Big-screen slot machines

Big-screen slot machines

Like movies, slot machines can provide an escape from our daily lives. So it follows that many slot machines have movie themes.

School theme in August at Mardi Gras

School theme in August at Mardi Gras

 Mardi Gras Casino has a back-to-school theme in August and awards cash, bonus play and prizes, including a Teacher's Pet promotion.

West Palm woman wins bet, dresses Hellmuth as baby

West Palm woman wins bet, dresses Hellmuth as baby

Casual poker fans who follow Phil Hellmuth might say his perfect outfit would be a baby bonnet, baby clothes and a rattle.

Vacation's over: Back to work

Vacation's over: Back to work

 Hey there, just want to let everyone know that I'm back in town after about 12 days off. I flew to Boston to check out a couple of colleges for my son, then saw my girl in New York City, then the lovely Mrs. Sortal and I flew to San Francisco for a week, staying with a cousin for a couple of...

Seminole Classic's Do It Yourself bingo promo tonight

Seminole Classic's Do It Yourself bingo promo tonight

Seminole Classic Casino is giving players a shot at a $86,950 jackpot during its popular Do It Yourself bingo tonight at 7 p.m.

World Series final 9 from six countries

World Series final 9 from six countries

The World Series of Poker winnowed down to its final nine players Monday night, and they represent six countries: Brazil, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United States. The players will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Nov. 10 to vie for the $10 million first prize.  

Casino Miami Jai-Alai July promotions

Casino Miami Jai-Alai July promotions

Casino Miami announces cash prizes, including a chance to win $100,000 in cash, all month long.

$1,500 high hand mornings at Magic City

$1,500 high hand mornings at Magic City

The Magic City poker room offers $1,500 high-hand payouts from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays in July.

Calder to lay off up to 246 after reductions, closings

Calder to lay off up to 246 after reductions, closings

Calder Casino and Race Course has slashed its horse racing dates and eliminated its poker room, and with that comes a reduction in employees.

Gulfstream regular leads WSOP Main Event

Gulfstream regular leads WSOP Main Event

 Andrew Liporace, a regular at Gulfstream's card room, sits on a much larger stage today. He's the leader after three days of the main event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Compulsive gambling conference in Orlando

Compulsive gambling conference in Orlando

The National Council on Problem Gambling is Friday and Saturday in Orlando, where experts in the treatment of problem gambling will gather from around the country and abroad.

$20 vouchers on SuperFast

$20 vouchers on SuperFast

The Bimini SuperFast is making it easy for World Cup fans. Everyone on board for the third-place game on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday receives a $20 betting voucher for the sports book. The ship will be airing the games on its 50 TVs and a 30-foot by 15-foot LED screen on...

Still time to play Event 1 at Isle Florida State Open

Still time to play Event 1 at Isle Florida State Open

Mike Smith began the Florida State Poker Championships at the Isle Casino and Racing in 2008, and his replacement as director of poker, Stan Strickland, has continued the summer event.

Casting call for "The Bachelor" at Seminole Casino

Casting call for "The Bachelor" at Seminole Casino

ABC-TV's reality series "The Bachelor" - um, let's make that "unscripted" television show - will have a casting call for single women Saturday, July 12 at ...

Seminole Classic installing food court

Seminole Classic installing food court

 Seminole Classic Casino had a huge upgrade last year and now comes another major piece: A food court.

Lottery sales reach $5.4 billion in Florida

Lottery sales reach $5.4 billion in Florida

Floridians sure have developed an itch for scratch-offs, spending more than $3.4 billion last fiscal year, according to figures released Monday by the Florida Lottery.

Sphinx machine solves 3D riddle

Sphinx machine solves 3D riddle

Gold coins and treasures appear to jump off the screen and into your lap with the new Sphinx 3D slot machine that hit South Florida casinos last week.

Hialeah announces $60M expansion

Hialeah announces $60M expansion

 Hialeah Park Racing and Casino officials announced an “immediate and ongoing expansion” this week that will cost $60 million and be completed by the end of 2015.

Seminole Coconut Creek honors 100-year-old patron

Seminole Coconut Creek honors 100-year-old patron

  Seminole Casino Coconut Creek honored what surely is their oldest slot player, 100-year-old Arthur Malin.

Patriotic? Play slots

Patriotic? Play slots

Seminole Classic Casino (4150 N. State Road 7, 954-961-3220, SeminoleClassicCasino.com) has a patriotic promotion: free slot play. Players began earning entries on Tuesday. Every 20 minutes from noon to midnight Friday, one person will win $1,000 in free slot play.

High hands every 15 minutes at Mardi Gras

High hands every 15 minutes at Mardi Gras

 The Big Easy Poker Room at Mardi Gras Casino is known for its easy-to-figure-out promotions.

Jeep Liberty, Can Am Spyder, jet skis at Casino Miami Jai-Alai this week

Jeep Liberty, Can Am Spyder, jet skis at Casino Miami Jai-Alai this week

  Casino Miami Jai-Alai has big promotions this week, with a Jeep Liberty, a Can Am Spyder and two jet skis up for grabs.

Isle $50K for $75 buy-in results in 7-person chop

Isle $50K for $75 buy-in results in 7-person chop

 Nobody walked out with the advertised first prize of $50,000, but at least seven poker players walked away happy Sunday at Isle Casino and Racing.

Calder poker room to close Monday

Calder poker room to close Monday

The word "fold" is heard often in poker, but on Monday night, it will apply to the entire room at Calder Race Course.

Lottery: Lotto hits for $12M in Miami

Lottery: Lotto hits for $12M in Miami

The Florida Lotto yielded one single jackpot winner Saturday night, with a payout of $12 million.

About the blog & author


Maybe you've made the right play, maybe you haven't. Your heart speeds up, your stomach rumbles. That's why it's called gambling. Action is a sure bet, offering a view of the numbers, the psychology and the flavor of gambling here in South Florida, through our lens.

Nick Sortal began playing 3-card "gut" and "Indian poker" on high school band trips, moved on to "night baseball" and "pass the trash" during a Dr Pepper-infused midnight game in the 1980s at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and now play in a regular neighborhood hold 'em game in Plantation. He's been writing about gambling life in South Florida casinos since 2007, which means sitting around watching poker on TV counts as research.

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