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Hialeah Park owner subject of 'A Stubborn Bet'


“A Stubborn Bet,” a short documentary about John Brunetti, the longtime owner of Hialeah Park Racing and Casino (2200 E. Fourth Ave., 305-885-8000,, is an official selection of the Monmouth Film Festival in New Jersey (Aug. 11-13) and Louisville’s International Festival of Film (Sept. 14-16). Both are in horseracing country.

The film was directed and produced by Miami’s Gaspar Gonzalez, whose credits include “Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami” and other sports productions.

Says Gonzalez: “ ‘A Stubborn Bet’ was part of the HistoryMiami exhibition ‘Beyond the Game: Sports and the Evolution of South Florida,’ a 5,000-square-foot exhibition that was on view from July 16, 2016, through Jan. 15, 2017.”

Hialeah Park will host a VIP screening on Aug. 22.


The Florida State Poker Championship at Isle Casino Pompano Park (777 Isle of Capri Circle, Pompano Beach, 954-972-2000, wraps up on Monday, July 31, after 22 events over four weeks.

In Event 14, a no-limit hold ’em that ended on July 23, Stu Paterson, of Boca Raton, won $55,000. Runner-up Alexandre Fradin, of Montpellier, France, walked with $49,105. There were 279 players. The buy-in was $1,100, and the prize pool was guaranteed at $150,000.

The next major event is the championship, from July 27-31, with a buy-in of $1,500 and $500,000 guaranteed payout.


If you haven’t yet, you can still register for the Aug. 3-15 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 800-937-0010, To do so, you have to visit the casino.

The Big 4 final events, with guaranteed payouts of $6.5 million, get a lot of hype — and TV coverage. But there are 14 other events of various structures, including deep-stack no-limit hold ’em, turbo NLH, seniors 50-plus NLH and HORSE. Buy-ins range from $150 to $50,000.

And there are 35 secondary events, with the lowest buy-in being $80.


Not all local casinos share details of their big jackpot wins with me. Isle Casino Pompano Park does.

According to director of marketing operations Jen Swope, on July 19, with a $200 bet on the Triple Double Diamond slot machine, a patron won $54,000.

On July 21, someone playing a Triple Butterfly Sevens machine won $30,030 off a $5 bet. And on July 17, someone playing a $5 denomination machine with five credits (a $25 bet) won a $43,200 jackpot.

As usual, Swope says the names of the winners won’t be released.

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