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December 31, 2009

Someone in Sunrise is a millionaire today

If you bought a Millionaire Raffle ticket in Sunrise, you might be really, really happy right now.

The Florida Lottery on Thursday conducted its Millionaire Raffle drawings, plucking out nine $1 million winners among the 2,034 cash prizes drawn. One of the tickets was sold at the Mr. Grocer in Sunrise, 11451 Oakland Park (I've been in there!).

Remember, this is a raffle, not a lottery. So you didn't pick your number. Picture a really big church fund-raiser. This one had the winning number of 0756691.

Besides the nine $1 million, there are 10 prizes of $50,000, 15 prizes of $5,000 and 2,000 prizes of $250.

You could argue the raffle offered the best odds of winning $1 million among all Lottery games currently on sale. The $20 tickets went on sale Nov. 13 through Dec. 30. Since not all of the 1 million tickets were sold, only 969,516 tickets were actually entered in the drawing. The bad news is they were $20 each.

(And don't feel bad for the Lottery; it was nowhere near what gamblers call an 'overlay.' The state gave out $10 million-plus in prize money but took in $19.3 million in ticket sales, sticking close to their usual 50-percent hold.)

The nine one-million-dollar-winning ticket numbers and the locations where the tickets were purchased are listed below. The winning ticket numbers will be on the Florida Lottery Web site after 3 p.m. today. I'll put them up at the bottom of this post for anyone who wants to get the jump on things before 3 p.m. (Maybe you're still at work, but plan to leave before 3, eh?)

Winning numbers for the $1 million prizes will also be available by phone at (850) 921-PLAY (7529).

Other winners were sold in Lakeland, Naples, Miami, Ocoee, Palm City, St. Petersburg Beach, Spring Hill and Hastings, the Lottery said.

Holiday Millionaire Raffle prizes must be claimed within 180 days from the draw date. Players must have their winning ticket or cash prize coupon in hand to claim a prize. The $250 prizes may be claimed at any Florida Lottery retailer and the $5,000 and $50,000 prizes may be claimed at any Florida Lottery district office. The $1 million prizes must be claimed at Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. Information about filing a claim may be obtained by calling (850) 487-7707 or visiting

Winning sites and numbers (I updated this because the Lottery first sent its release with numerals attached in front, that no way I'd have known the difference):

1. 0618058 Lakeland Publix 3636 Harden Boulevard

2. 0282296 Naples REM Petroleum, Inc.1410 N. Airport Road

3. 0104179 Miami Sunshine 11175 S.W. 40th Street

4. 0756691 Sunrise Mr. Grocer 11451 W. Oakland Park

5. 0326304 Ocoee Publix 1720 E. Silver Star Road

6. 0441260 Palm City Chevron 2950 S.W. Martin Downs Boulevard

7. 0174747 St. Petersburg Beach Publix 4655 Gulf Boulevard

8. 0200638Spring Hill 7-Eleven 14333 Spring Hill Drive

9. 0602285Hastings Kangaroo 8796 E. Church Street

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Nine for '09: Nick Sortal's top South Florida gambling stories


If you haven’t noticed, gambling has cemented its presence in South Florida life. And it’s been an eventful year. In case you’ve missed any of the headlines, here’s a list of the top local gambling stories of 2009.

No. 9: Gambling expands in Miami-Dade County. Flagler Dog Track is now the Magic City Casino, with 700 slots. Calder Casino & Race Course added poker in the fall and plans to offer slots in six weeks. The reopened Hialeah Park & Race Course is trying for slots, too.

No. 8: Broward Circuit Court Judge Steven Feren cashes in at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The former Sunrise mayor won a WSOP seat in a charity event, then went on to finish 472nd among 6,494 players and take home $25,027.

No. 7: The plan comes together at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino. The casino, while still running last in slot revenue among the three pari-mutuels in Broward County, reports gains over 2008. An adjacent mall/entertainment complex is set to open Feb. 11.

No. 6: Young poker players rule. Hayden Fortini, 20, of West Palm Beach wins two Battle at the Beach events at the Isle Casino & Racing. Jason Mercier, 23, of Fort Lauderdale is named Bluff Magazine’s Player of the Year. And former Wellington High valedictorian Vanessa Rousso, 26, finishes second in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship.

No. 5: Seminole Indian casinos hit record slot jackpots. The Seminole Casino Immokalee has a $3.5 million winner on Aug. 30; and Coconut Creek had a $1.5 million winner on Dec. 8 (the fourth $1 million-plus winner in the past 20 months).

No. 4: Virtual blackjack gives pari-mutuels a shot at 21. Gulfstream, the Isle and Mardi Gras all debuted a video-screen version that carried a minimum bet of $5.

No. 3: Isle poker room reputation grows. The Pompano Beach card room again led state pari-mutuels in revenue, edging out the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

No. 2: Kevin Schaffel hits it big. The Coral Springs poker player (left) reached the final table at the World Series of Poker, and would have been near the chip lead if his pocket aces hadn’t gotten cracked. He ended up eighth in the WSOP.

No. 1: Seminole Indian casinos and the pari-mutuels hold their breath, waiting to make deals with the state. Some year, this won’t be the top story. And we’ll all be the better for it.

OK, folks, that's my list. Anything else out there you'd have nominated?

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December 30, 2009

Virtual blackjack: One consumer's report

So one loyal Action reader went out and tried the virtual blackjack and sent me what I thought was a pretty good report. So, I'll share it.

The player went to the Isle, put in $50 and flat-bet $5, using (his words) "so-called perfect basic strategy" for an hour.

He ended up with $67.50, and his friend doubled his $50, leaving with $100.

The specifics:

The plusses:
They allow the surrender option -which you seldom see any more other than downtown Vegas.

You can split and double-down when applicable (even soft doubling when applicable). And you can double down on your splits when applicable.

No angry dealers if the players aren't tipping

The negatives:

You cannot re-split pairs. This requires a slight alternative variation of basic strategy.

The dealer hits soft 17, which is now common practice in Atlantic City and on the Strip in Vegas.

If you need glasses for both short-sight and long-sight, then bring both.

There is no strategy for increasing or pressing your bet. Every hand is completely random and
the deck is never rich or poor. So if you've used elementary card counting techniques at live
blackjack, then forgetaboutit in this system.

I'm taking a few days off, but when I get back I need to chase down the Soft 17 thing. When Gulfstream announced it was adding the machines, officials said it would be as player-friendly as possible, i.e. sticking on Soft 17.

Anyone else out there playing these games yet? Any comments?

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December 29, 2009

Another year in the red: My gambling log for 2009

Many people use this time of year to take stock of themselves, and maybe learn something.

Looking at my gambling journal for 2009, I learned plenty. I'm a lousy poker player; I didn't have much luck at the slots; and I struck out with the lottery, dog racing and jai-alai as well.

But I had fun.

My gambling journal this year shows I set down some kind of wager on 54 occasions. And I ended up $218 in the red, even though I have a $100 limit on any one outing. (My total loss last year was $1.)

I keep a journal for several reasons. First, it's better than my memory. For example, I thought I did OK at $1-$2 limit poker, the cheapest game out there. Turns out, nope, I played eight times and ended up down $116. The lesson is that maybe I'm better off playing the $100 no-limit game, where I'm ahead $14.

