Slot payoff at Calder

Slot payoff at Calder

The TournEvent of Champions Slot Tournament series climaxes this weekend at Calder Casino and Race Course (21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens, 305-625-1311, CalderRaceCourse.com). The slot player with the highest cumulative score on Friday will win a trip to the Wynn Las Vegas to...

New chef highlights Sorrisi makeover

New chef highlights Sorrisi makeover

 The casino's signature restaurant right next door is tied to America's greatest sports franchise, so you can understand why chef and sports fan Jacob Perego goes for the metaphor in explaining how things should be different at Sorrisi.

Rolling Stones slot at Coconut Creek

Rolling Stones slot at Coconut Creek

 For Rolling Stones fans, this would could be a gas, gas, gas...

$1M guarantee at Seminole Hard Rock Thursday

$1M guarantee at Seminole Hard Rock Thursday

The second large event in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker open begins Thursday, with $1 million in prize money guaranteed to be distributed among the top finishers.

Hard rock poker charity

Hard rock poker charity

 A Charity Series of Poker (“CSOP”) tournament benefitting Habitat For Humanity International and Habitat for Humanity of Broward has been added to the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. The tournament will be at 6 p.m....

Air Supply coming to Mardi Gras Casino

Air Supply coming to Mardi Gras Casino

Australian soft rock duo Air Supply performs at Mardi Gras Casino at 8 p.m. Nov. 22.

Calder adds poker lounge, other August promotions

Calder adds poker lounge, other August promotions

In a month that already includes the conclusion to the TournEvent of Champions Slot Tournament, a Ford Escape giveaway, and a flyaway trip to Live with Kelly & Michael, Calder has announced the opening of a new video poker lounge with over 20 games.

'Latin Funk Kings' at Dania Friday

'Latin Funk Kings' at Dania Friday

Electric Piquete, Hialeah’s “Latin Funk Kings” perform at Dania Casino & Jai Alai (301 E Dania Beach Blvd, Dania Beach) at 8 p.m. Friday in the Cesta Lounge.

$1,000 slot monthly slot play at Isle

$1,000 slot monthly slot play at Isle

There's nothing like having a consistent flow of cash to spend at the casino, and the Isle Casino and Racing has a plan. At 10 p.m. each Saturday in August, the casino gives one person $1,000 in free slot play every month for a year. Preliminary drawings give away $100 in free...

Hialeah celebrates one year

Hialeah celebrates one year

 Hialeah Park Casino will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its opening over a three-day stretch starting Friday.

Lake Worth man claims $1M scratch-off win

Lake Worth man claims $1M scratch-off win

David Schneider, 44, of Lake Worth, claimed a $1 million prize in the 100X The Cash Scratch-Off game at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee Wednesday.

Gulfstream, patrons dispute over 'unlocking' car

Gulfstream, patrons dispute over 'unlocking' car

WTVJ reports that a woman said she won a luxury SUV, but Gulfstream Park SUV said not so fast.

Magic City continues $1,500 high hands weekday mornings

Magic City continues $1,500 high hands weekday mornings

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

Hard Rock begins poker blitz

Hard Rock begins poker blitz

Its $10 million guaranteed main event won't start until Aug. 30, but the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will offer plenty of poker beginning Thursday.

Tristan Wade wins WSOP Circuit in West Palm

Tristan Wade wins WSOP Circuit in West Palm

Tristan Wade, a noted pro from Boynton Beach, won the first WSOP Circuit Main Event of the season, held at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

Lawyers, state in showdown over dealers' tips

Lawyers, state in showdown over dealers' tips

State regulators are putting a new interpretation to a state statute and the results mean more taxes are being collected on tips to poker dealers.

Back to school giveaways

Back to school giveaways

Words that make many children frown — "back to school" — are the heartbeat of the promotion schedule this month at Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MardiGrasCasinoFL.com). Mondays bring the "Back to School Electronics Giveaway,"...

Casino Miami Jai-Alai gives away a car each Saturday in August

Casino Miami Jai-Alai gives away a car each Saturday in August

Casino Miami gives guests a chance to drive home a winner with car drawings every Saturday and more.

The governorship and gambling: Always lots of action

The governorship and gambling: Always lots of action

Don’t look for gambling to be a hot topic in Florida’s race for governor.

Palm Beach Kennel Club refurbishes room

Palm Beach Kennel Club refurbishes room

There’s a fresh look at the Palm Beach Kennel Club poker room, with new carpet, paint, wallpaper, poker tables, TVs and chairs.

Isle main event draws 229

Isle main event draws 229

 The main event of the Florida State Poker Championship drew 229 players, and the Isle Casino and Racing easily surpassed its $500,000 guarantee. The prize pool was $526,000 as a field of 229 played in the $2,500 buy-in tournament.

$88K win at Seminole Classic -- playing bingo

$88K win at Seminole Classic -- playing bingo

Joyce Duffy from Davie walked away with a huge win -- $88,450 -- at Seminole Classic Casino last week. And it was by playing bingo.

Seminole Hard Rock 'Power Hour' Aug. 17

Seminole Hard Rock 'Power Hour' Aug. 17

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood has a "Power Hour" from noon to 4 p.m. Other than the idea that their hour is really 240 minutes, this isn't such a bad thing.

Seminole Classic Casino dishes up new food court

Seminole Classic Casino dishes up new food court

Gamblers looking for a quick bite say they've hit the jackpot with the new food court at Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood.

Seminole Coconut Creek August promotions

Seminole Coconut Creek August promotions

Jackpot Party Payout

Prize: 'Big Bang Theory' taping

Sure, you could win a car. Or cash. Or free play. But how close to fame does that place you? Calder Casino and Race Course (21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens, 305-625-1311, CalderRaceCourse.com) is giving away a trip to a taping of "The Big Bang Theory" at 9 p.m. Saturday. It's a...

Dania poker drops rake to $2 in some cases

 Winning a big pot, then seeing $5 disappear via the house rake certainly can hack into a bankroll. Now, Dania Jai-Alai has cut its rake from 2-6 p.m. daily, calling it "Happy Hour."

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

 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

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

 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 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

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

$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 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

 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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

 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

  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

 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

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.

Casino patriotic celebrations: Starting Tuesday...

Casino patriotic celebrations: Starting Tuesday...

Four casinos have patriotic celebrations this week, although two of them will take place before July 4. I guess the idea is that July 4 is a family night for many people, so launch those fireworks early.

Casino Miami Jai-Alai: A business update

Casino Miami Jai-Alai: A business update

Casino Miami Jai-Alai announced Friday that it has completed the sale of its operations to Fronton Holdings LLC.

Four car giveaways coming up

Four car giveaways coming up

Five casinos mark the end of the month with big giveaways, four of them of cars:

Fiat winner at Mardi Gras

Fiat winner at Mardi Gras

The climax of the June promotion at Mardi Gras Casino came Tuesday night, with the awarding of the Fiat 500L in their "Ticket to Ride" promotion.

Seminole Hard Rock poker prizes: Seats at $10M guarantee tournament

Seminole Hard Rock poker prizes: Seats at $10M guarantee tournament

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is in the midst of its Full House Giveaway this month.

Calder Studz shootout Saturday has $10K guarantee

Calder Studz shootout Saturday has $10K guarantee

 "Beat 18 players and win the $10,000 guarantee first-place prize!" proclaims the flyer for Saturday's Studz Summer Shootout, and that's a true statement.

Lottery eliminates Mega Money, announces replacement game

Lottery eliminates Mega Money, announces replacement game

Mega Money is disappearing, with a new game in its place.

11-way chop at Seminole Hard Rock

11-way chop at Seminole Hard Rock

 Apparently, everybody wanted to go home during the Friday night $350 buy-in tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: 11 players agreed to an even chop.

Robert Mizrachi wins second WSOP bracelet

Robert Mizrachi wins second WSOP bracelet

Bimini SuperFast has special Friday for teachers

Bimini SuperFast has special Friday for teachers

 The Bimini SuperFast ship is hosting what it's calling the "ultimate teacher’s appreciation party" Friday. That means no meetings, sunshine, gambling and the opportunity to knock back a drink or two.

Dinner theater Sunday at Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Casino is offering "Murder at Mardi Gras," a dinner theater comedy, at 3 p.m. Sundays on the second floor.

Winning cash for kicks

Winning cash for kicks

Two casinos are offering nice payouts for people adept at predicting World Cup winners.

Cars, Jet Skis and comedy

Cars, Jet Skis and comedy

A Fiat, a Porsche, and a Jet Ski are within reach this week, as are a concert by a noted rocker and a night of laughs.

Condo proposal at Gulfstream Park

Condo proposal at Gulfstream Park

 So the Hallandale Beach City Commission votes Wednesday on whether to approve a condo project at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino. I don't really see any reason why...

Lottery: Fort Lauderdale man beats expiration deadline, claims $277K

Lottery: Fort Lauderdale man beats expiration deadline, claims $277K

 Just 18 days before his quarter-million-dollar payday would have evaporated, Ruben Curbelo took his winning Fantasy 5 ticket to Tallahassee and claimed $277,401.33.

Former Styx' DeYoung at Casino Miami Jai-Alai

Former Styx' DeYoung at Casino Miami Jai-Alai

Dennis DeYoung will be bringing the Music of Styx to Casino Miami Jai Alai at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Casino Miami Jai-Alai

Casino Miami Jai-Alai

Casino Miami Jai Alai offers giveaways, concerts and cash prizes in June.

Lottery: Sign your ticket for security

Lottery: Sign your ticket for security

 In the heat of chasing that lottery dream, there's one move that a player should make in case lightning strikes, lottery officials say.

Girls in bikinis, World Cup and poker: My day at Seminole Hard Rock

Girls in bikinis, World Cup and poker: My day at Seminole Hard Rock

 Talk about a whirlwind day: That would be my Thursday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Hard Rock Cafe tribute bands at birthday party

Hard Rock Cafe tribute bands at birthday party

Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood, located inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, has tribute bands to celebrate its 43rd birhday.

Be a dad-- or not

Be a dad-- or not

Depending on which casino they hit this weekend, dads can win a brunch buffet, cash, a home theater system and even a vintage motorcycle. In most cases, you don't even have to be a dad to win. So don't bother loading your wallet or cell phone with photos of young ones you'll claim to be your...

Familiar faces score at WSOP

Familiar faces score at WSOP

Two poker players with South Florida ties came close to winning World Series of Poker bracelets Tuesday. Still, they ended up with pretty nice scores.

Gulfstream Father's Day includes buffet, gifts

Gulfstream Father's Day includes buffet, gifts

Gulfstream Park is offering several gifts and experiences for those looking for a Father's Day present.

Seminole Coconut Creek has Father's Day motorcycle giveaway

Seminole Coconut Creek has Father's Day motorcycle giveaway

A motorcycle giveaway and a special brunch will be the featured attractions during Father’s Day weekend at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, June 14-15.

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