Monday, December 07, 2009

Release: First day of Harrahs's WSOP Circuit a success

The first day of the World Series of Poker circuit event in Atlantic City was a success, according to a release from Harrah's Resort.

Over 1,000 players came in for the $300 $40 NL event. Dante Magtoto won the event and $61,459.

Here's some play-by-play of the final table:

The final three players were seasoned poker veteran Massoud Nikjouian, 2009 Rincon Circuit Champion Dwyte Pilgrim and Dante Magtoto, a 28-year-old IT consultant who has been moonlighting on the felt for the past few years.

Pilgrim, the short-stack of the three, fell short of earning his third WSOP Circuit ring after his Ac-5c did not improve against the pocket queens of Magtoto.

Heads-up was between Magtoto and Nikjouian. Magtoto, with about a million chip lead, proposed a deal with his opponent to split the remaining $90,000 of the prize pool 50/40 with the ring going to Magtoto. Nikjouian suggested the two step outside of the ballroom to further discuss the deal. A few minutes later, both players to the table visibly upset.

Apparently, negotiations had fallen through and the two decided to play it out. The final hand of the night saw both players all-in pre-flop; Nikjouian's A-6 off vs. the Qh-9h of Magtoto. The flop came 2s-7h-ks. A queen on the turn gave Magtoto the lead, which held after a seven hit the river, earning him $61,459 for first place and a WSOP Circuit Event ring.

There was a little more than just the Circuit events going on. Harrah's took advantage of the rivalry between New York and Philadelphia to pit poker players from those cities against each other.
Alongside event #1, a battle for east coast supremacy brewed at the feature
table where the annual Philly vs. New York World Series of Poker Showdown was
being held. The event, sponsored by ESPN Radio 950 Philadelphia and ESPN Radio
1050 New York pits poker players from the two cities against one another, adding
to a long list of cross-town rivalries. Philadelphia, whose Phillies lost the
MLB Championship to the New York Yankees in 6 games of the World Series, saw
their hopes for redemption shattered when Robert Ricci, a divorce lawyer
representing New York took down the event.

The WSOP Circuit event runs through Dec. 20.

The worst dealers in Atlantic City

It's difficult to condemn an entire group for the actions of one person. However, when it comes to the poker dealers at Caesars, it's more than that. As a whole, they are some of the most unprofessional, sloppy dealers I have ever witnessed.

And, this was two years ago when I stopped playing there because of that reason.

Recently, a close friend of mine, MT, has started playing there. He went twice last week and each time was worse than the last. If it wasn't MT telling me the story, I would have had a difficult time of believing it happened.

MT sat on a $1-$2 NL game at Caesars where the bad beat was around $270K. He's playing, wins a pot and when he was about to throw Barbara (that's her real name) a tip, she says to him "nice hand."

There are massive pet peeves I have and when it comes to poker, a dealer saying 'nice hand' is one of mine. The dealer is supposed to remain neutral. This isn't blackjack where you are playing against the house. Big pet peeve of MT's too.

Instead of throwing her the chip, he just stacks it on top of his pile and says, 'What about that was nice for him?" referring to the man who lost the hand. She looks at him with a blank stare and according to MT, started to look visibly flustered.

About three hands later, Barbara decides the game is over even though a new player is being brought to the table. She tells a floor person and says, the game is over and that they should find six seats around the room. MT says, how is the game breaking? We didn't ask for it. She said, this game is over.

Barbara splits the deck and then starts suiting while the players are left to find six seats around the room.

So MT ends up on another game. About an hour later Barbara is now the dealer on this eight-handed game. She's using her usual tactics of 'nice hand' and 'nice call' to pump players for tips and subsequently is getting stiffed, especially by MT who has won three pots with her.

Remember, this is an eight-handed game. Because MT stiffs her, she starts short-pitching the cards to him as he is sitting on the end.

MT wins another pot and now plays the game back. Rather than throw his cards toward the much, he just slides them over to seat 4, so she has to come and reach for them.

MT says: "I knew you could do it."
Barbara" I have no idea what you're talking about.
MT: Sure, you don't.

As a floor person is walking by, Barbara says to the floor, "Hey, do you have seats around the room, this game is breaking."

MT wasn't going to allow this to happen again. 1. it's an eight-handed game and 2. it's 6 a.m. and no one wants to move.

So, MT pipes up, "We're good right here. No one wants to move. Don't worry about the game breaking."

After she gets off the game, a few players voice their displeasure about her. One woman said, she was surprised the dealer tried to break up the game. Another asked about the little games going on between Barbara and MT.

Long story short: Nothing has changed at Caesars and I won't go there any time soon.

Nice call by me.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Lots of Atlantic City casino news

Over the past week, plenty of news has been dribbling in about some of the Atlantic City casinos and ventures that affect them.

- Latest update on high stakes poker player Andy Beal's attempts to gain control of the three Trump casinos (link).

- ACES, the direct train from New York City to Atlantic City will have less trains during the winter season because of low ridership (link).

- Atlantic City makes plans for Revel's tax payments (link).

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Article from The Press of Atlantic City on the U.S. Poker Championships

ATLANTIC CITY - A Rumson man won the United States Poker Championship at
the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, besting 153 other contestants in the four-day
tournament to be televised on the Spike Network, a casino official said

William Brindise took home $261,800 for his efforts, after beating Men
"The Master" van Nyungen in head-to-head play at the final table, poker director
Tom Gitto said. Nyungen won $138,600, and third-place finisher Eric Ladny, of
Mercerville, pocketed $77,000.

