Monday, September 29, 2008

A night of grinding

God, I wish that meant something different. However, I spent roughly three hours playing at Harrah's on Saturday to grind out a decent win playing $1-$2. I don't like to talk about how much I actually won. I equate it with asking someone about their salary. It's just not call.

It took me an hour and a half before I won my first pot, but I don't really think about that as a problem. I spent that time watching and reading. When I finally entered a pot, at least two people mentioned how I haven't played many hands.

There's the first thing I knew I could exploit. If people are announcing that I'm playing tight, well I'll use it to my advantage. I just had to wait for the right moment.

It happened a little while later when I had A-4s in the cut off. Three people limp in before me and I eyed to the woman to my left who had chips in her hand. Seeing, I am going to get odds, I throw my money in.

The small blind raises it $12. Everyone who called before, calls now and the woman has $10 in her hand again. She was helpful all night. I knew if I was going to get odds on my money. I knew when she did and did not have a hand. It was because of her that I ended winning this hand.

The board comes out 8-3-4 rainbow. I have a silly pair and no spades come out, it's time to run away from the hand because of the big field. The initial bettor leads out for $15. It folds to me and I don't make a move right away, but the woman next to me folds out of turn.

The dealer mentions I still have cards.

The initial bettor looks at his hand and places it back down. I announce raise and pick up a stack of chips and just cut down to $35. There were few possible outcomes here and this was all the money I planned to put into the pot.

1.       He folds and I win.

2.       He calls and I know where I stand.

3.       He raises and I get the Hell out.

He picked option one and I picked up a small pot. The dealer gave me a funny looking because he knew that I had nothing. However, my nothing was still better than the SB's nothing. That was my whole night. I picked up small pots here and there and decided around midnight it was time to go home.

Work has taken over my life and today was my first day off in a week. I had a little bit of time on Saturday to play some cards, so I took advantage of it.

I have to travel for work and I was hoping for Los Angeles. I was going to check out a card room or two if I was sent out there. Instead, I am going to Milwaukee. If anyone knows anywhere to play poker in Milwaukee, give me a shout.

P.S. If anyone is looking for results of the U.S. Poker Championships. Head over to Card Player. The results for most of the tournament are updated. Sometimes it takes a while for them to show up, but at least the results are being posted now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cordish named lead bidder for Tropicana (Press of AC)

Cordish named lead bidder for Atlantic City's Tropicana casino
Press Staff Reports
Published: Tuesday, September 23, 2008

10:32 a.m. Update - ATLANTIC CITY - The Casino Control Commission today announced that the state-appointed trustee and conservator of the Tropicana Atlantic City Casino & Resort has entered into negotiations with The Cordish Company concerning its proposal to purchase the Tropicana for cash and securities totalling $700 million.

After conducting a thorough auction process, conservator Gary S. Stein and his investment banker, Moelis & Company, identified Cordish as a leading bidder for a number of reasons, including the price and consideration offered, as well as Cordish’s capabilities and track record of success in gaming, real estate development, and management. Cordish has indicated to Stein that it is prepared to move forward.

Under the terms of the proposed transaction, Cordish would acquire substantially all of the assets of Adamar, which consist primarily of the Tropicana Casino & Resort. Stein expects to ask the commission for approval to designate Cordish as the lead bidder, or stalking horse, in a Section 363 proceeding. The transaction is also subject to completion of a definitive asset purchase agreement, approval of the commission, and various other conditions.

The commission voted on Dec. 12, 2007 not to renew the Tropicana’s casino license, formerly held by Adamar of New Jersey. That vote triggered a trust through which Stein, a retired justice of the New Jersey State Supreme Court, controls the stock of Adamar. The commission subsequently named Stein as conservator. Title to all of Adamar’s assets was automatically transferred to the conservator and he was charged with selling the casino hotel complex while keeping it open and operating.

The Cordish Company is one of the largest real estate developers in the world with extensive expertise in gaming and lodging, entertainment and mixed-use projects, sports anchored developments, and retail, office and residential construction. Many of Cordish’s developments involve public/private partnerships, including The Walk in Atlantic City.

