A gamble we’re willing to take

0
99

Poker players like to say they’re not gamblers.

We like to say we’re “calculated risk-takers.”

We play a game that has no house edge, beyond a small rake. We use odds, and tells, and sharp memories to arrive at that calculated risk.

But then the final card falls. And in the end, it is a gamble.

We gambled when we quit good jobs to bring the state of Florida its very own poker magazine. We gambled that the rise in poker’s popularity in this state would continue. We gambled that the state, albeit slowly, would continue to improve the gambling environment here.

And that gamble, and those made by our friends around the state every day, were on display recently at the BNP Media’s fourth annual Florida Gaming Summit at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood.

We provide expansive coverage of the summit this month on pages 25-30. We’re sure you’ll find, as we did, the issues and discourse were fascinating.

The summit attracts gambling operators, analysts and others from the state and country to dissect the current state of Florida’s gambling industry. No doubt, it’s an interesting time in history.

• The Seminole Compact: Will blackjack stay? Go? Spread? No one really knows.

• Slot Machines: Will Dade County parimutuels have more success than their Broward friends? Will parimutuels elsewhere in the state ever get even video lottery terminals? No one really knows.

• The Economy: How long will the malaise last? Can the new administration fix it? No one really knows.

No one really knows. Sounds like we’re all gambling.

But we at Ante Up are still happy with our gamble. We believe everyone in the state is still happy with their gamble. Trying times? Sure. An uncertain future? No doubt. But these are the times that separate “calculated risk-takers” from the gamblers.

You keep on doing what you do, only better. You keep on innovating, only faster.

“Face it, we’re hooked,” John James, chief operating officer of Seminole Gaming, said to open the summit. “We love the action. We love the people. We love the technology. We thrive on the ever-changing environment.”

So do we, John. Together, we can make sure that environment changes for the better.

— Christopher Cosenza and Scott Long