NJ Online Poker Has A Lot of Work To Do To Make 2019 A Success

NJ Online Poker

There was hope after some good news in our last report that New Jersey online poker would enter 2019 in positive territory – or at the very least with some positive momentum. The hope was fleeting, however, with the data showing declining trends across the board.

The initial assumption might be that the holidays are the cause of the online poker traffic declines. On the contrary, that is just not the case when looking back on the history of US regulated poker.

The holiday period, if anything, provided some small increases in traffic in the past. We will go into the specifics later in this report.

For now, though, let’s take a closer look at the key stories from the US regulated poker scene for the past two weeks:

  • WSOP.com is the only operator that showed declining trends in the three major areas: seven-day rolling cash game average traffic, peak traffic, and tournament entries
  • PokerStars NJ posted the largest number of tournament entries in its Half-Priced Sunday Special
  • partypoker NJ is the only major operator to show a positive trend line for peak traffic numbers

Now, let’s take a look back at the tournament and cash game trends for the two weeks ending Dec. 30, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

Major online poker tournaments summary

PokerStars NJ held the largest Sunday major tournament of the group with 421 entries. To get that number, though, the online poker site had to cut the buy-in in half.

For the second time in just over a month, PokerStars NJ ran its Half-Priced Sunday Special, and it seems as if it has found a winning equation.

Both tournaments met its guarantee, which has been a struggle for the brand of late. Even the Christmas-themed festival, the Carnival of Tournaments held on Dec. 23, couldn’t gather enough entrants to meet its guarantee.

With the help of its latest tournament, PokerStars NJ is now showing a solid positive trend line for tournament entries over the past few months.

Meanwhile, both WSOP.com and partypoker NJ are sporting declining trends. WSOP.com did make its guarantees for both tournaments, while partypoker NJ missed both of its.

Overall, the tournament scene continues to post some weekly wins, but the overall picture since the launch of shared liquidity remains relatively bleak.

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018:

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly NLH $100,000 Guaranteed 382 $100,000 $114,600 $14,600
PokerStarsNJ $200 Carnival of Tournaments Main Event $50,000 Guaranteed 262 $50,000 $48,732 -$1,268
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 151 $35,000 $30,200 -$4,800

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018:

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly NLH $100,000 Guaranteed 350 $100,000 $105,000 $5,000
PokerStarsNJ $100 Half-Priced Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 421 $30,000 $38,647.80 $8,647.80
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 159 $35,000 $31,800 -$3,200

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

When looking back at the 7-day rolling cash game averages since the beginning of shared liquidity, only one operator is showing a positive trend. Interestingly enough, it is not WSOP.com – it’s PokerStars NJ.

That says a lot considering WSOP.com gets the benefit of a combined player pool with Nevada and Delaware and PokerStars NJ doesn’t.

The market as a whole is showing a sharply declining trend. Fewer cash game players at the end of November and beginning of December undoubtedly played a role in that result.

In the last two weeks, the market as a whole lost on average 30 cash game players. Only partypoker NJ kept their players on the felt. In fact, it added a few more posting fan increase of five players on average.

Peak traffic numbers continue to decline, overall. partypoker NJ is the only operator with a positive trend line. Even though Poker Stars NJ ended the year on a high note, it was not quite enough to reverse the downward spiral it has found itself in.

It is disappointing and honestly, quite surprising, that WSOP.com hasn’t been able to generate some consistent trends in cash game or peak traffic numbers. As the only operator benefitting from a combined pool of poker players, one would think players would flock to the site.

Sure their numbers are higher than those of PokerStars NJ and partypoker NJ but are well below what the individual markets produced before shared liquidity.

Factors impacting U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

It would not be surprising for the WSOP.com to start holding Online Bracelet Event qualifiers earlier rather than later.

Sure, the World Series of Poker won’t officially get underway until May. Even so, WSOP.com will most likely look for ways to capitalize on the popularity of the online events as quickly as possible.

PokerStars NJ will likely continue to mix up its Sunday major tournament offering. Poker players seem to respond well to shiny new objects.

One thing is for sure; all three major online poker rooms will continue to throw things at the virtual wall hoping something will stick.

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New Jersey Online Poker Heads Into 2019 With Positive Momentum

New Jersey Poker

The one thing that is predictable about the New Jersey online poker market is the unpredictability of it all. This past week seemed to be about righting some wrongs.

Players found their way back to their home felt, all three operators met their Sunday major tournament guarantees, and peak traffic trends are finally in positive territory.

It’s a good sign that we are heading into the holiday weeks with positive news. For now, though, let’s take a closer look at the key stories from the US regulated poker scene for the past two weeks:

  • The total seven-day rolling average number of cash game players increased by over 100 players since our last report
  • WSOP.com reclaimed the cash game players it gave up to the competition two weeks ago
  • Pokerstars NJ is showing a noteworthy positive trend line in its peak traffic figures
  • partypoker NJ was able to hold onto the increase in cash game players it gained a few weeks ago.

Now, let’s take a look back at the tournament and cash game trends in more detail for the two weeks ending Dec. 16, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

Major online poker tournaments summary

As mentioned, for the first time in three months, all three operators met their Sunday major tournament guarantee on Dec. 16. That is quite an accomplishment on a calendar that did not include any big buy-ins or have some fancy jewelry up for grabs.

And yet, only WSOP.com was able to meet its guarantees both weeks. After losing some ground over the past six weeks, and some slower-than-normal traffic, it appears WSOP.com is once again settling back into its typical traffic pattern.

