Long known as a bastion of poker on the East Coast, the Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa opened up action for the 2nd Annual Borgata Winter Poker Open on January 17th. The tournament, which was added last year as a World Poker Tour event, will be running until January 30th and, if initial numbers pan out through the event, could make the tournament the largest one east of the Mississippi.
In the first event of the tournament, a $500 No Limit event, an astounding 1370 players came to the felt, making it the largest poker tournament in the history of Atlantic City. Mixing it up with the local players and online hopefuls were professional player Men "The Master" Nguyen and Matthew Glantz. With thirteen events on the schedule, it is conceivable that the Borgata Winter Poker Open should break records for each of its events.
Coming back to defend his title will be the 2006 Poker Player of the Year, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi. "The Grinder" is demonstrating the same starting tune that he has displayed in the past two years after making the final table at the World Series of Poker Circuit's Tunica stop earlier this month. There will be challenges around the room, though, as the WPT's $10,000 tournament should bring in many of the top professionals in the world, including Daniel Negreanu and World Champion Jamie Gold.
The atmosphere at the start of the Borgata Winter Open was best summed up by one of the tournament's participants. Vinny Ferraro of Westchester, NY, said, "Players were ready to burst the moment the cards hit the felt. This is the best tournament on the East Coast, so everyone wants to play here. Borgata is my home away from home." If you're looking to get in on the action for one of the best tournaments on the East Coast, be sure to visit borgata.com for more information and a schedule for the 2nd Annual Borgata Winter Poker Open.