High hand wheel at Gulfstream Park

It takes a significant event for everyone at the Gulfstream Park poker room to focus on the same thing, as patrons juggle their card-playing, horse betting and socializing. But in recent weeks, the room has come to a stop every 30 minutes.

That’s when the player with the best poker hand for the half-hour spins a prize wheel. Everyone else watches and roots, as the wheel turns, clicking, clicking … then stopping.

“It’s been a huge hit,” Cardroom Manager Scott Poole said. The card room used to offer a consistent $300 high hand every 30 minutes Sundays through Wednesdays, but now offers the wheel instead – giving those action junkies one more fix. (Gulfstream’s high hand payouts from 1-11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays remains as it was, at $500.)

The top prize on the wheel is $1,500, and in the opening weeks, it hit several times, said Poole, noting that the overall payout in the early days averaged more than $500. The wheel is offered from 1-10 p.m. The card room also has guarantee tournaments at 7 p.m. on weeknights and food and beverage specials nightly.

Twitter: @NickSortal