NJ Poker Site - NJCOP Controversy

Controversy in the NJCOP High Roller – NJ Online Poker

Party Poker and Borgata Poker have just finished their first big promotional series, the ‘New Jersey Championship of Online Poker‘ or the NJCOP.

Overall the series was a great success, with over 15 events and hundreds of thousands in prizes. The sites were able to sign up many new players and they filled up every event.

Hopefully this success will breed similar promotions and events throughout online poker within NJ and the US.



The Controversy

The series did not go over flawlessly however. There seems to be some controversy over their largest buy-in event, the $500 entry ‘High Roller’, and it has left many players with a sour taste in their mouths. What’s worse is it’s causing concern to other current and potential players who now worry about the integrity of these new poker sites.

Let’s dive a little deeper.

While promoting the NJCOP series, Party Poker and Borgata announced that they would be featuring their $500 ‘High Roller’ event, and that they would be guaranteeing $30,000 to the prize pool. Of this $30,000, 1st place would be guaranteed $20,000, and 2nd place would be guaranteed a $10,000 payday. Additional prize-pool money would be dispersed among the rest of the players that finished within the money. *Correction. This last sentence was reported to the players that inquired during the tournament by the site representatives. It was not promoted exactly how many players would pay out beforehand.

The tournament was a hit, crushing the prize pool of $30,000 and totaling just about $70,000 with over 150 entrants.

However when the tournament began, players realized that the tournament lobby showed that still only the first 2 spots payed, and were to be paid the entire prize pool; $46,000 first, and about $23,000 to 2nd.

NJ Poker Site - NJCOP Controversy

Immediately the chatter at the tables started, and poker forums started lighting up with players questioning if this was a mistake, and calling for clarification.

Players began live chatting with site representatives, emailing them, and calling the sites on the phone. The response given to them was consistent: The tournament lobby was an error, and they were working diligently to fix it but had no further information at that time.

The players in the tournament were left unsure, uncomfortable, and angry over this error.

The reasons for the anger ranged from players being unsure of how many entrants would pay out in such a large buyin event, no clarification from the sites, and the tournament itself being misrepresented. Most of the players complained that they would not have joined such an expensive tournament had they known only the top 2 would pay, as it was never stated that the payout percentages would be different than their other tournaments.

The buyin amount is large, but cashing at a final table like this can be life changing for some people.

The primary point being made by players is that if the sites make a mistake at the players’ expense and refuse to rectify it, then the trust between the site and the player is broken.

When it comes down to players depositing money onto online poker sites, as well as online poker sites succeeding in the industry, the trust and integrity of the companies that hold the money is paramount. Although this concept is the same in any business, it is especially important in the online poker industry. This is mostly due to other poker sites in the recent past having shattered the players’ trust with scandals, cheating, and players’ money not being safe.

This was an error made by Party Poker and Borgata, and they rightfully have acknowledged it. They are now in a tough spot, and what they decide to do will tell their players a lot about how they will conduct business in the future. It actually puts them in a unique position to perhaps go above and beyond to satisfy their customers, and establish an even stronger trust among their players in what has become a very untrustworthy industry.



It will be interesting to see how this one pans out, and what resolution the sites ultimately come to. There are many current and potential U.S. online players watching to see how they deal with this. These players are very interested in which companies will take care of their players.

Errors happen every day in business, but in the words of O.A. Battista, “An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”

We’ll keep you updated on any news regarding this issue.

What do you think?


Will you sign up for online poker if it comes to your state?

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5 replies
  1. James
    James says:

    I’m wondering if the author has any sources for some of these statements he is claiming as fact. Specifically:

    ” Additional prize-pool money would be dispersed among the rest of the players that finished within the money.”

    “The response given to them was consistent: The tournament lobby was an error, and they were working diligently to fix it but had no further information at that time.”

    I also wonder if this author has any personal financial interest in the what or if Party/Borgata decide to react.

    • Dave Weeks
      Dave Weeks says:

      Yes, The author played this tournament and got 7th. Yes, the response given to all players inquiring was that there was an error and they were working to fix it, and that the standard tournament % was supposed to be paid. And yes, I understand that some may see article this as a conflict of interest.

      But many players are angry about is and have urged me to write this article, as it is important and not being covered.

      The point here is not that players got screwed or robbed, it’s what will the site do in the future when it comes down to taking care of their players, especially when they make a rather significant mistake.

      Players want to know which sites have integrity and which sites don’t. Throughout my poker career I personally been cheated out of a lot of money by Ultimate Bet, FTP, and probably other sites that never got caught as well. For reasons like this, people want know to what sites out there really care about their players. The online poker players need protection from the sites, especially if we want to see it grow and flourish in the U.S. which most of us do.

      A site’s integrity and the player’s trust with them is very important and should not be overlooked.

      Thanks for the comment!!

      • James
        James says:

        “A site’s integrity and the player’s trust with them is very important and should not be overlooked.”

        What about the integrity of njpokersite.com?

        The excerpt below is a lie, and the author knows it. On other claims he still has not provided any sources.

