We are still waiting for the historical spring bump in New Jersey online poker traffic to come to fruition.
Overall, both cash game and tournament traffic remained relatively flat for the past week. Usually, one would hope for growth, but after these last few weeks the state can be content to be consistent.
Hopefully, the two series on deck will have a better result in bringing players to the virtual felt.
WSOP.com is offering an Online Circuit Ring Event on March 18 in conjunction with World Series of Poker Circuit in Atlantic City. The event is the first of its kind in New Jersey; WSOP.com held one last month in Nevada.
Both sites are currently running satellites. It will be interesting to see if all the tournament activity will finally translate into cash game traffic.
Of note: This week, WSOP/888poker posted a 52% decrease in cash traffic. This number is so far out of the norm that we consider it an outlier.
We are speculating when we say that there was most likely a problem with data collection or a possible outage that affected the numbers. We are researching the cause and will update this article if more information becomes available.
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 March 11, 2018.
New Jersey’s online poker operators
New Jersey has seven online poker sites operating on four separate networks.
During the week of March 5 – March 11, New Jersey online poker sites averaged 258 cash game players, a slight increase of 1.6% from the previous week’s number of 254.
Peak traffic numbers came in at 563 players, a decrease of 15.3% from the previous week’s figure of 664. The busiest night of the week was on Tuesday, March 6 with 752 players hitting the tables. That number was a significant improvement over last week’s peak of 718 which was on a Thursday.
As mentioned up top, the traffic numbers are somewhat skewed because of 52% decline in traffic on WSOP/888. We have some inquiries out to see if there is an explanation. For now, consider this an outlier most likely caused by an error with the data. If we get confirmation on the actual cause, we will update this article.
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 was basically flat logging 185 cash game players, for a 1.1% increase compared to last week’s number of 183.
The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for WSOP/888 was 105 cash game players. Compared to last week’s number of 220, WSOP/888 posted a 52.3% decrease in traffic.
As mentioned, we consider this week’s number an anomaly and most likely caused by an error with the data. We researched possible causes for such a drastic drop, and there was nothing reported that would explain the numbers posted throughout the second half of the week.
The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for PokerStars was 260 cash game players. Compared to the 250 players that the site averaged last week, PokerStars saw a small increase of 3.7% in traffic.
- Platform provider: Pala
- Sites in network: PalaPoker.com
After two weeks without data, we have cash game traffic numbers for Pala Poker. We were also able to retrieve the numbers from last week for comparison.
The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for Pala Poker was 13 cash game players, a 21% increase compared to last week’s traffic number of 10 players.
Unfortunately, since Pala Poker is still struggling to gain significant traffic, a double-digit increase doesn’t translate to helping the overall landscape.
*Cash game traffic data provided by PokerScout.com. Collected March 12, 2018.
Evaluating cash game traffic trends
As mentioned several times already, the WSOP/888 network saw a significant drop in numbers, about 52%.
Such a drop is usually an indication of a problem with the collection of the data. It could also be attributed to some sort of outage which could affect the numbers for days.
We are attempting to find an explanation but take this week’s traffic trends with a grain of salt.
Eliminating the WSOP/888 from the analysis basically leaves New Jersey cash games posting very small increases – except for Pala Poker which posted a double-digit increase. Of course, that doesn’t mean much with only an average of 17 cash game players.
It’s impossible to see which operator came out on top without accurate numbers from each online poker room. What we do know is Pala Poker is still struggling to find its footing.
The previous week of tournament series failed to translate into a significant increase in cash game traffic. Here’s hoping this week will buck the trend.
Tournament Report: A look at the Sunday Majors
Each week, the four online poker networks host a signature Sunday tournament. The week did not include any significant poker tournament series. The major tournaments this week were:
- The Borgata/partypoker/MGM online poker network hosted a $40,000 guaranteed tournament with a $215 buy-in.
- The WSOP.com and 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.
Major tournament results for March 11, 2018
Sunday, March 11 was the first Sunday in a while where there were no special series on the tournament calendar. All online poker operators offered their regularly scheduled Sunday majors.
Total registrations for the major tournaments was 679 players. Compared to last week’s number of 668, registrations were basically flat.
PokerStars is continuing the overlay trend it set three weeks ago. However, the overlay is shrinking in size each week, coming in this past Sunday at $732.
Pala Poker also posted an overlay, hosting only 17 players to its Sunday tournament. Pala recently lowered the guarantee from $2,000 to $1,000. It would not be a surprise to see them lower the guarantee again.
All eyes will be on partypoker and Borgata who is hosting the Garden State Super Series beginning March 18. Satellites to the GSSS and to partypokerLIVE MILLIONS North America at Playground Casino in Montreal are currently running.
The chance at a live poker package is always popular with the players.
Then there’s the World Series of Poker Circuit currently in Atlantic City with an Online Circuit Ring event also scheduled for March 18.
With two big tournaments scheduled for Sunday, March 18, it seems logical to expect more than the 1.65% increase in registrations realized this week.
And with that, here’s a look at the total number of entries for the largest tournament held on each of the three main online poker networks in New Jersey: