By Brock Bourne
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This report was gathered from many hours of playing poker at the Naples/Ft. Myers Greyhound Track in Bonita Springs, Florida. The track and poker room are owned and operated by the same company that operates Magic City Casino in Miami.
The Grandstand at the Naples Dog Track
Have you ever gone to a poker room and just felt “at home”? For me, those are few and far between. The Horseshoe 20 years ago and Mandalay Bay (where they cater to tourists) are a couple of examples. The poker room at the Naples Dog Track fits that description. They make you feel at home. Tourists are welcome (and protected), promotions are plentiful and the games are GREAT!
A View of the Entrance to the Poker Room at the Naples Dog Track
The General Manager at the track, Juan Fra began working for the parent company while in high school. In fact, this is the only company he has ever worked for which is a very rare trait in today’s hurry up world. Juan and his wife Cindy Fra, who is the Poker Room Manager, run a very good operation in Naples. The dealers are competent and friendly, the floor people are quick to respond to any request and the cocktail service is great (tip them well, it works).
In an interview with Juan, it was easy to see his enthusiasm for the Naples operation and you could see the pride in the poker room. By varying his marketing programs and letting his players decide on what they like best he has settled on a steady stream of promotions:
Daily High Hands every 2 hours and worth $200
Special High Hands – changes daily and can vary from $1,000 and up for hitting the hand.
WSOP Satellite and WPT Satellite ticket giveaways – weekly points system based on all tournaments played from Sun – Sat.
$25,000 Big Slick Diamond Royal – Make a royal flush in diamonds with the AK as your hole cards and receive $25,000
$1,000 Royal – Make a royal flush using both cards in your hand and receive $1,000.
$1 Day – All Beer, Soda, Bottles of Water and Hot Dogs are just $1.
AND, best of all,
HIGH HAND DAY – 2-3 times per month the poker room has High Hand Day where they give away $1,000 – $2,500 PER HOUR for the highest hand in the room using both hole cards. On these days, all tournaments are cancelled as every table in the room is filled and you better get there early if you don’t want to wait on a seat.
Limit Hold’em – 1/2 3/6 5/10
No Limit Hold’em 1/2 2/5 5/10
Pot Limit Omaha 2/5
Poker Tournaments – Daily $50 – $125
Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track
10601 Bonita Beach Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135-2567
Web Site: Naples/Ft Myers Poker Room
The games really are good. The crowd is mostly affluent with some younger players. The average age is probably mid 50’s as Naples is a very large retirement area for couples with two homes.
There are usually a minimum of four $2/$5 No Limit games and sometimes more. The PLO plays like a $10/$20 even though it is $2/$5 and there is plenty of action at all the limits. Players are cordial and know almost every other player by name. The atmosphere is more “old club” than public poker room.