Thursday, January 28, 2010

Michael Phelps at the Borgata

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is competing in today's heads up tournament at the Borgata. He's one of the few notable faces in the field, including poker pro Gavin Smith.

Phelps has only won something like 14 gold medals ... but can he win a poker tournament?

Second round of the heads-up double-elimination event begins at 1 p.m.

Check out the Borgata Poker blog for ongoing updates.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ray Kot tournament prizes won by Taj employees

According to The Press of Atlantic City, the top prizes for the Ray Kot Memorial Fund were won by Taj Mahal employees (link).

Trump Taj Mahal employees swept the top prizes at Sunday night’s Ray Kot Poker Open, which raised money for the family of its namesake, a Taj supervisor shot dead at work last year.

Poker supervisor Victor Chea won first place: a trip to the Super Bowl. Second place, a 50-inch television, went to floor supervisor Frank Fernandez. Dealer Kaylin Vocci won a Super Bowl party for 10 in a Taj luxury suite for finishing third.

Entry fees raised more than $25,000 for the education fund of St. Augustine Prep junior Drew Kot, the only child of Ray and Nancy Kot.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Drunk angle

Last two nights I got a taste of drunks or so-called drunks playing poker in Atlantic City.

On Saturday, there were many more women in the poker rooms because of the women's tournament at the Borgata on Sunday. I started playing at 1 a.m. and left at 4 a.m., and more than doubled up. There were three women on the game, besides myself, at the Showboat.

All drunk.

All looking to give away money.

Sunday was more interesting because there was a guy at Caesars with a cup for over three hours. The entire time he spoke about how drunk he was, meanwhile, his cup of ice turned into sludge as he supposedly drank Hennesey and Red Bull (ugh!).

It was funny though because he kept trying pretend was drunk and looking for a crazy angle.

And, the people on the table believed him.

I love drunks. Real drunks. Not the goofy dudes who try to pretend they are.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Borgata Poker Open updates

If you're interested in checking out what happening throughout the Borgata Poker Open, check their blog (link).

They do a great job updating every event and have great posts about any side events or action. These guys do a heck of a job for the duration of the Borgata Winter Poker Open.

Release: Borgata Poker Winter Open Draw 1,563 Players


Championship Event, January 31 – February 5 Features Guaranteed $2 Million Prize Pool

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (January 21, 2010) - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa launched its fifth annual Borgata Winter Open (BWO) yesterday, drawing 1,563 players to the opening event. The 17-day poker tournament series will culminate with the $2 Million Guaranteed Borgata Winter Open Championship Event, January 31 – February 5.

The large player turnout brought a number of notable players to Borgata's tournament floor. Pro players Charlie Marchese, Joey Brooks, Kelly Armentrout, Gordan Eng, Jason Young, Al Riccobonno, Matt Stout, David Inselberg, David Zeitlin, Lisa Pickler, Craig Klein, Svetlana Gromenkova, Todd Robello, Eric Siegel, Gordon Eng, Jason Young, Josh Paul, Trevor "tremomey" Savage and Gene Castro took to the felt over the course of the first two flights with their sights set on the champion's trophy and the elusive Borgata Winter Open title.  The first event will award the final nine players at least $10,000, with first place taking home $99,919 and the crystal, engraved trophy.

Jason Young, professional poker player and WSOP bracelet winner, is among the remaining players vying for prize money. 'I always come to Borgata for the action.  When it comes to value for your tournament buy-in, it's hard to find another place that compares.  The structures and the staff are the best in the business. They actually take the time to talk to players in order to better the games.  Borgata is the best!"

On Thursday, in addition to Event #1 action continuing, the tournament floor will also entertain Event #2, a $500 No Limit tournament that has traditionally experienced strong attendance, and Event #3, a $350 Pot Limit Omaha tournament.  The weekend rounds out with a $1,000 No Limit tournament, a $350 H.O.S.E. mixed event, a $260 Ladies No Limit and a $300 No Limit re-entry tournament.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ray Kot Poker Open Tournament coming to the Taj

Ray Kot was a Taj Mahal employee that was killed in the casino by a customer. The Taj is holding the Ray Kot Poker Open Tournament from Jan. 18 to Jan. 24 in the casino's poker room.

Jan. 24 was Kot's birthday.

Qualifying satellite tournaments will be held each hour from noon to midnight on Monday, Jan. 23.

Donations from the event will  benefit the Ray Kot Memorial Fund. The memorial fund benefits Kot's only son Drew and will be used for his education and support.