The Tropicana is one of the largest casino hotels in Atlantic City with 2,129 rooms and almost 140,000 square feet of gaming space. The complex is situated on approximately 14 acres of land with 220 yards of ocean frontage.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vivek Rajkumar Wins Borgata Poker Tour

On the 48th hand of the night, Rajkumar won the Borgata Poker Open. It was in much better time than Wednesday's tournament day.

Here is the hand synopsis from the Borgata Poker Blog:

Vivek Rajkumar has the button. He raises to 550,000. Sang Kim re-raises to 1,050,000. Vivek re-re-raises to 2,500,000. Sang goes all in. Vivek calls. Vivek has Ad-Js and Sang has As-Qh. The flop is Jd-10s-7s and the crowd erupts! The turn is the Ah. The river is the 8s! Sang Kim finishes in second.

We're heads up!

The Borgata Poker Open is already heads up after close to three hours of play.

It took a full day to get from 27 to six and people are now dropping fairly quickly. You can catch all the live action at the Borgata Poker Blog. The faithful bloggers over there are giving updates hand by hand.

Here are the current heads up chip counts:

Vivek Rajkumar - 16,805,000
Sang Kim - 3,910,000

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2008 United States Poker Championships Results - Event #4

Event #4 - Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or better
Buy-in: $500+$50
Entries: 104
Prize pool: $52,000

1. Daniel Spear - $20,800
2. Gloria Lorusso - $11,960
3. Luigi Grilla - $6,240
4. Lawrence D. Samuelson - $3,640
5. Mark Rosenberg - $2,860
6. Glenn J. Engelbert - $2,340
7. Ferenc Molnar - $1,820
8. Michael B. Gabarick - $1,300
9. Allen K. Kessler - $1,040

Those are all the results I picked up today. If the Taj Mahal doesn't post the results on Card Player or anywhere else, I will make another trip there on Monday to pick up more results. 

2008 United States Poker Championships Results - Event #3

Event #3 - Seven-card stud Hi/Lo
Buy-in: $500+$50
Entries: 89
Prize pool: $44,500

1. Brent D. Keller - $17,8000
2. Frank Atney - $10,235
3. Terry Wells - $5,340
4. Jo Jo Curti - $3,115
5. Laurence Goldsmith - $2,670
6. Joseph Millman - $2,225
7. John E. Womack - $1,780
8. George E. Poore - $1,335

One more set of results coming ...  

Borgata Poker Open update

Day 4 finally ended at 1:30 a.m. this morning, giving the remaining six players just 15 hours to recharge and come back for the televised portion of the main event of the Borgata Poker Open, a World Poker Tour event.

Here are the final six with chip counts.

Seat 1: Vivek Rajkumar (Seattle, WA) - 6,400,000
Seat 2: Dan Heimiller (Henderson, NV) - 3,360,000
Seat 3: Andrew Knee (Mount Sinai, NY) - 1,475,000
Seat 4: Mark Seif (Henderson, NV) - 4,665,000
Seat 5: Jason Strochak (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) - 1,650,000
Seat 6: Sang Kim (Leesburg, VA) - 3,085,000

2008 United States Poker Championships Results - Event #2

Event #2 - Seven-card stud
Buy in: $500+$50
Entries: 51
Prize pool: $25,500

1. John Demeo - $10,200
2. Daniel R. Nicewander - $5,865
3. Danny F. Hofer - $3,060 
4. Pheldavone Peaseuth - $1,785
5. Marianne Preveti - $1,530
6. Gilbert M. Sacks - $1,275
7. Sidney Miller - $1,020
8. Charles P. Townsend III - $765

More results to come ... 

2008 United States Poker Championships Results - Event #1

Event #1 - Limit Hold 'Em
Buyin: $300+$40
Entries :103
Prize pool: $30,900
1. Wasyl Zaliwciw - $12,360
2. Kayid Shawish - $7,107
3. John E. Womack - $3,708
4. Lisa Treffinger - $2,163
5. Terry L. English - $1,699
6. Demetrios L. Georgous - $1,390
7. James Denino - $1,081
8. Phillip Yoo - $773
9. Kerry Small - $619
More results to come ...