Consistency, it not something often associated with the New Jersey poker market. Overall, though, the trend lines for the past two months have evened out. PokerStars NJ is showing a slightly positive trend, while WSOP.com and partypoker NJ are showing slightly negative ones. Even so, it is good to see the market stabilizing a bit.

It is going to take more of the same to attack the negative trend line that the overall number of entries since May is showing. 

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018:

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly NLH $100,000 Guaranteed 369 $100,000 $110,700 $10,700
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 137 $30,000 $25,482 -$4,518
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 172 $35,000 $34,400 -$600

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018:

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly NLH $100,000 Guaranteed 414 $100,000 $124,200 $24,200
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 167 $30,000 $31,062 $1,062
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 188 $35,000 $37,600 $2,600

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

New Jersey online poker cash games posted some positive news across the board this week. What WSOP.com lost in terms of players last week, it seems to have found.

It ended the recent two-week period posting a seven-day rolling average of 220 cash game players. That figure is almost double the number from our last report and the highest number since the summer when the World Series of Poker was in session.

After months of holding steady with a seven-day rolling average of 45 cash game players, two weeks ago partypoker NJ increased their average by five players. They maintained the increase this week.

PokerStars NJ was the big winner in our last report. They don’t get that distinction this week. It ended up giving a few cash game players back. Yet, it is still posting an average cash game player number that is well above what it has seen in months.

Overall, the total seven-day rolling average number of cash game players increased by 100 players when compared to the previous two weeks. We haven’t seen a jump like that in quite a while.

Peak traffic has ventured out of declining trend territory for all three operators. It is usually the tournaments that provide us with good news. It is nice to finally get some decent results on the cash side of the things.

Factors impacting US regulated online poker in the coming week

The most significant impact on New Jersey online poker in the next few weeks will be the holidays. Looking back over the past few years, there have been holiday seasons that were good and some that were bad. Unfortunately, that doesn’t give us a good sense of what to expect.

The data from the last two weeks is encouraging heading into the last few weeks of the year. At the same time, it is hard to set the expectations too high because we all know New Jersey poker is finicky.

Regardless, it would be nice to write two positive New Jersey online poker reports in a row. This is week one. Here’s hoping we don’t find any coal in our stockings or headaches from too much champagne when we report back here on Jan. 2, 2019.

WSOP.com Tests New Jersey Poker Market With A Big Buy-In Tournament

WSOPcom

There was a glimmer of hope as New Jersey online poker showed signs of growth outlined in our last report on Nov. 21. In this recap, the darkness returned — well, mostly.

Actually, there are quite a few positive points to report from the last few weeks. Additionally, some exciting industry news may trickle into the Garden State and provide a much-needed boost to the online poker industry in 2019.

Regular readers of this report are fully aware of the struggles facing New Jersey’s online poker market.

We reached out to Bill Rini, Head of Online Poker at Caesars Entertainment, and asked about the challenges of trying to grow in a struggling market.

“The biggest challenge every operator faces is having the right offering for a constantly evolving market. There’s a constant tweaking process that goes on, experimenting, doing more of what works, and less of the stuff that doesn’t, to keep the lineup exciting and engaging for players.

“For instance, we’re going to be announcing the 2019 WSOP schedule soon, and we think players will be really excited by what we have to offer both online as well as at the Rio this summer.”

WSOP.com definitely experimented when they offered a $1,000 buy-in on Nov. 25. We will talk more about that a little later, but in short, the experiment paid off.

For now, though, let’s take a closer look at the key stories from the US regulated poker scene for the past two weeks:

  • WSOP.com posted its lowest seven-day rolling average number of cash game players since shared liquidity
  • Pokerstars NJ, on the other hand, posted its highest average number of cash game players
  • partypoker NJ also posted an increase in average cash game players for the first time in three months

Now, let’s take a look back at the tournament and cash game trends for the two-week period ending Dec. 2, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

Major online poker tournaments summary

As mentioned earlier, WSOP.com ran a $1,000 buy-in tournament on Nov. 25. Bigger buy-in tournaments are more common on the global stage than in the New Jersey market. In the Garden State, $500 seems to be on the higher end for its players.

WSOP.com took the opportunity to test a larger amount for its monthly big-buy-in tournament. We asked Rini about the decision:

“We’ve seen some interest in higher buy-in tournaments during some of our previous tournament series. There are a lot of players that like the higher buy-in and smaller player pools than an event like our $100K Sundays so we try to have a robust selection of tournaments to play in.”

The guarantee was lower than its regular Sunday major, only $50,000, but that makes sense for the buy-in. In the end, the tournament attracted 99 entries (63 players plus 36 re-entries) generating a $91,200 prize pool. On the surface, it appears the experiment was a success.

In contrast, Pokerstars NJ took the opposite approach by offering a half-priced buy-in. The online poker site ran the $100 Half-Priced Sunday Special with a guaranteed prize pool of $30,000. The tournament resulted in the largest number of entries the poker room has seen in seven months.

And that is where the good news stops. Overall, the total Sunday majors drew the fewest entries the market has seen since Sept.

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018:

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $1,000 Monthly Sunday $50,000 Guaranteed 99 $50,000 $91,200 $41,200
PokerStarsNJ $100 Half-Priced Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 391 $30,000 $35,893.80 $5,893.80
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 160 $35,000 $32,000 -$3,000

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018:

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly NLH $100,000 Guaranteed 347 $100,000 $104,100 $4,100
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 160 $30,000 $29,760 -$240
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 159 $35,000 $31,800 -$3,200

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

The cash game side of online poker looks pretty similar to the tournament sides of things. Some individual wins, but overall, the market took a hit.

