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Best of Rudi Schiffer

Gaming Guru

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Heard it on the River

20 November 2003

Nice move by the MISSISSIPPI GAMING ASSOCIATION and FITZGERALDS hosting the recent Small & Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Forum in Tunica Resorts recently. The MGA and Executive Director ANDY BOURLAND are playing a leading role in assisting minority businesses to get a piece of the casino pie. There was a capacity crowd of 120 on hand, not to mention purchasing agents and execs from all of our casinos here. FITZ' owner, busy DON BARDEN, was the keynoter saying the forum helped increase awareness for such businesses and it assisted casinos in helping these vendors get into the mainstream of business in Tunica Resorts. There was also strong representation from casino general managers as well - a good sign for minority businesses.

The MISSISSIPPI SUN HERALD reports: "Despite a new Republican governor and dozens of new faces in the Mississippi legislature, the head of the state gambling organization doesn't expect many changes for the casino industry." The paper reported that ANDY BOURLAND, head of the Mississippi Gaming Association, is "reasonably optimistic that the gaming industry will continue to receive a fair shake. Although Gov.-elect HALEY BARBOUR has spoken out against expanding gambling across the state, he has taken a tough stance against higher gambling taxes."
Now that the TUNICA RIVERPARK is opening adjacent to FITZGERALDS, TUNICA NATIONAL can't be far behind. It might be ready to play on Dec.1 but nothing firm has been set and winter play may be restricted to members only. We'll let you know when we get official word. We have heard however, that this course is special.
In the meantime, the TUNICA QUEEN, which sails from the dock at the RiverPark, has begun its winter schedule that will be in place through Feb. The Delta deli luncheon cruise will be from 2:30 p.m., followed by the River lore cruise from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

A full meal with music by a live band will be from 6:30 to 8:30. There will also be a special Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve cruise as well. During this period the Queen will be closed on Mondays.
We HEARD…is something with a big impact coming to Grand?…the FTC has asked HARRAH'S and HORSESHOE for additional info in connection with Harrah's pending acquisition of Horseshoe Gaming in order to comply with notification requirements…there will be a new high limit room coming to GOLD STRIKE early next year…SAM'S TOWN just-opened high limit room is a move to attract more serious players and the casino has some more surprises in store to unveil later this month… FRANK SCOBLETE'S GAMBLERS JAMBOREE, scheduled for Gold Strike Nov. 15-16, was expected to draw 200 initially. As we went to press we heard the number was closing in on 280, give or take. Stay tuned.

GOLDSTRIKE'S second $100,000 blackjack tournament had 183 players on hand competing for a $50,000 top prize, which was won by a Raleigh, NC player KEN WALTERS. Tournament Director DARREN DEXTER said the event was a success and the next one will be held on May 14-16, 2004 with the same prize structure. I made it to the money list of 36 semifinalists, finally, but came away a big winner by being invited to a superb five-course gourmet dinner in the Chicago Steakhouse prepared by the Fraternity of Executive Chefs of the LAS VEGAS CULINARY OLYMPIC TEAM on its way to the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. Director of F&B, LUCIO ARANCIBIA presented the team with a $10,000 check to assist their effort. Also at Gold Strike, KARL WILDSTEIN has been promoted to promotions director.

There's a new executive chef at SAM'S TOWN, BARRY RHODES, and he and F&B Director JACK ELIA have collaborated on a new menu for TWAINS. A review on the restaurant appears in this issue and suffices to say here you will not be disappointed if you dine there. Well over 600 guests dined and waltzed the night away at HOLLYWOOD'S spectacular RED CARPET BASH to help raise funds for ST. JUDE'S CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL. It was the biggest turnout for the bash, now in its third year. The star of the night, however, was a little girl, three-year-old MICHA RUCKER of Southaven, who is recovering from a serious illness and showed no ill effects as she danced around the floor to music by the Manhattan dance band.

Speaking of chefs. A lot of you know CHEF MARC SILVERBERG, who with his lady friend, PENNY, were in a scary accident when the motorcycle they were on ran into a farm tractor. If you hadn't heard, you know now. They are both banged up but recuperating at home and a little cheer might help out. Give them a call at 662-429-2861.
Wanna get out of the casino into the fresh air. Try guided quail hunting on 350 acres behind GRAND CASINO. Some 10,000 bobwhites, minus the four that ran into my .28 gauge shot, are there, not accounting for the poaching by the red tail hawks and coyotes that are having their Thanksgiving early. Call MIKE MIZE at WILLOWS, he knows about quail hunting, at 662-357-3154. It's a lot of fun and Grand is the only casino in the USA where you can shoot on casino property. Try marinating your bird in Italian dressing, wrap them with apple-smoked bacon and put on the back of the grill.

BLUES CITY TOURS is now providing tourists with a shuttle service when visiting Tunica Resorts. They just opened an office at Casino Factory Shoppe's on Highway 61. You can contact owner MELVIN BLEDSOE and his staff at 662-357-9609 for reservations. It's manned 24 hours a day, which makes sense. You can ride the shuttle to our newest amenity, TUNICA RIVERPARK, a $26 million ecopark on the banks of the Mississippi, and sample a unique and beautiful historical experience. While there, make it complete and take a cruise on the 300-passenger paddle wheeler TUNICA QUEEN, whose dock is only steps from the facility.

New game at Sam's Town for baccarat lovers…DRAGON BONUS BACCARAT, which features a side, bet. It's right outside the classy new high limit room in the center of the casino. During prime hours, there is a chef on duty on that room…different.

SHERATON EXEC CHEF TONY HARRINGTON is getting creative and has come out with a dish that is really a big deal. His "loud and proud' offering is a platter packed with smoked pork ribs, crawfish tails, slipper lobster tails, peel 'n eat-um shrimp, parmesan cheese stuffing, dirty rice and coleslaw. Check it out at LOUIS'S STEAKHOUSE for only $18.99. Tony has also added a strawberry shortcake bar in the BIG KITCHEN BUFFET if delectable desserts are on your diet.

If you are traveling down state, check out the new $7 million buffet that is opening at AMERISTAR in Vicksburg on Nov. 25. It's hard by the bridge over the Mississippi. GM RAY NEILSEN runs a good ship so you can make it a stop in your itinerary.

FROM THE QUOTABLE GAMBLER…The Lyons Press
"Owing largely to the bluff, poker has influenced our thinking on life, love and business, and even war. In fact, the mathematical theory of game was given a high security classification by the armed services during World War II." A.D. Livingston, Poker Strategy and Winning Play (1971)

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