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

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

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

 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

  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 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)

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

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

 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

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

 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

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

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

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

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

 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

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

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

 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

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

Too drunk to gamble?

A California man is suing a Las Vegas casino because he says they plied him with drinks en route to his losing $500,000.

Evoque at Coconut Creek

With a bit of drama, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (5550 NW 40th St., 954-977-6700, SeminoleCasinoCoconutCreek.com) will give away a Range Rover Evoque at 9 tonight. Five players every 45 minutes will be given the chance to select a puzzle piece representing the Evoque. After all 25...

Island Breeze casino trips launch Saturday

Day casino cruises will return to Port of Palm Beach Saturday when the Island Breeze II is scheduled to cast off after months of renovation delays, its operator announced late Tuesday.

Romantics at Magic City March 15

  Magic City Casino will host a free concert starring new wave group The Romantics at 8 p.m. Saturday at Secada’s Lounge at the casino, 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami.

Alpha8, from Seminole Hard Rock, premieres Sunday

 The World Poker Tour’s new tournament series, WPT Alpha8, premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday on Fox Sports 1.

Studz adds four 2 p.m. tournaments

Studz adds four 2 p.m. tournaments

 Stuz Poker Club at Calder Casino and Race Course has added four 2 p.m. tournaments to go with the daily 11 a.m. tournaments.

Seminole Hard Rock March poker promotions

Seminole Hard Rock March poker promotions

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino poker room is building up to a $45,000 freeroll this month.

Casino Miami Jai-Alai promotions for March

Casino Miami Jai-Alai promotions for March

Casino Miami Jai Alai offers John Waite, The Commodores and a chance to win $1 million.

Poker tourneys, Mercedes-Benz at Dania

Poker tourneys, Mercedes-Benz at Dania

Dania Casino and Jai-Alai opened in February and now the promotions are ramping up.

$100 every 2 minutes at Hard Rock

$100 every 2 minutes at Hard Rock

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 866-502-7529, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com) is giving away $100 in free play every two minutes from 3 to 9 p.m. Mondays in March. To be eligible, guests must be actively playing slots with their Player's Club...

Seminole Coconut Creek promotions for March

Seminole Coconut Creek promotions for March

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek promotions for March, lightly edited by me:

Second annual Mardi Gras party draws a crowd

Second annual Mardi Gras party draws a crowd

Mardi Gras Casino likes to go big on Fat Tuesday, and the second annual Mardi Gras Mania drew quite a crowd.

John Waite at Casino Miami Jai-Alai

John Waite at Casino Miami Jai-Alai

Rock and roll star John Waite will be performing at Casino Miami Jai Alai at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Seminole Hard Rock promotions for March

Seminole Hard Rock promotions for March

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino promotions for March, sent by their staff and lightly edited by me:

Sands' Abboud very disappointed with gambling bills

Sands' Abboud very disappointed with gambling bills

The destination casino proponents have been quiet as the Florida Legislature has chugged along, but Tuesday Andy Abboud decided it was time to speak up.

Palm Beach slots added to gambling bill

Palm Beach slots added to gambling bill

Palm Beach County inched closer toward becoming slot-friendly on Monday.

$1,500 mornings at Magic City poker

$1,500 mornings at Magic City poker

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

Quick update on WSOP Circuit disqualification

Quick update on WSOP Circuit disqualification

 I spoke with Noah Carbone, card room director of the Palm Beach Kennel Club, today. He notes that the heartbeat of the story is still the same -- a guy took a chip and the card room had to follow the rules.

'Souvenir' chip costs player more than $40,000

'Souvenir' chip costs player more than $40,000

Chan Pelton, happy about conquering 180 poker players, slipped a chip from his stack into his pocket as the final hands of the tournament played out.

Mardi Gras rolls out bingo-type slot machine

Mardi Gras rolls out bingo-type slot machine

It’s better than traditional bingo: The machine automatically fills out your card and pays you. And there are bonuses.

Beatles tribute at Magic City Friday

Magic City Casino hosts  All You Need is Love: A Beatles Tribute Concert, at Stage 305, Magic City Casino’s indoor entertainment venue, at 8 p.m. Friday.

Gambling bill opens door for casinos

Gambling bill opens door for casinos

Broward and Miami-Dade counties would each open one Las Vegas style hotel casino if a bill introduced on Monday works its way through the Florida Legislature.

North Lauderdale man wins at Isle

Robert Transue of North Lauderdale won the February $100K event at the Isle Casino and Racing in Pompano Beach.

Benefit poker at Seminole Hard Rock for JCC

Benefit poker at Seminole Hard Rock for JCC

 The David Posnack Jewish Community Center is holding another charity poker tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The money raised benefits Andra's Hand, which is a 501(c)3 organization supporting families and children with autism.

Lake Worth man hits for $500K on scratch-off

Lake Worth man hits for $500K on scratch-off

Haitham Hussein, 42, of Lake Worth, claimed a $500,000 prize in the 20X The Cash Scratch-Off game at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee.

Dania Casino: Details about the businessmen

Dania Casino: Details about the businessmen

 El Nuevo Herald's Enrique Flor came up with good details on the new owners of Dania Casino.

Documentary on government's role in gambling to tour state

Documentary on government's role in gambling to tour state

 A short documentary produced by NoCasinos.org, called "Pushing Luck," will be shown throughout Florida including in Miami.

Dania Casino draws a crowd for opening

Dania Casino draws a crowd for opening

 Yes, the walls were a fresh bright red, and long-awaited slot machines covered two floors at Dania Casino and Jai-Alai. But there was something else unique at the 61-year-old fronton.

Casino bets on tribute bands

Casino bets on tribute bands

By the time Fabulons drummer Richie Benjamin strikes the first downbeat, the dance floor at Mardi Gras Casino is full. And it stays packed throughout the night.

Ford Expedition at Isle

Ford Expedition at Isle

Isle Casino and Racing (1800 SW Third St., Pompano Beach, 954-972-2000, TheIslePompanoPark.com) will wrap up its February promotion Sunday with the giveaway of a Ford Expedition. Five guests will win $250 in free play every hour from 5 to 8 p.m. Then, at 8 p.m. Sunday, someone...

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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