NJ Agrees To Share The Online Poker Sandbox With Nevada And Delaware

New Jersey announced it will begin sharing online poker player pools with Nevada and Delaware, which will hopefully invigorate stagnant poker revenue.

After four years of refusing to share, New Jersey is learning to play well with others when it comes to online poker players.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and Gov. Chris Christie announced earlier this month that it will begin sharing players with both Nevada and New Jersey.

New Jersey officials have new enthusiasm about gambling compacts

Previously New Jersey officials seemed uninterested in sharing player pools. This might be in part because New Jersey is the only state with online casinos. Really, New Jersey is the only state generating revenue from online gambling because of it. So, pooling poker players seemed to be a drop in the bucket, and the NJ online gambling bucket was big enough.

However, now the online poker industry in New Jersey not only is not growing much, it is shrinking. While online casino sites in New Jersey continue to grow by leaps and bounds, poker is stalling. The drop-off is such that now pooling players actually does make some fiscal sense for the Garden State.

Christie seemed very optimistic about the upside of the compacts in his official press release:

”New Jersey has been a pioneer in the development of authorized, regulated online gaming, which has been a budding success since its launch in late 2013. Pooling players with Nevada and Delaware will enhance annual revenue growth, attract new consumers, and create opportunities for players and Internet gaming operators.

This agreement marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for online gaming, and we look forward to working with our partners in Nevada and Delaware in this endeavor.”

Currently, New Jersey online gambling comprises 10 percent of total casino revenue in New Jersey. Of that, only 10 percent currently comes from online poker.

WSOP.com will be first to start pooling online poker players

As of now, there is only one operator offering online poker in both New Jersey and Nevada. That is Caesars Entertainment’s site, WSOP.com. Because it is the only site already set up, it is pretty clear it will be the first to offer shared-pool cash games and tournaments.

However, do not expect the site to just flip a switch and go. The compact introduces some new regulatory components, including server locations. It will likely take until 2018 before anything is launched and ready to roll out.

The good news for WSOP.com is that several key competitors might have difficulty getting into Nevada. Most notably, PokerStars. While PokerStars is the market leader in the New Jersey, Nevada regulations actually exclude the company from coming into the state.

Nevada allows individuals who offered offshore gambling after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed to enter the state’s regulated market after a five-year period sitting out. Nevada does not make the same allowance for entities. As such, PokerStars will be on the outside looking in.

Meanwhile, eligible brands like playMGM and Golden Nugget will need to make up lost time setting up shop in Nevada if they want to dig into WSOP.com’s market share.

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WSOP.com

WSOP.com NJ, and its partnership with 888Poker, means the two sites can share a player pool. That’s a huge positive for poker players looking for a game. Yes, WSOP.com’s interface is a bit outdated, but it’s reliable and stable. And now that WSOP integrated its player rewards program with Caesars Total Rewards, players have every reason to sign up at WSOP.com NJ.

Another Swing And A Miss For PokerStars Live In New Jersey

The latest attempt to host a live poker tournament in Atlantic City cost NJ poker online site PokerStars NJ and Resorts Casino over $30,000 in overlay.

Generally, the sentiment try, try again is good advice. However, for PokerStars, a second failure in New Jersey might be a hint that live poker is too tough a market for it to crack.

Last weekend, the online gambling site hosted a live poker series at Resorts Casino under the Megastack banner. Unfortunately for PokerStars, micro or mini was probably most accurate.

PokerStars NJ missed guarantee in both events

The weekend-long series tried to appeal to the small-stakes recreational player with a two-event series that did not interrupt the work week. The Main Event featured a $220 buy-in tournament with four starting flights. More importantly, the event featured a $100,000 guarantee. Additionally, there was a $120 buy-in deep stack tournament with a $25,000 guarantee.

Even though the guarantees were arguably modest, Resorts missed on both fronts. The Main Event drew 409 entries, resulting in around $18,000 of overlay.

The other event fared even worse. WIth only 119 entries, there was $13,100 in overlay. In other words, PokerStars NJ and Resorts put up over half the prize pool.

