There’s new online poker competition in New Jersey, but one of the most respected poker rooms around is proving to be more of an attraction than ever for serious grinders.
With the emergence of PokerStars in the Garden State just a few weeks ago, some publications have argued that the best value is over at the new site, and that BorgataPoker.com is losing ground.
But with a healthy mix of player-pleasing poker tournaments, satellites to the best land-based poker tournaments, and opportunities to win a piece of millions in prize money, that couldn’t be further from the truth. And the numbers presented haven’t told the whole story.
One re-entry means a smaller field
On Sunday, April 24th, BorgataPoker.com’s $50K Sunday Major beat its guarantee, seeing a final prize pool of $54,800. PokerStars also exceeded its guarantee. Good news for online poker players in New Jersey!
Fans of re-entry tournaments have their choice to play in either a tournament limited to one re-entry, a tournament with unlimited re-entries, or both. Currently, BorgataPoker.com caps re-entries at one, while the other sites are offering unlimited re-entries within the late registration period.
A bigger nightly $10K at BorgataPoker.com
Also following the one re-entry format is the BorgataPoker.com nightly $10K GTD. On Sunday night, 144 entries fueled the prize pool to $14,400. And here’s the most interesting part. The BorgataPoker.com tournament actually beat PokerStars’ 7pm $10K tournament, which attracted 127 entries.
But it’s not just about weekly Majors and nightly events. It’s about the bigger picture — one that includes the opportunity to win your way to major land-based events around the world.
The World Series of Poker recently announced that many bracelet events this summer in Las Vegas will start at 11am rather than the usual noon start time. I expected to hear complaints from poker players, pros especially, when this change was announced but I couldn’t have predicted just how much backlash there would be from the poker community.
I personally would prefer to keep the noon start times, but as with any change that impacts many people it’s important to look at the overall effect(s) of the change rather than one’s personal preference. I believe it’s a bit short-sighted to complain about the change in start times in much the same way that it’s short-sighted to complain about the slower pace of play, bright lights, showing your cards to the camera/RFID reader, and other annoyances associated with being on a streamed or televised table. When you look at the big picture, tournament poker has flourished in the past 13 years mainly due to televised poker bringing in masses of people who watched poker on TV, especially the WSOP and WPT.
When it comes to the 11am start times, I think it’s important to consider which demographics are more likely to prefer which start time. I can tell you from many years of experience playing Borgata tournaments, which typically start at 11am, that recreational players tend to be on time much more frequently than pros and they don’t seem to mind the earlier start time. The earlier start time at WSOP is accompanied by an earlier bagging time, which is a big consideration for recreational players who aren’t used to being up until 2am, much less playing high stakes tournaments at that hour. I think Borgata has been getting this right all along and I’m glad the WSOP has caught up from a “good of the game” perspective.
As the seasons change in the Borgata Poker Room so do our seasonal Borgata Poker Opens. Put more simply, it’s April and time for Borgata’s Spring Poker Open.
We start with an Event 1 qualifier on April 11 and then the Borgata Spring Poker Open April 12 to April 29. That’s 19 main events and 39 total events counting evening events and qualifiers.
Borgata $1 Million Guaranteed Live streamed Kickoff Event
Tuesday, April 12 – Saturday, April 16
Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em Re-Entry
$500 Buy-in + $60 Entry
Almighty $500,000 Guaranteed Live streamed Event
Wednesday, April 20 – Saturday, April 23
Almighty Stack No Limit Hold’em Re-Entry
$400 Buy-In + $50 Entry
Borgata $1 Million Guaranteed Borgata Championship Live Streamed
Sunday, April 24 – Thursday, April 28
$2,500 Buy-In + $200 Entry
Players earned Tournament Leaderboard Points for participating in qualifying BorgataPoker.com online tournaments during the month of March and earned Tournament Leaderboard Bonus Points based on cash placed finished, buy-in amount and total number of tournament entries. Congratulations! The top 30 place finishers won monthly leaderboard prizes, and the top 500 place finishers for the March 2016 Tournament…
I’ve spent the entire past year on the road, traveling to different tournament stops around the country, and sometimes around the world. In a sense, I understand that I’m living many poker players dreams, because this was stuff I used to dream about a few years ago. I could wax poetic all day about it, but I figured I would spend some time breaking down the practical side of things for a traveling poker player. During the past year, I’ve learned a lot about the smartest ways to travel, so here are some tips for you grinders thinking about hitting the road sometime soon:
Find a friend (or friends!)
The biggest problem with traveling to play poker is expenses. Simply put, it is hard to be good enough to warrant all the expenses needed to travel playing poker. The simplest, most effective way to combat this is to find ways to split your expenses. Traveling with friends, or meeting friends at events, is the simple answer.
Going from hotel to hotel can become a nightmare on a few different levels. It’s very easy to rarely see the light of day, often going from hotel room to poker room day after day. Hotel rooms tend to be one single room, which over time can leave you feeling cramped and/or miserable. I strongly suggest looking into Airbnb for short term rentals when traveling somewhere you feel compelled to see the sights. If you are going to the random tournament circuit in Indiana or Delaware, sure, hit the hotel for cheap. But strongly consider an Airbnb in places like Florida, California and Europe!
