Capital: Oklahoma City
Currency: United States Dollar ($)
State Name Abbreviation: OK
Time Zone: UTC-6
Casinos with Poker
- Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant
- Choctaw Casino & Resort-Pocola
- Grand Casino Hotel & Resort
- Downstream Casino
Oklahoma is an important location for American gambling.
In 1988, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Reagan. It allowed Native American tribes to decide for themselves whether they want to have casinos on their reservations.
Oklahoma, where many Native People – such as the Creek, the Cherokee and the Chickasaw – have their territories, greatly benefited from the new legislation. It has the second largest Native American population (320,000) among all 50 states, second only behind California. Soon, dozens of “Indian casinos” opened across the state.
For poker players, the most significant venue of those is the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, OK. Many important poker festivals, including WSOP Circuit and World Poker Tour events, have been held there. The CBS Sports show Poker Night in America has also filmed televised cash game sessions there.
Also, the largest casino in the world based on gaming floor space, the WinStar World Casino, is located in Thackerville, OK.
However, despite being a major land based gambling hub, unfortunately Oklahoma still doesn’t have their own legal and regulated online poker market.
Famous Oklahoman Poker Players
Bobby Baldwin, born in Tulsa, OK, won the 1978 WSOP Main Event. He is also a legendary casino executive who was instrumental in the opening of the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. The famous super high stakes cash game room in that casino, Bobby’s Room, is named after him.
Ben Lamb, also from Tulsa, has collected $11.381 million in live tournament cashes. He has won one WSOP gold bracelet so far. In 2011, he took down the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event for $814,436. He made it to the final table in WSOP Main Event twice: in 2011, he took 3rd place for $4.021 million; in 2017, he took 9th place for $1 million.
Berry Johnston is another Oklahoma man with a WSOP Main Event title. He claimed poker’s most coveted championship in 1986 and got $570,000 for it. He has four other bracelets – making his total bracelet count a remarkable 5. Johnston is one of the 10 players with 5 World Series bracelets to his name, and is among the only 26 players with 5 bracelets or more.
– Playing Live Poker in Oklahoma –
Live Poker Legislation in Oklahoma
Gambling is technically illegal in the state of Oklahoma. As gamblingsites.com writes: “Defined in statue 21-982, commercial gaming includes anything from taking profits from a gambling place to conducting an illegal lottery. Anybody found guilty of violating commercial gaming laws is subject to a $25,000 fine and up to 10 years in state prison.”
However, we mentioned the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. Native American people in their territories can operate land casinos legally. And many of them do – according to 500nations, a website dedicated to information about Indian casinos and the Indian cannabis industry – there are a total of 143 tribal casinos in the state.
They’re reporting to the Gaming Compliance Unit within Oklahoma’s State Compliance Agency (SCA).
Live Poker Venues in Oklahoma
We’ve talked about the Choctaw Casino Resort in the city of Durant. Their year-round cash room runs 24/7, and offers No Limit Hold’em games on $1/$2, $1/$3, $2/$5, and $5/$10 stakes, as well as Pot Limit Omaha games on $1/$2, $2/$5, and $10/$25 stakes.
The list of major poker tourney series they’ve hosted is impressive. Every year the WSOP Circuit has a stop in this venue. Their buy-ins are usually between $100 and the $1,700 Main Event, with the exception of a $2,200 High Roller held in the fall of 2019.
Other major reoccurring poker events in the casino include: the annual WPT Choctaw, the Card Player Poker Tour Choctaw, and the Choctaw Spring and Fall Poker Series.
The Choctaw tribe operates another casino in the town of Pocola with a running poker room as well.
You can also play poker at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, OK. They were home to such poker festivals as the RUNGOOD Poker Series, the Firelake Grand Poker Championship, and the Ironman Poker Challenge. This room offers monthly NLHE and PLO tournaments, as well as daily cash games year-round.
The Downstream Casino Resort is located in the town of Quapaw. Their cash room has NLHE tables on stakes ranging from $1/$2 up to $5/$10, as well as a $1/$2/$5 PLO table.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Oklahoma –
Choctaw Casino Resort Durant
Choctaw Casino & Resort-Pocola
Grand Casino Hotel & Resort
Online Poker in Oklahoma
Online gambling, or online poker per se, is not mentioned anywhere in the Oklahoma Statutes. However, the penal code is very clear about gambling – there is no ambiguity there, unfortunately, online gambling is illegal in the state of Oklahoma.
The tribal casinos can’t operate online gambling sites either, as they could only serve players from their territory.
However, there is some good news here as well: no person has ever been prosecuted in Oklahoma for playing online poker. So, if you join a site like Ignition, which does not restrict players from US regions, you can most likely get away with some online poker action.