Back in the day when Abe Limon was running the Live at the Bike! channel, he used to say that Los Angeles (home of the Bicycle Hotel & Casino) was the Poker Capital of the World.
He probably still says it to this day, even though he’s rarely in front of a camera anymore. Limon may be right – as usual.
But there are other cities out there where the poker flows like red wine into Kathie Lee Gifford’s glass.
Here are our Top 5 candidates for Poker Capital of the World; it’s a subjective title in the end, but if you’re looking for a prime destination to play the Beautiful Game, all five of these locations should be on your bucket list.
Is Los Angeles Still the Best Place for Poker?
Greater Los Angeles remains the best place to play live poker in the United States – for the most part.
They have the most poker tables running at any one time, with the Bike (185 tables according to Poker Atlas), the Gardens Casino (184), and the Commerce (150 tables) leading the way.
There’s a lot more than just No-Limit Texas Hold’em on the menu, and the games are about as soft as you could hope for.
On the downside, L.A. is also one of the most expensive places to live, and southern California is a climate nightmare at the moment. But as long as you’re not playing the lowest stakes, the expense is worth it.
Where Can I Find Poker Rooms
You’ll find more poker rooms in Las Vegas, but fewer tables overall. This is the place to be if you’re just starting out at $1/$3 Hold’em; the cost of living is much lower in Vegas, and there are still tons of “mixed” games you can play as well.
The tournament scene is also better than the one in Los Angeles, with the World Series of Poker at the very top of the mountain – although that won’t matter if you’re a dedicated cash player like Limon.
What Is the Best Poker Room in the World
If you’re looking specifically for the best poker room in the world, the Playground Poker Club is your huckleberry. That’s what many of today’s top players are saying, at least.
The Playground is just outside of Montreal in Kahnawake, the center of the larger Kahnawake Mohawk Territory; it’s an absolute dream venue for tournament players, and the cash games are reasonably loose, although it’s mostly Hold’em and low-stakes Pot-Limit Omaha.
Will the Best Single Poker Room Be in London?
The poker games might be a bit tougher now that so many of those great white whales have had their assets frozen – and you could argue that the best single poker room in all of Europe is Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham.
But London is still awash in loose poker money, and you can’t go wrong with amazing venues like the Hippodrome, the Empire, Aspers, and the Grosvenor Victoria, aka “The Vic.”
Where Can I Attend the Largest Tournament Series in Europe
It was difficult leaving Macau and Manila off this list for geopolitical reasons, and Melbourne would have been an easy choice before Crown Resorts Limited found themselves in hot water over money laundering.
But as a poker destination, you can’t get much better than Dublin, home of the Irish Poker Open – the largest tournament series in Europe.
The Irish Poker Open returned with a vengeance in 2022, drawing a record 2,014 players to their Main Event after nearly three years in COVID lockdown. Let’s hope Irish eyes continue to smile in 2023 and beyond.