Poker in Colorado


Population: 5,759,000

Capital: Denver

Currency: United States Dollar ($)

Time Zone: UTC-7

State Name Abbreviation: CO

Casinos with Poker

  • Bally’s Black Hawk
  • Ameristar Black Hawk Casino, Resort & Spa
  • Monarch Casino Resort Spa
  • Midnight Rose Poker Room




The mountainous state of Colorado is perhaps best known in popular culture for being one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Thankfully, they are also quite permissive when it comes to gambling – as long as it’s legal land based casino gambling. Online gambling, however, is still illegal.

Gambling has been present in the territory even before Colorado became a state. The heavily male frontier population of the mid-19th Century often passed time by wagering on dice and card games.

In fact, one of the first famous card sharks in poker history, “Poker Alice” Ivers started her career in the saloons of Leadville, CO in the 1880’s. She started playing cards seriously in order to sustain herself after the death of her first husband.

As for modern times, casino gaming became legal in the state in 1991. However, it is still only limited to 3 towns: Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. These three towns now have around 40 licenced casinos among them, most often located in Black Hawk. According to’s numbers, 36 of them have poker rooms as well.

Colorado has been home to such poker events in recent years as the WSOP Circuit, the Mid-Stakes Poker Tour, and their very own Colorado Poker Championship (CPC).

Famous Colorado Poker Players

Chance Kornuth was born in the state capital, Denver. He is a 2-time WSOP gold bracelet winner, and has over $8 million in live tournament earnings. In 2020, he played an online high stakes heads-up PLO challenge against Phil Galfond but lost.

High roller Steve O’Dwyer from Colorado Springs, CO has a whopping $30.476 million in live tournament earnings. Not only does he top the Colorado all time money list on Hendon, but he’s in the top 10 on the USA money list as well.

In January 2015, O’Dwyer won the $100,000 NLHE Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $1.873 million. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date. He also has over $7.2 million in online MTT cashes.


– Playing Live Poker in Colorado –

   Live Poker Legislation in Colorado

Colorado Revised Statutes §18-10-101 et seq covers gambling in the state penal code; while §12-60-101 covers horse racing specifically. Casino gaming became legal in 1991 with the passage of the Colorado Limited Gaming Act.

“Limited Gaming” means that gambling is restricted to certain cities, certain games, and certain betting limits ($100 per wager maximum) in the state. Thankfully, poker is within the permitted games.

Licencing and regulation of the casinos are under the purview of the Gaming Division within the Colorado Department of Revenue.

  Live Poker Venues in Colorado

At Bally’s Black Hawk in Black Hawk, CO, the poker room offers cash games and tournaments as well.

As for cash, they have $2/$100 Spread Limit Hold’em tables; as well as $5/$10 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better and $2/$100 Spread Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better tables. As for tournaments, they’re the proud home of the Colorado Poker Championship. It’s a tourney series that is held two times a year (winter and summer) with buy-ins ranging from $100 up to a $2,500 High Roller, and an $1,100 buy-in Main Event.

They’ve also hosted Mid-Stakes Poker Tour and Heartland Poker Tour events; as well as their very own Black Hawk Poker Open.

The Ameristar Black Hawk Casino, Resort & Spa is also located in Black Hawk. And they too have a poker room with a wide cash game selection. The information on their website is somewhat hazy, but we can assume that “No Limit” games refer to No Limit Hold’em; and “Pot Limit” Games refer to Pot Limit Omaha. In that case, they have NLHE cash games on $1/$3, $2/$5, and $5/$10 stakes; and PLO on $1/$3, $5/$5, and $5/$10 stakes.

You can also visit the poker room at the Monarch Casino Resort Spa in the same town.

Poker action outside Black Hawk is not nearly as ample as it is in Black Hawk. However, if you visit the other two Colorado towns with legal casinos, you can go play at the Midnight Rose Poker Room in Cripple Creek, CO. There, they have NLHE, PLO, and even 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo tournaments. However, alas, none of the casinos have poker rooms in Central City, CO – the best you can do there is play video poker machines.

– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Colorado –

Bally’s Black Hawk

Ameristar Black Hawk Casino, Resort & Spa

Monarch Casino Resort Spa

Midnight Rose Poker Room

  Online Poker in Colorado

Colorado is one of the few states that have specific laws that make internet gambling illegal. The FAQ section on the Colorado Department of Revenue’s website also makes it very clear that you’re not allowed to gamble on the internet in their state. It writes:

“Internet gambling is illegal under state and federal laws. Colorado law prohibits the transmission or reception of gambling information by any means. (…) The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission prohibits persons and businesses licensed in the casino industry in Colorado from having any involvement with internet gaming sites that can be accessed by Colorado residents.”