Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Black Eye for Poker Today

The news first came on Friday and it wasn't good - there was a suspicion that counterfeit chips had been "added" to the tables by one or more entrants in the Borgata Winter Poker Open $2 Million Guarantee event.  At that point the tournament was suspended.  Today the casino and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement made it official - with the final three tables (27 players) still to play, the tournament has been cancelled.  You can read more about it on Poker News.

I have seen a picture of the real tournament chips and the phonies, and...jeebus, it's not even that good of a job.  Color is close but no cigar, and the molds are different to boot.  This is just plain ugly.  No word as to whether Governor Christie's staff called the chips into play because the casino failed to support his re-election bid (that's a joke).

But this is no laughing matter to poker players.

First off, one must remember that gambling doesn't have a pristine reputation to begin with.  Poker is not seen as the better part of that rep.  Poker is not a big money maker for casinos.

I think you're going to see a major decline in casinos inviting live poker action.  Too much can go wrong (this isn't the first problem, but certainly the largest in a good while).  The casinos COULD add procedures and such to make cheating harder, it worth it to them?  Maybe not.  It's still early and it's hard to see what the overall fallout will be, but I see only one bright spot.

If live tournament action is seen as both problematic and unprofitable, there's always online poker.  I can see a movement to say, "Look, we want to provide poker but there's a better way, and it's online.  Let us do it that way."  Naturally, laws would have to be changed, but if the tide is turning for gay marriage (a fait accompli by 2016 in my opinion), perhaps this can be a good thing for poker.

Though, I gotta admit, it doesn't look like it now.

Another good source of info and rumors is the 2+2 Forum on this subject.  Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Next post has a pic of the bad chips and a real one, courtesy of Card Player Magazine.