The final table of the event will air on the Spike network in January,
Gitto said. The Taj Mahal has a five-year contract with Compass Entertainment of
Las Vegas to produce and air the broadcast of the U.S. Poker Championship.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Looking for a little help

I'm working on an article for a newspaper about poker players. I am looking for someone who made the attempt to be a professional poker player for some reason or another, it didn't work out.

This isn't me trying to point and laugh. I'm working on a story on how difficult it is to become a poker player and dealing with hardships that you didn't think about before.

If you get a chance, email me at pokerinac at gmail (dot) com


Sunday, November 22, 2009

U.S. Poker Championship main event tomorrow

There's still time to make it down to Atlantic City to the 5K main event at the U.S. Poker Championships at the Taj Mahal.

It's a great structure. Start with 30K in chips and many, many levels.

The TV final table will be on Tuesday, which will eventually air on Spike TV.

So, whose going down?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

U.S. Poker Championships back on T.V.

After a one-year absence, the United States Poker Championship at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort is returning to national television.

The Taj Mahal signed a five-year deal with Las Vegas-based Compass Entertainment LLC to produce and broadcast the poker tournament on the Spike Network, the casino announced.

The tournament began Monday and runs through Nov. 24. The event culminates with a $5,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em Championship starting Nov. 20.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What a bad night at the Trop

It's been months since I sat down at a poker table in Atlantic City. Not like one or two months, probably something in the six to nine months range.

I've been waiting for a few things to come together, namely paying off my credit card bill. Well, I'm officially out of debt and I didn't waste of second to get back to playing poker.

I probably should have waited.

I'm not one to bore people with hand-by-hand analysis. I don't normally read other posts about the same sort of thing, but I lost $400 last night at the Tropicana.

Ouch is right. That was how I felt driving back home after that bath.

First hand I went broke with, I raised black Kings to $15 under the gun in a $1/$2 no limit game. The guy to my immediate left calls and so do three other behind him. The flop comes down queen high, all clubs.

I can't remember the exact breakdown of the flop bet, but my chips went all-in on the turn when a red card peeled off. I was the aggressor the whole way. One guy was all-in for $47 on the flop.

When I moved all-in on the turn against the guy to my left, I knew he didn't have the flush or the ace-high draw. He took too long to call me, which he did. He turned over red aces.

The river didn't help and I lost my first buy-in.

The second hand I chose to go broke with was with another draw. I played it wrong two ways. The first mistake was not raising the initial bettor pre-flop. From under the gun, he made it $7. I looked down to AQ clubs and just call. It was a terrible call, but it happened because I hate AQ. It's my least favorite hand to play and I let that get the better of me.

There were a few other callers. The flop with A-4-7 with two diamonds and one club. It gets checked to me and I bet, two people call, including the initial bettor.

Turn: 2 clubs

Now, I have top pair with the nut flush draw. It's checked to me, I bet $35. Folds to the initial raiser and he min-raise me to $70.

I have $110 in front of me. The right play (now that I think about it) should have calling the $35 and getting a peek at the river for cheap. Instead, I push all-in for my last bit of money.

He calls the $110 because he has a monster stack behind him.

He turns over 3-5 of diamonds. He turned a straight.

He raised 3-5 of diamonds from under the gun to start the hand. I never put him on that.

River didn't help and there went the rest of my money.

I was too aggressive. My play seemed more suited for tournament poker than a cash game. But as I get to play more, I will remember some of these lessons.

By the way, the bad beat was up to 101K at the Tropicana.

Lessons of the night:
1. Play your hand and don't be scared of AQ.
2. Dont' go broke on a draw
3. There is no folding equity in $1-$2 NL
4. Tropicana ain't what it used to be.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Borgata announces another tournament

Fresh off its record setting Borgata Poker Open, featuring 1,018 participants, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa introduces the $250,000 Guaranteed Double Play Poker Tournament, Sunday, October 18 -21 in the Borgata Poker Room.

For the first time in Borgata's history, players who participate in day 1A of the Double Play Tournament and bust out will have a second chance at the guaranteed $250,000 prize pool by having the opportunity to register and play in day 1B. Entry into the tournament is $500 + $60.

Qualifiers are Saturday, October 17 at 11 AM and Sunday, October 18 at 4 PM.
Borgata is doing it again. People don't like busting out of tournaments, so they are letting players back in - for a free, of course.

However, with the way Borgata runs the room, I am sure there are plenty of players who will dig into their wallets a second time for a chance at the prize pool.

Also, with the way the economy is, players are getting more value on their money by entering tournaments.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Showboat to Snowbirds

During the winter, Atlantic City is a tough place to play poker. There's always a game, but in the smaller poker rooms, it can be difficult to find good action.

For poker dealers, it's even tougher to earn tips. Rooms such as the Showboat and Harrah's get much smaller and could have two to five total games running on any given night.

A few Showboat dealers and floor people have decided to not wait out the slow time in Atlantic City and head to a warmer climate. About five employees jumped down to Florida to open a new poker room.

According to a post over on the TwoPlusTwo forum, Rod, Jackie (a floor person), Favio, Don and Sylvia have left the room.

Jackie was a great floor person and didn't take any crap from anyone. I enjoyed having her in the poker room while she was there and I am definitely going to miss her. She was also a good tournament player. Some of those losses will hurt the room.

