You could almost hear the electricity in the air as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa prepared for the biggest blackjack tournament in Seminole Gaming history. Team members spent weeks preparing to amaze and delight our invited guests; from the executives who planned the tournament, to the pastry chefs who spent hours toiling over a decedent dessert amenity for all players staying in our hotel. There was not one detail missed as our team worked to deliver the most memorable tournament to date.
The cocktail hour featured flavorful hors d’oeuvres and an exotic champagne-pouring aerialist. All of which seemed to temporarily ease player’s nerves, that is, until the emcee announced it was time to “choose your pick.”
Players eagerly selected their seat from a table filled with downward engraved picks. Each player was accompanied by our very own Seminole Hard Rock Calendar Girls who wished them luck as the crowd watched the players take their seats.
There were six tables and 36 players that filled up the tournament in the Hard Rock Cafe; that’s a 1 in 36 chance of winning. Silence could be mistaken for tension, but this competitive group of players were merely concentrating and showcasing their true skills for the game. An occasional outburst of cheer or sigh broke the silence during the intense rounds of the tournament.
After two exhilarating hours of playing, there were seven players remaining. They were to take the stage in the Hard Rock Cafe and compete in 21 hands of blackjack for an unforgettable winner’s package: a Tiffany & Co. bracelet, a customized Hard Rock guitar and the best prize of them all, a half a million dollars.
The four remaining players sat on the edge of their seats as the dealer dealt the final round; she showed a face card.
Each player was distributed their card and had an option to either hit or stay. Joseph hit. The table was astounded, he showed 21. The dealer then turned her second card over and showed 20. $500,000 richer, Joseph S. beat the odds with an exhilarating win and it was a moment and evening to remember.