Poker Pros Seek Whales at MGM National Harbor


The opening of the MGM National Harbor has been an attention-grabber for a number of different reasons. It has been in the headlines since its opening in December as a brand new state-of-the-art casino within shouting distance of the White House (well, about 11 miles, actually). But one aspect that isn’t getting a lot of attention is the actual gaming of it all, and one player is looking to make his mark thanks to the big money that MGM National Harbor is attracting.

Hailing from Pennsylvania, Chad Power is a professional poker player who is well known in the industry. He had previously set up shop around Maryland Live Casino just outside of Baltimore where he would frequent the casino either to play or mentor new players. Living in a townhouse in Hanover, he eventually developed a team of poker players (Team Power) that would grind out hours at the Maryland Live Casino in the poker room, pulling money off whoever was less skilled.

But now he’s bringing his business to MGM National Harbor where he’s encountered a bigger pool of fish to reel in. Or in this case, whales. In poker terms, a ‘whale’ is someone that has too much money and often not enough skill, but they want to play the game. That is basically what MGM National Harbor is right now as it is fresh and new, and Power says it’ll be this way for about the first year or so until those people do the math at the end of the year and realize how much money they’ve spent.

You would think that these types of professional poker players wouldn’t be welcome at casinos, but remember that they’re not taking advantage of the house; they’re just going head-to-head with other customers. These people want to play the best, so they hunt out the professional players, and the casino will take money from all of them, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved, for the most part.

That’s why these types of pros are viewed quite the opposite of other pros like sports bettors, whose action might be limited or turned away at certain spots. Poker professionals are well known in their industry – an industry that is loaded with celebrities and other rich people that want to be in on the action. That’s why Power had an invite to the VIP-only opening of MGM National Harbor where he went to scout the new casino out. He introduced himself to poker room manager Johnny Grooms as the two are going to get to know each other well over the coming years.

After the MGM National Harbor opened up shop, Power immediately started to shop for a house near the new resort and casino – one that is big enough to stock him and his team. He has landed a six-bedroom house along with a big basement that can sleep a small army. Now he’ll go to work and attempt to profit off the whales that will be making regular visits to MGM National Harbor for the next little while.