Sporting 85 tables and boasting five major poker tournament series throughout the year, it’s no wonder that Borgata’s brick-and-mortar cardroom is one of the most popular on the East Coast.
When New Jersey legalized online gambling in 2013, Borgata was quick to set up its own poker site online as well. To make its virtual cardroom a reality, the casino teamed up with iGaming giant bwin.party, which provides the software that powers both its poker room and casino. Borgata shares player pools with those signed up through its sister site, Party Poker, a partnership which enables it to fill more cash-game tables and spread bigger tournaments.
Below we’ll delve into Borgata Poker’s features, traffic and promotions and find out if the digital version of casino’s poker offering lives up to the high expectations set forth by its land-based companion.
Borgata Poker Bonus Offer
Create a Borgata Poker account using the links on this page, or the bonus code below, and get $20 absolutely free. When you make your first real-money deposit, you’ll receive an additional bonus of 100% of the deposit amount, up to $600.
Borgata Poker 2017 Bonus Code & Details
|Online Casino||Borgata Poker|
|No Deposit Bonus||$20 Free|
|Deposit Bonus||100% up to $600|
|Atlantic City Partner||Borgata Hotel & Casino|
How It Works
When you create a new account at Borgata Poker, you’ll receive $20 free – $10 in cash and $10 in bonus money. Before you can cash out your $10, you’ll simply need to earn 1 iRP (iRewards Points), which are generated whenever you pay tournament fees, cash-game rake or play in the casino. To unlock your $10 poker bonus, you’ll need to earn 40 iRP.
Your deposit bonus is released in chunks of 10% of the amount you deposited. To unlock each chunk, you’ll need to earn 4X the amount of each increment in iRPs. For example, if you made a $100 deposit, your $100 bonus would be released in chunks of $10 for every 40 iRPs you earn. You can read more on iRPs below.
In comparison to competitors 888 and PokerStars, the Borgata Poker client feels a bit sluggish and choppy. But while some consider Borgata to be one of the weaker poker software offerings in NJ, the site does include some creative and innovative features.
Hothand Alerts and Presets
Players accustomed to playing multiple tables will be delighted with Borgata’s option to tweak preset betting amounts and set up Hothand Alerts. These alerts will change the table color along with the text in the title bar and buzz the table when certain conditions are met (e.g. when you are dealt hole cards of at least a certain strength, or if the pot rises above a predetermined threshold). These tools are handy for everyone, but especially for the multi-tabling poker player, who has to make rapid-fire decisions for extended periods of time.
Shark-Proof Waiting Lists
Another interesting feature found on Borgata, but not elsewhere in the state, is its version of the cash-game wait list. On a regular waitlist, when all tables at your desired stake are full, you would have the option to sign up to wait for an open seat at any other table of your choosing. Borgata, in contrast, restricts you to sitting at the first available seat at any table at your preferred stake. The measure was put into place to deter sharks from stalking inexperienced or weak players, and is, in my opinion, a welcome addition.
Player traffic at Borgata Poker is generally not as heavy as that found on WSOP/888 or Pokerstars NJ. Currently, at a 7-day average of 70 cash-game players, Borgata is hovering at around 25% market share, good for a distant third in a three-horse race.
At the moment, Borgata tournaments are not faring particularly well in terms of player volume. The daily $10K has had trouble hitting its guarantee consistently, and the original daily $5K has been lowered to a $3K tournament.
The most attractive prize pool offered by the site currently is the Sunday $40K, itself down from its original $50K guarantee.
Day players can be assured of finding a steady flow of micro-tournaments in a number of games and variants. Pot Limit Omaha (PLO), PLO8, bounty, turbo, hyper, 6-max, and deepstack tournaments can all be found daily with modest buy-ins.
Borgata charges cash game players rake at a rate of $0.01 for every $0.18 put into the pot (5.56%). Stars and WSOP/888 charge just 5% in comparison. Borgata also has the highest rake cap per pot in the state.
The Borgata VIP system is dubbed iRewards and is comprised of five levels, each offering increasingly attractive perks. Simply contribute a certain amount of rake in tournament fees or table charges in a month and you will progress to the next level.
- Red Label: Starting point
- Red Label Plus: $75 in rake monthly
- Silver Label: $325 in rake monthly
- Black Label: $1,250 in rake monthly
- Black Label Elite: measured quarterly, it requires an average of $2,500 monthly rake
Borgata awards points at a rate of two points per dollar contributed in rake. Therefore, in order to hit Red Label Plus, you would need to collect 150 points within a month. The higher tier you occupy, the bigger discounts you will receive when exchanging points in the site’s online store. There you can turn your rewards into tournament tickets, cash, and even brick-and-mortar Borgata Casino bonuses.