PokerStars NJ walks away as the biggest winner of the week posting a seven-day rolling average of 100 cash game players. That is the highest average the site has seen since we began regularly tracking the data in May.

partypoker NJ added about five players to its seven-day rolling average, bringing it up to 50. It has been at an average of 45 cash game players since the beginning of Sept.

WSOP.com seems to have gifted their competition with some players this holiday season. It posted a seven-day rolling average of only 110 cash game players. That is by far the lowest figure it has seen since May.

Looking at the charts since the launch of shared liquidity, there is a definite downward trend across all three major online poker sites.

Peak traffic continues to do its own thing. One notable item is that WSOP.com and PokerStars NJ had a few days where peak traffic took a severe dip. The dips occurred on different days, but both were significant and something we hadn’t seen before.

The trend lines still show a better story than the average cash game players trend does. Unfortunately, that doesn’t hold true for partypoker NJ. It is the only operator to show a declining trend in peak traffic.

Factors impacting U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

If history were to repeat itself, online poker would maintain the status quo until we emerge from the holidays. That means there will likely be no big wins and no big losses for a few weeks.

That doesn’t mean there is nothing out there worth watching. On Nov. 28, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved PokerStars petition for a PA interactive gaming license. Don’t get too excited, though, combining player pools between the two states is a long way off.

That doesn’t mean New Jersey online poker won’t stand to benefit in some way. PA launching online poker in the first few months of 2019 will likely bring some new players to the online poker scene.

Just like New Jersey sports betting sees some traffic from its neighbor, online poker might as well.

It stands to reason that new PA poker players might also gravitate to the Garden State when a big prize is on the line. It will be hard to stay away if New Jersey is hosting popular tournaments, like Online Circuit or Gold Bracelet events and PA isn’t.

Additionally, poker players might be more likely to fire up their NJ client when placing a sports bet on a big game while in the luxury of their favorite sportsbook.

And finally, maybe, just maybe, the excitement around poker launching in another state will get New Jersey poker players excited about poker again.

We will keep an eye on that, and other news affecting the New Jersey poker scene, and the complete U.S. regulated online poker landscape. We will see you back here on Dec. 18.

New Jersey Online Poker Revenue Down 14.5% Since Last Year

NJ Online Poker

Last week, the Department of Gaming Enforcement released the revenue figures for New Jersey online poker.

Overall, online poker posted a 0.60 percent decline in revenue in October 2018 when compared to September 2018. Year-over-year also showed a decrease of 14.5 percent. The revenue figures support the trends we have been reporting here.

Each week this report is a mixed bag of news, this week is no different. The most notable story, though, is it appears the cash games welcomed some new players. It has been a while since we have been able to say that.

Let’s take a closer look. Here are the key stories from the US regulated poker scene since our last report published on Nov. 12:

  • PokerStars NJ implemented its new Star Rewards program
  • WSOP.com continued to host the Coast 2 Coast III concluded with enough entries to exceed the $200,000 guarantee for its Main Event
  • partypoker NJ continues to hold down third place while posting the most consistent numbers from week to week

Now, let’s take a look back at the tournament and cash game trends for the two-week period ending Nov. 18, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

Major online poker tournaments summary

The tournament summary continues to rely on big tournament series to produce decent prize pools. Last week we reported that it appears tournaments are losing their appeal.

This report supports that hypothesis. During the last two weeks, each of the three operators exceeded their guarantee once, and each posted an overlay once. There just doesn’t seem to be any consistency.

WSOP.com posted strong numbers both weeks most likely due to the continuation of the Coast 2 Coast Classic III. Even so, it still contributed to the prize pool on Nov. 11 to match the larger than usual guarantee.

On Nov. 18, WSOP.com surpassed the $200,000 guarantee by $15,000. It’s only the second time since shared liquidity that NJ players have had a $200,000 guarantee tournament. Considering, WSOP.com failed to meet its guarantees the previous two weeks, the site took a big gamble. Luckily it paid off.

Now that the Coast 2 Coast Classic III concluded, there is sure to be a new tournament series starting soon. It seems as if a week doesn’t go by without one.

Both partypoker NJ and PokerStars NJ both held a series in Oct. So, it is hard to predict which operator will be the lucky host.

One last thing worth mentioning is PokerStars brought its global Star Rewards customer loyalty program to NJ. However, it is unlikely to have an effect on the results.

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018,

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Coast 2 Coast III #25 $150,000 Guaranteed 488 $150,000 $146,400 -$3,600
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 188 $30,000 $34,968 $4,968
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 203 $35,000 40,600 5,600

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018:

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $525 Coast 2 Coast III #48 $200,000 Guaranteed 430 $200,000 $215,000 $15,000
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 171 $30,000 $31,806 $1,806
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 157 $35,000 $31,400 -$3,600

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

For the first time in many weeks, NJ poker seemed to grow. Both WSOP.com and PokerStars NJ posted gains to their 7-day rolling average number of cash game players.

It is encouraging that the gains happened without stealing players from partypoker NJ, who remained consistent posting a 7-day average of 45 cash game players.

There hasn’t been much good news for online poker in the Garden State. So it is understandable to latch on to the first glimmer of hope for a growing market in quite a while – no matter how small.

WSOP.com posted a 7-day rolling average of 200 cash game players. It hasn’t seen that number consistently since the summer.

PokerStars NJ showed a 7-day rolling average of 85 cash game players. It, too, was one of its highest figures in quite a while. Although, it was not quite enough to reverse the site’s declining trend line.

