Rivers Philadelphia Poker Room Inside

Rivers Casino Philadelphia Poker Room Review

The Rivers Casino Philadelphia poker room is one of three large rooms in the Philadelphia area. We were in Philadelphia for a few days recently and decide to play a Sunday morning/afternoon tournament at Rivers. The casino was a bit of a mystery to us. They consistently get several tables of low-stakes cash games and their tournaments generally get 40 to 80 players. But they are not as well-known as Live! Casino Philadelphia or Parx.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia Exterior

 

Setting and Non-Poker Amenities

The Rivers Casino Philadelphia poker room is located just off Route 95 north of the main downtown sights of Philadelphia. Per its name, it overlooks the Delaware river. It is very east to get to and has a large free parking garage.

There is not a lot in the immediate area, but Rivers is just a few minutes drive to the primary tourist attractions of Philadelphia (e.g., the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, etc.). While opinions on Philadelphia vary, it does have great historical sites, good museums, and a sizable restaurant scene. So if you’re visiting Philadelphia for the first time, make sure you schedule plenty of non-poker time to enjoy the city. If you are also on the East Coast for a longer stay, a poker and tourist trip through Maryland should also be on your schedule.

Rivers Philadelphia is a full-service casino with a large main floor filled with slots and table games. There is also a high-limit slots and table game room. The sports book is across the casino from the poker room and has massive screens to track all of your sports betting action. There is an event center on the second floor, but it was closed off when we were there. Rivers Philadelphia does not have its own hotel, but there are innumerable options within a 10-15 minute drive. However, most downtown hotels are not cheap!

If you are staying in Philadelphia, we can recommend the Element (which is secretly a Marriott hotel) right in the center of the city. It was extremely comfortable, the staff was very friendly and helpful, and the complimentary breakfast was excellent.

Dining options are modest at Rivers Philadelphia. There is Geno’s Philly Steaks for those who don’t mind a little heart attack risk, a coffee house, a frozen custard spot, a bar & grille, and a Chinese restaurant. There is an upscale chop/steakhouse scheduled to open in 2023, and of course a Dunkin’, as well. We had a mid-tournament frozen custard snack and milkshake and both were quite good.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia Poker Room Comfort

The 28-table poker room at the Rivers Casino Philadelphia is immediately to the left as you enter from the parking garage. The room is entirely closed off from the casino, which means that noise is minimal. The room also has a very large footprint and high ceilings, unusual for many casino-based poker rooms which usually are an afterthought. The air quality was very good.

The room was fairly dark, but lighting over the tables was sufficient to see the board. The walls and ceilings were dark colored, which lent to the dimness. However, the room did have a modern, slick feel and was very well maintained. There were a few TVs showing sporting events, but they did not dominate the space as in some other rooms.

The tables are very well-spaced, and feature auto-shufflers, padded rails, drink cups, and USB ports. The room was immaculate, as were the cards, felts and rails.

Rivers Philadelphia Poker Room Inside

The chairs do not have arms, but they are adjustable, have wheels, and are fairly comfortable. The felts, cards, and chips are all branded. The chips were very clean when we visited. The cards were a bit flimsy for such a nice room, but not terrible. Play was 9-handed and the tables felt large enough to easily accommodate all players.

Drinks are complimentary in the poker room. Another additional nice touch is that there are vending machines with snacks and candy right in the poker room. The vending machine also carries cigarettes, which is odd, but apparently there is a demand.

Poker Room Staff

The desk staff was very welcoming when we arrived and got us player cards immediately, as the membership desk in the main casino was not open on a Sunday morning. The Floor had a little trouble with the computer when we asked to be seated at different tables. But they got that sorted and kindly honored our request. The tournament ran very smoothly and floors broke tables appropriately. The dealers were exceptional.  Similar to what we experienced at Maryland Live!, these were among the best dealers we have encountered. They were fast, knew what they were doing, and were personable. Wait staff circulated frequently through the tournament even after the number of cash tables began to build. 



Players at the Rivers Casino Philadelphia Poker Room

The players at Rivers Casino Philadelphia were a mix of regulars and passers-through like ourselves. The players were in general very strong and took the event seriously. There was some banter and discussion, but mostly players were quite focused on the game. Players represented a wide age range, and there were several women in the tournament. There were a couple of players talking as if they played professionally. Not an unfriendly group but, again, more intent on playing seriously rather than socializing.

Cash Play Activity

Rivers Casino Philadelphia poker room is a very active room for cash. On Monday through Thursday evenings, they typically have six to ten $1/$2 or $1/$3 tables running and generally one to three $2/$5 tables. Friday through Sunday, you’ll generally see eight to 13 $1/$2 or $1/$3 tables running (a bit lower Sunday morning/afternoon). Interestingly, $2/$5 games do not really pick up on weekends. The room also doesn’t seem to spread PLO ever, but you might find a limit game occasionally. Plan on mostly NLH offerings. The Sunday that we attended there were 5-6 cash tables running in the afternoon (all $1/$2 or $1/$3) alongside the five tournament tables. If you are interested in cash poker play in the region, be sure to check out our Poker Room Cash Activity Map.

The Rivers Casino Philadelphia poker room is a conveniently located, attractive poker room with top-quality staff and strong players.Click To Tweet

Tournament Structures

Rivers Casino Philadelphia typically hosts one or two tournaments every day Saturday through Wednesday. Buy-ins range from $50 to $230. Blinds are 15 to 30 minutes, with the Sunday $230 having the 30-minute structure. Rake for the $230 (which is the one we played) was a very reasonable 17%, and even in the lower buy-in events, rakes stay in the 20%-25% range which is not terrible. The $230 did not have any add-on, but you could re-enter until the start of level 7. The blind levels were very gradual, and offered a decent starting stack (30K). There were 76 entries in our Sunday tournament, and this is typical, as they get an average around 74 players.  The Saturday morning and afternoon tournament gets around the same size fields (65 to 75), and the weekday tournaments field more in the 40 to 50 range.

Overall Assessment of Rivers Casino Philadelphia Poker Room

Rivers Casino Philadelphia poker room proved to be an excellent experience. The poker room is one of the nicer rooms we have experienced in a moderate-sized casino. The poker room is closed off from the rest of the casino and is very spacious. The staff in the room was top-notch, especially the dealers. The tournament we played had an excellent structure and the players were quite good. Poker actually seems like it may be a reasonable priority at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

  • Comfort
  • Tournament Structures
  • Personnel
4.5

Summary

Rivers Casino Philadelphia poker room proved to be an excellent experience. The poker room is one of the nicer rooms we have experienced in a moderate-sized casino. The poker room is closed off from the rest of the casino and is very spacious. The staff in the room was top-notch, especially the dealers. The tournament we played had an excellent structure and the players were quite good. Poker actually seems like it may be a reasonable priority at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

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