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Uncapped No-limit Poker Begins Today in Florida

State Will Likely Become One of the Biggest Poker Areas in the U.S.


Florida poker will dramatically change today.Today is the day. After more than two decades since the Florida government first legalized live poker games, but instituted a buy-in cap that would torture serious players, poker rooms will now finally be able to offer uncapped, no-limit games throughout the state.

“It’s very exciting,” said Kevin Schaffel, a lifelong Floridian who made the final table of the main event last year. “Now, if I’m having a tough day at the tables, I can go home. I’ve got my gym, I’ve got my golf course, I’ve got my regular life. I can eat better. It’s just going to be a pleasure.”

Schaffel, like most other serious poker players in the state, previously had to travel to places like California, Nevada, or New Jersey to play some serious cash games. But now, they will be able to play just minutes from their home.

In April, the two chambers of the Florida government voted to alter the gambling laws in the state, which included scrapping the $100 max buy-in for cash games and the $1,000 max buy-in for tournaments.

The move, which goes into effect today, is expected to propel Florida into one of the premiere poker destinations in the country.

Florida can now boast great poker action, alongside their great beaches.“Florida becomes another Atlantic City, Tunica or Vegas,” said Russ Christianson, the vice president of gaming operations at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. “Why would you want to go to Atlantic City in January when you can come to Florida?”

Under the new law, poker rooms across the state will be able to offer poker around the clock on the weekends and for up 18 hours at a time during the week. Poker rooms in Seminole casinos are allowed to offer poker all week long.

There are a number of locations that can legally offer poker in the state. The Seminoles operate seven casinos in cities such as Okeechobee, Clewiston, Coconut Creek, Hollywood, and Immokalee. Their two biggest properties were acquired in late 2006, when the tribe spent $965 million on the Hard Rock Cafe, including hotels and two casinos located in Hollywood and Tampa.

The biggest card room in the state, however, belongs to the Palm Beach Kennel Club, which houses 59 tables. The Dania Jai Alai poker room also features 26 tables.

While Florida legislators legalized penny ante poker in 1989, they capped all pots at $10. While the laws would loosen up a little over the years, it never went as far as most serious poker players would’ve liked.

In 1996, state-licensed pari-mutuel facilities were allowed to begin spreading poker games with the $10 cap. In 2003, a new law passed that scrapped the $10 cap, but still forced the max bet in any action to be only $2. In 2007, no-limit hold’em was finally introduced, but with the $100 max buy-in.

Starting today, Florida joins states like Nevada, Oklahoma, California, and New Jersey as locations with the best live poker laws in the country.



almost 11 years ago

FINALLY!!! Now we can have bigger buyin tourneys and hopefully attract the NAPT,WPT and WSOP circuit events. Also the cash games should be good. We use to have to go to Biloxi and Tunica to get decent action.


almost 11 years ago

FL has some of the worst poker players Ive ever encountered. With higher buy in's, anyone with half a brain should crush these games.