One thing about living in Florida is that poker is plentiful throughout the state. In fact, it can be said that poker in Florida is seeing one of its greatest periods of poker popularity, with high-stakes action, tournaments, and other cash games running daily from the Keys to Tallahassee. I figured it was time to look at some of these rooms – especially the ones around me – and there was no better place to start than the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Poker Room in Tampa, FL.
Easy Access to a Very Comfortable Playing Arena
First, a tip for those of you who are driving into the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room.
If you aren’t staying at the hotel and are simply driving in to play some cash games, tournaments, or perhaps dine at one of the varieties of options on site (or perhaps hit the casino), you will need to head to a specific garage. The Draper Place Garage is the best place to park if you are taking part in the poker festivities, as the elevator that services the garage will put you out right outside the escalator that takes you to the poker room. This is very nice as it makes it so you don’t have to walk through the casino (some people don’t dig the cigarette smoke) and you can go directly to the poker room.
Once you are in the lobby of the poker room, you have entered what is one of the finer poker rooms in the state of Florida. A prominent display board that shows what games are in action (and their appropriate wait lists, which a player can get on through the Bravo Poker Live app on their phone), but beyond that, the room itself is particularly stunning. There are 42 HDTVs around the expanse, tuned into various sporting events of interest to the players (the Tampa Bay Rays, of course, were prominent on the night I played as they took on the Cleveland Guardians). If you’re hungry, there is also an exclusive snack bar and full bar offerings so that players don’t have to leave the battlefield for an extended time to get the sustenance of their choice.
The poker room itself is quite comfortable and very player friendly. There are 46 tables arranged around the poker arena, but there is plenty of room in between the tables so that you don’t feel as if you’re sitting on top of your fellow players. The SHRT Poker Room could probably cram in another half-dozen tables at the minimum if they were looking to sacrifice player comfort, but it is obvious that they are looking out for their customers.
What Game Do You Want? A Variety of Poker Disciplines Await
If you’re looking for a particular game, the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room probably has whatever you are looking for. On Friday night, there were nearly a dozen $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em games in action alone. If you’re looking for something a bit on the higher end, $1/$3, $2/$5, and $10/$10 NLHE action was also available. If your taste runs to Omaha, that was also being spread, although only in a Pot Limit format.
Tournaments are constantly running on the grounds of the SHRT Poker Room. There are daily tournaments that run regularly, starting at $60 (satellite tournaments) and can run up to the $500 Monthly Tournament that, on Sunday, drew in a 323-entry field (all tournaments feature a re-entry format…no freezeouts, at least in the daily events) and smashed its $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. Bounty tournaments are also popular at the SHRT Poker Room, and they are extremely competitive.
The staff was extremely good at what they were doing, whether it was the dealers who were working the tables or the floor staff that were making sure every player found their way to their proper game (they do ask that you are escorted to the table from the front desk lobby). The wait staff was quite attentive and very polite, making sure that all players were taken care of with whatever beverage of choice was requested by the patrons.
Going to Be Tough to Beat
Overall, the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room is one of the best operations that I have been a customer of, and that includes many of the sites in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and even its compatriot in Hollywood, FL They do everything well and they make the customer feel like they are a highly respected and cherished person. The poker was excellent, the competition was very good, and there were plenty of choices. While there are other poker rooms, especially around the Tampa Bay area, it is going to be tough to top the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room and its product.