Granted, the overlay arguably went back into the company’s own pocket. Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker ended up winning the event. He collected $6,220 for his victory, per US Poker.

John Monahan of Egg Harbor Township, NJ won the Main Event. His prize amounted to $19,920.

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Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Second-straight disappointing autumn event for NJ poker

Last fall, PokerStars and Resorts aimed the bar even higher with a full-blown PokerStars Festival event. The week-long series featured a schedule with more than 40 events on it. The Festival offered an array of formats not normally spread in the US. What it did not offer was events with guarantees.

During the series, Resorts staffers canceled a number of events due to lack of interest. The $1,100 buy-in Main Event generated just 208 entries. Meanwhile the High Roller event drew only 16 players.

The thought was the buy-ins on these tournaments were a little too high for the PokerStars NJ customer base. Additionally, the weekday scheduling meant few local amateurs would be interested in playing.

While the Megastack approach addressed those issues, PokerStars still can’t find a foothold in the competitive East Coast live poker market.

If you guarantee it, they will come

Though the Megastack series did feature guaranteed prize pools, unlike the PokerStars Festival, these numbers pale in comparison to the competition.

Take, for example, Borgata’s recent Borgata Poker Open. That series opened up with a $500 buy-in tournament with a $2 million guarantee and a $350 event with a $1 million guarantee. Those guarantees are 20 and 10 times the size of what PokerStars offered at a similar price point.

In one event, Borgata had to put up over $50,000 in overlay, but the turnout of 3,570 entries is likely worth the fiscal sacrifice.

Even for poker series without the guarnteed prize pools of Borgata, the regularity of their schedules keeps drawing customers back. For example, the day the Megastack series ended, Parx Casino in nearby Philadelphia started its latest Big Stax tournament.

The opening flight of that $300 buy-in event ran on a Wednesday, but still generated nearly 300 entries. That is 75 percent of what PokerStars and Resorts generated across four different flights.

So long as PokerStars NJ has neither a monetary nor a consistent presence on the East Coast live tournament scene, it is unlikely they can ever compete with the bigger poker casinos like Borgata, Parx, and even Foxwoods. With added competition from Rivers Casino in NY and major casinos in Massachusetts on the horizon too, it will take a lot more than one event a year for PokerStars NJ to be anything but an online player.

New Jersey’s Live Poker Market Took A Slight Downswing In August

New Jersey’s live poker scene experienced a bit of a dropoff in the month of August. Plus, the results weren’t much better for legal online poker in NJ.

The New Jersey poker scene experienced a bit of a downturn in the month of August.

In fact, according to numbers released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement last week, Atlantic City’s five live poker rooms reported $2,232,229 in revenue for the month of August 2017. This represented a 5.3 percent drop from the same month last year. Atlantic City poker rooms reported $2,357,794 in revenue in August 2016.

Of course, in August 2016, Atlantic City was home to six live poker rooms, not five. The Trump Taj Mahal and its 24-table poker room was still open in August 2016. It reported $80,152 in monthly poker revenue at that time.

Taking away the Taj, the five poker rooms still in operation in Atlantic City posted $2,277,642 in poker revenue in August 2016. However, the August 2017 poker revenue totals were still down $45,413, or approximately two percent, from there.

$244.8 million in total NJ casino revenue

Of course, New Jersey poker room revenues continue to represent just a small percentage of overall casino revenues in the state. In August 2017, the seven Atlantic City casinos posted total gambling revenues of $244.8 million.

In the meantime, New Jersey online poker room revenues appeared to hold steady last month at approximately 10 percent of overall online gambling revenues in the state.

New Jersey online gambling sites reported an overall internet gaming win of $21.3 million in August 2017. Meanwhile, New Jersey online poker sites posted $2.1 million in revenue.

Borgata sets the live poker pace

As far as brick and mortar poker rooms were concerned, the room at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa continued to hold onto its spot as market leader. Borgata claimed its 79-table room pulled in $1,320,943 in poker revenue in August 2017. It is expected those numbers will get up even higher this month with the World Poker Tour stopping at Borgata Sept. 17 to 22.

