The cards are flying at the fourth annual Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, and the series of 28 tournaments climaxes on Aug. 16 with the final tables from four big tournaments concluding simultaneously at Hard Rock Live.
The series, which made a big splash in the poker world in 2013 by guaranteeing $10 million in prize money for the main event — the largest guarantee in history at the time — has now cemented its spot on the calendar for poker players across the world, who also enjoy playing non-tournament “cash” games at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino if they are eliminated early from event. The first tournament began July 28.
Hard Rock officials set up a booth at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this year, making themselves available to answer questions or concerns from players looking to head to Florida after a month of tournaments in Las Vegas.
“We continue our efforts to expose our brand and create our own footprint in the market as a destination for top tournament play,” Tournament Director Tony Burns said.
Among the details:
What’s new: There’s a $1,100 Shoot-Out on Aug. 9, with 10 tables of players convening, and the survivor of each table comprising the final table. (Usually tournament officials combine tables as the fields dissipate.) Buy-in is $1,100. There’s also a 64-player Heads Up tournament Aug. 14, where players go one-on-one, like in an NCAA basketball bracket. That costs $1,650 to enter.
The Big 4: Final tables from the main event, a $25,500 high roller tournament and two other events all will take place Aug. 16, and will be filmed by Poker Night in America to air eventually on CBS Sports Network. Television personalities and poker players Ali Nejad and Maria Ho serve as live emcees and provide commentary for all four final tables simultaneously. The events also will be live-streamed on PokerNight.com.
Guarantees: The main event guarantees $5 million in total prize money after starting off with a $10 million guarantee in 2013. Entries were down in 2014, resulting in only $7.5 million in the guarantee pool, so the Hard Rock was on the hook for the remaining $2.5 million. In 2015, the guarantee was lowered to $5 million.
Charity event: The Charity Series of Poker hosts a tournament at 7 p.m. Aug. 12, benefiting the Maximum Hope Foundation. Brad Garrett, the charity’s founder and actor best known for his role on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” will be in attendance. Buy-in is $300. There’s a kickoff party at 5 p.m. and the pros usually have a cocktail or two, so the room is often boisterous for a change.
For those on smaller budgets, players can enter a $150 buy-in tournament on Aug 15 or 16. There are also satellite events, giving players a chance to win a seat into the more lucrative events. Check SHRPO.com for details.
The Casino @ Dania Beach on Monday began a “4 of a Kind Triple Rollover” promotion. Players who are dealt four of a kind or better receive $300, plus all other players at the table win $25. The jackpot rises to $600 if no one hits in the first hour and to $900 if no one hits in second hour. The promotion runs from 5-7 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.
▪ Casino Miami calls it a “back to school” giveaway, but it won’t fit in anyone’s backpack. The casino gives away a Chevy Trax at 11 p.m. Sunday. Another Trax giveaway is Aug. 21. Slot players can earn entries into the drawing each day.
▪ Miccosukee Resort & Casino has “sign up and play” for new player’s club members in August. Those who join the casino’s player’s club for the first time receive at least $30 in free slot play.
▪ Calder Casino continues qualifiers through Aug. 20 in its slot TournEvent of Champions. Two Calder winners will then go to the XS Nightclub in Las Vegas Sept. 28 to compete against qualifiers from more than 100 casinos across the United States, with a first prize of $1 million. The person with the most weekly slot tournament points at Calder as of Aug. 20 wins a spot. Then the next 399 players return on Aug. 27 to play off to be Calder’s second representative.
▪ Magic City Casino offers “Rock Star Karaoke” at 8 p.m. Sundays. First place pays $250, with $100 for second and $50 for third.
▪ Players can enter Hialeah Park’s big poker tournament for August at 11 a.m. or 7 p.m. Aug. 15-20. The finals are Aug. 21. Cost is $150 and the tournament carries a $100,000 guarantee.
▪ The Andy Slater “See You Later” Poker Tournament is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek and carries a $20,000 guaranteed prize pool. Buy-in is $94. There will be three special bounties for free entries into next month’s tournament as well as a $200 bounty on Slater, who hosts a radio show on WINZ-AM 940.
▪ Seminole Classic has drawings for Wal-Mart gift cards from 6-11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11. Five winners will be electronically selected every 30 minutes from 6 to 10:30 p.m. to win a $100 Wal-Mart gift card. Five winners will be electronically selected at 11 p.m. to win a $1,000 Wal-Mart gift card. All players will receive one free entry.
Get daily gambling news at Nick Sortal’s SouthFloridaGambling.com.