Parx Casino in Philadelphia is celebrating the New Year with the completion of planned expansions to its facilities, focused mostly on finally opening its anticipated Xcite Center, a new state-of-the-art concert space and event venue.
Of bigger interest to gamblers, however, is the migration of its poker room from the Parx East building to its new location in the Main Casino Building.
The move places the poker room nearer to the other gaming options, with all table games and poker now under the same roof. The proximity is a minor benefit for most, but a nice change for those that like to take a break to try a game of chance between poker sessions, as it is no longer necessary to travel between buildings to do so. Not to mention, many of Parx’s food and drink options will be more accessible.
Internally the poker area also possesses several benefits from the transition, with improved luxury furnishings and a perimeter of high-definition televisions. Early reactions have many players and industry types complimenting the new look, with some coyly comparing the room to that of the nearby Borgata’s.
Convenience amenities to make long play more comfortable are also available, such as complimentary Wi-Fi and mobile device USB charging capability built into the tables for every player.
While the new poker space represents enhancements overall, the size of the room has been reduced from that of its previous location. The old space boasted more than 80 tables, dwarfing most other poker rooms in the region. The new room will be only 48 tables, not counting a 3 table VIP area (reminiscent of Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio) reserved for high-stakes players.
The change is likely a combined effect of fitting into the new area and a reevaluation of the casino’s needs – revenue reports from the state Gaming Control Board of Pennsylvania indicate that the additional tables were not typically in use. Fortunately, the previously empty tables did not prevent poker revenues from improving by 5% in the last year, after a 3% revenue increase over the year before that.
As such, the downgrade should also not affect the play experience – the poker room is still the largest in the area, and will continue to offer the same variety of table options with Hold-em and Omaha games at a full range of stakes. Parx is also still running its Bad Beat Jackpot, which despite paying out at the end of last year is already back up over $100,000.
While the new room is fully up-and-running already as of January 11th (with most active tables being low-stakes Hold’em, as usual), a brief interruption in the tournament schedule is necessary as Parx adjusts to the change in operations. Tournaments have been cancelled for the next week, to resume on Wednesday, January 17th.
Fortunately, it also appears that despite the new poker room’s slightly decreased size the previous regular tournament schedule should not be affected, with the same daily tournaments to be offered. The next iteration of Parx’s popular Big Stax tournament series is planned to run in February with three main events.