No other room was even close. The 40-table poker room at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City pulled in $319,169 in revenue to grab second place.

Here’s how the other three Atlantic City poker rooms looked in August 2017:

PokerStars NJ leads online poker

Online, PokerStars NJ continued to lead the local online poker market reporting $821,901 in revenue last month. PokerStars NJ expects its numbers to climb next month as it hosts the $1.2 million guaranteed New Jersey Championship of Online Poker from Sept. 30 through Oct. 16.

Online poker sites operating under the Borgata internet gaming license now include Borgata, Pala, playMGM and partypokerNJ. These sites combined to post $649,905 in revenue in August 2017.

Meanwhile, Caesars’ online poker sites including 888 and WSOP.com combined to record $610,554 in revenue last month.

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Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Image credit: Chekunov / Shutterstock.com

PokerStars Releases Schedule For $1.2 Million NJ Championship Of Online Poker

If you want to play in the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker at PokerStars, now you know exactly when you can play and how much it’ll cost you.

If you want to play in the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker at PokerStars, now you know exactly when you can play, and how much money you’re playing for.

NJCOOP 2017 at a glance

PokerStars NJ released the schedule for the $1.2 million tournament series set to start later this month. It begins Sept. 30 and runs through Oct. 16. Buy-ins start as low as $25 and go as high as $1,000.

In all there will be 46 poker tourneys contested over more than two weeks, with players vying for seven figures in prizes. In addition to popular no-limit hold’em tourneys, the series will also include different poker variants such as mixed games, pot-limit Omaha and more.

Also of note: PokerStars Team Pro Jason Somerville will be playing and streaming the series on Twitch.

The big poker tourneys at PokerStars NJ

If you’re looking to play in some of the biggest online tourneys in New Jersey in 2017, you need to be playing in October.

The NJCOOP wraps up with the main event that will guarantee $200,000 in prizes. Here are the three biggest tourneys on the schedule:

  • Oct. 1 at 5 pm ET: $250 NL Hold’em Sunday Special ($85,000 guarantee)
  • Oct. 10 at 7 pm ET:  $1,000 NL Hold’em High Roller ($80,000 guarantee)
  • Oct. 15 at 5 pm ET: $500 NL Hold’em Main Event ($200,000 guarantee)

Also of note at NJCOOP

Those tourneys aren’t the only ones to play, of course. All 46 events guarantee at least $10,000, making them all worthwhile plays.

If Omaha is your game there is a $500 tourney guaranteeing $30k on Oct. 9. There are also five other Omaha events on the schedule.

If the fast-fold variant Zoom is more your style, there’s even a $15k event for that on Oct. 14.

Here’s the full schedule:

