I made the 5-hour drive down to Hollywood, FL this week, for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. With over $12,500,000 in guaranteed prizes, this was a series not to be missed. Nothing like this has ever come to Florida before, and I must say, it was one of the most well-run tournaments I’ve been to. Although the crowds were large, I rarely waited in line to buy in, the tournaments started on time, and the dealers and floormen were outstanding. Which believe me, isn’t always the case – some of you may remember me being critical of a series at Foxwoods once, with long lines, delays, and not-so-knowledgeable floors.
The Hard Rock was even nice enough to recommend some other local hotels surrounding the property, for those of us who wanted to save a few (hundred) bucks by staying off-site.
Ok, so it’s not Vegas — no free cocktails (do you really want that temptation anyway?). You do get free soda at least, and they have tableside food service, massage, etc, just like at any major tourney.
As far as I could see, every event was exceeding the guarantee by a longshot. I played in a couple satellites with 20 seats to the main event guaranteed. They ended up awarding 60 seats each.
The main event was a $5300 buyin, with a guaranteed $10,000,000 prize pool. When they first announced this, I think there was some snickering in the poker community, that the Seminoles were going to take a major loss on this one. In the end, there were 2,384 entries, so the prize pool nearly reached $12,000,000.
Although I only cashed in one event, all in all I was thrilled to see something of this magnitude come to my humble home state of Florida, where just a decade ago we had an oppressive $10 max pot law. I can’t wait for the next event! It would be nice if they had a big one at the Tampa Hard Rock too.