Motor City Casino Detroit Poker Room

Regulators unaware of casinos’ plans

  1. MotorCity Casino Hotel is a Detroit luxury hotel, conference, banquet hall and hotel meeting concept built from the ground up. It adjoins MotorCity Casino, the most electrifying gaming experience in Michigan.
  2. The Poker Room is temporarily closed. Our premier poker room offers a comfortable and contemporary atmosphere with heart racing action. Step inside and step up your game. Catch local and national sporting events on one of our 11 large screen TV's.

Our Poker Room features a variety of poker games to suit players of all levels. Texas Hold 'em is an all-time favorite of rookies and experts alike. At MotorCity Casino Hotel, we offer: 7-Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, Texas Hold'em.

Detroit’s three commercial casinos reopened about five weeks ago and now two say they are going to do the same with their poker rooms. The problem is, those plans are news to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

According to The Detroit News, the MotorCity Casino e-mailed customers last week, telling them that the poker room would open this week. A spokesperson for Penn Gaming, the parent company of Greektown Casino, told the newspaper that the casino hopes to start hosting poker games “in a few weeks”.

Motor city casino detroit poker room

the MGCB needs to approve such a decision

Mary Kay Bean, a spokesperson for the MGCB, said that the board will discuss poker rooms once a casino says it wants to reopen one, so it appears that the time for that would be about now. But when told specifically about MotorCity’s apparent intention to start dealing cards this week, Bean said the MGCB needs to approve such a decision.

“The casinos must follow (Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s) workplace safety executive order,” Bean told The Detroit News. “And the MGCB must approve the casinos’ plans on how social distancing and other health and safety requirements will be met.”

MGM Grand Detroit has no poker room plans for the near future.

Recovering from five-month closure

Michigan’s casinos closed in mid-March, as did casinos around the country, when the COVID-19 pandemic became impossible to ignore in the United States. Detroit casinos were among the last to reopen, as the city was one of the worst hit early on in the pandemic and serious mitigation efforts were required to get its COVID-19 numbers down to targeted levels.

Detroit casinos are only allowed to admit patrons up to 15% of capacity. Everybody in the casino must wear protective face coverings and all customers are subject to a temperature screening upon entry. Smoking is prohibited on the casino floor. And, as we have seen around the country, social distancing is required, facilitated by shutting off some electronic gaming devices.

The state’s two dozen tribal casinos enjoyed a competitive advantage over Detroit’s commercial casinos. That’s because they need not abide by the governor’s pandemic shutdown rules as they are on sovereign land. The tribal gambling facilities did close for a while, but some began reopening as early as late May.

There are no tribal casinos extremely close to Detroit, but several are within a reasonable distance. The closest is Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek, less than two hours away by car. Many tribal casinos are on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in more sparsely populated areas, where the hope is that they are less susceptible to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Las Vegas poker rooms ramping up

Many poker rooms around the country have reopened, despite being the riskiest gaming areas of a casino. With people sitting around a poker table in close proximity for hours, repeatedly touching the same chips and cards, the environment is ripe for the spread of any virus.

When Nevada allowed its casinos to reopen in early June, four casinos revved up their poker rooms right away: Orleans, Venetian, South Point, and Golden Nugget. The Nevada Gaming Control Board originally restricted poker tables to just four players at a time, but the casinos successfully negotiated increasing that number by one.

first poker room to host a multi-table tournament

Cash games and single-table tournaments were the original poker room offerings when they reopened in Las Vegas. Later in June, the Venetian was the first Vegas poker room to host a multi-table tournament, capping fields at 80 players.

A week ago, the Venetian once gain pushed the envelope, holding Las Vegas’ first multi-table tournament series during the pandemic. Each event has drawn from about 100 to several hundred players. The DeepStack Showdown runs through September 27 and features 32 tournaments with $400,000 in guaranteed prize pools.

Poker Room Features

Poker Room Details

Venue Type
Hotel & Casino
Comps & Promotions
Complimentary food for players in an active game. Bad Beat Jackpots (primary and secondary hold 'em).
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Motor City Casino Details

Motor City Casino is one of Detroit’s leading poker venues. A notably large band of staff ensures that Motor City has enough customer service personnel on hand to satisfy players at busy times. Motor City’s name makes reference to Detroit’s major status in the automobile industry, with factory workers and executives alike often populating the room on Friday nights. Being aware of this, it is usually a smart idea to call the poker room in advance of a visit to reserve a seat. A two-hour wait can face players who are not so forward-thinking.

Motor City Casino Detroit Poker Room

The Motor City Poker Room provides roughly 10 cash game tables alongside several tournament-only tables. The tournament action is very steady. A selection of $75 and $100 deep-stack and regular events populate the weekly calendar and play with strong fields. Even beyond the auto industry, players all over Detroit come to Motor City when the poker room’s bad-beat jackpots begin to climb. Especially when combined with public holidays, the bad-beat jackpot is often the catalyst for the sort of crazy action that skilled players adore. This activity can be found in limit and no-limit hold’em cash games, plus Omaha eight-or-better when choppers are hungry for a game. Once the bad-beat jackpot reaches $200,000, cash game action takes priority. At this stage, tournaments are cancelled to make room for extra cash players in search of the jackpot payout.

As an aside, smokers should remember that the Motor City Poker Room is smoke-free, although you are allowed to light-up on the ground floor of the property. Also, although there is no comp program for players looking for refreshments at Motor City, this gives the impression that the room is focused on spreading quality poker games in favor of flashy extras.

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