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Best of Rudi Schiffer

Gaming Guru

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Heard it on the River

5 February 2004

The JACK BINION WORLD POKER OPEN concluded last week and set a slew of records. Some 367 poker-players battled it out for a share of the $3,455,050 prize pool. BARRY GREENSTEIN, a software company owner who retired at 31 to play professional poker, won the championship, claiming $1,278,370 - more than double what THE DEVILFISH raked in as last year's top money winner. Greenstein must have done as well with his software business as he does with poker - he donates all of his poker winnings to charity! RANDY JENSON, the chip leader at the start of the final day, finished second and still took home more than last year's top money winner. Hey, $656,460 for second isn't too shabby. All top six finishers claimed prize money in six figures. One has to wonder how big next year's event will be. Gotta give credit to everyone involved at GOLD STRIKE and HORSESHOE. What an event!

QUOC AL VINH, better known as "VINNY," won the $50,000 first place money in the 16th event at the GRAND'S AMERICAN POKER CLASSIC. The no-limit hold'em 2nd chance tournament featured 136 entrants and a $136,000 prize fund, bringing the totals for the Classic to 3,010 entries and $843,500 in payouts! DALE CARDEN, Grand poker room manager, brought in the year in a big way!

BOYD GAMING came in with a surprise with its announcement that it's acquiring HARRAH'S Shreveport hotel-casino on the Red River waterfront. The two companies have signed a definitive agreement on the $190 million deal, subject to regulatory approval. Harrah's said it was getting out of the riverboat to avoid overexposure in that market in northwest Louisiana since it is in the process of acquiring Horseshoe properties, one of which is in Shreveport. Harrah's also owns the Louisiana Downs thoroughbred-racing track across the river in Bossier City.

The January edition of INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR has named HARRAH'S ENTERTAINMENT President GARY LOVEMAN as the gaming and lodging industry's BEST CEO. Harrah's which recently also signed off on an agreement to purchase BINION'S HORSESHOE in downtown Las Vegas also announced plans to continue the colorful and legendary WORLD SERIES OF POKER that was started by BENNY BINION in 1970. More than $20 million in official prize money is expected to be up for grabs in the 2004 WSOP. The competition begins April 22 and if you are interested, you can call 1-800-367-9767. The $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold 'em world championship begins May 22.

FITGERALDS owner DON BARDEN, no stranger to merit awards, has garnered another. He was recently honored with the 2004 TRUMPET AWARD in a ceremony in Atlanta that will be telecast on Feb. 21 on TBS at 6 p.m. CST. Barden, the first and only African American to wholly own a national casino company, joins some select company including past winners Nelson Mandela, Issac Hayes, Della Reese, Angela Bassett and Russell Simmons. Barden was honored for "Business of the Year."

There is still time to sign up for two big money tournaments set for the weekend of Feb. 20-22. GOLD STRIKE hosts its $50,000 MISSISSIPPI CRAPS CHAMPIONSHIP with $25,000 first place money and GRAND is staging its $100,000 Leap Into Cash blackjack tournament with a $50,000 first prize. And, if you move quickly, you might still be able to enter BALLY'S $125,000 ULTIMATE BLACKJACK TOURNAMENT with top money at $50,000, that begins Friday. Feb. 6

The new high limit room at SAM'S TOWN apparently is working as we heard that there has been a significant increase in table game play since it opened recently. Not only can you order Chateaubriand tableside but you can also order up a $10,000 limit if you wish. Check out the WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL BILLIARD ASSOCIATION (WPBA) DELTA CLASSIC at Sam's Town Feb. 26-29. The world's top female billiard players will be there. The semi-finals and finals will be televised on national TV. These ladies really know who to run the table and put on quite a show. General admission tickets are only $10 for a day pass and VIP and event passes are available. Call 800-456-0711 for tickets. You can learn more about the WPBA by logging on to wpba.com.

HORSESHOE HOST GEORGE KLEIN has donated $50,000 to establish a scholarship in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at the University of Memphis. Nice timing…George is featured in this month's MISSISSIPPI GAMING NEWS.

Look soon for news on funding for the proposed NASCAR type track that will replace all the amateur racers zooming up and down Highway 61. Don't forget, tickets are on sale for the US OLYMPIC BOXING TRIALS at the Paul Battle Arena that begins Feb. 17. Call Ticketmaster at 901-525-1515.

FROM THE QUOTABLE GAMLBER…The Lyons Press

"Gambling was so crucial to the economy of certain households that semi-respectable women slept with jockeys to get closer to the 'horse's mouth.'"
MICHAEL ONDAATJE
Running in the Family (1982)

One of the things needed for TUNICA RESORTS is a convention center to help lure some of the biz that flocks to Vegas for conventions, meetings, shows, etc. I think this will happen…stay tuned.

The new 2004 edition of STEVE BOURIE 's AMERICAN CASINO GUIDE is now available for travelers seeking info on any U.S. casino and it is worth the price as it contains over $1,000 in coupon savings at casinos and travel companies. It can ordered online for $14.95 at www.americancasinoguide.com or by calling 800-741-1596.

The GOODTIMES RADIO SHOW scheduled for Feb. 7 has moved its start time to 4 pm following the U of Memphis basketball game versus St. Louis on SPORTPLUS 79WMC AM, MEMPHIS. It will resume with its regular time from 9:30 to noon on Saturday, Feb. 14.

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