Friday, December 07, 2012

Re-Entry: Atlantic City

Limited space to scribble this morning, as I’m heading off for another poker-related voyage.

I actually have two tourneys I’ll be reporting from coming up here in rapid succession, both up in the northeastern part of the country. The first takes me to Atlantic City for the World Series of Poker Circuit event at Harrah’s (a $1,675 buy-in event, with re-entries). Then I’ll be headed to the Sands in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the Main Event of their Sands Bethlehem Deepstack Extravaganza (a $2,500 event, also with re-entries).

This’ll be a return trip to AC for me, as I was there previously for the WSOP-C back in March 2011. Was a memorable trip and tourney, in part because it was won by Brian Ali (who I was able to meet and play with this past summer in Vegas), and Ali knocked out most of the players at the final table, including one named Ellis Frazier (much to the delight of pun-seeking bloggers).

Yesterday the poker world’s attention was suddenly focused on Atlantic City thanks to the Wall Street Journal’s report that PokerStars is looking to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in AC, a deal that is in limbo while New Jersey continues to debate an online gambling bill that would allow casinos to operate sites. The article explains how if such a bill were passed, Stars would likely move to obtain a license to operate in New Jersey.

Speaking of that NJ online gambling bill currently under consideration (Assembly Bill A2578), that bill was recently revised to remove language that might have prevented PokerStars from returning to the U.S. because of its so-called “bad actor” status (i.e., for having taken U.S. customers post-UIGEA). Haley Hintze explained that change and its possible implications in an article for PokerFuse yesterday.

Put together with PokerStars’ deal with the DOJ (and purchase and relaunch of Full Tilt Poker), all of this adds up to a possibility that Stars could well find its way back to the U.S., with Atlantic City the avenue through which such re-entry would occur.

All very interesting to consider as I plan for my own re-entry into Atlantic City a little later today.

Will be curious to see how AC is holding up after Hurricane Sandy barrelled through six weeks ago. I’ll probably hop back on here starting Sunday to file some travel reports along the way. Meanwhile, have a good weekend, everyone!

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