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Best of Rudi Schiffer

Gaming Guru

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Heard it on the River

4 March 2004

We heard that PRICE WATERHOUSE COOPERS would unveil a study to Tunica County execs that we predict will recommend a convention center on Highway 61 of more than 200,000 square feet at a cost up to an estimated $40 million. It would include a much-needed hotel from 300 to 500 rooms. The location is said to be across from the entrance of the new TUNICA NATIONAL GOLF course. If that is the recommendation as we expect, this development can be a major booster of business for TUNICA RESORTS and we can start to chip away at all that convention and meeting business that swells the coffers in Las Vegas every year. I don't know if the County can come up with the dollars to build a center but it sure is a pleasing prospect. A collective "attaboy" to County officials who are moving aggressively on all fronts to make this a solid destination resort.

The TUNICA RIVERPARK, which celebrates its Grand Opening March 18-20, welcomed the AMERICAN QUEEN paddlewheeler last Friday. The American Queen is the largest steam powered paddlewheeler on earth, at 418 feet in length and almost 90 feet wide. The massive "floating palace" boasts six passenger decks and 222 staterooms, and can carry over 450 passengers.

Spending the day in Tunica, the American Queen passengers had the opportunity to visit various attractions throughout Tunica County. JACKPOT EDITOR DAVID GRISHAM went over to check it out and said the massive boat dwarfed our favorite paddlewheeler - the TUNICA QUEEN. FITZGERALDS next door was crawling with passengers from the boat Friday afternoon and those we talked to said they were very impressed with the RiverPark.

The new TUNICA NATIONAL GOLF & TENNIS CLUB that just opened already is making moves. BOB WOLCOTT, who was originally slated to be the club's director of golf, was just named general manager. He has the experience to make the MARK MCCUMBER designed course one of the area's best. Prior to coming here he served as director of golf for Greystone Golf Club in Dickson, Tennessee and also competed on the PGA, placing third at both the Anheuser-Busch Classic and The Greater Greensboro Open. A single membership is only $800 and also includes a cart for unlimited play. FORE!

GOLD STRIKE has jumped into big money tournaments in craps and blackjack in an aggressive fashion and now continues that trend with a $100,000 slot tournament with a $1,000 buy-in. It is limited to 100 entries and first place is a nice $50,000, which will get the attention of more than a few players. The event runs from March 12 through the 14th and a combined total score from three rounds of play determines winners. Contact VIP services at 1-888-24K-VIPS for additional information. You can also use that number to check out the casino's big $100,000 blackjack tournament coming May 15-17 with a $50,000 guaranteed first prize.

Congrats to the winner of Gold Strike's $50,000 MISSISSIPPI CRAPS CHAPIONSHIP! Oklahoma's CHARLES TAYLOR took home the $25,000 first prize. DENNIS HIGGINS finished second and collected $10,000 and JAMES JOHNSON took home $5,000 for third place.

Speaking of tournaments, HOLLYWOOD is holding a MEDIA SLOT TOURNAMENT for charity on March 25 and participants will compete for $5,000 in prize money, which will be presented to the charity of choice by the winners compliments of Hollywood.

Gold Strike is also bringing some the glitz that is Las Vegas to Tunica Resorts April 1-25 with MIDNIGHT FANTASY…. a sensual dance review featuring gorgeous ladies in what they call a "a sexy show that's playful and a little naughty." Oh, yes, it also features top-notch entertainment with singing and dancing. Shows will be held in the MILLENIUM THEATRE Thursday through Sunday. On March 13 Gold Strike is holding Sunday Punch…live action boxing on stage in the Millennium at 3 p,m.

Some people are cut out to be table game dealers and DELL PRICE at Goldstrike is one of them. A former baseball star at WHITE STATION High School in Memphis before he signed a minor league contract with the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, Dell keeps his players happy with an engaging personality and sharp dealing. His baseball career was unhappily sidelined by diabetes but you'd never know from his cheery demeanor.

MARLON PHOENIX, the new GM at ISLE OF CAPRI in Lula is going hunting for players. Marlon told us that he has some 1,000 acres available for fishing and hunting and is going to install a hunting program as an amenity. More on this later.

The WORLD POKER TOUR has installed a WALK OF FAME at COMMERCE CASINO near Los Angeles and the first inductees included DOYLE " TEXAS DOLLY" BRUNSON, holder of nine world championship titles, GUS "THE GREAT DANE" HANSEN, widely regarded to be the best player in the world, and actor JAMES GARNER whose TV role of Maverick become synonymous with poker. STEVE LIPSCOMB, WPT founder and CEO, told us that there was a need to recognize players and individuals who are contributing to the game's storied past and insuring its continuity as The Great American card game. He is certainly doing that with his World Poker Tour, which has turned millions onto the game with airings each Wednesday on the TRAVEL CHANNEL (8 pm). The WPT will feature the final table of the JACK BINION WORLD POKER OPEN on April 21.

"A computer could play fair-to-middling Poker. But no computer could ever stand face-to-face with a table full of people it had never met before, and make quality, high profit decisions based on psychology."

DOYLE BRUNSON (How I Made $1,000,000 Playing Poker - 1979)

The state gaming commission has approved site and development plans for EMERALD STAR CASINO in Natchez. The $50 million development will be south of the Mississippi River bridge and feature 800 slots and 30 table games.

Now that TENNESSE GOVERNOR PHIL BREDESEN has voiced some concern on the push for a casino in Memphis, supporters have a much steeper slop to climb and it looks like it will be years before anything happens. Over in Alabama a move to bring casino gambling to the state "would put the state at risk for a wide range of social problems," a study by the Alabama Policy Institute claims.

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