The Borgata Winter Poker Open —one of New Jersey’s most prestigious live tournament series is in full swing at the Borgata Hotel and Spa in Atlantic City.
World Poker Tour

The Borgata Winter Poker Open —one of New Jersey’s most prestigious live tournament series is in full swing at the Borgata Hotel and Spa in Atlantic City. The series kicked off on January 15 and more than $7 million is guaranteed across 23 primary tournaments.

There is plenty of action still remaining as ten more tournaments are scheduled to take place during the next seven days. The main attraction at the stop is, of course, the Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship boasting $3 million guarantee.

15-time bracelet winner, Phil Hellmuth is expected to play in the Championship event, according to his tweet.

First-Ever Televised Final Table

The $3500 buy-in Championship event will be a part of the 17th season of World Poker Tour (WPT) and its second stop this year. The not-to-be-missed event will be played from January 27 to January 31 until there are six players remaining.

For the first time, the Final Table will see a change in location as the tournament will be shifted to Las Vegas where the event will be televised at HyperX Esports Arena at Luxor Hotel. The venue has hosted Esports tournaments in the past but has now also become the setting for televised poker final tables.

The Final Table will be played on March 13 and will be televised on Fox Sports Regional Networks. The decision comes as a part of WPT’s plan to film several final tables of its tour simultaneously at the new venue. On March 12, the venue will host the Final Table of the $10,000 buy-in WPT Gardens Poker Championship.

WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship Structure

The WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship kicks off on Sunday with its first of two starting flights. Day 1A starts at 11 AM local time on January 27 and Day 1B on Monday, also at 11 AM. Players can re-enter as many times they want up to Level 10 for both starting flights. Players will have the opportunity to play in both Day 1 flights, with the option to carry their best stack forward into Day 2 which will begin after Level 8 on Tuesday, January 29 at 12 PM.

Players will receive 40,000 starting stack (400 bb) and once again the tournament will utilize the increasingly popular Big Blind Ante format. A 30-second shot clock (also called an action clock) will also be implemented when the tournament is one table away from the money.

Levels 1 to 10 will last for sixty minutes after which the levels will increase to seventy-five minutes through Level 16. Levels will last ninety minutes on Days 3 and 4, and Day 5 will follow the WPT structure. 3% will be deducted from the total prize pool for dealer tip and $15,000 will be taken away from first place prize winnings as it will be added into WPT Tournament of Champions event.

Last year, the Championship event drew 1244 total entries to smash its $3 million guarantee by almost $1 million. Eric Afriat from Canada finished in first place and took home over $650,000.

Borgata Winter Poker Open WPT History

Year GTD Entries Total Prize Pool Winner Winning Amount
2015 $3M 989 $3,165,789 Aaron Mermelstein $712,305
2016 $3M 1171 $3,748,371 Chris Leong $816,246
2017 $3M 1312 $4,199,712 Daniel Weinman $892,433
2018 $3M 1244 $3,967,000 Eric Afriat $651,928

Online Qualifiers Still Running

There are still plenty of chances to satellite way in the WPT Borgata Championship Event for players with a bankroll not large enough to afford the $3500 buy-in.

BorgataPoker.com has scheduled four $5 buy-in qualifiers at 14:30, 17:30, 20:30, 22:30 EST on January 25 and 26. Each of these qualifiers guarantees two seats into $45 buy-in Championship Qualifier. The $45 buy-in Qualifier also runs on January 25 and 26 at 19:30 EST time slot. These qualifiers guarantees a seat into the $400 buy-in Super Satellite that runs on January 26 and January 27 at 19:40 EST. Both the Super Satellites guarantee one seat to the $3500 buy-in event.

Many qualifiers are also running on-site with buy-ins starting from $400.

Highlights of the Ongoing Borgata Winter Poker Open 2019

The premier tournament series got off to a great start as the $600 buy-in Deepstack Kickoff event drew an overwhelming turnout of 5130 entries to smash its $2 million guarantee by almost 40%. Pascal Zaklama from Norwalk, Connecticut topped the field to clinch the title and $328,695 in prize money after agreeing on a three-way deal with a player who wished to remain anonymous, also banking an equal payday and with third-place finisher Vladimir Alexandrov who took home $216,000.

Event #2 Deepstack Black Chip Bounty NLH saw 1073 entries amassing a prize pool of $375,550. Frank Brannan from Brooklyn, New York took down the event for $50,000 payday. Event #4 Saturday Series Deepstack gathered 668 entries and creating $233,800 prize pool. Michael Collette from New Jersey emerged victorious to take home little over $28,000.

The $1 million guaranteed Almighty is currently underway with the day 2 to resume on Friday. Across its five starting flights, the tournament attracted a huge 3508 turnout and exceeding its original guarantee to close to $1.4 million. Approximately 300 players will move on to Day 2.

In total, the series has generated more than $5 million in prize pools. Along with the $3 million guaranteed WPT Championship event, Borgata will be hosting another ten events in the next few days.

Daniel Buzgon Joins Borgata Poker Team

Just ahead of the start of the Borgata series, American poker professional Daniel Buzgon joined the Borgata poker team as their official ambassador. He now joins the likes of Katie Stone, Vinny Pahuja, Asher Conniff, and Michael “Gags30” Gagliano.

Buzgon has earned $2 million in live tournament earnings with his best live cash coming in the year 2011 when he finished third in Borgata Poker Open earning $335,433. In 2015, he outlasted a field of 2882 entries for $194,509 and two years later, he finished first place in a $400 buy-in tournament to take home over $150,000, both the wins coming at the Borgata series.