Friday, November 6, 2015

Jackpot! Magazine is coming to the Midwest

For Immediate Release

Leading Gaming Guide Coming to the Midwest in 2016

Great Lakes region will be center of distribution zone for Jackpot! Magazine

GULFPORT, MISSISSIPPI — November 5, 2015M2 Media Corp. of Gulfport, Mississippi, publisher of Jackpot! Magazine, has agreed to issue a license to publish Jackpot! Magazine in the Midwest region to R & B Publishing, located in Indiana.

Under the terms of the licensing agreement, R & B will have use of the Jackpot! trademark and publishing rights throughout Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and western Ohio.

“This is an exciting time for our publishing company and we look forward to working closely with R & B Publishing to help them launch Jackpot! into the Midwest region and to grow our brand name outside of the Southeast, where Jackpot! has been the No. 1 gaming and entertainment magazine for the past 21 years,” said Michael Sunderman, president of M2 Media Corp.

Plans call for the first issue of the Midwest version to hit stands in the spring of 2016, with an annual circulation of 1.68 million readers. The monthly glossy magazine will be distributed at more than 500 high-traffic locations in the major cities of the Great Lakes region, with distribution stretching from Davenport, Iowa, east to Detroit, Michigan. The Midwest version of the magazine joins two existing readership zones for Jackpot! in the Southeast. The three zoned editions will allow industry vendors the opportunity to reach more than 6 million casino guests each year in printed form.

The Midwest edition will also be featured in digital format along with Jackpot!’s two other zoned editions on the World Wide Web. All digital editions will be accessible at and will feature hot links to advertiser websites.

Robin Reese, with more than 15 years experience serving major accounts in sales and marketing, will act as general manager of the Midwest operation. Don Brooks will head up the creative department and Dennis Jordan will be responsible for Midwest sales. “Our Midwest team is anxious to get started and be a part of this great opportunity,” said Reese. “We’re excited about showcasing casinos in this region in a gaming magazine that targets consumers. Jackpot! has been such a valuable asset to casinos in the South.”

David Grisham, who has been covering the casino scene for almost 15 years, will serve as editor. “This is a great development for the Midwest, a region that has an abundance of casinos offering 24/7 fun and excitement," said Grisham. "People need one place to turn to discover all they can about Midwest gaming and Jackpot! is an ideal fit. Jackpot! is already a trusted information source for gaming options in the southeastern United States, providing advance news on casino promotions, tournaments, entertainment, dining and more. Starting in January, it will be the best collective information source for people interested in Midwest gaming, too.”

About Jackpot! Magazine
Jackpot! Magazine is the Leading Guide to Gaming & Fun. Published by M2Media Corp. in two zones—one in the Mid-South and the other on the Mississippi Gulf Coast—the magazine is expanding to three zones to include the Midwest in 2016. All three magazines will be available in digital form at

Jackpot! Midwest Contacts:

Advertising Sales: Dennis Jordan +1 309-532-1212

Editor: David Grisham +1 901-496-5670

Friday, October 2, 2015

Great craft beer experience at Flights Craft Brews and Apps — at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica, Mississippi

