BetMGM Director of Poker Luke Staudenmaier Talks Borgata Almighty Million, Online Plans & More

Back in May, Borgata Poker and BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, presented Almighty Million, a $1,000 buy-in tournament boasting a $1 million guarantee. That was crushed as 2,761 entrants created a $1,955,065 prize pool – the largest in the history of the Almighty Million – which was paid out to the top 250 finishers.

There was a lot of money on the line at the final table, which is why the final 10 players opted to work a deal that ultimately saw Daniel Cosner claiming the trophy and $178,872 in prize money.

“I’m still in shock. It’s something I’ve dreamed about doing since I started playing poker. For now,” Cosner said after the win. In addition to taking six figures in prize money, Cosner also claimed a $6,500 package to the BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA in Las Vegas which starts on June 9th and culminates with a live-streamed final table on June 13th.

“I plan on continuing to study,” he added. “I’m just hoping I can run deep again in a huge event. I also plan on bringing my dad with me so hopefully he can play the event as well and he can get his first big cash.”

Borgata Almighty Million champ Daniel Cosner
Borgata Almighty Million champ Daniel Cosner

Almighty Million Final Table Results

Place Player Prize
1 Daniel Cosner $178,872
2 Robert Elias $174,478
3 Divakaran Marella $172,878
4 Ralph Tuzzino $145,078
5 Andrew Minchak $103,378
6 Roneil Balani $91,278
7 Tyng Low $79,678
8 Michael Reesman $78,378
9 Joseph Palma $75,078
10 Daniel Weprin $62,278

Others to cash the tournament were Joseph Licata (11th – $19,551), Will “The Thrill” Failla (13th – $13,197), John Parisi (17th – $10,069), Louis Russo (25th – $8,211), Eric Hayes (32nd – $6,940), Jaime Reyes (41st – $5,865), Mike Dentale (54th – $4,888), and Anthony Cicali (66th – $3,910).

“It was a pleasure to host a successful relaunch of the Almighty Million for the first time in more than three years. Our players made one thing very clear about this event, they love it and want more events like it. We cannot wait to make that happen,” said Kellie De Celis, the Director of Poker Operations at Borgata.

BetMGM Director of Poker Luke Staudenmaier, an industry veteran, stated: “Almighty Million proved to be another fantastic omnichannel event with BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker. From online qualifiers to a record prize pool, players have shown a high level of enthusiasm for the return of Almighty Million to the premier poker room on the East Coast.”

PokerNews reached out to Luke Staudenmaier to ask him some additional questions regarding the event, BetMGM Online & Live plans, and much more.


Q&A Luke Staudenmaier, Director of Poker, BetMGM

PokerNews: The Borgata just wrapped its Almighty Million. How did it go?

Almighty Million was a resounding success and we were so thrilled to be able to support the Borgata Poker team for this event. From a numbers point of view, over 170 players qualified/registered for the event using the BetMGM Poker app and the event resulted in a prize pool that reached $1.9 million, the largest in the history of Almighty Million.

Are there future plans for tournaments at the Borgata?

Absolutely! We have ambitious plans to continuously iterate on our successes, ranging from new tactics for qualifying players to raising the bar when it comes to player experience once they arrive at Borgata. The relationship with the Borgata Poker team, MGM Resorts, and BetMGM is extremely collaborative, everyone brings creative ideas to the table.

BetMGM Director of Poker Luke Staudenmaier
Luke Staudenmaier

In regards to the BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA – what can you tell us about promotions leading up to the event? Will you be qualifying players online?

We are currently qualifying players online in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Ontario for the BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA. Last year we sent nearly 70 players to this championship and this year we are aiming to reach 100. We’re really pulling out all the stops: depositor satellites each week, ambitious qualifier guarantees, engaging ‘Spin the Wheel’ promotions, and communicating with a wide range of players, not just professionals. Our partners at MGM Resorts have doubled the guarantee from $1 million to $2 million, so there’s a lot of work to do!

Who are the current BetMGM Poker Ambassadors? Any chance we might see more in the future?

We have worked closely with four-time WPT champion Darren Elias. Darren is a consummate professional and is passionate about both online and land-based poker. There is always a chance that we’ll find new partners to work with. As a team of passionate poker players, our eyes are always peeled for new talent.

What else is coming up this summer for BetMGM Poker? Any online tournament series? Special promotions? That sort of thing?

While we know that the summer weather has an impact on online poker traffic, it also presents an opportunity to put new ideas to the test and to gauge player feedback. We are constantly working on new tournament promotions to keep players interested in our larger seasonal championship series. Progressive knockouts, low buy-ins, high rollers, PLO – we’ll try them all and let our players decide if we keep them or not.

In regards to the future of US online poker, can you give us any sort of idea of what BetMGM Poker is either preparing for or would like to see happen?

It is our hope that more states adopt sensible regulations and that the great game of poker continues to thrive in the USA, both in the digital and land-based spaces. As states adopt legislation, more players will discover the game, more poker content will be created and shared, and more innovative opportunities to connect digital and land-based poker players will surface.

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Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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