Good luck to them in Florida. Now, if only we can get some of the Harrah's dealer out of there, we would have something going.

Twittering while I work

I'm a big fan of Twitter and just wanted to let you guys know that you can now catch me on there putting up all the news Atlantic City poker news I could find.

Follow me at @PokerInAC

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Did this really happen?

At Harrah's last weekend, there was a game where a woman was trying to play with her husband's chips. The dealer told the player, he wasn't allowed to take his money off the game (the man was first just trying to give her some chips to go play slots).

Then, when she offered to play in the game, the dealers said he couldn't give his chips to another player. TRUE!

So when the dealer was getting off the game, the husband thought he was sly and 'hugged' his wife and slipped chips in her hand, which the dealer saw and pointed out.

Finally, the dealer went up to a floor person (I think, Bruce) and told the floor guy the story. 'Bruce' goes up to the game and asks the table to take a vote as to what should be allowed to happen.

If no one has a problem with her sitting on the game with her husband's chips, then it's ok.

C'mon! What the heck is that?

'Bruce' is apparently from Caesars, which obviously makes sense because the rules for poker don't apply there. Harrah's is getting nearly as bad as Caesar's in this respect.

Too bad for the dealers that follow rules because they aren't popular to most players and are becoming extinct.

Anyone else have any bad stories about inept floor or dealers?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nicky Hilton in AC?

Nicky Hilton, the least trashy of the hilton sisters, wrote on her Twitter account this weekend that she was headed to Atlantic City for birthday part at Dusk in Caesars.

Yeah, that has nothing to do with poker, but she also wrote that was headed for the poker room.

Anyone catch Ms. Hilton on the tables?

Friday, September 25, 2009

New York man wins Borgata Poker Open

This from the Borgata this afternoon:

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa set a record for the highest participation in a World Poker Tour® (WPT) event with 1,018 participants generating a $3,359,400 prize pool while crowning Olivier Busquet of New York, NY, with the 2009 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship and $925,514.

The New York native was short-stacked and at a marked disadvantage at the beginning of the exciting heads-up match with Jeremy Brown of Medford, NJ, however Busquet methodically battled back from an almost $16 million chip deficit and clinched the victory as his all-in with trip 4s bested Brown. Jeremy Brown took home $453,519 for second place.

An emotional Busquet commented, “Borgata offers the best structures which gives the most value. I mean, I just won $925,000 on a $3,500 investment.”

The rest of the final table placed as follows:

Kenny “SuperTuan1” Nguyen (Lynwood, IL) finished in 6th place, taking home $156,212.
Keith Crowder (Elkins Park, PA) finished in 5th place for $188,126
Yanick Brodeur (Fleurmont, Canada) finished in 4th place for $216,681
Ivan Mamuzic (Brampton, Ontario) finished in 3rd place for $251,955
This year’s Borgata Poker Open tournament series saw nearly 15,000 participants in the 50 events, and paid out over $8 million to winners. Many poker greats were in the field, such as Gavin Smith, Bernard Lee, Kathy Liebert, JC Tran, Bill Gazes, and David “Chino” Rheem.

“Borgata is always the best trip of the year; always the best tournaments, and the best turn out,” said Josh Brikis, currently 26th in Player of the Year points. “I honestly can’t wait until January (Borgata Winter Open).”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Borgata Poker Open down to three tables

The Borgata blog is the place to keep up-to-date with the latest info on the Borgata Poker Open.

The main event is down to the final three tables. Play will begin Wednesday at 11 a.m., and go down to the final six for the final televised table.

Those six will get their mugs on Fox Sports Net in the future.

Here are the chip counts heading into Day 3 from the WPT live updates.

Also, if you want to see more photos, check out this gallery from The Press of Atlantic City.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Press of AC: Borgata cashes in on lower buy-in poker tournaments

It's good to see The Press of Atlantic City with some poker articles.

Borgata cashes in with lower buy-ins at poker tournament


The grim economy would seem to make the timing bad for a major poker tournament in this struggling casino market.

However, the WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship has been a success since it started on Sept. 8 with an estimated 15,000 entrants.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa's signature poker tournament concludes with a televised final table of the main event Thursday.

The Borgata Poker Tour is a stop on the World Poker Tour and the final table eventually will be seen on Fox Sports Net.

A key to the event's success has been the lower buy-in for the no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event, which started Saturday.

The Open drew 1,018 players for the $3,500 event ($3,300 goes into the prize pool and $200 to the casino).

The buy-in is significantly lower than it is for most major tournaments around the country.

"I think it's very smart for today's economy," said Brigantine resident Joe Simmons, a regular at the Borgata. "It gives everyone a chance to play. The $10,000 buy-in at this point is cool for the World Series (of Poker), but just imagine how small this field would be otherwise."

The prize pool is smaller than at some tournaments but not by much. The large turnout generated a prize pool of $3.4 million with the winner getting $925,514. The top seven will finishers take home six-figure amounts.

"We've built the event for the players," Borgata poker marketing director Ray Stefanelli said. "Rather than spend $25K on an event, they can come here and get the same exact prize pool with a better value."

If you compare the WPT event at the Borgata to a recent WPT event in California, you see how successful Borgata is with its structure.

The winner of the Legends of Poker, which was held at The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, Calif., received $1.03 million, but there were only 279 entrants and a $2.65 million prize pool.

Poker players enjoy the Borgata's tournament so much they have came from across the country. Some well-known poker players attended the event such as Gavin Smith, Lacey Jones and Kathy Liebert.

However, many of the popular poker players are currently competing in the 2009 European Championships in London.

"Nobody does it better than the Borgata," said poker player Will Failla, of Smithtown, N.Y. "They just make it right. It's really been a great place to play."

The tournaments are filled with many East Coast players, but the Las Vegas players come to the Borgata as well. Some just enjoy the casino so much, they always make sure it's a stop on their schedule during the year.

"They always have a pretty good field," said Smith, 41, who lives in Las Vegas. "The biggest difference is that the field is quite a bit weaker. You get a lot more amateur players willing to pay $3,500."

Borgata's buy-in for the main event has been around $3,000 for the last three big events. The casino holds three major tournaments throughout the year: Borgata Poker Open, Winter Open and Summer Open.

The American stops on the World Poker Tour had buy-ins of at least $10,000 for the main events. Some went as high as $15,000.

The World Series of Poker Circuit events, tournaments at Harrah's properties around the country, have buy-ins around $5,200. The World Series of Poker main event, the one that grabs headlines and is seen on ESPN, has a $10,000 buy-in.
The Borgata's is one of the least expensive tournaments and most popular.

"I think the Borgata is ahead of the curve. I think this is the future of the big events," Failla said. "With the way the economy is, the Borgata is doing the right thing."

E-mail Susan Lulgjuraj:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Harrah's announced WSOP event in Atlantic City

The World Series of Poker announced the events that will occur at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City from Dec. 4-20.

This is always a nice-sized event at Harrahs with lucrative cash games.

There seem to be several changes for the Atlantic City event. The main event occurs in the middle of the schedule, which is unlike most other tournaments. Usually, the main event (and, you'll notice the lower buy-in) comes near the end of tournament week.

There are also two deep stack tournaments, which means if you get busted from the main event early, there are two enticing touranments left.

While I don't normally agree with Harrah's policies, I actually like this. Those who are buying right into the main event usually have a decent amount of money to spend. This other tournaments will keep the big fish sticking around the casino.

The only thing Harrah's needs to do is market this tournament well. That's something Harrah's officials haven't done well yet. The WSOPC returns to Atlantic City in March for an event at Caesars.

Here's the entire schedule for the WSOPC at Harrah's in Atlantic City.

Fri 12/4 – Event #1: $300 + $40 No Limit Hold’em (2 day event)
Sat 12/5 – Event #2: $500 + $60 No Limit Hold’em (2 day event)
Sun 12/6 – Event #3: $300 + $40 No Limit Hold’em (2 day event)
Mon 12/7 – Event #4: $200 + $30 No Limit Hold’em (1 day event)
Tue 12/8 – Event #5: $500 + $60 No Limit Hold’em (2 day event)
Wed 12/9 - Event #6: $200 + $30 No Limit Hold’em (1 day event)
Thu 12/10 – Event #7: $300 + $40 No Limit Hold’em (2 day event)
Fri 12/11 – Event #8: $1,000 + $80 No Limit Hold’em (2 day event)
Sat 12/12 – Event #9: $300 + $40 Ladies No Limit Hold’em (1 day event)
Sun 12/13 – Event #10 Main Event: $4,900 + $250 No Limit Hold’em (3 day event)
Mon 12/14 – Event #11: $200 + $30 No Limit Hold’em (1 day event)
Tue 12/15 – Event #12: $1,500 + $100 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (3 day event)
Wed 12/16 – Event #13: $200 + $30 No Limit Hold’em (1 day event)
Thu 12/17 – Event #14: $300 + $40 No Limit Hold’em (2 day event)
Fri 12/18 – Event #15: $2,000 + $150 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (3 day event)
Sat 12/19 – Event #16: $300 + $40 No Limit Hold’em (2 day event)
Sun 12/20 – Event #17: $1035 + $65 2010 WSOP Satellite (1 day event)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Join Martin Truex Jr. on the felt

NASCAR racer Martin Truex Jr., is holding a charity poker tournament at the Tropicana on Sept. 23 to raise aid for children in need.

The Hook 'Em and Hold 'Em Foundation Poker Tournament has a $200 entry fee.

Other drivers joining Truex in the event will be Greg Biffle, and Ryan Newman.

Truex has made an appearance at the Tropicana before. In January of 2007, he held an event that coincided with the Motorsports convention at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Truex is from the area. He grew up in Stafford Township and started racing cars as a kid. He currently races on the Sprint Cup.
First place for the event pays $5,000, second $2,500 and third $1,000.

The winner also receives the “Ultimate Fan Experience Grand Prize Package” for NASCAR race in Dover, Del., on Sept. 27:
*Private 15-minute meet-and-greet with driver Martin Truex Jr.
*Personal pit tour day of event
*2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Garage Passes
*2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Suite Passes
*VIP Race Experience Package

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A look at the other side from Borgata ladies tournament

We know the story of a man winning the ladies No-Limit Hold 'Em event at the Borgata, but rather than focus on him, Nicole Rowe's local newspaper focused on her success at the table and battle with breast cancer.

I enjoyed this story just because it humanizes the woman.

However, the story here offers opinion rather than fact when it states that Rowe has no hard feelings to Abraham Kirotki. Apparently, this newspaper didn't read the article on

New in this article was The Borgata donated $5,000 to a cancer foundation. According to the story in, Kirotki plans to donate his winnings to charities, including a breast cancer foundation.

