Vegas the corporation's earnings took a big jump? I hit the slots pretty hard there, giving not receiving, but not enough to send Harrah's second-quarter profit on an 85% surge. The company, which is going private via a takeover later this year or early next year, announced it earned $238 million compared with $129 million for the same period a year ago. WOW! I was in the Sin City to play in the MILLIONAIRE MAKER blackjack tournament along with some 25 other players from the Horseshoe, Grand and Sheraton who qualified for it but the group did not fare well.

But the team did bring home some good news. It was announced at the player's banquet by Caesar's staff that the tournament was going to be held at the HORSESHOE after a three-year run in Vegas. Blackjack players do not often get a shot at really big pots that are more frequent in ubiquitous poker tournaments, so a million bucks for one player will get more than a few players excited. You can't buy your way in to this event, unless the rules change, as players qualify by getting on the final table at various Harrah's Entertainment properties around the country.

The staff at Caesars did a great job running the tournament and on hand to observe the logistics were a Horseshoe staff team of RICHARD LYNCH, SALLY WEBB, SAXTON HALTOM, KRISTI MILLER and KEN GIBSON. Count on this experienced crew to do a good job next August and even improve on the recent event.

While we are on the subject, you still have time, if it's not already filled, to enter Horseshoe's second "LEGENDARY" Blackjack Tournament over the Labor Day weekend that will be worth a quarter of a million dollars in prize money. First place alone is $100,000. The first such event was only held about four months ago and was such a popular success; it was decided to run it again. Buy-in is a little steep but so is the prize money and the $1,000 buy-in last time around didn't prevent a full house. Only 250 can play, so don't wait. If you need more info, call the Casino Host Desk at 800-303-7463. If you sign up early, a $100 chip rebate will help mitigate the cost. Early bird registration is at Bluesville promotions counter on Friday Aug. 31 from 5 to 10 p.m. I'm told you can also call 800-371-7568 to pay and reserve a spot. It will be another sell out. See you on the final table.

You HEARD it here…Keep your schedule open for the end of September if you are in to blackjack tournaments. There will be a $100,000 event with a $500 buy-in at GRAND CASINO. Stay tuned.

MARK SILVERBERG, who knows a good menu when he sees one, tells how these much loved printed pieces come about in a casino. Marc and his guys have spent about 10 weeks coming up with a new and improved one for TWAIN'S STEAKHOUSE at SAM'S TOWN and it is a time consuming and well-thought through process. Diners just see the finished printed piece delivered to their tables but if you are interested in how a restaurant staff decides it needs a new menu and how the process is planned and implemented, check out the feature in JACKPOT'S CASINO DINING GUIDE on page 22 of this issue.

The spotlight will be on SOUTHAVEN'S DEANDRY ABRON when the slugger puts his 13-1 (10 KO's) record on the line against undefeated Shane Benfield 17-0 (9 KO's) at THE FITZ Sept. 1. They will be fighting for the vacant NABO light heavyweight championship. Benfield, called the "Irish Hitman," is seeking respect and has Abron in his crosshairs. The fights will also feature a female bout between Kita Watson from Little Rock and Nicole Wood out of Atlanta.

The cuisine of the old Mississippi Delta has been re-invented and made its debut at the new MAGNOLIA…A DELTA GRILLE, which opened last week at HORSESHOE CASINO. A casual fine dining restaurant that replaces Café Sonoma, it features an inventive twist on traditional Southern fare. Award winning Chef JAMES GENTRY will be presenting such dishes as soft shell po' boy, frog legs, seared beef and grilled asparagus salad, cornmeal dusted Mississippi fried catfish, chicken livers three ways, and braised ham hocks served with white beans and cornbread, among other dishes. For reservations call 1-800-303-7463. Interested to see what livers three ways are.

STAR COMP DOLLARS are now in play at HOLLYWOOD CASINO when you earn points for slot and table play. Earn Star Comp bucks that you can use to comp yourself anywhere in the casino. Check out your balance by swiping your player's card at any of the new Star Benefit stations on the property. Tune up your blackjack tournament form at the SUNDAY SPECTACULAR weekly tournaments at Hollywood for only a $30 entry fee. Play starts at 6 p.m.

The last free tournament to practice for the WORLD SERIES OF POKER takes place at Grand August 21 starting at 4 p.m.The first place prize for the warm-up event is a seat in the WSOP main event at the RIO LAS VEGAS and $2,000 cash. Second place gets a seat in the 2077 circuit event at Grand on Sept. 13 and $1,500 cash. The tournament is open to all Total Rewards card holders and the entry fee and buy-in are FREE. You can register after you complete four hours of live action poker in a jackpot eligible game. The event is limited to 176 players.

If you want to check out how much your Confederate Dollars are worth visit the new Confederate Currency exhibit at the TUNICA RIVERPARK. The 322 note collection is on loan from the Pink Palace museum in Memphis. We said in an earlier column that the BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT which will be given away at HORSESHOE on Oct. 13 is the most expensive single vehicle ever put up for a prize in Tunica. Checking it out online, and not knowing what accessories are included, it appears this powerful beast is worth about $170,000, give or take. You will find out its real value when you win it.

ASK THE GURU…

Q. I split tens recently in $25 blackjack game and the players called me bad names and made me feel really bad. I left but what did do wrong? Eloise B., Marked Tree, AR.

A. You failed grade school arithmetic.

ASK THE GURU…send him your gaming questions at goodtimesradio@aol.com and if yours is printed here, you will be awarded a pair of buffet coupons to the Great Buffet at SAM'S TOWN.

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 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