Borgata and BetMGM Introduce The Return Of Championship Poker Events This January

Written By Anthony Cicali on November 4, 2022
Pennsylvania poker August events include the PokerStars Summer Series.

Pennsylvania poker players will have a reason to cross the Delaware River this January. Major news was announced this week that a Borgata major tournament series was in the works. BetMGM and Borgata poker have joined forces and are showcasing the series from Jan. 4-8.  

“The return of championship poker to Borgata is a long time coming,” said Vincent Alonge Jr., Borgata’s Director of Poker Operations. 

The live event series will take place over a week in Atlantic City. There will also be a live qualifying event, as well. Prize pools will generate $4 million in guaranteed payouts for the January events.

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Millionaire Mystery Bounty and Main Event

The biggest tournament of the Return Series will be the Main Event from Jan. 4-8. The $5,300 buy-in event will offer a massive $3 million guaranteed prize pool. The Borgata is also guaranteeing at least $1 million to first place

Also for the first time in Borgata history, a mega Mystery Bounty event is scheduled. The event will take place on Jan. 2. Mystery prizes will be awarded to players knocked out.

Mystery bounties are a growing trend among the poker community. When players eliminate another player, they receive an envelope with an unknown prize. Mystery bounties allow players to win big, but they don’t know what prize they won until the package is opened.  The top mystery prize for this event will be $250,000

The complete series is below:

  • $2,200 NLH Mystery Bounty (Event 1, Jan. 2-3) – $1 million guaranteed 
  • $560 NLH State Qualifier to Main Event (Event 2, Jan. 3) – 1 in 10 win
  • $5,400 NLH Main Event (Event 3, Jan. 4-8) – $1 million guaranteed 
  • $2,100 NLH 1k Bounty (Event 4, Jan. 6-7) – $150,000 guaranteed 
  • $1,100 NLH Survivor (Event 5, Jan. 7-8) – $100,000 guaranteed

Online satellites and buy-ins

Players in Pennsylvania will have a chance to win a buy-in via online satellites, as well. The winners of these online events go directly into the live events this January.

“BetMGM recognizes the strong legacy of tournaments at Borgata and is thrilled to collaborate with the team to bring online qualifiers to ‘The Return,'” said Luke Staudenmaier, Director of Poker, BetMGM. “In the upcoming months, we look forward to offering online poker players various ways to qualify for this momentous event which will kick off 2023 with a bang!” 

These online satellites are a great chance for players to enter big events without putting their whole bankroll on the line.

Online registration for Borgata’s championship poker event

Online registration will be available starting in December. Players will be directly able to buy into the Main Event online between Dec. 1-31. Live in-person registration starts Jan. 2. According to the Borgata site:

“Log in to your BetMGM account through the BetMGM Poker App and choose The Return Online Registration Tournament to secure your seat. Events may sell out through the BetMGM platform. All players making the final table for the Championship Event will receive a complimentary room on Saturday, January 7.“

Players in all the legal states will have a chance to grab a seat in the middle of the action this January. According to a tweet from BetMGM US Poker Operations Manager, Dave Mileaf, “Satellites and online registration to the $5,300 will be available in NJ, PA and MI.” 

Mixed player reactions

One player from Pennsylvania already has his bags packed. Zach Gruneberg of Boalsburg, PA, is ready to get in the games. 

“Been waiting for Borgata to come back since COVID. I’ve always considered it my home casino even though I’m a little over four hours away. I’ve been very lucky historically at Borgata and I’m excited to be back playing with home-field advantage.” He goes on to say, “The room is already booked for the entire stay and I couldn’t be more excited to be back.”

Pro players are already abuzz with the big events planned ahead. 

Some players were a little skeptical about the big payouts, though, including Allen “ChainSaw” Kessler

With January only a few months away, player anticipation is already growing. The northeast typically grows some of the biggest fields every January at the Jersey Shore. Will history repeat itself with massive turnouts this January? Time will tell.

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