With three states offering legalized online poker, the East Coast offers players plenty of opportunities for live and online poker. MGM Resorts has now added to that with the creation of the East Coast Poker Tour.
The tour’s inaugural season kicks off in February with events at three of the company’s premier properties:
- MGM National Harbor (Maryland)
- MGM Springfield (Massachusetts)
- Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa (Atlantic City, New Jersey)
“MGM Resorts offers players the best poker product on the East Coast,” MGM portfolio President Jorge Perez said in a news release. “Our East Coast Poker Tour is a great way for us to showcase three of our industry-leading properties while creating an exciting tournament series for our guests and poker enthusiasts.”
Online poker players in New Jersey will also benefit from the new tour. BorgataPoker.com will offer online qualifiers for the property’s Spring and Summer Poker Open events, all part of the East Coast Poker Tour.
What to expect from the new East Coast Poker Tour
The new tour features five co-branded events followed by a tour championship. Events include one tournament at MGM Springfield, two at National Harbor, and three at Borgata. The season-ending championship will be held at the Borgata as part of that.
The first tour stop runs Feb. 5-17 with MGM National Harbor’s Potomac Winter Poker Open. The inaugural season wraps up Nov. 15-20 with Borgata’s Fall Poker Open $2 Million Guaranteed Championship.
In the works for months, the new tour adds to MGM’s commitment to poker. The Borgata has long been a mecca for poker in the Northeast and has offered online poker through a partnership with partypoker.
The company has also hosted World Poker Tour events at some of its properties across the country. The tour announcement comes as Pennsylvania and Michigan become the latest states to join New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware to legalize online poker.
“The poker rooms at MGM National Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Borgata had already been offering some cross-property satellites into various tournaments,” Borgata executive director of poker marketing Simon Poglein told USPoker. “It made sense to build upon the success of those events, and formalize the efforts into an official tour.”
“The poker teams at Borgata, MGM National Harbor, and MGM Springfield have been planning the calendar of events, testing and tweaking the leaderboard formula, and working with MGMRI marketing for about six months now.”
A look at the ECPT schedule and leaderboard plans
Like other tours, the ECPT will feature a leaderboard for determining a season champion. To qualify for the leaderboard, players can simply register in any of the five tournaments prior to the season-ending championship.
The tour is offering several ways to qualify for the championship, which will feature a minimum of 100 players. Those include:
- The five winners of the tour’s previous tournaments.
- Five randomly selected participants (one from each tournament).
- The top 90 participants on the leaderboard.
Those who qualify in the top 90 will receive a complimentary two-night stay at Borgata. That also includes an entry in the Fall Poker Open/ECPT $2 Million Guaranteed Championship in November.
Additional ECPT Championship prizes include a $500 MGM Resorts gift card and $250 hotel credit at Borgata. The play at the top of the standings at the end of the season will earn a Cartier watch. Here’s a look at the complete schedule:
|Event||Location||Date||Highlight and Guarantee|
|Potomac Winter Poker Open||MGM National Harbor||Feb. 5-17||$500,000 championship ($3,000 buy-in)|
|Borgata Spring Poker Open||Borgata||April 7-24||$1 million championship ($2,700 buy-in)|
|Borgata Summer Poker Open||Borgata||July 7-24||$1 million championship ($2,700 buy-in)|
|Potomac Poker Open||MGM National Harbor||July 22 - Aug. 3||$1 million championship ($3,500 buy-in)|
|The Armory Classic||MGM Springfield||Aug. 12-24||Guarantee not yet announced|
|Borgata Fall Poker Open||Borgata||Nov. 15-20||$2 million ECPT Championship ($3,500 buy-in)|