THERE’S NO CRYING IN BLACKJACK

photo (4)                                          Horseshoe’s Million Dollar Wall

Marie and I were excited to start our latest adventure.  We left from her house in Mansfield, Texas at 8am on Monday, August 17th and headed out for Tunica Mississippi.  The trip would take eight hours if we only stopped for gas, but we had a plan in mind.  We decided we would stop in Bossier City, Louisiana at the Horseshoe casino for a bathroom break and to play for an hour or so.  We both had free play offers and we were trying to raise our Total Rewards tier credit balance.  On Mondays and Tuesdays, Total Rewards multiplies the tier credits you earn by 10X.  With that offer, it is easy to earn several thousand tier credits on those two days.  We both are very close to Diamond status and since the Diamond perks are more generous, we stopped to play.  We were going back to the Horseshoe toward the end of this trip but more about that later.

Years ago Louisiana casinos had to be on a river boat and sail out into international waters before you could gamble.  Louisiana has evolved now and realized they needed to make gambling more attractive for Texans to bring their money to their state.  Texas on the other hand has not awakened to the fact that all the states surrounding our great state have legalized casino gambling.  Therefore a huge percentage of cars in the casino parking lots have Texas license plates.  And if that’s not enough reason to legalize casinos in Texas, many of the casino employees in Louisiana and Oklahoma live in Texas.

The Horseshoe is built on a barge and because of space restrictions it is built up rather than out.  You enter on the second floor and we headed down to floor one which has more of our favorite machines.  Marie went toward her favorite da Vinci Diamonds machine and I sat down at a Stack of Gold slot.  I was surprised that I found it unoccupied.  This was unusual so I thought it might be a good sign because it is a very popular machine.  I put in my $20 free play and didn’t have any luck so I decided to put in a hundred and see if it just needed seed money.  Sure enough it worked and I ended up cashing out $340.00.  Money for Tunica.

I found Marie and she was not through with da Vinci yet so I played Luck of the Lemur.  This is a really fun machine when it hits.  Unfortunately it didn’t.  I then tried Gold Bar 7’s and again nothing big.  By this time my winnings were dwindling so I checked on Marie again and she was ready to get back on the road.  We drove to West Monroe, Louisiana and stopped for gas and a snack at Popeye’s Fried Chicken then on to Tunica.

We arrived around 7pm.  We had not been to Tunica in four years and had really missed it.  Two of our favorite casinos were next door to each other- the Gold Strike, an M-Life property and the Horseshoe, a Total Rewards property.  There are other casinos in Tunica but they are only accessible by driving.  We were anxious to get settled in and not have to walk miles to get where we were going to concentrate our play and time.

This part of the trip we were staying at Gold Strike for three nights.  We usually stay at the Horseshoe but wanted to use our M-Life offers.  We know Horseshoe rooms are lovely and the beds comfortable, but wanted to try something new to us as we had never stayed at the Gold Strike before.  We weren’t disappointed except for the vanity being very small leaving no room for toiletries.  Otherwise the room was beautiful and comfortable.  The Gold Strike was having a promotion that for every 150 points earned, you would receive a scratch off ticket good for free play, dining credits, and gift shop credits, as well as a chance to win a BMW.

We went downstairs to make our presence known, but we quickly walked to the Horseshoe because we wanted to take advantage of the 10X multiplier while we could.  The Horseshoe had gone through a renovation and had moved a lot of machines around and many had been moved out.  We were very disappointed that there were no more hot Shot machines and less of our old favorites and very few of the newer machines.  It seemed this was to make room for more table games.  There were some blank areas so hopefully they will fill them with some of the newer slots.  About 10:30 we headed back to Gold Strike to wind down before we went upstairs to bed which didn’t take long.  it had been a long day.

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The next day we were seeing an old friend who lives close to Tunica, Marcia Alexander.  She and her husband Phil are very dear to us and she was spending two nights at Gold Strike so we would have lots of time to spend together.  Marie got up before me and headed next door to the Horseshoe.  By the time I got downstairs, Marcia was checking in.  We decided to eat an early dinner so that if one of us was in the middle of a hot streak, we wouldn’t have to stop.  We had accumulated enough in food credits with our scratch-offs that we were able to eat at Gold Strike’s Buffet Americana at no charge.  After we ate we walked next door to the Horseshoe.

