The New Jersey online poker pro’s second biggest career cash came back in 2013 at the Borgata Spring Poker Open in Atlantic City, where Gagliano pocketed $169,029 for a 2nd place finish. And most recently, this past April, Gagliano finished 3rd in a $2,500+200 NLH Championship event for $128,768.
It gets more impressive. Between 2009 and 2016, Gagliano has found success in 13 major Borgata Poker Open events in Atlantic City. He’s finished 2nd in two Borgata Poker Open tournaments — one in 2013 and one in 2014. And he’s notched a 3rd and 4th place finish at the famous Atlantic City casino. Gagliano is as much a fixture of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa as the boardwalk is a fixture of Atlantic City.
When Michael Gagliano steps onto the tournament floor of the Borgata poker room this September, he’ll be eyeing that elusive Borgata Poker Open tournament title. And judging by his performance in Las Vegas this summer, it’s within reach.
Practice at Borgata, Success in Vegas
The 31-year-old poker player from New Jersey captured his first World Series of Poker bracelet this summer in Event #25, a $2,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament that featured a $2,377,375 prize pool. The poker pro earned $448,463 for his 1st place finish, not to mention the confidence to conquer another big tournament at the casino he frequents.
“Borgata is easily the best casino in Atlantic City,” commented Gagliano between hands at the Borgata Summer Poker Open. “Not only is this place really high class and comfortable, but it has the biggest and best run poker tournaments anywhere in the northeast, so it’s a super obvious choice for me.”
What’s not so obvious is which event Gagliano will land his next big victory in. The next Borgata Poker Open, which gets underway on September 6th and runs until September 23rd, features several million-dollar prize pools. Online players in New Jersey can get into the following featured events for as little as a $5 online buy-in through the online satellite program. Chief among the featured events are the $2 Million Guaranteed Kick-Off event ($560 land-based buy-in), a $1 Million Guaranteed Almighty Stack tournament ($450 land-based buy-in), the highly-anticipated televised $3 Million Guaranteed WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship ($3,500 land-based buy-in), and the inaugural PokerNews Cup at Borgata ($2,150 land-based buy-in).
In addition, players can win their $3,500 entry to the live tournament by playing online at BorgataPoker.com every Sunday through the end of August. BorgataPoker.com is awarding the winner of the Sunday $40,000 guaranteed poker tournament with a seat in the WPT Championship tournament.
Qualify Online for the Borgata Poker Open
Winning the Sunday Major isn’t the only way to join Mike Gagliano at the Borgata Poker Open. Starting August 21st, online poker players can satellite into the Borgata Poker Open Kick-Off tournament or the WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship, starting at just $5.
“I think the best thing about BorgataPoker.com for me is the satellites to the live events,” says Gagliano, who goes by the name Gags30 on BorgataPoker.com. “I love that I can sit at home and try to win a seat to a land based event. With every trip I plan to Atlantic City, I try to win some satellites before I go. It’s a great way to keep my buy-ins low and be able to take some shots in larger events for a nice price.”
Getting into a live event for pennies on the dollar is a big deal. While Gagliano describes Borgata as the best casino in Atlantic City, he admits that it doesn’t necessarily offer the softest field.
“You definitely get a lot of regulars at Borgata,” he notes. “Come often enough and you’ll see lots of familiar faces from New York, Philly, and all over New Jersey. I think because everyone plays with each other a fair amount, seemingly more than in other parts of the country, I feel like people may play some hands differently or try to be tricky a bit more. Because of that, you’ve gotta be on the lookout for guys who might try to run a big bluff on you.”
Gags Loves The Grind
Winning your way in through satellites helps, but that’s not the only way poker players are building their live tournament bankroll at BorgataPoker.com. The regulated New Jersey poker site offers players up to $4,500 in cash and tournament tickets every month to online poker players. With The Grind, players are paid tournament tickets or cash each time they reach an iRewards Points milestone.
iRewards Points are awarded based on real money online poker play. The more someone plays, the more iRewards Points they’ll earn. And as players earn more points, they receive cash and prizes. The Grind doesn’t pit players against each other. Theoretically, every player is capable of winning $4,500 in cash and prizes.
“I’ve definitely benefited from The Grind,” says Gagliano. “I’ve never reached the highest level, but I’ve reached some pretty high ones and gotten some nice returns. It’s almost like a form of rakeback. Play a lot, put in some volume, and get a nice chunk of money back. And no other site offers it.”
Rakeback is something Gagliano is very familiar with. Prior to joining BorgataPoker.com, Gagliano played at a number of offshore poker sites before their eventual closures. While the larger fields and rakeback opportunities were plentiful, there’s a renewed sense of peace of mind that BorgataPoker.com has brought to the table.
“I like the security that comes with online poker regulation, specifically with the deposit and withdrawal methods. It’s great to be able to safely deposit and withdraw using my bank account and not have to worry about shady transactions or my information being stolen or any of the stuff I used to worry about before regulation.”
Players in New Jersey who are interested in winning their way to the upcoming Borgata Poker Open can sign up for a free account at BorgataPoker.com. New players qualify for a welcome bonus worth $20, plus a 100% match bonus up to $600.