Good came out of this story by highlighting the terrible disease.

I wish Rowe the best for her future and for the sake of family and women every where, I hope she beats this disease.

From the Atlantic City Poker Happenings blog, good luck Nicole and beat this damn thing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poker Pro Magazine hosts its first tournament

Poker Pro magazine is hosting its first poker event at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

The Poker Pro Magazine 2009 Poker Classic will be held on Oct. 16 and 17, highlighted by a $30,000 guaranteed main event.

On Friday, the first event has a small buy-in of $200+$30 at 7:15 p.m. The rounds are 25 minutes long.

Saturday's main event begins at 1:15 p.m. with a $500+$60 buy-in and 40-minute rounds.

Both tournaments begin with a $20,000-chip stack.

Poker Pro also has a bounty on the magazine's editor-in-chief. Knock out John "Johnny Quads" Wenzel and get a free night in the Taj's Chairman Tower.

"This is our first event, so we are going to make it a good one," said the magazine's editor-in-chief, John Wenzel in a press release. "And this is the first of many. Watch for more events from us in coming months."

Too add more to the so-called pot. If you book your seat with, you will be entered in a random drawing and could win a gourmet dinner for two and a room in the Chairman Tower.

In addition, if you buy your seat at, you qualify for an $85 room rate, but you have to book by Oct. 10.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Man wins ladies poker tournament at the Borgata

A 65-year-old man beat out a field of 260 women to win the Borgata Poker Open's Ladies No Limit Hold 'Em tournament on Saturday.

Abraham Korotki of Ventnor City, N.J., took down the $20,982 first place prize and Nicole Rowe, 40, took second.

She isn't happy about it, according to this story on

"When you're a woman and you play poker, 99 percent of the time you're at a table with nine men," Rowe told "Why he have to ruin it for us? Why would he do this?"

Korotki said he was donating the winnings to three charities and the reason he played was because he was bounced from an earlier tournament too quickly.

By law, Korotki has a right to play in the tournament. 'Ladies only' is merely a suggestion, not a requirement.

Rowe also suggested to chop the pot when it went heads up, but Korotki didn't want to. According to the article, he wanted to win the tournament, it wasn't about the money. The proposal would have split the money down the middle, but Korotki had a chip lead at that point.

Should have Korotki played? Probably not.

Should have Borgata officials reminded him they wanted it to be a ladies-only event? Probably.

Rowe was diagnosed with breast cancer and will have a mastectomy at the end of the month. She plans to use the money from her winnings to support herself at home following the operation.

I wish Rowe all the best, but I'm rather annoyed with her victim attitude. Korotki didn't ruin it for anyone. Apparently, the Borgata didn't receive any complaints from the other women in the tournament.

Additionally, the outcome would have been different if Kortoki was not in tournament, meaning Rowe might not have even cashed.

I say this all as a woman.

Play your game and knock everyone else out of the way.

She should be proud of the fact she did so well instead of complaining.

Getting back into the flow

As I get back into the swing of things, I'll update the sidebar with useful information.

Check back to this post to see the latest updates. I'll keep the updates to one post as to not clog the main feed.

Latest Update:
9/15: Borgata daily poker tournaments. Note that the Borgata daily tournament will resume on Sept. 24 when the Borgata Poker Open concludes. In the meantime, if you want to see what's gong on at the BPO, check out the borgata blog.
9/17: Martin Truex Jr., charity poker tournament info added to the calendar. Tourney is Sept. 23.

I've been a bad girl

For those who come to the blog often, you have noticed that I have neglected my blogging duties. the truth is for some time I lost the poker edge.

Far too many times I would go into casinos and deal with players who doesn't understandc courtesy and, even, ethics.

I watched players blatantly showing cards to their neighbor before they even had a chance to act. Then, because the person was a good tipper, the dealer looked the other way. It was difficult to deal with at the time.

I stepped away from the felt for several months to see what the time away would do for me.

I still love poker. I still love what it could be, but I've learned that poker in its current state in Atlantic City is in a world of hurt.

But it's not going anywhere.

Poker is going to stay here because no one cares about the rules. Not players, not dealers and not the floor people.

I'm in the minority in my poker beliefs, which is sad because all I want is a well-run game with no collusion. I really didn't think it was too much to ask, but it is.

However, enough of that. I'm here to say I'm back and I'll be blogging away like I once did.

Just do you know, I'm not crying about any of it because I've learned every situation has its advantages. So every time you show a card to your neighbor, I see it too. And every time you telegraph your hand to your friend, I pick that up too.

Maybe I can't read your text message to your buddy across the table, but I can read you.

Trust me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How many felt the poker freeze?

Just curious how many people out there felt the poker pinch when the government cracked down on online accounts.

I read this article over at (I have no idea if that is the real name or not).

It's not really fair that the government can just freeze up your money. But the problem is that the government is making anything off of it. If it just taxed the heck out of the poker sites, the gov't would be more than pleased about it.

The obvious answer is if the gov't isn't making any money then it doesn't want you to either.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Borgata Bad Beat hit at $198,819

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (May 18, 2009) – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa announced today a local New Jersey man won $79,528 on Monday, May 18, when Borgata’s Bad Beat Jackpot hit.

