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Where to Play Poker in Annapolis

| May 14, 2021, 04:12 PM

Everyone that has had as much as a fleeting interest in poker remembers it reaching its popularity peak during the turn of the millennium. Poker was all the rage back then. However, it slightly fell out of favor over the past decade, only to recently make a comeback. In 2020, gambling giant Flutter Entertainment reported a massive uplift in PokerStars player numbers, claiming an increase in gaming revenues of 165%.

Those figures are not unexpected, given that brick-and-mortar venues remained closed throughout 2020. Nevertheless, that turn of events also led to the rise of social poker apps such as PokerFace and announced that this card game is back in style.

Sadly, there are no money poker spots in Annapolis to enjoy. The game itself is legal in Maryland, but only at licensed casinos and nowhere else. Thus, if you want to get in on some Texas Hold ‘Em or Omaha action, here are your options.

World Tavern Poker – Bar Poker League

World Tavern Poker is the largest bar poker league in the US. The concept behind this project got hatched in 2004 by tavern owner Joe Hatch, who took note of the poker boom of the mid-2000s. Thus, he set out to run a nationwide competition that would be easy to monitor and affordable for bar owners to run.

Every World Tavern Poker event is a No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em tournament that is free to play. The number of participants in these contests can range from a few people to several hundred, depending on interest. The league awards annual prizes that total $100,000, and it provides forty seats to the World Series of Poker.

Host establishments offer weekly events over two twenty-six-week seasons. These local competitions get grouped by state or territory. Every year, there are Maryland regionals, and Annapolis residents can qualify for them via events held at O’Brien’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant. Interested parties can find this American-style dining venue at 113 Main Street Annapolis.

Local Social Games

Home poker games are illegal in Maryland. So, you cannot play cards for real money outside of a licensed casino. However, that does not mean that you cannot enjoy the game for fun. Many poker enthusiasts seek out like-minded individuals that share their passion for this American pastime. You can find such people on platforms like Meetup. That is an online service used to organize in-person events for people with similar interests. At the time of writing, there are a few Annapolis poker groups listed on the mentioned platform.

Alternatively, poker mavens can seek out social games or people with card skills to invite over via sites and apps like Craigslist, Friender, Skout, and ClassifiedAds.com.

Live! Casino & Hotel & the Horseshoe Casino

As mentioned, you can play real money poker at Maryland’s six casinos. The closest one to Annapolis is Live! Casino & Hotel, which is about a twenty-five-minute drive from downtown via I-97 N. It is a vast entertainment complex with a six-story parking garage that opened its doors in June of 2012. The casino’s poker room launched in August of 2013, and it features 52 tables spreading Hold ‘Em, Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud 24/7. There are options for players of any skill and budget level here.

The Horseshoe Casino is the second-closest casino, located on Russel Street in Baltimore, less than a thirty-minute drive from Annapolis. It boasts a gaming floor that is 122,000 square feet on two floors. There, card lovers will find twenty-five poker tables and one hundred and fifty video poker machines. In the poker room, expect to see No-Limit Hold ‘Em tables. Know that the Horseshoe has hosted many WSOP events in the past, so do not get surprised if you notice some familiar faces there.

Online Poker Sites

Remember, online poker is an option worth considering. If you want to enjoy the game with money on the line, foreign sites accept US residents regardless of state laws. There have not been any notable cases of authorities targeting individual internet poker players. Therefore, Maryland citizens are free to enjoy online poker sites that have an international gaming license. These platforms are as reputable as those regulated by New Jersey’s division of gaming enforcement.

The benefits of playing online poker are the freedom to join tournaments at any time of the day, more variants to choose from, faster action, better promotions, and Rakeback.

To Wrap Up

If you want to enjoy poker simply as a social hobby, look into the World Tavern League events held at O’Brien’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant. It may lead to a spot at a WSOP table and notoriety within the poker world. If you are out to earn a few bucks, visit the Horseshoe or Live! Casino, or sign up at an online poker site of your choice.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Shelly Schiff

Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.

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