At almost every tournament location in the United States, attendance has been down over the past year. Whether it is due to the country’s recession or the plethora of tournaments available to the players, there is no doubt that events are not seeing the numbers of the past few years. But it was the Borgata Winter Open’s official announcement that it was reducing the price of its main event by more than 50% and disassociating it from the World Poker Tour that made this issue hit home for the poker community.
The Borgata Winter Open has been one of two stops per WPT season for years, and though the Borgata Poker Open went off without any major problems, the Borgata announced that its January stop on the tour would no longer be associated with the WPT. In addition, the normal $10K buy-in for the Winter Open main event would be reduced to only $3K, as well as become a deep stack tournament with 50,000 starting chips. The main event will also guarantee a $2 million prize pool.
Traditionally, the Borgata has been one of the most popular destinations on the WPT over the years, drawing registrants primarily from the legions of poker players on the East Coast. There is no word on whether the Borgata will be part of the WPT’s Season 8 schedule next year.
The World Poker Tour already trimmed numerous stops from its Season 7 schedule when it was released earlier in 2008, taking it from 21 tournaments on the 2007-2008 schedule down to only 14 for the current one. Thus, the elimination of the Borgata from the already-slim schedule was a bit of a surprise to players who plan their tournament year with the WPT in mind.
WPT Enterprises had no comment when asked about the deletion of the Borgata from the Season 7; the public relations department merely sent a copy of the updated schedule for the remainder of the season, which includes a few date changes for the events still on the schedule.
January 14-17 Southern Poker Championship Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS
February 21-26 L.A. Poker Classic Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, CA
Feb. 28 - Mar. 2 WPT Celebrity Invitational Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, CA
March 16-20 Bay 101 Shooting Star Bay 101 Casino in San Jose, CA
April 4-9 Foxwoods Poker Classic Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, CT
April 18-25 WPT World Championship Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV