If May 1, 2018, really was a monumental day for online poker in the United States, then June 23 should now be considered one of great importance as well.
May 1 will be remembered as the day shared liquidity, otherwise known as the pooling of players from all three US states currently offering online poker, officially launched.
It was the day players on the World Series of Poker-branded online poker sites in New Jersey and Nevada, 888 Poker in New Jersey, and the Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway sites using 888 software in Delaware, started competing against each other.
Planting the seeds for US-wide online poker
WSOP.com Head of Online Poker Bill Rini called the day “monumental.” Partly because it meant the framework for widespread online poker across the entire country was finally in place.
The launch of tri-state shared liquidity showed the rest of the country what is possible. It planted the seeds for US-wide online poker. It paved the road towards a return to the game’s glory days in this country. The days when players could log on to any number of online poker sites and play from wherever they were from coast to coast.
It was practically an invitation for every state in the union to pass online poker legislation of their own. An invitation to join in the growing interstate network.
Tri-state shared liquidity came with the promise of improved cash game traffic and infinitely larger tournament prize pools. The numbers have shown that. However, with just three states in the network, they’ve hardly been earth shattering.
Clearly, a return to online poker’s true glory days in the US will have to wait for a few more states to jump aboard. However, the events that unfolded on the morning of June 23 could give the existing network a significant boost.
The show me state
New Jersey isn’t exactly Missouri. But frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies the people there. Sometimes, they need to be shown something before they buy in.
One online poker player from the Garden State showed part of what shared liquidity makes possible on June 23. And now that New Jersey has been shown that, the sky is really the limit for online poker there.
Matt “mendey” Mendez, a 28-year-old stay-at-home father and part-time poker player living in rural New Jersey won a WSOP bracelet on that day — from home.
Mendez took down the second of four online bracelet events on the 2018 WSOP schedule. With that, he became the first person to win a WSOP Bracelet during the annual six-week tournament series while playing outside Nevada.
Mendez’ historic win came in the $565 Pot Limit Omaha online event that drew 657 players and another 566 re-entries. The total field hit 1,223 entries, creating a $635,960 prize pool that paid the top 99 players.
A win for more than just Mendez
Mendez collected $135,077 for the win. A win that will likely give online poker in New Jersey a bigger push than any advertising campaign ever could. All because it let the rest of New Jersey know winning a WSOP bracelet from home was now possible.
Only 107 of the 657 players in the event played online from New Jersey. That’s around 16 percent of the field.
Now that Mendez has proven what is possible, that percentage should go up for the other two online events. The $1,000 No-limit Hold’em online WSOP bracelet event is on June 29. The $3,200 High Roller online WSOP bracelet event is set for June 30.
Online poker will undoubtedly continue to grow in New Jersey. Not to mention on the new tri-state shared liquidity network, and indeed, the entire US. As a result, the day Mendez showed it’s possible to win a WSOP bracelet from somewhere other than Las Vegas is sure to be looked at as another monumental one for the online game.