Poker in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a large Midwestern state on the Great Lakes, but commercial casino gambling is still illegal there. Casinos can now legally be run by Native Americans on their own land in every state, thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. There are currently 26 casinos in operation, owned by a total of 11 different indigenous communities. Read on to know if poker in Wisconsin is prohibited or not…
The year 1965 marks a watershed moment in the history of the Badger State, when gambling was finally legalized. At that point, a constitutional amendment made sweepstakes legitimate throughout the state. A sweepstake is a type of promotion in which winners are selected at random to receive a prize. The next pivotal year in the evolution of gambling in Wisconsin was 2003. At that time, the regional government renegotiated compacts with the indigenous groups that owned the casinos. New games could be offered, extended hours and building expansions were authorized, and no further authorization was required. The federal government gave the go-ahead for sportsbooks to be offered at tribal casinos in 2021.
So, the current state of gambling in Wisconsin is not too dire. However, poker fans are somewhat limited in their choice of venues. Pokeratlas.com reports that only five of the twenty-six tribal casinos offer poker. One of those four is the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the largest casino in the state. There are twenty tables in their poker room, and it’s open around the clock (except during Coronavirus pandemics, when they close). Their venues have hosted tournaments on the Mid-Stakes Poker Tour.
- A total of 5,822,000 people living in this state
- Capital city: Madison, Wisconsin
- Money in U.S. dollars ($)
- Location timezone: UTC+6
- WI = Abbreviation for “Wisconsin”
Where You Can Play Poker in Wisconsin Casinos:
- Lake of the Torches Casino
- Oneida Casino
- Sevenwinds Casino
- Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Prominent Poker Players from Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin is where the world’s most famous poker player, Phil Hellmuth, was born.
At 15, he has won the World Series of Poker more than anyone else. In 1989, he defeated Johnny Chan in a heads-up match to win the World Series of Poker Main Event and $755,000.
Hellmuth’s live tournament earnings total $24.9 million. He has also made guest appearances on shows like Poker After Dark, High Stakes Poker, and NBC’s National Heads-Up Championship. The name “the Poker Brat” was given to him because of his frequent outbursts during games.
A man named Joe Kuether from Elm Grove, Wisconsin, has amassed a whopping $7,249,000 at live tournaments. He placed second in the $25,000 NLHE High Roller 8-Handed event at the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, winning $1.05 million. He has never won more money at a single live tournament than he did in that one.
Online, he frequents Full Tilt and PokerStars under the alias “daPHUNNIEman.” There is a total of $976,501 in online MTT winnings between his two accounts.
Tony Dunst, a two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and current WPT commentator, was born and raised in Milwaukee.
What the Law Is Like in Wisconsin Regarding Live Poker Play and Tournaments
As we mentioned up top, Wisconsin is one of many states where casino gambling is still illegal at the state level. The crimes related to gambling in Wisconsin are covered by sections 945.01 and 562.001 of the state’s penal code. Unfortunately, recreational gambling isn’t an exception either. Even though it’s highly unlikely, you could be arrested and charged if you hosted a home game for your friends.
However, as we mentioned up top, casino games on Native American booking are entirely within the law in this state. Also, “charitable gaming” is becoming increasingly popular. The state’s Department of Administration has a Division of Gaming that is responsible for overseeing these activities.
Wisconsin Casinos with Live Poker
There is a poker room open around the clock at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a bonus, they offer a variety of cash games to choose from.
In this casino, the stakes for No Limit Hold ’em games range from $1/$3 to $2/$5 to $5/$0; The stakes for Limit Hold’em are $3/$6, $5/$10, $10/$20, $20/$40, $30/$60, $50/$100, and $100/$200. For Pot Limit Omaha, the stakes are $5/$5, $5/$10, $10/$50, and $25/$50. For Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better, the stakes are $3/$6, $4/$8, and $5/$10. For 5-Card Omaha (also known as
And they’ve also hosted the Mid-Stakes Poker Tour before, a series of tournaments with a $1,100 buy-in NLHE event at each stop. In November of 2019, Gerald Heath from Illinois won $130,935 at the event held at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.
There is a poker room at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay, Wisconsin. At the lowest stakes ($2/$4), you can play cash games of Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and 7-Card Stud, as advertised on their website. In addition, in July of 2021, they were the first casino in the state to offer sports betting.
Wisconsin is home to multiple casinos, including the Lake of the Torches Casino in Lac Du Flambeau and the Sevenwinds Casino in Hayward, both of which feature poker rooms.
Wisconsin’s Gambling Halls and Poker Rooms
The State of Wisconsin Legalizes Online Poker
Unfortunately for Wisconsin poker players, they can’t compare to their Michigan counterparts when it comes to luck. As opposed to Michigan’s licensed and controlled online gambling market, which offers several options, Wisconsin’s market is still in its infancy. As of right now, parimutuel betting is the only form of online gambling allowed in the state, but that puts them ahead of the majority of states in the union.
There are only two viable options for poker players. They can try their luck on an unrestricted offshore webpage like Americas Cardroom, or they can play on real cash poker applications like OlyBet and KKPoker, which use the sweepstakes model.