Monday, June 9, 2014


Those of you who are fed up with Wall Street and the banks might take a look at the Sam's Town Savings and Loans. It says they are reliable. for a quarter you can feed these Sam's Town fish. Those at the poker table require a bit more change.

I could feed these fish for a quarter, but other poker table fish required a bit more change

Tunica River park:

the museum

Check out this bridge construction. I really liked the lines created by these huge white rods.

In Florida we visited channel markers but they were on poles. Check out these big bad buoys


Well, I am still not winning, but I lost less today. Just twenty dollars.

I started at Hollywood and decided to get two points for a free breakfast buffet. They had 9/6 JOB at the dollar level so I thought I'd give it a shot. At first I thought the free buffet might cost me forty dollars, but it dealt me a flush just as I earned the two points and I walked away ahead ten dollars and a free buffet.

Poker was not better. I really got killed in the beginning by getting pushed off hands that would have won. There was one loose better and he pushed me off a few hands that in the end would have made a profit.
The worst was when my pocket queens flopped two nines with three of us left. I had raised preflop. Loose guy bet the nines and the next fellow raised him so I dumped my queens. Neither of these guys had a nine. Another nine came on the turn and I would have had the best full house.

I was down a hundred when my play turned around and I was able to catch loose guy in his own overbets.
My favorite hand was ace king. By the turn there was a pair and the turn made another pair. On the river a club came to make me a nice flush, but only an idiot would bet it with the full house there. I bet. Loose guy called with just an ace and I took it with my flush.

Tables were very volatile. People came and left for tournaments or who knows what. Two people could go eat for what seemed like forever. Only the third man walking was limited to fifteen minutes. It was hard to keep a full table and has been my entire time here in Tunica. That is the single biggest disadvantage. There is not use playing at lunch or dinner.

When I left I was down twenty dollars for the day all told.

I'll try this 3/6 game again tomorrow. If I am one of the first ten to play they will give me twenty dollars so I'll try to get there at eight. I liked the game well enough, but the weak table attendance with the rake and the blinds make it a hard game to beat. I had much better cards today. I think I should have shown a profit. I made only a few mistakes and those are debatable. The best strategy is to let others bet into me unless I am trapping. They are good players but they don't understand raising on the button for a free card. That paid me in one of my last hands.


Paula Deen is a famous maker of Southern food and she worked on a buffet for Harrah's that carries her name. On one of the boards every time this buffet was mentioned the poster warned about food laced with salt and butter and fat. When I repeated that to the sweet Black girl Harrah's operator who booked my rooms here and mentioned the buffet, she said,
“Well, that's what puts the flavor in the food.”
And I laughed.

From what I could read in other place the Deen buffet was getting some good reports. There is a fine article in the November 2008 issue of Southern Gaming magazine that gives a good positive overview.
That was written by someone named Jen Cuthbertson. Hmmmmm. That names sounds mighty familiar.

In fact, Deen may open a similar buffet in Kansas and in Atlantic City. I knew I had to try it for myself on a night when I was definitely off diet.

Tonight was that night.

I had eaten a breakfast buffet early and had nothing since. I went to Paula Deen at eight PM. I knew I was too tired to play good poker and decided to just fill up on goodies and go to sleep.

Well, the goodies were there.

The first goody was that the buffet cost me $5 because I could use those points that Harrah's had threatened to erase if I did not play by early March. I don't really know there they came from, perhaps from poker play in Hammond outside Chicago, but I had protected those points in Biloxi with just a bit of vp play. Now I would use them to eat.
I have to say that everything I had was just wonderful. The only thing I really did not like was the rub on the dry rub ribs. The wet ribs were great as was the pulled pork. None of these depended on the sauce for flavor. All had a good smoky barbecue taste.

I was very conflicted about getting prime rib, but I have been hungry for steak or prime rib for a few days now and I decided to get a slice even if that did use up some of my space signature Southern flavor. It was a good decision. It has to have been the most tender buffet prime rib I ever ate anywhere.
The fried green tomatoes were very good and not greasy. These were better than Kim's in Homosassa which I have been eating all winter for breakfast.
I added Paula's hot sauce which was just ordinary. For my money Frank's is better, or Cholula. The new cholula garlic has been a favorite this winter.

