Parx Casino Philadelphia Poker

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The live poker room at Harrah’s Philadelphia appears to be permanently closed.

According to various social media posts by current and former employees, they received word about the decision on Aug. 11.

Harrah’s Philly poker room closed for good?

Various poker room employees at Harrah’s Philadelphia posted on social media about losing their poker-dealing jobs. Iowa gambling test download. On the condition of anonymity, a now-former employee (“Jake”) discussed what’s happening at Harrah’s Philadelphia poker room with Play Pennsylvania.

He confirmed that the room is closed, with no plans to reopen it. Management’s calls to poker room employees came via Zoom on Aug. 11. Jake said that they did not offer anyone positions within the organization. However, Harrah’s did say if employees had experience in tables games, they could apply, just the same as anyone else coming in off the street, for openings.

Those who asked if any classes would be offered for table games did not get a clear “yes” or “no” answer.

Poker

Play Pennsylvania reached out to Harrah’s regarding the poker room, but they declined to comment.

Silent on social media

Harrah’s Philadelphia poker room’s Twitter handle no longer exists. Its Facebook page has not been updated since March 13.

Asked whether the poker room closure was permanent, a customer service representative at Harrah’s Philadelphia said:

“It’s closed as of now. We don’t have a date of reopening.”

World Series of Poker-branded room

Harrah’s opened a live poker room in 2010 on the floor below the main gaming floor near where race track betting takes place.

On April 26, 2019, after extensive renovations, Harrah’s Philadelphia became home to the World Series of Poker poker room. Harrah’s corporate parent company Caesars Entertainment owns the popular World Series of Poker brand. Those brands are now housed under Eldorado Resorts, which officially absorbed Caesars mere months ago, maintaining the Caesars brand name.

Last fall, Harrah’s underwent a number of major renovations, including the new retail sportsbook the Book and a Topgolf Swing Suite.

General Manager Chris Albrechttold the Philadelphia Business Journal:

“The poker room was moved from racing level to casino floor to have all gaming action on one floor. It was part of the reimagination of the back of the casino with new sportsbook and Topgolf.”

Parx has the largest live poker room in PA, with 48 tables.

Harrah’s had 27 tables and a full slate of poker promotions and tournaments. On their website, they boasted:

“WSOP Poker Room spreads Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, and Omaha. With nonstop action and a range of blinds, even the most discriminating Philadelphia gambler will find a perfectly suited game for their taste. Limit games range from $2-4-6 to $20-40, while No Limit games range from $1-2 to $10-25.”

The following pictures were taken at the vacated Harrah’s Philadelphia poker room in July 2020.

Poker rooms in PA still closed

In mid-March, all 12 Pennsylvania casinos closed to slow the spread of coronavirus. Harrah’s Philadelphia reopened on June 26.

When casinos’ home county moved to the “green phase,” they could reopen at reduced capacity (up to 50%). The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) laid out updated health and safety protocols, which included, to start, that poker rooms could not operate due to players handling cards and chips. They said they’d monitor and adjust according to guidance from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

PGCB Director of Communications Doug Harbachgave this update to Play Pennsylvania on Aug. 25:

“There has been no alteration to the casino reopening protocols released by the Gaming Control Board in May in which poker rooms were not authorized to operate. At the same time, this guideline can be reexamined based on health experts’ guidance. Should casinos wish to explore reopening a casino room, it would need to provide plans to do so safely which would be reviewed by the board on a case-by-case basis.”

WSOP online poker plans in PA

While live poker is off the menu for the time being (and perhaps permanently at some casinos, like Harrah’s), PA poker players still have legal, regulated as an option. PokerStars PA was the first online poker operator to launch in PA, doing so in November 2019. The lone operator has done well in Pennsylvania, peaking in April with revenue of nearly $5.3 million when all casinos were still shuttered.

And while live poker rooms remain closed, online poker revenue at PokerStars has come down to a reasonable yet healthy $3.0 million for July. But it looks as if PA will soon have more online poker options in partypoker(through BetMGM/ROAR Digital) and, ironically, WSOP.com.

Caesars (through Harrah’s Philly) launched online sports betting and online casino products in PA in March and April, respectively.