by David Grisham
TUNICA RESORTS — When Toni Burns, vice president and general manager of Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, described the casino’s new Flights Craft Brews and Apps as an “elevated bar experience without the elevated bill,” it got my attention. So much so that I found myself planning to take a party over to check it out. 
My plans to visit got fast-tracked when Cynthia Morgan, beverage manager, invited me to drive over and experience the new bar. My wife and I left for Sam’s Town posthaste and were greeted by Morgan at the entrance to Flights, along with Michael Pastore, director of operations, and Alan Handler, food and beverage manager.
Pulled pork egg rolls
Pastore gave us a quick tour and emphasized the care that has gone into ensuring an ultimate beer-tasting experience, pointing out the beer taps that are set up to serve craft beer at its ideal temperature - 29 degrees. The selection of craft beer at Flights is impressive and includes brands from regional breweries that emphasize quality, flavor and brewing technique. The price is right, too. A flight, which consists of four 4-ounce beer glasses, each containing different beers of your choice, costs $10. 
We sat down with Pastore and Handler, who went over the beer selections and app choices with us and made a few recommendations, which we eagerly agreed to sample. I found the Flights experience to be thoroughly enjoyable. To me, sampling a flight of beer is kind of like a wine tasting, only it’s beer that is being served. A flight allows one to try multiple styles and brands of beer in one sitting in moderate amounts. After a tasting, one might want to order larger quantities of a favorite, or sample another flight. I believe I would go with multiple flights. It’s a lot of fun comparing different varieties of beer.
Beef tenderloin sliders
For my flight, I chose Shock Top Lemon Shandy, Covington Strawberry Ale, Chafunkta King Fish Ale and Yalobusha Copperhead Amber Ale. My wife opted for Naked Pig Pale Ale, Abita Andygator High Gravity and Wiseacre Get Up to Get Down Coffee Stout, along with the Copperhead. A detailed description of each beer is included on the menu, which I found to be extremely helpful. It was not intimidating at all to this rookie. I admit that I’m late to this craft beer party, having been a strict Corona-with-lime drinker for years. 
Of the beer I sampled, I enjoyed the Lemon Shandy so much that I bought a six-pack later in the week when I spotted it at a specialty market. It was a refreshing, crisp and smooth beer. The Strawberry Ale was especially good. My wife’s favorite was the Copperhead, which craft beer aficionados describe as having a hop and mostly caramel malt aroma with well-balanced taste, medium body and medium carbonation. I confess that I will have to train my palate a little more to define beers to that extent. 
Looking over at my partner’s flight, I felt compelled to sample her Wiseacre Get Up to Get Down Coffee Stout and was really amazed at how much I enjoyed it. For a second I thought I was drinking something from Starbucks - only this was beer!
The co-stars at Flights are the apps. Appetizers available include waffle fry nachos, pulled pork egg rolls, hummus and vegetable platter, buffalo tenders, turkey lollipops, pulled pork nachos, pulled pork sliders, chicken wings, Italian stuffed mushrooms, Bang Bang Shrimp and beef tenderloin sliders.
We ordered the pulled pork egg rolls, which are prepared by chefs onsite using Sam’s Town’s famous pulled pork; beef tenderloin sliders, which consist of Twain’s tenderloin topped with a homemade Jack Daniels sauce; and Bang Bang Shrimp, shrimp battered Asian-style and served with Thai chili and sriracha sauce. We also added an order of turkey lollipops - two skewers of turkey meatballs served with a honey and sriracha dipping sauce. All were delicious apps that tasted more like fine dining than bar food.
These apps, like the beer, are budget-friendly. The beef tenderloin sliders and Bang Bang Shrimp are $9.99. The pulled pork egg rolls and turkey lollipops are $6.99. Most items are $6.99 with no app on the menu costing more than $9.99. I believe the location of Flights next to Twain’s Steakhouse may be the secret to giving beer lovers upscale apps and a non-upscale price.
Add Wi-Fi and football on the HDTV monitors throughout the place and you’ve got the prescription for a real good time. In addition to craft beer and apps, one can also enjoy crafted cocktails from a cocktail menu and a fine selection of bottled beer.

Flights is open Thursday-Sunday from 4 p.m. to midnight. You’ll want to check it out for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Pictured left to right at Flights are: Sous Chef Rico Mckay, Food and Beverage Manager Alan Handler, Beverage Manager Cynthia Morgan and Director of Operations Michael Pastore.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Flights open at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica

