Friday was a rather eventful day in the Borgata Winter Poker Open. The opening event was suspended at the start of Day 3 when 27 players remained after it was speculated that counterfeit chips with a value of 5,000 were found in play. Read more about the drama. Twenty-four hours later, Borgata officials announced the event had been canceled. As for the future of the prize pool, PokerNews relayed, “All unpaid prize money will be frozen until the investigation is complete.”
First place was scheduled to make $372,000 and the top four finishers were scheduled to make six-figures.
Borgata President and COO Tom Ballance told PokerNews, “Thus far, investigators have found that one or more tournament entrants improperly introduced a significant number of counterfeit chips into the tournament, gaining an unfair advantage and compromising the integrity of play for the event.”
He added, “It is extremely unfortunate that the criminal actions of these individuals can have a detrimental impact on more than 4,000 other entrants. We fully understand and regret the disappointment this cancellation causes our valued customers and we will work diligently with DGE investigators to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. The integrity of our games and the confidence of our players is of the utmost importance to us.”
Other Winter Poker Open events, including the WPT Main Event, will be held as planned.
Cries of #chipgate rang out on Twitter throughout the day on Saturday, with poker player Ben Mintz chirping, “If I was one of the last 27 players in the Borgata 2 mil poker tourney, I would not be very happy right now!” A parody of #chipgate was posted on Twitter (pictured).
Speaking of the final 27, one of the members of the group posted on Two Plus Two on Saturday night, “I think we are getting paid. Conjecture of course. Right now, all we know is that the prize pool is being held while the investigation is going on. As you can imagine, it was a wild and emotional scene when [Borgata Senior Vice President of Operations]Joe Lupo took the 27 of us behind locked doors and told us the tourney was cancelled and that no prizes would be immediately forthcoming.”
According to the Associated Press, no charges have been filed. The AP story was featured on the home page of Yahoo. We’ll keep you posted on the latest.