Encore Boston Harbor Poker Room Finally Reopens with Limited Tables
- The card room reopens for the first time since the pandemic
- There were long queues during the first two days mainly due to limited seating
- Players raise concern over massive rake on low-stakes games
The poker room at Encore Boston Harbor is now back in operation after being closed for nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The room reopened on January 31, coinciding with the management’s earlier promise to resume its live poker operations this year.
The long-awaited reopening has generated excitement among plenty of poker players and fans who are eager to return to the live venue, but some were left disappointed by the limited tables and the huge rake charged on low-stakes games.
Shortly after the card room reopened its doors on Monday, the poker games filled up fast with long queues, mainly because of the limited tables currently running. Only 12 out of the original 72 tables pre-pandemic are active, and players will have to settle for that for the time being as according to a PR staff member, the room cannot go back to its pre-COVID capacity given the current state of its operations.
Massive Rake on Small-Stakes Games
A lot of players expressed their disappointment at the limited tables and shortened hours, but it’s the huge rake on cash games that’s receiving the most criticism.
Chase Bianchi, who finished 9th in the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event for $1 million, voiced his disgust at the high rake, describing it as “absurd“. The poker pro said the room is charging 10% up to $10 rake on 5/10 or lower games and that will push away some players, including him.
The high rake which also extends to the low-limit games will be hard to beat, even for the skilled players. Regardless, many players in the area will be left with no choice but to continue to play at Encore as there are no other rooms operating nearby. If they want to play elsewhere, they’ll need to drive for two hours from Encore to reach the Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods casino which charges a maximum rake of $5 for its low-stakes games.
Players in the Boston area are now torn between making a two-hour drive and paying for a lower rake and staying closer to home and enduring the higher rake.