BetMGMit is First time live poker tournament beat its $1 million guarantee. The success of the four-day tournament in Las Vegas has also spurred speculation that BetMGM Poker NV – a project that has long been rumored to be in the works – may be closer to reality.
The first one BetMGM Poker Championshipheld at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas from June 23 to June 26, attracted a total of 343 players. The popularity of the tournament eventually pushed the prize pool to $1,097,600. The top 44 won cash prizes.
Another factor that helped propel the BetMGM tournament is that it made headlines ARIA Classic Pokera more extended series that began on June 1 and ends on July 17.
The BetMGM Poker Championship represented the operator’s second chance to launch a major online satellite campaign in Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – the other states where it offers online poker. His first campaign supported March Poker Maniaa series held in the three states mentioned above in March.
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Series shows BetMGM’s potential to challenge WSOP/888
For BetMGM, the live series provided a rare opportunity to see how it could give rival network WSOP/888 some stiff competition.
WSOP NV is currently the only online poker operator in Nevada. The brand’s monopoly began in 2014, when the state’s first online poker room, Ultimate Bet, went out of business.
Nevada is one of four states to sign the Multi-State Internet Gambling Agreement (MSIGA), which allows operators to combine pools of players with those of Delaware, Michigan and New Jersey and share cash. Michigan joined the Interstate Compact in May and is currently working to ensure that its three online poker operators, including BetMGM, meet a handful of requirements before allowing interstate play.
To date, the WSOP/888 network is the only operator able to take advantage of being in the four MSIGA States. The network includes WSOP NJ and 888poker NJ, WSOP NV in Nevada and three racinos in Delaware running 888poker software with racino branded skins.
A new entity, potentially called partypoker american networkcould link BetMGM Poker MI and its New Jersey counterparts that form the BetMGM NJ network, specifically BetMGM Poker NJ, Borgata Poker NJ and partypoker NJ.
While a four-room poker network in two states could blunt the WSOP/888 to some degree, the prospect of a five-room poker network that spans three states would make the BetMGM brand – a joint venture at 50-50 between Entain and MGM Resort International — more competitive. Hence the attraction of a launch of BetMGM Poker NV.
Weissman draws a royal flush en route to tournament victory
New York’s Joey Weissman won the BetMGM Poker Championship and won $224,236. The poker pro scored three final table knockouts, including a royal flush. Germany’s Paul Hoefer finished second with $159,152 and was the only player from outside the United States to advance to the six-man final table. California’s Noel Rodriguez finished third and took home $104,272.
Benji Felson, an online qualifier from New Jersey, finished fifth. BetMGM said the New Jersey resident was able to turn “a $500 online tournament into a Las Vegas poker package before securing a place at the final table.” Felson ultimately won a payout of $51,587.