The other reason is to document losses, because someday I'll hit the bad beat at the poker room, or the royal flush on video poker. So when the casino hands me my tax form, I'll have losses documented to offset the gains. (It's for this reason that I also never ask our paper for a stipend; when I hit that jackpot, I'm not sharing it.)

For those interested, here are the 2009 specifics.

Poker losses: $116 at $1-$2 limit; $15 at $2-$4 limit; $70 for bar poker

Poker wins: $14 in no-limit; $83 in tournaments; $4 in my home game (thanks to George Temel, Mario Abril, Scott McCurdy, David Seletsky, Ray Catone, Seth Kaufman and Arlen Stock for putting me in the black)

Video losses: $69 at video and virtual blackjack; $26 at video poker; even at slots

Miscellaneous: $21 losses at the lottery; $13 at dog racing; $4 at jai-alai and horse racing. But got a $15 free-play coupon during a swipe-and-win at the Hard Rock.

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December 28, 2009

Casinos have car, cash giveaways on New Year's Eve

South Florida casinos take a variety of angles when it comes to New Year's Eve, some offering car giveaways, others focusing on cash and still others taking the food special angle.

The choices:

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has its BMW giveaway at 5 p.m., partially because it has so much other stuff going on, including a concert by the B52s, who will lead the countdown to midnight on the casino floor. "We’re giving away a BMW earlier in the evening to create more excitement before dinner and the concert that night," the Hard Rock's Ryan Rogers said. "Most of our 17 restaurants are offering all-inclusive dinner packages including several course meals and champagne and our 13 nightclubs are offering a variety of entertainment and drink specials."

The Seminole Casino Coconut Creek will have ten $1,000 cash winners at 6 p.m., two $5,000 winners at 9 p.m. and one $10,000 winner at 1 a.m. New Year's Eve dinner is from 4 p.m. to midnight and is $26.95. The midnight buffet starts is $6.95 with a Player's Club Card, $9.95 without. New Year's Day breakfast is from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and is $4.95 and $7.95. New Year's Day Brunch features a string trio and is $32.95, including champagne and mimosas. It's $32.95.

Mardi Gras Casino is having "Luna/Azul" -- blue moon -- for its New Year's Eve party. Prizes include a BMW 328i at 11 p.m., a Harley-Davidson XL833C at 1 a.m. on Jan. 1 in the Big Easy Poker Room, and up to $50,000 in cash and bonus play. A $45 buffet dinner ($100 for a couple gets you a bottle of champagne, too) will be available on the second floor featuring a carving, seafood, and pasta station, desserts and specialty cocktails.

The Isle Casino & Racing is giving away two 2010 Camaros and $10,000 in free play on New Year's Eve. Drawings begin at 6 p.m. The car drawings are at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Fire dancers, taiko drummers, live bands and interactive fire and ice performers are also in the plans. Deals include a $14.95 filet and shrimp dinner in Myron's, a $22.95 Isle buffet and an $85 four-course dinner in Farraddays', with a champagne toast. On New Year's Day, the casino is giving away $2,010 in free play every 20 minutes, from 2 p.m. until midnight.

Gulfstream Park Casino & Racing has $1,000 cash giveways every 20 minutes, and a $5,000 giveaway at midnight.

Seminole Casino Hollywood will have three winners every 30 minutes from 8-11:30 p.m. Two of the winners will get $250 free play each and the third winner will get $2,010 cash. At 1 a.m. three winners will be called where two will receive $500 free play each and one will get $10,000 cash.

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December 26, 2009

Isle has big New Year's Day giveaway, and "Elvis" on Jan. 8

The Isle Casino and racing has a pretty big giveaway for New Year's Day gamblers. The casino is giving away $2,010 in free play every 20 minutes, from 2 p.m. until midnight.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 4 and 15, the casino doles out $10,000 to anyone who wins a taxable jackpot. (There'll be a drawing.)

From 6-9 p.m. Jan. 8, the casino commemorates Elvis, with a 2010 Cadillac CTS and $7,500 in free play and live Elvis impersonatores.

From 3-6 p.m. Jan. 16, the Isle gives out $15,000 cash in Beat Bill's Score slot tournament. (Bill Crafts is the slot director. He plays, and you try to beat his score in the slot tournament.)

Every Wednesday in January, IsleOne card members are invited to play in the $50,000 World of Winners Slot Tournament from 2 to 7 p.m. Of the 1,000 winners guaranteed, the top 10 win cash and first place wins $2,500.

The casino also gives double entries on Mondays, triple entries on Tuesdays and quadruple entries on Wednesdays during the month in the $100,000 Celebration of Cash sweepstakes on Jan. 29 from 6 p.m. to midnight; Jan. 30 from 2 to 10 p.m., and Jan. 31 from 2 to 8 p.m. when $500 in IslePlay will be given away every 15 minutes and $5,000 in cash given away every other hour.

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December 24, 2009

Mardi Gras has 76-cent promotion, in honor of dog racing

Mardi Gras Casino will be celebrate its 76th anniversary of dog racing on Saturday, with special pricing at the second-floor simulcasting area it now calls The Mezz.

Hot dogs, chips, candy, soda and peanuts all will be 76 cents.

The casino offers live greyhound races and simulcast greyhound, harness and thoroughbred races from across the United States and Canada daily.

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Blue Moon: Mardi Gras has New Year's Eve Luna/Azul

Mardi Gras Casino is having "Luna/Azul" -- blue moon -- for its New Year's Eve party.

"The sun sets. The blue moon rises. The party begins," according to a casino press release.

Prizes include a BMW 328i at 11 p.m., a Harley-Davidson XL833C at 1 a.m. on Jan. 1 in the Big Easy Poker Room, and up to $50,000 in cash and bonus play.

A $45 buffet dinner ($100 for a couple gets you a bottle of champagne, too) will be available on the second floor featuring a carving, seafood, and pasta station, desserts and specialty cocktails. Reservations required 954-924-3237.

On the Veranda, Club Luna/Azul will have a DJ, showgirls, dancers, a Junkanoo Revue Band and the third annual Jester & Balloon drop at midnight. There's also the Mardi Gras Calendar Poster and New Year's Eve party favors, Mardi Gras beads, feather boas and noisemakers.

The casino is at 831 North Federal Highway on the corner of US-1 and Pembroke Road. Call 954-924-3200 or visit

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Super Bowl tickets giveaway at Hard Rock Monday

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is giving away two tickets to the Super Bowl on Monday.

The promotion called "Rock the Game," takes places at the casino's center bar, with 560 WQAM’s Sid Rosenberg. He's there every Monday night during football season from 8-11 p.m.

The Center Bar will offer Absolut Vodka drink specials, $10 pitchers of premium beer and hot dogs, soft pretzels and popcorn for $3. The game is the Minnesota Vikings vs. the Chicago Bears.

To enter the drawing, Seminole Player’s Club members can swipe their Player’s Club Cards on Monday’s from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Player's Club enrollment is free.

(Note that the Hard Rock uses "the Big Game" in its promotion, rather than calling it the Super Bowl because of marketing issues with the NFL; the Isle does the same thing, as do countless other places. But since the NFL really can't have any issues with me, I'm calling it what they are: Super Bowl tickets. Pulitzer Prize, here I come!)

