South Florida Gambling

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Bar poker league alters prize structure, offers seats at Isle tournaments

All In Free Poker has strengthened its relationship with the Isle Casino & Racing, offering seats in Isle tournaments at prizes.

For the past five years, All In Free Poker has conducted free Texas Hold 'em tournaments at bars and restaurants in South Florida, especially catering to players reluctant to try playing in casinos. But as players have become more confident in playing for free, some are less intimidated now, co-owner Bryan Oulton said.

"We know we’re part of a natural transition," Oulton said. The 33 participating restaurants and bars often hold up to four tournaments a night, and in past years the Isle hosted a quarterly tournament for All In Free Poker players.

But now All In offers prizes such as $50 in Isle slot play, an entry into a $100 buy-in Isle tournament and a weekend champagne brunch for four at the Isle's buffet.

Also, the one player with the best hand of the night at All In play across South Florida receives a weekday buffet for two. All In also has weekly and monthly tournaments, and those winners receive entries into Isle tournaments.

"It’s a win-win for both of us," co-owner Sandy Swartzbaugh said.

In addition to the Isle's prizes, many of the restaurants also offer gift certficates of $10 or $25 to tournament winners. More info at

Categories: News (83)

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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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