NJ Online Gaming Scoop: Cash Game and Tournament Traffic for April 2

April 3, 2018
NJ Online Gaming Scoop: Cash Game and Tournament Traffic for April 2

Last week, New Jersey online poker posted positive gains in both cash game and tournament traffic. This week was the opposite, with declines in traffic across the board according to PokerScout.com.

Compared to last week, cash games had a 7.6 percent decrease and tournament entries posted a whopping 28 percent decline. All three of the major operators entered overlay territory, with WSOP/888 posting the largest at $7,200.

Peak traffic also took a hit posting an average 8.1 percent decrease. For the first time in three weeks, the busiest day of the week was not Tuesday. Monday claimed the title with a peak traffic number of 700. That number is considerably off last week’s peak high of 843.

New Jersey traffic highlights for the week ending April 1

  • There is no significant winner this week, but if we had to pick one, it would be PokerStars. It posted the only number in positive territory for the week with a 5.6 percent increase in average cash game traffic. However, the gains made there were given back in the five-percent decline in tournament entries. PokerStars did have the smallest drop in entrants and the smallest overlay at $2,592.
  • There may not be a big winner, but there is a big loser – WSOP/888. On average, the network attracted 21.8 percent fewer cash game players then they did last week and registered 15 percent fewer entrants into their Sunday major tournament. WSOP/888 also posted the largest overlay of the week at $7,200.
  • Last week’s big winner, partypoker fell to the middle of the pack this week. They posted a 7.1 percent decline in average cash game traffic. And while they posted a massive 50-percent decline in tournament registrations compared to last week, they posted a smaller overlay ($2,800) than WSOP/888.
  • Pala Poker continues to fight for every player. Tournament data wasn’t available, but it’s unlikely that it hit its guarantee and their cash game traffic suffered a bit, losing on average two players per day.

With that said, let’s take a detailed look back at the cash game and tournament trends in the New Jersey online poker market for the week ending April 1, 2018.

New Jersey’s online poker operators

New Jersey has seven online poker sites operating on four separate networks.

During the week of March 26 – April 1, New Jersey online poker sites averaged 252 cash game players, a decrease of 7.6 percent from the previous week’s number of 273.

Peak traffic numbers came in at 622 players, a decrease of 8.1 percent from the previous week’s figure of 677.

The busiest day of the week fell on Monday with a peak number of players reaching 700. That was a significant decline over last week’s number of 843 which happened on a Tuesday.

Here’s how those players are distributed across the four online poker networks.


The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for partypoker was 164 cash game players. Compared to last week’s traffic average of 176, partypoker ended the week with a 7.1 percent decrease in traffic.


The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for WSOP/888 was 191 cash game players. Compared to last week’s number of 244, WSOP/888 posted a significant 21.8 percent decrease in traffic.

PokerStars NJ

The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for PokerStars was 259 cash game players. Compared to the 245 players that the site averaged last week, PokerStars saw the only increase of the week at 5.6 percent in traffic.

Pala Poker

  • Platform provider: Pala
  • Sites in the network: PalaPoker.com

The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for Pala Poker was eight cash game players, which is a 25 percent decrease compared to last week’s traffic number of 11 players.

*Cash game traffic data provided by PokerScout.com. Collected April 2, 2018.

Evaluating cash game traffic trends

Thankfully, all of the gains from last week’s double-digit increase weren’t lost as cash game traffic once again ventured into negative territory.

This week online poker welcomed on average 252 cash game players. The 7.6 percent decline undoubtedly reflected the lack of a big tournament series and the winding down of several promotions.

The only increase of the whole report belongs to PokerStars. They posted a 5.6 percent increase in cash game traffic compared to last week, welcoming an average 259 players per day to their online poker room. It makes PokerStars the winner of the week by default.

WSOP/888 reported the largest gain in cash games traffic last week and this week they posted the biggest decline, outside of Pala Poker. While Pala Poker lost two players a day on average, WSOP/888 saw the average number of cash game players go from 176 to 164, for a 21.8 percent decrease.

Following the conclusion of GSSS Spring ’18 tournament series last week, it is no surprise that partypoker saw a decline in traffic this week. Honestly, a decrease of 7.1 percent is smaller than expected considering the huge numbers they posted last week.

New Jersey online poker rooms can expect a few slow weeks as operators prepare for their spring promotions and the next wave of tournaments. Look for WSOP/888 to start aggressively promoting satellites and qualifiers to the WSOP in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The event most likely to impact online poker in April is NJSCOOP hosted by PokerStars. The tournament series includes 80 events and offers $1.3 million in guarantees. PokerStars is touting NJSCOOP as the “richest tournament series” held online in the Garden State.

Last year, NJSCOOP shattered its guarantees and based on the performance of GSSS Spring ’18, expect another great turnout. The big question remains will tournament traffic translate to cash game traffic? Check this space in a few weeks to find out.

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Tournament Report: A look at the Sunday Majors

With the conclusion of the GSSS Spring ’18 tournament series last week, All New Jersey operators returned to their regular Sunday schedule next week.

The major tournaments this week were:

  • The Borgata/partypoker/MGM online poker network hosted the $215 Sunday $40,000 guaranteed.
  • The WSOP/888 network hosted the $215 Ultimate Warrior $40,000 guaranteed tournament, also with a $215 buy-in.
  • PokerStars NJ hosted the Sunday Special, a $200 buy-in with a guaranteed prize pool of $45,000.
  • Pala Poker usually hosts the $1,000 Guaranteed Pala Mega Rebuy with a buy-in of $30. The data for this tournament wasn’t available at the time the information for tournament play was collected.

Major tournament results for April 1, 2018

It should come as no surprise that a decline in tournament entries would follow a big tournament series. The amount of the decline, however, is surprising.

Last week, there were 803 tournament entries across the platforms. This week there were 578, accounting for a 28 percent decrease.

Also expected this week was a decline in partypoker’s tournament traffic after posting a huge gain last week due to the GSSS Spring ’18. They registered 50 percent fewer entrants this week then they did last week – the largest decline of all the regulated poker sites in New Jersey.

WSOP/888 and Pokerstars also registered fewer entrants into their Sunday major tournaments by 15 percent and five percent, respectively.

Pala Poker tournament traffic data was unavailable, but they have yet to meet the guarantee for their Sunday major. It’s highly unlikely their numbers would have moved the needle one way or another.

Such a large decrease on the books translated to big overlays for the remaining three operators. One might expect partypoker to claim the largest overlay with such a huge decline in entries. In fact, their $2,800 overlay pales in comparison to the $7,200 overlay WSOP/888 paid out. PokerStars contributed the smallest amount ($2,592) to their prize pool.

Looking ahead, there is a beacon of hope for registering some positive April numbers. As mentioned earlier, PokerStars is hosting NJSCOOP 2018 with events running between April 14-30, 2018. The 17-day series will surely be a considerable boost to PokerStars’ tournament traffic. Click here for the complete schedule and ways to qualify for New Jersey’s richest online poker tournament.

Additionally, WSOP/888 will begin aggressively promoting the World Series of Poker through satellites and qualifiers. Based on those two factors, we are predicting April will end on a strong note.

And with that, here’s a look at the total number of entries for the biggest buy-in tournament held on each of the three leading online poker networks in New Jersey:

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