News on tournaments and other action in casino poker rooms
The Borgata Spring Poker Open starts this Wednesday, April 4, with a $300,000 guaranteed, $500 + $60 Deepstack No Limit tournament.
And, if you happen to write about the city’s poker scene, all you can say is “Thank God.”
Special tournament events outside of the Borgata have become rarer than hen’s teeth in Atlantic City. With the exception of two World Series of Poker Circuit stops — at Harrah’s Resort in December and Caesars in early March — the Borgata is the only casino offering special tournament events.
And the casino actually offers more than just its five “seasonal opens.”
Last weekend, for example, the casino offered one of its Saturday Series events. The $100,000 guaranteed, $350 + $50 No Limit events are held in months when Borgata doesn’t have a large-scale open and usually attracts well over 650 players — enough to easily cover the prize-pool guarantee.
The casino also schedules special Deepstack events, usually in slow periods and even tries its hand at things like Omaha tournaments, such as one held in February.
On top of that, the Borgata has its signature “Borgata Open” in September that includes a championship event that is a stop on the World Poker Tour. And then there’s the Borgata Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall opens.
But all these events, in the face of zero competition from the other city rooms, does raise a chicken or egg question. Is the Borgata so dominant in the city poker scene — the casino usually brings in three times as much poker revenue as its nearest competitor, the Taj Mahal — because of all its special tournaments? Or, can it only offer special tournaments because it is so dominant?
The Taj Mahal, for example, used to offer the U.S. Poker Championships when it was the dominant room in the city. But as it was eclipsed by Borgata, the U.S. Poker Championship floundered and eventually disappeared.
Another casino that used to offer tournament events was the Showboat, though on a much smaller scale than the Borgata. Now called House of Blues Opens, they can still pop up now and then, but not very often.
So that just leaves the Borgata, once again grabbing all the attention. And it doesn’t hurt that the Spring Open comes as the new Revel Casino opens and introduces its new 37-table poker room.
So far, the Golden Nugget’s new 20-table room (opened in December) has not made an input on the poker scene, but you have to figure Revel will fare better.
Could a Revel Open emerge? Too early to tell, but if it does, you can bet the Borgata will schedule something against it.
As for the open itself, you can expect a pretty decent sized field to turn out for Wednesday’s opener.
Last year, the Open started off with a $350 + $50 event that brought out 752 entries. That’s not the record-setting pace of the Borgata Open in September, which regularly draws well over 1,000 players for its opener, but still a decent field.
However, two years ago the open started with a $500 + $60 Deepstack tournament and drew 1,200 players. But the event also started on a Saturday, rather than mid-week.
And it doesn’t appear the Borgata is too worried about scheduling around Easter Sunday this year. In fact, there’s a $260 + $40 Deep Stack Semi-Turbo No Limit Hold’em tournament scheduled for Easter, April 8, at 11am.
Saturday’s event is a $700 + $70 No Limit tournament, one of the higher buy-ins of the open. It starts at 11am. There’s also a $350 + $50 Omaha HL tournament at 3pm Saturday.
The Open Championship starts April 15 and is a $1 million guaranteed, $2,500 + 200, Deepstack Double Play tournament. (Deepstack means players start with 30K in chips and Double Play means that there are two opening days for the tournament, April 15 and 16).
Anyone busting out on Day 1A can re-buy on Day 1B.
To usher in the historic first day for Revel, the property has booked the band The Raveonettes to perform a free show at 9pm at The Social, located near Revel's imaginative casino floor.
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