Blinds and Antes: NY Sports Betting Posts a Wild Opening Weekend, Online Tourneys Perform Well in PA

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The Online Circuit Series in Pennsylvania meeting its prize guarantees, New York State having an awesome start to online sports betting, and thieves hiding stolen goods where the sun don’t shine are a few of the blinds and antes CardsChat picked up during another orbit around the poker world over the past week.

Statue of Liberty
Millions of people in New York State logged on to place legal bets on sports for the first time last weekend. (image:

The first weekend of online sports betting in New York State got off to a roaring start with the four sportsbooks being accessed by bettors 17.2 million times, according to GeoComply, the geolocation company responsible for making sure the bettors are within state borders. 

Just within NYC’s five boroughs, GeoComply tracked 8 million pings, and Caesars’ CEO Thomas Reeg told CNBC that more than one million bets were made in the first 48 hours. 

The four online sportsbooks available to NY players are Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive (Rivers casinos).  Five more books are expected to launch soon, including BetMGM, PointsBet, Bally Bet, WynnBet, and Resorts World.

Check out the video of pings the GeoComply recorded in the first 30 minutes. That one poor soul in Massachusetts desperately wanted to throw some money on the Pats, didn’t he? 

According to GeoComply’s Managing Director Lindsay Slader, it took a mere 12 hours for New York State to become the nation’s largest online sports gambling market, beating both Pennsylvania New Jersey combined.

Users logging into online betting sites: Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022

  • New York State 5.8 million
  • Pennsylvania 2.3 million
  • New Jersey 2.1 million
  • Michigan 1.6 million
  • Illinois 1.1 million
  • Arizona 1 million

The numbers above show the number of times people logged into betting software, not the number of bets they made. The handle — the amount wagered — will be known next month. 

The big winner here is New York State, which takes 51% of the cut from the operators. 

WSOP Ring PA Online Circuit Series off to a strong start

With its Online Circuit Series more than halfway over, PA has exceeded its prize pool guarantees in all of the events held so far. Throughout the first six events, the prize pools beat the guarantees by $48K, $26K, $25K, $8K, $32K, $16K, and $43K, respectively.

Five events remain, and the winners of each event will receive a WSOP Circuit ring.

A WSOP Online Circuit series for players in NJ and Nevada is scheduled to begin on Jan. 19. 

MGM Springfield

Man claims more than $20K stolen from hotel room safe

A New Jersey man who calls himself a semi-professional poker and blackjack player says $20,900 went missing from a hotel room safe at MGM Springfield last month. 

According to MassLive, Richard Angelica says he was invited to the Boston casino as VIP high roller, checking in on the morning of Dec. 29. Angelica claims he placed $30K in the hotel safe before traveling by bus with a group of VIPs to watch the Patriots battle the Bills at Gillette Stadium.

When he returned to the casino, Angelica says his keycard wouldn’t work and that the front desk claimed he’d checked himself out. Hotel staff cleared the room of his stuff and had his possessions, though Angelica says $20,900 in cash was missing.

The Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit is investigating the matter.


Rolex and $6,500 snatched from Las Vegas gambler

Two women were arrested and charged after a man said he was robbed of $6,500 and a Rolex watch at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

According to KVVU Fox 5 and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, the robbery victim met Nikki Grandel and Staycee Johnson on Jan. 2, while gambling at Caesars Palace. They went to his room, but the women left while the man was taking a bath.

Soon after, the man noticed his wad of rolled-up cash and a Rolex was missing from a duffel bag.

When the police caught up with the alleged robbers, they found the cash “bulging in (Johnson’s) pants.” Police say Johnson told them she had the money in her vagina, but it fell out. The two denied they stole the Rolex, but an X-ray at Clark County Detention Center found the watch — inside Grandel’s vagina.

They each face a charge of grand larceny.

  Images courtesy of WSOP, Rolex, and Wikipedia. 

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