Locally, WPT a big deal

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Cherry Hill's John Eddie performs Saturday at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Fest at Golden Nugget. Photo: www.myspace.com

For the second time in less than a month, a local gambling den is gearing up for a turn in the national poker spotlight.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the World Poker Tour staged its first televised event at Parx in Bensalem. Now it’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa's turn as a WPT competition will cap the 10th annual Borgata Poker Open, which commences Wednesday and runs through Sept. 21.

The WPT portion of the open begins Sept. 16 with a $3,500 buy-in and a guaranteed $3 million prize pool. As they were last month at Parx, WPT television announcers Vince Van Patten and Mike Sexton will be on hand for the final table, which will be televised on Fox Sports Net as part of the WPT’s 11th season.

Borgata has raised the WPT bar during the past two years, both of which saw record-setting numbers of entrants for what is called the Borgata Poker Open Championship. Last year, 1,313 participants made it the largest WPT field ever.

While the names of pros entering won’t be known until Wednesday’s kickoff, past winners have included such TV poker A-listers as Roy Winston (2007) and Daniel Negreanu (2004).

Prior to the grand finale, there will be numerous tournaments including Deep Stacks, Six-Max, Bounty, Heads Up, Seniors (50+) and Ladies No Limit Hold’em events, as well as Seven Card Stud, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha, HORSE and Limit Hold’em events. 

On-site registration for all Borgata Poker Open events begins Tuesday, September 4. For a complete schedule of events, go to  www.theborgata.com. Follow the day-by-day action on Twitter @BorgataPoker.

 Summer sendoff at Revel

 The summer season will literally go out with a bang at Revel as the mega-resort is staging three nights’ worth of fireworks beginning Friday.

At 9:30 each evening through Sunday, the Royal Family of Fireworks, the Grucci clan, will make with the rockets’ red (and green and white, etc.) glare from both the roof of the hotel tower and what is now known as Revel Beach.

The pyrotechnics are just part of Revel’s “Big Bang Weekend” (in case you haven’t noticed, the property has named every weekend this summer). Also included are appearances at HQ, the casino’s state-of-the-art danceteria, by such EDM trackmeisters as DJ Chuckie (Friday), The EC Twins (Saturday), Sidney Samson (Sunday) and Dirty South (Monday). Doors open at 10 p.m. To book a table reservation or for  more info, go to www.revelnightlife.com.

Paulie D hits The Pool

Speaking of the disco scene, the Paulie D Project featuring DJ Paulie D of “Jersey Shore” will be providing the beats Saturday at The Pool at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. Doors open at 9 p.m. General admission is $20.

Crustacean sensations at Nugget

Golden Nugget is marking the unofficial end of summer in a far different manner as the second annual Bubba Gump Shrimp Fest takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Deck, the casino’s marina-side bar.

The entire Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. menu will be offered for sampling under the auspices of Martin Ibarra, the Gump chain’s executive chef. Munchies include Popcorn Shrimp, Cajun Shrimp, Po’Boy Sandwiches and Mama Blue’s Shrimp Gumbo.

The festivities will also include craft beers and performances by Zydeco band, The Cajun Brothers, Cherry Hill-bred roots-rocker John Eddie, Seven Stone, The Exceptions and Don’t Call Me Francis

The Fest runs noon to 8 p.m. both days. And in case you’re wondering about the Bubba Gump-Nugget connection (since there is no Bubba Gump outlet in AyCee), be advised that both operations are under the corporate umbrella of Landry Inc., the Houston-based hospitality conglomerate.

Bye-bye beach bar

You have just three weekends left to party at the Trump Plaza Beach Bar.

The midtown gambling hall has announced it will not reopen the al fresco saloon for an 11th season next spring. According to Trump spokesman Brian Cahill, Plaza suits believe they won’t be able to compete with planned beach bars at Resorts Casino Hotel (part of the deal with Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville brand) and Revel—both of which are expected to operate with non-union staffs. This, said Cahill, puts a union shop like the Plaza at a disadvantage, cost-wise.

Of course, things can change between now and next Memorial Day. It’s hardly a secret that several potential buyers have recently kicked the tires and slammed the doors at the Plaza, although no sale has yet been consummated. If there is a new owner, that entity could conceivably decide to keep the Beach Bar.