Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia opens poker room

December 04, 2014, Jo Kim  

After much anticipation, SugarHouse Casino opened Philadelphia’s first licensed poker room to the public on Nov. 1. The gigantic tent structure holds 24 state-of-the-art tables, valet kiosk and a snack bar on the south side of the building facing the Ben Franklin Bridge. The interim room is just a stepping stone to the beginning of a 13-month process toward building the permanent room connected to the main casino.

The opening week brought enough action to occupy half the room’s capacity on average. Many of the floor managers and staff are experienced as they come from nearby casinos in the area. The room allows a game feature of being able to straddle from any position.

This is only the beginning for Philadelphia’s first poker room as the $164M expansion will hold more tables and that means tournament opportunities. The new $2.9M room will most likely open late fall.
Nearby competition is responding to SugarHouse’s opening by running big promotions. Parx updated its tables to carry a cell-charging port in every seat.

TAJ MAHAL: Don’t forget the legendary Atlantic City poker room is closing Dec. 12.

WSOPC: The World Series of Poker Circuit runs Dec. 11-22 at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. There will be 12 ring events ($365-$1,675).

BIG STAX VII: The Parx series ran Sept. 30-Oct. 20, drawing 428 players for the $1,200 three-day main event. Travis Greenawalt of Columbia, Pa., had a roller-coaster ride with his stack, chipping down to the shortest stack at one point, but he got heads-up with Jacob Perry of Branchville, N.J., and finally took home the trophy with J-J.

POKER NIGHT IN AMERICA: Two familiar Borgata players, Andrew Hanna and Asher Conniff, from Brigantine, N.J., will make an appearance in an upcoming episode of Poker Night in America. Both won seats into the show through an online satellite tournament. The win gave them a $5K buy-in for the televised cash game that has a max buy-in of $20K.

Hanna, who has been consistently cashing out ridiculous amounts at the Borgata cash games, plans on beginning the session with his own money in addition to his starting stack.

“People often ask me how I’m able to run up cash-game stacks in excess of 1,200 big blinds,” he said. “The answer is … the deeper I get, the more hands I can play profitably via implied odds, and the more money I make.”

Hanna has been playing for five years, the past two as a pro.

“I’ve watched my game morph from fish, to TAG, to LAG and now I’m at the point where I don’t even know if I’m classifiable,” Hanna said. “It’s a great feeling when you finally attain comfort in your own skin. I look forward to trying to get better and challenge both mine and others’ theories on what’s considered conventional in poker.”

Amongst the lineup will be Phil Hellmuth, Jen Tilly, Huck Seed, David “ODB” Baker and Matt Glantz.

“I plan on tilting Hellmuth as much as I can,” Conniff said.

— Email Jo Kim at anteupjokim@gmail.com.