Poker in Florida
POKER ROOMS...WHAT WILL YOU GIVE ME TO WALK IN THE DOOR?
Poker Rooms in the Greater Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/Palm Beaches are located in a myriad of venues, such as dog and horse tracks, Jai-Alai Frontons, day boats, and even two different tribal Indian Casinos
. They all want their piece of the action, and some offer very inviting incentives and bonuses to get you in their door.
If you are not familiar with Poker play in Florida, the maximum single bet in ring games allowed by State law is $2. That’s an improvement from the previous regulation of a maximum $10 pot limit. However, in recent months tournament games ranging from $45 buy ins to $500 buy ins have started. The Rooms generally offer games in Hold ‘em, Stud, and Omaha. If you go out 3 miles, on a gambling boat, the State $2 maximum bet limit does not apply and $4-8 and $10-20 ring games can be found.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the inventive methods the various South Florida Poker Rooms are utilizing to draw patrons to their establishments.
The Dania Jai-Alai Poker Room (301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., Dania) offers a $5 chip bonus when you start play before 12:30 p.m, as well as a complimentary continental breakfast. If you catch Four of a Kind of Jacks or higher…or a Straight Flush, you receive T-shirt. A Royal Straight Flush gets you the T-shirt, and a $25 voucher for dinner for two at the fronton’s clubhouse. They have also had specials of giving away TV's, and recently a cruise to those who play in mini-tournaments.
At Pompano Park Race Track (1800 SW 3rd St., Pompano Beach) the players are given a “Slot Club Card”, and earn points for hours of play. These can be redeemed for betting vouchers or items in their gift shop.
The Hollywood Greyhound Track Poker Room (831 N. Federal Hwy., Hallandale) offer players free soft drinks and snacks, from noon to midnight. They also give an "award" (they don't want to call it a bad beat jackpot) of $2,000 for Aces full of Jacks being beat.
The Micosukee Indian Casino (Homestead) offers an amazing $17,300 for a Royal Flush in Spades in Omaha, and $13,000 in Hold ‘em for the same hand. Royal Flushes in different suits receive varied amounts with the lowest being $1,100 in Clubs. These figures vary depending on the day’s action. Four Aces will earn you $50, and any Four of a Kind gets you an entry into a drawing for some big-ticket items (car/cash).
The Hollywood Seminole Indian Casino Poker Room (Hollywood) is just about the most creative. When you walk into the door, you can complete an entry to win $500 that is awarded hourly. You also have the opportunity to win $10,000 at “Beat the Chicken” in TIC-TAC-TOE. I stood in a line of twelve for my turn to go head to head with a live chicken in the game. True... the chicken is in a box, and pecks on an "0" or "X". Of course, the chicken beat every one of us! It always goes first!
They also give $1199 for a Royal Flush in Diamonds, and there is a “progressive pay-out” for other Royals but the two hole cards must be used. The Seminoles also give you an extra entry for their monthly prize (last month was a Hummer, this month…a Mercedes). Getting a hand of four of a Kind with Jacks or better, the holder gets a $5 coupon.
The Hard Rock Casino (Hollywood) offers a healthy bad beat jackpot if Aces full of Jacks or better is beat. Last night it was $63,000.
To the opposite extreme, the Palm Beach Kennel Club nor the Miami Jai-Alai Fronton offer no incentives.
I'm torn between going back to take another shot at “BEAT THE CHICKEN”, going for breakfast, or taking a shot at $63,000.
Tom Golabek can be found playing the tables of South Florida and Vegas. A magician, he invites you to visit his website at www.pokerchipsvideo.com
to learn how to perform poker chip tricks and flourishes.