This is a new favorite place for craft beer lovers

By David Grisham

Enjoy flights of craft beer in 4-ounce glasses to select 16-ounces of your favorite at Flights Craft Brews + Apps at Sam's Town Tunica.
TUNICA RESORTS —Flights Craft Brews + Apps at Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall is celebrating its grand opening on Thursday, Sept. 3. Flights Craft Brews + Apps serves regional craft beer and appetizers and is located on the second floor of the casino next to Twain’s Steakhouse. The soft opening for the bar took place on Aug. 13, so one can enjoy the Flights experience now. In addition to craft beer and apps, also enjoy crafted cocktails and a fine selection of bottled beer.
Craft beers come from breweries that are smaller than large-scale breweries and emphasize quality, flavor and brewing technique. Flights is a great place to sample a variety of craft beers, as “flights” consist of four 4-ounce glasses, each containing a different beer. This allows one to try multiple styles and brands of beer and then order a 16-ounce glass of the beer most preferred.
Flights is open weekly at Sam’s Town, Thursday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to midnight. Alan Handler, Sam’s Town food and beverage manager, said Flights is a great place to eat, relax and enjoy a variety of best-rated craft beers. One can also enjoy sports on the weekend on Flights’ many flat screen HDTV sets in addition to the latest in regional craft beer offerings. “We will be changing beers quarterly. This is the first bar of its type in Tunica. We’re the first casino to bring this concept to Tunica,” Handler said.
Flights is located on the second floor.
The upscale bar has a unique appeal and provides a place to go away from the action of the casino floor. Well lit, with wood paneled walls and lots of bar-top space, one won’t find video poker inside of Flights. It’s all about experiencing beverages, apps and enjoying conversation with friends, or catching some sports action.  There’s also available WiFi. Handler credited the Facilities Department for building Flights and making it possible.
Craft beers currently available at Flights include: Abita Andygator High Gravity, Louisiana; Michelob Amberback, Missouri; Shock Top Lemon Shandy, Missouri, Covington Strawberry Ale, Louisiana, Tine Roof Juke Joint IPA, Louisiana; Southern Prohibition Devil’s Harvest Extra Pale Ale, Mississippi, Wiseacre Get Up to Get Down Coffee Stout, Tennessee, Tin Roof Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale, Louisiana, Chafunkta King Fish Ale, Louisiana; Yalobusha Copperhead Amber Ale, Mississippi and Naked Pig Pale Ale, Alabama.
Appetizers available include waffle fry nachos, pulled pork egg rolls, hummus and vegetable platter, buffalo tenders, turkey lollipops, pulled pork nachos, pulled pork sliders, chicken wings, Italian stuffed mushrooms, Bang Bang Shrimp and beef tenderloin sliders.
Crafted cocktails include such selections as Melon Patch, UV Watermelon Vodka, pineapple juice and Sierra Mist; Grapefruit Crush, Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka, triple sec. grapefruit juice and Sierra Mist; Blue Lagoon, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Blue Curacao and lemonade; Peach Fuzz, Cabo Wabo Tequila, Peach Schnapps, orange juice and grenadine; Sweet Tea, Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka an water; I Don’t Care, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, triple sec. sour mix and Sweet-n-Low; Harvest Moon, American Harvest Vodka, triple sec. sour mix and grenadine; and Bloody Mary, Absolut Peppar Vodka, Absolutes Bakon Vodka and Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix.
You’ll want to check out Flights for yourself. It’s good to know this experience is available in Tunica. Plan to bring your friends and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The $50,000 TournEvent of Champions Slot Tournament at Hollywood Casino Tunica July 31 through Aug. 1

TUNICA RESORTS —The $50,000 Tournevent of Champions Slot Tournament is at Hollywood. Win your share of $50,000 when you play in this tournament, July 31 and Aug. 1. Buy in for $50 July 1 through July 31 at noon. Early registration is Friday, July 31, from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday tournament play begins at 8:30 and the top three highest scores from Friday will go to the Final Round on Saturday, August 1. Regular registration is Saturday, August 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and all registrants will receive an entry into the Wild Card Drawing at the Finals. Round 1 play begins at 2 p.m.
Participants may earn an extra entry by earning 150 points during the gaming day on Saturday, August 1, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. to participate in the Re-Buy Round (Round Two).  Registration for Round Two is from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Participants must have played in Round One in order to be eligible to play in Round Two at 6 p.m.
The Final Round begins at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, and will include: Top 85 scores from Saturday Round One and Round Two; the top 3 scores from Friday Round and two wild card winners on Saturday.

The Top 50 scores from the Final Round will win prizes. First place wins a seat to the National One Million Dollars TournEvent of Champions finals in Las Vegas, $5,000.00 in Free SlotPlay and $5,000 cash.  One wild card winner will also win a seat to the National One Million Dollars TournEvent of Champions finals. Winners must be present to win.
Visit for more information.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Performers coming to Gold Strike Casino include Travis Tritt, Loretta Lynn, Vince Gill and Leann Rimes