Start DateStart Time (ET)Event #TournamentGuaranteed Prize Pool
Saturday, September 3018:001$100 Nightly Stars - NJCOOP Warm-Up$20,000
20:002$200 NL Hold'em [Turbo] - NJCOOP Warm-Up$10,000
Sunday, October 114:003$200 NL Hold'em [Progressive Super KO]$30,000
15:304$150 NL Hold’em [Deepstack, 8-max]$25,000
17:005$250 NL Hold'em [Sunday Special SE]$85,000
20:006$100 PL Omaha [8-max]$15,000
22:007$150 Sunday SuperSonic SE [Hyper]$15,000
Monday, October 218:308$100 NL Hold'em [Speed-Down]$20,000
20:009$75+R PL Omaha Hi/Lo [8-max]$15,000
Tuesday, October 319:0010$250 NL Hold'em [Super Tuesday SE]$30,000
20:0011$300 NL Hold'em [Heads-Up]$20,000
21:3012$100 NL Hold’em [Bubble Rush]$10,000
Wednesday, October 418:3013$100 NL Hold'em [Progressive Super-KO]$20,000
20:0014$200 Limit Hold'em [6-max]$10,000
Thursday, October 518:3015$300 8-Game [6-max]$10,000
20:0016$50+R NL Hold'em$20,000
21:3017$100 NL Hold’em [Turbo]$10,000
Friday, October 620:0018$200 Triple Stud$10,000
21:3019$50+R NL Hold'em [3-Max, Hyper, Rebuy]$10,000
Saturday, October 717:0020$100 NL Hold'em [Deepstack, 8-max]$20,000
20:0021$200 NL Hold'em [Bigstack, Turbo]$15,000
Sunday, October 814:0022$100 Mixed NLHE/PLO [6-max]$15,000
15:3023$150 NL Hold’em [Win the Button]$20,000
17:0024$350 NL Hold’em [Sunday Special SE]$80,000
19:0025$200 NL Hold'em [Progressive SuperKO]$35,000
21:0026$100 NL Hold’em – No Late Reg! [Shootout, 6-max, Turbo, CAP 216]$10,000
Monday, October 918:0027$300 NL Hold'em [4-max]$40,000
20:0028$500 PL Omaha [High Roller, 6-max]$30,000
Tuesday, October 1018:0029$150 NL Hold'em [1R1A]$20,000
19:0030$1,000 NL Hold'em [High Roller]$80,000
20:0031$100 NL Omaha Hi/Lo [8-max]$10,000
Wednesday, October 1118:0032$25+R NL Hold'em [Rebuy]$15,000
19:0033$200 NL Hold’em [Win the Button]$20,000
Thursday, October 1220:0034$50+R PL Omaha [6-Max, Rebuy]$10,000
21:0035$150 NL Hold'em [Turbo]$20,000
Friday, October 1320:0036$100 PL 5-Card Omaha [8-max]$10,000
21:0037$200 NL Hold'em [Deep, Hyper]$15,000
Saturday, October 1418:0038$300 NL Hold'em [6-max]$30,000
21:0039$75 NL Hold'em [Zoom]$15,000
Sunday, October 1514:0040$100 NL Hold'em [Big Antes]$15,000
17:0041$500 NL Hold'em Main Event [Day 1]$200,000
18:0042$50 NL Hold'em [Main Event Structure]$35,000
20:0043$100 NL Hold'em [Win the Button]$15,000
22:0044$75 NL Hold’em Sunday Supersonic SE [Hyper]$15,000
Monday, October 1619:0041$500 NL Hold'em Main Event [Day 2]$200,000
19:0045$150 NL Hold'em [Nightly Stars SE – NJCOOP Wrap-Up]$20,000
21:0046$100 NL Hold'em [Deep-Hyper, 6-Max]$10,000

Qualifying for NJCOOP

Satellites for NJCOOP are running for as little as a dollar. Other ways to get in on the action include:

  • Daily Second Chance Freerolls with $25K in NJCOOP tickets added
  • Special Spin & Go’s awarding main event seats for just $4.
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Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Play in a PokerStars live tourney, too

If you like live poker tourneys, PokerStars has you covered next month as well.

PokerStars is running its second live tourney offering in the state in October. The Sunday Special Live will guarantee $100,000 Oct. 6-8 at Resorts Atlantic City.

More on that event here.

PokerStars Sunday Special Live Will Arrive On New Jersey Shores In October

PokerStars Live is bringing a weekend of live poker to New Jersey on Oct. 6–8. The Sunday Special Live event will feature two tournaments at Resorts Casino.

PokerStars Live is bringing a weekend of live poker to New Jersey next month.

From Oct. 6–8, the Sunday Special Live event will feature two excellent tournaments at Resorts Hotel & Casino for players in the Garden State.

PokerStars NJ Sunday Special Live

The big event for the festival is the Sunday Special Live. Touted as New Jersey’s biggest online tournament, the Sunday Special runs weekly on PokerStars NJ. For one week only though, it will play out live in Atlantic City.

This $220 buy-in event features four flights, unlimited re-entry in each flight, and a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool.

This event begins with Flight A at 11:00 a.m. ET on Oct. 6, 2017. Flight B launches six hours later at 5:00 p.m.

