LaPinta wins WSOPC main at Harrah’s Atlantic City

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The World Series of Poker Circuit made its annual stop at Harrah’s (Nov. 29-Dec. 9) in Atlantic City. The series featured 12 ring events, including a two-day PLO/8 and satellite entries into the WSOP main event. The $365 re-entry Event 2 attracted 483 players for a $144,900 prize pool. Tod Liang from Brooklyn took down the three-day tournament for the ring and $31,159.

But the highlight of the series was the $1,675 main event, which had an impressive 578 entrants, bringing in a wide range of players to the tables. Joseph LaPinta from Toms River, N.J., found himself cashing in not only his first WSOPC event, but coming heads-up at the final table against Joseph Wertz, who just happened to be his roommate.
LaPinta defied the odds by building his eighth-place chip count into an advantageous stack to eliminate the final table. LaPinta took home $182,070 for first when his A-K bested his buddy. All told, LaPinta won the main, a ring and entry into the national championship.

BORGATA: The Borgata Winter Open begins Jan. 14-31 with 23 events, featuring the World Poker Tour $3M guarantee main event. The $3,500 five-day tournament will be Jan. 26-31 as a televised event. The series kicks off with its popular $2M guarantee for $560. The WPT will return April 22-26 to hold its televised world championship with a $15,400 buy-in.

WILD WILD WEST: There’s word circulating the Atlantic City poker rooms suggesting possible gaming changes to the Wild Wild West Casino that has been under heavy construction for the past several months. Since Atlantic City’s decline in gaming revenue over the past few years, Bally’s has made developments on non-gaming attractions to recover its losses. Multiple renovations and expansions have established the casino as a competitor in earnings and occupancy rate, ranking fourth in Atlantic City.

With a minimal number of players circulating the tables in recent years, Showboat, Caesars and Bally’s poker rooms have been in need of a resurgence. There has been some speculation about the three boardwalk properties. No official announcement has been made, however, local poker patrons are buzzing about a potential expanded poker room comparable to the Borgata. Caesars Entertainment hasn’t revealed any details of the Wild Wild West construction while acknowledging possibilities of gaming developments set in motion.

PARX: In Philadelphia, the Parx poker room has announced its plan to launch a bad-beat jackpot this year. Since its opening date in 2010, Parx has remained exclusive as the sole poker room without a bad-beat rake in the area.

— Email Jo Kim at anteupjokim@gmail.com.