Super Bowl tickets ... for 2016 at Mardi Gras

Super Bowl tickets ... for 2016 at Mardi Gras

It may be too late to plan to attend this year's Super Bowl, but Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MardiGrasCasinoFL.com) is looking toward 2016. The casino's Big Game 2016 promotion provides a trip for two to next year's game in Santa Clara,...

Super Bowl a tough time for recovering gamblers, council notes

Super Bowl a tough time for recovering gamblers, council notes

 The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling is asking friends, family and coworkers to be sensitive to the temptation and needs of the compulsive gamblers this week. They expect a spike in calls on Monday after the Super Bowl.

Propped-up Super Bowl finale

Propped-up Super Bowl finale

Will New England score first or will Seattle? Will the first score be a touchdown or a field goal?

Super Bowl ticket giveaway part of 'Pooch Predictor' at P.B. Kennel

Super Bowl ticket giveaway part of 'Pooch Predictor' at P.B. Kennel

The Palm Beach Kennel Club and the West Palm Beach ESPN radio affiliate (106.3 FM) are offering a trip for two to the Super Bowl.

Frankey's sports bar opens at The Village at Gulfstream Park

Frankey's sports bar opens at The Village at Gulfstream Park

The owner of The Village at Gulfstream Park and of a 90,000-acre farm in Ocala has opened a sports bar in Hallandale Beach called Frankey's.

Camera giveaway at Creek

Camera giveaway at Creek

Cameras are banned in most casinos, because many patrons like to keep their privacy (although the selfie craze has allowed for some rules relaxation among willing friends). But a camera is the prize Friday at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (5550 NW 40th St.,...

Miss Universe present and future at Seminole Coconut Creek

Miss Universe present and future at Seminole Coconut Creek

Miss Universe, Gabriela Isler of Venezuela, and 29 contestants in the upcoming pageant were featured during a $50,000 blackjack tournament at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek Friday.

Only 6 entrants at Alpha8 $100K buy-in event, but...

Only 6 entrants at Alpha8 $100K buy-in event, but...

 Paradise Live was full of activity over the weekend, with a half-dozen security guards, a handful of camera operators, a couple of poker dealers, countless TV technical crew, a station of reporters writing for online and updating via social media, local and national poker directors, all...

Miss Universe, current and future at Seminole Coconut Creek

Miss Universe, current and future at Seminole Coconut Creek

 Casinos like to put out the glamorous vibe as much as possible, and beautiful women are often a welcome accessory.

Celebrate Capone's 115th at NYY Steak

Celebrate Capone's 115th at NYY Steak

Al Capone would be 115 years old on Saturday, a fact not lost upon those at NYY Steak at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

Gulfstream poker events raises $8,500 for jockeys' fund

Gulfstream poker events raises $8,500 for jockeys' fund

 The Eclipse Awards Charity Poker tournament, held Wednesday evening at Gulfstream Park, raised more than $8,500 for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).

Gulfstream marks MLK day with pillow giveaway

Gulfstream marks MLK day with pillow giveaway

We all know Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. And we all know Monday commemorates the man. So Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino (901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, GulfstreamPark.com), playing off the "dream" line, is giving away … pillows. The promotion will begin...

Hollywood poker player wins $641K in Atlantis tournament

Hollywood poker player wins $641K in Atlantis tournament

 South Florida poker pro Chance Kornuth registered the biggest score of his career Wednesday, earning $641,140 for finishing third in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

PPC comes to Isle in February

PPC comes to Isle in February

The PPC Poker Tour (PPC), which hosts U.S. and destination poker events, is heading to the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park for the 2015 PPC Isle Casino Winter Series Feb. 16-22.

Casino recruits 'Coco Girls' for table games

Casino recruits 'Coco Girls' for table games

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek will hold a recruiting event Wednesday, Jan. 14, to hire "Coco Girls"  for the casino.

Look out for flying cards

Look out for flying cards

South Florida poker players are fickle. They'll choose the card room with the best tournament, the most generous promotions or some perk they like.

Latin Night Saturday at Seminole Classic

Latin Night Saturday at Seminole Classic

Seminole Classic Casino (4150 N. State Road 7, 954-961-3220, SeminoleClassicCasino.com) will host Latin night at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Hollywood Hall (the tent next to the casino). The casino's very own host, Jose "El Zorro," will emcee, with the Puerto Rican band Son D' Panderos...

Mardi Gras Big Easy: "Anything Goes"

Mardi Gras Big Easy: "Anything Goes"

 Well, this stops high hands from rolling over.

Isle poker series starts today

Isle poker series starts today

 The Isle Classic, a series of nine poker tournaments, starts today and runs through Jan. 27.

I left my money at Seminole Hard Rock

I left my money at Seminole Hard Rock

I love to talk poker, and because I play in all the South Florida rooms, I love to compare notes about where I can make the most money.

RV show at Isle Casino

RV show at Isle Casino

 You know, we haven't had a good movie featuring an RV lately. And I get too sad thinking of Robin Williams in "RV" and "Meet the Fockers" is tainted by "Little Fockers."

Poker series starts Wednesday in Coconut Creek

Poker series starts Wednesday in Coconut Creek

The first big poker series of the year in South Florida begins at noon Wednesday, Jan. 7. It's the Coco Poker Showdown, and it'll be a 12-day run at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in the STAX Poker Lounge.

Blinko at Mardi Gras

Blinko at Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Casino has launched "Blinko Drop Zone," which runs through Feb. 11. It's very much like the Plinko game you'll see on "The Price is Right," with winners along the way at Mardi Gras (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MardiGrasCasinoFL.com). Daily...

Casinos bet big on Colossal Diamond slot machine

Casinos bet big on Colossal Diamond slot machine

Some people frequent casinos to live large, and casino gaming doesn't get much larger than the Colossal Diamonds slot machine.

