AC poker is doing just fine, thank you

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It’s that time of year when thousands of poker players reach between the mattresses to grab their bankrolls and head to … Atlantic City? That’s right, Atlantic City, America’s Favorite Playground.

Ante Up is here to tell you AC is alive and well in the Northeast. Golden Nugget director of poker operations John Colville told us he’s getting all of his ducks in a row to open another room in the Atlantic City market as the Nugget takes over Trump Marina.

Recently we traveled to New Jersey for our monthly Road Trip feature to meet the poker room managers and get reacquainted with their fine rooms. What we found was a city that has seven thriving poker properties and plenty of action. Pundits were quick to pull the plug on AC when Delaware and Pennsylvania opened their poker rooms, but Atlantic City is a tough town. … just ask Burt Lancaster.

We visited the four Caesars Entertainment rooms (they’ve come together to offer a unique program for players), stopped by the Taj (“Where the sand turns to gold!”), saw the Trop (where poker got its AC legs) and, of course, genuflected before entering the Borgata, which was jumping with its Summer Poker Open. We discovered there are some really talented people calling the shots in all of these poker establishments and it was a pleasure talking with them. AC poker is in good hands.

Should we have taken the easy road and gone with the World Series of Poker for our cover? Fuhgedaboudit! Why not give Jersey a chance? Our Road Trip feature takes a closer look at what makes these seven rooms tick, and why you should visit them.

We also have results from the Borgata’s Summer Poker Open (congrats to Tyng Low of Flushing, N.Y., for capturing the main event and $211,484) and a column from Ante Up Ambassador Cris Belkewitch that focuses on the long-awaited debut of razz in Atlantic City. You’d think with all of the poker history in this town you’d be able to play a stud lowball game, but it took until just recently to get approved.

We’ll see you at the tables.

— Christopher Cosenza and Scott Long