News on tournaments and other action in casino poker rooms
Far be it from us to be petty, (OK, maybe its not that far), and it’s not like we’re rooting against anyone (well, maybe a little), but Atlantic City poker rooms have to be a little heartened by some tournament numbers coming out of Philly lately.
Mainly because they show that Atlantic City is still one of the strongest poker markets on the East Coast.
Since April 25, Harrah’s Philadelphia, which used to be Harrah’s Chester, has been running a World Series of Poker Circuit Event. And judging from the tournament turnout numbers, it seems to have been a pleasant enough little event — the key word being little.
You Harrah’s Philadelphia, are no Atlantic City.
The WSOP is, of course, owned by Caesars Entertainment, which owns Harrah’s Philadelphia and also runs four poker rooms in Atlantic City. The WSOP Circuit makes two stops in the resort each year. The last was a WSOP Circuit Event at Caesars in March.
So let’s compare the two stops — Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Philadelphia — that were run only a month apart.
The first event at Harrah’s Philadelphia was a $300 buy-in (without the tournament fee) that attracted 208 players and a prize pool just over $60,000.
The Caesars Atlantic City first event was the exact same buy-in (there’s a degree of uniformity in the circuit event schedules) and drew 667 players and a prize pool of just over $194,000.
Math is not our strong point, but the A.C. draw was more than three times larger.
Harrah’s Philadelphia did a little better with its second event, also a $300 buy-in that started on a Friday. That drew 395 players and a prize pool of about $114,000.
Caesars Atlantic City’s second event, also on a Friday, drew 887 players and a prize pool of more than $258,000.
You may be noticing a trend emerging here.
Even the WSOP Circuit event held at Harrah’s Resort (Atlantic City) in the deep dark month of December outdrew Harrah’s Philadelphia. The first event at that circuit stop ($300 buy-in) drew 704 players and a prize pool of $204,000. And its second event, also on a Friday, drew 888 players, almost identical to the Caesars draw.
The numbers keep up this trend throughout the schedule with the A.C. numbers usually better than twice as high as the Philadelphia numbers.
The Harrah’s Philadelphia $1,500 championship event, for example, drew 321 players compared to Caesars draw of 635.
Of course, the Atlantic City stops on the circuit aren’t the most popular. The Horseshoe Hammond near Chicago puts all other circuit stops to shame, drawing more than 3,000 players for its opener and 1,600 for its championship event.
But the A.C. stops actually outdrew a January circuit event in Vegas at Caesars Palace.
And let’s not forget that the WSOP circuit stops aren’t even the most popular tournament events in Atlantic City. The city’s poker leader, the Borgata, regularly tops 1,000 players for the opening events of its poker opens.
Obviously, there are a lot of things at work that attract players, but clearly, Atlantic City still has what it takes to be No. 1 in the Northeast for tournament events.