The Seminole Coconut Creek poker room, along with its larger sister casino Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, are major players in the South Florida poker scene. The Isle at Pompano Park is the other leg of the South Florida poker room tripod. The Seminole Coconut Creek is more remote than the other two casinos and has some unique tournament offerings. We enjoyed the unique tournament offerings so much we partook twice during our extended South Florida poker vacation.
After battling the urban and beach traffic of Miami and its northern beaches, the Seminole Coconut Creek casino was a breath of fresh air. Located on route 441 near the juncture with 834, there is little in the immediate area. Standing in front of the casino, you only trees and lush greenery. The casino’s location feels a bit like the Florida version of Foxwoods. In reality, it’s not far from the South Florida bustle. The exterior is attractively landscaped with palm trees and flowers. Parking is plentiful with both a six level parking garage and exterior parking.
As one of several Native American casino properties in Florida, Seminole Coconut Creek legally offers blackjack, pai gow, and baccarat in addition to poker and slots. Electronic craps and roulette games also sit on the casino floor.
Unfortunately, Coconut Creek was among the louder and smokier casinos that we encountered in Florida. Classic 1970s rock played relentlessly through the many loudspeakers. While I am a fan of such music, it became a little much. A small, quiet smoke-free room with slots and blackjack tables lies on the second floor.
The dining options at Coconut Creek are plentiful with wide a range of price points. At the high end, there is an NYY Steakhouse and an Italian restaurant named Sorrisi. At the other extreme, a deli sat next to the poker room. We grabbed a decent bagel there during break. The casino is also scattered with bars and lounges where you can grab a quick bite. There is a Fresh Harvest if you are looking for a healthier buffet experience.
Music options abound at Coconut Creek. The Nectar lounge and Sunset Grill both offer musical acts. “Willie Nelson and Family” performed in the arena on the day of our visit. Neil Sedaka (yes, he’s still alive!) and Kansas were both coming soon. Clearly the ubiquitous 1970’s music resonates with Seminole Coconut Creek’s target audience.
The Seminole Coconut Creek Poker Room Comfort
The 23 table Seminole Coconut Creek poker room is open to the casino floor, without walls or other barriers. Slot machines surround the room. Suffice it to say that the room is a bit loud. And smoky. Although smoking is off limits in the poker area itself, smoke wafted in from the slots areas, and many non-poker players wandered in to use the restrooms without attending to the No Smoking signs.
The poker room’s chairs are well padded and comfortable, although not adjustable. The felts are quite worn and some are fairly dirty. The lighting is dim, causing players in one of our tournaments to complain that they could not see the flop. The chips, however, are new and it is easy distinguish denominations. Most tables have shufflers, which helped to speed our game along.
Poker Room Staff
When we arrived at the poker room, we asked the greeter whether we needed a player’s card to register for the tournament. He had no idea, and it took a minute to find a floor who could answer this basic question. However, staff overall was excellent. The dealers were all very good and friendly. The floor ran the tournament well. Waitresses circled frequently, and were friendly and responsive.In the end, the quality of the dealers, the friendly players, and, for Florida, the reasonable tournament structures carried the day.Click To Tweet
Players at the Seminole Coconut Creek Poker Room
The players at the Seminole Coconut Creek poker room skewed older. Generally, most were very friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves. On both of our visits, the quality of play was wildly variable. There were some unrepentant calling stations, but there were far more solid players, and a few very good ones. There were fewer aggressive young guns than we encountered at many of the other Florida poker rooms.
The Seminole Coconut Creek poker room generally offers two daily tournaments. Buy-ins range from $80 to $130. Blind levels are either 15 or 20 minutes and starting stacks range from 8K to 16K. All daily tournaments have a guarantee ranging from $2K to $20K (on Wednesday evenings currently). The two tournaments we played in both featured 60 to 80 players. However, the Wednesday tournament draws many more, with 172 entries on a night shortly before we arrived. Beyond the typical NLH tournaments, Coconut Creek also mixes in a few Survivor, Omaha, and (one of our new favorites) Crazy Pineapple tournaments.
For those who aren’t familiar with the variant, Crazy Pineapple is basically NLH except you get 3 cards in the hole, one of which you discard after you see the flop. As you can imagine, there are a lot of people in every hand, and the winning hand is usually a monster. This tournament was particularly fun at Coconut Creek where everyone was pretty laid back and enjoying the insanity. Both dealers and players kept forgetting the discards until someone would gently remind them. The tournament felt more like a friendly home game than your typical casino event.
Many months also offer “featured” special events with larger buy-ins and pay-outs. In February, Coconut Creek hosted an extended WSOP circuit event with fourteen events spread over fourteen days.
As was typical at the Florida poker rooms, such as Gulfstream Park, the rake for the tournaments we played was extremely high (33%). Tournament players were eligible for high hand promotions, so some of the rake went to that. Regulars also accrued casino points, so part of the buy-in likely went to that as well. Whatever the reason, rakes this high are impossible to beat.
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Cash Game Activity
The Seminole Coconut Creek poker room has a very active cash poker scene. On weekdays there are 5 to 8 $1/$2 tables, 3 to 4 $2/$5 tables and 4 to 7 tables of other games. The “other” games volume is actually slightly higher than its sister casino, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood. Friday and Saturday nights the volume rises to 9 to 10 $1/$2 tables, 3 to 5 $2/$5 tables and 7-8 tables of other games. Over at the Seminole Hard Rock you’ll see much higher weekend activity in $1/$2 and $2/$5, but again Coconut Creek nudges out Hard Rock on “other” games.
The afternoons we were at Coconut Creek, there were about 8 to 9 active tables of cash poker.
Overall Assessment of the Seminole Coconut Creek Poker Room
While most of our Florida poker room experiences left us flat, Seminole Coconut Creek somehow added up to more than the sum of its parts. Despite the fact that the poker room sits in the middle of the casino action, filled with smoke, and loud, we thoroughly enjoyed our experiences at Seminole Coconut Creek. In the end, the quality of the dealers, the friendly players, and, for Florida, the reasonable tournament structures carried the day. While Coconut Creek is a bit farther from Miami than many of the South Florida poker rooms, it is definitely worth a visit.
- Tournament Structures
While most of our Florida poker room experiences left us flat, Seminole Coconut Creek somehow added up to more than the sum of its parts. Despite the fact that the poker room is plopped in the middle of the casino action, filled with smoke, and loud, we thoroughly enjoyed our experiences at Seminole Coconut Creek. In the end, the quality of the dealers, the friendly players, and, for Florida, the reasonable tournament structures carried the day. While Coconut Creek is a bit farther from Miami than many of the South Florida poker rooms, it is definitely worth a visit.