        “While promoting the NJCOP series, Party Poker and Borgata announced that they would be featuring their $500 ‘High Roller’ event, and that they would be guaranteeing $30,000 to the prize pool. Of this $30,000, 1st place would be guaranteed $20,000, and 2nd place would be guaranteed a $10,000 payday. Additional prize-pool money would be dispersed among the rest of the players that finished within the money.”

    • noah
      noah says:

      This is coming from someone who got 4th in this tournament so next to 3rd place nobody has more input into this matter than I do in my opinion.

      I was unfortunate enough to satellite into this tournament and end up getting 4th. I remember contacting customer service via their live chat option with about 30-36 players left because I had top 3 stack and making the money was a reality in my mind at this point. So I pulled up the tournament lobby and saw that only top 2 players paid which I figured had to be a mistake because I did not see anywhere in the lobby or promotions that only the top 2 players were to be paid for this particular tournament. The first time I pulled up the live chat with customer service they told me that there was in fact a screw up on their end with the payout structure and they would email me as soon as possible. A couple hours later I was 3/10 on the final table bubble and checked my email and there was nothing from Borgata poker. So I pulled up another live chat session, mind you in the middle of a Sunday MTT session, and asked them what was going on with the payout structure of this particular tournament. They told me to hold on yet again. After waiting for another 30-45 minutes, I was well into the FT at this point, they finally came back and said that nothing was wrong with the payouts and that is how it was supposed to be. They told me this AFTER telling me that they had made a mistake in the payouts only a couple of hours ago. Obviously anyone in their right mind would not be happy about this. I have never played in all my years of playing MTTs where only top two pay without this being explicitly obviously to the players. Nowhere in the lobby or in any of the promotions did it say anything about only the top two players paying. The fact that it said 1st was guaranteed 20k and 2nd was guaranteed 10k for a total of 30k (the guarantee for the whole tournament which would only be 60 or so players) does not in any way mean that if the prize pool were to exceed 30k that all the money over the guarantee would also go to the top 2 players. The total prize pool was about 70K and had around 150 players I think. In every single tournament I have ever played where they guarantee X amount to 1st they do not only pay out first. For example in the $200 200K guarantee they hosted on the same Sunday they guaranteed 50K to first but they did not only pay 1st place with the remaining 150K in the prize pool. Overall they completely screwed up either in the promotion of the tournament or in the format of the payout structure. I do not play poker for a living anymore and would have never played this event if I had known that it was only going to payout the top two players. Since I satellited into this tournament I obviously looked at the tournament lobby the day before and saw NOTHING about only top two places paying and if this was there plan the whole time they should have said in big bold letters ANYWHERE in the lobby that that was the case and I would have taken my $500 tournament credits and bought into their other tournaments that day. Later that night I was on the phone with Borgata customer support and they told me the same thing, “Yes we messed up in the payout structure and that at the minimum 5 players were to be paid out”. If this were the case then I truly did get screwed. I have since tried to get my chat emailed to me via the customer service and they said the only way I could get proof of live chat was to take screen shots. I was in the middle of playing at least 6-8 tournament across 2 different sites so this obviously was not easy to do. I was also deep in the WSOP $215 and was timing out regularly in that as well as other tournament multiple times due to trying to live chat with Borgata and figure all this nonsense out. This is hilarious to me seeing as how the chat in question was a few days old AND they have read back to me sections of previous live chat I have had with them so I know they are able to look back at it but do not want me to have proof of them telling me they screwed up on the tournament lobby and were working to fix it. Overall Borgata and Party Poker completely screwed up on this tournament and should absolutely make this right by their players in some way or another. At this point Thursday, May 1st, I have not heard one word back from them about compensating any and/or all of the players that in my eyes were completely duped in this tournament. I took all my money off of this site and will not be playing on there until this is at the very minimum acknowledged. Them screwing me over on my payout is another story all its own!! WSOP.com was extremely helpful and better in every single way possible in my mind when it comes to online gaming in New Jersey. I would never tell anyone to put their money on Borgata/Party if they were going to give legal gaming in NJ a shot.

    • Noah
      Noah says:

      I am a PRIMARY source in this matter James. I was told via live chat during the tournament that there was in fact a problem with the payout structure and they would get back to me asap. This was well outside of what I would have perceived to be the money bubble with probably 30-40 people left would be my best guess. They told me they would get back to me shortly and to check my email. I was in the middle of playing multiple tournaments and never heard anything from them so I pulled up a chat with them again and yet again was told to hold on. Then they came back and said that this was the correct payout. At this point I think there were only 8 people left which would have been almost surely into the money in any other tournament with approximately 150 people playing in it. Either A) you work for Party/Borgata or B) you have never played MTTs professionally because anyone in their right mind thinks this is absolutely the poker clients fault! Because I used to play poker professionally I have plenty of friends who used to play and some that still do and not ONE sinlge person thought that this made any sense UNLESS Party/Borgata would have made it very clear to any and all their players that only top two payed. Which they obviously did not!


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