Party Borgata is the leading online poker network in the state of New Jersey. They are regulated by the New Jersey Gaming Control Commission, the same regulatory body that governs the state’s casinos.
Party Borgata is a partnership between PartyPoker, one of the leading online poker sites since the inception of online poker, and the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City.
PartyPoker is owned by Bwin.party, one of the world’s largest and most successful online gaming companies. The Borgata is a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts International, and is the largest hotel in New Jersey and the best performing casino in the United States.
So when these two impressive companies got together for this venture people got excited, and it’s no surprise that this poker network ended up being the most popular one in the state, and also among regulated poker in the United States as well.
There are two separate websites that you can access the Party Borgata network from, which are the PartyPoker NJ site and the Borgata site. They run two sites for marketing purposes only, and both sites offer the same software and the same tables, as is the case with poker networks generally.
In order to play on the Party Borgata network you have to be physically located in the state of New Jersey, and while there are some plans to consider compacts with other states in the future, at the present time there is nothing in the works.
There is certainly something to be said about playing regulated poker versus non regulated online poker, it’s easier to move money in and out of regulated sites for one thing, as operators and payment processors don’t have to worry about workarounds and more options are therefore available.
Why Play At PartyPoker New Jersey?
While players in all but a few states can access online poker through one of several offshore poker sites that still serve American players, there are some players who are hesitant to get involved in unregulated online poker, and with regulated poker they can feel fully confident that their activities are permitted and even encouraged by the authorities.
Offshore poker rooms have been steering well clear of regulated environments in the United States anyway, although this isn’t always the case in other countries, where the regulated poker sites often compete with non regulated ones. This is not the case here though and online players in regulated states have to choose from among the regulated options, although in New Jersey there are several.
The list is down to three places right now though and the best of them at least in terms of traffic anyway is Party Borgata. In a sense, but in a real sense, the players of New Jersey have voted and they have voted Party Borgata as their top choice, and that in itself is pretty meaningful when you are looking to decide between the options.
You won’t find the traffic levels right now on any New Jersey online site that you will find at the offshore poker rooms, but at the same time the traffic at Party Borgata isn’t that bad either, and keep in mind that the offshore options that you used to have are gone now so that’s a moot point really.
Is there enough traffic at Party Borgata to make playing there worthwhile? Well if you’re the type of player who needs to be playing a lot of tables at once, like you perhaps did at Poker Stars or Full Tilt back in the old days, you won’t find that here, and in fact the only site to offer that kind of traffic anymore is Poker Stars, and they do not allow players from the U.S. anymore of course.
This is not a bad thing though as one of the things this has done is moved things over to a higher percentage of recreational players, which does make the games easier to beat to be sure. If you are a recreational player yourself you don’t really want to be up against hordes of grinders who will just make you part from your money fairly quickly.
The better players benefit as well due to the softer competition overall that lower traffic entails. The professional grinders and the poker sites are the only people that win with the mega traffic format.
There are a good number of cash games here, mostly focused on 6 max no limit holdem, as well as a good amount of both sit and go and multi table tournaments. There is also a good distribution of stakes and buy in levels available, particularly for a network of this modest size.
Poker Traffic and Game Selection Breakdown
Party Borgata has been passed recently by the integration of the WSOP NJ and 888/All American NJ, where they now share low stakes tables, but Party Borgata still offers a competitive amount of poker traffic overall, and still stand out as far as the action at the mid stakes and up.
Players will find 40-50 cash game tables running at peak times, mostly consisting of 6 max NLHE, with stakes starting at $0.01/$0.02, with the most popular games running between $0.50/$1 and $1/$2, with some selection at $2/4 and higher. They also offer a limited selection of full ring hold’em and Omaha.
At present, there is an average of 120 cash game players on this network, with upwards of 260 at peak times. Since this poker room is limited to a specific time zone, action really falls off during the slowest times, although there is a little bit of action even in the small hours of the night.
Sit and go tournaments remain popular here and tend to have a more resilient following than cash games, so while cash game traffic can fluctuate more over time, sit and go traffic is more stable, partly thanks to the ongoing sit and go leaderboard promotions that Party Borgata offers. There are generally 20-25 sit and go tournaments running at peak times.
Full tournaments are pretty popular here as well, in spite of many falling short of meeting minimum requirements for them to end up being run. This is more a reflection of Party Borgata’s aggressive strategy towards tournaments, with their $5K and $10K guaranteed tournaments in particular, which have been cancelled quite often due to not being able to get enough players for the poker network to want to run them, even with the overlays.
Overlays are great though when you can get them, and they certainly add value to tournaments, and this is definitely the place for them, especially with the weekly $50K guaranteed. As long as the tournaments run, players are happy enough, and most of them do run here. Taking everything into consideration, this is a great spot for tournaments even though you may get frustrated from time to time in seeing a tournament you registered for get cancelled.
PartyPoker or Borgata?
There are some differences between the two sites on the Party Borgata network, which are Party and Borgata. They both run separate poker sites and offer different deals to players.
Both offer new players no deposit bonuses. Borgata offers players a total of $20, which consists of $10 up front and another $10 in bonus money which you earn by playing. If you don’t deposit though, to be honest you do have to either be good or lucky to be able to turn that $10 over enough to earn the points needed to free up the other $10, but it can be done.
PartyPoker’s deal is a little better, you get a total of $25 up front, which consists of $10 to use playing cash game poker, $5 to be used for poker tournaments, and $10 which can be used with their casino games, for a total of $25.
I don’t see anything in the terms and conditions of these deals that would prohibit players from taking advantage of both offers though, so that’s possible at least.
PartyPoker’s first deposit bonus is a little better as well, at least if you have more than $600 to deposit. Borgata will match your first deposit with them up to $600, while Party will go as high as $1000. Once again I don’t see anything stopping you from collecting both though.
This bonus, like all regular poker bonuses at every other poker site in the world, is released in increments as you try out their poker sites. Borgata releases it in $2 increments, which is very nice, while Party releases it in tenths of the total amount.
The Borgata also runs special promotions related to visiting their live casino. Both offer a loyalty program which rewards play with points that can be redeemed for free tournament entries or merchandise from their store, and both of these programs are pretty nice as far as these things go.
Both poker rooms also offer an ongoing array of promotions, and these do differ by site, but they are both pretty decent.
Perhaps the best thing about regulated poker is the banking options, and both sites offer Visa, MasterCard, instant checks, online bank transfers, Neteller, and Skrill. The return of Neteller to the United States is particularly exciting as this was a very popular option in the old days and they are now back in the game here.
The first thing I want to point out is that if you are an online poker player over 21 living in New Jersey, or you want to give online poker a try, having an account on this network is really a no-brainer. This is the top place to play in the state, and with such limited options, if anything you may even want an account at all three of them, or if not all three at the very least the top 2, and for sure at the top site, which this is.
I’ve been recommending poker rooms since online poker started and guiding players though the sometimes difficult decisions of where to play and I’ve never had an easier recommendation to make than this one. The main reason is that the choices here are so limited that it becomes very easy to pick the best site.
Now this doesn’t mean that the other two options in this state aren’t worth trying out either, and I will be reviewing those for you as well, but I would say that in the end you should at least try out Party Borgata, either on the Party side or the Borgata side, or even both if you want to do that.
So if you want to go ahead and collect your bonus money on either just click on our links to them.