It’s a Lucky 7 for the World Poker Tour and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: This is the seventh year for the WPT in Hollywood.
The WPT had a huge part in the poker boom more than a decade ago. It was during WPT telecasts in 2002 that popular use began of the tiny camera that showed players’ hole cards – giving viewers the inside scoop on how hands were being played out. A flurry of televised poker followed, including the growth of the World Series of Poker, televised annually on ESPN. And that TV poker boom certainly had a part in people wanting to try playing at your nearby casino card room. Long story short, poker would be much different without the WPT.
The first of 31 events in the WPT Hard Rock Poker Showdown begins March 16, and the final tournament ends April 9. Many tournaments are live-streamed on WPT.com.
This year’s WPT events include the $3,500 buy-in Showdown Championship and the $10,000 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale. There also are tournaments that cost $25,500, $50,000 or $15,000 to enter, the latter being the WPT Tournament of Champions, April 7-9.
But that’s for players with big money – or big backers. For those with more standard bankrolls, there’s the first event, which has flights at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. March 16-18 and costs $360 to enter. Or a $150 tournament with flights at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. or 7 p.m. March 20-21.
And on Wednesday, March 29, is a $300 charity tournament benefitting the Jason Taylor Foundation. Half of each buy-in will be donated to the Pro Football Hall of Famer’s non-profit, which creates and supports programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life.
There are also smaller-stakes, satellite events for players who want to win their way into one of the big-money tournaments. Check the schedule at SHRPO.com.
Pick a team!
Instead of offering the standard high-hand promotion, Stax Poker Lounge at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is giving patrons a chance to make a little more money.
From 7 p.m. Sunday (that’s just after the brackets come out) through noon Tuesday, poker players with the high hand select a college basketball team. If that team wins a game in the NCAA tournament, they line up and collect $100 (must be present to win). If their team goes all the way, they will collect $500 on April 3.
Sports and food
The Big Easy Poker Room at Mardi Gras Casino continues its food and beverage specials during special game days, and that includes all of the NCAA action.
Draft beers are $1, well drinks are $2 and chicken wings and loaded potato skins are $3.
The specials also are available during home-team sports events and others designated on the monthly calendar. For example, this week the Panthers play Friday, Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday, while the Miami Heat plays Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.
▪ This weekend is the annual Gator Jam Music Festival at Miccosukee Resort & Casino in west Miami-Dade. Terri Clark appears at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by country legends Alabama. The event is in the East Parking Festival Area. General admission is $65. Self-parking is free, valet is $7.
▪ Casino Miami has $30,000 Super Sundays from 3-11 p.m. The promotion runs this Sunday and March 19. At 10 p.m. Saturday, the Riverside Miami Orchestra performs a free show. The group has been around for about 15 years, playing traditional and contemporary Cuban music repertoires. That means boleros, salsa, son, cha cha cha, etc.
▪ If your birthday is in March, visit Hialeah Park from 2-10 p.m. Sunday and receive a free cupcake. OK, you’re also placed into a $1,000 drawing at 8 p.m. Meanwhile, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, the poker room has a tournament that guarantees $20,000 in prize money. Entry is $200.
▪ Magic City Casino continues its two weekly poker tournaments. There’s one at 8 p.m. Monday for $80 and another at 2 p.m. Thursdays for $50.
▪ Calder Casino has “Cookies, Coffee & Free Play” from 9-11 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays. Slot players who earn 10 points receive a free big cookie, coffee and are entered into $590 free play drawings held every 30 minutes.
▪ Seminole Hard Rock has a $200,000 Mega Giveaway from noon to 10 p.m. Friday. The casino gives away $5,000 at the top of each hour, and five patrons will win $1,000 every 15 minutes (and can win more than once). From 5-9 p.m. Monday, the casino gives away a Capresso Electric Iced Tea Maker to those who earn 10 comp dollars.
▪ Those who sign up for the Gulfstream Park player’s club on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays in March receive a scratch card worth up to $100 in free play.
▪ Here’s a twist: Chubby Checker performs at 7 p.m. Friday at the Isle Casino and Racing outdoor grandstand in Pompano Beach, followed by $2,500 free play giveaway at 9 p.m. Tickets are $30.
▪ Comedian Sandra Bernhard is touring the country with a new show, “Sandra Monica Blvd.: Coast to Coast.” She performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Casino @ Dania Beach. Tickets start at $25.