At the Casino at Dania Beach, a need for speed

Correspondent

Ibon Aldazabal almost broke the world record for fastest jai alai throw on Friday, Nov. 10, at the Casino at Dania Beach (301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., 954-920-1511, CasinoDaniaBeach.com).

He might break it soon.

“Aldazabal threw a left side shot clocked at 186 mph,” players manager Benny Bueno says. “The world record in the Guinness book is 188 mph.”

Jai alai is nicknamed “the fastest game in the world.”

Aldazabal and other players were competing in a speed challenge after Game 9 of the 12-game performance.

“He’s definitely the harder thrower from the group. He threw three in the 180s with the last one hitting 186,” Bueno says.

A 30-year-old from Spain’s Basque region, Aldazabal has played at the Dania Beach fronton since 2009.

Speed challenges with other players will take place during Friday-night and Saturday-matinee performances this weekend. The 12 fastest players, including Aldazabal, will throw in the semifinal round on Friday, Nov. 24.

In the Saturday matinee, the top 6 will compete for the championship plus a $1,250 prize.

Dania’s fall jai alai season ends Dec. 17, with the winter season starting Jan. 3. Each week has seven performances between Wednesday and Sunday.

OPEN OPENS

You still have time to register for the Seminole Hard Rock Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open, running Nov. 15-29 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 800-937-0010, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com). Included in the action this weekend are a $360 Pot-limit Omaha (re-entry) plus a $360 Turbo Black Chip Bounty No-limit Hold ’Em (re-entry) with $30,000 guaranteed to be paid out.

The open has 17 events, including a championship with $2 million at stake, and buy-ins of $3,500.

Last year’s open had more than 5,000 entries, which the Hard Rock says was the largest poker tournament in state history.

SOMETHING GOOD

The hits keep coming. Last week, I reported on big acts coming to local casinos in the next few months. I can now add 98 Degrees (“I Do (Cherish You),” “Because of You”) playing Dec. 9 at Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Ave., Miami, 305-649-3000, MagicCityCasino.com). Tickets cost from $35 to $100.

And Herman’s Hermits (“I’m Into Something Good,” “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat”) — with original vocalist Peter Noone — will be onstage Jan. 13 at the Casino at Dania Beach. Tickets cost from $30 to $75.

CLIP AND BET

The 2018 edition of the “American Casino Guide” is now out. Published annually by Hollywood’s Steve Bourie, a former marketing director at the old Dania Jai-Alai, it goes for $13.49 plus shipping and taxes at AmericanCasinoGuide.com. Bourie says it will be available at Amazon and bookstores in about a week.

The book covers casinos in 42 states and includes Indian and boat casinos.

It also has 177 coupons for casinos nationwide. The only South Florida coupons are for Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MGFLA.com), which remains closed after being damaged by Hurricane Irma.

david@davidraterman.com

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