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NJ Online Poker Check-In: Borgata Oktoberfest Is Coming

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Here’s a look at what’s new in the world of NJ online poker sites, including the Borgata Oktoberfest Invitational and another PokerStars Platinum Pass to be awarded in New Jersey.

WSOP / 888

Major changes/announcements: The World Series of Poker 2018 broke records for attendance and prize pools, passing the quarter-billion-dollar mark for the first time.

New tournaments: None.

Prizepool/structure changes: None.

Upcoming online series: Coast to Coast Classic II, Aug. 3-12 featuring $1 million-plus in guarantees.

Upcoming live events: TBA.

Good news/bad news: With things somewhat back to normal in online poker, WSOP NJ has understandably scaled back on its online satellite schedule and is going with a nightly schedule of three good multi-table tournaments per night, with more when their online series are running. This is pretty much in line with the other online poker sites, so it will be interesting to see what happens in September when online traffic gets back to pre-summer levels.

The Sunday $320 buy-in/$100,000 guarantee has been surpassing the $100K mark impressively each week. Although it will be tough to encourage a bigger guarantee from them, the increasing player pools and shared liquidity will be something the other poker sites will eventually have access to, thus making a larger guarantee an easy sell.

I am hoping to see some WSOP Circuit satellites pop up in the lobby soon. There are plenty of stops on the tour over the next several months that would be decently accessible for NJ players.

WSOP is also offering a nice 125 percent reload bonus up to $500 for the month of August just in time for its popular Coast to Coast Classic II Aug 3-12.


Major changes/announcements: Oktoberfest awarding a month’s worth of buy-ins, Hot Seat SNG promo.

New tournaments: The Mega Thursday $320/$7,500.

Prize pool/Structure changes: None.

Upcoming online series: October 2018.

Upcoming live events: Borgata Summer Heater/$200k in guarantees Aug. 13-18, Deepstacks Challenge/$165K in guarantees Aug. 20-25, Borgata Poker Open/$6.7 million in guarantees Sept. 4-21.

Good news/bad news: An expensive (for them, not us) and unique promo called Oktoberfest is running all of August and September. Players who play in the nightly $109 each night earn entries into an invitational on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. which will award, among other cash prizes totaling over $15k, the entire month of October’s $109 buyins.

Playing in more $109 buy-ins earns more invitational tickets as well, with:

  • Ten entries = One invitational ticket
  • 25 entries = Two invitational tickets
  • 40 entries = Three invitational tickets.

The winner of this invitational basically gets a free ride for an entire month (30 $109 tickets), which is something that has never been done before here in NJ and maybe anywhere else as well. I am very encouraged by the constant effort on Borgata’s part to reward player loyalty and give back to the poker community to help it continue to thrive.

A new sit-and-go promo rewarding players randomly at the six-max tables from 6-10 p.m. runs throughout August. Borgata has a popular community of players and the interest is growing rapidly. Sit-and-go’s are great for several reasons; they don’t take or cost as much as multi-table tournaments and they can reduce variance, which helps your poker bankroll. Pre-Black Friday, professional sit-and-go players were common, now not so much. I am glad to see Borgata doing its part in giving the attention to this community and encouraging such an important variant of the game.

Borgata still has a $1,000 deposit bonus, which was part of the $2,500 bonus that started earlier this summer. For the weeks of Aug. 12 and 26, players can deposit up to $500 for a 100 percent match.


Major changes/announcements: None.

New tournaments: None.

Prize pool/Structure changes: None.

Upcoming online series: TBA.

Upcoming live events: TBA.

Good news/bad news: PokerStars recently announced a new live poker tour in partnership with the man who started it all, Chris Moneymaker. The tour will cross the country from now until the end of October and will award a $25,000 Platinum Pass at each tour stop (currently there are ten, but subject to change), including an online stop on PokerStars NJ Sept. 30.

The buy-in for these live (and online) stops is $86 – the amount Moneymaker paid to reach the WSOP Main Event that he eventually won for $2.5 million while simultaneously vaulting and inspiring an entire industry.

The $86 satellite price point represents what online poker is all about: small investment, big return on investment. Moneymaker is the star who emerged from what I fondly call the heart and soul of online poker. Satellites are also an effective way to get people more involved in live and online poker; the fact that PokerStars has chosen this price point and this man all these years later means that the return of a thriving online satellite system may be returning to the US.

- Katie Stone is a professional poker player who lives in New Jersey. After moving to Mexico after Black Friday, she returned to her home state of New Jersey in 2014 when online poker became legalized there.
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