I am fortunate to play the game that I love at some of the best venues in the world. Poker has also provided me with many incredible opportunities. This year I had the amazing opportunity to help prepare a man for the self-proclaimed “biggest moment” of his entire life (he’s allowed to say that since he doesn’t have children and isn’t married).
Neil Blumenfield, an enthusiastic 62 year-old poker amateur who is known for his signature fedora, had just been let go from his job and was wondering what direction his life would take him when suddenly he found himself third in chips with nine players left playing for $7.7 million at the final table of the WSOP main event. Although it was obviously a dream-come-true for him, he knew that he was going to be up against much more experienced opponents playing for millions of dollars. Blumenfield immediately set out to find the right people to help prepare him for this final table battle.
I didn’t know Neil before he found himself in that position, but two years prior our mutual friend Amir Lehavot was also fortunate enough to find himself in the same position of having a big stack and playing in what is nothing short of a poker player’s Super Bowl. Amir came to me to help organize a live simulation of the final table at my house in Las Vegas, where we replicated the stacks of the players at the final table and did our best to mimic the plays we thought each player we were representing would make. We would show our cards after each hand and have a group discussion about the hand with several of the top poker pros in the game. Amir ended up finishing in third place and winning $3.3 million that year. He said the “live sim” helped him predict some dynamics that would develop, strategize and counter-strategize, and made him feel a lot more at ease when he returned to play that November.
It’s no secret that BorgataPoker.com enters 2016 as the #1 online poker site in New Jersey. Ongoing promotions like The Grind coupled with frequent leaderboard competitions and contests have made choosing BorgataPoker.com over the competition a no-brainer.
But as impressive as Borgata’s online offering is, it’s what’s happening at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City that’s pushing more and more players to shuffle up and deal on their Macs, PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
New Jersey’s top live casino is home to five Borgata Poker Open events each year that have attracted players from all over the world — including big names like Daniel Negreanu, Anthony Zinno, and Jason Mercier.
There’s the Borgata Spring Poker Open (April), Borgata Summer Poker Open (June/July), Borgata Poker Open (September), and the Borgata Fall Poker Open (November). Kicking off each year is the Borgata Winter Poker Open (January 19 – February 5, 2016).
The 18-day live tournament series features millions of dollars in prize money, including the live-streamed $3 Million Guaranteed WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship, live streamed $2 Million Borgata Winter Poker Open Deep Stack kick-off event, a $1 Million Borgata Winter Poker Open Deep Stack event, and more. It’s arguably one of the most anticipated live poker series of the season and BorgataPoker.com has tickets to all three big events.
Starting January 4th, online poker players can snowball a $5 online poker entry into a seat in a live tournament with multi-million dollar prize pools this month. Or perhaps seats — multiple seats — just like Asher Connif, a poker player who won his Borgata Spring Poker Open seats online and conquered not one but two tournaments at Borgata in Atlantic City. More on that in a minute.
First, let’s talk about the future — one that’s going to include a record number of online poker players from BorgataPoker.com seated in several events at this year’s Borgata Winter Poker Open. BorgataPoker.com has put together a daily qualifying schedule to help funnel more players into the live series:
Players earned Tournament Leaderboard Points for participating in qualifying BorgataPoker.com online tournaments during the month of December 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 December 2015 Tournament…
We’ve got a great reason to break out the champagne on New Year’s Eve and it has nothing to do with winning the nightly $10K GTD.
By playing with us between December 23rd and 29th, you could win up to $2,000 Bonus Dollars. Just log in to your BorgataPoker.com account during the promotional period and opt in to the $10,000 Holiday Sweepstakes promo under the Promotions tab.
Opting in gets you your first entry and you can earn more entries by playing real money poker at BorgataPoker.com. For every 20 iRewards Points you collect, you’ll earn another entry into our December 30th drawing. You can earn up to 10 entries per day.
One lucky player will win $2,000 Bonus Dollars, plus we’ve got $8,000 more in Bonus Dollars for another 199 winners. We’ll let you know what you’ve won on December 31st, so you could end up with way more reason to celebrate on New Year’s Eve.