Peak traffic numbers were pretty much more of the same for the operators with one exception. PokerStars NJ, for the first time, posted a peak traffic number in the double digits. That, by the way, is not good news. They haven’t even really come close to dropping down that far before this week. We contacted PokerStars for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Factors impacting U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

The holidays are upon us. That means some players will have more time to play and others will have less. Looking back over the past few years, online poker took a small hit over Thanksgiving weekend but rebounded nicely in the following weeks.

It will be interesting to compare last year’s online poker trends without sports betting over the holidays and this year’s trends that include sports betting.

We will take a look at that, and other news affecting the New Jersey poker scene, and the complete U.S. regulated online poker landscape. We will be back here on Dec. 4.

Are Big Online Poker Tournaments Losing Their Appeal in New Jersey?

NJ Online Poker Tournaments

New Jersey online poker just can’t seem to get anything going. Even a larger-than-usual tournament guarantee failed to attract enough entries. New Jersey poker players may be on tournament series overload.

There is a little excitement thanks to some movement in neighboring Pennsylvania to launch online casino gaming and sports betting. It is positioned to start offering sports betting soon. Additionally, online casino gaming will likely begin in the first or second quarter of 2019.

Two New Jersy casinos petitioned the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for online casino licenses: Borgata’s parent company, MGM, and Golden Nugget. Only MGM, however, is seeking a license to offer online poker.

While this might seem like good news, it is likely to draw some players away from the New Jersey poker market until a combined player pool becomes a reality.

For now, though, let’s focus on the key stories from the US regulated poker scene since our last report published on Oct. 24:

  • All three online poker sites are showing positive trends for peak traffic history.
  • WSOP.com began hosting Coast 2 Coast III. The magic might be wearing thin as the online poker site contributed to the prize pool for only the third time since the launch of shared liquidity.
  • PokerStars NJ for the seventh time since June 4 adjusted its guarantee, lowering it to $30,000. Even so, it still had to contribute to the prize pool.
  • partypoker NJ is busy maintaining the status quo. There were no big wins and no big losses. They are playing the “slow and steady wins the race” game.

Now, let’s take a look back at the tournament and cash game trends for the two-week period ending Nov. 4, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

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Major online poker tournaments summary

A tournament series with a big guarantee seems to be the strategy the three major New Jersey poker sites are sticking with.

Coast 2 Coast III began on WSOP.com on Nov. 4. The $320 Coast 2 Coast III Event #2 with $125,000 guaranteed replaced WSOP.com’s regular $100,000 buy-in tournament.

The event had a $5,600 overlay. It’s only the third time since the launch of shared liquidity that a WSOP.com Sunday major tournament failed to exceed its guarantee.

Players may be losing their love affair with bigger-than-normal buy-in tournaments. They happen practically every weekend and aren’t so special anymore.

Also, of note is another lowering of the Sunday major guarantee by PokerStars NJ. PokerStars NJ has altered the guarantee of its weekly Sunday major tournament seven times since June 4. Only one of those times was the guarantee raised. Even with the new lower guarantee, it still failed to attract enough players to meet it.

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, was not available. To avoid affecting the trend line, we averaged the entries from the week before and the week after.

Online poker in New Jersey is stagnant. There is no denying it.

It’s interesting that in the short term, both WSOP.com and partypoker NJ have slightly positive trend lines, while PokerStars NJ has a slightly declining one.

Taking a look at the total entries since the launch of shared liquidity paints a more accurate picture of the tournament trend in the Garden State.

Overall, tournament poker is on the decline, with a few good weekends here and there.

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, was not available.

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018:

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Coast 2 Coast III #2 $125,000 Guaranteed 398 $125,000 $119,400 -$5,600
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 142 $30,000 26,412 -3,588
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 181 $35,000 $36,200 $1,200

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

There is a little bright light in the seven-day rolling average cash game numbers – at least for WSOP.com.

In the last report, WSOP.com was averaging about 180 cash game players. At the end of this latest two-week period, it was averaging 190. The result is one the most positive trend lines we’ve seen in a while.

Unfortunately for PokerStars NJ, it saw an exodus of an average of five players. Per usual, partypoker NJ saw no change.

Looking at the chart, you can see a big dip in traffic at the end of October for PokerStars NJ. We reached out to the site for an explanation but never received a reply. We do know that Run It Up Reno was underway and that is a huge attraction for the PokerStars community in the US.

Peak traffic is following a pattern of a few good days and then a few not-so-good days. The good news is all three online poker sites are showing positive trends. Granted PokerStars NJ and partypoker NJ are barely in positive territory, but WSOP.com again is showing a very healthy trend line.

Factors impacting U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

The Coast to Coast Classic III will continue through Nov. 18. It has 51 events and guarantees over $1.5 million of prize money plus a Champion’s Belt to the Main Event winner. While it didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, the Main Event is likely to smash its $200,000 guarantee.

Other than that, there is still a glimmer of hope that Pennsylvania coming online will provide a much-needed boost to the New Jersey online poker scene.

The reality, though, is that Pennsylvania is probably a lot further away from being in a position to combine player pools with New Jersey. There is always hope (who are we to try to take that away from you?), but don’t put any real money on a combined player pool anytime soon.

In other words, the stagnant New Jersey poker scene is likely to stay stagnant for a while longer.

We will keep our eyes on the New Jersey poker scene, and the complete U.S. regulated online poker landscape and report back here on Nov. 20.

NJ Online Poker Festivals Result In Increased Tournament Entries

NJ Online Poker

Once again, a review of the New Jersey online poker industry brings a mixed-bag of news.

Tournament entries were on the rise thanks to a plethora of festivals on the schedule. Cash games, on the other hand, can’t seem to gain any traction.

Right now, online poker is taking a back seat to its more popular cousin, legal sports betting. It is a scenario that is not likely to change anytime soon.

For now, though, here are the key stories from the U.S. regulated poker scene since our last report published on Oct. 9:

  • Tournament entries are showing a positive trend line for all three operators
  • Peak traffic numbers are once again showing a positive trend for WSOP.com
  • PokerStars NJ posted its highest number of tournament entries since May
  • partypoker NJ held its first $100,000 guaranteed tournament since the launch of shared liquidity

Now, let’s take a look back at the tournament and cash game trends for the two-week period ending Oct. 21, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

Major online poker tournaments summary

It didn’t matter which site you fired up these past two weeks, you would have found yourself in the middle of a poker festival.

PokerStars NJ continued to host the ever-popular NJCOOP which came to a close with the Main Event on Oct. 14.

WSOP.com ran the Fall Poker Classic, hosting events from Oct. 14 – 21. And partypoker NJ brought back the Garden State Super Series, which also ran from Oct. 14 -21.

All that poker tournament activity resulted in positive trend lines emerging for all three operators. In fact, both PokerStars NJ and partypoker NJ posted more entries for their Sunday majors then they have seen since May.

Take out the WSOP.com Online Bracelet events and Online Circuit events and you can say the same for WSOP.com.

partypoker NJ hosted its first $100,000 guaranteed tournament since May. Players almost always turn out for tournaments with big guarantees.

Unfortunately, though, partypoker NJ still had to pull out the checkbook having missed the guarantee each week. PokerStars NJ also failed to register enough players for the NJCOOP Main Event with a $150,000 guarantee.

WSOP.com was the only operator to meet its posted guarantee both weeks. And while that is good news for the online poker site, let’s see what next week brings.

Remember, the online poker site failed to meet its regular Sunday guarantee just one week prior to the beginning of the Fall Poker Classic event.

The bump in tournament entries is certainly good news for NJ poker. However, the good news is likely to be short-lived. All three operators are scheduled to return to their regular Sunday schedules next week.

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly NLH $100,000 Guaranteed 370 $100,000 $111,000 $11,000
PokerStarsNJ $500 NJCOOP-42 NLH $150,000 Guaranteed 305 $150,000 $143,350 -$6,650
partypokerNJ $215 GSSS #2 – NLH $60K Guaranteed 279 $60,000 $55,800 -$4,200

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Fall Poker Classic #8 NLH $125,000 Guaranteed 483 $125,000 $144,900 $19,900
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special $35,000 Guaranteed 210 $35,000 $39,060 $4,060
partypokerNJ $320 GSSS #22 – NLH $100,000 Guaranteed 274 $100,000 $82,200 -$17,800

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

While tournaments were seeing a spike in tournament entries, the traffic did not filter over to the cash game side of things.

While WSOP.com gained an average of 10 cash game players, both PokerStars NJ and partypoker NJ remained exactly the same. The problem is such small numbers aren’t that impactful to the bottom line.

To illustrate the point is WSOP.com’s declining cash game traffic trend. The drop off in cash game players since the end of the World Series of Poker is significant. Small increases to its cash game traffic numbers aren’t enough to reverse the trend.

The lackluster charts for PokerStars NJ and partypoker NJ also tells a story. Not a pretty story, but one nonetheless.

Partypoker NJ continues to sport a flat trend line when it comes to average cash game traffic. Last week, we pointed out the online poker room has been posting the most consistent numbers of the three major operators. That is still true and its the best of the bunch.

Peak traffic numbers continue to show a declining trend. Even though there are noticeable spikes on WSOP.com’s chart, the numbers weren’t enough to reverse it.

The spikes were on Oct. 9 (Tuesday) and Oct. 14 (Thursday). PokerStars NJ and partypoker NJ saw similar, if less pronounced, spikes on the same days. Tuesdays and Thursdays historically seem to be busier days for cash games.

Only partypoker NJ was able to stave off of the dreaded declining trend. Before you get too excited, it is not positive either. Honestly, a flat trend line in this environment is a good thing.

Factors impacting U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

Ironically, Pennsylvania sports betting might impact NJ poker in the coming weeks. The first few sportsbooks are preparing to launch soon.

That means fewer sports bettors/poker players heading to the Garden State for some Sunday action. We’ll have to wait and see the impact it will have on NJ poker – and sports betting for that matter.

Currently, there are no tournament series on the schedule. Expect the declining tournament entries trend to return. Of course, it seems like a tournament series launches at the drop of the hat these days. So, all hope is not lost.

We will keep our eyes on the New Jersey poker scene, and the complete U.S. regulated online poker landscape and report back here on Nov. 4.

New Jersey Online Poker Outlook: Fair To Partly Cloudy

New Jersey

New Jersey poker players are still flocking to tournaments more so than cash games. Thankfully, the news is not bad. But it isn’t great either.

There were some tournament overlays during the past two weeks, and some cash game players went into hiding, but nothing too drastic.

Overall, New Jersey poker keeps chugging along waiting for the next big thing. What that is remains a mystery.

Most are pointing to Pennsylvania coming online as the jump start New Jersey online poker needs. We are not so sure.

Even when it does launch online poker, Pennsylvania likely won’t join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) immediately.

So for the foreseeable future look for New Jersey poker to keep doing its thing and keep banking on a big poker tournament series here and there to add a little excitement.

