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Seminole Hard Rock - Tampa, FL - May 2015

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by PSM, May 12, 2015.

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  1. PSM

    PSM Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
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    My Trip Report

    Just took a trip to Tampa to help my parents and grandparents move into their new house. My parents moved from Pensacola, my grandparents from Connecticut, and I live in Texas, so this was my first time in the Tampa area. I didn't even realize there was a casino there until I was packing for the trip.

    Aside from all of the moving and a little time at Clearwater beach (which was very nice), I spent two nights playing at Hard Rock. I drove there and back both nights since it's only 35 minutes or so from the new house. I had a really good time.

    The first night I went with my uncle during the week (he had also come from out of state to help move). The casino was moderately busy for a weeknight. We played a lot of video poker, mostly 8/5 $0.25 DDB and 9/6 $1 DDB. I don't have any casinos near me so 8/5 DDB was better than no DDB. He hit a royal half way through the night - which was my first time seeing one - and also a couple other solid hits in the multi-hundred dollar range. I hit a couple small four of a kinds and although I never got up, I actually left even that night after 5-6 hours of play.

    The second night I went with my brother who lives in Pensacola and also came out to help with the move. He and I played mostly roulette and slots going up and down all night. Later on I did well at a Texas Hold Em Bonus table, which put me slightly up overall. We ate at Hard Rock Cafe because a band was playing and I like live music, then we played a few more slots. Right at the end he had a decent hit which put him just $20 under what he came with for the night. I ended the night up $10 for a grand total of a $10 gain after two long nights of playing. Works for me!

    Overall, I was pretty impressed with the place. I never expect much from casinos outside of Vegas or my home state of Connecticut (Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods). It was clean and much larger than I thought it would be. It was actually funny because when my uncle and I first got there, we walked around the smaller casino area on the parking garage side and didn't realize that it opened up into the much larger casino on the other side of the lobby until a little later. We also completely missed the poker room that night, which is what we originally planned on doing before we started playing video poker. I spotted the poker room that second night, though I passed it up since we were having a good time with other games.

    They had just about all of the games I like to play, though 9/6 quarter DDB would have been icing on the cake. No craps tables but in reality I rarely step up to them, and they did have an electronic craps table with the giant dice in the middle, which is fine with me. I could have done with less of those million line video slots and more quarter reel slots. My only real disappointment with the place was that you pay for drinks even when playing, but at a place like that I only have 2-3 drinks at the most throughout the night, so it only cost me maybe $25 max with tips. Not the end of the world. Oh, and although it wasn't actually smokey in the casino (no haze like in a lot of places), the odor was strong. I'm used to it in casinos, though, so it didn't bother me, just made me notice.

    In conclusion, I will be stopping in to play probably every trip I take out to visit my family, I'd guess a couple times a year. The comps didn't sound promising at my level of play but if I eventually get a free room, I'll probably stay a night for the fun of it before heading over to stay with the family. Good times.
     
  2. VegasDawg

    VegasDawg Tourist

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the report... we will be down to the Orlando area to see my wife's brother this fall, thinking of staying at the Tampa area when we do, so Hard Rock sounds like a plan for us....thanks....
     
  3. KyleB

    KyleB Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, prev. FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Glad you had a good time. I lived about 20 minutes from here before I moved to CA and spent a lot of time there. This place is usually busy but it gets really crazy on weekend nights. The state of FL doesn't allow free drinks to be served or to have dealers for roulette or craps (they do have the electronic versions as you have mentioned). I believe it's the 6th or 7th biggest casino in the world, as they are constantly adding on and upgrading. I actually prefer it to Hard Rock Las Vegas which is just too spread out for me. If you are ever interested in craps they do have casino boats that go out of nearby areas that you can check out
     
  4. PSM

    PSM Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    It's definitely worth checking out. And Clearwater Beach is also very nice and worth a visit.

    Great info, thanks. It was extremely busy on Saturday night, which I prefer. I don't like not being able to find a seat to play at the games I like but this wasn't the case. And I DO love the energy those big weekend crowds bring. It's too bad about the dealer and free drink laws but like I said, not a deal breaker by any means. I'll be back for sure.
     
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