Poker Tournaments

Opening Borgata Event Cancelled as Counterfeit Chips Discovered

The final day of the Borgata Winter Poker Open Event #1 was cancelled after it was discovered that one or more players had introduced fake chips into the game.

Opening Borgata Event Cancelled as Counterfeit Chips DiscoveredThe final day of the Borgata Winter Poker Open Event #1 was cancelled after it was discovered that one or more players had introduced fake chips into the game.

Twenty-seven players remained in Event #1 of the Borgata Winter Poker Open – which was scheduled to conclude on Friday evening – when it was discovered that there were more than a million chips in circulation than there should have been.

With a record breaking 4,814 entries – each receiving 20,000 starting chips – there should have been 96,240,000 chips in play. However, when organizers added up the chip stacks of the twenty-seven players remaining in the tournament, the total came to 97,370,000.

Various theories were suggested about how the discrepancy could have occurred – including that errors were made during the chipping up process, or that some player´s entries had not been recorded – but, once photos started to circulate on Twitter of “fake” tournament chips with a value of $5,000, tournament director Tab Duchateau suspended the event for 24 hours and called in investigators from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJ DGE).

Hopes of a Resumption Dashed by NJ DGE

Hopes that the situation would be resolved quickly, so that the tournament could be concluded, were dashed on Saturday evening when Tom Ballance, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, announced that the NJ DGE had ordered the cancellation of the tournament due to the pending investigation.

Ballance said 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; but he added that an audit had been conducted on the remaining poker chips in the Borgata´s inventory and that the remaining Winter Poker Open schedule would proceed as planned.

Details also later emerged that the 423 players who had already cashed in the tournament would be allowed to keep their winnings, while the unpaid prize pool of $1,433,145 would be held in escrow until it could be confirmed that none of the remaining twenty-seven players had been involved in compromising the tournament.

Scandal Fails to Dampen Borgata Series

With many players already having committed to playing in the Borgata Winter Poker Open series, the counterfeit scandal had no impact on the number of players entering subsequent tournaments in the Series over the weekend. Despite the serious nature of scandal, attendance figures continued to surpass those from previous Borgata series – with five tournaments concluded to date:

Borgata Winter Open Event #2 Prize
$350.00 + $50.00 + $100.00 Bounty NLHE
Entries: 615
Haim Toorgeman $50,132
Hani Khalil $28,187
Frank Chain $17,747
Borgata Winter Open Event #3
$500.00 + $60.00 Deepstack NLHE (2 Days)
Entries: 578
Joe McKeehen $69,808
Dimitrious Goranitis $39,246
Abdul Amer $25,230
Borgata Winter Open Event #4
$500.00 + $60.00 PL Omaha Hi/Lo
Entries: 140
Joe Villella $18,334
James Donald $10,083
Yuebin Guo $5,805
Borgata Winter Open Event #5
$350.00 + $50.00 Big Stack NLHE
Entries: 818
Iverson Cotton Snuffer $63,882
Chad Brown $37,213
Greg Candido $22,772
Borgata Winter Open Event #6
$450.00 + $50.00 HORSE
Entries: 113
David Arsht $14,796
Laurence Wolf $8,607
Shawn Ryan $5,273