Wendeen H. Eolis
by Wendeen H. Eolis
It has been one full month since the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) ordered the Borgata Casino to cancel the opening event of its annual Winter Poker Open, but New Jersey regulators have yet to reach a conclusion to their investigation of bogus chips that were introduced into the competition. The extended delay has led to escalating agitation among players according to Bruce Licausi attorney for Jeffrey Musterel, plaintiff in a lawsuit filed last Friday against the Borgata.
Musterel is a recreational poker player from Egg Harbor Township, near Atlantic City. He is among the 4000+ players who participated in the tournament, but failed to cash in the tainted competition. The primary thrust of the legal papers is that the Borgata failed in its obligations to adequately protect the playing field, adequately.
Who's on First?
by Ashley Adams
What’s the poker capitol of the world? For my money, the honors have to go to the entire state of California. This state’s rich poker legacy goes back to the 1930s, a time when gambling was banned everywhere in the United States, but in Nevada. But in California, poker clubs were legal and thrived in those municipalities that allowed them (if only for draw poker games).
Poker continues to thrive in California today, with 104 rooms listed on www.pokeratlas.com. Having played in just about all of the poker rooms in Southern California, I decided to explore the vast sea of poker rooms in the northern and central part of the state. My buddy Andrei (a limit hold’em specialist) and I managed to hit about 25 of them on this five day trip. In this and my next few articles, I will tell you, at least briefly, about the rooms we visited—as well as a few of the highlights and lowlights of our excursion.
We flew into San Francisco and immediately rented a car and left the Bay Area. We could have played in the four rooms that ring San Francisco: The Oaks in Emeryville, Artichoke Joe’s in San Bruno, Palace Poker in Hayward, and Lucky Chances in Colma. All are fine rooms, worthy of at least a visit. But I had played in each of them in the past and decided that we would spend our limited time in rooms to the east that I had yet to visit. So off we were for points east.
by Barbara Rogers
At the upcoming Foxwoods Poker Classic you can mix it up with a field of top professional players as well as top amateur players. All you have to do is…be there! Well, do take some money with you. There are events for every poker players taste. With reasonably priced satellites and a great cash room full of action 24/7, you stand an excellent chance of winning your buy-in. Foxwoods Poker Classic, always considered a major tournament, plays out from March 8-23, offering a $1,000,000 guarantee!
When you view the schedule on page 3 of this issue of Poker Player, you will see a host of events. [View the PDF]
With so many tournaments, with affordable buy-in’s, good starting stacks, you will want to stay and play awhile. PLO, Bounty, HOSE, NLH Seniors, NLH Ladies, (Re-Entry) to name a few. So here are your Foxwoods lodging options: Two Trees Inn, use group # 5857 for Sun.-Thurs. $69, Jr. Suite $99, Fri. $149, Jr. Suite $179 and Sat. $169, Jr. Suite $189. Another choice is the Great Cedar Hotel, use group #4424 for the rates of Sun.-Thurs. of $119, Fri. is $179 and Sat. $199. And finally the Grand Pequot Tower has a rate of $119 for Thurs.-Thurs., Fri. $179, Sat. $199 use code #9829.
by Ashley Adams
As a Boston resident, I am regularly asked about poker in Massachusetts. Sadly, there are no casinos or other public poker rooms in this state. However, in 2011, the state passed a law that enabled full-scale casino gambling here. In 2012, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission was assembled; and in 2013, they accepted applications for casino licenses. Applicants have been investigated and their applications have been reviewed. Some have been rejected; some approved. Communities have voted, in accordance with the enabling legislation, on whether they will accept a casino. Some have rejected the projects; others have accepted them. One, Revere, will vote again on February 25th on a new proposal (the initial proposal included putting part of the casino in East Boston, who rejected the plan).
Here’s how the casino gambling picture in Massachusetts looks now, with my estimate of when poker will actually be available. There are three regions that have been given the right to have one licensed casino: Eastern, Southeastern, and Western/Central. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has been given first crack at a license for Southeastern MA—but they had to have both a state compact, approved by the federal government, and a “land in trust” deal – because they do not have any tribal land. As of January 17th, their requisite compact with the state has been approved. They still do not have a land in trust agreement, however. And the entire matter of preferential treatment is under challenge by a private casino developer, KG Urban. So it may be a while before this casino deal is squared away. My guess is that this will not be fully sorted out until the beginning of 2015, with no spades in the ground until the end of 2015, and with the casino opened up by the winter of 2016.
by Barbara Rogers
After six months of growing into the regions largest Bad Beat jackpot to date, the Horseshoe Cincinnati paid out the largest Bad Beat jackpot in the regions history. $270,000 was paid out on Feb. 12th. Gary Costa of Cincinnati had the losing hand of quad 7's, and took the larger share, a whopping $108,000. Michael Humphreys, also a local, had the winning hand, a jack high straight flush. His cut was $54,000 and the other six players sharing the table received $18,000 for being in the right place at the right time.
(Photo: Gary Costa is to the right of the dealer; Michael Humphreys is on the left. Behind them are the other six players at the table.)
by Haley Hintze
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, home to one of the largest poker rooms in Las Vegas, will relocate its games elsewhere in the casino to dedicate more floor space for the adjacent, popular PURE nightclub. The imminent move likely means a need for a new home in 2015 for the annual National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which has been filmed in late February or early March and has been televised by NBC in recent years. Several other Caesars tournament series and regular cash-game action will also be transplanted. Caesars has not announced a new location within the sprawling Caesars Palace complex for a relocated poker room, nor whether the casino will downsize from the 62 poker tables currently offered.
By Barbara Rogers
At the helm, running the poker room, Karen proves she is the right woman for the job. In my opinion, Karen has always been the best at every job she has held. A self-made woman, this Kentucky girl proves to be a perfect fit for Horseshoe Cleveland & Thistledown Racing. With a raucous mix of sports fans and gentle souls, avid poker players all, Karen keeps the order. Starting out as a dealer and teaching other dealers, mix in Karen’s bartending experience and you have a person who truly knows the importance of listening to what people have to say and what they want.
Arriving in Cleveland, Ohio straight from Gold Strike Casino Tunica, as soon as her feet hit the ground at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, Karen wasted no time implementing her agenda. The ambitious plan would include adding many more tournaments, including “win the pot,” “win the button” and placing bounties. If her vivacious personality wasn’t enough to endear her to the players, Karen’s 12 Days Of Poker paying out $250,000 in December sealed the deal.
by Barbara Rogers
Here it is! The dates for the only World Series Of Poker circuit event in Pennsylvania. Harrah’s Philadelphia plays host in April, from the 16th to the 28th. The action includes plenty of NLH events; mixed in will be Pot Limit Omaha and H.O.S.E. This will include a nice amount of Ring Events and a Main Event with a $200,000 Guarantee. New to Harrah’s Philly, a familiar face to many of you, Bruce Pearlman joins Prasenjit “PJ” Data and poker room manager Bruce Dixon.
The $500 million dollar complex called Maryland Live! is again offering satellites to the PPC Aruba. The tournament calendar is loaded. There are plenty of cash guaranteed NLH Tournaments. This is one of the largest and most action driven poker rooms in the country. Located at the Arundel Mills Mall in Maryland, Mike Smith is the man in charge of this poker room that never sleeps.
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes Barre, PA now has rooms to rest your tired self: 238 of them! This has been a long time coming, and the hotel boasts many amenities. So another place you can stay and play.
By Barbara Rogers
FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan has a poker room manager who knows what the players want, and she delivers! With Kelley Bailey at the helm, FireKeepers has delivered 7 on 7; that is, a tournament for each day of the week. Now a second deepstack tournament has been added to the mix. On the second and fourth Sundays of each month you can play a nice $200+$20 thirty minute blind NLH tournament with 15k in starting chips. Kelley has even made arrangements for the players to pre-register for this Deep Stack “Stacked Sunday” tournament in advance at the poker room cashier cage. So now you have the opportunity to play NLH tournaments Sunday-Friday at 12 pm, Saturday at 10 am as well as Monday through Wednesday at 6:30 pm. A PLO plays out on Thursday at 6:30 pm.
With a very positive feedback regarding the daily High Hand Promotion, Kelley will keep it going into 2014. Players can win $250 up to 5 times a day, paying out $1,250 every day in high hand promotions. Watch for more tournament action to be announced. FireKeepers Casino Hotel has opened a highly anticipated 242 guest room, world class hotel.
by Barbara Rogers
There is still time for January High Hand promotion at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa. The 50 table poker room, one of the largest in Florida is giving away $200 for each high hand. You have until January 31st to be a part of this. Mark this one on your calendar, Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown with a big 5 Million Dollar Guarantee in Hollywood, Florida. The date to mark is April 10-16th.