Boxing matches have been held at casinos almost since the dawn of gambling. Think of the big-money cards held along the glittery Las Vegas Strip, like in the movie “Oceans 11.” Casinos have the right amount of space to host the events, matches don’t take hours upon hours (such as, say, football) and they help muscle up the gambling action.
Well, it won’t quite be that way at Hialeah Park on Friday, if for no other reason than sports wagering is illegal in Florida, but the casino is developing a bit of a tradition.
For Erislandy Lara, it’s his second time headlining at Hialeah Park.
Lara, known as “The American Dream,” defends his World Boxing Association Super-Welterweight Title against Yuri Foreman. There’s even a storyline that perfectly fits South Florida demographics: Lara is Cuban-born; Foreman’s nickname is “The Rabbi.”
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The bouts are set for the casino’s amphitheater. The undercard is set for 6 p.m.; the main event is at 9.
Tickets range from $30 to $125 via Ticketforce.com or the Hialeah Park casino cage.
The Lucky Hearts Poker Open runs through Jan. 25 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
The 16-tournament series begins with the Ultimate Re-Entry tournament: Players can enter at 11 a.m. or 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday for $360. The main event carries a $1 million guarantee and players can enter at noon Jan. 19-21 for $1,100. The event concludes Jan. 24 and will be live-streamed. Go to SHRPO.com.
Meanwhile, the poker room also offers $1,000 high hands every 30 minutes from noon to midnight
My casino breakdown
I heard from a couple of readers in response to my column last week chronicling my 2016 results. (I finished up $3,991.)
The complete breakdown didn’t make the print edition because of space, so here it is, starting with poker numbers: Magic City Casino, plus $1,247; Seminole Hard Rock, plus $849, Seminole Coconut Creek, plus $630, Gulfstream Park, plus $550, Isle Casino, plus $484, Mardi Gras, plus $144, Hialeah Park, plus $24, Casino @ Dania Beach, plus $18, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, minus $70. I also ended up minus $38 in video poker, plus $92 in slots and plus $190 in blackjack.
▪ Casino Miami gives away a Jeep Renegade at 11 p.m. Sunday. Slot patrons who earn points on their player’s club card can earn entries into the drawing.
▪ Calder Casino offers “Take it or Leave it” (basically a knock-off of the game “Deal or No Deal”) from 5-10 p.m. Saturdays in January. Slot players who earn 10 points receive an entry into the drawing to play the game, and if those 10 points are earned on a Thursday, they receive five entries.
▪ Magic City Casino has an $80 poker tournament at 8 p.m. Mondays and a $50 event at 2 p.m. Thursdays. The Monday tournament carries a $1,500 guarantee and the Thursday tournament $1,000.
▪ Mardi Gras Casino chose a winter theme for January, and from 9 a.m. to midnight Mondays is “Blizzard Play and Earn.” Players that earn 50 points will be eligible for a hot chocolate tumbler on Monday, a saltwater taffy tin on Jan. 23 and a snow cone maker on Jan. 30.
▪ Gulfstream Park has “Spin to Win” on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in January, with $55,000 in free play. It takes 25 slot points to earn a drawing entry. There’s also a slot tournament each Wednesday, with $2,000 free play as the top prize.
▪ The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has a “$20,000 Saturday Frenzy” from 8:15 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Five players will be selected every 30 minutes to win $500 free play.
▪ Seminole Casino Coconut Creek gives away $100,000 in free play from 2-11 p.m. Saturday. Eight patrons each hour can win up to $5,000 cash or free play.
▪ J. Anthony Brown, known for his 15 years on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Casino @ Dania Beach. Brown’s career highlights include hosting two seasons of BET’s Comic View, working as head writer for the Arsenio Hall Show and starring on “It’s Showtime at the Apollo.” Tickets range from $20 to $75.
Get daily gambling news at SouthFloridaGambling.com. Follow Nick @NickSortal