My dad and uncle use to frequent Hialeah in the 1960s to watch the thoroughbreds. They were recreational horse players that went to tracks all over the country and Hialeah was their favorite. The track itself is now full of weeds. The rails are still present as are the ubiquitous flamingos, But you would never otherwise know how spectacular this place use to be for the horses.
They could have just put a poker room in a leftover room like so many of the parimutuels have done in Florida, but instead they have totally renovated a space that captures the right atmosphere for a quality poker game. For atmosphere, I would rather play here than play at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
I showed up at 11:15 to get on the $2-5 NL list, but they didn't get a game going until noon. Due to the location the players were mostly Cuban and much better behaved than at the typical card room with one exception. There was a young punk who kept picking on an older gentleman using obscene euphemisms and the dealers just ignored it. He went after 3 or 4 players in the game over the course of an hour. I was tempted to call management myself, but for all I know these guys play together all the time and do not care. We were in a few hands against each other and he never got out of line with me so he must understand the boundaries. The game got much friendlier when he skipped for PLO.
Early in the game there were a few players who sat down to gamble. They were playing a lot of small suited cards and I busted one of them when he ran into my nut flush. It was the kind of game where players had no problem pushing their draws and even calling a push with them.
The club soda is complimentary here like at all the south Florida rooms. This is not a treat we get in Central Florida. I didn't try the food.
Besides the typical high hand of the half hour promotion, they also had a hot table promotion. At 1pm they drew a table number and everyone at that table split $1,500. The table they picked was empty so the jackpot rolled over to 6pm at $2,000. I'm not big on promotions myself, but it's a nice wrinkle if you are into that.
The dealers were sharper than others in the area. I can see this as a place where dealers aspire to work and they seemed to get a better quality pool.
I'm not sure how to judge management. They must have overheard the obnoxious player. Were they ignoring him too? Otherwise they were stellar. I will leave that rating blank out of fairness.