Legal casino gambling arrived in Atlantic City way back in 1978, but it would be 15 long years before local poker players were dealt into the action. When the Taj Mahal opened its sparkling 50-table poker room in 1993, it immediately became the East Coast’s hotspot for Seven-Card Stud and Texas holdem.
The fabled Taj is long gone today though, and in its place, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa has emerged as Atlantic City’s most attractive and active poker room. Below, you’ll learn all about the Borgata’s cash game scene, tournament series, and World Poker Tour (WPT) stops.
Local Players Sing Borgata Poker Room’s Praises
The moment the Borgata poker room opened its doors in 2003, it immediately put all other venues in Atlantic City to shame. Boasting 85 tables in an expansive and elegant setting, and running the gamut from $1/$2 no limit Texas holdem for tourists to $500/$1,000 mixed games that rival the most famous “big games” in Las Vegas, the Borgata’s glittering poker room immediately set the standard for card players in Atlantic City.
Before we dive deep into everything that makes the Borgata poker room such a special place to play cards, let’s see what the locals have to say.
The quotes below come straight from the source. They’re real players who grind at the Borgata and celebrate the room’s supremacy.
“Once in your lifetime you must get yourself here. The poker room is huge and busy with lots of different games. No matter what time of year – you’ll find all the best players here. Atlantic City is slow non-summer but their poker room is hopping all year long. Nobody wants to play anywhere else.
Lots of East Coast characters. Everyone is very polite and talkative. I’ve played all over the world and you will not find a better group of players anywhere.” – Roxee007
“Amazing poker room that is run to perfection by management. Great selection of cash games and tournaments. You’ll find the most skilled players at Borgata. My personal favorite casino on the east coast.” – Tthrush
As you can see, paying a visit to the Borgata poker room makes an immediate impression with anybody lucky enough to get a session or two in.
But even the most experienced poker pros on the planet aren’t immune to the Borgata poker room’s unique charms. Darren Elias, the winningest player in World Poker Tour (WPT) history and a Borgata regular for more than a decade, was positively brimming with praise last year about his home casino to the WPT Blog.
Elias claimed it has been a great place to play compared to other venues in Atlantic City. It’s not every day that the normally stoic Elias opens up like that, so you know the Borgata poker room must have made quite an impression with the four-time WPT champ over the years.
From Tournament Series to the WPT World Championship, Borgata Has It All
Elias’ love for the Borgata likely stems from the fact that he made his first major televised tournament splash there back in 2014.
During the WPT’s Season 14, the tour stopped at the Borgata to host a $3,500 buy-in Main Event. Eventually, a whopping 1,226 entries and reentries were recorded to generate a massive prize pool of more than $4 million, the lion’s share ($843,744) of which went to Elias when he bagged up every last chip in play.
The Borgata hosts no less than five major tournament series each and every year, beginning with the Borgata Winter Poker Open from January to February. This action-packed series spans several weeks and 25 events, ranging from affordable $200-$500 buy-in tournaments to the $5,100 High Roller. And of course, players can always buy in or qualify through the satellite process to take their shot at a $3,500 WPT Main Event title like Elias.
The Winter Poker Open is just one of the Borgata’s iconic seasonal series too, so don’t forget about the spring, summer, and fall editions as well. In each case, you’ll find dozens of unique tournament formats, poker variants ranging from no limit Texas holdem to Omaha Hi-Lo Eight or Better, and no shortage of superstar pros rubbing elbows with the local regulars.
The seasonal series is capped off by a main Borgata Poker Open, which is capped by the epic $15,400 buy-in WPT World Championship. This staple of the major tournament circuit sports a guaranteed prize pool of $5 million, which means the eventual champion takes home an incredible payday of more than $1 million.
The legendary poker figures to top the WPT World Championship at Borgata include Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu (Season 3), three-time WPT winner Anthony Zinno (Season 12), and of course, Darren Elias (Season 13).
