Jamie Gold opens poker room on cruise ship

Jamie Gold opens poker room on cruise ship

 The person who drew the most attention during the Island Breeze's opening hasn't won a poker tournament in eight years, and got criticized and sued after he did take home the bracelet.

Decoupling surfaces again in legislature, then tanks

Decoupling surfaces again in legislature, then tanks

 For a minute there, it looked as though decoupling might still make it.

Council Oak open for Saturday lunch

Council Oak open for Saturday lunch

Council Oak Steaks & Seafood restaurant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has expanded to offer lunch from noon-3 p.m. Saturdays and extended bar hours from 3 – 5 p.m.

3 Pompano stories permanently lose Lottery business

3 Pompano stories permanently lose Lottery business

 The investigation is still ongoing -- so the public still doesn't know the details of what happened -- but we know this: You won't be buying any more lottery tickets at three Pompano Beach stores that were busted on April 2.

A big lead disappears into vapor

A big lead disappears into vapor

  How many chances does a poker player get to win a tournament? How bad does it hurt when you miss out, not because of bad luck, but just because you got flat-out outplayed?

Nissan Leaf at Gulfstream

Nissan Leaf at Gulfstream

Tuesday is Earth Day, and Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino (901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-454-7000, GulfstreamPark.com) is trying to make the world better by giving away an environmentally friendly car, a Nissan Leaf. The promotion runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Player's...

Mardi Gras Casino displays poker dealer's art

Mardi Gras Casino displays poker dealer's art

Before you focus on the cards or the slots at Mardi Gras Casino, take a look at the poker-themed paintings in the entryway.

Solitaire moves into Mardi Gras

Solitaire moves into Mardi Gras

Even though people play solitaire on their phones, their computers and with real cards on their kitchen tables, it's not usually found in casinos.

Lucky numbers yield 11 Fantasy 5 winners -- and small jackpot

Lucky numbers yield 11 Fantasy 5 winners -- and small jackpot

 OK, we're saying this one more time: If you're going to pick lottery numbers, don't go for the obvious. Or else you'll be unhappy with the payout.

Happy Passover for Montreal man, who wins $1M at Seminole Hard Rock

Happy Passover for Montreal man, who wins $1M at Seminole Hard Rock

 Why is this night different from all other nights for Eric Afriat?

Miramar man quick to claim $500K win

Miramar man quick to claim $500K win

 Big lottery winners usually take their time getting their affairs in order before snagging their loot, either celebrating their first few days or lining up their money with some kind of planner.

WPT event at Seminole Hard Rock draws record entrants

WPT event at Seminole Hard Rock draws record entrants

 Three years ago Tuesday the federal government shut down online poker in the United States, accompanied by projections the game's popularity would quickly fold.

Casino Miami Jai-Alai reports jackpot flurry

Casino Miami Jai-Alai reports jackpot flurry

Casino Miami Jai Alai officials report a flurry of jackpots so far in April, totalling more than $1 million just 12 days into the month. Casino Miami’s Executive Director of Marketing Stephen Blank says a big one is hitting about every...

Tilly no boob at poker

Tilly no boob at poker

There may be more successful poker players vying for $5 million in prize money in Hollywood this week, but none carries the glamour of Jennifer Tilly.

Make a deal at Classic

Make a deal at Classic

Seminole Classic Casino (4150 N. State Road 7, Hollywood, 954-961-3220, SeminoleClassicCasino.com) will present "Take It or Leave It," a version of "Deal or No Deal," from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday. One person will be called onstage every 30 minutes, with the top prize being $5,000 in...

DeYoung's Styx show canceled due to flu

DeYoung's Styx show canceled due to flu

The performance by Dennis DeYoung of Styx and his band, set for Saturday, has been canceled.

Sen. Lee: "Let's just eliminate dog racing"

Sen. Lee: "Let's just eliminate dog racing"

During Tuesday’s Senate Committee on Gaming meeting, Sen. Tom Lee, R-Bradenton, asked pointed questions of track representatives, and I wondered where he was going with it.

Broward man hits scratch-off for $500K

Broward man hits scratch-off for $500K

Luis Ruiz Diaz, of Coconut Creek, claimed a $500,000 prize in the Gold Rush Tripler Scratch-Off game at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. Ruiz Diaz purchased his ticket at M & S Food Store, located at 4400 W Sample Road in Coconut Creek.

Panel in Miami to discuss gambling April 10

Panel in Miami to discuss gambling April 10

HistoryMiami and the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society will host a panel discussion on Thursday about Florida’s gambling industry, although the topic surely is...

The Zombies: Sometimes, they come back

The Zombies: Sometimes, they come back

The Zombies were cool way before "The Walking Dead."

Island Breeze casino cruise ship gets flowing

Island Breeze casino cruise ship gets flowing

Island Breeze executives hope the gambling winds blow favorably. Owners of the refurbished ship, which sails out of the Port of Palm Beach, launched a soft opening March 15 but are now ready to go full-sail.

Seminole Hard Rock hires new poker tournament director

Seminole Hard Rock hires new poker tournament director

 He has been on the job only about a month, but right away, there's a big event for David Grub.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek promotions for April

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek promotions for April

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek offers a $10,000 giveaway on April 13 and gives away $555 in free play every five minutes on April 14.

Dania's 12-hour promotions Saturday

Dania's 12-hour promotions Saturday

 Dania Casino and Jai-Alai has two 12-hour promotions going, and they intersect.

