It’s Last Call at the Trump Taj Mahal Liquidation

Photo via @ACPressDeRosier Twitter.

The liquidation that kicked off at the beginning of July will come to a close on Sunday or even sooner, the Press of Atlantic City reports.

In July, fancy grand pianos, ritzy chandeliers, flat-screen TVs and vintage poker tables were available. Now nightstands, desks and lamps priced at $1, $5 dressers and $25 sofa beds are all that’s left. On day one, there was even a two-hour wait to get into the sale. Read more »

Body Washes Up on Atlantic City Beach

atlantic city

Photo via Google Maps

This is a developing story. Check back for more information.

The body of a swimmer who went missing in Atlantic City earlier this week washed ashore Thursday night.

The body of 31-year-old Jeffrey Wilkens was found around 7:40 p.m. near the former Revel Casino Hotel at 601 Boardwalk.

Wilkens disappeared into the water around 8:15 Tuesday night near Steel Pier, prompting a U.S. Coast Guard search, which ended Wednesday.  Read more »

Get to Know: World Series of Poker Champ Scott Blumstein

Photo by Joe Giron/World Series of Poker.

Scott Blumstein just took home $8.15 million and a really fancy diamond bracelet as the winner of this year’s Main Event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The 25-year-old Temple grad’s unexpected victory has thrust him into the sport’s professional ranks and boosted his bank account past the likes of local D-list celebs Joey Lawrence (WHOA) and Biff from Back To The Future.

The Brigantine native was nice enough to put the party on hold and take a few minutes to chat with Philly Mag about fake money, his favorite Atlantic City casino and whether it’s Taylor Ham or pork roll…

So how does a 25-year-old kid from Jersey end up winning the WSOP?
Poker was always part of my life. I fell in love with the game as a kid. I went to Temple and didn’t play a ton there but I still watched it on TV whenever I could. Out of school I’ve been trying to play professionally and make a living playing poker.

Was that money you posed with after winning the event real?
Yeah, I guess it was. I didn’t really take the time to run any checks or anything but I think they bring out real cash and just throw it on the table.

Who taught you to play poker?
I think when I was real young I used to play Crazy 8s with my grandmother and that was my introduction to card games. As far as poker goes, it was a bit of doing my own independent study and the repetition of playing. Obviously I seek out the advice of players a little smarter than me, trying to absorb what they have to say.

Is poker your full-time job or just a well-paying hobby?
As of this event I would say it’s been my full-time job.

How many hours a day do you play on average?
I play about four hours a night. Basically I’ve been an online player for the last little bit.

When did you think you could turn pro?
Quite frankly, it was as simple as I got out of school and didn’t want to be an accountant. I didn’t want to do the thing I was probably supposed to do.

When did you think you actually had a chance at winning the event?
It was day five. I started the day at a pretty tough table, but I looked at this empty seat a couple tables over by this guy with big cash. I would say that was my first real test. Once I got through that day and ended up bagging a really good stack, I thought I could make a run.

First thing you did in Vegas after winning?
My family and friends were out there with me. They gave us a suite at the Rio and we had a little party.

Is it called pork roll or Taylor Ham?
Taylor Ham.

Food I have to get when I’m in Philly is…
Nachos and Crabfries at Chickie’s & Pete’s.

Favorite Temple University athlete…
Khalif Wyatt and it isn’t even close.

Most money I’ve lost in one hand…
Was probably not as much as you would think. Before WSOP maybe $2,000.

Most cash won in a casino (outside of WSOP)…
Last year around this time I was lucky enough to win a tournament at the Borgata for $200,000.

Favorite Atlantic City casino?
Borgata… for obvious reasons.

Have to ask – any plans yet on how you’re going to spend the $8 million?
I really don’t. I definitely want to do something smart with it. Something that is beneficial to people in society. I’m considering entering the business foray to use the money for good and grow it.

Follow @jtrinacria on Twitter.

