MGM Springfield Poker Room Review

MGM Springfield Poker Room Review

The opening of the MGM Springfield in August 2018 brought in the era of full scale casinos in Massachusetts. It beat the highly anticipated Encore’s target opening by a full year. With the first legal poker room in the state, the MGM Springfield is an early indicator of Massachusetts’ ability to match up against the established Connecticut poker scene. Economic indicators in the first months have been mixed, but generally the start has been strong. The MGM Springfield poker room has been growing over its first 4 months, recently adding a few weekly tournaments.

The Caveat

We celebrated the 2019 New Year with a visit to the MGM Springfield poker room (a 75 minute drive for us) and its standing Tuesday morning tournament. We came away unfortunately frustrated, and able to assign only an incomplete score to the MGM Springfield poker room itself.  In short, we came to play a New Year’s Day tournament, and despite arriving just 5 minutes after the start, found we were alternates 14 and 15.  This seemed surprising, as the room was not nearly full. We discovered that the MGM was only able to run 2 tournament tables because (they claimed) several dealers had called in sick.  A regular player, however, commented that management did not plan for an uptick in volume on New Year’s Day. This indicates that the Tuesday tournament has a small showing in general. So buyer beware if planning to play a tournament here in the near future.

One of the floors did open a third table during the second level and dealing himself, but that still left us out in the cold.  By level 3 the alternate list was back up to 15-18 people beyond the 30 seated. As that level neared an end with no additional dealers in sight and the next level bringing the starting stack  down to 50 blinds, we abandoned hope, got our money back, and headed to Foxwoods.

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Boston Billiards Poker Room Entrance

The Boston Billiard Club & Casino Poker Room Review

Holding down the New Hampshire poker scene at the central Massachusetts border are the Boston Billiard poker room and The River.  The Boston Billiard Club (or BBC) offers distinct advantages to the Central Massachusetts and Southwest New Hampshire poker player. Making inroads against the established Manchester Poker Room 15-20 minutes north, and the cash game venue Chasers to the east, is no easy task however. The BBC is currently seeking to broaden their appeal, revamping their website and adding a couple of new poker tournaments to their weekly schedule.

Setting and Non-Poker Amenities

The Boston Billiard poker room is just a couple of minutes off Route 3 in New Hampshire, about 10 minutes north of the Massachusetts line.  The neighborhood doesn’t hold much promise, as The Boston Billiard Club sits in a nondescript industrial park. However, the inside of the Boston Billiard Club quickly sets a very upscale tone. You walk into the attractive open space of a large billiards room. Up and to the left is an equally attractive bar area, to the right the greeter station and then an event room with a few pool tables. That event room is particularly stunning, with elegant wood framed bookcases encircling the room. There are several comfortable chairs and couches around the main and event room. The difference in tone between the outside and inside of the BBC is among the greatest we’ve seen. Only the Playground Poker Room near Montreal even comes close.

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Manchester Poker Room Table 2

The Anatomy of a Poker Room Review

One of our goals at Poker Pilgrims is to conduct a poker room review for each of the 200 plus US rooms (those with 10 or more tables). By doing so, we hope our experiences will help others decide where best to spend their poker dollars. Currently, our poker room review database is heavy on the Northeast and Vegas (the two places we play the most). But we’ll continue to add to it through our travels over the next couple of years, and of course on our Pilgrimage. This winter we are planning a week-long poker intensive trip to the Miami area. We plan to add five more Florida rooms to our lonely Best Bet Jacksonville review.

In any case, we thought it was time to share what we value in a poker room. Hopefully, this will help you assess our poker room reviews against your own standards for a room.

Setting and Non-Poker Amenities

We love a good poker room location. Give us a casino in Vegas or a card room near the beach. Suddenly we’ve got more than a poker room, we’ve got a vacation! One of our favorite things about Best Bet Jacksonville was that it was all of 15 minutes from Atlantic Beach Florida. In the middle of the winter we got poker and a sunny beach vacation all rolled up into one. Definite setting points.

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Mirage Poker Room Review

The Mirage Poker Room Review

The Mirage poker room is perfectly situated in middle of the Vegas Strip between Caesar’s Palace and Treasure Island.  This ideal location allows great access to poker players staying at many of the Strip hotels.  The Mirage provides a happy medium for the visiting poker player: contemporary and nice enough, but small, and perhaps without the intimidation that larger rooms may convey.

Setting and Non-Poker Amenities

The Mirage is not as grand as Caesar’s or as fancy as the Wynn or Aria. But it’s certainly more upscale than many of the Strip offerings.  There are plenty of higher end restaurant options on site, but there are also chain offerings such as California Pizza Kitchen and Starbucks. There is a nice range of dining options at the property, both in terms of type of cuisine and price point.

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The Orleans Poker Room Review

The Orleans Casino Poker Room Review

While most major Vegas casinos tightly hug the Strip, the Orleans Hotel and Casino is relatively isolated.  Positioned several blocks west of the south end of the strip, the Orleans must provide it all in order to draw players away from more central options. And it largely succeeds. Along with the standard gaming, hotel and upscale dining, The Orleans also houses a newly renovated multi-screen movie theater and a 70-lane bowling alley. In addition, it boasts a food court with staple chains such as Fuddruckers, Sbarro, Subway and Baskin-Robbins.   There’s even a sizable arcade for the kids.

The Orleans Casino is self-sufficient, and the Orleans poker room has a similar feel. The poker room is neither the largest or fanciest of Vegas rooms, but it gets the job done.

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