Flights C & D will occur the following day (Oct. 7) at the same times. Please be aware of the fact that Flights A & C offer 30-minute levels, but B & D’s levels are only 20 minutes in length.

Registration will close on Flight D. The conclusion of the tournament will happen on Sunday, Oct. 8, and play will begin at noon.

Another chance for players who bust out

Oct. 8 also offers another event, potentially for players who came up short in the Sunday Special Live. The $120 Cheap and Deep event launches at 1 p.m., and offers unlimited re-entries for the registration period.

The Cheap and Deep tournament features a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool. Both tournaments are no-limit hold’em events.

Appealingly, both tournaments are MEGASTACK tournaments. This type of tournament means that players will begin with 30,000 in chips, and blind levels will last at least 75 minutes. In fact, in later stages, the blind level duration will increase to 90 minutes.

How to get your seat

There are four great ways to get your seat to this event. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is to win your way in through qualifying tournaments on PokerStars NJ. Both seat plus expenses and seat-only options will be available.

The second method is simply to buy in from your account. Look for the appropriate entry in the online poker client lobby.

You can also buy into this tournament at Resorts itself. All play and registration will occur in the Ocean Ballroom, and live buy-ins must be in cash.

Finally, if you want to use your PokerStars account but feel apprehensive about doing it through the site on your own, you can do so in the Ocean Ballroom the day before the tournament. The PokerStars Online Registrations team will be on-site to assist you if this method appeals to you.

Resorts is offering special rates to players for their stay. Use the code VPOKR17 to get the lowest price for rooms. Parking is free if you show your PSLive card to the attendant.

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Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Image by William Warby / CC BY 2.0

Big Live And Online Poker Tournaments Loom At PokerStars NJ; More Than $1.3 Million Up For Grabs

This fall is a great time to be an online poker player in New Jersey, with more than $1.3 million in prize money on the line thanks to PokerStars NJ.

This fall is a great time to be an online poker player in New Jersey, with more than $1.3 million in prize money on the line thanks to PokerStars.

PokerStars’ second-ever live tournament series in the state is less than a month away, and the online poker site is running qualifiers now. And the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker is set to start later this month.

PokerStars MEGASTACK

The live poker tournament series, called MEGASTACK, will take place Oct. 6-8 at Resorts in Atlantic City.

It is the second time that PokerStars has held a live event in the state. The PokerStars Festival New Jersey took place last fall. PokerStars, a late entrant into the NJ online gambling and poker market, went live in the spring of 2016.

The live event will include two tournaments, with $125,000 in guaranteed prize money:

  • $220 Sunday Special Live – October 6-8, 2017  $100,000 guaranteed
  • $120 NLH Cheap and Deep (Unlimited Re-Entries) – October 8, 2017 – $25,000 guaranteed

Here is the full schedule.

Chess champion, author and Team PokerStars Ambassador Jen Shahade and Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker have both confirmed their attendance.

“This is an everyman event suitable for everyone’s pocket,” said Moneymaker, the former World Series of Poker Main Event champion. “As well as the excellent organization that goes hand in hand with a PokerStars event, the promise of a decent tournament structure and a $125,000 guarantee makes this a must-play event.”

Qualify online in NJ to play live poker

There are still plenty of chances to qualify to play in the Sunday Special Live event. While $20 and $30 qualifiers have and will continue to run at PokerStars, the site is adding even more ways to join the action.

Special offers, including $2.50 Spin & Go’s and daily freerolls awarding free satellite tickets, will run starting Sept. 11. There are also feeder satellites for as little as 50 cents.

Special Mega Satellites will also be held awarding a large number of seats to the Sunday Special Live leading up to the event.

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Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Live tourney coincides with NJCOOP

The MEGASTACK live event from PokerStars takes place in the middle of the NJCOOP, which is back for the second year.

That online tournament series takes place Sept. 30 through Oct. 16 and will feature $1.2 million in guaranteed prize pools. The schedule for the series has not yet been released, but here’s what it looked like in 2016.