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December 23, 2009

Isle giving away two Camaros on New Year's Eve

The Isle Casino & Racing is giving away two 2010 Camaros and $10,000 IslePlay on New Year's Eve.

Drawings begin at 6 p.m. The car drawings are at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Fire dancers, taiko drummers, live bands and interactive fire and ice performers are also in the plans.

Deals include a $14.95 filet and shrimp dinner in Myron's, a $22.95 Isle buffet and an $85 four-course dinner in Farraddays', with a champagne toast.

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December 22, 2009

Christmas casino hours: Slots the same, poker has adjustments

I'm not one to say we should associate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with hitting the casinos, but if you do, here are the hours:

The Isle Casino & Racing will be open its regular hours. But poker on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve will run from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m., instead of the usual 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. (The Isle has only a 12-hour license.)

Dania Jai-Alai poker will close at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and be closed all day Christmas. Poker closes at 6 p.m. New Year's Eve but live jai-alai play starts at 7 p.m. New Year's Eve. The poker room re-opens at noon on New Year's Day.

Gulfstream has poker 1 p.m to 1 a.m. and the holidays won't change its Friday-Saturday slot hours of 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. Mardi Gras has 24-hour poker and 24-hour slots on weekends.

The Palm Beach Kennel Club is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but otherwise is open noon to midnight weekdays, 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The casinos operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida will be open 24 hours for poker and everything else, just as they always are.

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December 21, 2009

Lottery: Hialeah woman claims her share of $11 million

Maria Gutierrez, 68, of Hialeah, claimed her share of a $11 million Florida Lotto jackpot.

The drawing was held on Nov. 28, and produced three jackpot winners. The winning ticket purchased in North Lake Placid was claimed on Nov. 30, and the ticket purchased in Navarre has not been claimed, according to a news release from the lottery office.

Gutierrez chose the one-time, lump-sum payment for her winnings of $2,262,311.59. The winning ticket was purchased at the Winn-Dixie, located at 541 W. 49th St. in Hialeah.

The retailer received $10,000 for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.

The winning numbers were 02 - 07 - 12 - 17 - 28 - 41.

Meanwhile, a $23 million ticket sold in Hallandale Beach about a month ago has not been claimed.

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Vanessa Rousso has boot camp in the Bahamas

Poker pro Vanessa Rousso is conducting her first poker boot camp of 2010 in the Bahamas.

It's Jan. 10 at Atlantis, Paradise Island.

The former Wellington high school valedictorian is calling it “Strategy Symposium Under the Sun.”

She'll have another one Jan. 22 in Biloxi, Miss.

“My biggest passion outside of playing poker is in teaching poker strategy. I love watching that light bulb go off in my students’ minds when they discover something new,” she said.

She spun part of her class after reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu, and calls her camp The Art of Poker.

Cost is $250. For more information go to

Rousso, 27, has won $4 million tournaments so far, and had quite a 2009. She was featured in a two-page advertorial spread in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in January. In Mrach, she joined Danica Patrick, as a newest spokeswoman for the domain registrar/web hosting giant, Then she reached the finals of the NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship, defeating Doyle Brunson and others along the way.

This fall she hosted PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge on Fox, Poker After Dark on NBC and a French series Stars of Poker. Her most recent endeavor includes a television series produced by Ryan Seacrest, ‘Bank of Hollywood,’ and began airing on the E Channel on Dec. 14.

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December 18, 2009

Virtual blackjack debuts at the Isle

The Isle Casino and Racing in Pompano Beach has booted up its virtual blackjack machines.

The casino has 10 banks of the five-seat machines. A couple of them got rolling Thursday night, a couple more on Friday and the rest should be up in the next day or two, officials said.

There's eight machines with a $5 minimum and a $300 max; two machines in the high-roller area are $10 min, with $500 max.

Gulfstream was the first in the area to open virtual BJ; Mardi Gras plans to have them a day or two on either side of Christmas.

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December 17, 2009

Bad beat hits for $16,921 at Dania

A group of 7-Card Stud players from Dania Jai-Alai will have some extra money for holiday shopping as seven players shared the $16,921 Bad Beat jackpot Wednesday afternoon.

Mike Babin of Dania Beach resident had his four fours beaten by Emilio Mendillo’s four jacks. Babin (the player who got beat, far right) received $8,465, and Mendillo (third from right) took home $5,076 for having the winning hand.

Under the bad beat rules, the other players playing at the table also shared in the winnings, splitting $3,380.

Dania Jai-Alai’s Poker Room is open daily from noon. The Poker Room will close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It will be closed all day on Christmas.

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December 16, 2009

Police Women of Broward at Coconut Creek Thursday

Two Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives who star on the TLC Network reality show, Police Women of Broward County, will be at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek Thursday.

They're part of the casino's 21-and-over singles party, from 6-10 p.m. in the casino’s pavilion.

Det. Andrea Penoyer will sign autographs and pose for photos with party guests only; Det. Julie Bower will chose a date in a knock-off of The Dating Game.

At this point, I will leave it up to you, dear readers, to verbalize the irony of working law enforcement becoming celebrities to the point that they do gigs in a casino. Or you can just see pictures of the officers featured in Police Women of Broward County.
Contestants for two game shows will be drawn from raffle drums containing $1 donations to The Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County’s Fallen Heroes Fund. That fund provides support to the families of deputies and fire rescue personnel who have died or been injured in the line of duty. (My thinking is that's why they're doing it.)

Admission is $20 and includes appetizers, two drink tickets, $5 free casino play, and $10 coupon (50% off) admittance to the Sweet Dreams dessert/specialty drinks extravaganza in Nectar lounge. Advance tickets can be purchased at the casino’s cashier cage.

In the Sweet Dreams Dating Game, Julie Bower will choose a blind date from three bachelor contestants and a South Florida firefighter will choose a lady based on "outrageously personal questions," according to a casino press release.

In the Newly-Matched Game, the master of ceremonies will choose four female and four male names from their respective raffle drums. The contestants will have 20 minutes to get to know each other before they’re brought on stage.

Sweet Dreams is an annual casino holiday celebration. A display of all-you-can eat desserts created from scratch by Pastry Chef David Gomez and his team, including sugar-free selections, includes live-action flambé stations; a chocolate dipping fountain; handmade candies and unique pastries. The $20 admission ($10 with Singles Party coupon) also includes specialty drinks and an open bar.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is located just east of State Road 7 (U.S. 441) and north of Sample Road on 40th Street. Call 954-977-6700.

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WPT poker boot camp cruise focuses on cash game

The World Poker Tour Boot Camp's next venture here in South Florida features Mike Sexton, on a six-day cruise out of Fort Lauderdale.

It starts Jan. 17 on the Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas.

Sexton announces the popular World Poker Tour tournaments and was inducted into the poker hall of fame this year. Nick Brancato and Roy Fuller also are instructors.

Cruise fares start at $440 per person, based on double occupancy. The camp, which takes up only two of the six days on the cruise, costs $1,895.

The cruise's ports of call are Belize City; Costa Maya; and Cozumel, with two full days at sea to play poker; the camp itself last two days. There will be games of all levels.

Everyone knows cash games have different strategies than tournaments, says WPT Boot Camp founder Ron Rubens of Plantation, who started the boot camp about four years ago and has worked the the Hard Rock and the Isle in years past.

