Weekly Poker Update: New Record Jackpot in Maryland

Poker Update Screen on Left John C Playing Pai Gow Poker on Right

March Madness and NFL free agency have been dominating the news cycles lately and for good reason. Both offer seemingly daily surprises in two of the country’s biggest sports. However, they are not the only sports with major news to talk about this week. The world of Poker has also provided plenty of news lately.

Among this week’s talking points is a record-breaking round of poker in Maryland. Also, a major victory by Alex Foxen at a US Poker Open tournament. We are also going to take a look at two major upcoming events. First, the WSOP kicked off its tournament at Maho Beach. Then, we will take a look at the upcoming WPT event in Amsterdam.

Record-Breaking Jackpot at MGM National Harbor

History was made in Maryland this week. A player at the MGM National Harbor casino won the largest jackpot in the casino’s short history. According to casino representatives, the jackpot had been building since the casino first opened. The player, John C., was dealt a 7-card straight flush during a game of Face Up Pai Gow Poker.

The rare hand was exactly what John needed in order to win the progressive jackpot. For his efforts, John won over $3 million, before taxes. The jackpot had been building for a long time, and first hit the $3 million mark a few weeks ago.

MGM National Harbor is one of the newest casinos in Maryland, first opening in 2016. The casino itself is new, but it has the advantage of being the biggest in the state. In total, MGM National Harbor has 135,000 square feet of gaming space.

The casino has 40 poker tables, eight of which are exclusively for high-limit games. There are also over 2,200 slots available for bettors to play. Sports betting can be done at either the on-site sportsbook or racebook. There are also a variety of dining options available to players.

Alex Foxen Wins US Poker Open Event

From one major poker win to another. Alex Foxen, a poker player from New York, earned a major win at the 2022 US Poker Open. Foxen’s prize may not be as large as the jackpot at MGM National Harbor, but it moved him closer to history.

Foxen took home $283,500 for winning the $15,000 no-limit Hold’em tournament. It was the seventh event at the 2022 US Poker Open. Foxen had to outlast 70 other players in order to claim victory at the event. He had to mount a comeback for the win after entering the day in third place.

Aria Las Vegas PokerGo Cup 2021

The prize money may not be record-breaking, but it is enough to have Foxen on the verge of a major accomplishment. Foxen is closing on breaking the top-30 on poker’s all-time money list. If his luck continues, Foxen could move up the list later this year.

He also earned USPO points for his win. In total, Foxen now has 356 total points on the 2022 USPO leader board. He is second only to Japan’s Tamon Nakamura who has 462 points. If Foxen wants to be crowned USPO Champion, he will have to make up a lot of ground before the season ends.

WSOP Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino

The USPO is not the only major tour with tournaments going on. The World Series of Poker’s Sonesta Maho Beach tournament started earlier this week. Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino is located in the Caribbean.

As a WSOP circuit event, the buy-in for the Sonesta Maho Beach tournament will be lower than most other events. The first event, a no-limit Hold’em tournament, was yesterday and had a buy-in of $250. In total, the tournament will have 13 total events. The 10th event, which is scheduled for April 1st, has the highest buy-in at $1,700. Considered the main event, it will be the longest tournament and is scheduled over three days.

The stakes may not be very high, but that should allow a larger number of entrants to participate. Fabrice Drai, the all-time money leader in the event, has earned over $150,000 from the tournament over the years.

WSOP Sonesta Maho Beach runs for just under two weeks. The event concludes on April 4th, with the 13th and final event being a no-limit Hold’em semi-turbo tournament. WSOP also has two other events currently going on. The first is taking place at Bally’s Las Vegas, and another is ongoing at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in New York.

WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam is Next Week

Not to be left out, the 2022 World Poker Tour has an event starting next week. WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam begins on March 29th in the Netherlands. The festivities surrounding the tournament begin today. It will be the first WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam event in two years. The event was canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam started in 2015 and takes place at the Holland Casino. Even though it is not part of the main tour, WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam is still a major WPT event. In 2019, the last time WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam was completed, Felix Schulze earned over $117 thousand for winning the main event. The 2019 WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam had a field of over 500 players.

World Poker Tour Stage

As it is not part of the Main Tour, players will not earn WPT points for competing in the WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam tournament. However, WPTDeepStacks events still offer plenty of excitement. Next week’s tournament can be watched on a live stream.

Fans looking for WPT Main Tour action will have to wait until next month. The next WPT Main Tour event is scheduled to begin on April 8th. It will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Florida.

Shortlist for Chicago Casino License Announced

In US casino news, poker fans in Chicago are inching closer to having a new casino in the Windy City. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the three finalists for the casino project have been chosen. The casino developers still in the running are Bally’s, Hard Rock, and Rivers Casino.

Originally, city officials hoped to have a decision by the end of March. However, now it appears that a winner will not be named until sometime this summer. The remaining three developers will meet with city officials to discuss their proposals next month.

The developer that wins the bid for Chicago’s next casino will enter a crowded market. In total, there are over half a dozen casinos in the Chicagoland area. Despite the competition, the three developers still in the running have plenty of firepower. All three of the remaining proposals would cost nearly $2 billion to build. Also, the prime locations in the city would give the new casino an edge over the competition.

Early projections show that all three of the remaining bidders would find success in Chicago. Bally’s leads the way with their projected income being as high as $191 million. Meanwhile, the Rivers Casino proposal has the lowest projected income at as low as $146 million.


Another exciting week in the poker industry is in the book. As spring gets underway, many of the biggest poker tours will be hosting events at the same time.

The gaming industry as a whole is becoming less taboo, leading to new casinos popping up all over the country. For more updates on the world of poker, check out our poker news section.

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