Posts Tagged ‘Borgata Winter Poker Open’

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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New Chip-Tracking Policy Introduced at Parx Poker after the Borgata Scandal

by | Published: Sunday, February 16th, 2014

After last month’s counterfeit chip scandal at the Borgata Winter Poker Open—in which 2.7 million worth of counterfeit chips were found and the open was eventually cancelled—Park Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania have plans to implement a revolutionary new chip-tracking policy in an effort to prevent a similar tragedy from happening at one of its events, most notably the Park BigStaxV coming up later this month.

Park poker ambassador Matt Glantz spoke exclusively to PokerNews about the chip-tracking policy:

“The recent counterfeit chip incident in the poker tournament industry has led to very real concerns within the poker community. This has been a big wake up call for all of us. It is imperative the poker industry takes the necessary steps to prevent similar situations in the future. The beauty and the allure of the casino poker tournament has always been that the most novice of poker players can sit down at any table full of more experienced players and comfortably know that if he or she hits a good run of cards, winning is in his or her grasp. Confidence that all players are on an equal playing field is something we can not take for granted.

“As a matter of record, Parx Casino has always done a complete inventory of all tournament chips prior to the start and after the completion of every single tournament, as required by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. A report is sent to the state Bureau of Gaming Operations at the end of each event as well, detailing any discrepancies in our inventory.

“Beginning with BigStaxV at Parx in February, tournament directors Dave Grubb and Tom Martucci are instituting a new policy that should help to deter any possible chip tampering at our venue. For every tournament held at the Parx Poker Room, the dealer at each table will be responsible for counting and logging the highest denomination chips for each seat at the table. At strategically determined breaks throughout the tournament, the dealer will be recording a log of chips at each table and our floor staff will be responsible for verifying and combining the logs to create a master list for the entire event. Also, as an additional measure the floor supervisors will be counting and logging every single chip (high and low denominations) at every table during the dinner break.

“In reality, there is nothing we can do to stop a criminal from introducing a fake chip, but these new policies will ensure we are updating the counts frequently and make the attempt fruitless, therefore discouraging this type of activity.

“We feel this new policy at Parx will deter any players from attempting the same type of illegal activity that has recently struck our industry. We will continually look forward to adding new safeguards at Parx Poker Room. We continue to appreciate suggestions from all players on new ideas to improve security.”

The series will run from February 20 through March 10, ending with the Parx Big Starx 1500 – A $1,600 buy-in main event with a $250,000 guaranteed prize pool.

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Borgata Winter Poker Open Counterfeit Chips lead to Arrest

by | 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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Counterfeit Chips Lead to Borgata $2 million Cancellation

by | Published: Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Following a 24 hour investigation, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa and New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement cancelled the Borgata Winter Poker Open $2 million Guarantee event after it was found that one or more entrants had used a large amount of counterfeit chips throughout the duration of the tournament.

The opening event of the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open, the $2 million guaranteed tournament was initially suspended last Friday when a total of 27 players remained in the running for the lucrative crown; however it was quickly found the tournament had been compromised and must be called to a premature close, with all unpaid prize money frozen pending a complete investigation.

Tom Ballance, President and COO of the Borgata Hotel outlined the situation via a press release on Saturday evening.

“Thus far, investigators have found that one or more tournament entrants improperly introduced a significant number of counterfeit chips into the tournament, gaining an unfair advantage and compromising the integrity of play for the event” Ballance said.

“It is extremely unfortunate that the criminal actions of these individuals can have a detrimental impact on more than 4,000 other entrants.

“We fully understand and regret the disappointment this cancellation causes our valued customers, and we will work diligently with DGE investigators to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. The integrity of our games and the confidence of our players is of the utmost importance to us.”

Despite this major setback to the first event of the Borgata Winter Poker Open, Ballance revealed the remainder of the series will continue on schedule.

“We thoroughly verified all remaining chips in our inventory, and are confident in moving forward with our tournament schedule as planned and approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement”.

Be sure to return to Poker.com frequently, as we will be staying with this story until finals resolutions are reached.

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Raghavan Wins World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic

by | Published: Monday, December 10th, 2012

Ravi Raghavan has recorded a stunning comeback to win the 2012 World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic.

Raghavan overcame a final table that included poker superstar Antonio Esfandiari to win the WPT Trophy as well as the first place prize of $1,268,571.

Raghavan was overwhelmed to have won such a prestigious tournament.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Raghavan said.

“It hasn’t hit me yet.”

Raghavan has been a regular on the World Poker Tour in recent seasons and was clearly emotional to score a breakthrough victory.

“I’ve been playing this game for a long time and this is what you play for so it fills amazing to actually do it,” Raghavan said.

The Illinois native was short stacked for the majority of the tournament and played superb poker to keep himself in the event.

“I think I play pretty well short stacked and I was very patient,” he said.

The turning point of the final table came when Raghavan busted Esfandiari who had dominated the early proceedings of the tournament.

“[Busting Esfandiari] was huge,” Raghavan said.

“He is tough as nails and one of the best in the world.”

Despite eliminating The Big One For One Drop champion Raghvan was still up against it heading into the heads up battle with Shawn Buchanan who he rates as a very tricky opponent.

“Buchanan is really good and he plays with really interesting heads-up style so I had to adjust to it,” Raghavan said.

“I hit a lot of flops so I guess I picked a really good day to run amazing.”

Raghavan has achieved a great deal of tournament success in recent years but this is easily the biggest victory of his career.

His previously biggest score was also in a World Poker Tour event when he won $105,234 for finishing fifth in the 2010 Hollywood Poker Open.

The World Poker Tour takes a break for Christmas but resumes on January 27th for the Borgata Winter Poker Open.

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