He spells out some specifics:

A huge difference between cash games and tournaments is the blinds. The blinds never rise in cash games, so your mind should always be thinking of implied odds and stack odds rather than just pot odds.

Players often over-bet the good hands, just to see the opponent flip over the nuts.

Players will learn how to play marginal hands that are often easy folds in a tournament, but in a cash game, could win a huge pot.

Cash game players tend to be better at reading their opponents and recognizing whether they are weak or strong.

Cash games, unlike tournaments, don't need spots to get "All In". You can win slowly, but very profitably.

Raising in late position with any two cards is awesome in the later stages of tournaments or even just in Limit Hold'em, but doesn't really transition over to no-limit cash games.

Cruise accommodations must be purchased through Bridget Stein at 561-716-7074.

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December 15, 2009 books seats for local tournaments

Fabricio Schaffrath got shut out of one poker tournament too many by showing up near the last minute and finding a full house. So he decided to do something about it.

Schaffrath, of North Miami Beach, created, a web site that poker players can access to reserve tournament seats. The players pay a 3 to 6 percent surcharge on their tournament fee, but have two advantages, Schaffrath notes: 1.) They can use a credit card, while poker rooms require cash and 2.) They don’t have to stress about either making a special trip to sign up early for a tournament or worry about not playing because the tournament is sold out.

“It’s like Ticketmaster for poker tournaments,” he said. “You can walk in two minutes before a tournament and sit down and play.”

The Isle Casino and Racing in Pompano Beach, Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach and Studz Poker Room at Calder in Miami Gardens are among the 10 poker rooms nationwide using His first client was the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, about two years ago. He also has Foxwoods in Connecticut, and players who travel back and forth between the Northeast and Florida use it, he said.

Schraffrath estimates that about 10 percent of the poker rooms’ entries come from PTseats. Isle Director of Poker Operations Mike Smith said the less-expensive tournaments usually don’t sell out, so players don’t use PTseats, but for major events, such as the five events in the Isle Poker Classic Jan. 11-17, many players will use it.

So, is this something you would use? The more expensive tournaments take less of a percentage, he noted. For example, a $500 tournament has a 3 percent surcharge; that's $15 not to make the trip to sign up, he notes.

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December 11, 2009

Seminole Coconut Creek promotions for December

MONDAYS: 55-plus slot tournament, 9 a.m. to noon, top 30 scores in the money.

TUESDAYS: Holiday Rush Hour, 6-9 p.m., six winners each hour play for free play and cash up to $2,000.

WEDNESDAYS: Sweet dreams bonus bar: 6-10 p.m. 50 winners each hour receive bonus points, free play and cash up to $1,000.

THURSDAYS: The big one: Free play and cash from $100 to $1,000 7 to 11 p.m. Dec. 24.

FRIDAYS: 10X POINTS – 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

SATURDAYS: LEXUS GIVEAWAY: Dec. 19 and 26; Ten $500 free play winners @ 6 p.m.; Five $1,000 cash winners @ 7 p.m.; one Lexus winner @ 8 p.m.

SUNDAYS: STUFF YOUR STOCKING - December 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th. 1 p.m.- 5 p.m. Ten winners drawn each hour. Free play and cash from $300 to $2,500.


DECEMBER 15-16th: RYMAX – December 15th: 3pm-10pm & December 16th: 10am-5pm. Holiday shopping spree. Turn your Player’s Club points into fantastic gifts. Cash and credit/debit cards are also accepted.

DECEMBER 28th: $10K BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY – 5pm-9pm. Five (5) dates will be selected (one December date each hour). Any player whose birthday falls on the date that is selected and provides valid ID, wins a share of $10,000

DECEMBER 28th: $30K PROGRESSIVE PAYDAY – 12noon – 5pm. One (1) winner every 30 minutes. Cash prizes $2,000 up to $10,000.

DECEMBER 29th: COCO SLOTTO SCRATCH OFF – 10am-10pm. Earn 1,000 points & receive a scratch off Ticket containing various amounts of Free Play & Cash prizes.

DECEMBER 30th: MIDNIGHT MERCEDES – 12:00 Midnight. Paper Ticket. Ten (10) $500 Free Play winners & One (1) 2010 Mercedes.

DECEMBER 31st: NEW YEAR’S EVE GIVEAWAY – Paper Ticket. Ten (10) $1,000 Cash winners @ 6pm, Two (2) $5,000 Cash winners @9pm & One (1) $10,000 Cash winner @ 1am.


• CHRISTMAS DAY BRUNCH 10am-10pm. $26.95 per person.
• NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER 4pm – Midnight. $26.95 per person
• MIDNIGHT BUFFET Midnight – 4am. $6.95 w/Player’s Club Card ($9.95 without)
• NEW YEAR’S DAY BKFAST 7am – 10am. $4.95 w/Player’s Club Card ($7.95 without)
• NEW YEAR’S DAY BRUNCH 10am – 10pm. Featuring a string trio. Time: 11:30am-4:30pm. Complimentary
champagne and Mimosas. $32.95 per person.
• EARLY BIRD DINNER Silver Star Early Bird Dinner. Mondays, December 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th.
$7.95 (w/Player’s Club Card). Must be 55+ years or older.
• SILVER STAR BRUNCH Sundays, 7am-10am. Guests 55+. $9.95 per person + receive a $10 Free Play
Voucher for the following Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday.
• Asian Night Wednesdays $15.95 per person (w/Player’s Club Card)
• Mediterranean Night Thursdays $15.95 per person (w/Player’s Club Card)


DECEMBER SWEET DREAMS - $20 per person or $10 with purchase of dinner @ Fresh Harvest.
Offer valid same night only.

“LET IT SNOW” 10pm on all Sweet Dreams nights

December 9th: Tribal/Corporate/Team Member Party 3pm-8pm

December 10th: Charity: Ronald McDonald House Charities of South FL

Player Development & Media Premiere Party.
5pm-6pm with appearance by Todd English

Public: 6pm-10pm with appearance by Todd English (6pm-9pm)

December 11th: Charity: SOS Children’s Village. 6pm-10pm.
Carolers: 6pm-9pm

December 12th: Charity: Ronald McDonald House Charities of South FL. 6pm-10pm

December 17th: Charity: The Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County’s Fallen
Heroes Fund. 6pm-10pm

December 18th: Charity: Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Foundation. 6pm-10pm
Carolers: 6pm-9pm

December 19th: Charity: Ronald McDonald House Charities of South FL. 6pm-10pm
Appearance by Rocco Dispirito 6:30pm-9:30pm

December 24th: Charity: Ronald McDonald House Charities of South FL.
with appearance by Mr. Food. 6pm-10pm

December 25th: Charity: Ronald McDonald House Charities of South FL. 6pm-10pm
Carolers: 6pm-9pm

December 26th: Charity: Ronald McDonald House Charities of South FL. 6pm-10pm

DECEMBER 14th & 23rd: VIP SLOT EVENT – 3pm – 12midnight. 500 VIP’s come in & receive Free Play.

DECEMBER 6th, 13th,
20th & 27th: WFTL – Live sports radio show with NFL alumni guests. 11am-1pm. Every Sunday. Nectar
Lounge. Open to the public.

DECEMBER 17th: SWEET DREAMS SINGLES PARTY – 6pm-10pm. In the Tent. $20 per person. DJ, Dancing,
Dating Game Shows. Ticket includes: $5 in Free Play, 2 drink tickets for the bar in the tent
& an admission coupon to Sweet Dreams for $10.

DECEMBER 31st: ZIGFIELD FOLLIES NYE PARTY – In the Tent. Seating #1: 6:00pm- 8:30pm. $ 75.00pp
Seating #2: 9:30pm-12:30am. $100.00pp

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December 10, 2009

Santa comes to Mardi Gras as part of "12 days" promotion

Four dogs a-racing, three-slots a-playing, two pocket aces...

Mardi Gras Casino starts "12 Days of Giveaways" Saturday, with Santa Claus' arrival and a veranda lighting set for 8 p.m.

Overall, prizes include cars, motorcycles, electronics, Rolex watches, iPods, TVs, Bonus Play and more. Cash prizes include $10,000, $5,000, $2,000, $1,000, with drawings at 9 and 10 p.m. Saturday and 8 and 10 p.m. the rest of the days.

Saturday's schedule:
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Live music by Fusion Band
1 p.m. – 9 p.m. Festival Sunshine BBQ
1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 10:30 p.m. – midnight. Hot Holiday Jingle Jamboree (win $50 bonus play every 30 minutes)
6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Live music by The Stowaways
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Majic 102.7 Live Remote

The Hallandale Beach casino is at 831 N. Federal Highway.

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Gulfstream's shopping complex coming together


So officials from The Village at Gulfstream Park spelled out some more details Wednesday morning, as the mall is set to open Feb. 11.

There had been some thought to moving up the date because Calder slots are debuting before the Feb. 3 Super Bowl week, but it was decided to leave it at Feb. 11. Good move; Super Bowl really doesn't have much to do with all this.

The unanswered question is how much will it help the casino? Gulfstream's slots numbers are slowly climbing, and casino VP Steve Calabro listed slot products that give them an edge in South Florida, he says. They are Diamond Lotto, Lucky Larry Leprechaun, E-Bay (which has faded), and video roulette and virtual blackjack, which Gulfstream was first among the pari-mutuels with recently. More to come, he says.

Meanwhile, here are the shops that are coming in that had not been announced until Wednesday, with descriptions courtesy of The Village (I don't know shopping very well):

Caffe Martier: Serving fine coffee, delectable pastries and gourmet sandwiches.
Charles Lauren Fine Jewelers: Offers fine jewelry in a beautifully designed art deco store.
Expose: Mature women's apparel, owned by Martier with seven locations in New York and Florida.
Full Bodied Wine & Spa: An innovative grape-based spa, salon and boutique, designed to bring together the pleasures of the vine while promoting health and well-being.
Jacob's Classic Market: A premiere, full-service specialty food store.
Liapela Modern Baby: Features high-end, modern baby products.
Martier Lingerie: Offers luxury, designer lingerie.
Yardhouse: Upscale casual eatery known for its extensive menu, classic rock music and world's largest selection of draft beer.

More info at and part of The Village release is below:

Grand Opening festivities will officially begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 11, when Mayor Joy Cooper and city commissioners lead the ribbon cutting celebration and shoppers are officially welcome to South Florida's new Main-street style shopping and entertainment destination. Entertainment and street fair will continue throughout the day, leading up to an exceptional Grand Opening show for the public at 6:30 p.m. As the sun sets the Village will heat up as the sights and sounds of Carnivalia, from samba to salsa, meringue to mambo, fill the streets in a one-of-a-kind celebration. The night's entertainment will bring a selection of performers and musicians from a diverse Latin American palette and larger-than-life specialty performers dressed in elaborate Carnival style costumes parading through the streets. Forest City Commercial Development and Magna Entertainment Corp. will also make a special presentation to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital during the event.

On Friday, February 12, The Village, Gulfstream Park and Greenhouse Nightclub will host a free music celebration and street festival for the public. Street Fair characters will permeate the center throughout the weekend, as local musical talent, balloon sculptors, magicians and other entertainers keep the Grand Opening excitement going. Individual retailers have other activities planned to add to the festive weekend filled with South Florida style.

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December 9, 2009

Boca tennis instructor wins $1.5 million slot jackpot


A Boca Raton tennis instructor aced a slot machine Tuesday night.

Kennis Collins, 51, won $1,589,193 at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. He was playing the Jeopardy! MegaJackpot game. (Collins didn't want to pose for a photo for the casino, but Coconut Creek GM Steve Bonner overcame his aversion to the media and stepped in.)

It's the fourth $1 million-plus slot win the past 20 months at the casino.

According to a press release from game manufacturer IGT, Collins said he was drawn to the winning machine when he noticed other players winning on the same type of game. Collins went on to say that he was surprised to find he had won the million-dollar-plus top progressive prize.

“I wasn’t sure which of the three amounts listed I won. I didn’t think it was the big one,” he commented.

He said he will “pay off debt” and take a much needed vacation.

"I haven’t had one in four years," he said. Collins' tennis students can rest easy however, the winner said he will continue working.

“I love teaching tennis” he said. His students include Ahsha Rolle, according to old news reports; he played college tennis at Grambling.

The Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is part of a Native American progressive gaming network which includes over 300 casinos nationwide. Each time a coin is played in a linked machine, anywhere in the network, the jackpot accumulates until it is won.

Jeopardy! is a multi-denominational progressive system with a starting jackpot of $500,000. The game is one of IGT’s newest and most advanced, including “Double Jeopardy!” action.

The casino billed itself as the "Jackpot Capital of the World" after a $2 million win last July by a Lake Worth man. The Seminole Casino Immokalee had a $3.5 million winner on Aug. 30 this year to set the state record, but Coconut Creek can contend that it has produced the most millionaires.

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Errol Rosen wins Mercedes Challenge at Gulfstream

Errol Rosen of Miami Beach won the Second Annual Mercedes Challenge poker tournament at Gulfstream Casino & Racing Sunday.

Rosen was the last man standing in the 50 player free roll event, claiming first place and a 2009 Mercedes C-Class. He chose the cash option on the vehicle, which meant $27,000.

Albert Eskenazi finished second and pocketed $2,500 in cash.

Gulfstream Park began its tournament Challenge Series in September 2008, with the first Mercedes Challenge. Players are awarded points for play in daily multi-table and sit-n-go tournaments. At the end of the challenge, the top 50 point earners are invited to participate in a “free roll” finale.

The results:
1st – Errol Rosen
2nd – Albert Eskenazi
3rd – Tyrone Gordon
4th – Donald Penning
5th – Stanley Kent
6th – Henry Fermin
7th – Brian Fitzgerald
8th – Josh Garcia
9th – Claudio Benedetti
10th – Charlegmane Benjamin

Gulfstream Park begins its $50,000 Cash is King Challenge on Jan. 1, another series . For information call the Gulfstream Park Poker Room at 954-457-6336.

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December 8, 2009

Winter Poker Open starts Friday at Hard Rock

The Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood’s Paradise Poker Room hosts the Winter Poker Open, which begins Friday and runs through Dec. 21.