$20K drawing at Mardi Gras

$20K drawing at Mardi Gras

The big giveaway this month at Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MardiGrasCasinoFL.com) is a huge pile of cash — $20,000 — and the loot will be doled out at 10:30 p.m. April 29. But to get your name into that drawing drum, you...

Scheck Hillel poker at Mardi Gras raises almost $50K

Scheck Hillel poker at Mardi Gras raises almost $50K

 A charity poker tournament at Mardi Gras Casino's Big Easy Poker Room raised almost $50,000 for the Scheck Hillel Kulanu Scholarship Fund.

Gulfstream loosens up

Gulfstream loosens up

Talk about a visual: Gulfstream Park officials placed faux displays of crumpled machines near two entryways to advertise 84 loose slots.

Calder promotions for April

Calder promotions for April

Calder Casino & Race Course springs into April with a variety of new promotions in the casino, tournaments in Studz Poker Club, and racing giveaways on Saturday.

Mardi Gras' Pick-a-Flower promotion for April

Mardi Gras' Pick-a-Flower promotion for April

Mardi Gras Casino offers a $20,000 drawing on April 29, and a bonus play promotion on April 20.

Casino Miami Jai-Alai offers concerts, car giveaway, slot tournament

Casino Miami Jai-Alai offers concerts, car giveaway, slot tournament

  Casino Miami Jai Alai invites guests to come out during the month of April for numerous drawings, a Nissan Juke giveaway and free concerts.

Illinois man wins event No. 1 at Seminole Hard Rock

Illinois man wins event No. 1 at Seminole Hard Rock

Dan Piela of Wheaton, Ill., won Event 1 of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Monday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Tournament raises $7,400 for jockeys' fund

Tournament raises $7,400 for jockeys' fund

Gulfstream Park hosted its fourth Florida Derby Charity Poker Tournament on Wednesday, an annual event that benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund. 

Mizrachi school adds online option

Mizrachi school adds online option

 Poker dealer schools usually involve hours of training in person and an ability to juggle a schedule, but now there's an online option.

Steve Bourie: When video poker really isn't

Steve Bourie: When video poker really isn't

  I remember playing video poker games at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and noticing that it didn't matter what cards I threw away and what cards I kept.

Dania gives away Mercedes

Dania gives away Mercedes

Dania Casino and Jai-Alai (301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., 954-927-2841, DaniaCasino.com) will present its first big giveaway on Wednesday: a C250 Mercedes-Benz. Slot players have received a drawing voucher for every 200 points earned Sundays through Wednesdays. From 2 to 8 p.m. hourly,...

Seminole Hard Rock WPT series starts (with photo gallery)

Seminole Hard Rock WPT series starts (with photo gallery)

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, a series of 62 tournaments, starts Thursday with a $1 million guarantee event.

All the queen's horses

All the queen's horses

Beauty is expected, of course, but to be Ms. Racing Queen, a woman also has to have horse sense.

Former White Lions Tramp at Coconut Creek

Former White Lions Tramp at Coconut Creek

 Mike Tramp, best known for his work in the rock bands White Lion and Freak of Nature, will be performing in Seminole Casino Coconut Creek’s Nectar Lounge at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The show is free.

Pick winning Florida Derby jockey, win prizes

Pick winning Florida Derby jockey, win prizes

Gulfstream Park is offering a nice prize for the Florida Derby, but you can't use it until next year.

St. Petersburg man wins Isle main event

St. Petersburg man wins Isle main event

 A St. Petersburg man took home the top prize in the main event of the Isle's Battles at the Beach.

Tournament benefits Scheck Hillel School

Tournament benefits Scheck Hillel School

A charity poker tournament is set for 6:45 p.m. April 1 to benefit Scheck Hillel Community School, a private Jewish school near Aventura.

Ms. Racing Queen contestants

Ms. Racing Queen contestants

Gulfstream poker. golf tourney benefit disabled jockeys

Gulfstream poker. golf tourney benefit disabled jockeys

 An annual poker tournament that benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino.

Gallagher's "last smash" tour

Gallagher's "last smash" tour

Those societies for the prevention of cruelty to watermelons have done their job. Gallagher is on his final tour, hanging up his Sledge-O-Matic. The comic who smashes fruit and makes humorous observations will bring his Last Smash Tour to Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Ave., Miami)...

Charity event at Palm Beach Kennel Club

Charity event at Palm Beach Kennel Club

A foundation created after a 15-year-old boy died in an “angel flight” holds its fourth annual poker tournament at 1 p.m. at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in West Palm Beach.

Big high-hand promos at Seminole Hard Rock

Big high-hand promos at Seminole Hard Rock

 Most poker rooms plan out their promotions well in advance, but sometimes the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino slips in an extra surprise.

Questlove booked for Bimini Saturday

Questlove booked for Bimini Saturday

You can tell Ultra MusicFest is coming: DJ Questlove, the official DJ and drummer whose group the Roots is the house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, will be giving an exclusive concert at Resorts World Bimini at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Sunrise man collects $12M Lotto win

Sunrise man collects $12M Lotto win

A Sunrise man claimed a $12 million Florida Lotto jackpot in Tallahassee Tuesday, the first Lotto win in Broward or Palm Beach county since a Davie woman won in September 2012.

Isle's main event starts Thursday

Isle's main event starts Thursday

 The Isle's annual Battles of the Beach poker series begins its main event Thursday. There are Day 1s at 11 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Lotto adds smartphone game feature

Lotto adds smartphone game feature

The Florida Lottery has upped its digital game, with smartphone and tablet access that could yield a trip to Ireland.

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.

Connect with me

Twitter updates



Video