A Poker Road Trip Through New England
We have recently begun sharing information on our various poker road trips. In 2021 we took a poker road trip to Las Vegas, and then we built another poker road trip through Florida, which we will be partially revisiting this winter. Recently we shared our poker road trip through Maryland. Living in central New England, as we do, we have no reason to take a poker road trip through New England ourselves. However, we thought it would be helpful to those in other parts of the country if we share the road trip we would take, did we not live here already.
Days 1 &2: Poker in Connecticut
Any poker road trip through New England has to come through Connecticut. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are the biggest draws for tournament players, and, along with Encore Boston Harbor, for cash players as well. Foxwoods is hands down the best venue in New England, and one of the best on the entire East Coast, for those poker players seeking a variety of cash games. While $1/$2 NLH can be found throughout the region, and $2/$5 and PLO are also relatively common, Foxwoods is the only venue where you will regularly find games such as stud, limit hold’em, or high-limit NLH games.
Our recommendation would be to dedicate a couple of days to these two casinos. Depending upon your preferences, you could play a tournament at each, or perhaps play a tournament at Mohegan Sun and then some cash at Foxwoods. The facility at Mohegan Sun bears a visit in itself. The architecture is modern and luxurious, and there are a number of excellent restaurant options as well. You could even choose to stay at Mohegan’s luxury hotel if you have the budget. Alternately we recommend an overnight at nearby Mystic Connecticut, which is worth the visit any time of year but particularly shines at the holidays.
Days 3 and 4: Encore Boston Harbor
You certainly wouldn’t want to take a poker road trip through New England without a stop in Boston. There are numerous places to stay, eat, and explore in Boston. We recommend that you take at least a day (if not more) doing just that. Here are some of the best attractions in Boston, to help you plan your stay. When you are ready, the sparkling energetic room that is Encore Boston Harbor will be waiting for you. While Encore does not offer tournaments, it is one of the premiere cash rooms in the region. Whenever you visit, there will be numerous $1/$3 NLH tables running, along with a couple of $2/$5 tables, PLO tables, and maybe even a table of $5/$10 NLH.
Note, however, that Encore houses only 24 tables, and those fill at opening. Your best bet to avoid the wait list is to be there with chips in hand when the poker room opens. Particularly on weekends, the waitlist can run over 100 people and hours long.
Day 5: The New Hampshire Seacoast
After departing Boston, we recommend driving up the New Hampshire seacoast. You might even want to spend a day exploring the North Shore along the way. Marblehead, Salem, Rockport, and Gloucester all have a variety of scenic New England offerings, and a day without poker may be just what the doctor ordered after the cut-throat Encore scene.
New Hampshire offers a number of attractive cardrooms for the poker enthusiast. The Brook in Seabrook New Hampshire currently comes closest to a full-scale casino. The Brook offers not only poker, but also Draft Kings, a race book (the only one left in New Hampshire), numerous table games, slot machines, giant TVs for game day, and even a stage offering occasional live events. As of this writing, The Brook does not offer poker tournaments.
A bit farther north of the Brook, you will find Dover Poker and Gaming. Dover, while a smaller room, does offer tournament action on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. While the tournaments do not have the best structure around, you start with a healthy amount of chips and can expect at least five or six tables in play.
If you would like to spend a bit more time on the seacoast, Portsmouth, New Hampshire is just minutes away. There are many great things to do in Portsmouth, and a variety of nice accommodations.
Day 6: Mid-State New Hampshire
From Portsmouth, it’s a quick hour across Route 101 to Manchester, New Hampshire. Filotimo Casino in Manchester offers the best tournament action in the state, and possibly in all of New England. Filotimo offers just three tournaments a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, but they are always well-attended. Their bi-weekly $250 on Saturday afternoon typically runs close to 150 entrants with prize pools over $10,000. The room is attractive and comfortable and the facility offers Draft Kings, table games, slots, and an excellent restaurant along with poker. If I could play just one tournament in New Hampshire, Filotimo’s Saturday tournament would be the one that I would chose.
A mere 20 minutes north of Manchester, you will find the Concord Casino. While the Concord Casino does spread cash games, you are as likely as not to find one running when you wander in. More reliable are Concord’s tournaments. While the field is typically only a couple of tables, the structure is good and the chairs are among the most comfortable we have found anywhere.
Concord is a lovely town. We recommend spending your evening in the state capital and enjoying one of the many great restaurants, checking out the boutique shops, and even just taking a walk down Main Street. If you’re looking for a laugh and a craft cocktail, there’s even a Speakeasy in town.
If you are really wanting to run the New Hampshire cardrooms, you will find the Lakes Region Casino in Belmont and the Lebanon card room up on the New Hampshire border. Both are currently small and fairly far afield, but both have currently undergone ownership changes and may be expanding soon.
Day 7 Cash Central
On your way back south out of New Hampshire, there are two rooms of particular interest to cash players. Chasers, in Salem New Hampshire and The Boston Billiard Club in Nashua both offer extremely active cash play, and are your best bets to find PLO in the state. Both rooms offer slots and table games as well, and both are slated for expansion following recent acquisitions by large gambling concerns.
Like Encore Boston Harbor, Chasers often has a long waitlist. We recommend signing up on the waitlist on Poker Atlas before you even head for the poker room. BBC can have a wait list as well, but for whatever reason it doesn’t build quite so badly. Perhaps the difference between 15 (Chaser’s) and 20 tables (BBC) is enough to make the difference.
We highly recommend a dinner at the BBC bar. The food is great, the beer menu extensive, and the bartenders are the hardest working group of people we have ever seen.Take a poker road trip through New England with us. From the casinos of Connecticut through Boston and into the heart of New Hampshire.Click To Tweet
Day 8: MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’s second poker room is sited in Springfield Massachusetts. While it sits smack in the center of a somewhat low-key city, the MGM is a nice facility. MGM Springfield is smaller than any of the other MGM casinos we have visited, but it is a full-service casino nonetheless. MGM offers slots, table games, poker, a Top Golf facility, a variety of restaurants and a nice hotel. If you schedule it right you can play MGM’s Tuesday evening tournament and then spend a final night in New England on your way home.
This eight-day journey through New England should offer plenty of poker and fun for any traveler. We have laid out one particular road trip through New England. However, there are a thousand different variations you might make on this basic theme. Depending on the season and your preference for tournament or cash poker, you may craft a trip that works for you. If you are going it on your own, we recommend that you reference our New England Average Cash Poker table and Poker Tournament Table resources to help you select the right rooms and schedule for you.
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