NJ Online Gaming Scoop: Cash Game And Tournament Traffic For The Week of Jan. 29

February 7, 2018 975 Reads
NJ Online Gaming Traffic

After a few slow weeks, New Jersey online poker cash game traffic rebounded this week after each of the four online poker operators in the Garden Stated posted an increase in their average peak traffic over the past seven days.

Overall there was an 8.5% increase in the average cash game traffic and a huge 18.9% increase in peak cash game traffic.

That’s good news for the online poker rooms in New Jersey as they have been struggling of late to gain some traction.

And while the weekly and quarterly numbers are in positive territory, for the time being, the overall traffic to the sites is still down 20.7% year over year.

Tournaments take a hit

Unfortunately, the weekly tournament picture wasn’t quite as rosy. Three of the four operators lowered their guarantees for their major tournament this week. And even so, three sites were required to cough up an overlay when their guarantees weren’t met.

Not meeting guarantees wasn’t limited to just New Jersey, though. The special anniversary Sunday Million on PokerStars’ worldwide site failed to meet its guarantee. The site had to reach deep into their pockets to pony up an additional $1.2 million to cover the prize pool shortfall.

This past weekend there was this little event called the Super Bowl that was fighting for our attention, and with two East Coast teams playing, you can be sure players were invested in the outcome. There’s just one thing left to say about that … #FlyEaglesFly.

The good news for the tournament scene is that online tournament series have a history of success in attracting players. There are two upcoming and noteworthy events that will likely benefit WSOP/888poker when all the chips are counted.

The New Jersey Poker Classic is scheduled to begin on Feb. 8 and run through Feb. 24 on 888poker. There will be 57 events including the marquee Main Event with a $100,00 guarantee that is sure to attract a large crowd.

Additionally, the World Series of Poker is soon expected to be running satellites to this summer’s WSOP in Las Vegas, Nevada. The excitement of the WSOP paired with the potential to win your way into a bracelet event for as little as $1 should translate to additional traffic across the board for the site.

And with that, 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. 4, 2018.

New Jersey’s online poker operators

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

During the week of January 29 – February 4, New Jersey online poker sites averaged 281 cash game players, an increase of 8.5 percent over the previous week.

Peak traffic numbers were around 663 players, a noticeable increase of 18.9 percent from the previous week.

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

*Cash game traffic data provided by PokerScout.com. Collected February 6, 2018.

Borgata-MGM-partypoker

Seven-day rolling cash game traffic data:

  • Seven-day rolling peak traffic average: 178 cash game players – up 48.4 percent compared to the previous seven days

WSOP-888

Seven-day rolling cash game traffic data:

  • Seven-day rolling peak traffic average: 214 cash game players – up 16 percent compared to the previous seven days

PokerStars NJ

Seven-day rolling cash game traffic data:

  • Seven-day rolling peak traffic average: 261 cash game players – up 8.8 percent compared to the previous seven days

Pala Poker

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

Seven-day rolling cash game traffic data:

  • Seven-day rolling peak traffic average for Wednesday through Friday of this week: 10.1 cash game players – up 10.9% percent compared to the previous seven days
  • Note: There was no data reported for Pala Poker on Monday and Tuesday of the week

Evaluating cash game traffic trends

Last week, it was partypoker that gained the most ground by increasing their average traffic by over 48%. They were able to post consistent traffic numbers throughout the week which was not the case for the week prior.

In fact, all four operators were successful at maintaining consistent traffic during the week which has been a struggle for a few – especially during off-peak times. This alone could account for the 8.5% increase in the average cash game traffic number.

WSOP/888 continues to gain ground on PokerStars for the leader of the pack status and has a real shot this coming week with the upcoming tournament series and satellites mentioned above.

Overall, with the numbers in positive territory for New Jersey poker, there is mild optimism that a positive correction to last year’s dismal performance is on the horizon. It’s too early to hope for a longer trend, but the stage is set as we get closer to some big online events.

Tournament Report: A look at the Sunday Majors

New Jersey online poker networks each host a signature Sunday tournament:

  • The Borgata/partypoker/MGM online poker network hosted a $30,000 guarantee tournament. The tournament has a $215 buy-in.
  • The WSOP.com and 888 network also hosted a $215 buy-in, $20,000 guaranteed tournament that it has dubbed, “The Warrior.”
  • PokerStars NJ hosted the Sunday Special, a $200 buy-in with a guarantee of $40,000.
  • Pala Poker hosted the $2,000 Guaranteed Pala Mega with a buy-in of $30.

Major tournament results for February 5, 2018

As noted earlier, three of the four operators lowered their guarantees for their main Sunday tournaments this week:

  • Borgata lowered the $40,000 guarantee to $30,000
  • WSOP.com/888 lowered the $40,000 guarantee to $20,000
  • PokerStars NJ lowered the $45,000 guarantee to $40,000

The online sites obviously predicted the need to lower the guarantees because it was only WSOP/888 that met theirs. And even so, they only did it by $2,200.

Pala Poker is in the midst of testing a Sunday regular tournament with their $2,000 Guaranteed Pala Mega, so it would be highly unlikely to see them lower their guarantee even though their overlay was $1,541.

Overall, tournament traffic fell by a significant 35% over the previous week. There were no major tournament series on the schedule and without the bells and whistles and extra incentives, it’s not unusual to see traffic decline.

That should all change this coming with weekend with the NJ Jersey Poker Classic and WSOP satellites scheduled to get underway.

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:

And here’s a look at the total prize pool for each tournament: