News on tournaments and other action in casino poker rooms
It wasn’t a bad year for Atlantic City’s poker players in 2011, even if some of the city’s poker rooms have struggled to keep up with The Borgata, which ends the year controlling about half of all the city’s poker action.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights of 2011.
• The Borgata Winter Open emerges as the casino’s second most popular seasonal “open” as the opening tournament draws 1,472 players. The winner is Alex Rocha of Setauket N.Y., who takes home $150,850.
• The New Jersey Legislature approves a bill to allow intra-state online gaming and sends it to Gov. Chris Christie who hasn’t commented on the issue.
• The Caesars Combined Bad Beat Jackpot hits for $414,932.88 Jan. 4 at Bally’s in a battle of straight flushes. The bad beat winner gets $125,659. Then, on Jan. 28, it hits again for $335K, paying the bad beat winner just over $100K.
• Vadim Shlez wins the Borgata Winter Open Championship and $533,210. The championship event, a $3,300 buy-in, attracts 718 players.
• Gov. Christie vetoes the state’s attempt to start online poker saying the bill conflicts with a federal ban on online gaming and is too broad and could lead to gambling outside of Atlantic City. Sponsors vow to rework the bill.
• Caesars World Series of Poker circuit event starts strong with 742 players turning out for the opening tournament. The circuit’s main event is won by Brian Ali of Brooklyn who wins $139,284. The $1,500 event attracts 442 players.
• The Taj Mahal’s bad beat jackpot hits for $668,000 on March 20, the second highest jackpot ever for the city and just off the $672,000 record also set at the Taj in June 2010. The same weekend the Borgata’s jackpot hits for $252,680 and a couple of days later the Trop’s jackpot hits for $295,000. That’s about $1.2 million paid out in four days.
• The Caesars Combined Bad Beat Jackpot hits for $400,000 on April 7, continuing a fantastic run which sees all of the city’s jackpots hit in a span of less than three weeks.
• The Borgata Spring Open begins with 726 players in the tournament opener. The $2,500 championship event draws 447. The winner is Russell Crane of Howell Twp. New Jersey, who scores $276,949.
• News leaks that the Trop loses $5.8 million at blackjack to high roller Don Johnson of Bensalem Pa. It later turns out that Johnson clipped about $15 million from A.C. casinos in about four months (there’s some losses as well) and he becomes a local celebrity.
• The Borgata summer open draws 829 players to its first event. The summer open champ is Borgata regular Tyng Low, 27, of Flushing N.Y. who wins $211,484.
New Jersey is on track again to be one of the first states — if not the first state — to offer intra-state online gaming.
Here are a few ideas for having fun on NYE and still keeping some of that cash Aunt Bea gave you for Christmas.