The inaugural WPT Online Borgata Poker Open gets underway this month as part of Partypoker’s US Network Series.
The event is the latest collaboration between Partypoker, BetMGM, the WPT, and Borgata, and comes in with a lofty guarantee of $1 million. In addition to winning the lion’s share of a seven-figure prize pool, the champion will have their name etched on the Mike Sexton trophy.
WPT takes Borgata Poker Open online
Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa is currently open, but with COVID-19 cases surging in New Jersey and elsewhere in the US, organizers have decided discretion is the better part of valor this year. As such, the $3,500 WPT event will take place on Partypoker NJ as part of the US Network Online Series, which runs from Sept. 12 to Sept. 21.
Partypoker NJ’s series features a total of 11 tournaments, including the WPT Online Borgata Poker Open. Buy-ins range from $20 up to $535 for the preliminary events.
Partypoker NJ US Network Online Series
- Sept. 12 – Event #1: $535, 8-Max, NLH – $50k GTD
- Sept. 12 – Event #2: $109, 1/2 Price, 8-Max, NLH – $35k GTD
- Sept. 12 – Event #3: $20, 8-Max Mini, NLH – $10k GTD
- Sept. 13 – Event #4: $215, 8-Max, NLH – $20k GTD
- Sept. 14 – Event #5: $109, 6-Max, PLO – $10k GTD
- Sept. 15 – Event #6: $535, Heads Up (32 Max), NLH
- Sept. 15 – Event #7: $215, 6-Max, NLH – $20k GTD
- Sept. 16 – Event #8: $535, Progressive Knockout Bounty 6-Max, NLH – $25k GTD
- Sept. 17 – Event #9: $215, 8-Max, NLH – $20k GTD
- Sept. 18 – Event #10: $320 WPT Super Satellite, NLH (Five Seats GTD)
- Sept. 19 – Event #11: $3,500, WPT Online Borgata Poker Open Championship – $1 Million GTD
This is the first time the Borgata Poker Open will take place online since it launched in 2003. Organizers are banking on the tournament’s reputation to draw a crowd because its $1 million prize pool equals the largest guarantee ever offered in the regulated US market.
Partypoker raising the bar
The only other tournament series to put up a seven-figure guarantee is the WSOP. By that token, this is a clear statement of intent from the WPT, but it’s not a complete gamble. The WPT Online Poker Open held in December 2020 generated a $1.2 million prize pool. That too had a $3,500 buy-in, and the winner had their name engraved on the Mike Sexton Cup.
Great to see @WPT hosting a $3,500 Main Event on @partypokerUS Network. With many live events postponed, expecting a lot of players to travel to NJ and blow this guarantee away. https://t.co/7Flx8lamKg
— Darren Elias (@DarrenElias) August 31, 2021
While a $1 million guarantee is a first for the WPT in the US online market, it’s a calculated risk. And, so far, it’s a risk that appears to be paying off. Although he’s currently in Europe and unable to enter the US, Rob Yong tweeted that it’s a “big” guarantee in a segregated poker market.
Closer to the home, American pro, and member of the WPT Champions Club, Darren Elias, is also bullish about the event. If his prediction is right and the lack of live events causes a surge of online activity, the guarantee could be beaten. What’s more, the WPT could surpass the benchmark it set in December and set a new US record.