Top 10 South Florida gambling stories for 2014

Top 10 South Florida gambling stories for 2014

Lessons from 2014: A guarantee is a guarantee, the tournament isn't always over even after the last card has been played and other things we learned this year.

Big party at Classic

Seminole Classic Casino (4150 N. State Road 7, 954-961-3220, SeminoleClassicCasino.com) celebrates New Year's Eve with promotions and music. At 8 p.m., the giveaway is free play for a year ($26,000 in 2015). Afterward, five players will receive $2,015 in free play at midnight. Steph...

Seminole Coconut Creek has special holiday dining

Sorrisi Italian restaurant at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and will feature several specials, notably a seven-fish seafood salad (scallop, shrimp, calamari, mussels, clams, lump crab, octopus if you're counting) for $19. They’ll also serve...

'Bronx Tale" coming to Coconut Creek; tickets on sale Friday

 “A Bronx Tale,” starring actor Chazz Palminteri, is coming to The Pavilion at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26.

4 performances of Beatles show at Magic City

 Magic City Casino welcomes back All You Need is Love: A Beatles Tribute Concert for four performances, including a New Year’s Eve edition concert.

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

 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

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

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

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

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

Poker starts off the year at Seminole Coconut Creek event

 The first big poker series of the year in South Florida begins Wednesday. It's the Coco Poker Showdown, and it'll be a 12-day run at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek at noon Wednesday in the STAX Poker Lounge.

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

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

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

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

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

 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 Casino Coconut Creek promotions for December:

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, 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

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

 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

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

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

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...

Hard Rock to open $12 million Japanese restaurant

Hard Rock to open $12 million Japanese restaurant

The Seminole Hard Rock will up its culinary game with the January opening of a $12 million Japanese restaurant, called Kuro.

Classic employees raise $12,216 for breast cancer awareness

Classic employees raise $12,216 for breast cancer awareness

 

Island Breeze casino boat operator files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Island Breeze casino boat operator files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The operator of the Island Breeze II day-casino boat out of Port of Palm Beach has filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The bustout that never happened

Dad shows up to take son to celebrate No. 21 but the cards said otherwise

Ryan van Sanford's father lives in Colorado, but he happened to be in central Florida on business, with three days off.

Mercedes giveaway at Coconut Creek

Mercedes giveaway at Coconut Creek

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (5550 NW 40th St., SeminoleCasinoCoconutCreek.com) will give away a Mercedes CLA at 11 p.m. Saturday, but the winner could be holding the goods as early as 7 p.m. That's when the casino will begin picking five hourly finalists, and give them a random...

With casinos everywhere, South Florida owners seek help

With casinos everywhere, South Florida owners seek help

Wall Street analysts fear the South Florida gambling market is saturated, and it's easy to see why: South Broward County has five casinos within 15 minutes of each other, and Miami-Dade has a pocket with three.

Swede wins Scandinavian showdown at WSOP

Swede wins Scandinavian showdown at WSOP

Martin Jacobson won $10 million at the World Series of Poker. His winning hand? Three 10s.

Florida gambling's next step: Seminole compact

Florida gambling's next step: Seminole compact

The question of who will govern Florida is settled and there's a consensus on the next step in planning Florida's gambling future.

Legal Services tournament at Hard Rock nets $7K

Legal Services tournament at Hard Rock nets $7K

 

Bimini SuperFast abandons Fort Lauderdale

Bimini SuperFast abandons Fort Lauderdale

Less than a month after cruising into Port Everglades as a midweek vacation option, the Bimini SuperFast is leaving Fort Lauderdale.

Mardi Gras Comedy Challenge is over, but the laughing is not

Mardi Gras Comedy Challenge is over, but the laughing is not

Headlining an eight-week-long comedy challenge is like coming full circle for John Heffron. He won NBC's "Last Comic Standing" in 2004.

WSOP finals: Watch and learn

WSOP finals: Watch and learn

Let's look at how TV poker has changed. First, there were telecasts without a hole-card camera, so we didn't know what cards were being played. And it was on tape. We might as well have been watching bowling, except with a big sheet blocking our view of the pins.

$100K giveaway at Seminole Hard Rock coming up

$100K giveaway at Seminole Hard Rock coming up

This isn't a grand prize. It's a 100 grand prize. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 866-502-7529, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com) will hand out $100,000 to someone at 6 p.m. Nov. 16, via a drawing. You can start accumulating drawing entries now. As...

Mardi Gras promotions for November

Mardi Gras promotions for November

This November,  Mardi Gras Casino offers cash and bonus play, and a share of $80,000.

Seminole Hard Rock promotions for November

Seminole Hard Rock promotions for November

Casino Promotions

Seminole Coconut Creek promotions for November

Seminole Coconut Creek promotions for November

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek's promotions for November:

Isle main event draws 557

Isle main event draws 557

Luke Brereton, of Manchester, England, took home the big loot in the Isle Poker Open on Monday.

Charity poker tourney helps legal service

Charity poker tourney helps legal service

A charity poker tournament to help provide legal aid for those who can't afford it is at noon Sunday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood.

Seminole Hard Rock giveaways, contests

Seminole Hard Rock giveaways, contests

You're not going to be able to avoid Halloween if you walk around the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 866-502-7529, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com), with slot giveaways and more than one nightclub costume contest. Start in the casino, where Hard Rock...

Free cruise on SuperFast

Free cruise on SuperFast

The Bimini SuperFast is looking for gamblers, to the point that anyone with a casino player's club card gets a free cruise from Fort Lauderdale through Nov. 24.

Charity tournament at Weston home

Charity tournament at Weston home

An annual tournament for an autism charity has become a home game.

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