The Ebro Poker Room was the closest room to us when we spent a week in February 2022 on the mid-panhandle of Florida. It was thus a natural place to check out a tournament. The drive ended up to be a bit more taxing than it appeared on a map, and the entire experience was a mixed bag.
The Creek Entertainment Gretna poker room is one of very few Florida panhandle card room options. We decided to check it out as we journeyed from Jacksonville to our recent stay at Santa Rosa Beach. Our visit proved convenient, if not earth-shattering. It was quite a departure from the bustle of Florida poker rooms in South Florida or Tampa with bustling rooms such as Seminole Hard Rock Tampa.
The vibrant New England poker scene offers a wide variety of options in a very small geographic footprint. In less than 4 hours you could drive from the room (with 10 or more tables) furthest north, Lebanon Poker Room, to the one furthest south, Foxwoods. The region’s largest city, Boston, sits dead center of the poker action. Drive a little more than two hours north and you are at the Lebanon Poker Room, 90 minutes south to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, and then 90 minutes due west to the newest large casino venue, MGM Springfield. Three poker rooms in southern New Hampshire are within about an hour North of Boston as well. Additionally, Encore Boston Harbor reopened in February 2022, but with such restricted hours (and only 12 tables), it is hardly an actor in the market.
Deciding on Your Poker Room of Choice
In short, there are a lot of options for the New England poker player. So how does one decide where to play poker in New England? Some of it comes down to personal taste. You may just select your favorite rooms, as we did recently. But if you have specific criteria for your preferred game, there’s data available that can help guide your decision.
We have long had a decent idea which venues have the most active cash games, and which tournaments draw the largest fields. But, as data analysts by trade, we decided to take a more statistical approach to our investigation. During Fall 2021 we used PokerAtlas and Bravo Poker to track cash and tournament activity for all New England sites which provide live data on either site. On weekdays, we collected numbers at 8pm each night for cash play, and tracked tournaments after the registration period closed. On weekends, we tracked cash both at 2pm and 8pm and the number of entries for all tournaments.
The Caesars Palace poker room is relatively small compared to the massive edifice that surrounds it. However, it’s very conveniently located mid-Strip and offers at least 4 tournaments every day. On our Vegas trip last fall, we decided to drop by between events at the Rio and our new favorite Resorts World Las Vegas.