Boca poker player wins World Series bracelet

Chris Bolek of Boca Raton earned his first World Series of Poker bracelet, earning $266,646.
Chris Bolek of Boca Raton earned his first World Series of Poker bracelet, earning $266,646. PokerPhotoArchive.com

Chris Bolek of Boca Raton has won a lot of poker tournaments in a lot of ways in his 28 years, but he never had a World Series of Poker bracelet.

Until June 29. Bolek won a $1,500 buy-in Event No. 10 in Las Vegas, collecting $266,646. There were 1,927 entries.

Bolek had already cashed four times at the 2017 WSOP, with a total of $404,388 in WSOP and Circuit cashes prior to his victory. He has collected $1.79 million from tournament poker in his lifetime, including $480,200 from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Nov. 28, 2014, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood.

But he made news earlier in 2014 through no fault of his own. After finishing second in a WSOP Circuit event at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, officials bumped him up to first after it was discovered that the winner pocketed a souvenir tournament chip after the tournament. The chip had no cash value, but because the club reuses the chips, the player conceivably could have sneaked the chip into his stack in another tournament.

Born in Quito, Ecuador, Bolek learned the game while playing home games in high school.

“It feels very surreal. I came in pretty short to the final table, and I just wanted to give myself a shot to win. People say how good it is to visualize things, so I spent some time trying to do that this morning to get into the right mind-set, and it just kind of all came together perfectly.”

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Columnist Nick Sortal AL DIAZ adiaz@miamiherald.com

Calder collects supplies

Calder Casino is giving $5 in free play to patrons who bring in school supplies worth at least that much. The collection drive runs through July.

Suggested supplies include book bags, calculators, color pencils, composition books, construction paper, crayons, disinfecting wipes, dry-erase cleaner, dry-erase markers, Elmer’s school glue, erasers, hand soap, headphones, notebook paper, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, scissors and USB drives.

Proceeds benefit Skyway Elementary School, Robert Renick Educational Center, and the Center for Family and Child Enrichment. Supplies must be in new, unopened packages. Total donation must have a minimum value of $5 to qualify for the Free Play bonus. If your donation is close to the $5 minimum, you may want to bring the receipt. Limit one Free Play bonus per person for the duration of the promotion.

BŌL party at Creek

The BŌL, an Asian restaurant at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, will celebrate its grand opening on Friday.

The restaurant opened on May 26 but wanted to have a larger event now that things are rolling. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the celebration will feature dragon dancers, stilt walkers and live music.

Open daily for lunch and dinner, the 60-seat dining venue is near the casino’s main valet entrance and close to the Player’s Club Experience. Regional selections are prepared using wok-cooking styles complemented with Chinese and Vietnamese culinary influences.

The BŌL joins Seminole Casino Coconut Creek’s lineup of restaurants, which includes NYY Steak, Sorrisi, Fresh Harvest, 1st Street Deli and Sunset Grill.

Coming up

▪ The Andy Slater “See You Later” poker tournament is usually held the second Tuesday of the month at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. But this month, that’s the same date as the MLB All-Star Game, staged this year in Miami. So the tournament moves to Wednesday, July 13. Buy-in is still $94 and there is a $20,000 prize money guarantee.

▪ The big poker tournament for the month at Hialeah Park is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 12. Entry is $200 and there is a $20,000 guarantee.

▪ Seminole Classic has the $30,000 “Pick a Prize” promotion from 1-10 p.m. Saturday. Players will be selected every hour to win free play, kitchen appliances, designer bags and watches, gift cards and cash. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino throws in a seat in to its main event satellite (normally $570) from 12:30 p.m. to midnight Sunday on its regular high hand payouts.

▪ The featured burger this month at Mardi Gras Casino is a A-1 Pepper Jack Burger: seared Angus beef and fresh cracked pepper, topped with pepper jack cheese, A-1 sauce, onion tanglers, lettuce, tomato, and onion ($12.50). The casino also has a Latin Buffet from 4-9 p.m. Sundays for $18 that includes garlic roasted chicken, specialty rice and a black bean bar with toppings. The $5 Drink of the Month is King Punch (rum and hurricane mix). The poker room’s specials during Marlins’ games are $1 draft beer, $2 well drinks and $3 for two chili dogs.

▪ The Isle Casino has Summer Season menus from 5-7 p.m. at its two fine dining restaurants. For $32 at Farraddays or $30 at Bragozzo the offer includes one of five starters, one of six main entrees and one of five desserts. Farraddays is closed Monday-Tuesday and Bragozzo is closed Wednesday-Thursday.