Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Poker Room Review

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

We were eager to visit the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh poker room having been to two of its sister rooms, in Philadelphia and Schenectady. Rivers has been one of the more actively growing small casino chains in the country over the past few years. and the Philadelphia poker room was one of the nicer rooms we have visited recently. Would Pittsburgh live up to expectations?

Casino Setting 

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh resides on the Waterfront alongside Pittsburgh’s PNC (Pirates) and Acrisure (Steelers) stadiums. While exterior of the building is no great shakes, the interior is quite nicely appointed. The building lies right along the Ohio River and it’s lovely Three Rivers Heritage Trail. It is a short walk from the casino to multiple museums, including the Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Science Center.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

Non-Poker Amenities

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is an all-service casino. In addition to the fabulous poker room, Rivers boasts slots, table games, and a large and active sportsbook. There is also a large events venue. Several restaurants ring the main casino floor, including the ubiquitous casino steak house, a Chinese restaurant, a fish place and a small burger joint. Oh, and a Nathan’s hot dog cart. What we called dinner ($3 hot dogs, $2 with a players card. There were also bars scattered throughout the casino.

The casino is attached to The Landing Hotel. Rivers Schenectady also sports a Landing Hotel. We have stayed there in the past and found it to be expensive, yet quite comfortable. We would expect the same from the Pittsburgh incarnation.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Poker Room Comfort

The best word for the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh poker room is generous. At 30 tables, the room is clearly large. A 30-table room where none of the tables feel crowded is even larger. Beyond that, play is 8-handed for both tournament and cash play. This is a dream.

The non-smoking tournament room was clearly delineated from the smoke-filled casino, with a glass wall between the two. This resulted in a relatively quiet room where players can breathe.

The room is high-ceilinged, quiet, attractive, comfortable (if a bit chilly), and generally light. Tables are generous and sport auto-shufflers, padded rails with drink cups, and even the elusive USB port for charging your phone. Chairs were also quite comfortable with padding, and the ability to adjust height. Everything was quite clean and felt new. There was even a restroom within the poker room!

Poker Room Staff

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh staff were nothing short of excellent. The desk staff were friendly and knowledgeable. The dealers were accurate, lightning fast, and friendly. And the single waitress rotated frequently with soft drinks and waters at the ready. Floors seemed to know when a player busted almost immediately (so fast that I am wondering whether the dealers were alerting them electronically), and did an excellent job of keeping tables balanced throughout.

Players at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Poker Room

The Rivers Casino Pittsburgh poker room players represented a mix of gender, ethnicity, age, skill, and personality. Many players were quite talented, while others were overly tight. The few wild aggressive players frankly did not last long. Many players knew each other and the sense in the room was quite friendly as a whole.

Paul at the Final Table!

Tournament Structure

As of this writing, the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh poker room hosts three weekly tournaments. The Wednesday tournament is 4:00pm, and is a $165 (with dealer add) bounty tournament ($50 bounties) with a 12K starting stack with 20-minute blinds. The Friday tournament we played started at 12:00pm for $130 with again 12K starting stack and 20-minute blinds. The Saturday 11:00am is the week’s big event, varying in buy-in from $260 to $500. All Saturday events have 20k starting stacks(the $500 does an additional 5K for a $5 dealer add-on) and 30-minute blinds.

80 people entered our Friday tournament (including a number of rebuys). While apparently aggressive in structure, there were some of the most unique, and player friendly, features to this tournament that we have ever seen. To start with despite having only 20 minute blinds, the first three blind levels were all 100-100. Then after the first hour, blinds started increasing very slowly. We were shocked when we did the calculations, that this tournament scored a whopping 24 S-Points. On top of that, break clocks did not begin until the last hand finished playing. Other player friendly features, included the fact that play went hand for hand on the bubble, and there was a full redraw at three tables to help keep chip stacks even.

Cash Game Activity

On this Friday afternoon, the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh poker room was running two active cash tables when we started and five at tournament’s end, with waiting lists. All were $1/$3 tables other than a single $25/$50 table that was active throughout the time we were there.

From our recent tracking of cash games (see our cash game activity update), Rivers Casino Pittsburgh shows an interesting pattern for cash tables. On Monday and Wednesday, they average 5 to 6 $1/$3 tables, but this goes to nine on Tuesday, and balloons to 17 on Thursday when they have a $400 hourly high-hand promotion. Some days you may catch a $2/$5 or a PLO table running as well.

APT

Overall Assessment of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Poker Room

Without a doubt, the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh poker room lived up to and even exceeded expectations. We spent a wonderful afternoon in a comfortable environment. We were happily surprised to find that the tournament structure was much more favorable than it originally appeared. As a bonus, Paul even cashed! We strongly recommend a visit to Rivers Casino Pittsburgh if you are looking to play some poker in the Pittsburgh area.

Comfort

Tournament Structures

Personnel

Summary

Without a doubt, the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh poker room lived up to and even exceeded expectations. We spent a wonderful afternoon in a comfortable environment. We were happily surprised to find that the tournament structure was much more favorable than it originally appeared. As a bonus, Paul even cashed! We strongly recommend a visit to Rivers Casino Pittsburgh if you are looking to play some poker in the Pittsburgh area.

Author: Keith Cooper