CasiNotes: Delaware park raises the stakes for poker tournaments

Stephenie LaGrossa will guest-host at Boardwalk at Caesars Atlantic City.
Stephenie LaGrossa will guest-host at Boardwalk at Caesars Atlantic City.
Posted: October 01, 2010

THE REGION'S poker scene takes on a new dimension today as the Casino at Delaware Park in Wilmington unveils its tournament-only facility, the first in the tristate area.

According to casino poker manager Anthony Chester, the 25-table parlor is a result of supply and demand. "What we originally had planned was three tournaments a day, but our [existing] room couldn't handle that many [tourney] players and cash-game players," he said. "We just didn't have enough available tables."

Because there was no room to expand alongside the 20 tables that opened for business June 18, the decision was made to create a separate poker-only area about 50 yards from the original cardroom. Other regional casinos that conduct daily tournaments do so by utilizing the required number of tables within their poker parlors.

While the new tournament arena is designed primarily for tournament play, Chester - a Southwest Philly native who came to Delaware Park from the highly regarded poker operation at the Venetian in Las Vegas - noted that 10 of the 25 tables can be used for cash games, if needed.

With today's opening, the tournament schedule breaks down like this: Monday through Friday, there will be three daily competitions at 11 a.m. ($65 buy-in), 7 p.m. ($150) and midnight ($85). The final game features a $20 bounty (players get $20 for each opponent they eliminate).

Saturday's entry fee is $230, and Sunday's is $150. Both days' events begin at noon.

The new tourney-only space isn't Delaware Park's only poker innovation. It is also the only area casino boasting two "bad beat" prize pools. The "mega" jackpot is based on a minimum of four-of-a-kind as the losing hand (the qualifying loser begins at four jacks and decreases one rank every Tuesday until it reaches four deuces. It stays there until the prize is won.).

When the "mega" is hit, everyone playing at any Texas Hold 'em table gets a piece of the prize money.

The "mini" qualifies with a losing hand of aces full of kings. Only those dealt in the hand at the winning table are included in the payout.

The "mega" prize pool starts at $50,000; the "mini" starts at $5,100.

Casino at Delaware Park, 777 Delaware Park Blvd., Wilmington, Del., 800-417-5687,

Night of a zillion laughs

There is nothing inherently funny about tomorrow night, but it could be the most hilarious evening in the history of Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, as two of the most stellar practitioners of contemporary comedy perform there separately.

Upstairs, Jerry Seinfeld returns to the Event Center. Although the 1990s TV sitcom icon is no longer as consistently brilliant as he was in the pre-"Seinfeld" 1980s, his June gig at the Big B proved he can still knock 'em over the fence with clever, G- and PG-rated observations about the puzzles and annoyances of everyday life.

And when it comes to comic delivery, Seinfeld continues to have few, if any, peers.

Showtimes are 8 and 11 p.m. (8 p.m. sold out). Admission is $155, $135 and $95.

On the main floor, Howie Mandel takes the Music Box stage with his unique brand of tomfoolery that depends primarily on his mind-boggling ability to ad-lib a sidesplitting response to virtually anything the audience yells at him. (Mandel's act may be the only one that encourages rudeness.)

Suffice it to say, Mandel is truly one of the wonders of the stand-up world. If you can make it to see the "Deal or No Deal" star, a splendid (and splendidly silly) time is guaranteed.

Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $65 and $55.

Tickets for both shows are available by calling 866-900-4849, or at

Special events

You certainly can't say there's nothing to do in AyCee tomorrow night. Besides the Seinfeld and Mandel shows, Boogie Nights at Resorts Atlantic City is hosting a women's fashion show from 7 to 9 p.m.

Participating stores include Cache, Simply Fly and Kenneth Cole. Also in attendance will be stylists from Brigantine's Art Is salon (named by Salon Today magazine as one of the nation's top beauty shops) and makeup experts from Motives by Loren Ridinger.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. To order, go to (click on the WIN Promos Fashion Show tab). For more info, call 609-290-3322 or 609-665-6611.

And down the Boardwalk at Caesars Atlantic City, you can party with the evening's guest host, Stephenie LaGrossa, a former "Survivor" contestant who in these parts may be better known as the fiancée of Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick (they're set to tie the knot next month). LaGrossa will get the party started at 10 p.m.

Chuck Darrow has been covering Atlantic City and casinos for over 20 years. Read his blog E-mail him at And listen to his Atlantic City reports Saturdays at 1:45 a.m. with Steve Trevelise on WIP (610-AM) and 4:05 p.m. on Atlantic City's WOND (1400-AM) with Marc Berman, and 5:35 p.m. on Gloucester County's WNJC (1360-AM) and at 11:05 p.m. Tuesdays on WIFI (1460-AM) in Bucks County.

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