Heather and I spent a previous New Year’s vacation dodging frostbite in Montreal and retreating to the poker room of Casino de Montreal for warmth. That bitter cold experience has not dissuaded us, and this year (December 2019), we were back for our fourth Montreal poker jaunt. Our Montreal trips have been profitable, so we’re always itching to return. On this trip, we played four tournaments at the Playground Poker Club outside the city and two at the Casino de Montreal. This visit was break-even, but that did not take away from our Montreal poker experience.
* NOTE: Seabrook poker room has been sold and is under new management. Please see our updated review of the GreyHound Casino and Tavern at Seabrook Park *
New Hampshire, for such a small state, boasts a remarkable number of bustling poker rooms. While it does not have a single large casino, there are multiple vibrant charity card rooms. Poker is the primary focus of these rooms, although each has a few table games as well. Even more striking: two of the largest poker rooms in New Hampshire are a mere two miles from one another! I have reviewed the Hampton Falls room already, now I’ll take on its bookend, the Seabrook Poker Room.
Our Life as Seabrook Poker Room Regulars
Seabrook poker room was our go-to poker room for about 3 years. Mostly because it has a weekend tournament that fit our schedule and budget. The $50 tournament starts at 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. For such a cheap buy-in, 20 minute blinds with a starting stack of 15,000 chips is a bargain. Or, at least it seemed so. The 4:00 tournaments generally last about 6 hours, although they devolve quickly at the end to shove fests resulting in multi-way chops. But what could you expect for $50?!
The Palazzo/Venetian Resort Casino
First, I must couch this review within my general affection for the Venetian/Palazzo complex at large. My wife and I started our annual poker jaunts to Las Vegas three years ago. I was uncertain whether I would like Las Vegas at all. As much as I love poker, I do not necessarily groove to the full casino experience. An entire city of that environment might prove to be too much for me.
Choosing the Palazzo as our hotel was the critical and fortunate first step to loving Vegas. The rooms have a large, multi-level design complete with a desk, dinette set, square coffee table and huge wrap around couch. The bathroom is bigger than some hotel rooms I’ve rented in New York City! Our room at the Palazzo always feels more like a small, beautifully appointed apartment. Whenever I stay there, I never want to leave.
NOTE: This review was updated in September of 2019 to reflect substantial changes in poker room location, cash room activity, and tournament offerings.
Mohegan Sun moved its poker room in 2019. We recently stopped in for a visit to play a tournament and update this review. Previous to the move, having to wind through the Casino of the Sky and the Casino of the Wind, to find the poker room wasn’t an easy task. You had to pay pretty close attention to the signs at every bend. The journey was always worth it, as the Mohegan Sun poker room always provided a top-notch experience. However, the decision to move across the casino near the Autumn entrance, convenient to both the Indian Summer and RiverView garages, has made access to the room much better.
Mohegan Sun Setting
Mohegan Sun sits in the woods of Southeastern Connecticut right off of I-395 and not far from I-95. It’s very convenient to access, more so than its nationally recognized nearby rival Foxwoods which is farther off I-395 toward the Rhode Island border. Conveniently, if you want to sample both poker rooms, they are only about a 15-minute drive from one another. Mohegan Sun’s setting is slightly less scenic than Foxwoods, but you definitely know you are far from any large cities here. Nonetheless, you can reach several beautiful Connecticut and Rhode Island beach towns and coastal communities in under 30 minutes. One of our personal favorites is Mystic, Connecticut which is worth visiting in its own right.
UPDATE: Hampton Falls poker room was purchased by The Brook this spring. The beautiful old Hampton Falls room has since closed. We are saddened, as Hampton Falls was our very favorite New Hampshire poker room. However, we hope to see some of our favorite staff and structures coming to The Brook.
Hampton Falls Poker Room is the best poker experience in New Hampshire. For the player looking for a well-run room, quality dealers, and reasonably competitive play this is your spot. Want to match wits with tournament players who can actually fold correctly? Well, your chances here are far better than many of the other local rooms. We have played them all, from Seabrook to Chasers.
The cash games at Hampton Falls Poker Room can get fairly wild with loose aggressive play being a seeming badge of honor. But the tournament play is fabulous. We highly recommend Hampton Falls for those seeking tournament poker in southern New Hampshire.