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It’s finally official. The weeks of rumors have finally been put to rest as PokerStars is scheduled to put their platform to the real money test on Monday, November 4 and will become the first online operator to offer online poker in Pennsylvania. For PokerStars, the soft launch testing period should take two days before it is officially approved. Once it is, poker players in the Keystone State can get back to their online grind. For a little while at least, PokerStars will be the only operator in Pennsylvania. However, it is just a matter of time before they have competition for the nearly 13 million potential players in PA. Here's a look at the online poker operators that could be next to join PokerStars in the Pennsylvania market. [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] WSOP.com One of the most obvious choices to do battle with PokerStars is Caesars Entertainment’s online arm of the World Series of Poker, WSOP.com. Currently the leading online poker room in New Jersey, WSOP.com is powered by 888 software and partnered with Harrah’s Philadelphia, another property of Caesars. World Series of Poker officials have remained tight-lipped about their plans on entering Pennsylvania. When they do, it should only be a two-day testing process for them based on the fact that they already have up-and-running online sites elsewhere in the U.S. WSOP.com would bring a number of exciting opportunities for players in Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly, the ability to satellite into live World Series of Poker bracelet events would be a significant draw, especially in the summer months leading up to the Main Event. In addition to their satellites, WSOP.com offers its own online poker series with big guarantees including seasonal Online Championships as well as Online Circuit Events where players can win an actual ring. Party Poker partypoker’s parent company, GVC, has a deal in place with Valley Forge Casino Resort that would bring the well-known poker brand to PA. Like WSOP.com, partypoker already has a presence in New Jersey, where it shares a player pool with BorgataPoker.com and BetMGM.com. This means that whenever they decide to schedule a soft launch period, it too will only require two days of testing. Going live in Pennsylvania looks to be a piece to a larger puzzle for partypoker. Earlier this year, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved partypoker for an online poker license in Nevada. Currently, there is only one operator in Nevada, WSOP.com. The low population of three million makes it tough for the market to support multiple online poker sites. If partypoker has its sights set on taking over the #1 spot in the U.S. they would need to leverage the same multi-state compact that bolstered WSOP.com. At the same time, they will be looking forward to a time when Pennsylvania may also join the states that have legalized and regulated online poker. Dark Horses partypoker and WSOP.com are two of the most recognizable brands in poker today. But inside the state of Pennsylvania, there are some very popular poker entities that could decide to enter the market. Parx Casino is well-known for its massive Big Stax tournaments and large live poker room. They have also paid the steep $10 million fee to be able to offer online gaming. They are already offering sports betting and online casino games. Should the market warrant it, Parx could leverage their brand to expand into online poker. Rush Street Gaming is the owners of SugarHouse and their interactive arm could bring online poker to PA. Rush Street is already well-known in the poker scene with its televised live cash game Poker Night In America.
[caption width="640"] Matt Glantz will work with Rush Street Gaming and Poker Night in America[/caption] Matt Glantzhas inked a deal with casino operator Rush Street Gaming to develop the company’s portfolio of full-service poker rooms in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York. In addition, the Keystone State-native will serve as a producer and talent manager for the brand’s Poker Night in America TV and web series. Glantz, a well-known figure in the northeastern poker scene, previously served as the poker ambassador to Parx Casino, helping to turn the card room there into a nationally known brand in less than three years. He now hopes to leverage his experience as a professional poker player and consultant to do the same for Rush Street’s Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and the upcoming Rivers Casino in Schenectady, New York, slated to open in 2017. Glantz will focus much of his time on promoting SugarHouse’s new poker room, set to open at the beginning of February. Glantz called Philadelphia “the most competitive poker market in the industry,” noting that players can take their pick from a long list of poker rooms like those at Harrahs, Sands Bethlehem, Parx and Borgata, all within a 60 mile radius. The new poker room will be part of SugarHouse’s $164 million expansion and will feature close to 30 poker tables. Glantz described the soon-to-open card room as “absolutely beautiful,” and said that the venue had several exciting announcements in store for its poker players, some of which will be made soon. Above all, the 44-year-old poker pro wants to ensure that the card rooms under the Rush Street umbrella are as player-friendly as possible. Glantz has achieved great success at the tables throughout his poker career, boasting six major tournament titles and over $6 million in live tournament winnings. With his experience working in different facets of the poker industry, Glantz is in a unique position to bring about changes which will enhance the experience for Rush Street’s poker savvy customers. “Rush Street Gaming strives to offer the best poker experience for every type of player, from casual gamers to high-stakes players like Matt,” said Rush Street CEO Greg Carlin. “We’re excited to have Matt on our team to further improve our poker platform.” Glantz also expressed his excitement in his new role as producer and event manager for Poker Night in America, a CBS Sports Network TV series which features players at tournaments and cash games across the US. One of the goals of the show has been to revive mainstream interest in the game by capturing some of the poker world’s most interesting personalities. “I’m looking forward to joining the Rush Street team and working to enhance the Rush Street Gaming poker experience,” said Glantz.
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. Harrah’s Philadephia 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. Parx Casino 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. SugarHouse Casino 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.