Partypoker Pennsylvania Completes Testing; Players Offer Early Reactions to BetMGM, Borgata Poker

April 29, 2021
Partypoker Pennsylvania Completes Testing; Players Offer Early Reactions to BetMGM, Borgata Poker

After two days of testing, partypoker US Network has officially unveiled its BetMGM poker and Borgata Poker skins in Pennsylvania. Along with the official announcement, the company also released more of what players can expect.

Pennsylvania becomes the third state for BetMGM and the second for Borgata Poker. The launches give Keystone State players some added real money online poker options.

“Pennsylvanians can now experience our superior poker offering through both BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker,” BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said in a news release. “We’re eager to expand our platform to a larger online audience, and give players in the Keystone State safe, accessible and entertaining poker options.”

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Details on BetMGM, Borgata Poker launch

For mobile players, the BetMGM poker app is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The Borgata Poker app should be available soon. Both are also accessible via desktop client. 

The brands are promising some unique integration for players in Pennsylvania. Players on the network have access to MGM M life Rewards benefits.

Those benefits can be used for experiences at the Borgata in Atlantic City and other MGM resorts nationwide.

BetMGM Poker features single-wallet integration, allowing for sports betting and casino gaming on the platform as well. Borgata Poker also features single-wallet integration with its namesake online casino.

Along with a number of poker variants and cash games, players will also find regular signature poker series. Features like Fast Forward, Spin the Wheel, and Grind Rewards are also all available.

Partypoker also recently partnered with LearnWPT, the official training site of the World Poker Tour. Players have access to some of the site’s training materials to work on their skills.

To celebrate the PA launch, all new players are eligible for one Opening Week Freeroll event from May 9-16. Existing BetMGM and Borgata casino players who sign up for poker earn an invitation to the $40,000 Crossover Invitational Freeroll on May 16.

“Pennsylvania customers will find that BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker provide engaging experiences for both new and seasoned players,” BetMGM director of poker Ray Stefanelli said.

“The partypoker US Network supports the online poker community, providing access to training initiatives designed to help all participants strengthen their play.”

A look at the partypoker platform

Partypoker unveiled Borgata Poker and BetMGM on Tuesday. The sites were in test mode for the first two days however. This time typically allows companies to fine tune and solve any issues.

John Downs, 43, lives in Williamsport and works in middle management for a logistics company. He began playing online about two years before Black Friday. After that, he shifted to live poker until the online game went live in Pennsylvania.

Downs looked forward to giving BetMGM or Borgata Poker a try. He’s glad to see his home state becoming a key cog in the US legalized online poker market.

On Tuesday, Downs became one of the first users on the BetMGM platform. He particularly enjoyed the virtual currency allowing players to “rabbit hunt” on occasion as well as other features.

There are a few other tournament play features Downs liked always being visible on screen:

  • tournament position
  • how much a player has already cashed for
  • the next spot that’s a pay jump

“I also like the customization currently available,” he says. “I like that I can customize my betting buttons and use it across all tables or use it for just tournaments or just cash games.”

Overall a positive experience

There are a few things Downs would like to see improved. He’s not a fan of the sound effects for chips moving or cards folded.

Players also can’t watch a cash game unless they have enough for minimum buy-in, something he’d like to see changed. He has a few other small quibbles, but is pleased overall so far and looks forward to more to come.

Overall he had a nice early experience. On the first day of play, Downs even cashed out $200 to see how the process went. 

“I had it in my bank account the next day,” he says. “There are just a few little things that I would like to see changed, but that’s just personal preference.”

More player impressions from testing mode

Matt Lopresti, 38, lives in Lititz and has been a regular online player in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, he jumped in a $1 tournament to give the site a test drive.

Lopresti favors events in the $5 to $50 buy-in range and hopes more are added. That seems likely as more players sign up and begin playing. He’s still happy to have a second online poker option in the state.

“Overall it’s as expected with partypoker software,” he says. “It’s pretty much the same as the New Jersey version. All around though, it’s definitely not as good as PokerStars.

“But I’m happy nonetheless that we’ve got another site up and running. It would be great if the states could start merging.”

A growing market offering more options

Adding another online poker option in PA is great news for Andrew Langston. The 28-year-old lives in York and works as a production planner.

Langston says PokerStars could do more to benefit players and believes new operators have a real chance to grow in the state.

“Partypoker has a great opportunity to come in with great customer service and promos that will keep players from going back to Stars,” he says. “I will be giving partypoker a shot in hopes they can put out a better product and experience.

“I’m really looking forward to more sites coming to Pennsylvania. The competition to keep players on your site via promos will drive each site to make things better and improve.”

After checking out the app on Wednesday, Langston found it extremely user friendly.

“I was able to play a few heads-up sit and go’s and they were a lot of fun,” he says. “The app was easy to use and I enjoyed the few games I was able to play. 

“I liked the table and graphics a lot better than PokerStars. Everything is on the screen and you don’t have to flip around to menus to find blinds, clock, level, et cetera.”

As the platform gains more players, Langston is hoping for more poker variants and mixed games. Overall, however, the experience has been positive so far and he’s plans on playing more.

“It was nice to see the site already started running tournaments,” Langston says. “I look forward to playing in those and will keep an eye out for series events in the future.”

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