The Casino File: A very big deal! Borgata will be first to bring back poker to Atlantic City; Big payouts at Hard Rock AC
The re-designed Borgata poker room.The Borgata

The Casino File: A very big deal! Borgata will be first to bring back poker to Atlantic City; Big payouts at Hard Rock AC

The cards will be in the air next week at AyCee’s premier card parlor, but with changes and conditions.

This is one time I am thrilled to have been wrong.

Just last week, this column suggested—quite logically, we thought--that it would be a while before poker returned to Atlantic City and Pennsylvania casinos. Well, it seems the folks at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa had a far different take: Poker will once again be played there beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 21. However, the resumption of the world’s greatest card game will be accompanied by new conditions, protocols and prohibitions.

The two biggest changes will be the reduction of the Big B’s poker table inventory from 85 to 30 “socially distanced” tables, according to a news release announcing the resumption of poker operations. And the maximum number of players allowed at a table will be seven, down from the traditional 10.

In addition, barriers made of polycarbonate (a strong, transparent, form of plastic) will be placed on each table, and what are described as “high-touch points” will be frequently disinfected. Hand-sanitizing dispensers have been installed throughout the card parlor. Masks will be required of all players, and admittance will be limited to players (meaning you can no longer watch games).

“We are happy to welcome back our loyal players as we reopen Atlantic City’s market-leading East Coast poker destination,” said Melonie Johnson, President & Chief Operating Officer of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. “We have made some changes to enhance our guest’s experience and are excited to reintroduce live poker and the Borgata Poker brand more safely.”

Hard Rock, easy money

Normally, seven-figure jackpots are the province of slot machines, but earlier this week, a man from Minotola, N.J. found his pot o’ gold at an Ultimate Texas Hold’em table at Hard Rock Hotel Casino Atlantic City.

The lucky player, identified by the casino only as James, scored a whopping a $1.3 million after making a $5 progressive bet on the Royal Flush Mega Jackpot.

“It is surreal to have hit a $1.3 million jackpot, especially because playing cards is a little different than laying pipe,” said James, a plumbing and HVAC contractor, in a Hard Rock news release.

In addition to James’ big score, Hard Rock also reported an additional $338,000 in jackpots were won by three people during the two days prior to the million-dollar-plus hit.

Chuck Darrow is the casino/lifestyle editor for Bettors Insider. The Casino File posts Fridays.

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