Amenities reopened on January 31st, much to be expected. Massachusetts poker fans gathered for the first time since March 2020. However, they were soon met with long waiting lists, not only due to the backlog of demand over two years, but also due to the fact that the room offered only 12 tables, which is 60 less than before the pandemic.
Due to the current state of our operations, we do not have real estate in our game room to bring poker back to its pre-COVID capabilities, Encore Boston Harbor staff told PokerNews in December.
Tournaments are also currently off-schedule and it remains unclear if they will be back anytime soon.
In many cases, large rosters meant no players were in the game, especially with the room closing at 8 hours of the evening. But the second source of concern after the reopening was the high rake in cash games, which prompted players to express their dissatisfaction on social media. The venue allegedly charges 10% rake up to $10 per hand, including low limit games.
Among the poker enthusiasts who rated the high-rake venue in cash games was Chase Bianchi, who finished 9th in the $1 million World Series of Poker Main Event 2021.
“I will not play 5/10 or lower at Encore Boston Harbor with their absurd 10% up to $10 in rake,” he tweeted. “Operation Nuclear Poker has begun! You guys did a great job!”
The Encore Boston Harbor poker room is located in The Loft and is open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. According to its website, it's open with 12 tables, free in-play drinks, a Bad Beat jackpot (up to $2-5 unlimited), promotions (up to $2-5 unlimited), 18 55-inch TVs, and 6 large-screen TVs. and remote registration to Poker Atlas for various games.
Prior to reopening, the cardroom had already announced that it would be back with a limited number of tables, prompting protests from local residents. At the time, the casino explained that “staff level” issues were also the reason the room only opened for a week at the time.
Poker's extended shutdown in 2021 led to what happened last year The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has received a string of complaints as neither Encore nor MGM Springfield Casinos — the only two in the state to offer the game — relaunched it in May after reopening. Poker returned to MGM last October, and now Encore has followed suit, albeit with some controversy.