Overall, the past week in New Jersey online poker saw mixed results. Cash games took another dive, while the tournament scene saw the rewards of having two tournament series on the calendar.
It’s fair to hope that a good weekend at the tournament tables would create some extra cash game tables, but that wasn’t the case.
The number of entries for tournaments posted a 15.43% increase, thanks in no doubt to New Jersey Poker Classic II $100,000 guarantee Sunday tournament.
The cash game traffic tells another story. The weekly average cash game traffic decreased by 8.1%, and the peak cash game traffic fell by 6.8%.
Everyone these days is writing about the record numbers for online casino gaming in New Jersey. Yet, online poker still struggles to find the momentum and numbers that were posted only a year ago. Specifically, the online cash game traffic is down 28% from this same time last year.
We’re starting to sound a bit like a broken record, but hope springs eternal that a combined player pool once Pennsylvania gets online will plug the leaks and turn this ship around.
When going through this week’s report, take note that cash game traffic and tournament data were unavailable for Pala Poker at the time of writing of this week’s article.
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 Feb. 25, 2018.
New Jersey’s online poker operators
New Jersey has seven online poker sites operating on four separate networks.
During the week of Feb. 19 – Feb. 25, New Jersey online poker sites averaged 262 cash game players, a decrease of 8.1% from the previous week’s number of 285.
Peak traffic numbers were around 607 players, a decrease of 6.8% from the previous week’s number of 651.
Here’s how those players are distributed across the four online poker networks.
- Platform provider: partypoker
- Sites in network:BorgataPoker.com – NJ.PartyPoker.com – Poker.NJ.PlayMGM.com
The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for partypoker is 168 cash game players. Compared to last week’s number of 169, Borgata remained flat (-.3%).
The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for WSOP/888 is 181 cash game players. Compared to last week’s number of 229, WSOP/888 saw a significant 20.7% decrease in traffic.
The seven-day rolling peak traffic average remained at 253 cash game players, the same number as last week.
- Platform provider: Pala
- Sites in network:PalaPoker.com
Cash game traffic and tournament data were unavailable for Pala Poker at the time this article was written.
*Cash game traffic data provided by PokerScout.com. Collected Feb. 27, 2018.
Evaluating cash game traffic trends
PokerStars remains in the top spot capturing a majority of traffic and widening the gap a bit between them and second-place WSOP/888. In fact, partypoker is gaining a little ground on the second-place position.
It’s somewhat surprising that WSOP/888 didn’t have a better week at the cash game tables with the New Jersey Classic II in its final weekend and their $100,000 guarantee Sunday tournament on the schedule.
And while PokerStars had one of the better weeks when talking about cash game traffic, you would expect people logging in for their popular Turbo Series would hang out and play some cash, giving them a nice little bump.
Alas, neither scenario seems to be the case.
Looking ahead, the New Jersey Turbo Series is still running throughout the week on PokerStars, and while nothing has been confirmed, we are expecting another round of satellites from WSOP/888 sometime soon.
Additionally, looking back at last year’s data, there is a growth trend in cash game traffic that happened from late March through mid-April. It’s hard to say with the numbers so far off from last year if we will see a similar increase this year.
Tournament Report: A look at the Sunday Majors
Each week, the four online poker networks host a signature Sunday tournament. This week the major tournaments were:
- The Borgata/partypoker/MGM online poker network hosted a $40,000 guarantee tournament with a $215 buy-in.
- The WSOP.com and 888 network hosted a $500 buy-in, $100,000 guaranteed NLH tournament as part of the New Jersey Poker Classic II that ended this past weekend.
- PokerStars NJ hosted the Sunday Special, a $200 buy-in with a guarantee of $45,000.
- Pala Poker usually hosts the $1,000 Guaranteed Pala Mega Rebuy with a buy-in of $30, but the information was not available during the writing of this article.
Additionally, while the guarantees are much lower than their signature tournament, PokerStars also hosted The Turbo Series New Jersey this past week. The series will continue through Sunday, March 5.
Major tournament results for Feb. 25, 2018
The bright spot for online poker in New Jersey came on the tournament side of the poker rooms. With a 15.4% increase in total entries for the Sunday majors, it’s fair to say that New Jersey players love their tournament series.
As mentioned, there were two major series on the calendar last weekend – the New Jersey Poker Classic II held on WSOP/888 and The Turbo Series New Jersey on PokerStars. Additionally, the first round of satellites for WSOP events came to a close this past weekend.
WSOP/888 was the big winner with 272 total entries into their NJPC II $100,000 guarantee event, generating a prize pool of $127,024.
PokerStars came in on the other side of the spectrum with 232 total entries into their $200 Sunday Special. The prize pool of $43,152 did not meet the guarantee.
PokerStars’ Sunday major was expected to attract more runners with the Turbo Series underway, but maybe the $100,000 guarantee at WSOP/888 kept players away.
Looking forward, you can expect each of the operators to return to their regularly scheduled Sunday major tournament schedule this coming weekend.
As mentioned, the Turbo Series on PokerStars will run through Sunday, March 4.
Additionally, keep an eye out for some more WSOP satellites to be announced. While we don’t know when they will drop, we do know that more satellites are expected, especially as we get closer to the 49th Annual World Series of Poker.
And with that, here’s a look at the total number of entries for the largest tournament held on each of the three leading online poker networks in New Jersey: