Cash Game Traffic Is On the Rise For All Three New Jersey Online Poker Platforms

On July 12, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released its latest online gaming revenue numbers for New Jersey.  It probably comes as no surprise that online poker continues to struggle while its casino counterpart continues to thrive.

Overall, online poker brought in $1,757,839 for June 2018. That figure represents a decrease of 5.9 percent from May 2018 when normalized for the extra day in the month.

Also not a surprise is posting huge growth thanks to shared liquidity, while PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ continue to show declines.

The silver lining in the report came with a 1.3 percent increase in revenue when compared to June 2017. Any growth at this point is a positive sign for the fledgling New Jersey online poker market.

There is also some good news to report from the past two weeks. Cash game traffic is on the rise for all three online poker operators. This is the first time since shared liquidity that we’ve seen positive trend lines across the board.

The key stories since our last report published on July 3 are:

  • continued to lead the pack but gave up some ground to PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ
  • Tournaments continue to post lack-luster results
  • Peak cash game traffic and the seven-day rolling average are trending upwards for all three operators for the first time since shared liquidity
  • For the third time in six weeks, PokerStarsNJ lowered the guarantee of its major Sunday tournament

Now, let’s take a look back at the cash game and tournament trends for the two-week period ending July 15, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network 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 excitement of the four online bracelet events is but a distant memory. set out to capitalize from a captive World Series of Poker audience still in Nevada. To do that, it added a $525 $300,000 Guaranteed Player Appreciation Tournament to the schedule on Sunday, July 8.

The tournament logged 572 entries and posted a massive prize pool of $406,500, which shattered the guarantee. This tournament is really the only bright spot in the tournament summary this week.

On that same Sunday, both PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ again failed to meet the guarantees of their Sunday tournament by $7,100 and $8,800, respectively.

The following Sunday, July 15, came with the news that PokerStarsNJ lowered its Sunday guarantee to $30,000. It was the third time since shared liquidity launched and it has reduced its guarantee from $45,000 to $30,000 during that time. PokerStarsNJ now hosts the Sunday major tournament with the lowest guarantee on the schedule.

PokerStarsNJ did exceed its guarantee by $2,700. It’s too early to tell if this is the sweet spot for the online poker platform or not. The last time it lowered its guarantee it also exceeded it, but then it went right back to posting an overlay in the following weeks. posted numbers consistent with its normal Sunday Major tournaments. It exceeded the $100,000 guarantee by $46,700.

partypokerNJ, however, failed to meet its guarantee by $1,000. That is the best of the overlays for the online poker site that consistently comes in third. In fact, partypokerNJ has only met its guarantee twice since the launch of shared liquidity on May 1.

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, July 8, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $525 $300,000 Guaranteed Player Appreciation Tournament 572 $300,000 $406,500 $106,500
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special, $35,000 Guaranteed 150 $35,000 27,900 -7,100
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 131 $35,000 26,200 -8,800

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, July 15, 2018

Tournament Entries Guarantee Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Sunday Weekly $100,000 NLH 489 100,000 146,700 46,700
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special, $30,000 Guaranteed 176 30,000 32,700 2,700
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH 170 $35,000 34,000 -1,000

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

Typically, the tournaments are where the action is. For this report, though, the action is with the cash games. The news is good for all three poker platforms for a change.

When we reported last on July 3, posted a seven-day rolling average of 280 cash game players, and it maintained that number as of July 17. That figure is the site’s highest average, and it helped boost its overall trend line. It appears is settling into its new norm.

Peak traffic numbers are also showing a positive trend line for the online poker site. On July 11, it posted its highest number of 589. Overall, it was a solid two weeks.

Surprisingly, PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ gained some ground in the number of average cash game players.

When we reported, last PokerStarsNJ has a seven-day rolling average of 70 cash game players. It is now posting an average of 80, just five players from its pre-liquidity number of 85.

partypokerNJ reported 45 on the last report and is now showing 55, five more players than its pre-liquidity number of 50.

It is too early to celebrate, but the cash game traffic from the last few weeks is welcomed at the two sites just trying to keep up with

Peak traffic numbers for PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ also saw some of the highest numbers since shared liquidity.

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

With the WSOP coming to a close and no big tournament series on the schedule, a clear picture of the state of regulated online poker in the U.S. since shared liquidity will begin to emerge.

It seems as if PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ were just trying to stay afloat while the WSOP ran its course. Look for new promotions and possibly a tournament series to try and lure some players back to the Sunday grind.

We will keep our eyes on the U.S. regulated online poker landscape and report back here on July 31.