Lighthouse Point Casino – Greenville, MS
Sometimes you travel the globe to gamble and your path crosses with a distinctly unique experience that get’s entrenched in your brain. It becomes so entrenched that you are your degenerate gambling buddies talk about it many years later like it was yesterday. One of those experiences was my visit to the Lighthouse Point Casino in Greenville, MS. Set on the waters of the Mississippi River, this old school riverboat was unlike anything before or after it. While no longer with us (it was repacked with the Bayou Caddie and rebranded as the Trop Casino), the legend will always live on. Rest in peace sweet prince. But what did The Casino Guy really think of spot before it was put down? Let’s find out…
Being on a golf & gamble trip to Tunica, driving to Greenville for few new check marks on my list seemed like a no-brainer. How bad could it be? MapQuest said it would be 2 hours. Dog shit on that. MS-1 south from Tunica is not a 4 lane highway. It’s farm country. It’s dotted line Frogger against oncoming traffic and all the assholes who pull out heading to corner store for their carton of smokes.
I will never disparage the fine town of Greenville, MS. But once we got into town, it was a little scary. Not a whole lot of Main Street activity except for folks who looked up to no good. Greenville’s crime rate is higher than 99% of the communities in Mississippi. The odds of being a victim of a property crime is twice as likely as it is to hit a number in Roulette. Disclaimer: that is a LEGIT f’n statistic. Lock your doors and hold your valuables tight.
When pulling into the parking lot, which was essentially a giant STEEP boat skid, we were sharing space with a number of families partying/playing/doing their laundry/barbecuing in the river. Just gonna leave that there for it sink in. What a scene. What. A. Fucking. Scene.
Look and Feel
Being that this was a legit riverboat, I have to say it was really cool. You had to walk on these ramps to get from the parking lot entrance to the boat itself. They were a little shaky but it felt like you were in for something special. Special was one way to describe it.
The doors were like the ones you saw in Under Siege with Steven Segal where you had to step up and duck at the same time. Once inside, it was abysmal. A couple pits with shitty felt and old ass slots machines on the most distracting carpet of all time. If you easily have seizures, you did not want to be in this joint. Look, I don’t want to kick a man while he is dead, but I felt I needed Penicillin shot after being in here.
Eight or ten tables, and at the time on two or three were open, was all they offered. Oh yeah, I don’t want to forget about the 100+ shitty penny slots they had. To say we came all this way and all I could play was single deck blackjack was a huge disappointment.
WE DROVE TWO AND A HALF HOURS FOR THIS SHIT??!?!?! Craps were open, but at the time I didn’t know the math well enough to trust these dealers not to screw me so I was stuck at the single deck table as well. Look, I have been all over the country with Casino Guy and sometimes I wonder why I let him talk me into it. This was one of those times. Coming into the place was one of the frightening experiences of my life. We stuck out like a sore thumb. One of the locals, who looked like JJ Walkers crazy cousin from Good Times, at the single deck table said to us after hearing us talk said, “Ya’ll are like a few drops of milk in a bowl of ink.” Get me the hell out of here. And this was before the third member of the trip went on tilt about as hard as any guy I have ever seen. – Wingman #1
If you haven’t played single deck, there are a few different rules than regular Blackjack that if you aren’t aware can make things difficult. The third member of our little crew on this trip was Allen. Allen was a regular 6 or 8 deck guy who would also throw in the occasional roulette. Because we had no other options, we all sat at single deck. Our first dealer was a nice quiet dude who could not have cared less about being there. The first difference is that the player’s cards are dealt face down not face up. This means you can touch the cards, a BIIIIIIIIIIIG no-no in regular BJ. Allen does not like being told what to do. He gets a little head bob going when his blood pressure raises. So after a little coaching from your friendly neighborhood Casino Guy, he grabs the cards (head bobbing a little at this point) and says stay.
