Currency: United States Dollar ($)
State Name Abbreviation: DE
Time Zone: UTC-5
Casinos with Poker
- Delaware Park Casino
- Harrington Raceway & Casino
- Dover Downs Casino (poker room closed)
Delaware is a small state that lies on the Delmarva Peninsula on the East Coast of the United States. It’s named after the Delaware River. However, it’s also known as “the First State”, for being the first to ratify the US Constitution in 1787.
It was also one of the first states in the Union to pass another important piece of legislation – although definitely not as important as the one in 1787. In June 2012, they became the third state to legalize online poker after the infamous Black Friday events took place in 2011.
Since then, Pennsylvania has joined these three in making internet poker legal – however, more than 5 years had passed in between. So, this small state has great significance in the world of American poker.
As of land based gambling, its history goes way back – even before the United States became its own country. The first horse race tracks appeared in the 1760’s. The love of betting on horse races persists in this region – all the major casinos there are also racetracks to this day. The state lottery dates back to the 18th Century as well.
The first racetrack to also open a casino on its premises in Delaware was the Dover Downs in 1995.
Famous Delawarian Poker Players
Abraham Korotki from Bethany Beach, DE tops the Delaware all time money list on Hendon with $1.901 million in tournament cashes.
In February 2006, he took down the $10K NLHE Championship Event at the Atlantic City stop of the WSOP Circuit. The tournament was held at Harrah’s Atlantic City Casino, and Korotki took home $433,008 along with his first WSOPC ring. This is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
Later in 2006, he managed to make it into the money in the WSOP Main Event – he took 524th place for $20,617 in the largest ME field ever, 8,773 players. In 2017, he won another WSOP Circuit ring in Atlantic City.
Despite being one of the only 4 states with a legal online poker market, we haven’t seen any online poker crushers from Delaware yet. On PocketFives, only one player with a DE location is listed with public results. Josh Kitts has cashed for a modest $6,818 in online MTT’s, playing under the screen names “jkitts89” on PokerStars and “WizardOfOdds” on partypoker.
– Playing Live Poker in Delaware –
Live Poker Legislation in Delaware
The Delaware State Constitution Article 2, section 17 states that the only forms of legal gambling are state-run lotteries, horse race betting and bingo.
Luckily, despite that, later articles were added to the penal code that allowed for other casino games and poker to be legally played there as well. 3-10001 et seq. and 11-1401 et seq. in the Delaware Code covers the current laws on gambling.
The local gambling authority is called the Delaware Gaming Enforcement. They were established after a Delaware State House bill was passed in 2010. They list three licenced casinos in the state on their website.
Live Poker Venues in Delaware
At the Delaware Park Casino in the city of Wilmington, DE you can find quite a bit of cash game and tournament action. As for cash games, they have $1/$2 and $2/$5 No Limit Hold’em tables. At the $2/$5 table, they even have a promotion called “Game Night” – every Wednesday and Friday between 4 PM and 8 PM they don’t take any rake out of the pots!
Their tournament schedule is quite busy. They usually have 2-3 events on weekdays; while on weekends, they can even hold 4 events in one day. The majority of their tournaments have a standard $65 buy-in. If you’re looking for lower than that, they have one for $50. If you’re looking for higher, they have one event with a $120 buy-in. All of the tourneys are NLHE. However, the last major poker festival they hosted was the Mid Atlantic Poker Championships back in 2016.
At Harrington Raceway & Casino in the town of Harrington, you can play daily tournaments. The buy-ins are either $35 with one re-buy, or $60 with one re-buy and add-ons. On Wednesdays, they have a $60 PLO tourney as well.
The poker room at the third licenced Delaware casino, Dover Downs, sadly shut down in the summer of 2019. The management said at the time that they made this decision in order to maximize profits.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Delaware –
Delaware Park Hotel
Harrington Raceway & Casino
Dover Downs Casino
Online Poker in Delaware
As we mentioned in our intro, the Delaware State Congress passed the law to make online poker – along with other online casino games – legal in June 2012. The first internet casinos and poker sites went live in October 2013.
Things got even better for the Delawarian online poker players in 2019, when it was announced that Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware could share liquidity from that point onwards – meaning that the players from these three states can play against each other in the same pool.
However, choices for online poker sites are still scarce for Delaware players. Also, the little choice there is is effectively meaningless.
The three licenced brick-and-mortar casinos – listed above – can offer online poker to locals. However, they’re all just skins of the 888Poker Network with the same software and the same layout. Thus the only real choice for Delawarians, if they wish to get some real poker action on the internet, is to play on 888.