Posts Tagged ‘Atlantic City’
by Bridget Wright | Published: Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
The Season XII WPT World Championship, which began on Monday April 21, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has seen some major changes in its structure.
For the first time ever, the tour’s season-ending event will be held outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. The World Poker Tour Championship event spent its first 11 seasons at the Bellagio in LV, which was once considered the poker mecca of the world.
However, as World Poker Tour President Adam Pliska put it, “sometimes you just gotta shake things up.
“The numbers in the Championship were down and people were noticing that,” Pliska said. “The WPT Championship is something special. With so many other changes that have happened on the World Poker Tour, at some point you have to tend to the championship. It’s a focal point.”
For years, the WPT Championship at the Bellagio was the must-play poker tournament of the season for the game’s biggest superstars. More than $60 million in prize money has been won in the event since 2003, making it the most lucrative event on the WPT schedule by a mile.
However, attendance for the event has been dwindling every year bar one since 2007, where Carlos Mortensen defeated a field of 639 to win nearly $4 million. Compare this to last year’s event, where only 146 players participated. This was the smallest turnout since the debut season of 111 participants in 2003.
This decline, coupled with player feedback about the Bellagio, resulted in some major adjustments being made to the Championship Event this year.
In September, the tour announced Borgata as the new home for its flagship event. Pliska says Atlantic City was chosen due to the parent company’s new presence in NJ’s burgeoning online poker market.
“The moving of the WPT Championship is as much about celebrating legalized, regulated gaming in the United States as anything else,” Pliska told PokerNews. “What we need now in the poker community is to celebrate that as much as possible in order to spread it into multiple states and every state. I think this could open up a lot of opportunities for people to play in WPT events.”
Pliska and his team decided to take advantage of the online poker market for this year’s Championship. Five seats to the tournament have been given away through satellites at nj.partypoker.com, in addition to qualifiers at BorgataPoker.com and even DraftKings.com, the official fantasy sports partner of the WPT.
In another move to make the tournament more accessible, the $25,000 price tag was slashed to $15,400. The championship event will also carry a $5 million guaranteed prize pool, with at least $1.35 million going to the champion. The last time the WPT Championship prize pool hit $5 million was in 2011, which was also the last time a player won over $1.35 million.
“When you’re changing tradition, I think you’ve got to reevaluate things. And we have,” Pliska said. “There had been a lot of push to keep the Championship at a level that is prestigious, but at the same time bringing it down to a more accessible level. So that’s what we did.
“We’ll try this, take player feedback and see how it goes.”
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by Bridget Wright | Published: Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Currently in its 10th season, the World Series of Poker Circuit will culminate at the recently WSOP-branded renovated Bally’s Atlantic City poker room with its fourth-annual National Championship. Running from May 22-24, the tournament will award a WSOP gold bracelet to the winner, and be recorded for future broadcast on ESPN.
“We look forward to welcoming the best poker players in the world to Atlantic City and our brand new poker room at Bally’s,” said Kevin Ortzman, general manager of the property. “We are dedicated to making our new room the best in New Jersey, and are excited for players to see all the great things happening in Atlantic City with the convergence of online and land-based gaming.”
Throughout this year’s WSOP season, players have been qualifying for the National Championship. Winners of the Main Event or Casino Championship at each stop were awarded automatic qualification, which has seen 34 total qualifiers advance so far. Ten more have yet to be determined; the total will end up being 44.
In addition, 50 players will qualify via at-large bids, which come from accumulating points on the National Leaderboard. Six final seats were still left unaccounted for, and the WSOP announced on Tuesday how those will be awarded.
1. WSOP National Championship Seat Freeroll – two seats will be awarded on WSOP.com websites in both Nevada and New Jersey through online freerolls on May 10 and May 17 respectively. To participate in the freeroll, players must simply make a deposit during the month of April. Once a deposit is made, players will receive a freeroll tournament ticket.
2. Knockout Series – two more seats will be awarded on WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey through mirrored knockout tournaments online from April 20 to May 3. To qualify, players may enter any of the 14 consecutive nightly tournaments in the Knockout Series and walk away the victor. The 14 individual tournament winners will each then be free-rolled into the 14-person Knockout Series Champions Freeroll taking place on May 4, with the winner of that freeroll earning the WSOP National Championship seat.
3. Bally’s Atlantic City Freeroll – to showcase their brand-new tournament room, Bally’s will host a live tournament freeroll on Monday, May 19 at 6:00 p.m. that will award one seat.
4. $1,125 “Last Chance” Qualifier – one seat will be awarded in a two-day qualifier at Bally’s Atlantic City on Tuesday, May 20. The tournament will also see the winner take home the lion’s share of the prize pool.
Also, the WSOP’s World Rankings top 100 players are eligible to buy into the event for $10,000. Any buy-in amount will be added to the prize pool, which means the final field will be somewhere between 100 – 200 players and have a prize pool between $1 -2 million.
“The WSOP National Championship is really about toasting the most consistent and dedicated players of the World Series of Poker brand,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “They have shown strong performance across our events and we’re delighted to provide a platform in Atlantic City for the first time to showcase and award these championship caliber players.”