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Day 4 still going strong

Just went over to check out the Borgata Poker blog for an update and learned that it's still going on tonight. They are playing down to six players for tomorrow's final table that is going to be taped to be aired later on FSN.

It is down to seven people.


I imagine that is what everyone is screaming in their minds. When they finally do get to six people, they will break until tomorrow. But there is no morning wake-up call. The remaining players don't have to return until 4 p.m.

In seat order, this is who is left:

1. Vivek "psyduck" Rajkumar
2. Dan Heimiller
4. Andrew Knee
5. Mark Seif
6. Jason Strochak
7. Sang Kim
8. John Myung


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Financial crisis could hurt the Tropicana

With the financial markets hurting recently, especially over the last week, gaming regulators fear that the Tropicana won't be able to find an owner, according to a report in The Press of Atlantic City on Wednesday.

The deadline to sell the Tropicana is looming. There is just one month left on the deadline, which has already been pushed back three other times. If that time comes without a hint of a buyer, the Trop could be sold in a bankruptcy auction.
The Trop isn't the only casino effected by the slow market. Pinnacle, which owns the former Sands property, razed the casino over a year ago and has yet to do anything more with the property. Pinnacle officials have said the shaky credit market has forced them to push back time lines for building the casino. Although, recently they have said they are committed to building the casino. All the billboards around town say so.
During tough financial times, casinos are going to be the companies that lose money. If people don't have money to lose, they aren't going to play (although that hasn't stopped some people in the past).

Poker tournaments have been a great way for casinos to get players. Take a $300 buy-in tournament. A person can win over $100K by taking home first place. That's a huge boost in the wallet and a massive upside based on the amount of money one puts into a tournament.
Winnings like that don't happen while playing craps or blackjack unless you're putting up the money first.
More problems are going to arise throughout Atlantic City has the economy struggles. Less gamblers means casinos will need less people to run the place. When layoffs and cutbacks begin to happen, then the Resort is really in trouble.

Upshall Raises Money for Charity in Borgata Poker Open (Press of Atlantic City)

Flyers' Upshall checks way to raise money for charity at poker tournament in A.C.

By SUSAN LULGJURAJ Staff Writer, 609-272-7187

ATLANTIC CITY - Scottie Upshall was in intense competition this week.

He had to figure out the right moves, what his opponents were going to do and then be in the right place at the right time.

The difference was the Flyers' right wing was competing in the main event of the Borgata Poker Open, a World Poker Tour event.

The Texas Hold 'em event had a $5 million guaranteed payout, the largest guaranteed prize pool of any land-based casino. The winner will receive $1.4 million on Thursday, the last day of the tournament.

The Borgata Resort Casino and Spa fell slightly short of the mark with the buy-ins and put in a little less than $50,000 into the pool.

"I really didn't know what to expect. I walked into the room here and saw all the tables," said Upshall, who borrowed poker player Lacey Jones' gold headphones to listen to music off his iPhone. "I am here for a great cause. If I can get in and win a little money for them, it makes the last few days more special. I felt nerves this week that I have never felt while playing hockey."

The Borgata paid Upshall's $10,000 buy-in ($9,600 goes to the prize pool and with $400 going to the house). Philadelphia contacted Scottie Hartnell first, but he was going to be away with his wife.

That's when Upshall jumped at the chance. He found the tournament a great way to combine his interest in poker with a way to raise money. Charities can't always rely on donations but have to come up with ways to draw attention to them.

Upshall finished 52nd out of 516 contestants, taking home $15,000 to split between the Flyers Wives Fight for Lives and the Kids Forever Foundation, which Upshall founded with the Ottawa Senators' Chris Phillips.

The scrappy right winger led the Flyers in penalty minutes (44) during the playoffs last season. Philadelphia made it to the Eastern Conference finals and lost in five games to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Upshall finished the season with 14 goals and 16 assists. He had three goals and four assists in three rounds of the playoffs.

