It has been three weeks since New Jersey joined Nevada and Delaware in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement. The combined player pool is beginning to show its power.
The key stories from the last two weeks:
- WSOP.com hosted the tournament with the largest prize pool in regulated U.S. poker history
- PokerStarsNJ hosted the tournament with the most entries – even surpassing WSOP.com’s marquee event in the Coast to Coast Classic
- Cash game traffic is soaring on WSOP.com and showing only a slight decline on PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ
- Peak cash game traffic is showing a declining trend across the board
Now that you’ve been briefed let’s take a look back at the cash game and tournament trends for the two-week period ending May 20, 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 online poker trends.
Major online poker tournaments summary
WSOP.com hosted the Coast 2 Coast Classic from May 11 – 20. Holding a big tournament series following the combining of player pools was a smart move by WSOP.com. It encouraged poker players that hadn’t done so to create their new accounts and get online.
The series came with over $1,000,000 in guarantees and included 32 events. All but one of the events made their guarantees. This is something even the most popular series over the recent past have failed to do.
The big story, though, is the Coast 2 Coast Main Event. Its $200,001 guarantee was the largest guarantee in regulated U.S. poker – by $1. What’s more impressive is that it shattered the historic guarantee by posting a massive prize pool of $245,642.
PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ both held their regular $45,000 and $40,000 guaranteed Sunday tournaments, respectively.
PokerStarsNJ switched things up by hosting a half-off version on Sunday, May 20. The tournament drew 583 entries for the largest tournament of the two week period.
WSOP.com met its guarantees for both weeks, while PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ did not meet them on May 13. Both sites rebounded and exceeded their guarantees on Sunday, May 20.
Tournament data for Sunday, May 13.
|WSOP||$320 Coast 2 Coast Event #7 – $100,000 NLH||502||$100,000||$150,600||N/A|
|PokerStarsNJ||$200 Sunday Special, $45,000 Guaranteed||216||$45,000||$38,200||$6,800|
|partypokerNJ||$215 Sunday $40,000 Guaranteed NLH||175||$40,000||$35,000||$5,000|
Tournament data for Sunday, May 20.
|WSOP||$500 Coast 2 Coast Event #29 – $200,001 NLH Main Event||526||$200,001||$245,642||$45,641|
|PokerStarsNJ||$100 Half-Price Sunday Special, $45,000 Guaranteed||583||$45,000||$53,519||$8,519|
|partypokerNJ||$215 Sunday $40,000 Guaranteed NLH||214||$40,000||$42,800||$2,800|
Average cash game and peak traffic summary
Shared liquidity has only had a small impact on the cash game seven-day rolling average traffic numbers.
Before the merging of player pools, WSOP.com in Nevada and Delaware averaged 135 cash game players. New Jersey averaged 75 on the network. Since the launch, the combined number is 240. That number equals about 30 additional players on average logging into the site.
PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ have remained relatively 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.
The big question at the beginning of the month was how a combined player pool on WSOP.com would affect PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ. Well, it seems like it is business as usual.
Peak traffic seems to be struggling a bit more than the average traffic numbers. There is a declining trend among all three operators following the merging of player pools.
WSOP.com’s negative trend line is most likely due to low peak numbers on May 18 and 19.
Nevada hosted Electric Daisy Carnival which historically draws players away from the tables. Additionally, the Las Vegas Knights were busy fighting for their spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. These events can easily explain the significant drop in peak traffic for those days.
Surprisingly, partypokerNJ had the best trend line of the bunch. Of course, it is a hollow victory with two outlier days for WSOP.com and two missing days of data for PokerStarsNJ.
Factors that will likely impact U.S. online poker in the coming weeks
In one week, crowds of poker players from around the world will descend on the Las Vegas desert for the 2018 World Series of Poker.
Four online bracelet events, online satellites, and the ability to play live and online at the same time will likely drive online traffic numbers higher for WSOP.com over the coming months.
Expect business as usual for PokerStarsNJ or partypokerNJ. It is unlikely for the sites to try and compete with WSOP.com during this time.
We will be reporting again on the U.S. online poker landscape on June 5.
The first online bracelet will be awarded to a combined player pool, and the WSOP will have a week’s worth tournaments under its belt.