There is no question that we are living in unprecedented times. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the world into a global health crisis and who knows when normal life will resume.

Sports always seemed immune to the news of the day. Sports was our escape. Yet, here we are with a blank calendar after nearly all sporting events have been canceled or postponed.

That leaves the New Jersey sports betting market with very few betting options and the avid sports bettor with an empty bet slip.

On the flip side, NJ online poker has seen a spike in traffic and massive tournament prize pools that were once only found at World Series of Poker online bracelet events.

The source of the increase may be coming from the sports betting market.

Online poker and sports betting have more in common than you might realize. And that is why the avid sports bettor would find America’s card game enjoyable.

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NJ online poker shows signs of life

Atlantic City casinos may be closed, but New Jersey online casinos are open for business. Online poker rooms are thriving as a result.

Now, that sports betting is basically sidelined, the struggling NJ online poker market is seeing a lot more activity.

Coincidence? Probably not.

Without sports to fill the weekends and stay-at-home orders sweeping throughout the nation, it seems sports bettors are turning to online poker.

Just look at the WSOP Online Super Circuit Series as an example.

After canceling its live circuit events, the World Series of Poker turned to online poker to serve up its next major tournament series.

The poker tournament just crossed the halfway mark, and it is obliterating its guarantees. The series guaranteed $1.2 million over 18 events. It only took the first seven events to generate that amount.

This is huge for a poker market that has been taking a back seat to online poker in Pennsylvania and has been on life support for a while now.

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WSOP Online Super Circuit Series

DateTime PSTEventBuy-inGuaranteeEntriesPrize Pool
Mar. 144:00 PM1 - NLH Double Stack$320$50,000570$171,000
Mar. 152:00 PM2 - NLH Monster Stack$215$50,000941$188,200
Mar. 164:00 PM3 - NLH Deep Turbo$215$50,000669$133,800
Mar. 174:00 PM4 - NLH High Roller (6-Max)$1,000$75,000290$276,950
Mar. 184:00 PM5 - NLH$215$50,000859$171,800
Mar. 194:00 PM6 - NLH$320$50,000720$217,800
Mar. 204:00 PM7 - PLO 6-Max$215$30,000454$90,800
Mar. 214:00 PM8 - NLH Double Stack$320$75,000826$247,800
Mar. 222:00 PM9 - NLH Monster Stack$525$150,000636$318,000
Mar. 234:00 PM10 - NLH Freezeout$250$30,000473$110,209
Mar. 244:00 PM11 - NLH BIG $500$500$75,000314$247,977
Mar. 254:00 PM12 - NLH$215$50,000
Mar. 264:00 PM13 - NLH 6-Max$320$75,000
Mar. 274:00 PM14 - NLH Turbo$250$50,000
Mar. 284:00 PM15 - NLH$320$75,000
Mar. 292:00 PM16 - NLH Main Event$525$200,000
Mar. 304:00 PM17 - NLH Knockout$300$30,000
Mar. 314:00 PM18 - NLH Grand Finale HR$1,000$75,000

Sports betting and online poker have a lot in common

It makes sense to attribute the increased interest in online poker in NJ to sports bettors. After all, sports bettors and poker players have a lot in common.

Successful sports bettors and poker players use their knowledge, past performances and instincts to place a bet. The wager might be on a game or a hand, but educated bets based on the analysis of a fluctuating scene is how money is made.

Sometimes those bets work in the player’s favor and sometimes they don’t. In the end, it just needs to work a bit more than it doesn’t to be profitable.

Sports bettors and poker players both:

  • Observe and spot trends
  • Understand and use statistics to make decisions
  • Understand variance
  • Bet within their limits

Sports betting and poker are both games of incomplete information. The more information a player can gather, the better his or her decision-making ability is.

The better the decisions, the more likelihood of a winning bet. Even so, things can and do go wrong. It is how a player uses that information for the next bet that often sets him or her apart.

It is the constant analysis and readjustment to the game plan that attracts a similar type of player to poker and sports betting. So it makes sense that without sports, a bettor would turn to poker.

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More huge NJ online poker tournaments coming soon

There are still seven events left in the WSOP Online Super Circuit Series.

Players from Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey are eligible to play on WSOP.com or 888poker.

What’s more, the success of the Super Circuit Series is likely to catch the attention of the other NJ online poker platforms.

For instance, it was recently reported at Online Poker Report that PokerStars NJ is moving its Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) to April. If it does, it will be the earliest start date of the series in its history.

Kim Yuhl

About

Kim Yuhl has been covering the US online gambling market since 2013. Her work is featured on various sites and covers sports betting, online casino gambling, and online poker. Kim is a full-time traveler and vlogger and is currently slow traveling to 60 countries. You can follow her travels at kimandway.com and on YouTube at kimandway.