Ranking the Top 30 Poker Cities

Jan. 11, 2012, Posted by Brandon.Adams

Ranking the Top 30 Poker Cities

In advance of the international poker gathering known as Aussie Millions, below is my attempt to rank the top thirty poker cities in the world.

It's an intuitive ranking, not based on explicitly quantitative factors, and no doubt some of you will find it laughable, particularly as we get towards the end of the list. I'm attempting to assess the overall current level of activity in the poker scene, considering both private games and casino games. I'm restricting attention to big bet games with buy-ins over $500, and I'm awarding minor bonus points for the presence of very big games.

1. Las Vegas

2. Los Angeles

3. Macau

4. Miami/Lauderdale

5. London

6. New York City

7. Ledyard, CT (Foxwoods)

8. Atlantic City, NJ

9. Chicago/Hammond

10. Biloxi, MS

11. Houston, TX

12. Tampa, FL

13. Melbourne, AU

14. San Diego, CA (including far NW area)

15. Paris, France

16. Pompano/West Palm Beach, FL

17. San Francisco/San Jose

18. New Orleans, LA

19. Dallas, TX

20. Vienna/Baden

21. Daytona Beach, FL

22. Tunica, MS

23. Kansas City, KS

24. Lafayette, LA

25. Murrakech, Morocco

26. Reno, NV

27. Goa, India

28. Lake Tahoe, CA

29. Amsterdam, Holland

30. Montreal

If this list generates enough discussion, I'll write a follow-up column where I refine the list and go into more detail. Email me at and contact me on twitter (). Use #pokercity on Twitter.

I'm particularly curious about the following places: Sun City, South Africa; Cebu, Philippines; Rio, Brazil; Dubai; Berlin; St Petersburg/Moscow (private only now); Italy (all cities); France (all cities); Spain (all cities); Vancouver; Hong Kong; Singapore; Scandinavia (though I have no reason to think there's poker in any major Scandinavian city); Japan (any city); Singapore.

Originally from New Orleans, Brandon Adams entered the Doctorate in Business Administration program at Harvard Business School in 2001 (he went ABD in May 2004).  Brandon taught eighteen courses at Harvard, including twelve sections of “Behavioral Finance” and two sections of “Fun and Games” (game theory).  Most recently, he taught four sections of “The US in the World Economy,"in 2009 and 2010. 

He’s been a regular in the biggest poker games held over the past five years.  He's played on High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark, and numerous other televised cash games and tournaments.  Adams is the author of the self-published Broke: A Poker Novel.  He is also the Founder of ExpertInsight.com, a digital business that uses the internet’s sweet spot – disintermediation – to connect experts in all fields with those who need consultation services.

Players looking for a helping hand in starting there poker careers should check out our free bankroll offers, where you can get up to $250 without making a deposit.

What Others Are Saying

14 Comments about Ranking the Top 30 Poker Cities

knircky says:

11th of January 2012

So i like your try. I am a low stakes player, max i played is 5/10 or 2k buy ins. I feel that AC is way to low on the list and also feel u are forgetting the Philly area which should be above NYC for sure. Parx a philly casino is like the 3rd largest poker room in the world i think with 65 tables. AC must also be way before London. the vic in London is a joke compared with AC or Philly

leoslayer says:

11th of January 2012

surprised that seattle did not make the cut.


11th of January 2012

I was also wondering why Philly didn't make the list. There's at least four casinos that I can think of within an hours drive of the place. And that's not even considering Atlantic City. Great discussion though.

Greg Buelt says:

11th of January 2012

Phoenix is the home of 2 large poker casinos, one of which has 48 tables and the other with ~15-20. The larger hosts a regularly run 40-80 and/or 75/150 mix along with various other limits.

Chris says:

12th of January 2012

How does Foxwoods itself beat out large cities like San Diego, Atlantic City, Philadelphia? Not really understanding the logic behind that particular pick.

concerned says:

12th of January 2012

Great list True pro's understand this is more than just a place to play. Got to think of the environment of morons you have to be associated with. AC= Pretty dark spot. Biloxi= Beau pretty much a joke if your from the south area best to skip over coast and go straight to Tunica

Babat says:

12th of January 2012

And what about San Remo ? And Cannes ? The place for High Stakes in Europe, Monaco ?

Michael says:

12th of January 2012

this is a nit-picking thing, but the Kansas City casinos are all in Kansas City, Missouri, not Kansas. Kansas City, Kansas is getting a casino with a poker room, but it won't open for another couple of weeks.

Sapol says:

13th of January 2012

I see that you didn't include any Brazilian cities which is pretty weird imo. They have very big games and their economy is booming. They probably have higher stakes than USA right now.

Sofia says:

13th of January 2012

Why would there not be poker in scandinavia? (There is.)

Mo says:

16th of January 2012

Where is Moscow, Russia? Just ask Tony G.... big big games and plenty of clubs (underground since casinos were closed and banned).

Mr. Comet says:

17th of January 2012

Sun City, South Africa didn't have poker when I was there (Dec 2011) I looked on the internet before going and it seems there tourney was a one-off event.

jim antley says:

14th of March 2012

where are poker rooms in Lafayette, La.?

PokerPro says:

9th of May 2012

^ In the garbage can.

Have Your Say

Tell us what you think...

(will not be posted)