The Meadows Racetrack & Casino was rebranded under Penn Nationa Gaming’s Hollywood franchise in late 2021. Now Hollywood Casino at the Meadows, it is only a short jaunt from Pittsburgh where we had played at the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh the day before. We were interested to see how this Hollywood offering measured up to the versions we had visited in Maryland and West Virginia. While there are no tournaments being held at the Hollywood Casino at the Meadows poker room, a little Saturday afternoon cash play was enticing.
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows is about half an hour southwest of Pittsburgh just off the exit from Route 79. The immediate area has a Tanger outlet mall and many, many hotels. The casino complex itself (which is a single story but very, very long) is connected by the parking garage to a Hyatt Place hotel.
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows is a full-service casino with a large number of slots and table games. It has an event space, drawing acts such as Bush, the Village People, and a number of tribute bands. Interestingly, it does not have the Hollywood branding of the other Hollywood locations we have visited.
However, it does have an enormous Barstool Sportsbook and several other unique offerings. There is a large attached bowling facility and an event center. There’s a nice looking sulky horse racing track that you can view from the poker room. There are several dining options including the casino mandatory offering of high-end steak house, a few pubs/lounges, and an Asian restaurant. There is also a nice upscale food hall. After playing, we grabbed a take-out pizza at Mercato and a couple of beers at the 2Ten Drafthouse which had a nice selection of drafts. We found a nice comfortable table in the lunge area and enjoyed both the pizza and beers.
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows Poker Room Comfort
The 14-table poker room at Hollywood Casino at the Meadows overlooks the horse track and offers wonderful access to natural light. The room is separated from the casino in its own room, thus there was no smoke spilling in from the larger area and little extraneous noise. The walls are tan and the carpeting is the standard casino multi-colored busty pattern. But the ceilings are high enough to create good airflow. The tables are well-spaced. Large TVs are scattered around the perimeter of the room.
The chairs are adjustable and on wheels, but the padding is a bit stiff. The tables are attractive and clean, and the nine-handed feels comfortable. The tables feature padded rails, drink cups and USB ports. Notably, only a couple of the tables have auto-shufflers, which given the typical room activity (see below) may be a practicality.
The cards, chips, and felts are all branded and the felts look very new. Although the room itself and tables were clean on the day of the visit, some of the chips could use a wash.
Poker Room Staff
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows staff were generally very strong. The front desk/floor started off a bit stiff, but was alert to call me over when seat opened up. The dealers were fast, knowledgeable, and handled complicated pots well. The wait staff circulated frequently asking if anyone needed anything.
Players at Hollywood Casino at the Meadows Poker Room
The players at the two active tables were all men of varying ages. The players seemed mostly to be regulars and were friendly enough. Most took the play seriously and were focused on the poker game.
Play varied widely from hand to hand. In one hand there would be five limpers. On another someone would open to $17. Someone would straddle from middle position and get five callers. The same players would bet very differently from situation to situation.
Then, suddenly, there was a 3-way hand that ended up with a $1,000 pot on a monochrome flop. One player shoved over an all-in and a call with top pair, top kicker only to find out that, of course, one opponent already had the second nut flush and the other player held the draw to the nut flush. So he basically had a dead hand.
As you can see, it is a bit hard to encapsulate the play as good or bad. It was definitely a bit odd and inconsistent.
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows does not hold any tournaments as of this writing.
Cash Game Activity
On this Saturday afternoon, the Hollywood Casino at the Meadows poker room was running two active cash tables of $1/$3. From our recent tracking of cash games (see our cash game activity update), Hollywood Casino at the Meadows rarely garners more than one $1/$3 table on Sunday through Thursday nights and 2-3 tables on Friday nights and Saturday. On Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday there may be a single tables of $2/$5 running as well.
Overall Assessment of Hollywood Casino at the Meadows Poker Room
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows poker room is a nice looking space with pleasant full-length views of the horse track. The casino itself is very nice with some good casual dining options and bars. However, there is not a ton happening in the poker room. No more than one or two tables of cash are happening during the week and this grows to only about three tables on the weekends. And there are no tournaments happening at all. The staff seems capable enough and the regulars seem to enjoy it, but there was not a lot of energy on the Saturday afternoon we visited with only two active tables. If you are in the area, sure, stop in and see if you can grab a seat and enjoy the view. But this is not a destination for poker alone.
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows poker room is a nice-looking space with pleasant full-length views of the horse track. The casino itself is very nice with some good casual dining options and nice bars. However, there is not a ton happening in the poker room.