It was nearly a generation ago when there was a deep divide between ‘online’ players and their ‘live pro’ counterparts. Nowadays, just about everyone who knows about the game of poker realizes that, for those that afforded the ability to play online poker, the online and live games complement each other more than ever.
While PA online poker players continue to wait for their state-regulated poker sites to launch, there are still a number of options to get in some check-raising and three-betting in the Keystone State. One caveat though, you’re going to have to put on pants.
Located in Chester, PA on the Delaware River waterfront, the spacious 28-table poker room of Harrah’s Philadelphia is noted as the only World Series of Poker-branded room in the state of Pennsylvania.
With so many tables, the room often spreads games according to the desires of the players. Standard games include No Limit games starting at $1/3 and $2/5 blinds with the occasional larger $5/10 game being spread. Player bonuses include High Hand, Hot Seat and Bad Beat Jackpot promotions. Basically, Harrah’s Philadelphia is a full-service card room giving most grinders everything they are looking for in a cash game.
They also offer daily tournaments. The casino has, in the past, been the site for WSOP Circuit stops with players like Phillip Hui and Kyle Bowker winning circuit rings back in 2014.
With Harrah’s Philadelphia being owned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment, the provider of the WSOP.com network in both Nevada and New Jersey, it’s very likely that players in PA will, at some point, have the opportunity to join their larger network of shared liquidity. Once players can compete on WSOP.com, it opens the door for the WSOP to add Philadelphia back into their live schedule as well.
Just northeast of Philadelphia, Parx Casino is known as one of the East Coast’s largest poker rooms with 48 poker tables and a full slate of poker tournaments that keeps grinders in action year-round.
One of the benefits of having so many tables is the ability to offer a variety of games. Of course, both Limit and No Limit Hold’em are regularly spread with Limit games starting at $4/8 and playing as high as $150/$300. No Limit also starts small at $1/2 and will sometimes run as high as $10/25. Additional cash games include regularly spread Pot Limit Omaha as well as a variety of Mixed Games. Like other larger rooms, Parx has a progressive Bad Beat Jackpot that often sits in the six-figure range.
Parx is also known for its tournaments. While they offer regularly run daily tournaments, the room is more well known for their ‘Big Stax’ series. The series is run roughly four times a year and for the past three, they have partnered with the World Poker Tour DeepStacks tour once a year. In May, Dominick Sannino took down the $1,600 WPTDeepStacks Main Event at Parx for over $116,000.
Parx Casino has plans to launch its online casino on July 15, with online poker to be added at a later time. They have a partnership with GAN and Kambi that will allow them to build out an online arm of their popular live card room.
Home to ‘Poker Night In America’ another major player in Philadelphia’s live poker scene is Rush Street Gaming’s SugarHouse Casino.
Like Parx and Harrah’s, SugarHouse has space to spread a wide variety of cash games and tournaments in their 28-table card room. Typical cash games include low-limit ($1/2) No Limit Hold’em scaling up to $2/5/10 with a $3,000 max buy-in. Both High Hand and Bad Beat promotions are also in play at SugarHouse.
SugarHouse offers tournaments four days a week with an occasional four-day tournament challenge (SugarRush Challenge) which are multi-flight tournaments offering big prize pools for smaller buy-ins. Though it’s been a number of years since holding a tour stop in Philadelphia, the last time PNIA was there they held their King of the Hill 3 heads up battle where Daniel Coleman won $200,000 and still currently sits as the casino’s All-Time Money List leader.
SugarHouse’s own parent company, Rush Street Gaming – the producers of Poker Night In America – will be proving the technology for SugarHouse to provide online poker.
Rivers Casino – Pittsburgh
Those living in the Steel City have a large poker room to enjoy at the Rivers Casino located along the Ohio River.
The room features 30 poker tables that offer cash games in multiple variants including NLHE, Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo with daily High Hand promotions.
When it comes to tournaments, Rivers regularly offers two daily tournaments at smaller buy-ins and then they also welcome larger tours to their room, including the World Poker Tour DeepStacks Pittsburgh stop. 316 players registered for the most recent WPT DeepStacks Main Event in April when Erik Lemaquand took home the title and $66,593.
Like SugarHouse in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino is owned by Rush Street Gaming and while the company has yet to announce their online poker plans when poker becomes available it’s likely that the online room will feed players into their live rooms and events.
Mount Airy Casino
With only nine total tables at the Mount Airy Casino and Resort located in the Pocono Mountains is one of the smaller places to play in PA.
Of course, No Limit Hold’em is available but according to their website, Mount Airy also offers Mississippi Stud as an option.
So, why keep an eye on the small card room of Mount Airy? Because their online poker partner is none other than the industry’s global leader PokerStars.
It’s unlikely that Mount Airy has enough room to host something as extensive at the North American Poker Tour, one of the largest PokerStars festivals to take place inside the U.S. back in 2010/11. But the online giant may have ideas on how to expand their live footprint in PA and if they do, Mount Airy could be a big part of that.
In addition to these rooms Pennsylvania has a number of other locations where grinders can find a good live game. The PA action is plentiful at the rooms of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National, Mohegan Sun Pocono, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino and the part-time room of Presque Isle Downs.