A Conversation with Seminole Hard Rock Director of Poker Marketing Tony Burns

Jan 18, 2020

Tony Burns

By Kevin Taylor

For many players here at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open, this is their first chance to check out the brand-new, state-of-the-art Guitar Hotel addition here at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The tower stands 450-feet tall, with 638 luxury rooms and suites. On the gaming floor, customers will be thrilled by the 150,000 square feet of gaming space that includes 195 tables, spreading blackjack, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow, Spanish 21, and more! If you are hungry, be sure to check out their new restaurants, including Japanese, Italian, and contemporary American cuisine, along with several bars and lounges. 

We had a chance to catch up with Tony Burns, Director of Poker Marketing here at Seminole Hard Rock, to get some more insight on the unique hotel, and what it will bring to the South Florida poker scene. Check out that interview below. 

Q: Tell us a bit about the brand-new poker room that was opened up inside the Guitar Hotel? 

“The guitar opened on October 24th. We had an amazing celebration that brought celebrities and people from all around the globe together, and it was just a fantastic evening capped off by the light show and fireworks. The poker room got started early that morning around 10-11 AM, with 45 total tables over 50 TVs, and there’s a five-window cage. There’s a grab-and-go area where you can get sandwiches and get your day started off right. We have an eight-table semi-private high limit area with a stand-a-lone feature table where the final table of the tournaments usually get played out. 

There’s a private bathroom for the players, smoking patio, it’s a one-stop shop for the players, and they don’t have to go too far. Overall we are extremely excited for the South Florida poker players because they’ve been waiting for this room for quite a while. Once you experience it you will see that it marvels against anything in the world.” 

Q: How are you guys hoping this new hotel will bring in new customers, as well as bring old customers back to the property? 

“The architecture alone is one-of-a-kind. It’s the first ever hotel in the shape of a guitar. You can see it from miles and miles away. People flying in have said they will move to that side of the plane to get a photo. There’s the light show at night shooting into the sky so you can’t miss it on a clear night. I’ve heard people say they can see it from South Beach. It’s not only for the new generation of players, but if you have a general appreciation of architecture, it’s just beautiful, and we hope it’ll bring people in for years to come.”

Q: What does it mean for you guys to be the face of poker in the state of Florida, and what will you guys do to keep your spot at the top? 

“There’s a lot of places domestically and internationally to play poker, and there’s all kinds of different incentives to visit those places whether it be the guarantee, amount of chips, but the Seminole Hard Rock has positioned themselves over the last decade with the WPT. April will mark the 10-year anniversary of the WPT and Hard Rock having worked together. So we are excited for that celebration, but it is tough to position yourself to be the big dog not only in the state. The WSOP will always have its place in Vegas, you have to tip your hat to them for what they’ve done over the last 50 years. But we have positioned ourselves on the East Coast as the spot to go to. It’s nice when we put out our dates which haven’t changed in years that players are able to schedule their lives around it, and we have established those dates well.

Looking forward to the future, this building isn’t going anywhere. It will be here for many lifetimes to come and we hope that the players come down to experience this for the first time or tenth time and they know that we listen to them to make it the best experience possible.”

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