For those players wanting to qualify for the National Championship the “old-fashioned” way, there are still five circuit stops left in the season. The remaining 2013/2014 WSOP Circuit schedule includes:
- Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina): April 3 – 14, 2014
- Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Iowa): April 10 – 21, 2014
- Harrah’s Philadelphia: April 17 – 28, 2014
- The Lodge Casino at Black Hawk (Colorado): April 24 – May 5, 2014
- Harrah’s New Orleans: May 8 – 19, 2014
The National Championship is bound to be an exciting one, and many people’s first chance to see the new and improved casino area at Bally’s Casino.
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by Bridget Wright | Published: Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
Last week it was reported the Borgata Winter Poker Open $2 million Guarantee had been suspended, pending an investigation into the use and resulting discovery of counterfeit chips by one or more players.
On Friday, the investigation accelerated when it was revealed 2.7 million worth of counterfeit chips were discovered in a blocked sewer pipe at Harrah’s Resort and Casino the previous Sunday.
A thorough investigation revealed that 42-year-old poker pro Christian Lusardi had been staying in the room producing the clog, who had entered the event on Day Two with the chip lead.
Police say that Lusardi introduced the counterfeit chips into tournament play several times, however was still eliminated from the event on day of entry, claiming only ‘$6,814’; as published by the Press of Atlantic City.
“We are very pleased that the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau has apprehended a suspect in connection with the counterfeit chip activity that compromised Event 1 of the Borgata Poker Open” Joe Lupo, Senior Vice President of Borgata said.
“While this is a very positive development, the investigation by the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the state police is ongoing.”
At this stage, the DGE has revealed they have not made a decision as to the event’s continuation, the remaining 27 players and the unclaimed prize pool.
“The division is committed to ensuring confidence and integrity in all gaming operations and will continue to work with Borgata and the New Jersey State Police until this case is closed” The DGE revealed in a statement.
After leaving Harrah’s Hotel and the discovery of the chip blockage and warrant was produced for the apprehension of Lusardi, who was found a short time later at an Atlantic City Motel.
The investigation is set to continue, meanwhile Lusardi’s bail from the Atlantic County Justice Facility has been set at $300,000. Don’t forget to check back at Poker.com frequently, as we will be following this story until conclusion.
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by Bridget Wright | Published: Monday, December 9th, 2013
According to a recent article published by the Associated Press, online poker has the potential to cause serious effects to Caesars Entertainment’s four physical (land-based) casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
In a declaration to regulators this past week, Caesars outlined their concern of online poker, and more specifically gambling as a whole, which they believe could substantially reduce visits to their premises at both locations and the potential harm this could bring to the company as a whole.
The report in question, delivered to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, clarified that online poker and gambling would “compete” with their physical casinos.
“Caesars will, and other online providers do, offer online gaming options that compete with our live poker offerings in Nevada and New Jersey” the report from Caesars outlined.
“Expansion of online gaming in Nevada, the commencement and expansion of online gambling in New Jersey and the introduction of online gaming in other jurisdictions may further compete with our operations.
“Online gaming may reduce customer visitation and spend in our traditional casinos in Nevada and New Jersey, which could have an adverse impact on our business and result of operations.”
The report highlighted Harrah’s Resort, Caesars Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City and the Showboat Casino as most likely to cop the brunt of online gambling, as New Jersey allows a complete online casino experience, whereas Nevada only offers online poker.
Gary Thompson, spokesperson for Caesars outlined to the Associated Press that report was vital for a number of reasons.
“There are legal reasons for including cautionary language for potential issues that, while we consider them less rather than more, likely, could impact our operations.
“While it’s a legal requirement to include such language as this among potential risk factors, our experience has been that opening new channels to reach potential new customers and offer them the benefits, among others, of our Total Rewards program, has not caused visitation declines.”
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by Bridget Wright | Published: Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Following more lengthy debate involving key personnel, it seems online poker will not be breaking into the Massachusetts market any time soon.
While the state’s first Las Vegas/Atlantic City-style commercial casino may only be a few years away, the Milford Daily News reported recently that the vendors and regulators would likely leave the idea of online poker on the backburner until such time as the casino properties are completely up and running and 100% stable.
Outlined in the Milford Daily News report, the state’s leading gaming regulator was quoted as saying “We also have taken the position that Massachusetts shouldn’t do anything in online gambling until our bricks-and-mortar people are selected, because they out to be at the table when we do this. You can’t expect somebody to give us $85 million and then spend a billion to build a facility and change the rules of the game on them a year or two down the road,” Further highlighting internet betting as a whole as a “major unknown question.”
Massachusetts made huge steps towards a completely legalized gambling state in 2011, when allowing three Las Vegas-style casinos and a slots parlor, though it has been a slow process since as the state has continued to debate as to who will receive building and license rights.
Many firms have tried their hand at competing for the licenses in question, which are authorized for many varying locations throughout the state, and as of 2013, only a handful remain in the hunt.
Currently, only Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have legalized web poker.
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