"I am not here gambling. I am here just trying to raise money," Upshall said. "I mentioned it to a couple of players and said it was my first event. When I said it was for charity, they thought, 'Wow that's amazing;' I couldn't sit here for three straight days.' "

The partnership worked well for Borgata because the casino is always looking for ways to break into other markets. Getting a Philadelphia athlete to compete in the high-profile tournament, the Borgata is showing poker is for anyone.

Anyone can enter a tournament and have a chance at a title while taking out some of the best in the world. Poker isn't exclusive to those who have been studying the game for years.

"One of the big reasons is to bring it a little more mainstream," said Borgata's Ray Stefanelli, director of Poker Marketing. "We are very friendly with the New York and Philadelphia markets. One of the things we thought about is why not have someone have a chance to win $1.4 million for charity. What better thing to do with that money."

Upshall isn't a novice to the game, but it was his first live event. The 24-year-old plays with teammates Hartnell and Derian Hatcher on the road. It's a normal past time for the Flyers who spend much of their time on planes and trains.

Upshall rubbed elbows with some of the most popular poker celebrities and even pushed his chips around with 2006 World Series of Poker main event winner Jamie Gold, who offered to give him tips on the game and charity work.

"My dad likes to play. He has a card table back home," Upshall said. "We also get a pretty good game of the guys on the plane. It's nice to get a little competitive game of cards every once in a while. That's kind of when I started playing poker, when I turned pro."

Playing poker and playing hockey require completely different skills. While Upshall isn't being knocked on his backside or taking shots to his face while playing poker, the game requires a different level of concentration.

Upshall made it to Day 3 of the five-day event outlasting a huge amount of people. The days are long-lasting from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On top of that, Upshall is the only competitor coming from an early-morning workout of skating on lifting weights.

"Poker is a game you have to sit down and take your time," said Upshall, whose friends texted him throughout the three days to find out his status. "I've learned a lot from the players here. You watch some of the players and things they say. I am going to take that back to my game with the boys."

Notes The U.S. Poker Championships, which last though Oct. 8, is going on at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City.

E-mail Susan Lulgjuraj:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 3 of the Borgata Poker Open finished

Day 3 mercifully came to an end at the Borgata Poker Open around 7 p.m. This has been the earliest of the three days so far and everyone involved with the tournament is thrilled. The first two days were nearly 12 hours each with several small breaks and only one lengthy break.

The 69 that came back for Day 3 played until there were 27 left and then called it quits. They will come back on Wednesday and play until there are just six left. Those six will then play on Thursday for the television portion of the Borgata Poker Open that will be seen on FSN as part of the World Poker Tour.

Flyers' Scottie Upshall busted out in 52nd place and netted $15,000 for the two charities he is playing for, the Flyers Wives for Life and the Kids Foundation that he helped create along with a fellow hockey player.

Read the Card Player article on Day 3 here and if you need constant updates the guys over at the Borgata Poker Blog are doing a great job.

Here the chip counts heading into Wednesday as per the WPT.

Dan Heimiller - 2,870,000
Vivek Rajkumar - 1,756,000
Thayer Rasmussen - 1,413,000
Steven Levy - 1,317,000
Jason Strochak - 1,266,000
Nicky Frangos - 1,140,000
Andrew Knee - 1,091,000
Mark Seif - 1,087,000
Patrick Carney - 1,050,000
Stephen Vanauken - 1,009,000
John Myung - 946,000
Michael Binger - 718,000
Steve Dannenmann - 627,000
Ted Forrest - 607,000
Bobby Shasta - 606,000
Ralph Villela - 345,000
Christopher Baksh - 344,000
Vinh Nguyen - 336,000
Sang Kim - 316,000
Mikiya Takitani - 301,000
Randy Pfeifer - 288,000
Robert Toft - 269,000
Nam Le - 235,000
Kevin Lang - 209,000
Chris Arvanitis - 177,000
Natale Kuey - 175,000
Chris Bell - 165,000

Day 2 of the WPT Borgata Poker Open comes to a close

There are roughly 70 players remaining in the Borgata Poker Open after two days of action. Many of the more popular poker players got knocked out on the second day, but there are still many notables left in the field such as Ted Forrest, Joe Sebok, Mark Seif and Tiffany Michelle.

