Beau poker breaks record; ’Shoe renovation done

January 28, 2014, Jennifer Gay  

The Beau Rivage shattered Mississippi records in the opening weekend of the Million Dollar Heater. The largest field for one event (also a MDH event) was 1,721 in 2012, but January’s $340 buy-in $500K guarantee attracted 1,972 players for the $80K first-place prize. Roderick MacPherson, 76, a professor at the Montevalla School of Business, had the most chips when a 12-way chop was agreed to, so he got the most money and the title. When I asked him why he decided to chop, he said that he ran the numbers by his son, who is an engineer, and they decided it was a good value.

The MDH is still under way at press time, so results will be in my next column. I feel confident in saying this event will continue to make records. This is the busiest year yet, which is a great way to start off 2014 for Mississippi poker. Live updates can be found on the Beau Rivage Poker Room Facebook page for those who want to follow the action as it happens.

HORSESHOE COMPLETE: At the northern end of the state in Tunica, the Horseshoe Poker Room is open again after extensive renovations. I’ve heard from more than a few regulars that it’s the “nicest room they’ve ever seen.” Upgrades include charging stations at each table for players to plug in their devices, chairs as comfortable as dealer chairs and faster tableside food service. The pictures of the room remind me of the Venetian or Aria rooms in terms of luxury, only newer. The Bravo Live app shows it’s been paying off, too. Almost every night the room has been packed, exceeding normal Tunica crowds by nearly double.

Though I don’t have all the details just yet, there’s news Horseshoe is in negotiation with Gold Strike to use its convention space to host large-scale tournaments to replace those abandoned by the now-closed GS poker room. Much of the same staff from previous Gold Strike events would be involved, giving you the same customer service you came to expect, with the large-scale support for poker you can count on from Horseshoe. For those of you who remember the early 2000s when Horseshoe and the Strike worked together, these were some of the largest tournament fields in the country. This could be a wonderful arrangement for all of Mississippi poker. I’ll share the details as I get them.

After the World Series of Poker Circuit visit to Harrah’s Tunica (Jan. 23-Feb. 3), we’ll have a bit of a break to focus on cash play. The next major tournament is March 27 at the Beau Rivage in its annual Spring Break Classic. More information is available at

Speaking of cash play, next month I’ll update you on new promotions for 2014 and other great things to come for the Magnolia State. Thanks to all of you who have come up and let me know you read the magazine. We appreciate the support! I look forward to seeing you at the ’Shoe for some live action, or at the Beau in March.

— Email Jennifer Gay at