It takes a significant event for everyone at the Gulfstream Park poker room to focus on the same thing, as patrons juggle their card-playing, horse betting and socializing. But in recent weeks, the room has come to a stop every 30 minutes.
That’s when the player with the best poker hand for the half-hour spins a prize wheel. Everyone else watches and roots, as the wheel turns, clicking, clicking … then stopping.
“It’s been a huge hit,” Cardroom Manager Scott Poole said. The card room used to offer a consistent $300 high hand every 30 minutes Sundays through Wednesdays, but now offers the wheel instead — giving those action junkies one more fix. (Gulfstream’s high hand payouts from 1-11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays remains as it was, at $500.)
The top prize on the wheel is $1,500, and in the opening weeks, it hit several times, said Poole, noting that the overall payout in the early days averaged more than $500. The wheel is offered from 1-10 p.m. The card room also has guarantee tournaments at 7 p.m. on weeknights and food and beverage specials nightly.
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Michael Graffeo of Boca Raton walked away with $290,687 after winning the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open WPTDeepStacks Main Event Jan. 24 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.
The series finale carried a $1,100 buy-in, $1 million guarantee and featured three starting flights. A total of 1,509 players entered the event, creating a prize pool of $1,463,730. In addition to the six-figure prize, Graffeo was awarded a $3,000 WPTDeepStacks Championship package and a $5,250 seat in the $5 million guaranteed Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship, taking place this August.
Graffeo, 41, works in the mortgage industry and was born in Brooklyn. He previously played poker semi-professionally and took a few years hiatus from the game to raise his children.
More information at SHRPO.com.
Electronic dice games in South Florida created by the company Interblock have been shut down, after a Jan. 20 suit was filed claiming it has been shorting patrons who win.
The suit also names the Isle Casino and Racing in Pompano Beach, where a discrepancy was first discovered. Plaintiffs claim the dice game takes too large of a commission on certain winnings.
The suit specifically cites commission mistakes when players use the “buy” bet. Players who bet a 4 or a 10, for example, collect $60 on a $20 bet — $40 in winnings, plus their original bet. The machine has been showing a $58 return, with $2 (10 percent) deducted from the player’s electronically logged total, rather than $1 (5 percent). The suit also notes a 7.5 percent commission on bets that the dice would come up 5 or 9.
▪ Hialeah Park gives away $1,500 in cash and free play as part of its “Super Sunday Drawing” at 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
▪ The first Friday of each month is ladies’ night at Calder Casino, which means from 6-9 p.m. Friday there will be drawings for Grey Goose Gift Sets and shopping spree gift cards, as well as live music and drink specials.
▪ Magic City Casino has “Rock Star Karaoke” at 8 p.m. Thursday with prize of $250, $100 and $50. The casino’s sister property, the Casino @ Dania Beach, runs the competition at 7 p.m. Sunday.
▪ The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has “$100,000 Big Game Power Winners” before the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons face off. Five players will be selected every 15 minutes from 3 to 5:30 p.m. to win $1,200 free play. Then five other patrons will receive $5,000 free play and one winner will receive $10,000 free play prior to kickoff at 5:45 p.m. Poker players who hit a full house receive one drawing entry; those who hit four of a kind or better receive two for an in-game drawing, with $500 going to one person for a field goal and $1,000 for a touchdown.
▪ Gulfstream Park gives away up to $2,000 in free play every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in February with the 123 WIN promotion. The patrons are picked every 30 minutes from 4-10 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays and 5-11 p.m. on Saturdays. On Fridays, in February, 5 people every 15 minutes each win $100 in free play from 9 p.m.-midnight.
▪ Seminole Classic Casino offers “Big Game Bingo” on Saturday. Doors open at 4 p.m.; the session begins at 7 p.m. The day features more than $65,000 in cash and prizes and a $5,000 must-go Go Bonanza Jackpot, a $5,000 must-go DIY Jackpot and a $20,000 must-go Super Jackpot. Players can purchase advanced sales tickets for $100, which includes 3 p.m. admission and $20 free play. Advanced ticket sales end at 10 p.m. Friday.
▪ Seminole Casino Coconut Creek runs a $100,000 giveaway from 2-11 p.m. Saturday. Eight people will be selected every 45 minutes, each with a top prize of $10,000 cash.