Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rudi Schiffer inducted into Tunica Tourism Hall of Fame

Rudi Schiffer honored upon retirement

Inducted into Tunica Tourism Hall of Fame

By David Grisham
Rudi Schiffer

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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hollywood Casino Tunica has breakfast buffet Tuesdays through Thursdays for 55 cents in Marquee Comp Dollars for folks age 50 and up

It pays to be a senior star with the Senior Stars Breakfast at Hollywood Casino Tunica. If you’re 50 or older, you can enjoy a breakfast buffet every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for 55 cents in Marquee Comp Dollars. This offer is limited to one promotional buffet per day per player account.

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.