Poker in Ohio


Population: 11,690,000

Capital: Columbus

Currency: United States Dollar ($)

Time Zone: UTC-5

State Name Abbreviation: OH

Casinos with Poker

  • Hollywood Casino Columbus 
  • Shark Tank Poker Club
  • Hard Rock Cincinnati

Ohio is often in the focus of attention in presidential election years – it’s one of the biggest “swing states” in the country. When it comes to gambling, however, it doesn’t enjoy the same type of prime prominence.

Games of chance weren’t even legal in ‘the Buckeye State” until 2009. That year, their electorate voted in favor of a ballot initiative to legalize casino gaming in the state. Thus the state legislature was able to pass a bill allowing for a total of 4 land casinos to operate across the state, one each in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo. The $600 million in tax revenue the new venture was expected to generate was going to school districts and local governments, as the Wikipedia page for Casinos in Ohio states.

By today, the number of casinos has been extended from the original 4 to 13 currently running, according to’s numbers. The cities with the most gambling hubs are Columbus, the capital, and Cincinnati with 3 each.

As for poker, the Ohio Poker Championship (usually held in the capital city of Columbus) and the WSOP Circuit Cincinnati are the two biggest local tournament series.

Famous Ohio Poker Players

Chip Reese from Centerville, OH, is considered by many – including poker legend Doyle Brunson – to be the greatest cash game player of all time.

The trophy given to the winner of the $50K WSOP Poker Players Championship, the biggest mixed game event every year, is named after him. That is because he was the one who took down the first iteration of the event in 2006. It was the first ever WSOP tournament with a buy-in larger than the Main Event’s $10,000. Thus it attracted large media attention and the greatest poker players from around the world. Reese won it for $1.785 million.

David Peters sits currently on top of the Ohio All Time Money List on Hendon. He was born in the city of Toledo.

Peters has a staggering $33.74 million in live tournament earnings. With that sum, he is in the top 10 on the overall All Time Money List as well. In January 2016, he came in 2nd in the $200,000 NLHE Triton Super High Roller event at the WPT National Philippines for $2.7 million. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.


– Playing Live Poker in Ohio –

   Live Poker Legislation in Ohio

As we wrote in our intro, gambling was legalized in Ohio in 2009. First, the voters voted for legalized gambling through Issue 3 among the ballot initiatives. Prior to that, the state’s constitution banned games of chance.

Chapter 2915 covers gambling in the Ohio Revised Code. Licencing and regulation are under the purview of the Ohio Casino Control Commission.


  Live Poker Venues in Ohio

The Hollywood Casino in Columbus is the home to the Ohio Poker Championship. This series features events with buy-ins ranging from $150 up to the $550 Main Event. The casino has also been home to the Heartland Poker Tour with similarly sized events – buy-ins were between $200 and $350, except for the $1,650 HTP Main Event.

In their year-round poker room, they host a vast number of cash games. The No Limit Hold’em tables are on $1/$2, $2/$5, $5/$10, and $10/$25 stakes; the Limit Hold’em tables are on $4/$8, $5/$10, $10/$20, $15/$30 and $30/$60 stakes; the Pot Limit Omaha tables are $1/$2, $5/$5 and $5/$10; while the Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tables are $3/$6, $4/$8, $5/$10, and $10/$20.

You can also get some action at the Shark Tank Poker Club also in the capital city of Columbus – although the selection is a lot more scarce. They have $1/$2 and $2/$5 NLHE and $1/$2 PLO tables running.

The WSOP Circuit has held stops at Horseshoe Cincinnati – the last one having taken place in 2014. That venue is now called Hard Rock Cincinnati, and their poker room features NLHE cash tables on stakes ranging from $1/$3 up to $5/$10; Limit Hold’em cash tables on $4/$8 stakes, PLO cash tables from $1/$2 up to $10/$25; and Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better cash tables on $3/$6 and $6/$12 stakes.

– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Ohio –

Hollywood Casino Columbus

Shark Tank Poker Club

Hard Rock Cincinnati

  Online Poker in Ohio

Ohio, just like the majority of the states in the Union, doesn’t have a legal and regulated online gambling market.

What’s worse, there hasn’t even been any proposed legislation in the state congress that would make online gambling – including poker – legal. Thus, alas, Ohio poker players will most likely have to wait quite a bit before being able to play online without any “hassle”.