WPT Headed to Florida Brick-and-Mortars

Seminole deal highlights benefits of improved, pro-poker law

by , Aug 10, 2010 | 5:04 pm

One of the important hedlines never written during the WSOP:

Florida Is the New France

(Apologies for not sharing this important insight with you readers. Just busy, ya know?)

It was the place a lot of WSOP dealers were saying they were headed after the Series … and some of them were already there, forgoing a summer in Vegas to set up shop near the beach early. These Pokerati card-carrying dealers began reporting near-immediately that indeed, the games were “sick”, and as a dealer it was nice to finally find a place where dealing actually paid well again.

All this because Florida passed a law legalizing poker some five years ago, and now, after a few revisions to the relevant statute, with betting limits and tourney buy-ins uncapped officially as of July 1 (and poker rooms now allowed to be open 24/7) the state has finally put itself in a position to realize the game’s potential — for them and for poker.

Also says something about the WPT’s continued effort to reclaim significance in the poker world. Can only imagine the WSOP will have a big circuit event there soon, too. In fact, might be willing to bet we’ll see one of those before we ever see an NAPT-Florida.

Below is the World Poker Tour press release about their partnership to put branded poker rooms throughout multiple Seminole casinos, and host a big televised $10k event at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida in late April/early May of next year. Early read is that this could become one of the big US tournaments of the year.


world poker tour® and seminole gaming Strike groundbreaking poker Partnership

Changes in law lead to WPT televised events, branded poker rooms and more at Seminole Casinos across Florida

LOS ANGELES (August 10, 2010) – World Poker Tour® (WPT) and Seminole Gaming today announced a multi-year alliance, adding a televised stop in Florida to the current WPT Season IX tour schedule, several additional WPT branded events and the development of official WPT Poker Rooms inside select Seminole Casinos. For the first time, players in Florida will be able to participate in a televised $10,000 buy-in WPT tournament. WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood from April 27 – May 3, 2011.

“A WPT tournament at a Seminole Casino in Florida is a perfect addition to our television season,” said Adam Pliska, WPT President. “With the recent changes in its poker laws, this is a momentous time for the evolution of poker in Florida and we are proud to join forces with the Seminole Tribe to finally bring high-stakes poker to Florida.”

Recent changes in state law have removed caps from poker games, including tournaments, and have relaxed rules on hours of play. As a result, Florida, the fourth most populous state in the U.S., appears destined to become one of the hottest poker markets in the nation. In addition, Seminole Casino poker rooms will now be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They offer 1,360 poker seats at six Florida casinos, far surpassing other card rooms in the state.

”World Poker Tour will bring a new level of sophistication and excitement to poker rooms at Seminole Casinos,” said Jeffrey Hook, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Seminole Gaming. “We look forward to combining the WPT partnership with no-limit poker and 24-hour play to maximize the action for our players.”

One Comment to “WPT Headed to Florida Brick-and-Mortars ”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    An example of big names heading to Florida, Mike Matusow won the $1000+100 Florida State Poker Championship this afternoon at the Isle Casino in Pompano Beach, earning $103,000.

    There was talk that there would be at least one WPT event at Seminole Hard Rock Casinos, either at Hollywood or at Tampa.