Atlantic City's Taj Mahal Offers Online Poker Registration

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort has become the first casino in the country to let players sign up for popular poker tournaments online.

The casino uses "PT Seats," what inventor Fabricio Schaffrath of Miami calls "a Ticketmaster for poker tournaments."

Players visit the Web site, pick the tournament they want to enter, and reserve a spot using a credit card.

There is a convenience charge ranging from 3 percent to 6 percent of the buy-in for the tournament.

So far, nearly 100 Atlantic City poker players have signed up for the service.

Schaffrath said he came up with the idea while playing in Tuesday-night tournaments at a casino in Florida.

"To get in, you have to be there at least an hour and a half in advance," he told The Press of Atlantic City for Wednesday's newspapers.

As the manager of a graphic design studio, Schaffrath either had to leave work early to pay for his seat in the tournament or ask his friends to register for him.

Sometimes he arrived at the casino only to find all the seats had been filled.

He said other Atlantic City casinos also are interested in using the service, and he hopes Las Vegas will follow.