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.
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