At 11:30AM on a $2-$4 Limit Hold’em game, Laurence Harbor, NJ, native Donald McClelland’s quad 5’s lost to Parsippany, NJ native Shawn St. Peter’s straight flush. St. Peter won the hand and the pot. However, it was McClelland who truly won, as he collected forty percent of the $198,819 Bad Beat prize money. St. Peter took home $39,763 for delivering the Bad Beat, while the other eight players at the table took each took home $9,941 for being at the table when the Bad Beat hit.

McClelland’s jackpot hit during Borgata’s $500,000 Guaranteed Deep Stack Tournament, featuring a prize pool over $900,000.

Borgata’s Bad Beat Jackpot has now hit for the eleventh time since December 25, 2008 paying out $1,595,374 in prize money.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Trump Plaza gets rid of e-poker machines

This is an article that appeared in The Press of Atlantic City today.

They were fast, mistake-proof and didn't need to be tipped. But they had no personality. So now they're gone.

Atlantic City's experiment with electronic poker tables proved to be a resounding failure because it seems humans prefer other humans when it comes to dealing the cards.

"I'd rather have a human dealer. It's a friendlier atmosphere," Ira Cohen, a poker player from Brooklyn, N.Y., said Thursday at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Trump Plaza has removed Atlantic City's only batch of automated poker tables after trying them out for a few months in hopes that they would attract a younger generation of gamblers.

The machines never came close to generating the revenue that Trump executives had anticipated. The goal was $1.8 million in annual revenue, but the best month was only $45,000, according to Jim Rigot, Trump Plaza's general manager.

"For us, that was pretty discouraging, to say the least," he said.

Trump Plaza introduced 14 of the PokerTek Inc. machines last June as the centerpiece of a refurbished gambling area in the casino's East Tower. A dozen tables featured seating for as many as 10 players, while the other two were two-seaters for head-to-head competition.

Electronic poker tables mimic the live games -- except that they don't have betting chips or humans dealing the cards.

Although the machines were faster than human dealers and didn't make mistakes, the new technology just couldn't replace the old-fashioned experience of live poker, Rigot acknowledged.

"Poker players like to play with chips," he said. "They like to have real cards in their hands if given the chance."

When the machines made their debut, Atlantic City dealers represented by the United Auto Workers union feared they were the start of a broader trend of electronic gambling that could eventually cost casino employees their tip-dependent jobs. The dealers declined to comment this week about Trump Plaza removing the PokerTek tables.

Rigot maintained it was never the casino's intention to replace human dealers with machines. He said electronic gambling was simply another attraction to complement the live poker tables and generate more business during the recession.

"We were adding to our product to bring more people to Trump Plaza. We were looking to help the dealers out," Rigot said.

The electronic games automatically shuffle and deal video-style cards that appear on a large display screen in the middle of the table. Each player has a smaller display screen in front of them equipped with touch controls to place their bets, call or fold. Winners are automatically identified after each hand.

Rigot said electronic gambling is more popular in casino markets that don't have live table games. At Pennsylvania's slot parlors, for instance, electronic blackjack games are considered a form of slot gambling and represent a major attraction.

While Atlantic City may not be ready yet for electronic poker, there is a chance it will make a comeback when the economy recovers and people are more willing to spend their money on different types of gambling, Rigot predicted.

"It's not to say that we may not resurrect it in the future," he said.

Cohen, the poker player at Trump Plaza, said he has no interest in electronic gambling. He urged Trump Plaza to open a live poker room now that the automated tables are gone.

"I don't play them. I have mixed feelings about the machines," Cohen said. "I would rather have people."

For now, Trump Plaza has closed most of the East Tower's gaming space, including the area where the electronic poker tables once dominated. A black curtain has been drawn across the entrance, with a sign attached saying, "Please pardon our appearance while we make changes to serve you better."

Rigot said the East Tower's 14,000 square feet of casino space will be transformed into a multifunctional room for special events, gaming tournaments and perhaps even a nightclub on weekends.

E-mail Donald Wittkowski:

Friday, March 06, 2009

Our indulgence worth the wait?

This from The Press of Atlantic City.

12:39 p.m. Update - ATLANTIC CITY — After flirting with Atlantic City for more than two years, Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. said today that its proposed casino project is all but dead and it now wants to sell the oceanfront land.
“One day, hopefully, someone shows up and gives us a good price,” Dan Lee, Pinnacle’s chairman and chief executive officer, said of the property during a conference call with analysts.
Pinnacle imploded the old Sands Casino Hotel in fall 2006 to create space for a proposed $1.5 billion, Las Vegas-style casino that was supposed to be among a new generation of Atlantic City megaresorts. However, Pinnacle put the project on hold months ago because of the recession and global credit crisis.
Lee’s comments today all but dashed any hope that Pinnacle would resurrect the project when the economy recovers and the frozen credit markets finally thaw out.
“Obviously, with 20-20 hindsight, I wish we didn’t buy the land in Atlantic City,” he said.


Wow. So, Pinnacle gets rid of the Sands and all the people it employed just to waste the space that is it's now occupying. It would be amazing if companies like this were able to face consequences for doing this to the people who worked there, but in the end there are only going to be angry people, still looking for work while Pinnacle continues to ruin lives.

Remind me never to support this company in any sense.

Here are the casinos Pinnacle owns:
Lumiere Place Casino and Hotels in St. Louis
L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Belterra Casino Resort and Spa in Indiana
Boomtown Casino in New Orleans
Boomtown Casino in Reno
Boomtown Casino in Shreveport, La.
Casino Magic Properties in Argentina

That is also a list of casinos I will never visit in my lifetime.

