Las Vegas-based hospitality, entertainment and casino gaming giant MGM Resorts International did more than just open up Massachusetts’ second commercial casino in Downtown Springfield this past weekend. It forever changed the New England poker landscape.
The 23-table poker room that opened up inside the $1 billion MGM Springfield luxury resort, casino, and entertainment complex is actually Massachusetts’ first casino poker room.
Marketing material on the MGM Springfield website claims the poker room will host the ultimate poker experience in a setting unlike anything players have experienced before. So far, by most accounts, the room is living up to the hype.
Rolls Royce seats
There are high-end finishes throughout. Each seat has its own mobile phone docking station. Like several aspects of the property’s design, the chairs pay homage to Springfield’s past as they are modeled after the seats in a Rolls Royce. British automaker Rolls Royce opened a factory in Springfield in 1921 and built thousands of vehicles there over its 10 years in operation.
There are 16 TVs spread around the room. Plus, complimentary drinks with table service and a self-serve soda and coffee stand. The poker room is open 24 hours and serves alcohol until 4 a.m.
The new tables feature a bright red felt, and although there are no cup holders in the rails, MGM Springfield provides slide-under cup holders upon request.
The tables do not have a bet line. Each can accommodate up to 10 players.
Like most poker rooms, the early action at MGM Springfield revolves around no-limit hold’em. However, there have been promises to spread Omaha and seven-card stud as well.
The buy-in for $1/$2 no-limit hold’em games is from $100 to $500 and it’s $300 to $1,000 for $2/$5 games. Cash does not play at the table. However, players can buy-in directly from the dealer or chip runners at the table.
The MGM Springfield poker room allows straddles from any position on the table.
The poker room is on the Bravo Poker Live system, allowing players to see what action is available before traveling there.
MGM Springfield is a completely smoke-free property. However, there are two designated areas for smokers outside, including one on State Street just outside the poker room.
It appears most of the dealers have migrated there from other poker rooms in the area. New dealers have been trained by the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute and passed an MGM audition. New dealers that stick with the job for a year will have tuition costs covered.
Competition for Foxwoods and Mohegan
Prior to the opening of the MGM Springfield poker room, the most popular options for Massachusetts poker players were small charity poker rooms, or Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun in the neighboring state of Connecticut.
Foxwoods Resort Casino actually hosts the largest poker room in the Northeast with over 100 tables. The poker room at Mohegan Sun features 42 tables.
More competition is coming as well. Encore Boston Harbor will open in June 2019 in Everett with a 90-table poker room.
Both Connecticut rooms run a variety of promotions and a regular tournament schedule. Foxwoods Resort Casino also hosts regular World Series of Poker Circuit and World Poker Tour events.
The poker room at MGM Springfield is expected to unveil its own regular tournament schedule sometime in September. More should also be revealed about MGM Springfield’s poker promotions and specific M life loyalty program poker rewards and comps at that time as well.
If MGM Springfield’s cash game offering has one advantage over Foxwoods and Mohegan, its the higher buy-in limits. Foxwoods and Mohegan cap $1/$2 buy-ins at $300 and $2/$5 at $500.
MGM Springfield is approximately 80 miles west of Boston. It is also 75 miles north of Mohegan and Foxwoods.
In addition to the poker room, MGM Springfield boasts 125,000 square feet of gaming space with 2,550 slot machines and 120 table games.
There is also a 250-room boutique hotel and a variety of entertainment options that include:
- Outdoor public area
- 10-lane bowling alley and arcade
- TopGolf Swing Suite
- 8,000-seat Mass Mutual Center
There are also several restaurants and bars on the property, including:
- TAP Sports Bar
- Cal Mare – Italian Restaurant
- Chandler Steakhouse
- Knox Bar