BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA Experiences Exponential Growth in Players and Prize Pool

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Leo Taffe
BetMGM Apr 18, 2024, 3:13 AM

Michigan’s Leo Taffe’s wins 2023 BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA

LAS VEGAS (June 14, 2023) – BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, concluded the four-day BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA Resort & Casino nearly tripling the number of entries and prize pool from the previous year. Michigan’s Leo Taffe emerged as the winner and took home the $560,442 top prize at the BetMGM Poker Championship that started on June 9th in ARIA’s Poker Room and ended on June 13th at the PokerGO Studio. 

Taffe, 24, an online poker player from Ann Arbor, Michigan, shattered his previous biggest single-tournament winnings ($182,000). 

"It feels amazing. To be able to run deep in a tournament like this is really cool. I'm exhausted to be honest. It's just starting to settle in. I'll take a few hours to celebrate, but there is more I want to accomplish.”

Leo Taffe - Ann Arbor, Michigan

The BetMGM Poker Championship’s final prize pool of $3.2 million surpassed the $2 million guarantee. The $3,500 buy-in no limit Hold ‘em tournament drew a field of 1,026 including 110 BetMGM online qualifiers. Debuting in 2022, the BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA experienced tremendous year-over-year growth. Last year’s event had 343 entries and a $1.1 million prize pool with Joey Wiseman winning $224,236.

“From online qualifiers through the exciting finale of the tournament, we were thrilled by the response. Congratulations to Leo, who plays online at BetMGM in Michigan, for taking the title. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with ARIA, one of the best high-stakes poker rooms in the United States, and PokerGO, to deliver one-of-a-kind omnichannel experiences to our poker players.”

Luke Staudenmaier - Director of Poker, BetMGM

Mike Vanier finished second ($392,704) losing to Taffe in heads-up play. Other notables who cashed in included Global Poker Index Player of the Year Stephen Song (4th – $188,193), BetMGM ambassador Darren Elias (91st – $7,256), and former Major League Baseball player Jason Kipnis (107th – $6,534).

"Tripling the entries in one year is an extraordinary leap. We raised the stakes by doubling the guarantee and then shattered it by over a million dollars. I am immensely grateful for the players, the MGM team, and BetMGM for making this event such a success. We look forward to our ongoing partnership for future poker events.”

Sean McCormack - MGM Resorts Director of Poker Strategy

As BetMGM continues to expand into new markets, responsible gaming education remains a key focus. BetMGM is proud to provide resources to help customers play responsibly including GameSense, an industry leading program, developed and licensed to MGM Resorts by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Through the GameSense integration within BetMGM’s mobile and desktop platforms, customers can directly access responsible gaming tools.

The BetMGM Poker app is accessible on both iOS and Android, as well as via desktop. For more information about BetMGM, follow @BetMGM on Twitter.

Media Contacts
BetMGM
Katie Kohler
press@betmgm.com

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.