No Limit Poker in Florida – So What’s the Deal?

Buying in for $100 max at a $5/$10 poker table is not an attractive option for serious poker players in Florida. But then again, with the old laws, there were no serious poker players in Florida.

Okay, enough with poker in Florida being the big joke around the country. Florida poker players have been dying to play the game for high stakes and starting in July they will finally be able to do so.

The New Poker Laws
Senate Bill 622 was signed into law on April 28th as part of the Seminole Gambling Compact. The bill, which officially goes into effect on July 1st, makes it legal for all poker rooms in Florida to offer no-limit games. That change alone has the power to transform Florida into the poker capital of the east coast.

The bill also made it legal for all Florida pari-mutuel and jai-alai facilities to operate all variations of poker games, and it allows them to increase their hours of operation to eighteen on Monday through Friday, and twenty-four on weekends. It also allows racing facilities to offer less live racing without having to pay higher poker taxes.

What the New Laws Means for Poker Rooms in Florida
More competition.

Over the course of the next several months and few years, each poker room across the state will be jockeying for a position in the market. Each room’s current position is that they will offer whatever games their players demand.

In an interview with Casino Pulse, Will Herrera, Poker Director for Mardi Gras Casino, said that, “The goal is to become as player-friendly as possible.”

Most poker rooms will try to please as many players as possible, as Mardi Gras intends to do, but most poker rooms will be defined by the type of players that gravitate to their room.

So some poker rooms will become ‘the place where ‘the fish’ are bitin’.’ Some will become ‘the place where the pro’s go.’ Others will become ‘the home of the locals.’

The West Palm Beach Kennel Club will be able to open up a new poker room anywhere in West Palm Beach without live racing, giving them a distinct advantage over most other poker rooms.

With the new, more lax racing requirements, other poker rooms will be popping up around the state, and they too will compete for their share of the market.

What No-Limit Poker Means for Tournaments in Florida
A greater amount of more varied tournaments.

The biggest casinos in the country host circuit events for major poker tours such as the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. Buy-ins range from $1,000 to $10,000 and higher. Up until this deal was agreed upon, Florida card rooms did not have the ability to bring those high stakes tournaments to the state. Now they do.

But it is not so much the tournaments themselves that excite the poker rooms. It’s the side cash games the tournaments spark.

“Many tournament players and those that follow the tournament circuit really enjoy the side action cash games that pop up when an influx of new players comes into a room,” Herrera said.

Expect an abundance of new tournaments with high stakes, side action cash games, starting on July 1st.

What No-Limit Games Mean for Professional Poker Players
Vacations to Florida.

Professional poker players travel in order to play in some of the biggest tournaments and richest cash games in the world. Florida, home to some of the wealthiest people in the world, celebrities, and tourists with deep wallets, will be like an oasis of easy money for these poker pro’s.

Expect to start seeing the faces you are used to seeing on TV at the very high stakes tables near you. And don’t worry about playing these pro’s, unless of course you are buying in for at least $50k.

What the New Law Means for Online Players in Florida
Interaction with real people.

With high stakes games now available at land-based poker rooms, online poker players will have the opportunity to play the game they love at live tables. Many online players will ditch their computers for the chance to win big money from inexperienced Florida players. It remains to be seen how good these online players will be in real live settings, but expect to see many more of them at the tables.

What the New Law Means in General for Poker in Florida
Skill will start to matter.

Up until now it was not uncommon to hear Florida poker players say there is no skill in the game, after coming home from a poker room with a depleted bankroll. “The guy went all in with 4-9 off suit and won!” says one poker player. “Poker is all luck,” says another player. That may have been true before, but no longer will that be the case.

For the first time, skill is going to play the most important role in the game of poker in Florida. It’s about time!

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