Taj Mahal first to offer online registration

Trump Taj Mahal

The first day of the World Series of Poker this year was a zoo as thousands of people lined up in the Rio's convention center to register for the first tournaments of the series. Imagine if those same players, who no doubt are fairly computer-savvy as well as poker-savvy, could have pre-registered online instead.

Poker fans who want to play at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City won't have to imagine. The casino is the first to sign up with PTSeats.com to provide online registration for live poker events.

PT Seats is an online booking agency that offers fast, secure and convenient tickets to play poker at tournaments. Poker players can book from anywhere using their computers rather than doing it at the casino.

"Booking through PTSeats.com allows players to secure a poker tournament seat anywhere, anytime, from any computer," said Fabricio Schaffrath, PT Seats founder. "It's fast and easy, and it's convenient for both the players and the casinos."

The Taj Mahal offers registration at the site for its daily tournaments as well as for the upcoming U.S. Poker Championship.

To purchase a seat, a player must create an account, select his or her preferred location and pay in advance using a credit or debit card. The site currently accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB.

The site uses VeriSign Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, the industry standard for secure online commercial transactions, to ensure the safety of the monetary transactions on its site.

PT Seats does charge a small fee for its services. It tacks on a convenience charge of 3% to 6% of the tournament buy-in.

According to Newsday, nearly 100 Atlantic City poker players have already signed up for the service since it was announced at the end of August.

"PTSeats.com is perfect for any tournament player [who] wants to have a guaranteed seat without waiting in long registration lines," said Tom Gitto, Taj Mahal director of poker operations. "Our tournament players love it."

According to Schaffrath, the Web site is also negotiating with other gaming interests throughout the United States.

"The concept has been well received overall," he said. "Casinos benefit from the shorter lines and reduced staff needed to handle registration and by having less cash to handle on the spot."

At least one professional player has given the stamp of approval to PT Seats as well. Phil Gordon was an early supporter and contributes a monthly column to the Web site.

"This is a great, convenient service that I'm sure players will love," Gordon said.

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