Currency: United States Dollar ($)
Time Zone: UTC-5
State Name Abbreviation: CT
Casinos with Poker
- Foxwoods Resort Casino
- Mohegan Sun Connecticut
Connecticut, a small but densely populated state on the East Coast, made quite a few headlines in the poker news media in mid 2021. And it was for a good reason: they officially became the 7th state in the Union to legalize online poker! They were next in line after Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia.
Governor Ned Lamont (D) signed into law House Bill 6451 in May 2021. For celebration, he even tweeted a graphic commemorating the important milestones in Connecticut’s gaming history.
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
As you can see, it starts with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe opening gambling halls in 1986, and ends with the current governor signing the online gambling bill.
The land of the Mashantucket is home to one of the major poker venues on the East Coast, the Foxwoods Resort Casino. It was originally the first bingo hall opened in 1986. In 1992, it was formed into a casino with a full game selection. Their poker room was formerly known as the WPT World Poker Room (until 2012). It is the largest poker room outside California with 114 tables. They were home to such poker festivals as the WSOP Circuit Foxwoods, the Foxwoods Poker Classic, or the Moneymaker PSPC Tour.
Famous Connecticuter Poker Players
Currently, Mark Dube from Newburyport, CT tops the all time list on Hendon for the Nutmeg State. He has $2.385 million in lifetime live tournament earnings. In February 2015, he came in 2nd in the $3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship event in Hollywood, FL for $434,462. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
Poker player, rap music promoter, and nightclub owner Paul Darden is second on that list with $2.227 million in live cashes. He is from New Haven, CT and was mentored by none other than poker legend Phil Ivey.
He has a WSOP gold bracelet from the $2,600 7-Card Stud event in 2001. Darden’s biggest live cash to date is $300,000, which he got for a 5th place finish in the $10,200 WPT Limit Hold’em event at the PartyPoker.com Million IV Cruise.
– Playing Live Poker in Connecticut –
Live Poker Legislation in Connecticut
It may come as a surprise, but poker is actually illegal in the state of Connecticut. The website of the state’s Department of Consumer Protection writes: “According to Section 53-278a of the General Statutes of Connecticut, poker is listed as one of the forms of gambling that are illegal in Connecticut.” Poker is only acceptable in a “social gambling” setting, where the house doesn’t collect rake.
Thankfully, poker also can be played in casinos on tribal land, thanks to the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Outside Native American land, only bingo, horse race and dog race betting, as well as the state lottery are legally playable games of chance.
Live Poker Venues in Connecticut
We’ve mentioned the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, CT in our intro, for having the largest poker room on the East Coast. Evidently, in such a huge room, you have a vast cash game selection.
You have No Limit Hold’em tables on $1/$2, $2/$5, $5/$10, and $10/$25 stakes; Limit Hold’em tables on $2/$4, $4/$8, $5/$10, $10/$20, and $20/$40 stakes; Pot Limit Omaha on $2/$5 stakes; Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better on $5/$10 stakes; as well as Limit 7-Card Stud tables on $1/$3, $1/$5, $5/$10, $10/$20, $20/$40 and $75/$150 stakes. If you can’t pick one from all the games, they have mixed game tables for you on $75/$150 and $150/$300 stakes.
As for tournaments, the annual WSOP Circuit Foxwoods has events with buy-ins ranging from $250 up to $3,250, with a $1,700 buy-in Main Event.
At the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, the poker room offers daily NLHE and NLHE bounty tournaments, according to their website. Unfortunately, their tournament schedule is not available online.
Their cash game selection is wider than most casinos in the world. Again, according to their official website, they offer No limit and Limit Texas Hold’em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, Razz, 2-7 Triple Draw and even the rare draw game Badugi. However, they don’t post any information about the stakes.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Connecticut –
Foxwoods Resort Casino
Mohegan Sun Connecticut
Online Poker in Connecticut
We’ve mentioned in our intro the bill that legalized sports betting and online gambling in Connecticut, passed in 2021.
Lawmakers were hoping the online gambling launch under new rules could come by the start of the 2021-2022 NFL season. However, that deadline is likely to be too tight, if we go by the examples of other states.
Two online sportsbooks, Fanduel and DraftKings have already partnered with the two major tribal casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, respectively. As for online poker rooms, no site has announced a bid for a CT licence yet. Likely, sites who have a US market presence already will be the ones lauching in Connecticut, such as PokerStars, 888, or WSOP.com.