Daniel Buzgon is on an absolute tear. On March 16th, the online poker player who goes by the name leinad on BorgataPoker.com notched a $4,455 win after finishing second in the Mega Tuesday 500. That same day, he cashed in the Daily $10K for nearly $300.
The big wins come on the heels of a string of GSSS IV victories. BorgataPoker.com’s Garden State Super Series featured over $1 million in prize money and Buzgon won a nice piece of it by final tabling and cashing in a number of tournaments.
His initial first place finish came in GSSS #12, a $20,000 guaranteed NLH tournament that saw a final prize pool of $32,000. Buzgon earned $7,680. On March 4th, Buzgon topped a large field in GSSS #18 to secure the first place prize of $1,759.51. His first place wins were complemented by a number of final table appearances throughout the series. Overall, Buzgon cashed in 11 GSSS events, storming through non GSSS events throughout the series as well.
Since starting his career at BorgataPoker.com, Buzgon has racked up $162,697 at the New Jersey online poker site alone. His lifetime tournament winnings top $2.4 million at a number of international online poker sites, but today he runs his poker career from New Jersey. And for good reason.
“There is no question about it, BorgataPoker.com has the biggest tournaments and the most cash games,” notes Buzgon. “On top of that, they offer great deposit and reload bonuses and run rewarding promotions for both cash game and tournament players. I do play on the other sites but not nearly as much as I do on Borgata.”
Buzgon’s dedication to Borgata translates to the live world, too.
“The other casinos in Atlantic City just do not make poker a priority and it shows. They know they cannot compete with Borgata so they do not even try anymore.”
Poker in New Jersey is booming and you don’t have to look any further than the poker room at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for proof. In addition to the lucrative cash games, daily tournaments (including $3,000 Guaranteed Mondays, $10,000 Guaranteed Wednesdays & Fridays, and the 24/7 Sit & Go tourneys) continue to attract players from all over New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and other neighboring states.
But that’s just the tip of the chip stack. Borgata is known for its mega land-based tournament series throughout the year. Just a few months after wrapping up the Borgata Winter Poker Open, Atlantic City’s premier poker destination is putting millions in guaranteed prize money on the table once again in the Borgata Spring Poker Open.
The tournament series runs from April 12th through 29th and features a $1 million guaranteed kickoff tournament, a $1 million guaranteed championship event, and over a dozen other tournaments, many of which come with 6-figure guarantees.
Borgata’s Spring Poker Open series continues to attract players not just from the east coast, but from around the country. It’s arguably one of the most respected poker tournament series in the United States and one that continues to offer guarantee-busting prize pools over and over again. And while players flock to Borgata from all over the country, those in New Jersey have a bit of an upper hand thanks to BorgataPoker.com, the casino’s online poker site.
BorgataPoker.com continues to run satellites for its famous land-based tournament series and in the past, players have found great success steamrolling a few bucks into a seat in a major land-based event. In the most recent Borgata Winter Poker Open, Vinny Pahuja won two online poker satellites that paid out land-based seats — one in the $3,500 buy-in Championship and one in the kickoff tournament. And don’t forget, Asher Conniff made history by turning online satellite wins into over $1 million during the 2015 Borgata Spring Poker Open.
Congratulations to our 36 winners from the BorgataPoker.com Quarterly Freeroll Invitational Tournament on Sunday, March 13, 2016
The big story over the weekend was GSSS #30, the $100,000 Guaranteed tournament that saw a final prize pool of $110,600, fueled by 553 entries.
The title of the No Limit Hold’em tourney went to online poker player smoothustler, who won $19,100.62 for his first place victory. And while definitely a big deal, even more impressive is the fact that smoothustler is somewhat of a Garden State Super Series juggernaut.
Since March 2nd, smoothustler has cashed in eight Garden State Super Series events, final tabling six of them. And it’s not just Texas Hold’em that the New Jersey online poker player has proven to be a pro at. In addition to NHL, he’s crushed PLO and 7Stud events, earning over $23,000 in winnings so far.
This isn’t the first Garden State Super Series that smoothustler has done exceptionally well in. Last October, he won over $5,000 in two GSSS III events.
Instead of watching smoothustler conquer more GSSS IV tourneys this week, jump in and stop him in his tracks. There’s lots more on the schedule as Garden State Super Series continues through Sunday, March 13th.
The spotlight might be on GSSS IV for the next week, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about players who crave small stakes action.
On top of the big guarantees in GSSS IV, our tourney schedule puts tens of thousands in prize money on the table every day — including over $25,000 Monday through Saturday and over $75,000 every Sunday.
Today, it gets even bigger with a series of brand new BorgataPoker.com tournaments for players of all stake levels. Whether you’ve got a dollar to burn or a loaded bankroll to do damage with, you’ll find several tournaments worth playing in:
Fri/Sat/Sun at 10:30am: Deepstack NLH ($500 Guaranteed)
Daily at 12pm: Deepstack NLH ($750 Guaranteed)
Mon-Sat at 5pm: Deepstack NLH ($1,000 Guaranteed)