News on tournaments and other action in the area casino poker rooms
The Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship Event, which began Sunday, June 17, drew 305 players (counting re-buys) and put up a total buy-in of $762,500.
That’s pretty good news for Borgata, which had guaranteed a prize pool of $500,000.
If that had fallen short, the casino would have had to kick in some cash. Luckily, the guarantee was easily covered.
As we’ve said, the Summer Open competes head-on with the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. You have to figure that most of the poker players that can handle a $2,500 + $200 buy-in, which was the buy-in for the championship, are in Vegas right now.
Still, a Borgata poker open is a Borgata poker open and attracted enough high-stakes tournament players to create a $198,000 first-place cash prize.
All in all, Borgata has to be pretty happy with the numbers it’s seen across the board for the open, even if is the “slowest” Borgata open as far as turnout goes.
By the time this edition hits the streets, a Summer Open champ will have been crowned, the open will be winding down its last couple of events and, once again, Borgata will have dominated poker play in Atlantic City for the month.
But that will still leave Atlantic City’s poker scene facing down the busy summer season trying to sort out which casinos are going to see poker flourish and which will see it flop now that eight poker rooms are in action.
So far, the two newest rooms — Revel and Golden Nugget — haven’t made much of an impact.
The Golden Nugget’s luxurious, but small, 20–table room only brought in about $40,000 in revenue in May. That’s a slight improvement over April, but really just a drop in the bucket of the city’s poker market.
Revel did only a little better at $57,000 for May, though the month was still considered to be part of the casino’s “preview” period.
Consider that Showboat, which used to be the city’s lowest performing room, took in $245,000 in May.
In fairness, though, building a poker base takes time (and Showboat’s play has been improving lately, actually passing Caesars, which took in $230,000 for May).
The standard is set by the Borgata, which took in better than $1.5 million for the month. And that’s without a marketable event such as the Summer Open.
Still, there are some good signs for the city’s poker scene as July approaches.
The Caesars Combined Bad-Beat Jackpot has passed the $500,000 mark (as of Tuesday, June 19), which is usually enough to set off some bona-fide bad-beat mania.
The minimum hand for the jackpot should be at quad fives going into this weekend.
It’s not really clear if high bad-beat jackpots attract more players, or just cannibalize players from other rooms.
Either way, Caesars’ four rooms — Bally’s, Showboat, Harrah’s and Caesars — should be pretty packed through the end of June. Remember, the combined bad-beat jackpot pays all players in all four rooms when it hits.
The Tropicana also has a high bad-beat jackpot at more than $444,000 at the moment, though the Trop slows the jackpot contribution down as the total gets higher.