Borgata tournament director Tab Duchateau isn’t content to rest on those seasonal series laurels though. In between the Open series, Duchateau makes sure to stack the schedule with a shorter “miniseries” like the Summer Kickoff Series in May, the October Monster Stacks, and the December Deepstacks Challenge, just to name a few.
And naturally, even if you’re not in town during one of them, the Borgata poker room also hosts Atlantic City’s best daily and nightly tournaments.
Cash Game Crushers at Every Level Call the Borgata Home
If you prefer the cash game scene to tournaments, the Borgata has you covered 24/7 for 365 days every year.
Don’t take our word for it though, just check out the long lineup of poker variants and stakes found onsite.
Borgata Poker Room Cash Game Listings:
No Limit Holdem
- $1/$2 no limit holdem – Buy-in: $100 to $300 – Runs: Always
- $2/$5 no limit holdem – Buy-in: $200 to $1,000 – Runs: Always
- $5/$10 no limit holdem – Buy-in: $500 to $2,500 – Runs: Always
- $10/$25 no limit holdem – Buy-in: $2,500 to No Max – Runs: Weekends and evenings
- $25/$50 no limit Holdem – Buy-in: $5,000 to No Max – Runs: During busier hours
- $2/$4 limit holdem – Buy-in: $30 to No Max – Runs: Always
- $3/$6 limit holdem – Buy-in: $30 to No Max – Runs: Always
- $10/$20 limit holdem – Buy-in: $100 to No Max – Runs: One or two tables
- $20/$40 limit holdem – Buy-in: $200 to No Max – Runs: Always
- $40/$80 limit holdem – Buy-in: $400 to No Max – Runs: Weekends
Pot Limit Omaha Hi
- $1/$2 pot limit Omaha Hi – Buy-in: $200 to No Max – Runs: Occasionally
- $2/$5 pot limit Omaha Hi – Buy-in: $300 to No Max – Runs: Occasionally
- $5/$5 pot limit Omaha Hi – Buy-in: $500 to $1,500 – Runs: During busier hours
Seven Card Stud
- $20/$40 seven card stud – Buy-in: $200 to No Max – Runs: Weekends and evenings
- $75/$150 seven card stud – Buy-in: $750 to No Max – Runs: Weekends and evenings
Mixed Cash Games
- $40/$80 Mixed – Buy-in: $400 to No Max – Runs: Usually one table
- $50/$100 Mixed – Buy-in: $500 to No Max – Runs: Weekends
- $80/$160 Mixed – Buy-in: $800 to No Max – Runs: Occasionally
- $100/$200 Mixed – Buy-in: $1,000 to No Max – Runs: Occasionally
- $200/$400 Mixed – Buy-in: $2,000 to No Max – Runs: Occasionally
- $300/$600 Mixed – Buy-in: $2,500 to No Max – Runs: During busier hours
- $400/$800 Mixed – Buy-in: $4,000 to No Max – Runs: During busier hours
- $500/$1,000 Mixed – Buy-in: $5,000 to No Max – Runs: During busier hours
If you couldn’t tell by now, the Borgata’s cash game arena is nothing short of paradise for poker players.
Folks that are there to have a little fun can splash around at the low-stakes tables, aspiring grinders can climb the ladder in mid-stakes games, while bona fide pros have every variant at their disposal in the Borgata’s famed high-stakes room.
Throw in a dedicated staff of cocktail servers delivering culinary delights and libations, experienced dealers who have been around the poker’s proverbial block, and a world-class floor staff supervising every flop and fold, and the Borgata poker room is second to none.
If you ever find yourself on the east coast and in need of a great place for real money poker, the Borgata poker room should be the first and only stop on your agenda. This place has to be seen to be believed, and once you play a few orbits here, you’ll never look at Atlantic City’s competing venues the same way again.
There’s elite tournament competition on the WPT circuit, a seasonal Open series spanning several weeks while serving up a smorgasbord of affordable events, and an abundance of cash game offerings… The Borgata poker room simply can’t be beat.