Borgata Finds “Significant Number of Counterfeit Chips,” Cancels Event 1

16

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.”

Take Your Poker Game to the Next Level with the Upswing Lab! Join world-class poker players as they show you the strategies that helped them reach the top of the poker food chain. JOIN NOW!

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.

Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

16 COMMENTS

      • So . . . with no charges laid, how do they plane on proving who introduced the fakes? without that proof, how do they know that one (some?) of the cheats did not bust out anyway?

        They’re going through surveillance tapes to figure it out.

          • It seems like it would be easy to palm a 5k chip and then set your hand on top of a stack of them and drop it in place. Dont know how a camera could see that. Unless they track pot amounts on every hand and who won the pot I do not see how you could for sure nail the cheat.

          • Time for chip technology, a chip in a chip. It will take something like this for the Casino to spend the money, how often has this happened whitout the Casino reporting it, when at the end of a tournament the chip count is more then the buy in of the players. You think they would report it and give everone back their money? Think not.

          • This should have been figured out at the beginning of day 2. Simple math with chips vs entries. If it happened on day 2 then this should narrow it down on checking the surveillance tapes. This is disgusting and the person or persons should be banned from ALL casinos. PS I better be receiving my entry money back.

          • It seems like it would be easy to palm a 5k chip and then set your hand on top of a stack of them and drop it in place. Dont know how a camera could see that. Unless they track pot amounts on every hand and who won the pot I do not see how you could for sure nail the cheat.

            The only problem there is reports there were up to a million in counterfeit chips. Your technique might work for a few, but we’re talking a few hundred 5k chips.

          • Possible they could narrow it down to a table or tables where it started by spotting the slightly dif hue of the chip. It looked like it was a little lighter in color. If they could do that they might be able to catch the guys.

          • apparently there was a perfect opportunity to do this undetected when they moved players from poker room to convention center and didn’t verify chip counts

          • There was an obvious difference between the 5K chips at my table dealer said they must be new ones. I bubbled on day 2 and I’m upset about this can’t imagine what the last 27 feel like.

          • bubbling is a reason to be pissed maybe u lost to guys with added chips and u were dealing with fake chips applying more pressure on u as wellnot good thats for suremath is a mthrfkr u would think tht even with change of rooms they can do the math of stacks and figure out who did what