Poker in New Jersey
Gambling has a major presence in New Jersey. Atlantic City, often called the “Las Vegas of the East Coast,” can be found there. There was a ballot measure put to the vote in the 1974 New Jersey midterm elections, which took place on November 5th. The question on the ballot was whether or not to legalize casino gambling in Garden State. The anti-gambling motion, unfortunately, received sixty percent of the overall vote and passed. However, the same question was asked of the people of Atlantic City only two years later, during the election that Jimmy Carter won over Gerald Ford. On the other hand, they voted to approve casinos in their neighborhood by a razor-thin margin, showing their enthusiasm for the gambling industry, and embracing the idea of poker in New Jersey.
In the 1970s, Nevada was the only state in the United States (other than Atlantic City) with legal land-based casinos. That’s why Atlantic City is considered the East Coast’s gambling mecca.
Online gambling “early adopter” status also applies to New Jersey. After the infamous Black Friday events of April 2011 led to the closure of all online poker rooms in the United States, New Jersey was one of the earliest states to allow internet poker in 2013.
One of the largest legal battles in the history of the gambling industry was waged in this state. The long-running lawsuit between Borgata Casino and poker legend Phil Ivey will finally be resolved in 2020. The renowned Jersey casino wanted to collect the $10.1 million Ivey and his partner had won at their baccarat table through edge-sorting, a method they considered to be unfair.
- In total, there are 8,882,000 people in New Jersey.
- New Jersey’s State Capital is Located in Trenton.
- Funds in U.S. Dollars ($)
- Shorthand for “New Jersey” is NJ
- Location: UTC+4
Where You Can Play Poker in New York Casinos:
- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
- Golden Nugget Atlantic City
- Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
- Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino
- Tropicana Casino Atlantic City
Prominent Poker Players from New Jersey
Tom Dwan, better known by his online poker handle “durrrr,” is a New Jersey native and one of the game’s all-time greats. A large number of people would cheer him on as he battled at the high-stakes cash tables on Full Tilt in the late aughts.
Additionally, he made guest appearances on poker TV staples like NBC’s Poker After Dark and The Game Show Network’s High Stakes Poker. His live tournament earnings total $3.4 million. His unresolved challenge to Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, however, has left a stain on his reputation.
Dan Smith, a high-level crusher, hails from New Jersey as well. As of this writing, he is the fifth-best live tournament cash winner in poker history, having won $36.7 million.
Tom Marchese has won an incredible $19.136 million in live tournaments. He placed second in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic’s $100,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em event in December 2014, winning $1.575,000. His previous best cash at a live tournament was that amount.
In 2017, Scott Blumstein took first place at the World Series of Poker Main Event, the most prestigious tournament of its kind. He beat out 7,221 competitors and took home at least $8.15 million.
A Look at New Jersey’s Live Poker Scene
State’s Legislation Regarding the Game
As we mentioned up front, a referendum in 1976 legalized casino gambling in Atlantic City. The Casino Control Act of 1977 was a direct result of the vote. Sports betting, horse race betting, and land-based casinos were all made legal statewide after Assembly Bill 4111 was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy in June of 2018.
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission issues gambling licenses and oversees the industry. In addition, there is a Department of Gaming Enforcement within the New Jersey Department of Justice (DGE). These are both branches of state government.
The Garden State’s Live Poker Rooms
In our introduction, we mentioned the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in connection with their infamous lawsuit against Phil Ivey. But they’re also well-known as a poker room, hosting a variety of tournaments and cash games.
Cash games at their tables include Limit and No Limit Holdem, Pot Limit Omaha, Stud, and a variety of other games. NLHE games start at $1/$2 and go up to $5/$10, Limit HE games to $20/$40, and mixed games to $500/$1,000 (!).
They have daily tournaments and also host large poker festivals. Entry fees range from $100 to $230 per day. In addition, they hosted the world-famous WPT Borgata Poker Open, as well as the MGM East Coast Poker Tour and the Borgata Deepstack Challenge.
The “usual” buy-in for such events is $300, but it appears that these ones are much higher. The Borgata Open in 2020, for instance, featured a $5,000 buy-in high roller tournament.
The Golden Nugget also operates a casino in Atlantic City, with a poker room that is open around the clock. One can play at NLHE cash tables with $1/$3 and $2/$5 stakes, as well as PLO cash tables with $3/$6 stakes.
A poker room is available at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City throughout the entire year. One begins at 11:15 a.m. and the other at 7:15 p.m., both of which are No Limit Hold’em tournaments. There is a $40 “buy-in” for both, plus a $10 “entry fee” (the purpose of which is unclear; perhaps it is the rake).
Formerly known as Trump Taj Mahal, US President Donald Trump also owned a “joint” in this city. The building, which has housed a poker room since its rebranding as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in 2017, is still in use today. Card games are also available at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino.
Gambling Halls and Poker Casinos in the Garden State
Putting New Jersey’s online poker room to use
In January 2011, the state legislature of New Jersey approved a bill that legalized online gambling inside the state. In any case, the law mandates that the online casino’s server infrastructure be based in Atlantic City.
Over two years after Black Friday, in November 2013, the Garden State joined Nevada and Delaware online poker rooms in establishing a regulated online poker market. You can now access leading web poker sites like Pokio, 888, WSOP.com, and Ignition poker from Jersey.