SOURCE: Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa

January 20, 2006 19:19 ET

2006 Borgata Winter Poker Open Debuts With a Full House

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 20, 2006 -- The first day of competition at the Borgata Winter Poker Open is underway and similar to the unseasonably warm temperatures outside, a full house of over 1,300 players are feeling the heat at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa for the first event of this inaugural tournament series.

Due to the large number of players expected at the Borgata Winter Poker Open events, it is highly recommended that players register ahead of time online at www.theborgata.com to avoid being locked out and facing long lines.

There is a buzz filling the casino thanks to the fully loaded 2006 Cadillac Escalade that will become the property of one random player who participates in one of the first eight events of the Borgata Winter Poker Open. To give players an even better chance to win the Cadillac Escalade, Borgata will give one entry to each player for every tournament they enter.

In addition to the first Cadillac Escalade being given as a random prize, Borgata has upped the stakes for the $10,000 World Poker Tour main event by throwing a surprise second Cadillac Escalade in the pot. With first-place payout estimated to be over $1 million, Borgata's Winter Poker Open main event champion will drive away with the cash, the car, and a $25,000 seat at the World Poker Tour's World Championship.

While much of the talk may be about the money and cars, Borgata has spent time focusing on the need to give back to the community and has done so by donating a $10,000 seat into the World Poker Tour main event to the winner of a charity tournament put on by Boston Red Sox outfielder, Gabe Kapler. The baseball star runs The Gabe Kapler Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to stopping domestic violence.

According to Kapler, an entry into Borgata's Winter Poker Open main event was the perfect choice for his charity. "When it comes to poker on the East Coast, Borgata is the name that comes to mind. They are the premier gaming venue in Atlantic City and they were kind enough to support our foundation." More information on the charity can be found at www.Kaplerfoundation.org.

With the cards hitting the tables today, things are only bound to intensify as the buy-ins escalate and more players take their shots at hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money and two sleek yet powerful Cadillac Escalades.

In a first for Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, poker fans will be able to keep up with tournament updates from renowned poker blogger and journalist, Paul "Dr. Pauly" McGuire, at TaoPoker.com. Having covered poker for Fox Sports and Poker Player Newspaper, McGuire will provide expert coverage of daily tournament action throughout the duration of the Winter Poker Open.

Borgata is a joint venture of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM). Located at Renaissance Pointe in Atlantic City, it features 2,000 guest rooms and suites, 125,000 square feet of gaming, 163 gaming tables, 3,600 slot machines, 11 destination restaurants, 11 retail boutiques, a 54,000 square foot spa, 70,000 square feet of event space, and parking for 7,100 cars.

For more information on Borgata, and/or to obtain a copy of this press release visit www.theborgata.com or use AOL keyword: borgata. Additional news and information on Boyd Gaming can be found at www.boydgaming.com, additional information on MGM MIRAGE can be found at www.mgmmirage.com.

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