TUNICA, Mississippi — Gold Strike is bringing star power to Tunica, Miss., with series of big-name entertainers over the next few months. It all starts with the legendary Kenny G. on Saturday, May 30. The smooth jazz saxophonist has sold more than 75 million records worldwide with such albums as G Force and Gravity, early albums that went platinum, followed up by Duotones, which sold more than 5 million copies in the United States, and Breathless, which went on to become the top selling instrumental album of all time with more than 15 millions copies sold. His holiday album, Miracles, became the top selling Christmas album, selling more than 13 million copies. Tickets to see Kenny G. are $39.95/$49.96/$59.95.
Travis Tritt
Country music superstar Travis Tritt comes to Gold Strike on Saturday, June 6, at 8 p.m. Tritt has released seven albums that have attained or exceeded platinum status and has charted more than 40 intances on the country charts. 
He has five No. 1 songs: “Help Me Hold On,” “Can I Trust You with May Heart,” Anymore,” “Best of Intentions” and Foolish Pride.” In addition to the No. 1 hits, Tritt has amassed another 15 Top 10 singles. A country performer with a southern rock flair, Tritt’s unique sound has garned him two Grammy Awards. Tickets to see Travis Tritt are $49.95/$59.95/$69.95.
BALAGAN, the Theatrical Circus Sensation, comes to Gold Strike June 19 through July 12. Show times are Tuesdays through Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $9.95, $14.95 and $19.95.
Loretta Lynn
The first lady of country music, Loretta Lynn, is set to perform at Gold Strike for two shows, Friday and Saturday, July 17-18.
Lynn has amassed 16 No. 1 hits and charted 70 songs in her career, which spans more than 50 years. She has written more than 160 songs and sold more than 45 million records worldwide. She was the subject of the 1980 film “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which went on to become the No. 1 box office hit in this country. Sissy Spacek won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Lynn in the movie.
Lynn was the first women to receive the “Entertainer of the Year” award by the Country Music Association and was awarded the Presidental Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. Some of her many No. 1 songs include “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Fist City,” “Woman of the World (Leave My World Alone),” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “One’s On the Way,” “Rated X,” “Love is the Foundation,” “Trouble in Paradise,” “Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missin’ Tonight),” “She’s Got You,” “Out of My Head and Back in My Bed” and more. Tickets to see Loretta Lynn are $49.95/$59.95/$69.95.
Vince Gill
Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Vince Gill will perform at Gold Strike on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. Having achieved success as the frontman for popular country rock band Pure Prairie League in the ‘70s, Gill went on to become an even more successful solo artist, recording more than 20 albums, selling more than 25 million copies and charting more than 40 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. His 18 Country Music Association Awards include five Male Vocalist Awards and two Entertainer of the Year Awards. He has collected 20 Grammy Awards, the most of any male country performer. Gill was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. 
Top hits include “When I Call Your Name,” “I Still Believe in You,” “Don’t Let Your Love Start Slippin’ Away,” “One More Last Chance,” “Tryin’ to Get Over You,” “Whenever Love Comes Around,” “What Cowgirls Do,” “When Love Finds You,” “A Little More Love” and many more.
Tickets to see Vince Gill are $89.95/$99.95 and $109.95. 
Leann Rimes
Leann Rimes brings her rich vocals to Gold Strike on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. Rimes became a star with the release of the single “Blue” at the age of 13. The song became a Top 10 hit, making her the youngest country music star since Tanya Tucker. A two-time Grammy Award-winner, Rimes has a Country Music Association award, three American Country Music awards, a dozen Billboard Music Awards and an American Music award. She has more than 40 singles on American and internation charts and has more than 37 million records sold around the world and some 20 million albums sold in this country. She was ranked the 17th artist of the decade (1990-200) by Billboard. 
Hear Rimes perform such songs as “Blue,” “How Do I Live,” “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” “Something’s Gotta Give” and many more.
Tickets to see Rimes are $54.96/$69.95/$89.95 (on sale May 25). 

All ticket prices listed for all shows don’t include tax and service charge. Call Gold Strike at (866) 245-4536 for ticket information and (888) 245-7829 for hotel information. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Slot tournament at Hollywood Tunica could lead to Vegas trip and $1 million grand prize!

TUNICA RESORTS — Play your way to one million dollars cash in the $10,000 Marquee Millionaire Qualifying Slot Tournaments at Hollywood Casino Tunica this month. Qualify to earn a seat in the Marquee Millionaire Slot Tournaments on Fridays, March 13, 20 and 27.  Earn 400 points Monday through Friday each week of the qualifying tournaments for one entry to Round 1.  