Another rule difference is that most of your action is done with your cards. Want to stay? tuck the cards under your bet. Want to hit? Flick the cards on the felt toward you, like you are trying to swipe something off table. Bust? Flip the cards over and lightly toss them to the dealer. It’s pretty interactive compared to regular.
At some point, our nice quiet dude is tapped out for another dealer and this is when things got out of hand. A sassy, Loni Love look-a-like named Teriyaki was our new tour guide on this adventure. No, that is not a typo. The young lady’s name was Teriyaki. Much like the gloriously high in sodium marinade, Teriyaki was an acquired taste. Teriyaki and I got along great. I don’t break rules, I usually don’t speak unless spoken to and I actually never made eye contact with her. She frightened the shit out of me as soon as she got to the table and declaring to the Pit Boss how much she did not want to be there. Allen, on the other hand, was not Teriyaki’s favorite (every time I type Teriyaki I chuckle. This poor girl’s parents should be locked up).
Teriyaki’s dealing style was what could be described as aggressive. She was not tall and the table is not small. Most dealers are able to lightly toss the cards in front players. Teriyaki had to fire them at us. Some of those missiles missed their target and would hit hands or bumper and in Allen’s case, his chest. Now Allen was bobbing his head like Michael J. Fox. Near full tilt, he pulls his cards back past the bumper. By Teriyaki’s reaction, there are 2 things you cannot do: 1) talk shit about her kid/mommy/daddy/man/etc. and 2) take your cards off the table slightly pass the padded bumper. Her overreaction was reminiscent of Chappelle’s “When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong”. “Sir!! You got to keep the cards on the table!!!” Stunned by catching cards off the hands and chest and the double stunned by the tongue lashing, Allen was in full tilt mode. When he wanted to hit and said “Hit” instead of swiping. Teriyaki let him have it. When he busted and didn’t flip his cards immediately, I thought Teriyaki was going to throw him in the river. I have never seen a grown man get mentally owned so bad in my life. Allen busts and leaves the table. So does Wingman #1 (thanks boys for leaving me with JJ Walker’s crazy cousin and the dealer who is seemingly seconds away from assaulting someone).
The icing on the cake came from JJ’s cousin. It was just the three best friends anyone could have were player and then some random sat down to play with us. He sits between JJ’s cousin and I. Random Joe gets a winning hand on the next hand and JJ’s cousin lost. JJ’s cousin SNAPS and says, “This m*thafucka stole my m*thafuckin winnin’ hand!” and his chair goes flying back. He then starts to limp away. Mind you, this is single deck and Teriyaki shuffled right before the hand. At this point, I was in “get me the F outta here” mode. We cashed out and talked about a plan to get to the car quickly and safely, how no one get’s left behind like we were in Vietnam.
Teriyaki and JJ’s cousin knew each other enough that they seemed to have their own language. Having been called “Yankees” on this trip more than once, they were probably talking about us right to our face but we were too stupid to know. I have “broken up with” Casino Guy on multiple occasions (in reference to going on these trips, get your mind out of the gutter). After this Tunica trip, and specifically the ride to Greenville, i vowed to never go any with him again. By my rough estimate, I have been on 16 trips with him since. – Wingman #1
See the previous comment about the hard working city of Greenville and our recollections of what JJ’s cousin said to us and did at the table. Can’t say enough about the fine people of Greenville.
Teriyaki stole the show. What a gem. What an all-star. What a legend of the service game. There was one waitress for the whole boat who had no drinks and no tips and no action. My secondhand depression for this woman was so high I almost needed a prescription to cope.
Grub & Liquid Courage
If I didn’t think I was going to catch typhoid fever or get roofied for the stack of cash in my pocket, I would have gassed a bunch of beers just to support that poor waitress slinging drinks to a trash can.
This was more of a trip down memory lane than a review but I think the atmosphere was pretty accurately depicted. Danger, intrigue, triumph (yes I won), disease (assumed) all mixed in with an all-time, Hall of Fame Level personality and equally impressive meltdown by an adult man. Wow…..