David Cassidy at Isle; holiday meals at Coconut Creek

David Cassidy at Isle; holiday meals at Coconut Creek

David Cassidy, now 64 and a Fort Lauderdale resident, will sing some Christmas favorites and his hits 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Isle Casino and Racing (1800 SW Third St., Pompano Beach). Back when he was a teenager, Cassidy starred on the TV show "The Partridge Family," and launched his...

WPT Deepstacks adds to Seminole Hard Rock action

WPT Deepstacks adds to Seminole Hard Rock action

 I'm trying to keep straight all the tournaments coming to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, and it's becoming more difficult.

Mardi Gras opens upgraded VIP lounge

Mardi Gras opens upgraded VIP lounge

Devoted slot players like to spend hour upon hour sitting at the machines, and regulars develop a camaraderie that often creates friendships and continued socializing after they’re done taking their spins.

Seminole Hard Rock promotions for December

Seminole Hard Rock promotions for December

 The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has a 12 Days of Christmas cash giveaway running.

Little River Band at Mardi Gras Dec. 31

Little River Band at Mardi Gras Dec. 31

 The Little River Band plays the Mardi Gras Casino grandstand at 10:30 p.m. Dec. 31. That's followed by fireworks and a champagne toast.

$100K buy-in event returns to Hard Rock, but there's a way to get invited

$100K buy-in event returns to Hard Rock, but there's a way to get invited

 The World Poker Tour created the Alpha8 series to push the envelope of risk. Buy-in is $100,000. A hundred grand.

Coco Poker Showdown in January features $350K guarantee event

Coco Poker Showdown in January features $350K guarantee event

The Coco Poker Showdown will begin a 12-day run at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek at noon Wednesday, Jan. 7 in the STAX Poker Lounge.

Isle gives away Charger; other weekend gambling promotions

Isle gives away Charger; other weekend gambling promotions

The Isle Casino and Racing (1800 SW Third St., Pompano Beach, 954-972-2000, TheIslePompanoPark.com) will give away the first of two Dodge Chargers at 6 p.m. Sunday. The second one will be given away Dec. 28. Players can get free drawing entries daily, and triple entries from 9 a.m....

Gambling's value to Florida debated

Gambling's value to Florida debated

A group representing the commercial casino industry says gambling is big business in Florida, even though the state ranks in the lower half of 23 states documented.

O'Hurley makes stop at Seminole Coconut Creek

O'Hurley makes stop at Seminole Coconut Creek

Actor, author and TV personality John O’Hurley recently stopped at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek to dine at NYY Steak and play blackjack.

'Poker Night in America' taping

'Poker Night in America' taping

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, top poker players were at the Seminole Hard Rock to tape "Poker Night in America" for CBS Sports. The first two games were composed of men, and the third night was women-only. While women's tournaments have aired on TV, the event is believed to be the first time they played a...

Women's cash game: A TV first

Women's cash game: A TV first

There have been women-only poker tournaments in made-for-TV environments, but what's believed to be the first women's cash game looked to be a smash at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood.

Mercier wins $727K, title at St. Kitts

Mercier wins $727K, title at St. Kitts

 Jason Mercier began raking in cash by playing poker seven years ago, and he still has the touch:  Mercier, of Fort Lauderdale won World Poker Tour Alpha8 St. Kitts tournament Saturday,  earning $727,500 for his stay in the west Indies.

Seminole Coconut Creek promotions for December

Seminole Coconut Creek promotions for December

 Seminole Casino Coconut Creek promotions for December:

Hialeah poker: A full house

Hialeah poker: A full house

The most successful poker room in Miami-Dade County is expanding. Hialeah Park is adding 11 tables and tripling the size of its kitchen.

Coco's Lucky 5's returns; other casino promotions

Coco's Lucky 5's returns; other casino promotions

Coco’s Lucky 5’s, probably the most popular promotion at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, will return from noon to midnight Saturday, when the casino (5550 NW 40th St.,...

Full moon party on Bimini SuperFast

Full moon party on Bimini SuperFast

The Bimini SuperFast will introduce a monthly Full Moon Party on Saturday. It will be similar to full moon parties in Thailand, promoters say. Patrons board the ship about 3:30 p.m., and the party revs up near 6, as the sun begins to set. (The moon will rise at 5:56 p.m. Saturday and set at 6:44 a....

Boca man wins main event of $2M guarantee tournament at Seminole Hard Rock

Boca man wins main event of $2M guarantee tournament at Seminole Hard Rock

 It's not his nature, but Chris Bolek could make a claim for best South Florida poker player right now.

Rockin' around the slot machines

Rockin' around the slot machines

The holiday season is here, and four casinos have line up some beyond-the-norm holiday entertainment.

Top poker stars taping at Seminole Hard Rock for 3 days

Top poker stars taping at Seminole Hard Rock for 3 days

Poker Nights in America, a new poker-themed reality show, will film high-stakes action Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood's Paradise Live.

Audi giveaway Sunday at Gulfstream

Audi giveaway Sunday at Gulfstream

Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino (901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, GulfstreamPark.com) caps off November on Sunday with an Audi giveaway. Fifty names will be called: 10 every hour from 6 to 10 p.m. Those patrons will each win $200 in free play, but more important, their...

'Ellen' slot machines debut

'Ellen' slot machines debut

Fans of Ellen DeGeneres have a fresh reason to dance, as slot machines based on the comedian's daytime talk show are now playable in South Florida.

Cashing in slots? They keep the change

Cashing in slots? They keep the change

Ask any casino executive why gamblers choose their place rather than a competitor's, and they'll tell you the same thing: customer service.

You, too, noticed the slot redemption machines don't give change?

You, too, noticed the slot redemption machines don't give change?

 It has been a few months now since the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and other Seminole properties have begun using new money redemption machines, the ATM-like devices you cash your slot tickets in on.

Isle gives away Volt Sunday

Isle gives away Volt Sunday

Isle Casino and Racing (1800 SW Third St., Pompano Beach, 954-972-2000, TheIslePompanoPark.com) gives away a Chevy Volt at 8 p.m. Sunday, wrapping up its big promotion for November. Slot players have been earning entries for the drawing all month. To warm things up, five patrons...

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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