There's $325,000 of guaranteed prize pools. The series will feature a variety of buy-in levels and payoffs:

Event 1, Dec. 11, 11 a.m., $25K guarantee; $150 buy-in
Event 2, Dec. 12, 11 a.m., $30K guarantee; $350 buy-in
Event 3, Dec. 13, noon, $15K guarantee; $150 buy-in
Event 4, Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m., $8K guarantee; $75 buy-in
Event 5, Dec. 14, 11 a.m., $6K guarantee; $75 buy-in
Event 6, Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m., $25K guarantee; $300 buy-in
Event 7, Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m., $15K guarantee; $150 buy-in
Event 8, Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m., $8K guarantee; $75 buy-in
Event 9, (Day 1A) Dec. 18, 11 a.m., $150K guarantee; $1,100 buy-in
Event #9, (Day 1B) Dec. 19, 11 a.m., $150K guarantee; $1,100 buy-in
Dec. 20, 11 a.m., surviving players meet in final.
Event 10, Dec. 20, 6:30 p.m., $8K guarantee; $75 buy-in
Event 11, Dec. 21, 11 a.m., $35K guarantee; $350 buy-in

Satellite Day is Dec. 17. Tournaments at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Buy-in is $75.

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December 7, 2009

Hard Rock has 21-day giveaway, BMW giveaway and $60,000 in free play

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has a 21-Day Gift Giveaway, New Year’s Eve BMX 528i Giveaway, iPod Giveaway and other promotions this month.

Here are the details, as provided by the casino (and lightly edited by me; I'm short on time today but want to get the stuff up):

21-day giveaway prizes: A compact full HD camcorder, 7.1 channel Blu-Ray home theater system, a 32" Viera X1 Series LCD HDTV-720P, a Samsung 22" 720P LCD TV w/Nintendo Wii & The Beatles: Rock band Bundle for Wii, Callaway Big Bertha Irons Set (Sand Wedge w/ Steel Shafts), X Series Stand Bag & White Hot Tour Putter and more are now available through Dec. 24

New Year’s Eve BMX 528i Giveaway: Thursday, Dec. 31. Virtual drawings will be held on plasmas throughout casino. The Grand Prize drawing will yield one name to win the BMW or a $60,000 cash option. Swipe your Player’s Card daily for electronic entries and get an additional entry for each 50 points earned. Plus, on Sundays (6, 13, 20 and 27), get 5X entries earned for each 50 points that accumulate towards the car and cash giveaway on New Year’s Eve.

$60,000 Free Play Giveaway: Win $10,000 a day on Wednesdays (2, 9 & 16), Fridays (4 & 11) and Saturday (19).

iPod Giveaway: On Mondays (7, 14 & 21) from noon – 9 p.m., two player per hour will have a chance to draw from the iPod Cash and Prize Wall. Every one’s a winner – from $100 to $1,500 plus iPod Shuffles, iPod Nanos, iPod Classics, iPod Touches and iPhones (with 1 year service). For a chance to win, swipe your Player’s Card , daily, for an electronic entry. Virtual drawings will be held throughout the casino to select players.

Player’s Club members 55 and over are eligible to join the “Classic Rockers” and participate in the “Classic Rockers Giveaway” on Tuesdays (1, 8, 15, 22 & 29) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to win a share of $2,750 in cash and free play. Swipe your Player’s Card daily for electronic entries and get an additional entry for each 50 points earned. Virtual drawings will be held throughout the casino for five participants who will draw from five envelopes containing first place of $250 cash; second place of $100 free play; third place of $75 free play; fourth place of $50 free play and fifth place of $25 free play. Classic Rockers may also enjoy a breakfast special for $5.55 in the Blue Plate consisting of two eggs, two bacon, two sausages, two pancakes and a cup of coffee from 6 – 11 a.m. and can receive a complimentary sandwich, salad or burger with the purchase of any entree, salad, sandwich or burger and two beverages in the Hard Rock Café on Tuesdays.

Seminole Hard Rock is also inviting guests to “Take Center Stage” for an opportunity to win $1,000 in free play or concert memorabilia. The action takes place Sunday, December 13 for Lionel Richie. Beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at 10:45 p.m., swipe your Player’s Card daily for electronic entries and get an additional entry for each 50 points earned. Virtual drawings will be held throughout the casino with a final drawing at 11 p.m. where three winners each will get $1,000 free play or Hard Rock concert memorabilia.

The casino has also introduced new Power Play Coupons that allow players to take their free play directly to their favorite slot machines. Just insert the Seminole Wild Card into a machine’s card reader and insert the free play coupon. No need to redeem at Player’s Club or type in a PIN number. Power Play Coupons can be used directly from the mailbox to a player’s favorite slot machine.

Visit the Players Club at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for more details.

Poker Promotions:

Mega Bad Beat Jackpot: Four tens beaten by any hand will win a progressive Mega Bad Beat Jackpot that is linked to all six Seminole Casino properties. The minimum for all Mega Bad Beat Jackpots will be $100,000.

Receive a Texas Hold’em High Hand of the Hour every day from 10 a.m. - midnight and obtain $50 in cash, and free entry into a specified evening tournament in November ($100 value). Entries are transferable and non-refundable.

Earn a Texas Hold’em High Hand Bonus every Thursday in November at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. $500 cash will be added to the High Hand prize (if won in a no limit game) or $250 cash will be added to the High Hand prize (if won in a limit game).

Play Four-of-a-Kind daily beginning at 6 a.m. The first 20 four-of-a-kind will receive $50 cash and a free entry into a tournament in November ($75 value). Entries are transferable and non-refundable. (Only for Texas Hold’em jackpot eligible games.)

Special Guaranteed Tournaments:
Tuesday, December 1 & 15 at 6:30 p.m. with a $15,000 guaranteed prize pool; $150 buy-in
Wednesday, December 2 & 16 at 6:30 p.m. with a $8,000 guaranteed prize pool; $75 buy-in
Friday, December 11 at 11 a.m. with a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool; $150 buy-in
Saturday, December 12 at 11 a.m. with a $30,000 guaranteed prize pool; $350 buy-in
Sunday, December 13 at Noon with a $15,000 guaranteed prize pool; $150 buy-in
Sunday, December 13 & 20 at 6:30 p.m. with a $8,000 guaranteed prize pool; $75 buy-in
Monday, December 14 at 11 a.m. with a $6,000 guaranteed prize pool; $75 buy-in
Monday, December 14 & 28 at 6:30 p.m. with a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool; $300 buy-in
Friday-Sunday, December 18 & 20 at 11 a.m. with a $150,000 guaranteed prize pool; $1,100 buy in
Monday, December 20 at Noon with a $35,000 guaranteed prize pool; $350 buy-in
Saturday, December 26 at 11 a.m. with a $75,000 guaranteed prize pool; $1,100 buy-in

Special Tournaments:
Sundays in December, 12 p.m. Deepstack; $150 buy-in
Sundays in December, 6:30 p.m., Deepstack; $75 buy-in
Mondays in December, 11 a.m., Deepstack; $75 buy-in
Mondays in December, 6:30 p.m., Deepstack; $300 buy-in
Tuesdays in December, 11 a.m., Satellites; $100 buy-in
Tuesdays in December, 6:30 p.m., Deepstack; $75 buy-in
Wednesdays in December, 11 a.m., Satellites; $100 buy-in
Wednesdays in December, 6:30 p.m.. Satellites; $75 buy-in
Thursdays in December, 11 a.m., Survivor; $180 buy-in
Thursdays in December, 7:30 p.m.; Satellites; $75 buy-in
Fridays in December, 11 a.m., Deepstack; $150 buy-in
Fridays in December, 7:30 p.m., Super Satellite; $150 buy-in
Saturdays in December, Deepstack (12/5 & 12/12)
Saturdays in December, 6:30 p.m., Survivor; $180 buy-in

Winter is on the move with a crisp, cool $325,000 cash prize pool awaiting South Florida poker players in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Winter Open Poker Tournament, running December 11 – 21. This special event at The Poker Room in Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will feature a variety of buy-in levels and payoffs.

