The New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement officially cancelled the opening event of the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open after determining that a “significant number of counterfeit chips” had been introduced during the first two days of play. The tournament, which had a $2 million guaranteed prizepool, was suspended prior to play beginning on Friday with 27 players remaining.
“Thus far, investigators have found that one or more tournament entrants improperly introduced a significant number of counterfeit chips into the tournament, gaining an unfair advantage and compromising the integrity of play for the event,” said Tom Ballance, Borgata President and COO.
The remaining prizepool, a total of $1,433,145, will be held in a trust until the investigation is completed.
“It is extremely unfortunate that the criminal actions of these individuals can have a detrimental impact on more than 4,000 other entrants,” Ballance said. “We fully understand and regret the disappointment this cancellation causes our valued customers, and we will work diligently with DGE investigators to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. The integrity of our games and the confidence of our players is of the utmost importance to us.”
No timeline for the completion of the investigation has been given.
Nick Guagenti, one of the remaining players in the tournament, tweeted following the morning meeting between Borgata officials and the players.
“Mentally crushed poker is gonna b impossible to play for how long I don’t know. I’m lost,” Guagenti wrote on his Twitter account @quadfours_kin. ”
The remaining 22 events on the Winter Poker Open schedule will continue without interruption. State regulators have inspected the remaining stock of Borgata tournament chips and deemed them to be unaffected by this scandal.