Poker in Connecticut
In the middle of 2021, the East Coast state of Connecticut, with its relatively small area but high population density, garnered significant attention in the world of poker news. And with good reason: they just became the seventh state to authorize online poker in the United States! They followed several states, Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia, in line. House Bill 6451 became law in May of 2021 after being signed by Democratic Governor Ned Lamont. For the occasion, he tweeted graphic recalling landmarks in the development of the gambling industry, which allowed poker in Connecticut.
You can see that it all begins in 1986 when the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe first opened casinos and ends with the current governor’s signature on an online gambling bill.
Foxwoods Resort Casino, located in Mashantucket, is a premier East Coast poker destination. In 1986, it opened as the first bingo hall of its kind. In 1992, it underwent a transformation into a full-fledged casino. The WPT World Poker Room was the previous name for their poker room (until 2012). With 114 tables, it is the largest poker room in the United States outside of California. They hosted the World Series of Poker Circuit Foxwoods, the Foxwoods Poker Classic, and the Moneymaker Poker Series and Players Championship Tour.
- Inhabitants: 3,565,000
- Capital is Hartford
- Dollar (USD) is the official currency of the United States.
- The UTC-5 time zone.
- CT Abbreviation for “Connecticut”
Where You Can Play Poker in Connecticut Casinos:
- Mohegan Sun Connecticut
- Foxwoods Resort Casino
Prominent Poker Players From Connecticut
At this time, Mark Dube of Newburyport, Connecticut, has the highest Hendon score of any resident of the Constitution State. He has won a total of $2.385.0 million in live tournaments. During the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship in Hollywood, FL in February 2015, he placed second and won $434,462. He has never won more money at a single live tournament than he did at that one.
Second on the list is Paul Darden, a poker player, rap music promoter, and nightclub owner who has won $2.22 million in live cashes. He was trained by poker great Phil Ivey and hails from New Haven, Connecticut.
After winning the 2001 WSOP $2,600 7-Card Stud event, he was awarded a gold bracelet. In the PartyPoker.com Million IV Cruise’s $10,200 WPT Limit Hold’em event, Darden finished in fifth place and won $300,000.
Live Poker in Connecticut and the Law
The surprising truth is that poker is against the law in the Constitutional state of Connecticut.
According to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection‘s website,
“Poker is listed as one of the forms of gambling that are illegal in Connecticut pursuant to Section 53-278a of the General Statutes of Connecticut.”
There is no place for poker outside of a “social gambling” environment where there is no rake to be collected by the house.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 makes it so that poker can also be played in tribal casinos. Bingo, betting on horse and dog races, and state lottery games are the only forms of gambling that can be legally played outside of Native American territory.
Poker Rooms in the Connecticut Area
As we mentioned at the outset, the East Coast’s largest poker room can be found at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut. Naturally, there is a wide variety of cash games to choose from in a venue of this size.
Table limits range from $1/$2 for No Limit Hold’em to $5/$10 for Limit Hold’em, and from $2/$4 for Limit Hold’em to $5/$10 for Pot Limit Omaha and $5/$10 for Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better, and from $1/$3 for Limit 7-Card Stud to $75/$150 for Limit 7-Card Stud. If you’re having trouble deciding between the various games offered, you can play a variety of them at the same table for $75/$150 or $150/$300.
Tournaments at the annual WSOP Circuit Foxwoods range in price from $250 to $3,250, with the Main Event costing $1,700.
According to their website, the poker room at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, hosts daily NLHE and NLHE bounty tournaments. You can’t find their tournament schedule anywhere online, which is a real bummer.
When it comes to cash games, they have more options than any other casino on the planet. Once again, their website claims to offer variations on Texas Hold ’em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, Razz, 2-7 Triple Draw, and even the obscure draw game Badugi. They do not, however, disclose the stakes publicly.
There are several casinos and poker rooms in the state of Connecticut.
Connecticut Legalizes Online Poker
In our introduction, we mentioned that in 2021, Connecticut passed a law that would make it legal to wager money on sports and play casino games online.
Big bets are often rewarded with big payouts. However, I think history will show us that yesterday’s signing of the sports betting and iGaming bill is less of a gamble and more of a sure bet. pic.twitter.com/c4jLxvpoKu
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) May 28, 2021
Legislators had hoped that the new rules for online gambling would be in place before the 2021–2022 NFL season. If we look at the experiences of other states, however, it’s clear that this timeline is too ambitious.
As of now, Fanduel and DraftKings, two of the most prominent online sportsbooks, have formed strategic alliances with Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, two of the largest tribal casinos in the United States. No online poker room has publicly declared its intention to apply for a CT license as of yet. Sites like X-Poker, 888, and WSOP.com, which already operate in the US market, are likely to launch in Connecticut.