Thanks for nothing Pinnacle. Really, thanks a lot. You take thousands of jobs away and then leave when the going gets tough. That's the exact type of company people want to support.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Release: Biggest bad beat hit at Borgara


largest bad beat jackpot in ac history hits at borgata

Local Ocean City Man Wins $122,487.00 in Record-Setting Prize

Atlantic City, NJ (February 11, 2009) – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa announced today an Ocean City, NJ man won $122,487.00 in the largest Bad Beat jackpot in Atlantic City history.

Winner Michael Richard may have lost the pot of around $800.00, as his quad 7’s were beaten by William Stewart’s quad 10’s. However, in a game where luck plays as much a part as skill, he walked away with $122,487.00 as the Borgata Bad Beat Jackpot winner, taking home his large share of the record-setting $306,225.00 jackpot.

On Tuesday evening around 9PM in the Borgata Poker Room nine players were dealt a hand in a $2-$5 No Limit Hold’em game. William Stewart of Brigantine, NJ, was dealt 10c 10d, while Michael Richard was dealt 7c 7s. The flop came out with 10s 7h 2s and both players went all-in. The turn showed a 10h. The river was a 7d.

In addition to winning the hand, William Stewart also took home an additional $61,245.00. The remaining seven players at the table each took home $17,499.00.

Stan Strickland, Director of Poker Operations at Borgata commented, “What’s unique about this situation is that the Bad Beat Jackpot hit on a $2-$5 No Limit game; that’s not common. Just goes to prove that anything is possible. We are looking forward to the next Bad Beat.”

About Bad Beat
The Bad Beat shall apply to the game of Texas Hold’Em only. “Bad Beat” means a high ranking poker hand that is beat by a higher ranking hand (e.g., Four Deuces losing to Four Nines). In order for a hand to be eligible to qualify for a Bad Beat, the pot must meet a minimum of $20. A minimum of four players must be seated and dealt in at the beginning of the hand in order to qualify for the Bad Beat. To qualify for the Bad Beat Jackpot, a player must have four Deuces or better beaten. If the winning or losing player has made a Four-of-a-Kind, that player must have a pocket pair to qualify (example: if a player has four Eights, he/she must have a pocket pair of Eights with two Eights on the board). Both the winning and losing hands must use both of their hole cards to create the highest possible hand.

About Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Borgata is a joint venture of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM). Located at Renaissance Pointe in Atlantic City, it features 2,000 guest rooms and suites; 161,000 square feet of gaming; 182 gaming tables; 4,100 slot machines; an 85-table poker room; 11 retail boutiques; 6 acclaimed fine dining restaurants by renowned chefs; 6 casual dining options; a 54,000 square foot spa; 70,000 square feet of event space; 4 signature nightlife experiences; and parking for 7,100 cars. The resort also features Atlantic City’s first non-gaming, cosmopolitan hotel experience, The Water Club, A Signature Hotel by Borgata, with 800 guest rooms and suites; food and beverage by renowned chef Geoffrey Zakarian; a 36,000 square foot spa; 18,000 square feet of meeting space; 6 designer retail boutiques; and 5 heated indoor and outdoor pools.

For more information on Borgata or to obtain a copy of this press release, please visit or use AOL keyword: borgata. Additional news and information on Boyd Gaming can be found at; additional information on MGM MIRAGE can be found at

Friday, January 30, 2009

UPDATE: Man Barricades Himself Taj Mahal Office

According to The Press of Atlantic City, a man has barricaded himself in one of the offices at the Taj Mahal. It's unknown what the situation is, but there are a few guesses.

1. He was just looking for a place to smoke without being harassed.

2. He was looking for the money he lost while gambling.

3. He got laid off and didn't want to leave his office.

4. They can't get enough of the Taj since it's been redone and just wants to stay there forever.

I'm sure there are more. What's your guess?

Update: All is safe at the Trump Taj Mahal again. Here's the updated news from The Press:

An armed man barricaded inside an office of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort overnight was taken into custody at 8:15 a.m. today.

The incident began at 8:50 p.m. Thursday when officers, unaware that he was armed, took the man to security office within the casino. He was wanted on larceny charges. The man was threatening to kill himself.

The casino is still operating as usual.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I knew this was coming - Revel scales back project

Revel scales back work on $2 billion Atlantic City casino
By DONALD WITTKOWSKI Staff Writer, 609-272-7258
Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2:48 p.m. Update - ATLANTIC CITY — Revel Entertainment Group laid off about 400 workers today and halted work on the interior of its proposed $2 billion casino hotel while it searches for funding to complete the megaresort.

Kevin DeSanctis, Revel’s chief executive officer, said exterior construction will continue on the 46-story hotel tower, the parking garage and structural steel for the casino and other parts of the project.

By halting work on the interior, Revel hopes to space out the construction with the financing it currently has on hand. DeSanctis would not say how much Revel and its investment partner Morgan Stanley have spent so far or would need to complete the casino.

