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Survival Guide to the Borgata Spring Poker Open

The Borgata Spring Poker Open begins on April 29 at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, and with over 20 events and $4 Million Guaranteed it has the attention of poker players everywhere. As someone who grew up playing poker at the Borgata, I wanted to share my tips for navigating a poker series like this both in regards to strategic preparation and lifestyle-wise, as a tournament series like this can be a grueling endeavor. 

Create a Game Plan For the Tournament

My first step in going about playing a poker series like the Borgata Spring Poker Open is to peruse the schedule. I need to see which events stand out to me as must-play events, and how they fit in with my calendar and non-poker commitments. A lot of players play the entire two-week schedule and my hat goes off to them. However, other players have family or occupational commitments and have to pick and choose their events. I highly recommend coming in with a game plan about the events you plan on playing, including satellites if needed. For me, the highlight of the schedule and must-play event is the $2 Million Guaranteed Main Event starting on May 9. 

Different players prefer different tournaments based on the game type, buy-in level, and format. Take a look here at the entire schedule and see what catches your eye.


Scope Out The Poker Room

The Borgata Spring Poker Open will primarily be played in the Central Conference Center area of the Borgata. This beautiful new poker space is upstairs near the poker room and if you follow the BetMGM and Borgata signage for the event, finding the escalator up to it is quite easy. 

Once upstairs, you’ll find 40 poker tables and a registration desk offering both live cash entries and check-in for online entries. Don’t forget that online registration is available via BetMGM Poker for a number of events during the series. I prefer registering online when possible as it’s one less thing to worry about and avoids waiting in line for the registration process. Grabbing your seating assignment from the desk in the Central Conference Center is a quick process. Also, players who register for events online are eligible to spin the BetMGM prize wheel to win BetMGM swag, tournament tickets, and more!

Dining at the Borgata and Fueling Your Poker Performance

With all this poker being played, sometimes eating becomes less of a priority, but it’s vital to fuel your body throughout these long days of poker. During series like the Borgata Spring Poker Open, we often play late into the night. Planning out when and where you’re going to eat is important as not all options are available all the time. Luckily, during the day tableside food service is available and you’ll see a food runner walking around the tournament area with several options from the food court. This is great in a pinch, and there’s also a 24-hour section of the food court that offers sandwiches and pre-packaged meals if you find yourself hungry at 2 a.m. scrambling for options. 

For longer dinner breaks or meals when you have free time, my favorite two options are Noodles of the World (NOW) or Old Homestead Steakhouse. These are high-quality options that I’d save for a dinner break or post-bagging/bust-out, as you’ll have to budget at least an hour for a meal at one of these restaurants. Old Homestead recently underwent a massive renovation featuring a stunning new bar area. You may even find me there during a dinner break!

Be Aware of Livestreams

Lastly, if you do find yourself lucky enough to make one of the major final tables at the Borgata Spring Poker open, you may be playing on the Borgata’s livestream table. This can be a fun but daunting experience as it offers a chance for friends and family to share in your journey through the tournament and they watch you live in real time. However, it also shines a spotlight on how you play the game. I’ve found some players intimidated by the experience of playing on a table broadcast on the internet with the cards face-up and worried about looking foolish. My advice here would be to continue playing your game and what got you to this stage of the tournament.  And if the cards fall your way just right at the final table, you will be rewarded with not only money but one of the best trophies in poker: the Mini-Borgata Hotel & Casino!