Anyone can play in this tournament, including key-license Atlantic City employees.

The grand prize is an all-expense-paid trip to the 2010 Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in Miami, Fla., or the cash equivalent, which includes airfare, two nights of deluxe hotel accommodations, food credit of $250 per person and two tickets to the game.

Second place receives a 50-inch LCD TV and third gets a Super Bowl party for 10 in the Luxury Suite in the new Chairman Tower at the Taj. Additional prizes will be awarded to anyone that makes the final table of the championship round.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

NJ residents may not have to leave house to play poker

Poker News had a story on its website last week about a proposed bill that would allow NJ casinos to run online poker rooms (link).

New Jersey already does something similar with horse racing. NJ residents are allowed to bet on races over the phone with the state taking a little cut, of course.

The bill proposed by Sen. Raymond Lesniak would only consider brick and mortar casinos for licensing. This is likely a way to try and boost Atlantic City's revenues since most of the casinos have been losing money.

However, what does this do for this poker players who like to set on the felt and play the game?

It probably won't change much. While this would be legalized on the state level, poker players who want to play on the Internet, already are. With Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars and all the other available online poker software, NJ residents already have this opportunity waiting for them.

I don't see why Atlantic City casinos would want to keep players at home either.

There are some poker players who pocket their winnings and never spend another dime in the casino. But there are many, many more who cash in and head straight for blackjack or slots to try and get more money, only to lose it all.

There have been many nights where I've seen players win a ton on the poker game, go play blackjack to lose it all and, then, come back to the poker table to recoup their loss. There isn't a huge advantage for the casinos to build up online poker unless they are looking for more branding.

Update: Here's a link to an article in The Press of Atlantic City. Apparently, more than just poker would be offered. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bad beat hit at Caesars

Check it out.

The Press of Atlantic City is reporting the bad beat jackpot of over a half million dollars was hit today at Caesars (link).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Atlantic City Press catches bad beat fever

The Press of Atlantic City had a recent article about the bad beat jackpot at Caesars.

The reporter caught on to the fact that there are many people in the room, but missed some key element to describe the craziness of the room.

The reporter doesn't describe how long the wait list or the fact that there are only $1/$2 no-limit games available. In addition, it doesn't say how long players are waiting for a game.

"It's a circus," said a less-than-thrilled Greg Rudolph, also of New York City, still waiting for a table. "It really is."

In that quote, it merely says Rudolph is still waiting. But how long? 10 minutes? One hour? Three hours? A day?

Nice to see the Atlantic City paper get a poker story in, but just needed a little something extra.

Where have the limit games gone?

At Caesars, while the bad beat jackpot raged around $500,000, there were no limit games being played. Just no-limit all the time.

It's unusual practice, but was done because of a group of players who were coming in and playing on the same game, according to a few sources.

The group of eight or nine players would open a new game or somehow end up on the same game on a $2/$4 limit. They would play just bad beat hands such as a quads or suited connectors. When the flop came down, if it was a potential bad beat hand, they would ensure there was at least $20 in the pot to qualify for the jackpot.

If not, they would just check it down.

And, they always tipped the dealer. That's an important component because, in my experience, as long as most dealers are being tipped, they don't care what's going on. That's most, but not all. Not the good ones.

Someone got wind of the collusion and shut down all limit games at Caesars while the BBJ is incredibly high.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Normally, I agree with the Borgata's practices ...

... but why did you get rid of 7-card stud from the Winter Poker Open?


The Borgata's winter tourney begins on Jan. 20 with a deep stack no limit, which has proved to be extremely popular (tournament schedule). There are all kings of games in the tournament, including a H.O.S.E. and Omaha/7-card stud rotation tourney.

However, there is no straight stud tournament, which I find incredibly disappointing. I understand that NL is every one's game of choice now and that the action players love Omaha, but what happened to all the stud love.

I'm not some old fogey either wishing for the days when stud reigned the card rooms. I'm not even 30 and love stud appreciate the game more than most people my age.

Borgata Poker Open is going to be successful regardless, but I just wish they would have kept the event.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Poker tourneys going on at the Taj

The Taj Mahal is kicking off 2010 with the New Year's Classic, which runs through the 18th. You can book your seats at

By clicking on the above link, you will also see what tournaments the Taj is running. There is a good mix of games from the popular NL Hold 'em to my personal favorite 7-card stud.

Most of the events will run you $300+$40, but the daily tournaments are about $50 and the Taj still has the midnight tourneys going on.
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