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Sunday, Apr 23, 2017
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Seminole Hard Rock to christen new poker room with smashed guitar, actor Brad Garrett

Ships get christened by smashing a champagne bottle on the hull, but on Thursday the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa will smash a guitar to kick off the opening of its new nonsmoking poker room, with comedian Brad Garrett sitting in for the first hand.

The actor from Everybody Loves Raymond, left, has a sold-out comedy show the night before at the casino and will be there for the grand opening at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, a Hard Rock spokeswoman said.

"A guitar will be smashed to bits, in true Hard Rock fashion," said Nikki Yourison, to open the new room the casino describes as state of the art.

There are 46 tables, with chandeliers overhead, a private salon, large-screen TVs and a special snack room with sliders, sushi and salads just for card players, Yourison said. They also have their own parking garage with direct access to save a trudge through the cavernous casino. It's $10 to park, but players can get parking fees waived multiple ways, she said.

The public is free to watch a celebrity poker tournament Thursday, which will feature a $1,000 grand prize to the winner's charity of choice and $1,000 to Hands Across the Bay, the Hard Rock's January charity.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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