In the ensuing years, new poker markets have emerged across the eastern seaboard, but through it all Atlantic City has held on to the title of “Poker Capital of the East.”
A big part of the continued appeal is Atlantic City’s location.
In addition to a strong local player base, Atlantic City is close to several major population hubs.
Atlantic City is:
- an hour or so drive from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
- a little more than two hours from New York City; and
- a three-hour ride from Washington DC.
And Atlantic City has a strong gravitational pull thanks to the multiple poker rooms packed into such a small area. There’s no shortage of options. Whether you’re looking for a small intimate, low-limit poker room, or a massive space with pretty much every game imaginable, Atlantic City has you covered. Plus, you’ve even got the benefit of playing online poker from the comfort of your hotel room.
That and the city’s history keeps poker players turning up in droves.
Here’s what you’ll find when you get there.
Where you can play live poker in Atlantic City
Five of the city’s seven casinos operate brick and mortar poker rooms:
- Golden Nugget
Neither Resorts or Caesars AC have poker rooms at this time.
There are close to 200 poker tables in the city, as well as the hundreds of games available online.
With 85 tables, Borgata’s poker room is more than double the size of its closest competitor in the market.
Borgata is not only the largest poker room in Atlantic City, it’s one of the largest on the East Coast. That makes it one of the most popular poker destinations in the country and the home casino of many poker pros.
If you’re a cash game player you’ll find pretty much every game and stakes imaginable at Borgata, with plenty of in-house promotions.
If tournaments are more your thing Borgata has you covered. Borgata offers everything from daily MTT’s and Sit & Go’s to major poker festivals and series including World Poker Tour championship events.
The Golden Nugget AC boasts a modest 10-table poker room located directly off the main lobby.
Like most small poker rooms, the Golden Nugget poker room caters to mainly low-limit players, but it does take care of them with plenty of promotions and poker-specific comps.
Among the perks of playing at the Golden Nugget are double and triple comp points throughout the week, and a free buffet for anyone logging four or more hours at the casino’s cash game tables Sunday through Thursday, and five hours of cash game play on Friday and Saturday.
The Tropicana AC poker room got an update and a makeover when it relocated to a new area of the casino earlier this year.
The new 18-table poker room is located behind the Boogie Nights nightclub and runs cash games and daily tournaments, as well as the typical high hand and bad beat jackpot promotions.
Like Golden Nugget, most of the cash game action at Tropicana is of the low limit variety, but pretty much any game and stakes are available upon request.
Bally’s Wild West Casino can boast it’s the second largest poker room in the Atlantic City market, as well as one of the newest.
The casino launched a 42-table World Series of Poker-branded poker room back in 2015, and so far so good.
The WSOP poker room at Bally’s has plenty of cash games at a variety of stakes, but with most of the high stakes action taking place across at Borgata, the focus at Bally’s is on low limit games.
Players will also find daily tournaments and WSOP Circuit events, and the usual promotions and rewards program.
A second Caesars property in Atlantic City, Harrah’s, also runs poker games. Harrah’s 40-table poker room is just a touch smaller than its sister casino Bally’s.
The Harrah’s poker room offers a variety of cash games with high hand and bad beat jackpots in addition to food and room comps.
Like Bally’s, Harrah’s AC also offers a modest daily tournament schedule and plays host to World Series of Poker circuit events.
Coming Soon: Hard Rock?
It’s unknown at this point, but Hard Rock casino properties tend to have poker rooms.
And considering the appetite for poker in the Atlantic City market, it would be somewhat of a surprise if Hard Rock AC doesn’t launch with a fairly big poker room when it opens in the spring of 2018.
New Jersey residents and visitors can also get their poker fix online.
The state of New Jersey has seven online poker rooms spread across four separate networks.
- The network consisting of Borgata, partypoker, and playMGM
- Pala Poker
- PokerStars NJ
- The network of WSOP.com and 888Poker
New Jersey’s online poker rooms average around 250 cash game players at any given time of the day, with traffic at peak hours of 600 players.