Flyers' Scottie Upshall is still in the hunt as well. He is playing for two charities and has made it to the Day 3 in his first live tournament. Upshall is used to playing with his teammates on the road. He doesn't play online nor does he play in the casinos. Not bad for his first time out.

Many of the players have their own views of Atlantic City. Check out the latest radio from They have an interesting view of the resort and, well, it's not the plushy image Atlantic City's old name gives it. These guys don't like to venture to boardwalk side of Atlantic City. However, I can't say that I blame them.

With the Eagles playing the Cowboys on Monday Night Football, many of the players were paying attention to the game. This allowed the Philadelphia haters and their obsessive fans to come out and show their colors. There were many talking about sports from that point, Nicky Frangos was giving his opinion on the New York Yankees, who won't be making the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

Keeping checking in with the Borgata Poker Open's own blog. The men on the scene are giving live updates with all the information you could possibly need.

Here's Card Player's recount of Day 2 with Julio Rodriguez reporting.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Upshall All-In for Charities (Philadelphia Daily News)

NOTHING LIKE PLAYING with house money, right? Flyers forward Scottie Upshall still has his seat after Day 1 of the Borgata Poker Open, which kicked off yesterday at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Upshall, 24, had his $10,000 entry fee waived by the Borgata. The catch? Upshall's winnings are being split between his two favorite charities: Flyers Wives Fight for Lives and Kids Forever Foundation, which Upshall founded with Chris Phillips from the Ottawa Senators.

"These are two great causes," Upshall said. "It's great to get to play poker with the pros and see what the World Poker Tour is all about."

Each of the tournament's 500 players, who Upshall said were "dropping like flies," began the day with $40,000 in chips. Upshall doubled his stack after the first five sessions. He is hoping that will carry him to the final table on Thursday.

"By no means am I the chip leader," he joked. "But I'm certainly not hanging on for dear life."
The winner's share of the $5 million prize pool is $1.4 million.

The tournament is good practice for the upcoming season for Upshall. Poker is a hit on Flyers' road trips. Bet on this being a little bit tougher than bluffing a pot off Derian Hatcher or Scott Hartnell.

Don't worry, Flyers fans. Even though he played poker for 8-plus hours yesterday, Upshall returned to Voorhees, N.J., for a workout session this morning in preparation for the opening of training camp on Saturday. *

- Frank Seravalli

Perhaps the Borgata does care. It's nice to see the Borgata support local charities and a fun way to do it. It gets to have a Philadelphia Flyer in its tournament while not actually having to donate any money.

It's a $5 million guaranteed and it got a little over that with the buy-ins. So waiving one player isn't going to hurt them. However, I wonder how many of the tournament players got in through satellites. I am not entirely sure how it works. Does the money from the satellites go into the prize pool as well?

Smoke-Free casinos are finally coming

The 100 percent smoking ban of Atlantic City casinos is coming – fast.

For anyone who has taken the Atlantic City Expressway over the last few weeks should have noticed the billboard along the way: “Breathe Easy Atlantic City.”

That’s right. Everyone should be able to breathe easier on Oct. 15 when the casinos become entirely smoke free.

This is a touchy subject for many people. Smokers feel they have a right to smoke. Proponents of the ban say casino workers and other players shouldn’t be tortured by second-hand smoke.

For the record, I fall into the second category. I don’t smoke nor will I ever. I developed asthma because of second-hand smoke. My mother smoked in our home all the time. She still smokes and caused a problem for my niece, who at two years old spent about a month on a nebulizer and in the emergency room because she had difficulty breathing. Her symptoms didn’t go away until my mother stopped smoking in the house.

Now, why would casino workers choose this job if they know the consequences?

Because, they need to work.

Why should casino workers be subjected to poisonous air?

Well, they shouldn’t. And as much as the smokers are going to complain about this one, I can’t wait for Oct. 15. I won’t have to hold my breath anymore as I walk to the poker room.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 1 of the WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event

The economy is lagging, gas is on the rise again (although it never got low) and people are scrounging to find their last dollars. But don’t tell anyone at the Borgata about the economy’s downward swing.

