The Palm Beach Kennel Club has become a second home in recent weeks to Jeff Steier and countless other poker players, all hoping for that big score.
It hasn't come – which means an even bigger score looms.
The kennel club's bad beat jackpot, poker's version of a bolt out of the blue, hasn't been hit since April 23, and has soared to $406,591 as of Thursday afternoon, approaching the state record.
“I’ve never seen anything like this happen in all my 30-plus years of poker,” said Steier, 67, of
What's a bad beat? In the kennel club's rules, if a player who has at least four 10s loses out, that loser gets half the jackpot (at this point, more than $200,000). The winner of the hand gets 25 percent ($100,000-plus), and the others sitting at the table split the remaining 25 percent.
Card rooms fund the jackpot by pulling $2 from every pot played.
The state allowed poker rooms to offer bad-beat jackpots when it loosened the laws on July 1, 2007. On Dec. 1, 2009, the
That hit for a record $584,684 on Jan. 8, 2011, and most card rooms have discontinued the bad beat to offer "high hand" promotions, which often pay out $100 to $500 an hour, rather than a six-figure score every few weeks.
Kennel club card room director Noah Carbone points out that the kennel club will set a "one-room" record in Florida, in other words, the biggest jackpot emanating from a single venue. Their previous record had been $262,319 in 2010.
Steier said the jackpot has attracted new faces to the card room, and Carbone said the kennel club will likely set a record for revenues in August – which is usually a slow month.