2019 Guide To America’s Best Poker States

As we enter a brand new year, it’s important to take stock of the poker scene in various hotspots around the country. Here is USPoker’s 2019 guide to America’s best poker states.

2018 was an up and down year for poker. On the bright side, the 2018 edition of the World Series of Poker Main Event drew the second-largest field in history, with 7,874 souls competing for the game’s grandest prize. This turnout indicated that poker may be trending upward a bit.

However, poker is not without some concerns. There have been room closures, and poker revenue in New Jersey already pales in comparison to the nascent sports betting market.

Below is our guide to the situations in some of America’s best poker states. Please note, however, that this list is not meant to be exhaustive.

Obviously, poker rooms exist in almost every state and region of the country. However, these six areas seem to have the most activity right now.

California

California, at least in terms of sheer numbers, is the most active poker state in the United States. The Golden State boasts more cardrooms and tables than most other states combined.

In addition to the dedicated cardrooms in state, there are also many tribal casinos that offer poker. Roughly 20 of the Native American venues in the state have a poker room.

  • Number of cardrooms: 88
  • Total number of tables: 1986

Notable cardrooms

  • Bay 101
  • Casino M8trix
  • Club One Casino
  • Commerce Casino
  • Hawaiian Gardens Casino
  • Hustler Casino
  • Larry Flynt’s Lucky Lady Casino
  • Lucky Chances Casino
  • Oceans Eleven Casino
  • The Bicycle Hotel & Casino

Notable upcoming tournaments*

  • Player Appreciation Series – Hustler Casino
  • WPT Gardens Poker Championships – Hawaiian Gardens Casino
  • WSOP Circuit – Los Angeles – Bicycle Hotel & Casino
  • WSOP Circuit – Sacramento – Thunder Valley Casino Resort
  • WPT LA Poker Classic – Commerce Casino
  • WPT Rolling Thunder – Thunder Valley Casino Resort
  • Shooting Star – Bay 101
  • WPTDeepStacks Sacramento – Thunder Valley Casino Resort
  • CPPT VII – Oceans Eleven

Florida

In the past two decades, Florida has become one of America’s best poker states. The Sunshine State is now quite the destination for poker players that live east of the Mississippi River.

Interestingly, out of roughly 30 poker rooms in Florida, there are few small-time operations. Almost every room contains at least 10 tables, and many have more than 20 available for play.

  • Number of cardrooms: 29
  • Total number of tables: 934

Notable cardrooms

  • bestbet Jacksonville
  • bestbet Orange Park
  • Derby Lane Poker Room
  • Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
  • Palm Beach Kennel Club
  • Melbourne Greyhound Park
  • Daytona Beach and Racing Card Club
  • Big Easy Casino
  • Hialeah Park Casino
  • Isle Casino Pompano Park
  • Miccosukee Resort
  • Orange City Racing and Card Club
  • Naples-Fort Myers Poker Room
  • One-Eyed Jacks at Sarasota Kennel Club

Notable upcoming tournaments*

  • Lucky Hearts Poker Open – Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood
  • New Year Accumulator Series – Derby Lane Poker Room
  • bestbet Winter Open – bestbet Jacksonville
  • WSOP Circuit – South Florida (Winter) – Seminole Coconut Creek

Michigan

Michigan is perhaps not the first state to come to mind regarding poker. However, the Great Lakes State is a top destination to play the game.

In fact, the number of cardrooms in the Detroit area alone nearly surpasses the entirety of Florida’s offering. Despite a recent hiccup at the governor’s desk, it seems that the public’s appetite for gaming in Michigan remains alive and healthy.

  • Number of cardrooms: 40
  • Total number of tables: 330

Notable cardrooms

  • Greektown Casino
  • Hollywood Casino Toledo
  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • Motor City Casino
  • Firekeepers Casino
  • Gun Lake Casino
  • Soaring Eagle Casino

Notable upcoming tournaments*

  • MSPT $1,000,000 Guarantee, May 16 – 19 – Firekeepers Casino 
  • MSPT $1,000,000 Guarantee, May 16 – 19 – Firekeepers Casino 
  • Canadian Pot Limit Omaha Championship – Caesars Windsor

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Nevada

Even if other states surpass Nevada in terms of table numbers or cardrooms, none are likely to do so in terms of prestige. Accordingly, Nevada remains the home of the world’s most famous poker tournament and the center of the poker universe.

Surprisingly, recent reports from the state indicate that the Silver State continues to decline in its poker offerings. In fact, five poker rooms in Las Vegas itself shut their doors in 2018, including at an MGM property on the Las Vegas Strip, Treasure Island.

Nevertheless, a trip into the desert is the poker equivalent of a bird returning to roost. So, the list of notable cardrooms should hold few surprises for fans of the game.

  • Number of cardrooms: 56
  • Total number of tables: 558

Notable cardrooms

  • Bellagio Resort & Casino
  • Aria Resort & Casino
  • Venetian Casino
  • Wynn Las Vegas
  • Orleans Casino
  • Green Valley Ranch Casino
  • Harvey’s Lake Tahoe
  • Peppermill Casino

Notable upcoming tournaments*

  • World Series of Poker – Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino
  • WSOP Circuit – Bally’s Hotel and Casino
  • WSOP Circuit – Harvey’s Lake Tahoe
  • Deepstack Extravaganza (NYE) 2018 – Venetian Casino
  • Poker Masters – Aria Resort and Casino
  • Wynn Poker Classic – Wynn Resort and Casino
  • Wynn Signature Series – Wynn Resort and Casino
  • WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic – Bellagio Resort & Casino
  • WPT Aria Summer Championship – Aria Resort and Casino

New Jersey

New Jersey‘s live poker scene are an example of quality over quantity. Specifically, no other key poker state has less than ten cardrooms available for play.

However, the tournament scene and reputation that the Garden State possesses makes it impossible to ignore as a poker destination. The fact that New Jersey is one of the few locations outside Nevada with online poker also preserves the state’s place in the poker lexicon.

  • Number of cardrooms: 6
  • Total number of tables: 203

Notable cardrooms

Notable upcoming tournaments*

  • WSOP Circuit – Harrah’s Atlantic City
  • WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
  • Borgata Poker Open – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Pennsylvania

Much like Florida, most of Pennsylvania‘s cardrooms are sizeable as far as their number of tables. Impressively, all of the state’s rooms feature at least 10 tables, and some of them offer more than 50 playing options.

To be clear, there are also several poker rooms in casinos located just across state lines in places like West Virginia and Delaware. While those facilities won’t be covered by the list below, the rooms are nonetheless viable options for players in Pennsylvania who want a change of scenery.

  • Number of cardrooms: 9
  • Total number of tables: 235

Notable cardrooms

  • Parx Casino
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Sands Bethlehem
  • SugarHouse Casino
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

Notable upcoming tournaments*

  • WPTDeepStacks Big Stax May ’19 – Parx Casino
  • HPT Meadows – The Meadows Casino

*Please note that the list of upcoming tournaments reflects the known and scheduled events as of January 2019. Obviously, there will certainly be more notable events coming up in these great poker locations in 2019.

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