The World Poker Tour is returning to New Jersey — virtually, that is. This week the WPT and BetMGM announced the $3,500 buy-in WPT Online Borgata Poker Open will take place Sept. 19-21 on the partypoker US network in NJ.
The tournament comes with a $1 million guarantee and will culminate the partypoker US Network Festival in New Jersey that runs Sept. 12-21. Players in NJ will be able to participate via any of the three partypoker US network sites in the state:
$3,500 Main Tour event marks ‘return of the Sexton Cup to New Jersey’
The WPT Online Borgata Poker Open in September is the first US-based online event of WPT’s Season XIX. The WPT has hosted (and will host) other online events this season already on the partypoker global site.
It will be considered an official WPT Main Tour event. As a result, the winner will join the WPT Champions Club and have his or her name etched on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. The event will additionally count toward the season’s WPT Player of the Year race.
In the announcement, WPT CEO Adam Pliska highlighted “the return of the Sexton Cup to New Jersey.” The last live WPT event in New Jersey was the Borgata Winter Poker Open in January 2020.
From mid-March to December 2020 the WPT hosted no live events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However the tour did run several online events during that period including on the partypoker US network in NJ. In January 2021 the tour began hosting live events once again, and has since held events in Florida and Nevada, as well as one in Russia. However the tour clearly wishes to continue incorporating online events into the schedule as well.
“We are very happy that WPT’s strategic move in online tournaments has been bolstered by one of the longest and most prestigious casinos on the tour,” added Pliska.
He refers of course to the Borgata in Atlantic City and the event’s branding.
Participants will need to be physically located in New Jersey in order to play the event on any of the three partypoker US network sites in the state. The sites will offer numerous satellites into the $3,500 tournament, with some starting as low as $5 to play.
Previous online WPT event in NJ attracted nearly 400 entries
From the $3,500 buy-in, $3,200 will go to the prize pool with $300 taken for the tournament fee. The schedule is as follows:
- Day 1: Sun., Sept. 19, 5 p.m. ET
- Day 2: Mon., Sept. 20, 7 p.m. ET
- Day 3: Tue., Sept. 21, 7 p.m. ET
The WPT will livestream the final table of the tournament over its Twitch channel.
Other festival events have yet to be announced. Only the $3,500 Main Event will be considered an official WPT Main Tour event. Additionally, the Main Event will be the only event of the series awarding WPT Player of the Year points.
While next month’s tournament will be the first WPT Online Borgata Poker Open, it will mark the second official online WPT Main Tour event on the partypoker US network.
The first came in late December 2020, called the WPT Online Poker Open with a $3,500 buy-in, three-day schedule, and $1 million guarantee. The tournament allowed unlimited re-entries through the end of late registration (about five-and-a-half hours).
The WPT Online Poker Open attracted 395 total entries who together created a $1,264,000 prize pool. Soheb “MyCousinVinny5” Porbandarwala won the event, earning a handsome first prize of $239,820 for doing so.
BetMGM’s President of Gaming Matthew Sunderland alluded to that event when voicing enthusiasm about the event and partnership with WPT.
“Our last Main Tour event together was a huge success,” said Sunderland, “and we look forward to offering players in New Jersey a piece of the $1 million prize pool.”
The partypoker US network no doubt hopes the September series will help boost traffic on the three sites. According to the online poker tracking site PokerScout, the partypoker US network in NJ currently lags well behind the WSOP/888 US network which shares a player pool with Nevada and Delaware.