The Borgata has had a great turnout for its Borgata Poker Open and 516 people registered for the main event, which is a World Poker Tour event that started today. The multi-table tournament costs $10,000 to enter, unless you are lucky enough to get in through a satellite.

However, plenty put up the cool 10K themselves, including plenty of notables that casual poker fans would recognize.

John Juanda was in the house. As were Joe Sebok (Barry Greenstein’s son), Mark Seif, Michael Mizrachi, Nicky Frangos and Beth Shak, who my boyfriend is sad he didn’t see her. These were some of the more popular players, although there were many local pros.

Flyers forward Scotty Upshall is playing in the tournament. According to the Borgata poker blog, Upshall doubled up and should at least make it to Day 2 of the tournament. The Flyers have been practicing in the early morning getting ready for camp, which starts on Saturday. Upshall is probably taking a small break before Philadelphia makes a run to get back to the Eastern Division Finals.

Today was the first day of the U.S. Poker Championships over at the Taj Mahal, which is just a quick ride from the marina. It started with a $300+$40 limit event and will continue through Oct. 8. Its main event ($10,000K) is from Oct. 5-8.

It will be interesting to see how well the Taj draws or if the people are just flocking to the Borgata.
Update: Here's Card Player's Julio Rodriguez's account of Day 1 of the WPT event.

Card Player TV of the Borgata Poker Open

Check out Card Player's first video from the Borgata Poker Open.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Borgata Poker Open Still Underway

Just wanted to let readers out there know the Borgata Poker Open is still going on. You can check out the action, which is updated live on the Borgata's Poker blog. There is tournament updates and little tidbits about the tournament in general. A little something for everyone.

For anyone looking for results of the tournaments, you can go to Card Player and check out the information for the tourneys that are completed.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Everyone plays poker, they just don't know it

For anyone who has played live poker in the past year, one thing you have learned is that poker is not cool. There are people who think they embody James Dean or Young Jeezy at the table. However, sitting behind a computer for hours creating a persona doesn’t make a new person when you’re at a table.

Playing poker doesn’t make someone any less and more intriguing (unless, of course, you’re a female. Men love that stuff). However, promoting a game that has been associated with degenerates and criminals isn’t going to help your reputation, especially to people who don’t understand the world of poker. (I was thinking about the recent article that Michael Phelps and Doyle Brunson have been in talks).

Despite poker’s mainstream emergence, there are many who view it as a bad habit or an addiction.

Those who just play poker (not the occasional gamers) and make a living out of it are not addicts. They are supporting families.

People who play poker and ship their money playing craps as soon as they get up from a game are just stupid.

However, countless people give me strange looks when I tell them that I play poker. The first question is always, “Are you good?”

My answer is always: “I get by.”

The next response is different and you can always gauge how they feel about poker.

First, there’s the overwhelming agreement that poker is fun and then you get to trade bad beat stories.

Second there are people who don’t understand the game, but think it’s “cool” because it’s on ESPN. They claim they play, which means lodging grenades into the $2-$4 limit game.

Then, there are those who absolutely hate the game and give you speeches about gambling. I’ve run into more of these people than I have realized. The rebuttal that poker isn’t really gambling and it requires skill falls onto deaf ears. They never want to hear about how you make perfect plays based on percentages and reads. They want to talk about the other 10 percent of the time when you are sucked out on or when your opponent has a two-outer and fills up.

What these people don’t realize is they make the same plays every day. They make choices in their lives based on the percentages (should I take an umbrella with me to work?). They decide whether to smile at the girl across the aisle on the bus based on how they read her (Does she look cranky this morning?).

Poker is life.

In this case, I’m just using money.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Blame Hanna

After doing more research on the impending storm, I realized my little sidequest to Mohegan Sun is not going to happen. Mapquest let me know that it was nearly two hours from my location, which would mean I probably wouldn't get there until 11 p.m. or so.

That would mean leaving at midnight (since I am just checking out the room). I could stop halfway to Atlantic City in New York with no problems. However, getting from NY to AC would be a problem with the terrible weather that is slated for the Eastern seaboard tomorrow.

I really want to check out this and I plan on doing it within the next two months. Now, having said that I am opening it up to the audience. Let me know what you want me to find out about the poker room. What sort of information are you looking for? I promise to get everything you need and will provice a detailed report of the room and everything it has (or doesn't have) to offer.

A Connecticut side trip

The Sr. Marketing VP of Mohegan Sun talked me into it. I was considering checking out the week-old, 43-table poker room and he invited me – along with the rest of the audience – to check out the new Tower of the Wind. That sealed it.

I’m working at the Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend and plan on leaving tonight to avoid Hanna, however, the drive South is going to take me right into the storm’s path.

I’ll only check out the room and rate it based on what I know, the Atlantic City casinos. I don’t on playing (but that could always change) because as far as game play goes, there shouldn’t be much difference. Poker in poker anywhere you go.

In one room you could have every table playing differently. It depends on the players.
Check back later for my take on the room at Mohegan Sun and, maybe, some shots from my camera phone.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Come on in, the water is just right

Poker isn't on the rise, but it's hardly dead, even though tournaments have seen player entries level off. During the huge poker storm, many people got swept up and now find themselves full-fledge card carrying members of the Texas Hold ‘Em Fan Club.

In the first tournament of the Borgata Poker Open ($300 buy-in) there were close to 1,200 eager students of the game hoping to get the top prize of $77,170. But the game of poker doesn’t just lure college kids who would rather bet at 20 simultaneous games than finish their midterm project or the retirees, who don’t want to sit in their house all day.

Celebrities joined the club a long time ago with notables such as Ben Affleck and Shannon Elizabeth popping up in various tournaments. The latest celeb with the poker bug is Michael Phelps, who needs no introduction.

According to, Phelps’ agent has recent been contacted by the World Series of Poker Europe for a sponsorship deal. The famed Olympian has been spotted playing Texas Hold ‘Em in various casinos, including Caesars Windsor in Ontario, which is close to where he trained at the University of Michigan.

Phelps is home in Baltimore now and doesn’t plan any intense training until next year. Does this mean a three-hour trip to Atlantic City in his future? With eight poker rooms in The Resort, Phelps has plenty of options from the Borgata, where the cool people go, to the Hilton, where the people wouldn’t know who he was if he had a sign around his neck.

If Phelps does become a sponsor for the WSOPE, it could have a negative impact on his other sponsors. While poker has taken off and is seen as part of the mainstream culture, there is still that sense that it’s a backroom game. There is still the gambling aspect involved.

What would the conservative public think of Phelps, the guy who wanted Frosted Flakes instead of Wheaties, if he promoted a gambling tournament?

By taking on this sponsorship, he could lose fans and hurt his bottom line as conservative sponsors would back away. He wouldn’t gain anything out of it (except the money) because poker players are cheap, just ask the waitresses who bring them drinks every night. Showing his face on WSOPE billboards isn’t going to draw more people to the tables. Especially not those who would continue to come back.

It's not poker that people want to beat him in, but as Phelps has shown nothing could crack his aces.

Borgata Poker Open Underway

The Borgata Poker Open, which is enormously popular here in Atlantic City, is underway this morning. You get all the updates that you need at the official Borgata Poker Open blog

Like always, I am sure they are going to bring all the action, and update as much as they can. It's 16 days of non-stop poker. If life were only this fun for all us. (Hint: Boys, if you're reading this, a cute brunette could use a side job).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Borgata Poker Open Starts Tomorrow

The Borgata Poker Open kicks off its next installment starting Wednesday with a $300 + $50 No-Limit Hold 'Em tournament beginning at 11 a.m.

The tournaments will go on through Sept. 18 (I may play a little stud tourney next Monday).

Click here for the schedule of the tournament or check the calendar on the sidebar that has all the information you need.

For updates of the tournament, I will try to post any interesting information, but the Borgata usually has live bloggers on site that will give constant updates throughout the tournament. Once I get that link (I think it's this one), I will post more information. Even though, I won't be there (I am not paying $5 a day for parking), there are plenty of others who willbe on site.
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