- Larger tournaments
- Bigger guarantees
- More cash game players
As month two begins, expect huge tournaments on WSOP.com. Thousands of poker players from around the world are now in the Nevada desert ready to play live and online tournament poker with the goal of winning a gold bracelet.
Didn’t win a gold bracelet in last weekend’s online event? There are three more chances to earn some new jewelry in June on WSOP.com:
- $565 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed June 22 at 3:30 p.m.
- $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em June 29 at 3:30 p.m.
- $3,200 High Roller June 30 at 3:30 p.m.
The key stories since our last report on May 29:
- WSOP.com awarded the first of four bracelets in the largest online tournament in Nevada history
- Peak cash game traffic numbers remained relatively flat
- PokerStarsNJ lowered their weekly major tournament guarantee to $40,000
- partypokerNJ continues to struggle to make their weekly major tournament guarantee
Now, let’s take a look back at the cash game and tournament trends for the two-week period ending June 3, 2018.
U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators
The major U.S. poker operators are:
|Operator||Network Provider||Other Sites in the Network|
|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
There is one major poker story from the last two weeks, and it is WSOP.com’s online bracelet event. Poker players from around the world showed up in droves for their chance at poker glory.
WSOP Event #10 – The $365 Online NLH Bracelet Event
The first of the four online events took place during the opening weekend of the World Series of Poker. On the live tournament schedule was the $550 buy-in The Colossus, which didn’t seem to keep players away and may have even helped boost entries.
If looking purely at the numbers, the tournament was a huge success. Compared to last year’s tournament, there were more players (2,123), more entries (2,972), and a larger prize pool ($974,816). With that number of entries, it also earned the honor of the largest-field tournament ever in regulated US online poker history.
But there was a kink in the armor.
Some players had trouble getting into the tournament. Rumor is it mostly affected international players. With only 19 out of the 2,123 players flying a foreign flag, there seems to be some basis of truth to the rumor.
And then there is the starting time. New Jersey poker players were eligible to play in the tournament for the first time from the comfort of their own home. The starting time of 3:00 p.m. (PT) / 6:00 p.m. (ET) is late for East Coasters who might have to work in the morning.
The tournament lasted until nearly 7:00 a.m. (ET). At the end of a very long night of poker, it was William ‘twooopair’ Reymond who sported a new bracelet and $154,995.74 for his efforts.
Technical glitches and start time aside, it was a great day for online poker and shared liquidity.
The other major Sunday tournaments
A week prior to the online bracelet event, WSOP.com shattered the $100,000 guarantee for its regular weekly tournament by $38,000.
partypokerNJ, on the other hand, posted an overlay of about $6,000 both weeks. PokerStarsNJ also failed to meet its guarantee on May 28. They would have also failed to meet it on June 3 if they didn’t lower the weekly guarantee by $5,000.
It might sound as if WSOP.com is taking tournament poker players away from the other two sites, but that is not the case. The reality is without shared liquidity, the weekly majors struggled to consistently meet its guarantees.
After watching the last month play out, it is likely PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ are anxiously awaiting the launch of online poker in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has already indicated it will join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Compact. It stands to give PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ a boost to their bottom line much like WSOP.com is seeing now.
Tournament data for Sunday, May 27, 2018
|WSOP||$320 Sunday Weekly $100,000 NLH||460||$100,000.00||$138,000.00||$38,000.00|
|PokerStarsNJ||$200 Sunday Special, $45,000 Guaranteed||210||$45,000.00||$39,060.00||-$5,940.00|
|partypokerNJ||$215 Sunday $40,000 Guaranteed NLH||170||$40,000.00||$34,000.00||-$6,000.00|
Tournament data for Sunday, June 3, 2018
|WSOP||WSOP Event #10 – The $365 Online NLH Bracelet Event||2,972||$974,816.00|
|PokerStarsNJ||$200 Sunday Special, $45,000 Guaranteed||244||$40,000||$45,384.00||$5,384.00|
|partypokerNJ||$215 Sunday $40,000 Guaranteed NLH||168||$40,000.00||$33,600.00||-$6,400.00|
Average cash game and peak traffic summary
It is the rolling seven-day cash game average that a combined player pool seems to be benefitting WSOP.com the most, while the other two sites remain relatively flat.
Before the merging of player pools, WSOP.com in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware averaged 210 cash game players independently.
Currently, the combined player pool is posting a seven-day rolling average of 260. An additional 50 cash game players since the launch and 20 more than what was reported two weeks ago.
PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ remained flat post-liquidity with a seven-day rolling average of 85 and 50 cash game players, respectively.
PokerStarsNJ posted a decline of about five players, while partypokerNJ posted a decrease of 10. Both sites are settling into those numbers as they remain unchanged compared to two weeks ago.
Shared liquidity might be having a significant impact on tournaments on WSOP.com, but it has only a small effect on the peak traffic numbers.
After a two-week period of a declining peak traffic trend, all three sites rebounded. Mostly the three sites are relatively flat. WSOP.com is showing a slight upward trend and PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNH showing a slight declining trend.
The peak traffic numbers from all three sites were affected by a slow Memorial Day weekend. Not only is it the unofficial start to summer, but it is also the weekend most poker players traveled to Las Vegas.
Factors that will likely impact U.S. online poker in the coming weeks
The biggest story in the coming weeks for U.S. online poker will continue to be WSOP.com and specifically, the three remaining online bracelet events. Also, watch for online satellites to just about every live WSOP event.
PokerStarsNJ or partypokerNJ will undoubtedly look for ways to piggyback on the success of WSOP.com. A perfect example was the half-priced sale PokerStarsNJ held a few weeks back.
We will be reporting again on the U.S. online poker landscape on June 19. There will not be any online bracelet events for the next few weeks. Even so, players can expect WSOP.com’s Sunday major to continue to shatter guarantees.