When you think of poker hotspots, Maryland may not be the first place to leap to mind. Las Vegas, California, Florida, and in recent years Texas are the high-profile poker locations. However, we discovered on our recent trip to Maryland that the state has much to offer to the poker world. In addition, Maryland and the surrounding areas (most critically Washington DC) offer a plethora of non-poker activities. You can sculpt a full-on poker vacation balancing poker, fun, sightseeing, and educational activities throughout the region. Below we outline an itinerary that will meet all of your vacation desires.
The vibrant New England poker scene offers a wide variety of options in a very small geographic footprint. In less than 4 hours you could drive from the room (with 6 or more tables) furthest north, Lebanon Poker Room, to the one furthest south, Foxwoods. The region’s largest city, Boston, sits dead center of the poker action. Drive a little more than two hours north and you are at the Lebanon Poker Room, 90 minutes south to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, and then 90 minutes due west to the newest large casino venue, MGM Springfield. Three poker rooms in southern New Hampshire are within about an hour North of Boston as well. Additionally, Encore Boston Harbor reopened in February 2022, but with reduced hours and only 15 tables (down from 72 in 2019).
Deciding on Your Poker Room of Choice
In short, there are a lot of options for the New England poker player. So how does one decide where to play poker in New England? Some of it comes down to personal taste. You may just select your favorite rooms, as we did recently. But if you have specific criteria for your preferred game, there’s data available that can help guide your decision.
We have long had a decent idea which venues have the most active cash games, and which tournaments draw the largest fields. But, as data analysts by trade, we decided to take a more statistical approach to our investigation. During Fall 2021 we used PokerAtlas and Bravo Poker to track cash and tournament activity for all New England sites which provide live data. On weekdays, we collected numbers at 8pm each night for cash play, and tracked tournaments after the registration period closed. On weekends, we tracked cash both at 2pm and 8pm and the number of entries for all tournaments.