Tunica, a convergence
One is the WSOP circuit event at the Grand Casino (Harrah's), which begins on Jan. 3 and ends Jan. 22. Schedule here.
The other series is the World Poker Tour's World Poker Open at the Gold Strike Casino (MGM Mirage), which goes from Jan. 3 to Jan. 22. Schedule here.
Although I've never been in Tunica during this time, the locals have always said the action, especially at the side games, is legendary. I am definitely planning to spend some time there and am coordinating with Surf to see when he and Mrs. Surf are going.
I've made the most money in Tunica than any place that I've played (eight winning trips against three losses and the most I've lost there is $79), including Las Vegas. You rarely have to spend money for meals, as the poker rooms generously give comps for play of two to four hours or more. Of course, just as Daniel Negreanu complains about the kind of food here (Southern and fried), it's easy to reach a saturation point with the limited dining options -- there's not much around the casinos except farmland.
The poker rates are decent -- typically about $25-35 a day weekday and $45 on weekends. All of them have 5 hour a day play requirements. But some poker rooms, such as the Horseshoe and the Grand, have honor system requirements becuase they do not use poker tracking cards to record play.
I was just going to e-mail CK this information but thought I should post it if other people wanted to play. Maybe in the future the two tournament series here will create a regional bloggers gathering!
Gold Strike: This casino has a huge hotel tower and the most rooms available. I usually will book a reservation here under the poker rate so I know I have a room and then cancel if I can get somewhere else, such as the Horseshoe, which does not clock your play. Call 888-24K-PLAY, extension 1135 or ask for poker room.
Horseshoe: This is my preferred place to stay. When it's warm, it has a nice pool (Gold Strike does not). Call 800-303-5756.
Grand Casino: I've had difficulty getting through. I'll check with Surf for the number here and edit this post through.
Sam's Town: This casino is a few miles away from the Grand/Gold Strike area, but a worthy last resort. Required play is 5 hours. 800-456-0711.