Bartenders at Pink Show in A.C. Believe Thousands in Tips Went Missing

The crowd at last week’s Pink concert on the beach in Atlantic City. (Photo courtesy

Last week, tens of thousands of Pink fans crammed onto the Atlantic City beach for a concert by the Grammy-winning singer. With tickets priced at $72 for general admission and way higher for VIP access, Pink and the concert producers no doubt walked away with a ton of money. But the bartenders who worked the concert say they didn’t make out quite so well. Read more »

$5,000 Reward Offered in Killings of N.J. Boardwalk Cats

boardwalk cats

Photos via the Atlantic City Police Department

An international cat advocacy organization is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects who police say killed three cats at the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Last week, the Atlantic City Police Department posted photos of three men allegedly connected to the killings of three of the so-called “Boardwalk Cats” that patrol the popular summer destination.

Alley Cat Allies has cared for the colony of boardwalk cats since 2000 as part of a city-supported Trap-Neuter-Return program. As the name of the program implies, workers trap and neuter the cats before returning them to the boardwalk, which helps keep the population under control. Staff and volunteers monitor and feed the cats, which they claim “draw visitors and admirers from all over the country.”

Alley Cat Allies announced the reward money yesterday.

“Animal cruelty must be taken seriously, and the guilty parties should be punished to the full extent of the law,” Becky Robinson, the organization’s president and founder, said in a statement.

Police said the boardwalk cats were found killed on March 22nd. Anyone with information is asked to contact Atlantic City Police by calling 609-347-5766 or by texting anonymously to tip411 (847-411).

Robinson said Atlantic City Police Chief Henry White has “made this investigation a very high priority.”

“We applaud [White’s] leadership and thank the community for its support,” Robinson said. “Atlantic City is a model for the rest of the nation in showing how cats and people coexist. No matter where cats live they are loved and valued.”

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

Firm Makes $220M Offer for Atlantic City’s Shuttered Revel Casino

Revel - Atlantic City casino hotel

Revel on its last full day of operation in 2014. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Atlantic City’s former Revel casino remains shuttered though owner Glenn Straub has repeatedly set opening dates for the property, which he renamed TEN. And now a buyer has reportedly made a $220 million offer to take the property off his hands. Straub denies knowledge of the offer.

An unnamed New York City-based private equity firm made the offer “in the last ten days,” said the Press of Atlantic City last Thursday. A representative of the firm, Alex Fredericks, director of operations at New York’s Digital Launch, informed the publication of the offer but declined to name the firm.

Straub told the Press, “I don’t know any private equity firms,” in claiming that he never talked to any equity firms about a sale. Read more »

Last Chance to See Trump Taj Mahal Is This Weekend

The Trump Taj Mahal entrance

Photo | Dan McQuade

Investors behind the transformation of Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal to a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino say demolition of the property’s façade is expected to begin next week.

Joseph Jingoli, CEO of New Jersey’s Jingoli Construction and an investor in the project, made the announcement during a Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) public hearing this week. The public hearing concerned Hard Rock’s application for an Entertainment Retail District designation around the development, the Press of Atlantic City reports. According to the publication, the designation would make Hard Rock eligible for tax breaks and give the CRDA certain sales taxes and room rebates. Read more »

In Atlantic City, Bet on the Food

Tacos at Pancho’s, left, and the chicken at El Chalán. Photography by Ted Nghiem.

Jose Garces Is Back in Town

Jose Garces’s new restaurants in the Tropicana make the Revel snafu feel like ancient history. Olón has ocean views, an outdoor deck and a bright interior — all surprising for a casino eatery. The seafood here (grilled, raw, however it comes) is choice. His other spot, Okatshe, is just the opposite: You’ll duck through a secret door in a tiny Japanese candy shop and enter a dark, sprawling space styled like a buzzy Tokyo intersection. The large menu has sushi, ramen, standard izakaya fare (yakitori and fried things), and a bar list deep with sake and Japanese beers. (Both at the Tropicana, 2831 Boardwalk, 609-340-4000.) Read more »

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