The Casino @ Dania Beach books a variety of music and comedy shows, but there’s one name that guarantees a slam-dunk sellout: Marvin Dixon.
The Miami-born comedian’s shows have sold out all four times there, and is pretty close for the fifth one. Dixon celebrates 25 years of working in comedy at 8 p.m. Saturday at the casino’s 800-seat Stage 954 with “Fifty Shades of Comedy: The Silver Anniversary Edition.”
Dixon serves as part-performer, part-emcee, introducing Gina G, winner of Comic Cure’s 2017 Florida’s Funniest Female competition, Miami’s Malik S. from BET’s Comic View and JJ Williamson from HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam.”
“He’s a phenomenon. I don’t know how he does it,” says Scott Savin, CEO of the Casino @ Dania Beach. “He outsells the big-name national comedians and he also outperforms them. And the people he brings are terrific.”
Dixon is a graduate of Miami Carol City High who now splits time between here and Atlanta, which has a thriving black comedy scene.
“I’m known in South Florida and South Florida trusts my word,” he says. “Many venues and many clubs bring the most famous comedians in the country but I bring the funniest ones in the country. Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you’re funny.”
Dixon theorizes that better-known comedians “have gone from hungry to full,” so those without a name often push themselves to generate the best material. And Dixon sees casino gigs as the next step up for talent.
“For me, it feels like you’ve stepped to the next stage in this business, a step up from just performing in a room,” he says.
More than 25 years ago, Dixon was working as a skycap at Miami International Airport when a friend suggested he show up at an open mic night. But he says he never got invited up onstage.
“I told a friend that I wasn’t getting a chance, and he told me, ‘Well, make it happen around them,’” Dixon says. So he began booking and performing in shows at Miami Nights for five years, on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, when the club was available.
“I look at myself with comedy and I put South Florida on the map,” he says. “I do it because I love it and I love bringing comedy to South Florida. The comics I bring in are funny as hell.”
Seminole Brighton Casino began offering blackjack and other table games on Monday.
The casino, located northwest of Lake Okeechobee, created a new pit area with six table games: four blackjack, one three-card poker and one War.
The Seminoles have been operating blackjack and other table games at five of their casinos since 2008, thanks to an agreement with the state of Florida. They added Brighton as a result of a legal settlement with the state after racetrack card rooms began offering designated player games and the tribe successfully sued, saying it violated their exclusivity.
Hard Rock poker
The last poker series of the year, the Seminole Hard Rock Fun in the Sun Poker Open, begins Tuesday, Dec. 26, and consists of six events.
Tuesday’s tournament has Day 1A at 11 a.m. and Day 1B at 7 p.m., with the event concluding Wednesday, Dec. 27. Entry is $250.
The main event is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, costs $560 and carries a $50,000 prize money guarantee. Players start with 20,000 chips.
For more information, visit SHRPO.com.