Marie and Marcia went in search of hot shots and I decided to find a seat at a table game.  I decided to play 21+3.  I bought in for $100 and only hit the 3 card bonus once and a couple of blackjacks so I got up and went to Mississippi Stud.  It is my favorite table game or carnival game as the dealers call it.  It is a lot like Let it Ride Poker in that you have 3 spots to bet; except that instead of pulling your bets back on two of the spots if you don’t like your cards, you can bet three times your ante on all three spots if you have a pair of 6’s or better.  Plus there is a 3 card and a 6 card bonus.  You can make a lot of money with a good hand.  In the past I have hit four of a kind twice for close to $4,000 each time.  One of those times was at the Horseshoe Tunica so it’s naturally one of my favorite casinos.  Marie thinks she is not smart enough to figure this game out.  She could definitely handle it, but she is afraid of it.  I will continue to work on her.

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A nice couple named Vern and Jackie Davenport came to the Mississippi Stud Poker table who had never played before and they were in Mississippi for the first time ever.  They own a restaurant in Shamrock, Texas which is south of Amarillo, Texas named Big Vern’s Steakhouse and Saloon.  Sounds like an authentic Texas restaurant, doesn’t it?  We had a fabulous dealer names Hershal.  He was full of words of wisdom for the table like “There’s no crying in Blackjack” and “the key to winning at Blackjack is don’t lose all of your money before your luck arrives”.  Unfortunately he had nothing to help me at Mississippi Stud, although Vern and Jackie did quite well.

On Wednesday we all decided to spend more time at Gold Strike.  We made reservations at their Chicago Steakhouse for later in the evening and wanted time to play all we could.  On Wednesday and Thursdays at M Life properties, they pay 2X tier credits.  I found an Elton John slot that I was dying to try.  I had played one in Biloxi at Beau Rivage and had no luck but this one was calling my name.  Immediately I hit the Rocket man bonus.  How I love me some Elton John.

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I also hit a bonus with eight free spins.  Here is an upload of the bonus.

 

 

 

Marcia had some luck on Willy Wonka and Marie did well on Hot Shot.  At this point, it’s all about M-Life and Total Reward tier points and if a jackpot hits along the way, all the better.  Marcia went to bed early because she wanted to check out early the next morning.  Dinner was fabulous that night and we had enough  comps and scratch offs to have a delicious steak dinner with wine and all the extras.  We were so hungry we neglected to take a picture of our entre.  Our waitress laughed and said she would go take a picture of someone’s steak and we could post that, but that would be cheating.  I promise to take pictures in the future, especially on the cruise.

Marie and I ended up staying up longer and not leaving until about noon on Thursday.  But we were anxious to get back to Bossier City to the Horseshoe.  Marie was staying at the Horseshoe on Thursday and Friday nights. and I was staying at Eldorado in Bossier on Thursday night and then the Horseshoe on Friday night.  Before we got to the Horseshoe, we had to stop in to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs to get our free gift.  Thursdays at Harrah’s is free gift grab day and we picked a Pur water filter and pitcher.  We were playing in a slot tournament on Saturday at the Horseshoe and I had received another free cruise from Eldorado and decided to stay there for one night and pick up my cruise brochure on Friday.  We registered for the slot tournament on Friday afternoon and I drove to Eldorado and checked in.  Another beautiful room and plush bed and a bottle of Champagne with two glasses and a gorgeous vase were waiting for me in my room.

IMG_20150904_102400633_HDR I went downstairs to play awhile but had no luck.

Friday I drove to the Horseshoe and Marie and I went to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino.  We had free play there and wanted to not let that expire. Marie usually sits down at Witches Riches and does quite well.  She always leaves a couple of hundred ahead on Harrah’s money.  It was time to head back to the Horseshoe to play.  That night, Horseshoe was throwing a party for the top 100 elite players.  These elite players play anywhere from $200,000 to 2 million a year.  No, we weren’t invited. (What’s up with that?)  But just the same, I had a crazy night.  I sat down at the Hot Shot slots.  Almost all of the other seats were taken so I took that as a good sign.  I hit the first and second reel jackpots for over $100.00 and then all of a sudden I hit the third reel Double jackpot for $1,994.34 for my first hand pay in years.  (from a slot machine, I had other hand pays on table games).  I was quite happy.

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Next time it’s Marie’s time to win.  She had a few good hits (pictures below) and it’s time for her to win.  Her last hand pay was in Vegas a couple of years ago.  All in all we had a good week.

photo (2)                    photo (3)

 

The slot tournament was uneventful, even though someone would win $25,000.00 first prize.  We played at 3:30 and knew our scores were low enough not to win.  So, we went home.

We are going on our first free cruise courtesy of Eldorado in a few weeks and then we will try to decide where to go on our second free cruise.  And as of today, I just received a third free cruise from Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in the mail on Norwegian Cruise lines.  We will keep you posted.

 

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