By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
By Frank Owen
By Allie Conti
A segment of the popular, frequently televised World Poker Tour Boot Camp passed through the Seminole Hard Rock this past May and another is scheduled for September.
Tournament action is a little more serious than any of the normal cash games, where $40 can take all night to vanish. Each player puts down his or her buy-in money, and each is given a corresponding amount in chips. The chips no longer have cash value; they are simply measurements of who is ahead in the tournament, thus the two-dollar rule is skirted.
According to casino spokesman Gary Bitner of Bitner Goodman: "Sit and go is a poker culture term. We refer to them as minitournaments.... Buy-in levels are $140, $250, or $500. They are no-limit. First-place prizes range from $580 to $2300, depending on the buy-in level."
In Bitchspeak, no limit means you can bet all of your chips at one time and potentially lose your $140 buy-in in the first five minutes of play.
But back to the two-dollar law. Is its circumvention legal? According to The Bitch's law-enforcement-type sources, the short answer is it's probably not, but the Hard Rock falls into the weird regulatory void of Indian gaming regulations because it is on a Seminole reservation. Basically, federal law says any form of gambling the state allows is permitted on tribal lands. But because Florida has never negotiated a formal agreement with the Seminoles or the Miccosukees, the state can't regulate how broadly the Indians interpret this edict. That means it's up to the National Indian Gaming Association, or the U.S. Attorney's Office, to swoop down and say, "Um, really you can't do that." (It's likely a good gamble, given that many of the reservation casinos in Florida employed Vegas-style gambling machines long before it was strictly legal for them to do so.)
Flack RageIt seems some members of our local public-relations corps have been attending The Bitch Institute of Diplomacy.
Incident One: Mark Namit, a student journalist at Florida Atlantic University's University Press, was sent to the woodshed by a UP editor essentially for using too much of a press release in an advance about a production at the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton. Then some really weird things happened.
"This started when Mark violated every journalism ethic in the book: His editor asked him to rewrite a theater preview, but instead Mark forwarded his article and the editor's e-mail to the publicist at the theater. Then he asked the publicist to e-mail the editor and vouch for his story.... That was bad enough. But the publicist's response was worse," explains UP advisor (and writer about town) Michael Koretzky.
Caldwell flack Allyson Kleiman responded, in part, with the following, directed at Koretzky: "From what I heard, it sounds as if the Teletubby movies are more your speed, and that sort of tunnel vision on your part does not inspire confidence that FAU is grooming thoughtful, intelligent, and creative students....
"If you and your colleagues just care about Adam Sandler-type entertainment (which is so junior high school), then perhaps Florida's tax-paying citizens should be aware of how our tax money is being spent.
"We are disappointed not that you aren't able to understand Mark's well-thought-out writing but that your narrow-mindedness affects FAU's readership, some of whom, I can say with certainty, enjoy theater, even if Vin Diesel isn't in the cast. It is precisely because of mentalities like yours that overall arts' budgets have been drastically slashed throughout our country and those students who would benefit from exposure to the arts are left sitting on the sidelines, unable to pursue their love of music, theater, and ballet.
According to Koretzky, he called company manager Patricia Burdett, who told him she had nothing to say about Kleiman's e-mail, and if he was upset, well, "you live sheltered lives." Neither Burdett nor Kleiman would discuss The Bitch's sheltered life or anything else.
The student, Mark Namit, resigned from the newspaper.
Namit told The Bitch he didn't really know what possessed him to e-mail in haste. "It was just something I did maybe without thinking," adding he's absolutely through with the UP: "I've been trying to improve that publication for years, but in the end I told them, 'We just don't get along.'"
Incident Two: Michelle Payer, area director of public relations for the three local Ritz-Carltons, is usually pretty slick if vaguely imperious, but she got sassy when The Bitch pressed her about the triple cataclysm of rain, mosquitoes, and overwhelmed valets at the Key Biscayne Hotel at this past Thursday's dual Ocean Drive en Español party and launch of the Cantina Beach Restaurant.
The Bitch can't remember any event so inescapably irritating -- the keyword here being inescapably. The first sign of trouble was a surprise mandatory cash-only ten-dollar parking fee. It's not as if people who run with the OD crowd can't fork out ten bucks, but actual money is always a rare sight, and the singles and fivers in the hands of guests were likely intended for people actually doing work -- bartenders, baristas, and, yes, valets.
The Bitch knows she likes to show some love to a guy making steamy cappuccinos right next to a leaping fifteen-foot bonfire (always de rigueur for parties in Florida in June) with a cash reward.