News on tournaments and other action in the area casino poker rooms
Though the initial turnout for the World Series of Poker main event, now underway in Las Vegas, seemed to be off the tournament’s usual pace, all turned out well as a whopping 3,418 entrants turned out Monday (July 9) for the tournament’s third opening day (Day 1C).
That’s a single-day record for the event and brought the total number of entrants to 6,598 players.
That’s a little off of last year’s pace (6,865), but it is in line with the WSOP average the last five years.
It’s actually the fifth biggest main event in WSOP history and the prize pool comes in at just over $62 million. The eventual winner will get $8,527,982 and, somewhat ominously, 666 players are going to get paid in the end.
So what does all this have to do with Atlantic City?
It’s simple. If the WSOP is healthy, then poker in general is healthy.
Atlantic City’s poker rooms are battling it out right now for a piece of the poker pie, both with each other and new competition in Pennsylvania (well, other than Borgata, which is comfortably ensconced as Atlantic City’s, and possibly the East Coast’s, top poker room).
High numbers for the WSOP show that the game is still going strong nine years after the Hold’em poker craze exploded and more than a year after the feds shut down most online poker sites serving U.S. players.
Think about that. Casino games go up and down in popularity, but poker is approaching a decade of dominance.
Still, some cracks are showing in the poker craze, and statistics say live poker play in casinos has been declining worldwide this year.
But the WSOP, through 61 events, has drawn 74,766 entrants, second only to last year’s turnout for the most ever at the WSOP.
And if you peruse some of the player lists for WSOP events held so far, you’ll find a lot of Atlantic City regulars have been playing.
For instance, Melad Marji, who last month won nearly $200,000 at the Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship event, has already picked up a $3,000 WSOP cash in a No Limit event.
So the poker players are still there. It’s up to Atlantic City to reel them in.
Meanwhile, one of Atlantic City’s best marketing schemes for poker, the bad-beat jackpots, continue to give players a lot to talk about, and occasionally, a lot of money.
The Borgata bad-beat jackpot hit last Friday for $401,146, paying bad-beat hand winner/loser Aniket Shah, of Parlin N.J., $160,461.
In this case, quad aces was beaten by a straight flush.
The hand winner, Edmundo Carbajal, of Woodside, N,Y,, won $80,229 and the remaining eight players at the table took home $20,057 each.
But just as notable, perhaps, is the fact that the Borgata bad-beat jackpot has hit 17 times in 2012.