Tournaments in September in Atlantic City, New Jersey
by Jason Kirk  

There are two big live tournaments running in the U.S. this month, and both of them are being held in Atlantic City, NJ. The Borgata Poker Open and the US Poker Championships are tow big draws worth checking out if you're near the US east coast this month.

Borgata Poker Open

The Borgata Poker Open is the fourth stop on this season's World Poker Tour schedule. Held at what Doyle Brunson once called "by far the classiest place I’ve been in Atlantic City," the Borgata Poker Open draws all the big names in poker. Professional players like Phil Ivey and Cyndy Violette, who cut their teeth in Atlantic City casinos, get the chance to play for big stakes on home turf. The rest of the big names come for the $1 million first prize. Last year's championship event drew 302 players for a total prize pool topping $3 million, 3 times larger than the first year the tournament was held, and this year's main tournament is sure to be just as big.

While the WPT final table might be the reason people know the Borgata Poker Open, the tournament isn't just for professionals with bankrolls in the millions - there's a full schedule of super satellites and other tournaments running for a week and a half at the multi-billion dollar casino. The daily events all have reasonable blind structures, and even the lowest buy-in events have levels that last for 60 minutes. You'll get plenty of poker for your money if you're playing at the Borgata Poker Open. Here's the full breakdown of the all-no-limit-hold'em tournament schedule at the Borgata this month:

Sept. 5: No-Limit Hold'em, $560 buy-in
Sept. 6: No-Limit Hold'em, $810 buy-in
Sept. 7: Limit Hold'em, $560 buy-in
Sept. 8: No-Limit Hold'em, $1,080 buy-in
Sept. 9: No-Limit Hold'em, $1,600 buy-in
Sept. 10: Ladies No-Limit Hold'em, $300 buy-in
Sept. 11: Seven-Card Stud, $560 buy-in
Sept. 12: No-Limit Hold'em, $2,650 buy-in
Sept. 13: No-Limit Hold'em, $5,200 buy-in
Sept. 14: Super Satellite Day
Sept. 15-19: WPT Championship, $10,000 buy-in
Sept. 16: No-Limit Hold'em, $1,080 buy-in
Sept. 17: No-Limit Hold'em, $810 buy-in
Sept. 18: No-Limit Hold'em, $560

Anyone looking for more information on hotel reservations for the Borgata Poker Open can call 1-866-MYBORGATA. More information on the tournaments is available at the official website.

US Poker Championship

The United States Poker Championships - that's a big and presumptuous name for a tournament series that isn't always mentioned in the same breath as the big prizes in the poker world. Of course, there's a history of big names for tournament series. Amarillo Slim used to host an event called the Super Bowl of Poker - that's where Stu Ungar played his first no-limit hold'em tournament. Today we've got Doyle Brunson's North American Poker Championships, which sounds like a big deal but in reality is just one of many stops on the World Poker Tour. The World Series of Poker, the grandaddy of them all when it comes to big names, didn't even draw more than 15 players for several years after it began!

The USPC isn't as prestigious as the WSOP, but it has a leg up on most of the WPT tournaments - the poker staff at the Taj Mahal have been running solid tournaments for most of the last decade, since long before the made-for-TV final tables on the Travel Channel were a gleam in Steven Lipscomb's eye. And unlike many other tournaments around the U.S., the directors of the USPC still believe in letting players choose their own game. In addition to limit and no-limit hold'em events, players who specialize in Omaha hi-lo, seven card stud, and seven card stud hi-lo will have a chance to play for big money as well. It's fitting that the "Beast of the East," seven-card stud, can still find a home in one Atlantic City's biggest tournaments.

ESPN will be present for the main event, not to mention a cast of some of poker's biggest names. But before they come to town, there's a full slate of tournaments that players of almost any limit can afford. The prizes in these events might not be in the millions, but they're certainly nothing to sneeze at. Here's the full schedule of events at the 2005 US Poker Championship:

Event Date Game Buy-in
1 9/19 Limit Hold'em $300+40
2 9/20 Seven Card Stud $300+40
3 9/21 Omaha Hi-Lo $300+40
4 9/22 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo $300+40
5 9/23 No-Limit Hold'em $300+40
6 9/24 No-Limit Hold'em $500+50
7 9/25 Limit Hold'em $500+50
8 9/26 Seven Card Stud $500+50
9 9/27 No-Limit Hold'em $500+50
10 9/28 No-Limit Hold'em $300+40
11 9/29 No-Limit Hold'em $300+40
12 9/30 No-Limit Hold'em $500+50
13 10/1 No-Limit Hold'em $1,000+75
14 10/2 Seven Card Stud $2,500+100
15 10/3 Super Satellite $500+50
16 10/4 - 10/8 Main Event $9,700+300
17 10/5 Seven Card Stud $300+40
18 10/6 No-Limit Hold'em $300+40
19 10/7 No-Limit Hold'em $500+50

Players interested in room reservations can call 1-800-727-6537. More information on the US Poker Championships is available at the Taj Mahal website.

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