Part one of my Poker in Chicago examined the famous players in the area. Part two here will feature a look at the best Chicagoland area casinos and other venues/forums for Chicago poker.
Chicagoland Area Casinos
Empress Casino: Joliet, IL (open 8:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m. seven days a week)
While the Harrah’s in the area does not have a poker room, the newly renovated Empress Casino features live poker and a new high-limit, VIP for big game players.
About an hour away from the city, the Empress Casino also features a hotel on the premises for those who do not want to drive late nights or want to enjoy a few drinks while playing.
Grand Victoria Casino: Elgin, IL (open 8:30 a.m.-6 a.m. daily)
Also an hour so away from the city, the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin features a brand new poker room offering both limit and no-limit hold ’em.
An added bonus for people traveling from the city is that the Metra train station is just half a mile from the casino making it an easy walk to and from the casino.
Hollywood Casino: Aurora, IL (open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday, Friday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-5:30 a.m.)
Along with a live poker room, Hollywood Casino offers weekly Wednesday tournaments
for $160 (approximately 88 player tournament, $8,500 in prizes) and $90 (single table tournament, $500 for winner and $250 for second place)
The Hollywood Casino is also within walking distance from the Aurora Metra station (approximately two-thirds of a mile walk) again making it convenient for Chicagoans to take the train out and set up shop at the poker table.
Potawatomi Bingo and Casino: Milwaukee, WI (open 24 hours)
For an excellent poker experience Illinois poker players would be advised to take the 90 minute trip up to Milwaukee to the massive Potawatomi Poker Room that has also been recently renovated.
The accommodating, modern poker room features seven card stud and Omaha to go along with limit and no-limit hold ’em games to give poker players of all different games the opportunity to compete in the live settings. Games are also offered with a wide variety of stakes for both seasoned and relatively new players.
For people who may not want to make the drive to Milwaukee, the Amtrak Hiawatha line to Milwaukee (with stations downtown at Union Station and in Glenview, IL) stops a short cab ride or moderately long walk in good weather (about two and a half miles straight down St. Paul) from the casino.
The Chicago Poker Meet Up Group
offers a few tournaments a year for players in various games, with the next event being held at the Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Indiana (just east of the Illinois border).
At the Illinois page of Home Poker Games
you can find various home games and tournaments held in the city and other parts of the state. The upcoming Windy City Charitable Games event
should be of great interest to any Chicago area poker players.
Finally, Chicago Poker News
can give you updated information and links about places to play and all the latest news about poker in the Chicagoland area.