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Poker Room Rivalry Heats Up In South Florida

The Seminole Coconut Creek Casino has undergone drastic changes in recent years, none of which has been more significant to the South Florida poker scene than the addition of Stax. The poker room has become the latest in a budding rivalry within the gaming industry in the area.

Stax will start delivering high end tournaments this week when they unveil the World Poker Tour satellite events. The tournament will feature a buy-in of over $1,000, but players will have many opportunities to win a free buy-in through satellites being played throughout the month.

Stax is part of a multi-million dollar expansion effort by the Seminoles for their Coconut Creek casino. The Seminoles have added dozens of blackjack tables, hundreds of slot machines, and a new area for concerts. A parking garage has also been added, and the Seminoles are considering a hotel for the next phase of the construction process.

The Seminoles will have to tread carefully with Stax, as it will be competition for another Seminole poker room down at the Hard Rock in Hollywood. The main competition for Stax, however, is the Isle at Pompano Park. The Isle has one of the most poker friendly rooms in the state.

"I like to play at the Isle," says poker enthusiast Juan Flores, who was playing a $2-$5 no-limit game on Friday afternoon at the Isle. "I have been over to Creek (Stax) a couple of times in the past few weeks, and I like it over there. I probably will go to both places, depending on which is having the big tournaments that week."

Professional poker players have been seen throughout South Florida poker rooms since lawmakers changed the laws last year and allowed no-limit poker. The new games have attracted the likes of Vanessa Rousso, Mike "The Grinder" Mizrachi, and Mike Matusow, among others. Phil Ivey was seen several times at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood.

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