Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida hosts some of the most popular tournament series on the poker circuit. It has recently been in the news after securing two nominations at the American Poker Awards. The first award was for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown which was nominated in the category of Event of the Year (Buy-In Over $2,000). and the second was for its Director of Poker Operations, William Mason.
Mason was nominated for Industry Person of the Year at the American Poker Awards alongside the Poker Players Alliance’s John Pappas, World Series of Poker’s Jack Effel and World Poker Tour’s Matt Savage. Mason was the only poker director to be nominated but unfortunately lost out to Savage. However the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown won the Event of the Year Award which is tribute to the effort that Mason has put in.
Mason has been with Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for more than a decade. Speaking on his nomination, Mason stated that it was a great honor to be mentioned alongside his mentor and friend Matt Savage. For him the nomination marks the enormous commitment shown by the entire team towards making the poker experience at Seminole Hard Rock the best.
Originally from New Jersey, Mason got his degree in Business from the Saint Leo University in Tampa, Florida. He started off his career in the casino industry by selling change at Bally’s Grand in Atlantic City. After a few years, he attended a dealing school and in 1993 started working at the Sands as a table dealer. After his relocation to Florida, he got an opportunity to join the Seminole Hard Rock and since then has worked his way up the ladder and has excelled in the role of Poker Director.
Mason credits his success to having a focus on listening to players and staff as well as having been given the liberty to be creative and explore new ideas. The hotel has developed relationships with World Poker Tournament (WPT) and Poker Night in America (PNIA) while ensuring that it establishes its own poker brand in the industry.
The Seminole Hard Rock’s Patch Program has played a role in building its brand. Mason said that under the program the casino brings in well-known, active and well-respected poker pros which help in getting global attention to their poker programs and their featured tournament which is the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $10 million guaranteed championship.