Here are the key stories from the U.S. regulated poker scene since our last report published on Sept. 25 are:

  • New Jersey’s three major poker operators all posted positive tournament trend lines
  • The WSOP.com Online Circuit event ended on a high note
  • PokerStars NJ‘s NJCOOP takes center stage
  • partypoker NJ reports the most consistent numbers of the bunch

Now, let’s take a look back at the tournament and cash game trends for the two-week period ending Oct. 7, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

  • US Players Accepted
  • Online poker sweepstakes for real cash prizes
  • Visa/Mastercards Accepted
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Major online poker tournaments summary

Two major tournament series descended on the New Jersey poker scene on Sept. 30. WSOP.com hosted its 13th and final Online Circuit event, and PokerStars NJ kicked off the always popular NJCOOP.

The WSOP.com Online Circuit event was a huge success. It met all of its guarantees and handily. PlayNevada.com spoke to Bill Rini at the conclusion of the event to get his take.

“We were actually quite surprised at how well the event performed. We were aware that a lot of players wanted something like this on the schedule, but we were truly blown away at the draw. We thought our guarantees were fairly in-line, but when every event is doubling or tripling the guarantee, it shows we underestimated the demand.”

Piggybacking on that success, all three operators are showing positive trend lines when looking back on the last two months of tournament data. It’s the first time in quite a while that we’ve been able to say that. Granted, partypoker NJ is mostly flat, but a little something is better than nothing in this environment.

Making its Sunday major guarantee was almost a certainty for WSOP.com over the last few months. Without the Online Circuit event on the schedule, the online poker room went into overlay territory for only the second time since the launch of shared liquidity.

You might assume the players went over to PokerStars NJ. You would be wrong. PokerStars NJ actually had fewer tournament players during its NJCOOP event than WSOP.com had on its regular Sunday major.

For now, let’s just keep our eyes on those positive trend lines and hope for a repeat in a few weeks time. 

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $525 Circuit Event #13 – Main Event 439 $200,000 $341,000 $141,000
PokerStarsNJ $250 NJCOOP-05 Sunday Special, $60,000 Guaranteed 285 $60,000 $66,405 $6,405
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 157 $35,000 $31,400 -$3,600

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly $100,000 NLH 245 $100,000 $73,500 -$26,500
PokerStarsNJ $350 NJCOOP-25 Sunday Special, $70,000 Guaranteed 224 $70,000 $73,472 $3,472
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 174 $35,000 34,800 -200

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

The seven-day rolling average cash game traffic report is anything but exciting. It keeps posting a slightly declining trend line.

The only exception came during the few days when WSOP.com and PokerStars NJ hosted a big tournament. You can see the blip on the charts.

It doesn’t seem that PokerStars NJ was as attractive to players as WSOP.com’s Online Circuit event. Of course, that most likely has to do with the fact the WSOP.com’s player pool includes Nevada and Delaware.

The expectation was that some of the cash game players would jump ship over to PokerStars NJ once the Circuit event concluded. They jumped ship, all right. But they left the online poker scene altogether.

On average WSOP.com lost 30 cash game players, PokerStars NJ lost five, and partypoker NJ stayed the same. In fact, of all three poker operators, partypoker NJ has posted the most consistent figures. It is not helpful that it remains solidly in third place, though.

New Jersey’s online poker forecast is fair to partly cloudy at best — at least until more states join the MSIGA.

Peak traffic continues to spike a few days a week, but overall, traffic is trending downward over the last month.

With two big tournaments on the schedule for Sept. 30, one might expect a decent peak traffic number. However, that is not the case. Instead, that day posted some of the lowest peak traffic numbers of the month.

Factors that will impact U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

PokerStars NJ continues to host NJCOOP through Oct. 15. The big finale comes on Oct. 14 with the $500 NJCOOP-42 NL Holdem $150,000 guaranteed Main Event.

Online poker is entering its slow season. It would not be surprising to see an announcement of another tournament series soon.

It seems as if the industry is a one-trick pony these days. Players hop from one tournament to another, so the online poker rooms are giving them what they want. partypoker NJ hasn’t hosted one in a while; maybe it is time.

We will keep our eyes on the New Jersey poker scene, and the complete U.S. regulated online poker landscape and report back here on Oct. 23.

New Jersey Online Poker Gets Some Of Its Tournament Mojo Back

NJ Online Poker

It is good to know New Jersey poker players still love their tournaments. Over the past week, players have been flocking to WSOP.com for their chance to win one of 13 WSOP Circuit gold rings.

There is more good news on the horizon. Once the Online Circuit event concludes, PokerStars NJ will pick up where WSOP.com leaves off with its 47-event NJCOOP.

While things are looking up in the tournament world, cash games are still just hanging on. Shared liquidity just didn’t increase the player pool in the Garden State enough to make much of a difference.

Even so, it is nice to finally report some good news about the New Jersey online poker scene for a change.

Here are the key stories from the U.S. regulated poker scene since our last report published on Sept. 11 are:

  • All three operators exceeded their major tournament guarantees for two weeks in a row
  • WSOP.com is hosting the Online Circuit event and is posting some big numbers
  • PokerStars NJ took a hit in cash games this week posting some of its lowest numbers in months
  • partypoker NJ is just chugging along without any big wins or significant losses

Now, let’s take a look back at the tournament and cash game trends for the two-week period ending Sept. 23, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

Major online poker tournaments summary

Finally, some good news to share. For the first time in two months, all three operators exceeded their guarantees for both of the last two Sundays.

This is a big deal. There have only been three other Sundays since shared liquidity launched on May 1 that all three operators avoided paying out of pocket.

WSOP.com is in the middle of hosting the inaugural WSOP.com Online Circuit tournament series. The 13-event series promises over $700,000 guarantees and 13 gold rings.

So far, every tournament smashed its guarantee. It must feel good to both WSOP.com and the players to have some of the WSOP mojo back.

WSOP.com combines the player pools between Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey and that undoubtedly contributes to its tournament success. It will be interesting to see if PokerStars’ NJCOOP will have similar success or if shared liquidity really does have an impact. Look for NJCOOP kicks off this upcoming weekend.

The declining trends for the past two months are flattening out. They are not quite as sharp as they were immediately following the WSOP.

What is surprising is partypoker NJ showing a slight positive trend. It rarely posts the big numbers that WSOP.com and PokerStars NJ do during a big tournament series. As a result, it doesn’t see the big drop in entries following a series either. It just holds steady week after week.

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly $100,000 NLH 237 $100,000 $100,200 $200
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special, $35,000 Guaranteed 194 $35,000 $36,084 $1,084
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 191 $35,000 $38,200 $3,200

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP WSOp Circuit Event #6 – $320 NLH Monster Stack 579 $100,000 $173,700 $73,700
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special, $35,000 Guaranteed 206 $35,000 $38,316 $3,316
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 191 $35,000 $38,200 $3,200

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

Cash game players usually go where the big tournaments are. After two months of sharply declining trends, WSOP.com is finally back on an upward climb.

It appears most of the players came from PokerStars NJ. Its seven-day rolling cash game average fell into the 70s for an entire week. The only time it has been consistently that low is during the WSOP. Of course, that is when half of New Jersey poker players make the trek to the Nevada desert.

No doubt, PokerStars NJ is hoping to reverse the trend when it takes over tournament hosting duties from the WSOP.com this weekend.

While the tournament baton passes from WSOP.com to PokerStars NJ, partypoker NJ will most likely be hanging steady. partypoker NJ is consistently in third place, but it hasn’t had the fluctuations in numbers the other two online poker sites have had.

Peak traffic numbers are still showing declines across the board. The sites seem to have a hard time posting solid traffic for more than a few days in a row.

Even the very popular Online Circuit event doesn’t seem to be impacting peak traffic numbers consistently day after day. Although, WSOP.com did produce some noticeable spikes in traffic during the past week.

Factors that will impact U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

We’ll be watching tournament traffic transition from WSOP.com to PokerStars NJ this next weekend. WSOP.com will be wrapping up the Online Circuit event, and PokerStars will be starting NJCOOP.

The series will likely be huge considering PokerStars NJ is giving away three coveted Platinum Passes. The schedule consists of 47 events and over $1 million in guarantees.

We will keep our eyes on the New Jersey poker scene, and the complete U.S. regulated online poker landscape and report back here on Oct. 9.

Image courtesy of Larry Kang/Flickr

NJ Online Poker Treads Water Heading Into Two Big Tournament Series

NJ online poker

There is a lot of excitement in New Jersey these days. Unfortunately, it isn’t around online poker. Instead, all eyes are on legalized sports betting as the first big week of betting on football concludes.

A weekend full of games and mobile sports betting did nothing to help bolster the fledgling online poker market. The good news is it didn’t really hurt it either.

Consequently, the bottom line is online poker in New Jersey is just treading water.

Here are the key stories from the U.S. regulated poker scene since our last report published on Aug. 28 are:

  • The three major online poker networks are showing declining trends across the board
  • WSOP.com continues to show the sharpest declining trends post World Series of Poker
  • PokerStars NJ gave a few cash game players back to WSOP.com
  • partypoker NJ is holding steady and remains relatively flat across the three major metrics

Now, let’s take a look back at the cash game and tournament trends for the two-week period ending Sept. 9, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

  • US Players Accepted
  • Online poker sweepstakes for real cash prizes
  • Visa/Mastercards Accepted
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Win up to 4,000 on entry of 2

Major online poker tournaments summary

The poker tournament schedule was void of any major tournament series over the past two weeks, and it shows. Not even Sunday football was successful in attracting players to the virtual felt.

With the launch of New Jersey mobile sports betting, there was hope that players would fire up their poker client while rooting on their favorite team. The hope was short-lived.

Each online poker site held their regular scheduled Sunday Major tournaments, with one exception. WSOP.com lowered its Sunday $100,000 guarantee to $75,000 over the Labor Day holiday.

It was surprising to see WSOP.com lower its guarantee. It has, after all, handily met its guarantee all but once since the launch of shared liquidity.

WSOP.com, thanks to the lower guarantee, generated prize pools well north of the posted guarantee. PokerStars NJ and partypoker NJ, however, posted overlays for each of their major Sunday tournaments.

The tournament scene is likely to get a boost with two upcoming tournament series on the docket.

From Sept. 18 through Sept. 30, WSOP.com will offer the first WSOP.com Online Circuit event. The series boasts over $700,000 in guarantees and will award 13 rings over the 13 days of play.

WSOP.com combines the player pools between Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. This Online Circuit series stands to impact New Jersey online poker more than most.

Right on the heels of the WSOP.com Online Circuit event, PokerStars NJ is bringing NJCOOP back to the Garden State. The popular tournament series will run from Sept. 29 through Oct. 15 and guarantee over $1 million in prizes. The 47-event series will also be giving away three Platinum Passes.

There is a lot of excitement around the inaugural online circuit event and the return of NJCOOP to New Jersey’s online poker rooms. Let’s hope that enthusiasm translates to some large prize pools.

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly $175,000 NLH 213 $75,000 $92,100 $17,100
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special, $35,000 Guaranteed 146 $35,000 $27,156 -$7,844
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 150 $35,000 $30,000 -$5,000

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly $100,000 NLH 247 $100,000 $113,100 $13,100
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special, $35,000 Guaranteed 181 $35,000 $33,666 -$1,334
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 168 $35,000 $33,600 -$1,400

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

Much like the tournament report, the cash game numbers are relatively unexciting. That is actually not entirely bad news.