Finally, after all this time coming up the Mississippi, I got some collards that were real. Many of these other places use frozen greens, which as far at I can tell are made mostly from chopped collard stems with the tender and tasty green leaves saved for some other purpose. These greens were full of flavor, made with sweet ham and not overcooked.

Lima beans were a treat too. I could have made a meal on them alone.
Those smoked oysters with cheese tasted so very good, but they ran out after my second trip up.
The catfish was succulent. I want to know how to get this fish up North. This is not what we buy in our stores or have served to us in Northern restaurants. The meat is even a different color. It is a very white and flaky meat, not rubbery or bullhead tasting. I wish they did something besides fry it, but I do enjoy it.
I had some other unmarked casserole like dish. Just a taste. There was some chicken in it. It was great.

In the salad sections was something red and chopped fine. It might have been cranberry with bits of carrots. Whatever it was tasted great on a piece of cornbread.
The yams were incredible. A dessert really, and I thought that would be my dessert, but I had to try a little fruit cup tart and one of those rich rum balls. Both were as good as they get.

I could not agree that the food was was greasy or limp with absorbed deep fried oil or overly salty.

But then I like those tastes. If I am going off my diet, I want to do it at Paula Deen's. I'll have trouble not going again before I leave. Dinner was $18 and a bargain. It has to be the best meal I've had on this trip. It is true the ribs did not compare with the Interstate barbecue place on route 61 and 55, but then the rib taste was all that seemed special there. Beans seem well pretty standard everywhere and the cole slaw is fine but never anything special.
And the bread?
What is it with these little barbecue places and their love of white Wonder bread? Where is the corn bread or biscuit that says “South,” (hey, even a bit of Jewish rye that says New York City would be better than tasteless, gummy bleached out and over air puffed plain white bread)
Corn bread is cheap. Raise the price a quarter and you have it covered. With barbecue it makes real culinary sense.

“The most effective diet I went on, says the old fellow, what when I lost my glasses so I couldn't find my teeth.”


I wanted to go to the park this afternoon but then it was raining and I found a good poker game. I did go over after the museum was closed at six PM and found myself the only one at the river. It was a fine feeling to have the entire river and this well designed building, floating wharf,and bridge all to myself. Across the Mississippi River a fellow in a small plane was doing acrobatics. It was delightful.

The bridge was a marvel. I will have to load and post the photos. These large white rods a foot in diameter were positioned to meet at the top and combined with other supporting shapes into a fun structure. I loved it. I'll go back one of these days when the sun is shining and the museum is open. Perhaps there will even be a paddleboat ride, but I don't count on it. There are too few people here to count on anything touristy.

I liked seeing the river again and the powerful flow of it. Debris again drifted by. The Hudson does not have this current.

I keep looking for Huck and Jim to come floating by, but the days of rafts are over I guess. And Mark does not have to worry about every detail of the changing river either.

So it was a good day. Time for a good nap. Hope I sleep the night.


Well, I might have known I'd be back to my old 3 am wake up habits. This sucks when traveling. With all the long daylight driving ahead I'd like to get in a normal pattern of ten to six or eight. There is very little to do here at 3 am except write.

The weather is supposed to be better today again. I am happy to be out of the cold overcast rain. However, my frog tog really got a working out and it is such a fine rain jacket. With these rather bright colors I took some notice on Beale Street, but the ease of this garb when it rains is just wonderful and it is a good wind break as well.


Well, I went back to sleep again and woke up just in time to make the beginning of the eight AM poker game. That gets me a twenty dollar bonus. Then I played for eleven hours.
How can one play eleven hours of poker and not experience even one full house? Or without even having pocket aces?
I lost $449 today. A tough session in a game that was perfectly comfortable for the entire time I played.
I was not the best player at the table. I did bluff one hand and win. I got caught in a second. The rest of the time I played my cards and so did most of the others. No wild folks here.
At Harrah's last night I watched a four/eight game. The betting was capped preflop by five players. Some betting occurred after that. After the river there were only three players left.
The guy with ace/king and no pair bet.
The guy with 8/9 offsuit and no pair raised.
The guy with whatever would have been the winning hand folded his pair or whatever and the two bluff guys showed their cards.
I ran away unable even to watch such idiocy.

