These days, all poker eyes are on Atlantic City

April 24, 2014, Jo Kim  

Soon after Bally’s revealed its updated poker room, the World Series of Poker announced the renovated addition to the Boardwalk as its new locale for its national championship. The event is set for May 22-24 in the new Wild Wild West poker room, decked out in WSOP decor.

This season’s WSOP Circuit, which began in August, will end in Atlantic City for the first time. Caesars patrons were disappointed this year by the absence of a WSOPC-scheduled stop usually held here in March. Since the championship has relocated to Bally’s, there’s an exciting WSOP buzz circulating Atlantic City once again.

There will be numerous satellites and freeroll entries this month for a chance to win a seat in the tournament, plus Bally’s will hold live events showcasing the WSOP poker room. On May 19, there will be a freeroll for a seat into the event, followed by “last chance” satellites the next day. The WSOP online servers will host freerolls for players who made deposits in April. Nevada will hold its online tournament May 10 and New Jersey will host its tournament May 17.

There are at least 100 players qualified for the event through the WSOP point system built in the past year via 22 tour stops, leaving six seats up for grabs through promotional events. The crowned champion will take home a gold bracelet and a share of a huge prize pool that has been around $1 million every year. The tournament will be televised nationally on ESPN.

This has been a better year in terms of poker prospects in Atlantic City. Not only has WSOP moved its national championship to Bally’s new poker room, but the Borgata also became the new home of the World Poker Tour World Championship. WPT changed its championship location from Bellagio after Borgata became the leading establishment for most entrants registered in WPT tournaments. Much of the poker world’s attention has been gravitating toward New Jersey, giving Atlantic City a chance to welcome back familiar pros.

FOXWOODS: The Foxwoods Poker Classic wrapped up with its $2,700 main event, which drew 226 players for a $548K prize pool. After a deal, Sam Haddad of Westwood, Mass., collected $92,434 for second place (including a commemorative watch) while She Lok Wong of Forest Hills, N.Y., garnered the trophy and $95K for first. Mazen Nesheiwat of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., earned $84,125 for third.

— Email Jo Kim at anteupjokim@gmail.com.