Revel had planned to open what would be Atlantic City’s 12th casino in the summer of 2010, but the timetable will be delayed for probably a few months or perhaps more depending on how long it takes the company to secure the financing, DeSanctis said.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Release: WSOP Cash Game Academy at Harrah's This Weekend

While winning is how poker players earn their fame, it is cash game play where they earn their living, and beginning in 2009, the World Series of Poker Academy, poker’s premier series of instructional camps, will provide poker players of all skill levels with the foundation and tools needed to become a consistent winning cash game player with the launch of its new Cash Game Academy, a two-day, intensive poker school dedicated exclusively to No Limit Hold’emcash game play.

The WSOP Academy will present two Cash Game Academy events to kick off its busy 2009 season, the first of which will be held at Harrah’s Atlantic City on Jan. 24 – 25. Then two weeks later, the WSOP Academy will head to Las Vegas to host a Cash Game Academy at Caesars Palace on Feb. 7 - 8.

Both events will feature world-class instruction from top poker pros, with Mark Seif, Paul Wasicka and Alex Outhred among the instructors scheduled for the Atlantic City event and Seif, Outhred and Michael Gracz slated for the Las Vegas event.

“The WSOP Academy has successfully helped players make it to the final table and win bracelets by teaching tournament strategy, but to become an overall winning poker player you must also become a consistent cash game player,” said Brandon Rosen of Post Oak Productions, the company that produces the WSOP Academy. “Your cash game skills and results will likely determine your success and more importantly, your longevity as a poker player. With this in mind, we created the Cash Game Academy.”

The new Cash Game Academy will teach participants winning cash game strategy through two days of in-depth seminars, live play workshops, video analysis and a cash game competition, all taught by some of the world’s top cash game poker players. The program is designed for all skill levels, be it beginner, intermediate or advance.

Featuring all new materials and teaching methods unlike any past WSOP Academy event, the new Cash Game Academy will cover topics such as the transition from tournament play to cash game play, development of reading ability and putting opponents on hand ranges, bankroll management and sophisticated plays and strategies specific to cash game play. Each event will also offer video analysis of cash game play, with instructors dissecting hands and situations and discuss alternative lines of play.

A key component of each Cash Game Academy will be a Cash Game Competition hosted on day two of each event. Players will compete against their fellow WSOP Academy participants to determine who made the most correct decisions and managed their bankroll the best during a simulated cash game. The winner will receive an all-expense trip to Caesars Palace Las Vegas for the WSOP Academy Tournament of Champions just prior to the Main Event of the 2009 World Series of Poker.

Tuition for each of the two Cash Game Academies is $1,899.00, with a payment of only $499.75 required to secure a spot. The additional tuition payment owed will be billed each month for the three following months.

Release: Montel Williams to Launch New Poker Show

EMMY Award Winning Talkshow host Montel Williams to Launch Brand New Poker TV Format

International Team Poker League will combine online qualifiers with bricks and mortar casinos

London, 22/01/09: The world of televised poker looks set to be revolutionised in 2009 with a new format TV show, “International Team Poker League”, devised by EMMY Award winning TV supremo and poker buff Montel Williams. The show, starting with satellite tournaments in March and to be televised from November this year, will combine fast-paced No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em (NTHL) games with ‘reality TV’ style segments about the players.

Creator, commissioner, and CEO of ITPL, Montel Williams comments, “I love poker – it’s a game that has everything, played by kings and leaders and regular joes alike. It crosses boundaries and borders, now, thanks to technology and the internet, a global phenomenon that brings people of different ethnicities and origin together around the world. It is truly international, and the time is right for the International Team Poker League to take poker to a new level and a wider audience.”

In a similar format to familiar talent shows, the series will begin with a selection process through regular NLTH satellite tournaments in both land-based casinos and online poker sites. Entrants play to win entry into a three-day Draft Pool Seeding Tournament at a Las Vegas host casino at which the leading players will be selected into six teams, before fighting it out to build chip stacks for the final one-day SuperTable team event. The six winners will become the ITPL Team for the season, and will be filmed as they live the Poker lifestyle, play the Pros and possibly find celebrity for themselves.

Specifically designed to fit a one-hour TV slot, the show will air each week for a season and offers high profile strategic partnerships and affiliate activity for both the casino and remote gambling industries. A number of global brands have already shown interest in taking part, although no announcements of partnerships are being made at this stage.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Borgata Poker Open

If you're looking for results of the Borgata Poker Open, you can always go to the Borgata's official poker blog.

I'm slowly keeping track of what's going on. My boyfriend played in Day 1a of the deep stack tourney and made it on to Day 2. Although, according to him, he's reached point critical. He's looking for the best hand to move in with in the next three orbits.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

What recession?

Wow. If anyone was in Atlantic City between Christmas and New Year's, you woulda seen this place jumping. I was shocked, but I guess that's what happens when the holidays come in the middle of the week. People take as much time off for vacation as they can and extend what is normally a five-day breaks into eight or 10.

The poker rooms saw a lot of this action as well. In almost every poker room that you went to, it felt as though you had your choice of games. It almost felt like the Borgata everywhere.

But with extra people and extra action comes extra Boof (otherwise known as butt sex, but by a different term).

Bad players, bad dealers and drunks don't always make for a good game.

It's a recurring theme in Atlantic City though.

If you want to play cards in the Resort, you have to learn how to deal with the nonsense. You have to push aside the chaos and the confusion and just play your game.

Atlantic City won't be jumping like that again until March. That's when the new season kicks off.

Atlantic City is like baseball season. When the diamond is full, so is the felt.

P.S. Because someone emailed me and asked. There is most certainly a bad beat at Borgata. Now, every live poker room in the city has a bad beat.
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