Foxwoods Resort & Casino, located near Hartford, CT, has long had a history as being one of the finest casinos on the East Coast, if not in the entire United States, and is billed as the largest casino in the world. Its picturesque locale and proximity to several major cities on the Eastern seaboard (including New York City, Boston and Providence) has established it as one of the premiere destinations for many a poker player. It also has a long history with the World Poker Tour as the first one of the Charter Member Casinos in the four year existence of the Tour.
The two will be linked together in perpetuity as Foxwoods moves towards the future. The poker room is currently undergoing an expansion that will be completed by late March, at which point the poker room will bear the World Poker Tour name. "It's a very exciting landmark for the World Poker Tour," said Steve Lipscomb, Founder and CEO of WPT Enterprises, Inc. "This is the point when our brand truly moves into the casino in a major way. We've licensed our name to slot machines and gaming tables, and this is the next significant step, the evolution of the WPT brand at the casino level. Poker players will experience the WPT excitement first hand in an environment that evokes the cool, classy, charismatic character of our show. We applaud our partners at Foxwoods for continuing to expand the benefits of our mutual relationship."
The improvements to the poker room will be significant and will draw many players to the casino as well. The newly billed "WPT World Poker Room at Foxwoods" will boost the number of poker tables at the resort to 114 from its current total of 76. This is a more than 40% increase in the capacity of the existing poker room. The expansion will also allow expanded tournament offerings, which will result in greatly increased prize pool totals for all tournaments conducted there. It also solidifies Foxwoods as one of the largest and most prestigious casino poker rooms in the country and the only venue for poker in New England.
The new WPT branded poker room at Foxwoods will take over a more expansive space, but still will be located near its current poker area. New poker technology will also add to the player experience, including use of LED table components, automatic card shufflers and a state-of-the-art seating system. The poker room will be smoke-free (as is the case with many new poker rooms nowadays) and will offer a new 100+ seat restaurant adjacent to the poker area.
"This is a significant step for poker and further proof that the WPT and Foxwoods are a formidable team," stated Kathy Raymond, Director of Poker Operations at Foxwoods. "We continually strive to lead the way when it comes to poker, and this new expanded state-of-the-art room will give our players a truly memorable experience." The new poker room will get its first serious test when the World Poker Tour makes its second stop in New England in April at the Foxwoods Poker Classic (formerly the New England Poker Classic), which is also the last event before the WPT Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The Foxwoods Poker Classic should challenge the nearly 800 players who came to the felt for the previous WPT event at Foxwoods, the 2005 World Poker Finals in November of last year, and will be a tremendous way to break in the facilities. All in all, it is a demonstration of the continued growth of the game of poker and the popularity of the World Poker Tour and Foxwoods Casino.