Having spent years playing at the largest offshore online poker sites, the majority of New Jersey’s players are now having a hard time adjusting to the minimalistic tournament schedules available on the nascent ‘legal’ market. Of all the complaints voiced by the community, the tournament structure is one of the most common. As such, the Party Borgata network has once more announced beneficial adjustments to the roster. Unfortunately, it also comes with its share of negatives.
The most notable alteration was the start time of the Daily $10k GTD. Previously beginning at 7pm, some players complained that the event ran too far into the night for them to participate. The online poker network moved the start time up to 6pm to better accommodate early risers, but in the same token, it could prevent a lot of 9-5 workers from being able to participate in satellites to the event that run throughout the day.
Two more major tournaments were added to the daily roster, including a $1k GTD Super Bounty and a Slow Grind tournament. Featuring a $19+$1 buy-in, the bounty is a perfect addition to the line-up and will run at 7pm every day, with the guarantee doubled to $2k on Sundays. The Slow Grind will cost $45+$5 to enter, and while it does offer a $1,500 GTD prize on Sundays, there is no guaranteed payout for the Monday-Saturday editions.
On the utterly negative end of the spectrum, Party Borgata said it was “streamlining” the daily tournament schedule to produce “more players and larger prize pools in fewer tournaments”. While the guaranteed schedule was certainly reduced, now offering just 10 GTD events per day, with none between the hours of 1am and 10am, the “larger prize pools” are difficult to find. The Sunday $50k GTD and Super Bounty are visible, but otherwise it just seems like the online poker site cut many of its low buy-in guarantees from the line-up.
Finally, something (almost) everyone can rejoice about; the payout structure has been consolidated for most tournaments on the Party Borgata network. Any tournament with a buy-in of up to $20 will spread the prize pool across the top 18-20% finishers. More expensive tournaments of $50 and up will pay the top 13-15% of the field. However, there’s a large gap there that went without mention; the $20-$40 buy-in range. We can only assume the payout structures will not be so kind in these online poker events.
This isn’t the first time Party Borgata has altered its tournament schedule in an effort to appease their players, and surely it won’t be the last. We can at least appreciate that they do take member concerns under advisement, but with the good always seems to come more of the bad.
The blaring reality of the situation is that most online poker players in New Jersey became accustomed to much larger player pools (a la PokerStars, pre-Black Friday), where the tournament schedule was brimming with valuable opportunities and there were more than enough players to accommodate each. The ring-fenced nature of the Garden State’s online poker industry simply doesn’t allow for such a wide ranging, guaranteed schedule – at least, not in a way that would be profitable for the operator.
View the complete blueprint of tournament schedule alterations on Party Borgata.