Foxwoods Poker Room Review

Foxwoods Poker Room Review

NOTE: This review was updated in September of 2019 to reflect substantial changes in poker room location, cash room activity, and tournament offerings.

The Foxwoods poker room was our first regular live poker venue (outside free pub poker). Thus it holds a special place in our own poker journey. Like many novice players, our experience started with “Wow, we’re doing really well! This is easier than we thought!” Which of course transformed into “Guess we’re not as good as we thought” in due time. Nonetheless, we have spent many fun evenings at Foxwoods through the years. When Foxwoods announced that it had moved its cash room from the dark lower level to a brand new room on the casino’s main level, we were intrigued. We ventured down to Southeastern Connecticut to check it out and update our review.

Setting and Non-Poker Amenities

The approach to the Foxwoods complex elicits a common reaction: “There is no way there is a large casino in the middle of these sparsely populated woods.” Then the vast structure appears like a mirage in the distance. Foxwoods’ long-term, and much-maligned, ad campaign “The Wonder of it All” actually does have some merit.

Built on Mashantucket Pequot tribal grounds, Foxwoods started in 1986 as a bingo hall. In the early 1990s, it added table games and slots and evolved into a full-blown casino. The poker room followed in 1995. The Grand Pequot Tower hotel opened in 1997 and the luxurious MGM Grand (now Fox Tower) followed in 2008. Various casino rooms surround and link the hotels along with numerous restaurants, and a large concert venue. The inevitable outlet mall (an 85-store Tanger Outlet) joined the complex in 2015.

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BestBet Jacksonville Poker Room Review

BestBet Jacksonville Poker Room Review

The BestBet Jacksonville poker room is one of largest and best known of the Florida card rooms. It is also one of the best rooms you’ll ever enter. Spacious, nicely appointed and replete with amenities that are generally only part of a large casino setting, Bestbet sets itself apart from other freestanding poker rooms. While there were a few areas BestBet fell short, overall it is a top flight room.

Setting and Non-Poker Amenities

BestBet Jacksonville is on the east side of the city, half way between the city center and the Atlantic shore. As an aside, when we visited we stayed in Atlantic Beach/Neptune beach area and it was great. Neptune Beach has fantastic restaurants in a very small walkable footprint.  Atlantic beach sports gorgeous, endless beaches and a laid-back vibe. At 15-20 minutes from BestBet, a visit to Atlantic Beach offers a great poker/beach combo vacation.

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Aria Las Vegas Poker Room Review

Aria Las Vegas Poker Room Review

The Aria is one of Las Vegas’s most breathtaking upscale hotels.  A relatively recent addition to the Vegas landscape (it opened in 2009), it offers a modern and sleek look and endless luxury offerings. The Aria poker room transmits that sense of elegance and provides a top-shelf poker experience.  We have played tournaments at the Aria in both 2016 and 2017.  The Aria certainly did not disappoint, save some minor issues.

Poker Room Setting

The interior of the Aria Las Vegas poker room is striking. Vibrant reds and various shades of brown give the room a deep and rich feel, as do the architecture and drapes that frame the room. The swivel chairs are plush and comfortable, but not too oversized (like we ran into at Playground Poker Club). There is plenty of room between you and your table mates. However, the 24 tables are not housed in a very big space, so there is a somewhat cramped feel to the room overall.  There is much less room to move around compared with The Venetian poker room, for example. Overall, the room is somewhat dark, although the tables were lit sufficiently. As the Aria Las Vegas poker room is also largely open to the casino, noise can be an issue if you are seated at a table near the edge of the space. The biggest drawback, however, is the smoke. Although the poker room is smoke-free, we found more smoke wafting in to the poker room from the Aria casino than we experienced at some of the other elite Vegas rooms.

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Chasers Poker Room Review

Chasers Poker Room Review

In the fall of 2017, Chasers entered the competitive Southern New Hampshire poker scene with a bang. Granted a smallish bang, at only 16 poker tables, but the immediate returns have been very good. On any given night Chasers fills a large portion of those tables with active cash games. Although, we don’t play a lot of cash poker, we came away impressed on the Tuesday evening we stopped in to the new venue for a tournament. There was a lot of energy in the room and the cash players were clearly excited about this new Salem, NH poker room.

Setting

Chasers Poker Room occupies the basement of a now defunct Chinese restaurant.  From the outside, the building does not inspire confidence. As you enter, the initial impression is “this is dark.” But the dark feeling quickly yields to a nice homey feel, atypical for your average poker room.  There is a small bar immediately to the right of the door, with seating and a few high top tables. Along the right wall is an attractive brick fireplace which we assume will never be used. In front of this wall are the table games: roulette, blackjack, and a couple of poker variations played against the dealer.

Although the room has a dark feel, the tables are very well lit from above. We had no problems seeing the cards. The chairs are padded and very comfortable, especially in comparison to some of the surrounding New Hampshire rooms. The footprint of the room is not huge, however, so the tables are a bit cramped. Read More

Borgata Poker Room Review

The Borgata Poker Room Review

The Borgata is widely thought of as one of the East Coast’s premier poker destinations. I think this is primarily because… it’s true!

The Borgata Poker room is an attractive, spacious 80+ table venue that is quite comfortable and professionally run. To remain top dog in the Northeast, the Borgata must withstand pressure from newer venues like Maryland Live! and National Harbor. It is up to the challenge.

Setting

The poker room occupies such a large space within the Borgata that it almost feels like a separate venue. When playing there you likely will not hear the clatter of the slot machines or hubbub of table games. For those of us focused solely on poker, this is Nirvana.

Add to that very high ceilings and wide spaces between tables, and you have the perfect spot to play poker. I usually do not care about decor in poker rooms. However, the Borgata poker room’s thick carpet, soft tan hues and stately columns render the room quite pleasant. The chairs are comfortable, but not so large you knock into your neighbors. Extras like charger ports at your seat are a plus for those of use whose cell phones are always near death.

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