Both average cash game traffic and peak cash game traffic posted a decline at 4.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. The busiest night of the week was Monday for the second week in a row with 666 players showing up to play poker.
Tournament entries remained flat at 578 entries spread among the three most significant tournaments of the weekend. All three of the major operators (Pala Poker data was unavailable), entered overlay territory, with PokerStars contributing $7,242 to the player prize pool to meet its $45,000 guarantee – the largest overlay of the group.
New Jersey traffic highlights for the week ending April 8
- PokerStars was the only operator to post a decline in both cash game traffic (10.4 percent) and tournament entries (11 percent) last week after being the only operator to post a positive number the week prior. Look for PokerStars to rebound as NJSCOOP gets underway on Saturday.
- partypoker posted a 12.6 percent increase in cash game traffic, the largest of the big three. It had the smallest decline in tournament entries at 2 percent. Even so, it still contributed a significant $3,400 to the player prize pool.
- WSOP/888 was the best performing network for tournament entries, posting a 17 percent increase over last week’s number. It added $1,600 to the prize pool, the smallest overlay of the week. WSOP/888 fell into negative territory in average cash game traffic, seating 4.4 percent few players on average. The Spring Show Me Series is on the calendar for WSOP.com beginning Sunday. It is likely to have little impact on their overall numbers for next week, though.
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 8, 2018.
New Jersey’s online poker operators
New Jersey has seven online poker sites operating on four separate networks.
During the week of April 2 – 8, 2018, New Jersey online poker sites averaged 240 cash game players, a decrease of 4.5 percent from the previous week’s number of 252.
Peak traffic numbers came in at 612 players, a decrease of 1.6 percent from the previous week’s figure of 622.
For the second week in a row, the busiest day of the week fell on Monday with the peak number of players reaching 666. That was a significant decline over last week’s number of 700.
Here’s how those players are distributed across the four online poker networks.
- Platform provider: partypoker
- Sites in the network: BorgataPoker.com – NJ.PartyPoker.com – Poker.NJ.PlayMGM.com
partypoker bounced back from a 7.1 percent decrease in cash game traffic last week to a 12 percent increase this week. The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for partypoker was 184 cash game players compared to the previous week’s number of 164.
The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for WSOP/888 was 183 cash game players compared to last week’s number of 191. While its 4.4 percent decrease in traffic is not as severe as last week’s decline of 21.8 percent, this is not a good look for WSOP/888 as they prepare for a busy summer at the WSOP.
PokerStars posted the only increase in traffic last week. It wasn’t so lucky when this week ended, showing a 10.4 percent decrease. The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for PokerStars was 232 cash game players compared to the 259 players that the site averaged last week.
- Platform provider: Pala
- Sites in the network: PalaPoker.com
The seven-day rolling peak traffic average for Pala Poker was 13 cash game players, which is a 57.9 percent increase compared to last week’s traffic number of 8 players. And while the traffic numbers are low compared to the other operators, this is the most significant increase Pala Poker has posted in months.
Evaluating cash game traffic trends
It’s the second week of declining traffic for New Jersey’s online poker cash games. That is not good news for an industry that typically sees a nice bump in April. There is hope on the horizon, however, with the speculation that combining player pools with Nevada is imminent.
A lack of a signature tournament series typically affects cash game traffic and this week was no different. Thankfully, that is about to change. NJSCOOP gets underway on Saturday, April 14 on PokerStars. Additionally, the Show Me Series begins on WSOP.com on Sunday, April 15.
It’s hard to know if the Show Me Series will have much of an impact. The buy-ins are small, and historically, players seem to turn out for the bigger buy-in events which will be found on PokerStars.
In the end, players will be looking for NJSCOOP, and the WSOP Show Me Series to move traffic numbers into positive territory for the next few weeks.
Tournament Report: A look at the Sunday Majors
All New Jersey operators were on their regular Sunday schedule this week.
The major tournaments this week were:
- The Borgata/partypoker/MGM online poker network hosted the $215 Sunday $40,000 guaranteed.
- 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. The data for this tournament wasn’t available at the time the data for tournament play was collected.
Major tournament results for April 8, 2018
There were 578 tournament entries this week, the same number the three most prominent tournaments posted last week.
The distribution of those entries shifted quite a bit, with WSOP/888 the only platform to post an increase. It recovered from the 15 percent decline last week to post a 17 percent increase in entries this week.
Both PokerStars and partypoker posted a decline in entries, 11 percent and two percent respectively. Once again, we were unable to access Pala Poker’s tournament data for Sunday.
Even though WSOP/888 posted a decent increase in tournament entries, it wasn’t quite big enough to avoid an overlay. The site contributed $1,600 to the prize pool to meet its $40,000 guarantee.
PokerStars added $7,242 to the player prize pool, the most considerable amount of the major sites and more than double partypoker’s contribution of $3,400.
Expect numbers to rebound and land in positive territory for the next few weeks thanks to two tournament series on the calendar.
PokerStars is hosting the extremely popular NJSCOOP beginning on Saturday, April 14. WSOP.com is hosting the Show Me Series beginning on Sunday, April 15.
The Show Me Series will not be directly reflected in next week’s numbers because the buy-ins are small. Even so, WSOP/888 is hoping the series will draw players into the Ultimate Warrior tournament and its cash games.
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: