Located in Jasper, Florida, the Hamilton Jai Alai and Poker — as its name suggests — is a gaming and entertainment venue that specializes in poker and the quick and exciting game of Jai Alai. This venue is open 6 days a week and remains open for much of the day, offering gamblers and tourists a bright and well-ventilated escape from the scorching Florida sunshine.
Hamilton Jai Alai and Poker was built in 2005 at a cost of over $7 million. It is owned and run by Glenn Richards and his company Richmond Entertainment, Inc. To say that the Hamilton Jai Alai and Poker is small is not an exaggeration, this gaming venue only has ten poker tables and much of its space is devoted to Jai Alai — a game that is known as “the fastest sport in the world” and hails from the basque region — but that’s not to say that it isn’t worth a visit. There is still plenty to do here, including restaurants and a bar, and when you consider that the town of Jasper has a population of less than 5.000, and is as sleepy as sleepy towns get, then you realize just how important the Hamilton Jai Alai and Poker is to this area.
Jasper is a town far away from much of the excitement in Florida, so it’s not a popular voice for tourist and many of the players and gamblers at the Hamilton Jai Alai and Poker hail from the town and its surrounding areas. Lilian Smith, author of Strange Fruit, was born in Jasper and sorts stars Alex J. Brown and Don Bryant have also called this quiet slice of florida home, so it’s not as dreary and uninspired as you might think. The Hamilton Jai Alai and Poker is definitely the highlight of the area though, and its exciting jai Alai action and tense games of poker provide a stark contrast to the rest of this small town.
Jai Alai is big in Florida and the locals love it. The game originated as far from the Sunshine State as it’s possible to be, but somehow it made it to these shores and now they can’t get enough of it. Jai Alai is a spectator sport and a thrilling one at that, punters place their bets on who will win the match and on other variants that crop up during the game. Betting is handled by tellers at gambling terminals and there are instructions on hand for anyone who is new to the game and wishes to learn more about it.
If this is not your sort of thing then you can bet your hard-earned money on another Florida past-time: racing. The Hamilton Jai Alai and Poker has simulcasting rooms where punters can kick back and relax, watching racing action unfolded from a dozen flat-screen televisions located all around the room. Horse races and harness races are also shown in this room, with events from the length and breadth of the United States.
Local Poker and More
The Hamilton Jai Alai and Poker venue doesn’t have much in the way of big tournaments, certainly nothing compared to some of its bigger and more popular cousins in Miami or Hollywood, FL, but there are regular cash games here. If you’re new to the area then these games can be a great way to acquaint yourself with the locals and to meet likeminded people, if you fancy your chances against some live poker players who don’t frequent the big casinos in the big cities, then this can also be a great way to take advantage. Be warned though, just because it’s a small town doesn’t mean the competition won’t be stiff.
The most poplar game here, as is the case with many poker rooms and casinos, is no limit Texas Hold’em. The blinds range from $1/$2, with a minimum buy-in of $60, up to $2/$5, where the buy-in can stretch as high as $600. The former game runs through the week and can be joined at most times of the day, but the higher stakes games can only be played on the weekends, when most of the Hamilton’s poker tables are filled with local players who fancy their chances.
Although it is just a quaint poker room, you will still find occasional jackpots (such as Bad Beat Jackpots and Royal Flush Jackpots) and you can also order food to eat table-side, ensuring that you don’t miss a single blind, call or check as you satisfy your hunger. There are also televisions in the poker room to keep your entertained between hands and cocktails and other drinks can be ordered from the nearby bar.
There is a bistro inside the Hamilton Jai Alai and Poker, serving up fresh local and foreign foods. Beers, wines and cocktails are also served here and at the bar, and there are snacks and other light bites that can be enjoyed in the simulcasting, Jai Alai and poker rooms.