WSOP.com launched for real money in Nevada officially on September 19th. It opened two days earlier for players that preregistered. The launch has been relatively smooth. There have been a few player complaints and some major improvements already implemented by WSOP.
WSOP Adds Games
WSOP added several new fixed limit tables to Omaha High/Low and Stud High/Low. The new limits are:
The multi table tournament selection has been updated since the launch. Some WSOPE satellites have also been added to the sit and go and multi table tournament lobby. Players have requested Pot Limit Omaha High/Low but it has yet to be rolled out.
Players must be in Nevada at the time of play. There are two processes that help guarantee someone is not sitting at a real money table from a banned jurisdiction. The player’s IP and cell phone location are used. Some players have experienced problems with one or both of these location verification methods. The location of some Cox high speed internet subscribers in Las Vegas was being shown as Phoenix by the verification service. This was caught during the prelaunch and corrected before the official release date. There were also issues with Century Link customers that were eventually resolved.
Sprint and Virgin Mobile not being included in cell phone location at launch may be the biggest obstacle facing WSOP. Players using these two carriers must buy a burner phone on a participating carrier to enter the action. This carries a cost of about $30 including the prepaid phone card. There is no estimated time frame for when Sprint and related companies will provide location services to WSOP.
Players may deposit by electronic check, Visa and Mastercard. Electronic checks have a high rate of success. Visa has a very low rate of acceptance. Many Mastercard deposits are successful. The minimum deposit amount at launch was $10, while the maximum was $500. Players with one successful deposit have higher limits.
Redepositing players using electronic check deposits now have a $5,000 maximum per transaction with a $30,000 daily cap and $100,000 monthly cap. Visa and Mastercard have a $600 cap per transaction with $5,000 daily and $10,000 monthly limits.
Paper checks and electronic checks are available for withdrawals. Both options have a $20 minimum and no disclosed maximum. Players are required to submit documentation when requesting a withdrawal. This includes a bank statement or credit card if used as part of a WSOP transaction. It may also include a driver’s license or utility bill to confirm an address for a check by mail. Some players have voiced their displeasure about having to provide documentation to receive a cashout.
Players cannot deposit or withdraw cash at any casino cage. Players outside Nevada cannot make a deposit before heading to the state to play regulated online poker. Withdrawals may be requested from anywhere.
According to Pokerscout.com, WSOP’s biggest day peaked at 152 cash game players (Update: Traffic peaked at 167 a few hours after this article was published). Ultimate Poker’s traffic has been 200-300% higher at peak hours. Using the Pokerscout data, WSOP added roughly 80-100 peak cash game players to the Nevada regulated poker industry. Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha High/Low games offered by WSOP can be attributed to the growth of players.
Viewing Games Outside of Nevada
Players outside of Nevada can view the lobby and sit at play money tables. They may not open any real money tables.
Player support at the Two Plus Two WSOP sponsored forum has been excellent. There have been complaints about email support.
Dormant Account Policy
WSOP has a dormant account policy that affects WSOP Points and cash balances. WSOP Points expire after either three or six months of inactivity. Separate pages of the site show conflicting time frames.
There is a $4.99 per month admin fee on accounts that have been inactive for six months. Players can cashout from anywhere so this can be avoided if funds were left in a WSOP account after leaving Nevada.
The information provided above is disclosed on multiple pages containing WSOP.com terms and conditions.
WSOP has yet to market its new online poker product to Nevada residents. The media blitz described by the company is certain to draw interest in the brand. Launching an online poker site is an enormous task that is certain to have a few bumps along the way. The issues pointed out in this article are relatively minor in the big picture, especially considering the site is just over one week old. In my opinion, the first week of real money gaming at WSOP.com was a success. Its launch and the competition it has created can only be a positive for players in terms of player rewards and service.