Spurred by saturation TV coverage of poker tournaments that rival more physical sports for high-stakes drama, poker’s popularity has exploded throughout the U.S. in recent years.
And baby boomers are in the thick of the action. But what are the top spots to play in the country? Here are America’s top three poker-playing locations for traveling boomers:
The once impoverished town of Tunica, Mississippi, suddenly turned its fortunes around a few years ago and emerged as America’s third largest casino region (after Las Vegas and Atlantic City).
Located just 30 minutes from Memphis, Tunica offers avant-garde poker rooms, no-limit gaming, and warm Southern hospitality. Harrah’s Hotel and Casino, Hollywood Casino, and Bally’s are among the most popular places to play poker here. The Senior Poker Tour (SPT) at the Horseshoe Casino Tunica has made the town even more appealing. Launched in January 2014, the SPT is America’s first poker tournament for aficionados aged 50 and above, and comprises 18 events including a $550 buy-in championship match.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Amid the flashing lights and glitzy facades of its casinos, Las Vegas boasts baby boomer-friendly tourist spots and poker venues. The Bellagio Casino, home to party poker’s World Poker Tour (WPT), features “Bobby’s Room” – named after the 1978 World Series of Poker (WSOP) champion Bobby Baldwin. The high-limit poker room displays canvases of some of poker’s most memorable events – sure to inspire nostalgia among long-time players.
The Binion’s Gambling Hall, former venue of the WSOP, also houses a hall of fame for past WSOP champions. For those who missed out on the Senior Poker Tour in Tunica, Las Vegas will play host to the SPT Vegas Spring Classic at the Stratosphere Hotel in April, and the SPT National Championship at the Golden Nugget Casino in June.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Louisiana’s biggest city takes pride in its distinction as the birthplace of poker in the U.S.: New Orleans’ French founders introduced the card game of poque (or “cheating game,” as it was then known) into the city, which became the direct precursor of modern-day poker. Along with munching on beignets and visiting the French Quarter, playing Caribbean stud or 3-card poker at the Harrah’s New Orleans Casino or the Bally’s Belle of New Orleans is a must for poker-playing boomers. The city will also play host to some of the WSOP’s circuit events, which will be held at the Harrah’s this May.
The preceding was a guest post.