Tom’s Trip Report: Tunica, Mississippi

by , Jan 25, 2008 | 2:55 pm

tomschneidercartoon.jpgI had a good time in Tunica. I came in 8th at the WSOP circuit event and didn’t play the WPT. I had an opportunity to play the WPT because the circuit event had a day off between day 2 and the final table, but I would have had to accumulate a ton of chips in order not to get blinded out on day 2 while I was playing at the final table.

Had I known that I would come in 8th, I definitely would have taken a shot at it. Had I tried to do it and made it through the first day of the WPT, I would have been able to blame my 8th place finish on being distracted, or at least Angry Julie would have reminded me many times.

I like Tunica because of its friendly environment, loads of PLO and the food. The food is pretty good but very fattening. I did happen to lose weight on this trip because I have totally changed my eating habits. I am now eating a very balanced diet with big emphasis on vegetables. I hate them, but I do like the way I’m starting to feel.

Late in December of ’07 I declared that ’08 is going to be the year of health. I weighed more than I ever have, and I was starting to feel it. In the past, I have always lost weight by working out hard and always being hungry. I haven’t been hungry once and have lost about 10 pounds since the beginning of the year. I have changed my ways of eating to something I think I can sustain for the rest of my life, at least that’s the plan.

A few comments about Tunica …

The Gold Strike tournament and cash game area has to be the coldest indoor facility in which I have ever played poker. I wore sweat pants, a sweat shirt and even a ski hat and was still freezing. People were sneezing and hacking the whole time I was there. I can’t believe I didn’t get sick. I estimated the indoor temp at 60 with prevailing winds coming from the vents. I did see a players teeth chattering…huge tell that he was cold. The Grand Casino, host of the circuit event was probably around 65 degrees, just a tiny bit better. It was so cold that even Hillary Clinton would’ve warmed the place up.


I hate it when you ask someone to make it warmer, the whole table agrees in harmony and then they say they will give them a call like they are a teenage girl about to ask their dad if they can go out with a 22 year old guy. They know that calling won’t do any good, and it doesn’t. Do we have to get NASA involved at the Gold Strike to help them figure this out? I know I sound like a pussy, but it was unbelievably cold.

A rule that favors locals …

Julie was playing in a juicy 20-40 limit hold’em game at the Horseshoe Casino. They have a rule that if 2 people are walking from the table the 3rd person that needs to get up can only be gone for one round. If they don’t make it back to the table in time they will be picked up. The first 2 people can be gone for about an hour and 45 minutes. This does suck real bad but it’s not the worst part. They also have a rule, that if you are gone from a must-move table and you are next on the list, they won’t move you, they move the next person on the list.

Julie was 3rd up on the must-move list. The game she was in was sweet and the main game was rock solid. What happens? Two locals in Julie’s game, one of whom has the button on the next hand, see a guy racking up from the main game. They jump up like Michael Jordan and leave the table immediately. Julie asked if there was a fire. Then the floor comes over to read the must-move list and what a surprise, the 2 jacks-in-the-box were 1 and 2 on the list. The floor tells Julie she has to move and explains this local rule…would have loved to have the recorder for this one. Julie gets moved and these 2 locals get to stay in the juicy game.

It is very wrong to have a rule which favors regulars. It sends a horrible message to players and makes them wonder what else is going on or what other rules do they not know about that could potentially screw them.

It was a good trip. It was fun to see some people and play PLO. Now back to Phoenix for a break then maybe off to San Diego to play at Harrah’s Rincon circuit event.

Make sure you listen to the next Beyond the Table for a great story about Devilfish in Tunica.

7 Comments to “Tom’s Trip Report: Tunica, Mississippi”

  1. Grunkzzz

    It was nice meeting you Tom, To bad we didnt get to play together longer you could have given me some advice besides don’t let people put you on tilt. (4:30 hours of sleep was killing me too). I might have figured out a tell or two if I had the chance to observe you longer as well.

    Also how many people were left at the end of the 1500/3000 level?


  2. Jimmy

    Loved reading the report Tom, hope that more content like this can be done as the year progresses.

    I have played in Tunica many times and share your complaints about the temperature. It is usually very bad there!

    Did you play any of the NL games when you were in town? I have always enjoyed the games at the GoldStrike but wondered if you checked any others out.

  3. DanM

    ***hope that more content like this can be done as the year progresses.***

    see Tom, I told you it’s funny when you don’t win!

  4. DanM

    ***It is very wrong to have a rule which favors regulars.***

    BTW, Tom, do you think the rule itself favors the locals, or just their intimate understanding of it?

  5. Tom Schneider

    Grunkzzz, I’m not sure how many were left at that level, but when we got to the final 9, we had almost completed the 4k-8k level. And by the way, I have no tells.

    Jimmy, the only no-limit I played was in a 1/2 and 1/2 PLO and NL holem. The PLO was quarter, fify with 100 on the button and the NL was 50-100 with optional 200 on the button. It played pretty big and it was the game that was started when Jaime Gold came in.

    Dan, as always you have asked a question that answers itself. Nice journalistic work. Knowing that a rule exists is usually the local advantage. And yes, I too think it’s funnier when I lose.

  6. Mark Garner

    It was very nice meeting you and your wife in Tunica. I know we will run into each other again hopefully at another final table. Tom,in all honest you are truly one of the poker communities class act. Good luck at Ricon and if you are at the
    New Orleans Circuit I’ll have to by you are drink. Good luck and see you soon.

    Mark Garner

  7. Tom Schneider

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for the nice words. I’m not sure I’m going to New Orleans, but I’ll take a free beer anytime. Good luck to you, and if nothing else I’ll get my drink on at the WSOP.