If you live in the northeast, anywhere from Boston to New York City, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are the legal poker rooms you frequent. Notice I said “legal” since both Boston and NYC are chock full of illegal establishments.

Foxwoods is, how can I say this, huge beyond huge and the poker room is worthy of this gigantic hotel/casino. The poker room has been moved a few times but now occupies most of the bottom floor of the casino proper. On any given day there are between 70 and 90 tables in operation, most of them spreading no-limit Hold’em of various buy-ins. The room is always crowded and never expect to walk up and get a seat immediately unless you’re willing to get into a high stakes game. Unlike poker rooms in Nevada and California, there are plenty of stud tables at Foxwoods.

Foxwoods is where they play no-limit cash games of the highest caliber. On an ordinary weekday I once observed a player in a $5/$10 no-limit Hold ‘em game casually place a wad of bills wrapped and labeled $20K in front of him in addition to his $500 in red chips. Putting the cash on the table meant it was in play – he wasn’t about to allow anyone to put him all in!

The reservation system is state-of-the-art and you can book a seat online if you are really going to show up. Foxwoods sponsors World Poker Tour events and its schedule of daily and weekend tournaments will satisfy any budget.

Mohegan Sun is the younger brother of Foxwoods when it comes to poker rooms. With about 40 tables this room is much smaller by Connecticut standards but much larger than most Las Vegas poker rooms. The atmosphere here is less tense than at Foxwoods and the players are more laid back.

Once again, Hold ‘em games are in the majority. The slate of tournaments at Mohegan Sun offers lower buy-ins than Foxwoods ($75 compared to $200) but the tables fill up and often there are people on the waiting list who will be allowed to enter up to the third level or so.

Stuck in the furthest corner of the casino, you’ll have a long walk ahead of you unless you know where to park for easy access to the poker room.

Until something happens to allow poker play in New York State, these are the best options in the northeast corridor.