2006 US Poker Championship
© 2006, Randy Saylor  
October 3 is the kickoff of the Main Event at the US Poker Championship, held at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This will be the tenth running of this tournament at the Taj. The event will be televised on ESPN. A full two weeks of poker tournaments precedes the Main Event, with buy-ins for all bankrolls.

Satellites to the Main Event

Full Tilt Poker allows winners of its twice-weekly Winner’s Choice tournaments ($200+16) to select a package to the US Poker Championship. The winner will receive the $9700+300 buy-in, plus $2000 for travel expenses.

Poker Stars recently added weekly $615+35 satellites to the Main Event. One tournament entry is awarded for every 16.3 players. Note that these satellites do not include travel money. This satellite will be held on Saturdays at 1700 US Eastern Time.

There are two daily sub-qualifiers to the weekly events at Poker Stars. These are held at 2003 and 2303 ET, and alternate between $36+3 freezeouts (1 per 18.1 wins) and $20+2 turbo rebuy MTTs (1 winner per $650 in the prize pool).

The casino is also hosting live Super Satellites starting September 18. There are two daily Super Satellites. $110+20 events award 1 in 10 players a seat to the $1000+80. $210+25 events award a $1080 satellite seat to 1 in 5 players.

On September 23 and October 1, there will be a $1000+80 tournament to award $10,000 Main Event seats. On October 2, there will be three additional $1000+80 chances to enter the Championship.

The Casino and Hotel

The Trump Taj Mahal is a glittering example of the opulence of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Donald Trump spared no expense in the construction of this billion-dollar hotel. $14 Million was spent on the chandeliers alone.

This location is truly a city unto itself. There is over 4 million square feet of enclosed space on the 17-acre property. The 1990 building houses 1250 guest rooms and suites. Nine restaurants on site accommodate 3000 diners simultaneously. Four clubs are in the facility with a variety of entertainment. Comedian Richard Jeni will be performing around the time of the Main Event. Six lounges are available for adult beverages. At least eight shops are also located on site.

The casino was voted “Best Casino” by the readers of Casino Player magazine. Awards included Best Casino Overall, Best High-Limit Slots, Best Baccarat, Best Poker Room, Best Hotel, Best Poker Tournaments, Best Keno, Best Suites, Best Steakhouse, Best Nightclub, and Best Shopping, just to name a few.

The poker room features limit, no-limit, and pot-limit games in Holdem, Omaha, and Stud, with limits ranging from $1/3 to as high as $300/600 on weekends. Tableside food service is usually available for poker players.

Even your non-poker playing friends will have something to play here. Strictly Slots magazine awarded the Trump Taj Mahal its Best Cash back, Best Hotel, and Best Entertainment awards. The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences presented the Five Star Diamond Award for overall hotel quality.

Preliminary Events at the US Poker Championship

A full slate of tournaments starts on September 18 preceding the Main Event. The casino has a regular daily schedule of tournaments, but this will be unpredictable with the upcoming major tournaments. Many of the regular daily tournaments may be eliminated. This is the schedule for US Poker Championship events:

- Monday, September 18: Limit holdem, $300+40
- Tuesday, September 19: No-limit holdem, $300+40
- Wednesday, September 20: Seven Card Stud, $300+40
- Thursday, September 21: NL holdem, $300+40
- Friday, September 22: Seven Card Stud, $500+50
- Saturday, September 23: NL holdem, $500+50
- Sunday, September 24: Omaha High Low, $500+50
- Sunday, September 24: NL holdem (women only), $300+40
- Monday, September 25: NL holdem, $300+40
- Tuesday, September 26: NL holdem, $500+50
- Wednesday, September 27: Seven Card Stud High Low, $300+40
- Wednesday, September 27: NL holdem (seniors only), $300+40
- Thursday, September 28: NL holdem, $500+50
- Friday, September 29: NL holdem, $1000+75
- Saturday, September 30: Seven Card Stud, $5000+150
- Sunday, October 1: NL holdem, $300+40
- Tuesday, October 3: NL holdem, $9700+300 Main Event
- Wednesday, October 4: Seven Card Stud, $300+40
- Thursday, October 5: NL holdem, $300+40
- Friday, October 6: NL holdem, $500+50
- Saturday, October 7: NL holdem, $1000+75

The Midnight Tournaments

The daily tournaments held in the poker room at midnight are legendary for the amount of play allowed by the deep stacks. The buy-in is $38+12. Players receive $12,000 in tournament chips, and blinds start at 25/50. Each round is twelve minutes, and blinds only double until level three. After that, the progression is much slower, so this tournament is very deep stacked considering the buy-in.

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