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)
Garden State Super Series IV was a big success over the last two nights, with the final prize pools of all guaranteed tournaments eclipsing what was guaranteed.
Monday night featured several GSSS IV events, including GSSS #12, the Mega Tuesday 500 with $20,000 in guaranteed prize money. The tournament title went to online poker player leinad, who has racked up $147,705 in BorgataPoker.com tournaments alone. The New Jersey poker player also won the Mega Tuesday 500 back on February 24th and he’s amassed several other 1st place and final table finishes over the last few years.
On Tuesday, GSSS #13, a $20,000 GTD NLH, saw a final prize pool of $24,500, with first place winner JroNMint2722 conquering the tourney for $4,900.
GSSS #14, a $7,500 GTD NLH, featured $10,500 in prize money, with Jenger420 winning $2,000 after besting a field of 210 entries. This has been a successful series for Jenger420. He most recently cashed for $532 in GSSS #6 on March 1st.
In GSSS #15, 235 entries fueled the $10K prize pool to $10,926. ManBearPig finished first to secure over $1,803.
There’s more Garden State Super Series action tonight and every night until March 13th, so join us and make your way into the next GSSS IV recap.
Although there have been European Poker Awards since 2001 to recognize the accomplishments of both players and organizers in the poker industry, we had nothing similar in the US until recently despite the fact that the roots of the 2003 poker boom took place right here in the US. That changed last year when the Global Poker Index began hosting the American Poker Awards.
While I thought it was cool that poker was finally going to have an awards ceremony on this side of the pond after all these years, I honestly never expected to be nominated for an award unless I went on some insane heater, especially since there wasn’t a charity category in the European Poker Awards before then. So I was surprised, honored and excited when the Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) was nominated for one of the inaugural American Poker Awards last year in the Charitable Initiative of the Year category.
I was also, however, pretty disappointed when we didn’t win the award to be perfectly honest. I used that disappointment in the most productive way I could. In much the same way, I tried to use my 2nd and 3rd place finishes in major events as motivation to keep improving my game in preparation for the next opportunity. I tried even harder in year two of operation than I did in year one, and the results followed.
The CSOP inaugural event at Planet Hollywood in Vegas raised nearly $15K for Three Square Food Bank which wasn’t bad, but was nothing compared to the $42K the event raised at the same price point in Season 2. Our event at Seminole Hard Rock in Florida went from $15K to $34K raised for Habitat for Humanity of Broward County, and our most recent Borgata event was also on the uptick from $8K to over $13K raised for Habitat for Humanity of Atlantic County and the Community FoodBank of NJ.
Players earned Tournament Leaderboard Points for participating in qualifying BorgataPoker.com online tournaments during the month of February 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 February 2016 Tournament…
Garden State Super Series IV is now underway and it’s proving to pay off massively for poker players in New Jersey. All five tournaments on Sunday’s opening day schedule featured more prize pools exceeding all guarantees.
Here’s a look at what happened in last night’s five big tournaments:
- GSSS #1 featured a final prize pool of $14,100, eclipsing the $7,500 that had been guaranteed. The NLH Slow Grind saw PunisherPete claim the first place prize of $2,820.
- GSSS #2, our biggest tournament of the night with $75,000 guaranteed, paid out an impressive $94,400. A four-way final table deal distributed $43,829 among ninjaG0 ($11K), ABH70 ($11K), floppynuts ($11K) and jakep474 ($10,829).
If the name ninjaG0 sounds familiar, it’s because he’s found significant success in a number of BorgataPoker.com tournaments, including several Sunday $50k Guaranteed tournaments and Daily $10K Guaranteed events. His total earnings prior to last night’s big win approached $18,000.
- GSSS #3 saw a final prize pool of $32,500, well above the $20,000 that was promised. A final table deal saw Big_Daddy and treetrap split $10,643 almost down the middle.
- GSSS #4, a $7,500 guarantee, got fairly close to doubling its guaranteed prize pool, paying out $13,750. Deezer took first place, adding $2,675 to his bankroll.
- GSSS #5 paid out $16,000—that’s $6,000 above the $10,000 that was guaranteed. Congrats to jmzit2u on his first place finish.
The Garden State Super Series IV runs through March 13th with several tournaments on the schedule each day. Head to the GSSS IV tournament page for all the info and discover which events you’ll conquer next. Remember, there is over $1 million in guaranteed prize pools for GSSS IV events!