This kind of a game is not poker. It is show down.

My game today was relaxed and easy with almost everyone seeing the flop and very little preflop raising. I played tight, so the only hands I played were premium except a few times when I was tempted by an ace with a low kicker.
If I raised on the button with suited connectors, these guys gave me my free card.
It rarely did any good, but it did mean I saw all five cards and could fold my nothing hand for just the extra three dollars.

I lost with a couple low straights. I lost with three sixes to a guy with a lower kicker that made a full house.

I had some fine diamond flushes, one just short of a royal flush. I had a few other flushes. That kept me in business.

I had about twenty or twenty five 8/3 offsuit hands. The last one I folded saw an 8/8/x flop but someone had an eight with a larger kicker so I was good to have never bet it. A few of my rags would have won by the river, but generally I just did not get cards.
Pocket kings won one time. Pocket queens flopped trips and lost to pocket kings that flopped trips. Pocket aces were also calling in this hand. Pocket tens once did nothing until I bluffed representing a diamond flush to a fellow who usually folded when I raised his bet on the turn. He must have had the ace of diamonds because this time he stayed and when the river came even gave me my unbet trip tens.

So many busted straights.
Typical was having 2-3 in the big blind and flopping open ended, catching and betting the turn, checking the river and checked by the middle straight.
The dealer said I did pretty well with threes because she saw me win with pockets or flop a set from the big blind. I guess you can win with threes if that is the card that comes most often in the big blind.

So many two pair that failed to win.
And that was my day.
Oh, I did go on tilt for a few hands after my trips lost. My out of control betting lasted just about four hands. I won all of them and had made sixty dollars from my tilted behavior, which caused everyone to fold.

Another interesting hand was one in which I had ace king of spades and two rags came on the flop with a queen. A guy with the queen bet and the guy next to him raised, so I reraised. The ace came on the turn and I thought I was good, but the original bettor had ace-queen. So I lost. Still, I thought of the play as a good play.

I had not raised the bet preflop. It was too obvious to these guys when I made a preflop ace-king raise. It was better to raise middle connectors in late position. Then if the ace came, small aces would bet into me and my ace king would be invisible. If I did the expected raise, then once the ace hit no one would bet into me or call. I had ace king a few times and sometimes they won a little, mostly by forcing folds.

There was one waiting for tournament guy at our table. He did not really like to play limit, that was clear. He was a know it all, however, he did know more than I did. I did not like him, and I did not like having him at the table. I think I don't play tournaments because I don't like the arrogant braggarts who play them and rehearse them over and over.

What is the difference between a puppy and a poker player?
A puppy will eventually quit whining.

One way to pick tables in future settings is to avoid playing where these skilled no limit players come in and out of the game.
Also, again there were times when we did not have a full table. Too many people are able to save a seat and go to supper and then come back and play. They did not pick up the chips of our third man walking. Instead, they started a new game and left us short handed.
I don't like that. Not playing full tables is the single disadvantage here in Tunica and it would discourage me from coming again,especially if I did not have a car to go to another casino. This time the five person game included three suckers and I did not want to move at all. But I could not get cards to win much from them.


Sam's Town buffet was fine, but it was no Paula Deen's. I did not eat all day and then had a plate there an piece of pecan pie.
It was good. Free is good.
Now I am sipping on the last Saranac from Florida. It is nice and cold because the refrigerators in these rooms keep it cold. It is good straight from the bottle sin heilo.

Part of what is missing here as opposed to Vegas is the ability to take a drink now and again. I don't feel comfortable ordering any alcohol. They give free coffee and I drink that a good bit of the day so I am alert.

I talked to Elizabeth and she is doing well. I feel that for me I have been away a bit too long, but I think that once I am on the road to Hannibal some of that will dissolve. She seems happy to be on her own for a while.

Two more days and I head out for the final nongambling stretch of this trip. I guess I am ready to go. See Frank. See my Hill cousins if the timing is right.

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