The future of online poker in the US looks so bright right now, players in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have started wearing shades.
On May 1, what is now being called a monumental day for online poker in the US, shared liquidity, or the pooling of players from the three states that currently offer online poker, launched.
That meant players on the WSOP.com sites in New Jersey and Nevada, 888 Poker in New Jersey, and the Delaware online poker sites that use 888 software, including Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway, started competing against each other online for the first time.
This thanks to New Jersey signing on to the interstate agreement this past October that has seen the Delaware and Nevada sites share player pools since 2015.
Increased traffic and bigger prize pools guaranteed
Now that players on the WSOP and 888 sites have come together, the sites are promising they will see increased cash game traffic and tournaments with much bigger prize pools in all three states. In fact, the sites are guaranteeing it.
Right out of the gate, the sites launched a new Coast to Coast Classic tournament series featuring more than $1 million in guaranteed prize pools that will run from May 11 to May 20 for players in all three states. The Coast to Coast Classic Main Event even features a $200,001 prize pool guarantee, a record guarantee for legal and regulated online poker in the US.
Plus, with the annual World Series of Poker set to kick off in Las Vegas, Nevada at the end of May, and run through the middle of July, even bigger things are about to go off online this summer.
Traffic on WSOP.com in Nevada has spiked during the WSOP every year since 2014. In fact, last summer, traffic rose more than 25 percent from one week before the series began to the first week of June. The jump was 17.8 percent the year before and 20.1 percent in 2015.
There’s little doubt with New Jersey and Delaware players now able to get in on the action, the spike will be even bigger this year.
Online WSOP bracelet events drive liquidity
Online WSOP bracelet events have traditionally driven cash game liquidity on WSOP.com in Nevada as well. Only players in New Jersey and Nevada will be able to play the now four online WSOP bracelet events scheduled for this summer. However, players from all three states should be able to hop on and enjoy the increase in cash game activity surrounding them.
WSOP.com in Nevada first hosted an online WSOP bracelet event in 2015. The $1,000 tournament drew 905 entries that year. It grew to 1,247 in 2016. Then, the number of online bracelet events was bumped up to three in 2017. Entry numbers rose even bigger.
The traditional $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event drew 1,312 entries. A new and even more affordable $333 No Limit Hold’em event drew a record 2,509 entries. And finally, the new $3,333 No Limit Hold’em online high roller drew 424 entries.
This year, WSOP.com will host four online WSOP bracelet events, including the first-ever Pot-Limit Omaha online bracelet event. Entry numbers should be up across the board with New Jersey players entering the fray.
The 2018 WSOP online bracelet event schedule is as follows:
- $365 No Limit Hold’em June 3 at 3:30 p.m.
- $565 Pot Limit Omaha 6-Handed June 22 at 3:30 p.m.
- $1,000 No Limit Hold’em June 29 at 3:30 p.m.
- $3,200 High Roller June 30 at 3:30 p.m.
Satellites and $15 million in guarantees
However, there’s more to all this than just online WSOP bracelet events.
The sites will be running a traditionally large series of satellites into live WSOP events as well, including the Main Event. These online satellites have always performed well and should grow even further this year.
Traffic on WSOP.com in Nevada during the series always seems to find a secondary peak leading up to the Main Event. This year should be no different, particularly with players from outside of Nevada able to help it get there.
The 25 Seat Scramble with 25 WSOP Main Event seats guaranteed has always helped drive traffic right before the Main Event begins. It will run again on July 1.
Plus, all told, WSOP.com says it will be offering $15,000,000 worth of guarantees from May through September, marking its biggest summer ever.
Every Sunday, players will find a $100,000 guaranteed $320 buy-in tournament running. That will be the largest weekly online poker tournament guarantee in the country. But that’s not all. There will be a total of $250,000 in guarantees running on the site every Sunday.
Every other day of the week will feature a tournament with at minimum a $10,000 guarantee. Plus, there will be daily freerolls into the weekly $100,000 guaranteed event and online bracelet event freerolls to boot.
New Jersey and Delaware come along for the ride
In years past, WSOP.com in New Jersey has seen traffic go up and go down during the WSOP. A heavy cross-promotional schedule in New Jersey helped push numbers up in 2014. However, they fell just as fast without those same promotions running in 2015.
Now, with New Jersey tapped right into the 2018 WSOP, a return to increased traffic in the Garden State is almost guaranteed.
The annual WSOP has been the most lucrative time of year for WSOP.com in Nevada since the site launched. In fact, it traditionally generates more gross gaming revenue during the WSOP than rest of the year combined.
One can expect new records to be set for the US online poker market as a whole this summer, with New Jersey and Delaware now a part of it all. The glare from a future this bright is almost blinding.