It’s holiday time and this Sunday we’re giving you the gift of bigger prize pools.
On Sunday, December 20th, we’re pumping up our $50K Sunday Major with $50K more. Come play for a piece of $100,000 in our No Limit Hold’em tournament at 5pm. The online poker tourney features one re-entry, so if you bust out you can jump back in with a fresh chip stack.
While the guarantee has changed, the buy-in hasn’t. You can still get in for $200+15 or through a low buy-in satellite, just like every Sunday.
If you need to boost your bankroll for the Sunday $100k, you can take advantage of a 100% bonus up to $300. Use bonus code RELOAD1215 by December 19th to earn the bonus.
Borgata ends 2015 with another of our popular Deep Stacks Challenge events December 26 to December 30. That’s five Deep Sack events:
DEEPEST STACK NLH (RE-ENTRY)
$40,000 GUARANTEED SAT, 12/26 11AM $350 + $50
DEEPER STACK NLH (RE-ENTRY)
$20,000 GUARANTEED SUN, 12/27 11AM $200 + $30
DEEP STACK NLH (RE-ENTRY)
$15,000 GUARANTEED MON, 12/28 11AM $150 + $30
DEEP STACK NLH (RE-ENTRY)
$10,000 GUARANTEED TUE, 12/29 11AM $125 + $25
DEEPER STACK NLH (RE-ENTRY)
$20,000 GUARANTEED WED, 12/30 11AM $260 + $40
And, of course, our Daily Tournament schedule is in effect for all other days of the month.
We’re also offering a month of poker promotions including December Bonus Comp Dollars and the return of our $10,000 Ultimate High Hand promotions Wednesdays in December and the Borgata $15,000 Royal Flush Bonus every day this month.
Our exclusive tournament offer is also in effect letting tournament players who play five tournaments in December win a complimentary buffet at the Borgata Buffet.
Another poker year is coming to a close and the Borgata Poker Room is doing things up right.
Congratulations to our 36 winners from the BorgataPoker.com Quarterly Freeroll Invitational Tournament on Sunday, December 6, 2015
Players earned Tournament Leaderboard Points for participating in qualifying BorgataPoker.com online tournaments during the month of November 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 November 2015 Tournament…
Back in the *old* days during the poker boom there was a silly debate that raged in poker circles and circled around one question: Who’s better at poker, the east coast or the west coast? (Apparently the South and Midwest were automatically disqualified from contention.)
Even though I bought a house in Las Vegas in 2010, I’ve always been repping the east coast in this argument. I grew up in Bayonne, New Jersey and had been into card and board games including poker and chess my entire life. When I was 19 I became deeply engrossed (read: addicted) to poker during the 2003-2004 poker boom especially since I had just given up playing college hockey at that point and was in dire need of a competitive outlet to replace it.
I spent two years — much of which should have been spent studying my majors of business and psychology at The College of New Jersey — cutting my teeth in every game I could find around campus, and when that wasn’t enough I turned to online poker. After dumping a lot of money on $5-10 tournaments and spending a semester eating Easy Mac and ramen noodles, I decided to dedicate myself to improving my game because I’m a fan of meat and other foods that weren’t cheap, and being a broke college student who was losing money at online poker was pretty far from sustainable as far as business models go.
Within three months of turning 21 and becoming a fixture in Atlantic City tournaments, I had managed to scrape together just enough a bankroll to play the WSOP Circuit when it came to town. I busted the first $340 event but then won a $75 sit-and-go into the 2nd event, a $560 NL. That tournament changed my life forever, because I ended up chopping at the final table with Matt Glantz for $34K. I went on to win two seats to the $10K main event later that week in the only two $200+rebuys I played, sold one seat to Nicky Frangos, and played my first $10K. That’s when I was able to quiet the 20% of my brain that kept telling me I was out of my mind for wanting to try to make a living playing poker and I knew that I was going to pursue this dream that I still haven’t woken up from after 9 years.
Players earned Tournament Leaderboard Points for participating in qualifying BorgataPoker.com online tournaments during the month of October 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 October 2015 Tournament…