As many of you know, over the past few years I’ve gone from just strictly playing poker as a career to dividing my efforts between playing poker, coaching poker students, working with poker rooms to promote and improve their products, and most importantly doing more charity work. In 2014 I founded the Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) and over the past three years we’ve raised $150,000 for Habitat for Humanity, food banks and Brad Garrett’s Maximum Hope Foundation which provides financial assistance to the families of terminally ill children.
With the incredibly popular $560 buy-in, $2 million guaranteed opening event of the 2017 Borgata Winter Poker Open upon us, I figured now would be a good time to give the readers of the Borgata Blog a few pointers on how to approach tournaments with fields so large they almost seem insurmountable. You’ll frequently hear players refer to big field tournaments as lotteries, luck fests, and other names that imply that skill somehow isn’t a factor like it is in tournaments with smaller fields.
The third annual Bar Poker Open begins in just a few days at Borgata! The $100,000 East Coast Championship will take place December 2-6 and the daily events are open to the public. Click here for the schedule of open events. Buy-ins range from $100+$20 for the Super Stack Semi-Turbo to $260+$40 for the Monster Stack and all ten open events carry a guarantee on total buy-ins!
On a few different occasions I’ve heard players wonder what all of the backpack-toting poker pros are carrying in their bag. Cash game players have the luxury of getting up and leaving the table any time they get hungry, have a headache, start to lose focus or go on tilt but with tournament days often lasting 12-14 hours or more it’s important to stay prepared in order to remain focused and avoid distractions at the table. Here’s a list of what I consider the essentials when I pack my bag for a tournament.
All eyes might be focused on Las Vegas for the big series going on in the heart of the desert, but the spotlight is about to shift to Atlantic City as the Borgata Summer Poker Open gets underway this July at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
This is the big series you’ve been waiting for, right here in New Jersey. And BorgataPoker.com is your best bet for grabbing seats in these three big tourneys:
- $1 million Guaranteed Kick-off event
- $300,000 Almighty Stack Tournament
- $1 million Guaranteed Summer Poker Open Championship
In recent years there has been a huge shift in the format of tournament poker. In the beginning tournament poker was always played with a freezeout format, meaning that once you were eliminated you could not get back into the tournament. You were required to lumber away from the table, defeated, and find something else to do with the remainder of your day.
Then, several years ago, casinos and online poker sites began offering players the opportunity to buy back into the tournament if they were eliminated early enough in the event. This enabled operators to boast gigantic payouts for a small buy-in. When you can offer a person the opportunity to win a life-changing sum of money for a relatively small buy-in it’s obviously a huge selling point. That’s one reason why you see Borgata packed to the brim with poker players every time they host the $560 buy-in opening event.
Recently the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL hosted the World Poker Tour’s “Tournament of Champions” which was a $15k buy-in event exclusively for players who’ve won WPT main events. While the shot clock has been tried before in the occasional preliminary tournament and super high roller event, this marked the first time it has been used such a prestigious tournament and has led to a lot of discussion about the idea and implementation in poker circles.
Each dealer was given a tablet with a timer and players were given 30 seconds to act on their hand regardless of what street the decision was being made on. In addition to these 30 seconds to act, each player received 5 “time chips” which could be used to extend the amount of time they were given to act for tough decisions. Players who made the televised final table were reset to a total of 4 time chips whether they’d used their previous 5 or not. If you weren’t facing a bet and time ran out, your hand was automatically checked. If you were facing a bet and ran out of time, your hand was declared dead.