Event #1, Friday, December 11 at 11 a.m. with a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool; $150 buy-in
Event #2, Saturday, December 12 at 11 a.m. with a $30,000 guaranteed prize pool; $350 buy-in
Event #3, Sunday, December 13 at noon with a $15,000 guaranteed prize pool; $150 buy-in
Event #4, Sunday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m. with an $8,000 guaranteed prize pool; $75 buy-in
Event #5, Monday, December 14 at 11 a.m. with a $6,000 guaranteed prize pool; $75 buy-in
Event #6, Monday, December 14 at 6:30 p.m. with a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool; $300 buy-in
Event #7, Tuesday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m. with a $15,000 guaranteed prize pool; $150 buy-in
Event #8, Wednesday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. with an $8,000 guaranteed prize pool; $75 buy-in
Event #9, (Day 1A) Friday, December 18 at 11 a.m. with a $150,000 guaranteed prize pool; $1,100 buy-in
Event #9, (Day 1B) Saturday, December 19 at 11 a.m. with a $150,000 guaranteed prize pool; $1,100 buy-in
Event #9, (Final Day) Sunday, December 20 at 11 a.m. Surviving Players from Day 1A & 1B will meet in Finals.
Event #10, Sunday, December 20 at 6:30 p.m. with an $8,000 guaranteed prize pool; $75 buy-in
Event #11, Monday, December 21 at 11 a.m. with a $35,000 guaranteed prize pool; $350 buy-in

** Satellite Day will be Thursday, December 17 with tournaments at 11 a.m., and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. $75 buy-in.

Log onto and print out the confirmation page to redeem $10 off one tournament buy-in.

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December 4, 2009

Lottery: $115,943 Fantasy 5 ticket sold in Coral Springs about to expire

Check your Fantasy Five tickets: Someone is holding a winner -- worth $115,943.41 and sold in Coral Springs -- that will expire Monday.

It was sold on June 10, the Lottery says. For Fantasy Five, winners have 180 days to claim their prize.

The winning numbers that day were: 02 – 10 – 34 – 35 – 36

The winning ticket was sold at: Publix, 1400 Coral Ridge Drive in Coral Springs. It was a Quick-Pick.

While any Florida Lottery retailer can validate the winning ticket, the Fantasy 5 jackpot must be claimed at a Florida Lottery district office or at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. Players may obtain additional information by calling the Player Information Line at 850-921-PLAY (7529) or visiting the Florida Lottery’s Web site at

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Plantation man wins Le Batard tournament


Dave Ostrau of Plantation won the Nov. 25 Dan LeBatard 790 The Ticket Celebrity Poker Tournament at Dania Jai-Alai.

The event drew more than 220 players. The final six players decided to “chop” the pot equally, giving each player $1,026. Ostrau was the chip leader and was awarded the tournament trophy.

Dania Jai-Alai features the celebrity tournament once a month, usually on Wednesday night. The December event is in the planning stages with a date to be announced any day.

Dania Jai-Alai’s Cardroom is open Sundays through Thursdays from noon to midnight, Friday and Saturdays from noon to 2 a.m. The fronton is located at 301 E. Dania Beach Blvd in Dania Beach.

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December 3, 2009

Gulfstream comedy benefit to help PAL

Gulfstream Park will host the Hallandale Beach Police Dept.’s Comedy Show at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The $50 admission fee includes hors d’oeuvres, served from 7-8 p.m.; a coupon for one free cocktail; $20 in free play at Gulfstream Park’s casino for all new Players’ Club enrollees; and registration to a raffle that includes a large flat-screen TV, according to a news release.

The show, featuring the Boston-based comedians Ken “Viper” Rogerson and Tony V, will benefit the Hallandale Beach Police Department's Police Athletic League and it will be staged on the second floor in the future home of the MI-VI nightclub. The venue was formerly known as the Sport of Kings.

Hallandale Beach’s Police Athletic League is a non-profit organization that creates athletic and educational opportunities for local youths ages 5-18.

"We try to provide opportunities for kids that will lead them to the full realization of their potential … educationally, socially and physically,” Major Ken Cowley said in the news release. "We want to grow a sense of loyalty, faith, dedication and social responsibility. Nationally and locally, PAL programs have been proven to help our kids learn the virtues and values associated with being good citizens."

Rogerson is a regular on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien shows and has also appeared on Showtime and Comedy Central. Tony V has appeared on HBO, MTV and the Arts and Entertainment network, as well as Comedy Central.

Tickets can be purchased at the door; or online at, or at the Cultural Community Center, located at 410 SE Third St. in Hallandale, through Friday, from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

For more information, call 954-457-1466 or click

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December 2, 2009

2010 American Casino Guide: $25 free play at Mardi Gras; Hard Rock deals

Steve Bourie's American Casino Guide has always had coupons, but this year the Hollywood resident broke new ground: He upped the goodies in his home county.

Bourie, whose 19th annual version of the book hit the streets last month, connected with casinos to add the following:

$25 in free play at Mardi Gras in Hallandale Beach, 15 percent off at the casino's gift shop and a buy-one, get-one entree at the casino's French Quarter restaurant;

Two-for-one buffet deal at Miccosukee Indian Gaming in west Miami-Dade;

A Seminole Hollywood "Classic" coupon awarding slot players with $100 in free play if they accrue 500 slot points in one day;

An expansion of $10 in free play for existing slot players at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, adding to two deals the casino had in the 2009 guide: $20 in free slot play for new members and a two-for-one sandwich deal for weekdays at the Hard Rock Cafe.

"From the casinos' perspective, it gets people who may have never been there before and maybe they'll come back," he said.

Bourie also approached other South Florida casinos about including coupons in his book -- he doesn't charge them anything -- but they chose not to participate, he said.

The coupons are limited to one per person per year, to prevent those looking for what gamblers call an overlay. Otherwise they could pay $18.95 for the book ($12.75 plus $4 handling at his site, and often come out ahead by using just one coupon.

The book also includes pages of advice and strategy for slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, baccarat and how to best use the casinos' free offerings - "comps" in the industry lingo.

Midwesterners especially buy the guide, Bourie said, partially because the Midwest has Indian casinos that people are not familiar with.

He especially is proud of the selection of coupons in the Las Vegas area, and says some people go on "coupon runs," darting from casino to casino using the more than 120 $10 match-play coupons, two-for-one buffet offers and show and dining deals in the guide.

Bourie said he also is offering slot expertise for free in a 10-minute video, also at his site. Or go to

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Woman wins $40,000 Harley


Mary Barnes of Davie won the grand prize in the Seminole Hard Rock's "Rock & Ride" promotion, a new Screaming Eagle Harley Davidson motorcycle valued at $40,000.

