The Magic City poker room is one of the smallest card rooms in South Florida. Magic City carves out a specific niche in the southwest corner of Miami away from the larger rooms to the north like Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood and Isle Casino Pompano Park. Its closest rival is the larger Hialeah Park (which we were unable to fit in on this trip). Magic City’s poker room has a diverse clientele (except in terms of gender). The room’s proximity to Downtown Miami and Little Havana presents nice opportunities for a day of sightseeing, cultural immersion, dining, and poker.
The Magic City Casino lies on the west side of Miami, right outside the northwest edge of Little Havana. It can be accessed via the Dolphin Expressway (route 836) to the north, route 968 to the south, and route 953 to the west. In other words, it’s conveniently accessed from any direction – at least as convenient as possible considering South Florida traffic and stop lights!
If you have the time, walk around and definitely eat in Little Havana. The Calle Ocho is a great area to stroll around and grab lunch or dinner. Ice cream fans might enjoy Azucar. They had some creative flavors like Burn in Hell Fidel, a chocolate spiced with cayenne, Guava, and Mango. Poker players will enjoy checking out the intensive domino action at Maximo Gomez Park. The day we visited, there were some heated chess matches going on as well. If you head west down 8th Street toward Magic City, you’ll come across Versailles Cuban Bakery, offering a range of goodies from pastries and cakes to sandwiches and meals.
The Magic City casino itself is a large unadorned boxy building in an urban retail area, with a large mall directly across the street. Beyond the size of the building, the approach into the parking lot does not raise great expectations. Magic City was a former greyhound track and they still have simulcast. The track area is more attractive than the building itself, ringed by palm trees, and the infield, where the outdoor stage resides, is well kept. In short, it’s more scenic out back than in the front.
Magic City has several hundred slot machines and electronic table games. It does not have any live dealer table games in the casino, but does have a few live tables in the poker room. Magic City houses a restaurant, the 1952 Cafe, a concession stand, bar, and an ice cream stand. There is a small indoor venue that offers older singers (e.g., Chubby Checker, Richard Marx), comedians, and a smattering of smaller contemporary artists. There is also a 2,000 seat outdoor amphitheater.
As stated above, Magic City features a large simulcast racing room. On the Sunday afternoon we were there, a large bingo game was running in the outdoor stands. There is also a Jai-Alai facility re-opening in July of 2019.
Magic City Poker Room Comfort
The 19 table Magic City poker room is very bright with high curved white ceilings. Temperature in the room was comfortable, cool but not freezing. The tables are fairly tightly packed, making moving around the room a challenge. The room was very loud. The black felts were very clean and seemed new. The dark backdrop made the cards very easy to see. The chairs were very comfortable, although not adjustable.
TVs line the poker room walls and support columns, playing various sporting events. Tournament clocks were easily viewable on several screens. There is a small bar in the back of the poker room offering a variety of food and drinks. One of the nicest aspects of the room was a section of faux leather couches and stuffed chairs. It is a great spot to relax while on the waiting list or after you were knocked out of a tournament.
Poker Room Staff
The dealers at Magic Casino were excellent, fast and skilled. The floor was very active organizing the tournament, explaining the rules, and being a presence throughout. The tournament started 8 minutes late, but that was partly due to the floor doing his job well to set things up. Waitresses did not seem to be servicing the tournament tables. One player asked several times for someone to take his order, but no one arrived.If you're looking for a cash game in South Florida, Magic City is an attractive option with consistently good low limit activity. Tournaments? Not so much.Click To Tweet
Players at the Magic City Poker Room
While there was significant age and ethnic diversity in the room, it was very light on female players. Perhaps 3 women were playing in the entire room, and one was Heather. A significant portion of the tournament players were Hispanic. Players were instructed to speak English while active in hands, but that was not enforced. Players were quiet at some tables, and very talkative and friendly at others. The high sound level of the room was partially due to the very active banter at some of the cash tables.
The Magic City poker room offers four tournaments each week: Sunday at 4pm, Monday at 8pm, and Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm. Buy-ins are $50 Sunday and Thursday, $60 on Tuesday (including a $10 bounty), and $80 on Monday.
Starting stacks for the Sunday tournament were 5,000 chips, with 20 minute blinds for the first three levels, and 15 minute blinds thereafter. There are unlimited rebuys through level 5, but no add-ons. Antes kick in at level 6. According to posted structures, this is the structure for all Magic City tournaments. Suffice it to say, these tournaments play very fast. There were more all-ins in the first three rounds than at any other tournament we have played. Twenty-four of the first 45 entries were out in the first five levels (end of rebuy). Basically, this tournament plays more like a multi-table Sit-N-Go than a typical MTT.
Generally, Magic City gets 30-50 players in their tournaments, regardless of the day of the week.
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Cash Game Activity
The Magic City poker room has a consistently vibrant lower limit cash game. On weekends you can expect 5 to 8 $1/$2 tables and 2-3 $2/$5 tables, as well as a few $2-$4 limit games and occasional others. While those numbers trail the large rooms in the region – Seminole Hard Rock, Coconut Creek and Isle Pompano – they certainly keep pace, or exceed, what is seen at other intermediate and smaller South Florida rooms. Notably, on weekdays Magic City maintains these numbers, while other rooms see declines. And Monday through Thursday the larger rooms experience sharper declines such that their cash volume is not far above Magic City.
On the Sunday evening we were there, Magic City had 4 $1/$2 tables, 3 $2/$5 tables, and 4 tables of $2/$4 limit.
Overall Assessment of the Magic City Poker Room
If you are looking for a cash game in South Florida, Magic City is an attractive option. It is not the largest room, but offers consistently good low limit cash table activity. Tournaments? Not so much. They are modest in size with extremely shallow stacks, short blind levels, and aggressive jumps. There are better tournament options elsewhere. Overall, the room seems well run and the larger facility offers several other entertainment options. Magic City is not necessarily a destination card room, but is a solid option if you are visiting South Beach or downtown Miami.
If you are looking for a cash game in South Florida, Magic City is an attractive option. It is not the largest room, but offers consistently good low limit cash table activity. Tournaments? Not so much. They are modest in size with extremely shallow stacks, short blind levels, and aggressive jumps. Overall, the room seems well run and the larger facility offers several other entertainment options. Magic City is not necessarily a destination card room, but is a solid option if you are visiting South Beach or downtown Miami.