Poker Tournaments in Virginia in 2023 – VA Poker Tournaments Schedule & Results
In general, Virginia has always had a negative attitude toward gambling. At first, legalized gambling was limited to lottery and racetracks. Then, the Old Dominion (sort of) added charitable poker tournaments to the mix and land-based casinos, allowing players to participate in live Texas Hold’em competitions for the first time.
There have been several attempts to legalize online gambling but to no avail. Therefore, online poker tournaments are available to VA players only via sweepstakes sites and international poker platforms.
Poker Tournaments in Virginia
The law stipulates that everyone who indulges in illegal gambling is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor, which involves up to $500 in fines and no jail time. However, those that try running online facilities may face felony convictions — fines up to $20,000 and 10-year imprisonment.
Interestingly, despite lacking a formal poker market, the Old Dominion has produced several professionals. Here’s a list of the most successful ones, as well as their total winnings:
- Justin Bomono — $61,954,782
- John Gabe Patgorski — $7,832,693
- John Myung — $2,816,249
- John Gorsuch — $2,152,365
However, when it comes to participating in online poker tournaments on offshore sites, the law remains surprisingly silent — it doesn’t allow them, but it also doesn’t ban them. Thus, without explicit provision in the state code, online poker falls into an ambiguous realm. Players often take advantage of this gray area to play at international poker rooms.
Generally, such platforms cater to US players (including Virginians) and offer a variety of cash games and tournaments. Thus, it isn’t surprising that so many players from the Old Dominion have joined them.
Online Poker Tournaments in Virginia
As previously noted, online poker rooms are banned. Virginia statutes stipulate that all chance games are prohibited, but this doesn’t refer to skill games, which is evident from the following paragraph:
“Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent any contest of speed or skill between men, animals, fowl or vehicles, where participants may receive prizes or different percentages of a purse, stake or premium dependent upon whether they win or lose or dependent upon their position or score at the end of such contest.”
This provision has started many debates in the past, and there were multiple court cases in Virginia where players claimed that poker was a game of skill, not chance, and should, therefore, be legal. Unfortunately, the courts rejected all such appeals.
So far, neither lawmakers nor other internet gambling regulators have shown interest in legalizing online poker.
However, one thing that might be the beacon of hope is the legalization of daily fantasy sports in 2016 and sports betting in 2021, showing that state lawmakers are slowly opening up toward internet gambling. This sparks hope that online poker might be next in line.
Even so, VA poker fans aren’t left out when it comes to playing online poker. Virginia permits sweepstakes and social poker sites, so this is option number one for those seeking poker action. The second option is to participate in offshore poker tourneys.
Online poker players who are physically present in the state have never been prosecuted for playing online poker. Thus, from a legal standpoint, you are free to join such platforms and compete in poker tournaments. Check out our list of recommended offshore poker rooms to get started.
Common Poker Tournaments on Offshore Sites
Offshore poker platforms usually have packed tournament schedules. They host multiple daily and weekly events with guarantees from thousands to several hundred thousand dollars. Freezeouts and SnGs are the most common tournament formats, but you can also participate in:
- Heads up
On the other hand, multi-table tournaments (MMTs) and DeepStacks guarantee massive prize pools that can sometimes reach seven figures.
Land-Based Poker Tournaments in Virginia
Virginia came to the land-based casino party way too late. The first state-licensed gambling establishments saw the light of day in 2022 and 2023, and some are still under construction.
There have been multiple attempts to legalize brick-and-mortar casinos over the years. The Virginia General Assembly finally approved legislation SB1126 and allowed voters to decide whether their city should receive a casino license. In November 2020, voters from four cities approved casinos in Norfolk, Danville, Bristol, and Portsmouth, while those from Richmond rejected their casino plan.
The first three are owned by Native American tribes but are licensed as commercial gambling venues. This is because the Old Dominion has no federally-approved Indian casinos. The fourth one, Rivers Casino Portsmouth, is also commercial and the only one with live poker games.
It’s worth noting that the state legalized charity Texas Hold’em poker tournaments in 2019 in authorized bingo facilities. Still, the legislators couldn’t decide whether to permit occasional tournaments or full-time poker halls. Since final approval has not yet been granted, poker in such venues is technically still illegal.
Soon after, charitable venues and bingo halls started operating poker cash games and tournaments. Although none of them have permits, this didn’t stop one of the chairmen of the Charitable Gaming Board, Chuck Lessin, from opening a poker room — Pop’s Poker. Virginia players could enjoy cash games and live-action tournaments, but the room is currently closed. So, we’ll have to wait and see how the Old Dominion will sort out this legal confusion.
Although Virginia has few opportunities for playing live poker, it is not surprising many VA players cross the border and go to neighboring West Virginia. The Mountain State has five land-based casinos housing cash games and riveting tournaments.
How to Register for an Online Poker Tournament in VirginiaOnline tournaments are common at offshore poker sites, and signing up for them is simple. Here’s what you need to do if you decide to join an online poker room:
Pick the right online poker roomOur list comprises only the best poker rooms, so you can choose the one that suits your preferences.
SignupOnce you have decided, click the link to access the website. In addition, you can register with multiple poker rooms and compare their tournament offerings.
The operator may require you to verify your account through the link you received via email. Once done, log in using your credentials.
Deposit & PlayClick the Payment tab to decide on a deposit method. You can usually choose among cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, and digital currencies. Next, you must fill in the details and the amount you wish to transfer.
Take advantage of the bonuses when you join. You can use them to increase your bankroll, play longer, and increase your chances of winning.
Search for tournaments that match your skill level and budget. Depending on the operator, you can choose from bounties, rebuys, freezeouts, and more. Good luck!
Virginia Land-Based Casinos With Poker TournamentsAlthough Virginia is not exactly a haven for poker enthusiasts, you can find live poker action there. There is only one state-licensed casino that offers poker:
|Poker room||Address||Number of poker tables|
|Rivers Casino Portsmouth||3630 Victory Blvd, Portsmouth, Virginia 23701||24|
As previously noted, Virginia allows charitable Texas Hold’em tournaments. Here are some bingo venues that offer them:
- The Beach Poker Room — 444 S Lynnhaven Rd, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23452
- Centerville Moose Lodge — 3529 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
- Victory Poker Lounge — 4040 McLean St, Portsmouth, Virginia 23701-2804
Virginia Poker Tournaments Schedule
You will find up-to-date information on upcoming online poker tournaments welcoming Virginia players here:
No Events Currently
Check back again, An event maybe on its way soon
Best Poker Rooms To Play Online Tournaments In Virginia
My list of the best US poker sites which I consider to be the best rooms to play in 2023:
- BetOnline Poker
- Ignition Poker
- Everygame Poker
- Juicy Stakes Poker
- ACR Poker
- Bovada Poker
- BlackChip Poker
- SportsBetting Poker
100% Legal & Licensed Verified Bonus Mobile Friendly Advertiser Disclosure. Must be +18 to participate.
Final ThoughtsVirginia players still have a long way to go before they can play real-money online poker or participate in online tournaments. There is no doubt that the winds of change are blowing in the right direction, considering the legalization of DFS in 2016 and sports betting in 2021. Even the willingness to regulate charitable poker tournaments is a testament to the legislators’ change of heart.
In the meantime, VA poker fans can participate in various high- and low-stakes poker tournaments at offshore sites. Check out our list of the best poker competitions in Virginia, follow our instructions to sign up, and start playing immediately.