Report: Borgata Poker Open Event 1 Suspended Due to Counterfeit Chips

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Pretty wild news coming out of Atlantic City, where the first event of the Borgata Winter Poker Open was suspended on Friday due to possible counterfeit chips. Borgata and New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement officials are on the scene according to Borgata Senior Vice President of Operations Joe Lupo and PokerNews. The chips with a value of 5,000 were reportedly at issue, although PokerNews and Borgata did not report as such, and one Twitter poster shared an image of them (pictured).

Lupo added, “We have reason to believe the tournament was compromised. There’s nothing more important than ensuring the integrity of the tournament. All other tournaments are moving forward with full confidence.” The tournament was a $2 million guaranteed Big Stack No Limit Hold’em event. There were 27 people remaining when play was stopped.

According to Borgata officials, Event #1 is suspended until at least Noon Eastern Time on Saturday. All other Borgata Winter Poker Open events will run as planned.

Twitter was ablaze with discussion about the suspension and a few more details emerged. Poker player Roman Valerstein commented on Twitter, “Commission suspending the first event for 24 hrs to investigate the counterfeit chip issue.” When asked if he thought entrants would be refunded, he responded, “I’d be very surprised if it ended with people getting refunds, would be a nightmare scenario for Borgata and not really fair.”

Daniel Bugzon, who was one of the 27 players remaining, joked on Twitter, “Hope the gaming commission doesn’t link the chip scandal to me doing a little better than a min-cash for once.” Longtime PocketFiver Ari Engel added, “Reports out of Borgata saying a ton of fake chips have made their way into play in the 560/2m.”

Responding to Engel’s Tweet, Anthony Erekat, who was playing in the first event at Borgata, Tweeted on Friday, “I’m disgusted because I mentioned a few times yesterday that something wasn’t right… I mentioned it to a few players they said no way. I said something seems off with a few other players.”

Jesse Martin shared the potential bright side: “One good thing about this counterfeit chip controversy at Borgata is that maybe it will push the industry toward improving chip technology.”

First place was scheduled to make $372,000, while everyone remaining was guaranteed at least $8,100. The top 450 people made the money and Allard Broedelet led the final 27 with 10.3 million in chips. There were 4,800 entrants. Gaming officials were reportedly looking over surveillance tapes to determine the source of the counterfeit chips.

The WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open begins on January 26. It’s a $3,500 buy-in event with two starting days. Visit PocketFives’ New Jersey poker community for the latest.

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20 COMMENTS

    • I like online poker. Prevents angle shooting and outright theft. Yes, I know you can be cheated but there are more safeguards for online. Glad the officials are trying to fix this before it totally ruins the tourney.

        • Responding to Engel’s Tweet, Anthony Erekat, who was playing in the first event at Borgata, Tweeted on Friday, “I’m disgusted because I mentioned a few times yesterday that something wasn’t right… I mentioned it to a few players they said no way. I said something seems off with a few other players.”This guy is stupid. Why is he telling the players that something isn’t right. Speaking to the wrong guys dude.

      • I like online poker. Prevents angle shooting and outright theft. Yes, I know you can be cheated but there are more safeguards for online. Glad the officials are trying to fix this before it totally ruins the tourney.

        The tourney is already ruined…. There are 27 players left that means everyone that has already been eliminated feels like they got cheated out of a fair chance to win …. The players that are left who are not part of the scam feel like they have been cheated out of chip position etc…. One main premise of a tournament is that everyone starts off on equal ground, corrupting that dynamic creates an almost impossible situation for casino staff to properly amend for all involved.. GL

        • Wow this is going to be a mess. Good that they caught it. Fairly easy to catch if they check totals daily. Especially way easier to check when under 100 people. They should be able to find who did this rather easily just by looking at players stacks and counting the chips they won for the day or lost. They can do that or just view tapes and hopefully see on tape. But I dont think will be easy to catch on tape. However counting the chips and reviewing HH per table thru cameras should be rather easy. I assume they video every hand at every table

          • Odds that Men (the master) had something to do with this? I’m amazed he’s still allowed to play in tournaments

          • poker and cheating what else is new??? it’s so ev to cheat. only in poker you can steal half a billion dollars and the worst thing that happens is you get probation.

          • Odds that Men (the master) had something to do with this? I’m amazed he’s still allowed to play in tournaments

            this… probably 75-25 that Mgyen the Master was involved in this scandal at Borgata.

        • The tourney is already ruined…. There are 27 players left that means everyone that has already been eliminated feels like they got cheated out of a fair chance to win …. The players that are left who are not part of the scam feel like they have been cheated out of chip position etc…. One main premise of a tournament is that everyone starts off on equal ground, corrupting that dynamic creates an almost impossible situation for casino staff to properly amend for all involved.. GL

          I agree that it is already ruined and there really is not much they can do at this point. Glad I drove down from Mass. to play this fiasco(on the money bubble hand it literally took 50 minutes from beginning of hand to play the next hand. And after we waited for 30 minutes for the hand to play out, they came back and said you’re in the money take a 10 minute break…which ended up being a 20-25 minute unscheduled break)…I made the money on one bullet but obv. feel like this takes away from the integrity of the tourney. I would also feel terrible for the innocent players in the final 27 if they end up stopping the event. Another black mark for poker right when there are groups starting to fight back against the legalization of online poker.

          • Monday night quarterbacking: the main lure of Borgata Poker Open Event 1 is the top prize amounts, right? Suggestion: cease having any B&M live poker tournaments with less than a $1000 buy-in! Run online poker satellites to these tournaments with varying buy-ins, but with an emphasis on a $50 buy-in. Your live tourneys will still boast attractive top prizes but the higher full buy-in amount will reduce the live fields to a more manageable player pool. Just a thought.

          • What would be the charge here? Theft? Of what value? The chips have no monetary value like if you tried passing off a fake $1k chip.

          • What would be the charge here? Theft? Of what value? The chips have no monetary value like if you tried passing off a fake $1k chip.

            Probably defrauding a casino which is a huge crime.