While no timeline has been announced for the launch of a WSOP online poker room in PA, we know regulatory approval is underway. That makes for rather unfortunate timing for Caesars’ live poker partner to fold, it would seem. But in 2020, anything is possible.

Note: This is a developing story. PlayPennsylvania will provide the latest updates on the Harrah’s poker room closing as they become available.

Contents

Ten of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos have poker rooms, but the size, game offerings, promotions and amenities vary quite a bit.

Here is a look at the three poker rooms in the Philadelphia area — Parx,SugarHouse, andHarrah’s — with a rundown what each has to offer.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

Located in Chester (just outside Philadelphia), Harrah’s Poker Room is in the heart of Pennsylvania poker country. The room is of average size for the region, with 28 cash-game tables, and offers daily tournaments at 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. most days.

Harrah’s runs several monthly poker promotions. Currently, players will find high-hand jackpots every 30 to 60 minutes and a promotion where anyone showing a qualifying full house is entered into a monthly drawing.

With so much competition nearby, the room offers a couple of interesting options players won’t find in many other poker rooms. Harrah’s allows players in time-raked games to “Run it Twice” and players in any Hold’em or Omaha game can post a Mississippi Straddle — basically posting a straddle from any position, which makes the next player the first to act pre-flop.

Stakes and games typically found at Harrah’s are:

  • $2-$6 limit hold’em
  • $1/$2 no limit hold’em ($60-$300 buy-in)
  • $1/$3 no limit hold’em ($100-$500 buy-in)
  • $2/$5 no limit hold’em
  • $5/$10 no limit hold’em
  • $5/$10 Omaha 8 or better
  • State-approved games are available upon request

Parx Casino

Parx Casino Philadelphia Poker Deuces Wild

With over 80 tables, Parx can lay claim to being the largest poker room in Pennsylvania. It’s also one of the only poker rooms in the state with consistent high-stakes action.

Unlike most of its competitors (which offer two daily tournaments), Parx only offers one daily tournament, mixing night and daytime starts, but the poker room also runs multiple tournament series throughout the year.

The casino has an ongoing bad-beat jackpot. Monthly promotions at Parx run the gamut, with the casino currently running a high-hand giveaway every half-hour, along with a grand-prize drawing at the end of the month.

Stakes and games typically found at Parx are:

  • Limit hold’em: $3/$6 – $6/$12 – $15/$30 – $40/$80
  • No limit hold’em: $1/$2 – $1/$3 – $2/$5 – $10/$10 – $10/$25
  • PLO: $5 single blind – $5/$5
  • PLO8: $1/$2
  • Omaha 8 or better: $8/$16 – $10/$20 – $15/$30 – $30/$60
  • Mix games: $6/$12 – $10/$20 – $15/$30 – $30/$60
  • State-approved games are available upon request

SugarHouse Casino

After moving from a temporary home to its permanent location in early 2016, SugarHouse has the newest and swankiest poker room in the state. The 28-table room has all the modern niceties, including backlit tables, in-seat text-to-order food service and full charging stations at every position.

Parx Casino Poker Room Promotions

SugarHouse is also a branded Poker Night in America poker room and routinely hosts televised cash games and tournament series.

SugarHouse’s daily tournament schedule consists of a nightly tournament during the week and three tournaments on weekends typically.

SugarHouse is big on promotions, notably its hourly high-hand giveaways. This core promotion is often augmented as is the case right now, where SugarHouse is offering:

Sugarhouse Casino Philadelphia Poker Room

  • 3x giveaways at select times on Tuesday and Sunday where a high hand prize is awarded every 20 minutes;
  • $300 every 30 minutes at select times on Monday and Wednesday;
  • $500 every 30 minutes at select times on Thursday and Friday;
  • Super Saturday, where SugarHouse will give away $300 every 20 minutes from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Stakes and games you’ll typically find at SugarHouse are:

Parx Casino Poker Room

  • $1/$2 no limit hold’em
  • $1/$3 no limit hold’em
  • $2/$5 no limit hold’em
  • $2-$6 limit hold’em
  • State-approved games are available upon request