Poker Returns to Atlantic City; Borgata Cash Games Begin Wednesday
One of the largest poker rooms in the United States is set to reopen this Wednesday after being closed since mid-March due to the pandemic. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey will open its doors at 10 a.m. local time, albeit with some changes.
The room, which previously housed 77 tables, will open with just 30 spaced-out tables, each with polycarbonate divides between each seat. Only seven-handed cash games will be offered as there are no plans for tournaments right now. However, players can expect some lucrative promotions including a Bad Beat Jackpot starting at $100,000.
Here are some other changes and procedures:
- Masks are required in the poker room (and other public areas in the casino)
- Beverage service is available
- Food will not be permitted in the poker room
- Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the room
- Spectators will not be allowed in the poker room
“We are happy to welcome back our loyal players as we reopen Atlantic City’s market-leading East Coast poker destination,” said Melonie Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Borgata.
She continued: “We have made some changes to enhance our guests’ experience and are excited to reintroduce live poker and the Borgata Poker brand more safely.”
While Borgata was the last casino to reopen in Atlantic City, it will be the first of the city’s poker rooms to welcome back players. It’s by far the busiest against the competition, which includes Harrah’s Atlantic City, Bally’s, Golden Nugget, and Tropicana. Over the past two years, the combined revenue from all five rooms has totaled approximately $28.5 million each year. In 2019, just shy of $18 million of that came from Borgata.
#BorgataAC's Poker Room REOPENS October 21 at 10AM. Poker play will be live cash games on seven-handed tables with… https://t.co/qZqvkiy8oW— BorgataPoker (@BorgataPoker)
Looking to Continue Strong Legacy
Borgata has a long history in the poker world. Not only do they host popular in-house tournament series like the Borgata Spring/Summer/Fall Poker Open (all of which were canceled this year), but they also enjoy a longstanding relationship with the World Poker Tour.
In fact, prior to the pandemic, the 2020 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open $3,500 Main Event took place, which saw a 1,290-entry field whittled down to the final six players. The final table was slated to play out at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on April 1, but the pandemic interrupted those plans.
Even now, that final table – as well as those for the 2020 WPT Gardens Poker Championship and WPT L.A. Poker Classic – are still on hiatus with an unknown return date. As such, players like Veerab Zakarian, James Anderson, Brian Altman, Bin Weng, Andrew Hanna, and Nathan Russler will need to wait to see who walks away with the title and $674,840 first-place prize.
Despite the pandemic, the WPT and Borgata continued their relationship last month by hosting the WPT Online Borgata Series powered by partypoker US Network. The 10-event series saw Tony “ToNiSiNzz” Sinishtaj top a 440-entry field to win the $1,060 Main Event for $77,349.
Sinishtaj, who was recently a guest on the PokerNews Podcast, previously won the WPT Seminole Rock Poker Showdown in Season XVI for $661,283.