For the past month, we’ve seen an exodus of poker players in the online poker market. For the past few weeks at least, all three operators are holding relatively steady.

WSOP.com gained some cash game players while PokerStars NJ lost a few, but overall there were not any big shifts like we saw a month ago. The loss of players post WSOP is still affecting WSOP.com’s sharply declining trend line. Expect that to begin to flatten out over the coming weeks.

Peak traffic numbers, with the exception of some good days, seem to be on a constant decline. When you think about it, it’s a pretty interesting number to track.

If a more significant number of players on a site at one time has the power to attract more players, then this number tells a pretty grim story. Most poker players prefer to play when the most games were running. Knowing that, the peak traffic number should continue to climb, or at the very least hold steady. Instead, it continues to decline.

It will be interesting to see how a month of big tournaments will impact the cash game and peak traffic numbers.

Factors that will impact U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

Obviously, the most significant factor to impact New Jersey online poker is the two upcoming New Jersey online poker tournaments. Both series are sweetening the pot enough to entice serious poker players in the region to set up shop in the Garden State for a while.

The excitement around sports betting is another area that may impact poker. New Jersey is now home to seven sportsbooks. Avid sports bettors (which describes many poker players) may choose to spend their evenings and weekends at their favorite sportsbook. Of course, that may result in taking players away from the virtual felt.

Pennsylvania, which many hope will launch online gaming soon is taking its sweet time in doing so. While we continue to keep an eye on the state’s progress, don’t expect any movement in the near future.

We will keep our eyes on the New Jersey poker scene, and the complete U.S. regulated online poker landscape and report back here on Sept. 25.

New Jersey Poker Posting Declining Traffic Trends Across The Board

NJ online poker

Where in the world are the poker players? Apparently, not in New Jersey.

There was hope that legal sports betting and shared liquidity in the Garden State would give the poker market a much-needed boost. So far, it seems to be having the opposite effect.

Usually, when one site loses some cash game players, another gains them. This week, players just didn’t show up to the tables.

Here are the key stories from the U.S. regulated poker scene since our last report published on Aug. 14 are:

  • The report shows declining or relatively flat trends across the board for cash games and tournaments
  • WSOP.com continues to lose cash game players
  • The bump PokerStars NJ saw in the last report vanished
  • partypoker NJ is showing the only positive trend line in the report in tournament entries, but it is nothing to write home about

Now, let’s take a look back at the cash game and tournament trends for the two-week period ending Aug. 26, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network
WSOP.com 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
partypokerNJ partypoker Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ

Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.

Major online poker tournaments summary

These past two weeks there were no tournament series on the schedule. Each of the operators held their regular scheduled Sunday Major tournaments, and the results are anything but newsworthy.

Tournament entries continue to decline. The only time an operator seems to get a good boost is when they hold a tournament series.

Even so, a good series doesn’t pack the punch it used to as evidenced by WSOP.com posting its first overlay since shared liquidity in our last report.

The only New Jersey online poker site to enjoy a combined player pool with Nevada and Delaware, WSop.com did garner enough entries to meet its guarantees both weeks. The prize pools are far-off from some of the highs it posted during the World Series of Poker, though.

PokerStars NJ just met its guarantee one week, and just missed it the other. partypoker NJ failed to meet its guarantees both weeks. That makes it only four times since shared liquidity launched on May 1 that the site did not have to write a check to the prize pool.

The bottom line is WSOP.com continues to show a sharply declining trend. However, PokerStars NJ and partypoker NJ are showing relatively flat trends.

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly $100,000 NLH 294 $100,000 $132,000 $32,000
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special, $35,000 Guaranteed 186 $35,000 $34,596 -$404
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 170 $35,000 $34,000 -$1,000

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly $100,000 NLH 243 $100,000 $110,000 $10,000
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special, $35,000 Guaranteed 191 $35,000 $35,526 $526
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 160 $35,000 $32,000 -$3,000

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

There is not a whole lot to say about cash games and peak traffic data from the past two weeks. All three operators are showing declining trends in both categories.

WSOP.com is showing the most severe trend line of the three. Looking at the past four to six weeks, it seems as if the online poker sites are settling into a new normal – and it is not good.

partypoker NJ was the only site not to lose cash game players in the past two weeks, but it didn’t gain any either. In our last report, it posted a seven-day rolling average of 50 cash game players, and in this report it holds steady.

WSOP.com and PokerStars NJ aren’t as lucky as partypoker NJ. WSOP.com shows a seven-day rolling average of 190 cash game players, while PokerStars NJ had 90. That is 50 and 10 fewer cash game players, respectively, when compared to our last report.

The peak traffic numbers, as they often do, follow the cash game trends. Not much else to say except there is a declining trend in peak traffic across the board.

Factors that will impact U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

This report is starting to sound a bit like a broken record. It is a troubling sign that players are leaving, not just a site, but the market. It is August, and historically, it is a slower time for New Jersey poker. Let’s hope that is all there is to it.

Hopefully, the exodus of cash-game players is a one-off event, and we’ll see the players start to come back in our next report.

Unfortunately for poker players, sports betting seems to be getting all the attention these days. It is especially true with football season just around the corner.

No one would argue that something drastic needs to happen to shake up the New Jersey online poker market. Will Pennsylvania joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement be the thing? One can hope.

For now, though, it would not be surprising to see a poker tournament hit one or more of the online poker rooms in the coming weeks.

We will keep our eyes on the New Jersey poker scene, and the complete U.S. regulated online poker landscape and report back here on Sept. 11.