Registration is from 2 to 6 p.m. for Round 1 and the round one begins at 5 p.m.  Then, earn another 200 points day of the tournament by 8 p.m. and receive one entry into Round 2.  That is two chances to win. The first place winner will receive a seat at the Marquee Millionaire Slot Tournament in Las Vegas and $1,000 for travel expenses. Plus five wildcard winners will win $500 in Free SlotPlay. 

Must be present to win. The $1-million grand prize is paid in annual installments over 20 years. Be advised that any person enrolled in a self-exclusion program in any state in which Penn National Gaming operates a casino facility (operating under the names of Argosy, Hollywood, Casino Rama, Boomtown Biloxi, Zia Park or M Resort) is ineligible to participate in the Marquee Millionaire Slot Tournament.

Try the prime bone-in rib eye at Bally's Casino Tunica's steakhouse - The Barn Prime

By David Grisham
TUNICA RESORTS — Bally’s Casino has some big news. The Barn Prime is now open and has something for steak lovers to get excited about. Guests at The Barn Prime can now feast on the restaurant’s special prime bone-in rib eye — it’s a cut above most any steak you’ll find in the area. Plus, enjoy delicious new entrees and specials, a new wine menu and relax in a cool and contemporary new vibe. 
We decided to visit The Barn Prime and check out the new menu last week. Bally’s Food and Beverage Director Steve Armer and Manger Eddie Sinaga have been busy taking The Barn Prime to a new level and helped chart our dining adventure on this evening.
The bone-in rib eye at The Barn Prime
I was there for the restaurant’s signature item – the prime 22-ounce bone-in rib eye. Others in my party opted for a 6-ounce filet. I asked Armer to pair a wine for us and he recommended Bogle Merlot California 2012. This full-bodied wine paired well with steak. I noted that it had concentrated berry and cherry aromas. Tasting it, I found that it offers an intense fruity and spicy flavor. It is one of several nice wine selections on a wine menu that includes a variety of wines from Kendall-Jackson and offerings from other popular winemakers. 
Although appetizers, a salad and desserts were part of our meal, the star at the restaurant is steak, so I’ll get to the point. 
We could see our steaks on the grill while they cooked via a large monitor facing the dining area. It was nice to keep an eye on them as they sizzled over a hot flame. 
When they arrived at our table, the steaks were visually appetizing, branded with a dark grill pattern. It didn’t take long to put our steak knives into action. To our delight, the filets were so tender that one could have cut them with a fork. I sampled a bite or two and found the filets to be delicately tender, almost buttery.
My rib eye was every bit of 22 ounces and its attractive seared grilled exterior gave way to a beautiful pink center with each glide of my steak knife. The hearty beef flavor and juicy melt-in-your-mouth consistency of this steak makes one understand why it is a cut above - delicious.
For surf-and-turf fanatics, the menu provides add-ons in the form of Steak Oscar, crab legs, one or two lobster tails, or a sizzling shrimp skillet.
Other steak selections available include top sirloin and a 12-ounce strip. Specialties include dry or wet ribs with barbecue sauce, braised beef short ribs, pork chops, Atlantic salmon, shrimp scampi, seared trout and seasoned crab legs.
For appetizers, we chose shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes and jumbo crab cakes. The shrimp and grits was my selection. The blend of specially seasoned shrimp, cheesy grits and Andouille cream sauce made for a satisfying pre-dinner treat – one that was perfect portioned. Other apps include jumbo shrimp cocktail, crawfish dip ‘n’ chip, oysters on the half shell, Oysters Rockefeller and Bally’s Sea x 3 – shrimp, crab and red snapper served in a white wine sauce.
For dessert, we opted for the Creme Brule. The traditional caramelized French vanilla custard topped with fresh berries and whipped cream was the perfect ending to a meal. Other choices include cheesecake, cake with berries and creme, a chocolate lava cake and, for the adventurous, The Dirty Pig. It is a flavorful combination of chocolate and bacon – the marriage of sweet and salty taken to the extreme.

The Barn Prime is open Thursdays from 5 to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m. For reservations, call (866) 422-5597.