The promotion took place from Oct. 1 – Nov.25 with the finale drawing on the 25th.

For video go to

Boy, oh boy, is that one happy woman.

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Isle promotions for December

Dec. 1 and 15: win a share of $10,000 on each date at the Jackpot Sweeps. Anyone winning a taxable jackpot during the dates preceding the drawing qualifies to enter.

Every Monday, IsleOne card members can play free bingo on the casino floor from 3 to 8 p.m. Win $500 in IslePlay every round.

Dec. 11: The $25,000 Holiday Sweepstakes for a chance to be one of 25 winners of $1,000 in cash. The drawing is at 10 p.m.

3-9 p.m. Dec. 18: Donate a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots and play an extra round in the $15,000 Stocking Stuffer Slot tournament.

Every Sunday in December, earn 10 points each day and pick up a plush toy from noon to 10 p.m. Four cuddly toys during the month.

Every Wednesday in December, IsleOne card members are invited to play in the Race for the Riches Slot Tournament from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fifty winners will take home a share of $10,000 weekly. Earn “jewels” based on weekly scores. The finale is on December 30 and top score will win $5,000 cash.

Enter to win a one of two new Camaros and a share of $10,000 IslePlay on Thursday, December 31 from 6 to 11 p.m. during the Fire and Ice New Year’s Eve celebration. Receive 2x entries on Mondays, 3x entries on Tuesdays and 4x entries on Wednesdays during the month. On December 25, receive 10xs entries for the drawing.

Food and Beverage:

Monday – Friday at the isle buffet, enjoy lunch or dinner for $9.99.
Every Friday and Saturday at the isle buffet from 5 to 9 p.m., buy one seafood and prime rib dinner buffet for $23.99 and get one for half price.
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday in fling from 5 to 7 p.m., enjoy $1 domestic drafts, wine, and drinks along with live music.
On Christmas Day, December 25 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m, the Isle buffet will offer a holiday buffet for $14.95 per person, $7.95 for children under 12. The buffet will feature pork loin with cranberry stuffing, carved roasted leg of lamb, an Italian station, and much more.
Farraddays’ is offering an Asian buffet on Christmas Day from 4 to 9 p.m. serving sushi, stir fry and other Asian favorites for $22.95 per person and $10.95 for children 12 and under.


Football Frenzy continues. Here is how to win:
• Pick 165 out of 245 games correctly during the 2009 season and win $1,000,000.
• Pick 100% of the games correct for the week and receive $1,000 IslePlay.
• Pick 100% correct and exact final scores from the Monday night game and receive a $2,500 bonus.
• Play every week, every day and increase your chances to win.

Every Sunday until January 3, 2010, from 1 to 6 p.m., win a share of $15,000 in prizes including two tickets to the big game in Miami (a cash option for tickets will be offered).

Watch football games every Sunday starting at noon on the second floor of the casino with $1 draft beers, 25 cent wings and $2 hot dogs.


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All In Free Poker guys to conduct seminar at the Isle

Bryan Oulton and Sandy Swartzbaugh, who run All in Free Poker, will conduct a free poker class from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 9.

The class is part of several to be offered by the Isle, called The Advanced Poker Series. This one is titled "protect yourself," and is designed to help players of all levels, Oulton says.

While the class is free, those interested are encouraged to pick up a ticket at the Isle's poker tournament desk, guaranteeing them a seat.

The Isle is giving away three entries into a $150 tournament via a drawing among attendees.

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December 1, 2009

Calder stakes races postponed due to quarantine

A couple of stakes races scheduled for Saturday at Calder have become victims of efforts to prevent an epidemic of Equine Herpesvirus (EVH-1), a highly contagious flu-like disease that afflicts the respiratory system.

A single unidentified horse based at Calder has been confirmed to have contracted EVH-1. The horse has been removed from the grounds. However, three barns have been quarantined. No horse from these barns will be allowed to ship into or out of Calder for three weeks.

Also, as of Nov. 30, no horses are being permitted to ship into any Calder barn for two weeks.

The Tropical Turf Handicap and My Charmer Handicap, which were scheduled to be the centerpieces of a Grand Slam Saturday, were expected to have strong representations of horses who have shipped south for the winter. As a result, both races have been postponed.

A Calder spokesperson said an effort would be made to reschedule these stakes before the end of the season on Jan. 2.

So far, it has been one horse. How big of a story do you think this is?

--Tom Jicha

POSTED IN: horse racing (8)

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Palm Beach Kennel $25K tourney draws 206 players

Adam Joy of North Palm Beach won the Palm Beach Kennel Club's $25K gurantee tournament Saturday. The tournament was part of AnteUp Magazine's statewide tour.

Joy took home $4,960. The $200 event drew 206 entrants and had a prize pool of $34,402.

Next in line: Dave Felger, Lantana ($3,740), Eddy Thompson, Palm Beach Lakes ($3,725), Ismael Delgado, West Palm Beach ($3,724), Richard Ramsey, West Palm Beach ($3,723) and Jeff Charlton, West Palm Beach ($2,000).

POSTED IN: Poker (349)

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Updated: Big bingo payouts at Seminoles celebrate 30 years

Thirty years ago in Hollywood, the Seminole Tribe of Florida started what would become a gambling empire with ... bingo.

So the tribe is marking its 30th anniversary with a statewide game that could yield $1 million to one player who covers his or her card in 48 numbers of fewer.

It runs from 2-4:30 p.m. Dec. 13. Players can enter for $95 in advance; it's $110 on Dec. 13. Players must be at least 18.

The tribe will call the numbers and and players at the Hard Rocks in Hollywood and Tampa, Seminole casinos in Immokalee, Coconut Creek, Hollywood and Brighton will check their cards.

The Super Jackpot Million Dollar Bingo Game will consist of one “cover all” game. The first person to successfully cover all of the spaces on their card in 48 numbers or fewer will win the $1 million grand prize. If no participant fills their card in 48 numbers or fewer, the cover all winner gets $50,000.There also will be 20 games that pay out $2,500 each.

“It’s going to be a fun way to recognize the Seminole Tribe’s remarkable 30-year pioneer gaming legacy which has helped to improve the lives of so many North American Native Indian tribes,” said Seminole Gaming vice president of marketing, Jeffrey Hook.

For more information go to

Updated: No one hit the million, and two folks shared the $50,000. It was at the Hard Rock Hollywood and the Hard Rock Tampa. Both declined to release their names. Each venue had a hectic final 48 hours of sales for the cards, and the event sold out, they said.

POSTED IN: promotions (280)

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About the author
Maybe you've made the right play, maybe you haven't. Your heart speeds up, your stomach rumbles.

That's why it's called gambling.

ACTION is a view of the numbers, the psychology and the flavor of gambling here in South Florida, through our lens.

We do have one sure bet. There's something here for you.

NICK SORTAL began playing 3-card "gut" and "Indian poker" on high school band trips, moved on to "night baseball" and "pass the trash" during a Dr. Pepper-infused midnight game in the 1980s at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and now play in a regular neighborhood Hold 'Em game in Plantation. I have been given the assignment of writing about the gambling life in South Florida casinos for the Sun-Sentinel...which means sitting around watching poker on TV now counts as research.
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