Rudi Schiffer honored upon retirement
Inducted into Tunica Tourism Hall of FameBy David Grisham
TUNICA RESORTS — Rudi Schiffer, longtime casino ambassador, radio host and columnist, retired at the end of the year, closing another chapter in his long and colorful life. At the young age of 80, he is now enjoying life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, near lots of casinos and plenty of good fishing. His career was punctuated on Dec. 22 with his induction into the Tunica Tourism & Gaming Hall of Fame.
Webster Franklin, president and CEO of the Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau, said about Schiffer’s induction, “It is an honor to welcome him into the Tunica Tourism and Gaming Hall of Fame alongside such Tunica legends Bob McQueen, Mike ‘Mav’ Mavromatis and the late Domenic Mezzetta.
“Since the arrival of the gaming industry to Tunica in 1992,” Franklin continued, “Rudi has been a consistent voice on all that Tunica offers. Via his GoodTimes publication, his Heard it on the River Column in Jackpot! Magazine and his popular GoodTimes Radio Show, Rudi has always been the ‘go to guy’ for information on all there is to see and do in Tunica. His unique, first-hand take on the best gambling, best food and best entertainment that the Tunica market has to offer has been an invaluable service to the millions of visitors he has reached over the past 25 years. For this reason and numerous others, Rudi will always be the true ‘Voice of Tunica’!”
Schiffer received the award from Franklin at a retirement reception at Gold Strike. “This is such and honor and means so much to me,” Schiffer said, as he thanked family and friends in the industry for their support. He shared the award with his son, Michael, a longtime co-host of the show. Dee , his wife, looked on as he called his son up to share the spotlight.
|Rudi Schiffer interviews Jack Binion.|
Schiffer, a Boston University journalism grad, former AP reporter and PR pro, has covered casinos in Tunica for more than two decades as a columnist, writer and host of the GoodTimes Radio Show, the longest running gaming format show in the country. The program was founded in 1994 by Schiffer as an adjunct to the first Tunica casino newspaper, The GoodTimes News, which he sold before becoming a columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot! Magazine. Jackpot! was founded by Michael and Mary Sunderman and is published by their company, M2 Media Corp.
“Mary and I wish Rudi all the best in his retirement from Jackpot!,” Sunderman said. “We are so thrilled to see Rudi inducted into the Tunica Tourism and Gaming Hall of Fame, an honor he rightly deserves. We first met him in 1994, when we launched Jackpot! Magazine and found out quickly that Rudi was a tough competitor and had great relationships with so many casino executives. It truly was a WIN-WIN-WIN for the casinos, Rudi, and us when we purchased GoodTimes. Together, we grew with Tunica because all us of just wanted to be the best marketing partner for the resorts.”
Through his promotional efforts, not only for the Mississippi casino industry, but also for Tunica County, Schiffer was awarded the first Jeff Piselli Media Support award by the Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau and Tunica County Chamber of Commerce in 2004.
The casino-sponsored GoodTimes Show was broadcast continuously for 22 years. Listeners tuned into the show for years for expert gaming advice from John Robison, a slot and video game author, as well as casino news, executive interviews, trivia contests, the Jackpot! Magazine Entertainment Report and, more recently, The Southland Report.
An avid blackjack player, slots fan and self-professed “minnow” at the poker tables, Schiffer was instrumental in helping promote and advance big-money blackjack tournaments in the market from the beginning, working with people in the industry who would become lifelong friends.
|Schiffer was 2006 WPO Media Champion at Gold Strike.|
“Rudi was here from the start and deserves a lot of credit and recognition for what he has done and helped start,” said Mike Mavromatis, Gold Strike director of player development. Often, in his columns and on the radio, Schiffer would recount his tournament strategy and offer advice.
Readers know that while he did make it to the final table a number of times in those blackjack events, he never claimed the elusive top prize. That said, he has shared stories of many good runs at the tables. As Rudi will tell you, blackjack and tournament blackjack are completely different animals.
His slots strategy has paid off, too, as he has been featured in the “winners section” of Jackpot! a number of times. And Schiffer has had some good fortune in the poker world, as well. In 2006, he squared off against about 60 reporters and poker pros at Gold Strike’s World Poker Open Media Tournament and came away the WPO Media Champion. The minnow beat the whales, got a bracelet, and bragging rights with his final hand - pocket queens.
More importantly through the years, though, has been Schiffer’s relationship with hosts, dealers and the casino employees on the floor. He has always connected with them and would often remind readers to be respectful and to “tip generously.” While his columns would sometimes feature a topical quote, many times from the Quotable Gambler, he always closed with the popular refrain, “LAISSEZ LE BON TEMPS ROULER!”
Indeed! Let the good times roll, Rudi.
Mike Mavromatis and Rudi Schiffer at retirement reception.
Rudi Schiffer wrote the Heard It On the River column for Jackpot! Magazine for many years.
Rudi with Larry Gregory, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association.
Mike Schiffer helps his father cut the retirement cake.
Rudi receives Hall of Fame honor from Webster Franklin.
Rudi celebrated receiving the Jeff Piselli Media Support Award in 2004 with his wife and daughter.
Schiffer at World Poker Open Media Tournament
Schiffer is known at the tables for his colorful personality.
Rudi has been a fixture at cigar events for years.
Mike Schiffer co-hosted The GoodTimes Show with his father for years on Memphis radio.