BetMGM Gives Ontario Online Poker Players Chance to Qualify for Vegas Championship

BetMGM Gives Ontario Online Poker Players Chance to Qualify for Vegas Championship
By Bill Ordine

BetMGM Ontario, the online sports betting and casino gaming component of MGM Resorts International, will be holding a major poker championship in Las Vegas in June. It will be giving Ontario online poker players and those in certain U.S. jurisdictions, where online poker is legal and MGM offers the game, the opportunity to qualify online for the live Vegas tournament.

The marquee event in Vegas is the BetMGM Poker Championship on June 23-26 at ARIA Resort & Casino. The championship tournament is nestled in the larger ARIA Poker Classic that runs from June 1 to July 17 and will feature more than 40 events.

The buy-in for the championship event is $3,500 and has a $1 million guarantee, but Ontario players can compete for their seat in the coming weeks in satellite events. BetMGM is holding satellite events over three Sundays beginning May 29, and continuing on the two following Sundays, June 5 and June 12.

On May 28, June 5 and June 12, BetMGM in Ontario will hold one satellite each evening starting at 8 p.m., ET. At least two seats to the BetMGM Poker Championship will be awarded from each satellite. The buy-in is $500.

Leading up to the Sunday events, players have been able to earn “tickets” ($20 and $100 respectively) at smaller buy-ins to continue what BetMGM refers to as the “journey” to the Poker Championship at the ARIA at their own pace. The schedule is rolling. For instance, there are three events where players can earn “tickets” on May 24.

BetMGM poker players in each of the company’s “live markets”’ (New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania and, now, Ontario) can win their way to Las Vegas for the event. For players that aren’t awarded prize packages, the buy-in is $3,500.

“The first-ever BetMGM Poker Championship descends on Las Vegas during one of the most exciting times of the poker season. ARIA is a legendary poker brand and we’re thrilled that the Championship has become an integral part of this year’s Poker Classic,” BetMGM director of poker Luke Staudenmaier said in a news release.

Ontario online casinos and sportsbooks launched in the fully regulated market on April 4.

Mostly $400 & $600 Buy-Ins

Most of the events on the BetMGM Poker Class schedule feature buy-ins of $400 and $600. Most are no-limit hold ‘em with a sprinkling of Omaha and at least one HORSE tournament. There is a Ladies’ event and a Seniors event listed. Also, on June 25, a $600 buy-in BetMGM Poker Mystery Bounty is slated and “will mark the first time ARIA has run this modern take on a live poker knockout tournament,” according to a BetMGM news release.

Poker fans will note that the BetMGM event is positioned on the calendar as the WSOP Ontario will also be rolling for more than six weeks (late May to mid-July) at the Bally’s-Paris hotel-casino complex on the other side of Las Vegas Boulevard.

The dueling poker events gives players an opportunity to shop for the action that works best for them.



Bill Ordine

A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.