The 14-day tournament will begin January 17 and will conclude with the Borgata Poker Classic, part of the WPT, next January 26-30. The Borgata Winter Poker Open will mark the World Poker Tour ’s sixth visit to Borgata. The most recent Borgata Poker Open in September drew a record 540 players with a prize pool over us$ 5,000,000.
A virtual who’s who of poker stars, the tournament drew such competitors as Michael "The Grinder" Mizrahi, Shannon Shorr, Daniel Negreanu (2004 WPT Player of the Year and winner of the 2004 Borgata Poker Open), Phil "the Unabomber" Laak, Academy-Award nominee Jennifer Tilly, David Williams, Antonio Esfandiari, actress Shannon Elizabeth, David "the Dragon" Pham and Maciek "Michael" Gracz, all vying for the WPT title. However, it was an up and coming amateur from North Carolina named Mark Newhouse, who captured the WPT title and the first-place prize of us$ 1,519,020.
Last year also marked the debut of Borgata’s revamped 1997 sqm poker room, home to three anchor events: Borgata Winter Open/WPT Poker Classic, Borgata Summer Open and the WPT/Borgata Poker Open. The Borgata Poker Room now features an eighteen-table High Limit Room offering food service; a nine-table tournament area offering bleacher seating for tournament viewing that may be partitioned off as a "reserved" poker area; and a 58-table Main Poker Room offering live poker action.
The room is outfitted with over seventy plasma televisions and offers the largest variety of games and limits in Atlantic City. Highlights from 2006 include the first ever Borgata Summer Open, which drew nearly four-thousand entrants and cash prizes totaling us$ 2,517,030; the fourth annual Borgata Poker Open, which drew nearly ten- thousand entrants with cash prizes totaling over us$ 10 million; and us$ 50,000 Guaranteed Friday tournaments, a favorite among amateurs and professionals alike.
"We strive to offer our poker players a full destination experience with A-list entertainment, exciting nightlife options, stellar dining, upscale accommodations, a robust poker program and above all, great service," said Larry Mullin, President and COO of Borgata. "Borgata is excited to partner with the WPT once again to bring a world-class tournament to Atlantic City and offer our players a unique experience while they are here."
Televised nationally on the Travel Channel and one of the premier stops on WPT’s 17-tournament tour, the Borgata Poker Classic will feature the world’s top poker players along with local fan favorites competing in No- Limit Texas Hold’em poker. The buy-in amount is us$ 10,000.