WSOP.com Begins Interstate Network Play
In what is being hyped as both an important and hopeful event, WSOP.com launched interstate online poker this past week, finally linking both coasts of the United States. Players from Nevada and New Jersey had previously played on ring fenced versions of WSOP.com, but they now play together on a unified poker platform. Players in Delaware are also on the network, though on one of three sites associated with the state’s racetracks, all driven by 888 Poker’s software, which is used by WSOP.com.
“It’s a monumental day for online poker in the United States,” said WSOP.com’s Head of Online Poker, Bill Rini, in a press release. “This is truly a game-changer for players and we hope is the model blueprint for additional states to join the fray.”
Nevada and Delaware began sharing their online poker liquidity on 2015, as they understood their populations were too small to reasonably support poker industries on their own.
Because WSOP.com and Delaware’s three sites all used 888’s software, it was a relatively easy combination. New Jersey was the holdout, though. It has done fairly well with online gambling – especially online casino games – and the other two states certainly wanted the Garden State to join them because it was so much bigger.
The new shared liquidity deal should result in a healthy boost in player traffic across the three states. Prior to the player pool merge, Nevada and Delaware had a seven-day average of about 140 cash games players, according to PokerScout.com. New Jersey only had a shade over 100.
Thus, while New Jersey was seen as the state that would help prop up the other two, New Jersey players should actually see more of an initial impact on activity than should players in Nevada and Delaware. Going forward, it should be interesting to see how traffic evolves. With a larger network, it is entirely possible that traffic figures will rise further as potential players who sat on the sidelines decide to finally test the waters now that the network reaches across the country.
Additionally, players at WSOP.com’s main competitors in New Jersey – PokerStars and the Party Borgata Network – might migrate to WSOP.com because more player traffic means better game selection, larger prize pools, and more action. Certainly, some people play on all of the New Jersey sites already, but even those players might start giving more business to WSOP.com. We shall see.
Because the augmented network’s servers are in New Jersey, players in Nevada and Delaware are required to download a new version of their poker software and actually create entirely new accounts.
Aside from possibly losing a screen name (though with still relatively low player numbers, I would think the chances of that happening are slim), there will be no negative effects for those players. All poker funds, tournament tickets, and loyalty points will transfer to the new account. One good thing is that since the accounts will be new, players will be able to take advantage of new player deposit bonuses if they would like.
Moving forward, Pennsylvania should launch its online poker industry this year and conventional wisdom is that the Keystone State would join the interstate poker network at some point.
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