Tunica is pretty cool, as far as poker goes, but there's not much else to do apart from the casinos. There's a biggish strip mall (like an outlet mall) that I passed but didn't visit. Tunica itself is broken up into three distinct areas, separated by about 1-2 miles in between. The poker rooms are Harrah's, The Gold Strike, The Horseshoe, Hollywood Casino and Sam's Town. The best were definitely the Gold Strike and the Horseshoe, which were situated next to each other in the center section of town. The Gold Strike and Harrah's were very nice casinos, as far as these things go, and the good poker rooms had as many as a dozen or more tables in them. Not a HUGE amount of action here, but you could find any hold'em game you wanted up to 2-5 NL. Players were generally pretty bad, too. I did well at Tunica, making money at the cash games and then giving it back on tournament buyins. My favorite tourney was the Friday HO-HO-HO tourney at the Horseshoe. For $125, you got 8000 in chips, with 40 minute blinds and levels starting at 25/50! The game was HO, half NLHE, half PLO. Sick. I made the final table, but busted out two from the bubble with 55 participants. Grrrr.... My last hand, which would have probably put me into the money, was my QQ vs. 66 with a 6 spiking on the turn.
I went to two other poker rooms during the trip, one called Harlow's Casino in Greenville (nothing special to report, just a locals casino) and one in Choctaw called the Golden Moon Casino. The Golden Moon is a super nice building with a really cool globe restaurant on the top which has a super high tech looking poker room. No big action in it, just really cool looking. As far as pure aesthetics are concerned, it's one of the nicest looking I've ever seen. Unfortunately, it's in the middle of Mississippi. The manager used to work at the Taj in AC for 13 years. She told me, and I quote, that the "worst poker players in AC are the 5-10 Omaha Hi-Lo players". Just nice to have corroboration. I ground out about $200 playing 4-8 LHE in that room against some pretty bad players. The room attracts players from Alabama, because of it's proximity, and the players are just what you'd expect. Lots of Southern Drawl.
That's all the poker action to report. Other memories of the trip:
- Walking in a raw cotton field in Mississippi.
- Walking the train tracks of Helena, Arkansas.
- Eating BBQ Brisket at the Paula Dean buffet (with Paula Dean actually in attendance!) in Tunica.
- Watching Robert "Wolfman" Belfour, on the very bad side of the tracks, play old country blues to a crowd of 7 in a dive bar in Clarksdale.
- Having a beer in Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club.
- Watching the steam rise up from the bayou and spill over onto the roadway like a mass of white cotton candy.
- Feeling the warm breeze of Central Mississippi blow through my hair as I stood on the gravesite of Robert Johnson.