The Mohegan Sun Pocono is set on a hill in the middle of Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. It has the look and feel of its sister casino Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, but with a much, much smaller footprint. While we don’t particularly recommend Wilkes-Barre as a destination, the casino is attractive and full-service.
Setting and Non-Poker Amenities
Mohegan Sun Pocono is right in downtown Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. However, the campus is large and wooded, enabling you to imagine that you are in a remote area once you park and approach the casino. As you leave the highway you first pass a large horse track that hosts harness racing multiple days per week. Beyond the harness racing, you will see the entrance to the casino, with the casino hotel set behind and to the left.
While Wikes-Barre does not offer a wide variety of entertainment options, it is set in the Poconos, and thus is a short distance from nature walks, beautiful vistas, and waterfalls. You can also visit the Mohegan Sun Arena, which surprisingly, is not actually at the Mohegan Sun casino site, but rather about five miles away. If you find the hotel booked during your visit, there are a wide variety of Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, etc. options within a very short drive.
During our stay, we had a fabulous dinner at a small Mexican restaurant in a strip mall. El Rey Azteca offered fabulous Mexican food at very reasonable prices. We highly recommend it if you are looking for dinner in Wilkes-Barre.
The casino overall is dark but attractive. It’s designed as a single ring, with restaurants on the outside and the gaming floor in the center. As with so many small casinos, the room was dominated by slots with a few table games thrown in here and there. The main gaming floor allows smoking and smells accordingly.The small Mohegan Sun poker room is attractive, comfortable and the personnel is top-notch. However, the poker tournament structures are not great, making it a better choice for cash players.Click To Tweet
Mohegan Sun Pocono Poker Room Comfort
The Mohegan Sun Pocono poker room is an actual room (albeit without a door). It is separate from the gaming floor and buffered from the hubbub by a small bank of non-smoking slots and Game King (video poker) machines. The room is fairly small and currently holds nine poker tables. Two years ago there were 18, but the room was downsized last year along with so many others. The ceilings are high, and the room is ringed with televisions. It is generally clean, cool, and free of smoke. The room is not particularly loud, but you can clearly hear casino noises bleeding in from the floor. The room was notably dim. In fact, during our visit, I was positioned at an end seat and had a terrible time reading the cards on the board.
The tables are clean and attractive with padded rails, drink cups, and USB ports. There is also an auto-shuffler, enabling lightning-fast dealing. The chairs are comfortable, padded, on wheels, and adjustable. The cards are clean and new. However, they are quite small (lending to my difficulty reading them in the dim light) and, while branded, had a rather flimsy feel. The chips were the one sour note in the room, looking fairly dirty and old.
Due to the downsizing of poker tables, the room felt airy with a good distance between tables. As you can see above, a lot is going on visually in the poker room.
Poker Room Staff
The dealers at Mohegan Sun Pocono were extremely good. They were fast, accurate, and knowledgeable. You can’t really ask for much more. The waitress supporting the poker room was also exceptional. She was taking orders, delivering drinks, and moving around the room like lighting. Overall the staff was uniformly friendly, courteous, and welcoming.
The tournament director did a good job keeping on top of the tournament. The dealers did such a great job, that there wasn’t much call for a floor while we were in the tournament, but he picked up seat cards and filled seats promptly.
- Resorts World Catskills Poker Room Review
- Map of US Poker Rooms
- The Best Places to Live in the US if You Love Poker
Players at Mohegan Sun Pocono Poker Room
There were 57 entries in the tournament, including several rebuys, in the tournament that we played. The Friday evening (bounty) tournament drew 66, although close to half were gone less than 2 hours in (more on that later). The players were generally quite friendly and tended toward older men. The Friday afternoon tournament crowd appeared to largely consist of regulars who knew each other well. However, the players were open to newcomers, and the atmosphere was positive and quite pleasant. Player quality was a fairly typical mix of styles and ability. There were a few very tight players, but others happily went all-in on a draw and rebought if they missed.
The Mohegan Sun Pocono offers tournaments on Monday and Wednesday evenings, Friday and Sunday afternoons, and Friday evenings. All tournaments except for Friday evening offer a $100 buy-in with a $10 add-on. Friday evening tournaments add $25 for a bounty. Our Friday afternoon tournament had over 57 runners, while the Friday evening garnered 66, including rebuys.
All of the weekly tournaments have highly aggressive blind structures. With the dealer add-on, starting stacks are 20,000 chips. Blind levels are only 15 minutes long, big blind antes kick in at level 3, and blinds rise steeply. Two hours into the tournament, you are already looking at 800-1,600-1,600 and a rapidly diminishing stack. The tournaments offer a rebuy, and several players busted and re-bought for only a 10-15 big blind stack.
The tournament structures are definitely the weakest link for the Mohegan Sun Pocono poker room. The room likely offers more opportunity for solid cash players, but as tournament players, we likely will not return.
Overall Assessment of the Mohegan Sun Pocono Poker Room
While Mohegan Sun Pocono is technically in the Poconos, you will not get a woodland experience without some travel away from the casino. The casino is small, attractive, and full-service. With a hotel, restaurant, and several bars, you will find everything that you need on-site. The poker room is also small and attractive. The room is comfortable and the personnel is top-notch. However, the poker tournament structures are among the worst we have seen on the East Coast. If you are a cash player, the room might be worth checking out. Otherwise, we recommend you look elsewhere.
Mohegan Sun Pocono is a small, attractive, full-service casino. With a hotel, restaurant, and several bars, you will find everything that you need on site. The poker room is also small and comfortable and the personnel are top notch. However, the poker tournament structures are among the worst we have seen on the East Coast. If you are a cash player, the room might be worth checking out. Otherwise, we recommend you look elsewhere.