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Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

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The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa is located at the corner of Hillsborough Avenue and Orient Road, across I-4 from the Florida State Fairgrounds and the Ford Amphitheatre. The Poker Room has 50 tables, 18 with automatic shufflers. They spread 5 cash games: Texas Hold'Em ($1-$2 and $2), Seven Card Stud ($1-$2 and $2) and Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Qualifier ($2).

According to Florida law, which governs the Seminole Tribe's gaming actions per their compact with the state, no single bet at the game of poker may be more than $2. This forbids pot-limit and no-limit cash games. Hard Rock does offer no limit Hold'Em tournaments, as follows: $28+$12 sit-n'-go single table satellite to a $200+40 (advertised as a $30+10, but it pays $280 out, not $300) $63+$17 single table satellite to a $500+50 (advertised as a $65+$15, but pays $630, not $650) $85+$15; $100+20; and I think a $200+25, in addition to the aforementioned $200+40 and $500+$50. Some of those are multi-tables. $200+$40 Stud and Omaha 8 tournaments are also offered.

Dealers are chatty but competant, and generally keep good control of the games, although rules on acting in turn are largely flaunted, especially after betting is capped.

Chipco chips in $1 (white), $2 (purple) and $5 (red) denominations are circulated, along with 50 cent NCV metal coins. Chipco displayed a $25 green chip on their Web site, but have since taken the photo down. Gemaco Five-Star cards, red and blue custom backs. Green felt on the tables with no markings, although there were rumors of a committment line in May, when the rules changed from live button to dead button. Rumors circulated about going to all-video poker (real poker, but without chips or cards)in early 2005.

SHR Tampa plays with a dead button, and does not require a player to post before being dealt in. Most dealers will not deal in a new player on the small blind. Cash does not play on the table; players are not allowed to play behind. Dealers will change up to $100 bills, depending on the chips in the well; any amount over $50 may cause a dealer to call for a chip runner.

Rake is 10% up to $5, plus a $1 Royal Flush jackpot drop. A Spade Royal pays the progressive jackpot; any other pays $100.

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