However, even at the higher levels, Borgata’s rewards are relatively small. For example, if you generated $2,500 in rake in a month as a Black Label Elite, you would be rewarded with just 5% of your rakeback in cash.
Compare that to Pokerstars’ Supernova tier, which requires $9,091 in annual rake ($757/month average), and pays rakeback at a rate of 27-30%. The absolute best rakeback percentage you can get on Borgata is 20%, and that is only when you opt for $215 tournament tickets.
In addition to deposit bonuses and loyalty rewards, Borgata Poker provides players a chance to earn even more money through a couple of different promotions.
Sit & Go Leaderboard
Weekly Sit & Go (SnG) Leaderboards are in place and distribute cash prizes to the best performers in the 6-max single table tournament format. The Low Leaderboard includes any SnG tournaments with a $5 buy-in or lower, while the High Leaderboard includes any SnG with a $10 entry or higher. Both leaderboards pay out the top 20 participants of the week. The top finisher in the High category is awarded $300, while the Low winner receives $100 – nothing to sneeze at for a weekly prize.
The Grind is a promo that pays out cash or tournament dollars to players who generate a certain amount of rake. For example, if you contribute $50 in rake, Borgata will reward you with a $1 tournament ticket. When you reach $1,200 in rake or more, you’ll be awarded cash directly. As the name implies, the promo rewards higher volume grinders more handsomely than recreational players.
Major Tournaments and Events
Garden State Super Series (GSSS)
In October 2016, Borgata Poker hosted the fifth iteration of its flagship series of tournaments, known as the Garden State Super Series (GSSS). The latest version, GSSS V, was an ambitious 75-event spread over a wide selection of game types. PLO, PLO8, 7 Card Stud, and Fixed Limit Hold’em variants were offered as were traditional No Limit games. The Series’ impressive $1.1 million prize pool earned it the distinction of being the biggest online MTT event ever held in New Jersey up to that point.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan, however, and like life, the poker world can be fickle and unforgiving. Geo-location issues forced delays and cancellations of several tournaments on the Series’ final day, which included a $1K buy-in event along with the $320 entry, $175K Main Event.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time that technical glitches had interrupted a GSSS edition. Poker players have criticized both Borgata and partypoker for not fixing similar problems when they first appeared during the inaugural GSSS festival. The poker community holds Borgata to a high standard due to the sterling reputation its brick-and-mortar cardroom has earned.
Several options are available for making deposits, making getting money on Borgata Poker a painless experience:
- PayNearMe: Allows you to deposit at a local 7-Eleven convenience store (max $500)
- Online Banking Transfer (max $1,000)
- Borgata Prepaid Card (max $1,000)
- Instant e-check (max $2,000)
- Visa/MasterCard (max $10,000)
- Cashier at Borgata Hotel & Casino (max $10,000)
- NETELLER (max $10,000)
- Skrill (max $50,000)
Withdrawing funds is simple enough, as Borgata allows you to take money off the site in the same manner in which it was deposited.
If that doesn’t suit you, they can also send you paper checks, which in my experience come within 10 days, although they tell you to expect to wait up to twice that amount. If you are fortunate enough to make a big score, you can withdraw up to $50,000 in a single check.
Getting issues resolved with Borgata Poker support can at times be frustrating. The site does not provide online reps to the popular poker forums where players converse, and is sometimes slow to respond to questions via Twitter. Furthermore, emails sometimes need to be escalated with support multiple times before a player receives a response.
Waiting is also the name of the game with the site’s Live Chat feature, although the agents there will eventually help you adequately.
I have had relatively good experiences with phone support, and recommend going this route when issues arise. All of the agents I have been in contact with have been friendly, regardless if they were able to resolve my query.
- Variety of daytime tournaments to satisfy micro-stakes and PLO players.
- Higher stakes cash games have decent traffic.
- Innovative wait list prevents sharks from hunting weaker players in cash games.
- SnGs are running at most hours and leaderboards offer chance to make extra cash.
- GSSS offers a lot of inflated prize pool tournaments attracting a respectable amount of players.
- Partnered with Borgata, the best resort in Atlantic City, hands-down.
- Higher rake than competition.
- The points/rakeback/irewards store system comes up short in terms of value.
- Software feels and sounds dated.
- Micro and low-stakes cash games are few and far between.
- Support could be better informed about their poker product.
- Continued technical issues in GSSS.