Posts Tagged ‘borgata casino hotel and spa’

Major Changes at World Poker Tour Championship

by | 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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Borgata Files Lawsuit against Phil Ivey for Alleged Baccarat Cheating

by | Published: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City is suing poker legend Phil Ivey for $9.6 million he made at the Baccarat table in their casino as they believe he cheated his way to the win, according to a report made in the New Jersey Law Journal last week.

The lawsuit entered by Borgata alleges that Ivey used “edge sorting” to exploit manufacturing flaws in playing cards during four sessions of Baccarat at the casino during 2012. Edge sorting is a method of spotting tiny variations in the pattern printed on the backs on cards to predict which suit/number the card will be.

Borgata has also named the card manufacturer, Germaco Inc., which designed the cards, and Ivey’s partner, Cheng Yin Sun, in the suit. Yin Sun reportedly accompanied Ivey to the Baccarat table and gave instructions to the dealer.

Among the many charges listed in the lawsuit are breach of contract, racketeering, fraud, conversion, unjust enrichment, and civil conspiracy.

Surprisingly, Ivey is currently involved in another very similar case – but on the other end. The biggest legal battle in the UK casino history unfolded last May, when Ivey sued the Crockfords Casino for withholding £7.8 million (about $12 million) he won playing Punto Banco, a form of baccarat, because they claimed he used the “edge sorting” method and didn’t deserve his winnings.

Ivey admitted to using edge sorting at Crockfords, but said the casino only had itself to blame for not recognizing it. It wasn’t a premeditated plan, just something he picked up on during the play and used to his advantage. He released the following statement last May:

“I am deeply saddened that Crockfords has left me no alternative but to proceed with legal action, following its decision to withhold my winnings. I have much respect for Gentings, which has made this a very difficult decision for me… Over the years I have won and lost substantial sums at Crockfords and I have always honored my commitments. At the time, I was given a receipt for my winnings but Crockfords subsequently withheld payment. I, therefore, feel I have no alternative but to take legal action.”

This story is still developing, but based on the Crockfords case, Ivey will not be taking this lying down. Many poker fans don’t believe Ivey has cheated, and deserves his winnings from both casinos.

Comments on PokerNews have noted that: “It would only be considered cheating if you knew about the defects before you sat at table. Purposely manipulating the way cards are entered in shufflers is deceitful and I would consider that cheating as well. The dealer is responsible for not reporting the request to the pit boss and should have had realized this was a huge red flag.”

and

“Borgata affords him the opportunity to cheat and then turns around and sues him. Completely laughable. It should have just resulted in an expensive lesson to the Borgata being: look for possible restitution by suing the faulty playing card manufacturer and not the player.”

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Borgata Introduces State-of-the-Art Poker Chips Following January Scandal

by | Published: Friday, April 11th, 2014

Poker enthusiasts out there may remember the counterfeit chip scandal that rocked the Borgata Winter Poker Open $2 Million Guarantee. The event was suspended, and later cancelled, after counterfeit chips were found in a player’s hotel toilet. Christian Lusardi, 42, was ultimately charged for the crime.

Borgata aren’t willing to let anything like it happen again. In preparation for the 2014 Borgata Spring Poker Open, which is happening right now, the Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa has introduced a new range of poker chips.

The new state-of-the-art chips were created for the 17-event series running from April 8 – 26 that culminates with the $5 million guarantee World Poker Tour Championship.

Tournament Director Tab Duchateau tweeted a picture of the new chips on Monday, along with the message “Borgata Spring Open Event 1a 1 mill guar. starts tom. at 11am. will be using new chips with enhanced security #warned.”

The poker chips have distinct special markings when viewed under a blue light, making it instantly easier to spot counterfeit ones. Since Monday, the tournament staff has been verifying chips at every table during each break.

“This was very expensive, but very necessary,” Borgata Senior Vice President Joe Lupo told the Associated Press. “In order to have the biggest tournaments in Atlantic City and as the market leader, we need to ensure the integrity of the games.”

“We will be checking chips randomly throughout the day using a new process involving the UV lights,” Lupo concluded.

The European Poker Tour (EPT) recently used similar blue-light technology in its most recent stop in Vienna.

A member of the Borgata staff also spoke to PokerNews Live Reporting Team, and revealed there are “other” means of verifying chips in their power. To keep these a secret from possible cheaters, the verification process was no further explained.

We will see during the rest of the Open if these anti-counterfeit measures find any potential cheaters.

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World Poker Tour Announces Second Half of Season XII

by | Published: Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

The World Poker Tour has today announced the second half of Season XII’s schedule, which will conclude next year with seven Main Tour events and a further nine World Poker Tour Regional and National events to be held all around the world.

The major highlight of the season’s second half is two stops at the stunning Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa. Kicking off in January at the particularly fitting Atlantic City with the televised Borgata Winter Poker Open, the tour will wind down to an inevitable conclusion at the $15,400 WPT World Championship; an event that has been moved from the Las Vegas Bellagio and featuring an all new, cheaper buy-in.

The World Poker Tour is also set to visit two venues in California and a further three in Florida including the season’s penultimate event; the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown. Similarly to this past August’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, the event is set to feature an unbelievable $10 million guarantee on the main event.

World Poker Tour Executive Tour Director Matt Savage commented on the schedule following its release on Monday.

“The much-anticipated second half of the WPT schedule was definitely worth the wait”.

“Players can start to book travel knowing that many quality events in great locations are now in place” Savage said.

World Poker Tour President Adam Pliska also expressed his excitement at the announcement of the 16-event card.

“We are very excited about the depth and breadth of our Sean XII schedule” Pliska said.

“We’ve taken great care to ensure all of our players; whether they’re on the Main Tour of in our WPT Regional or WPT National events, enjoy a world-class experience at premier venues around the globe:.

As previously highlighted, the first event of the schedule is set to begin on January 26th at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, concluding five days later on the 31st.


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