PokerStars Launching Merged Player Pool in Michigan, New Jersey in Coming Weeks

December 9, 2022
PokerStars Launching Merged Player Pool in Michigan, New Jersey in Coming Weeks

The long wait for the expansion of shared liquidity in the US online poker market may be coming to an end soon. Player Jeremy “Jermz” Sissman posted a note from PokerStars on Twitter on Friday that offered some insight into the upcoming launch of a shared player pool between New Jersey and Michigan.

The announcement detailed that the platforms in both states would be down Dec. 12-13 for site maintenance. PokerStars later released the announcement on Twitter as well, officially confirming the news.

“The upgrade is a necessary milestone to bring you more games, bigger prize pools, and guarantees in poker tournaments so New Jersey and Michigan players can compete against one another in the near future,” the notice said. Additionally, the notice said that the two platforms would be merged “in the coming weeks.”

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PokerStars looks to link up two states

Michigan was added to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association in April. That group now includes New Jersey, Nevada, Michigan, and Delaware. US online platforms can now legally link up player pools among any or all of these states.

Players may have wondered if shared liquidity would drag into the new year. That may be true, but the PokerStars news at least offers some hope to see some positive monument soon.

“An amazing early Christmas present for FunkyJesus,” Sissman posted in his Tweet, referencing his alias on the platform. “New Jersey Stars is combining with at least Michigan.”

PokerStars may be the first operator to take advantage of the Michigan expansion. This would be Stars’ first linked player pools in the American market.

The company also operates a poker site in Pennsylvania. However, that platform hasn’t yet joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association.

A growing PokerStars platform

Currently, only WSOP.com operates a shared liquidity market in Nevada, New Jersey, and with partner 888poker in Delaware. The company also operates a platform in both Michigan and Pennsylvania.

BetMGM also operates ringed-in platforms in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Both WSOP.com and BetMGM are also believed to be working toward shared liquidity expansion by linking up in Michigan.

PokerStars now sees some traction from the company’s own American expansion efforts. The announcement hints that regulatory approval was recently granted for the expansion or is getting close. The site is running the “25 Days of Tournaments” series all month and the site maintenance notice referenced that the promotion would briefly be interrupted.

A merged New Jersey/Michigan market offers almost twice the number of players available in only one of the states. Here’s a look at the population of both:

  • New Jersey – 8.9 million
  • Michigan – 10 million

A brief shutdown for something bigger

Along with poker, online casino and sportsbook operations will be shut down during the two-day upgrade. Stars hasn’t announced an official date on a relaunched shared platform.

The pace of online expansion has been slow compared to the expansion of online sports betting. But the PokerStars news will be welcomed by many online poker players in the US.

The industry has also seen New York legislators recently become interested in legalizing online casino and poker in recent weeks. Those efforts are expected to begin in January and present some real promise as well.

All these undertakings at least offer some hope that some things are progressing in US online poker.

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