The age of interstate online poker in the US has officially arrived.
Following a monthslong buildup, interstate online poker player pooling between Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware went live on Monday evening at around 10:30 PM EST.
Even though the merger of the three states wasn’t without some technical issues, it marks one of the most pivotal moments in legal US online poker history.
“It’s a monumental day for online poker in the United States,” said WSOP.com’s Head of Online Poker Bill Rini. “This is truly a game-changer for players and we hope is the model blueprint for additional states to join the fray.”
Launch timing allows WSOP.com to crawl before it walks
The launch comes nearly a month before the start of the World Series of Poker tournament series. That gives WSOP.com plenty of time to get all of its poker chips neatly stacked before thousands of poker players descend on Las Vegas for the world’s greatest poker tournament series.
As such, WSOP.com can systemically test its new network with increasing rigor.
First, the Monday evening launch gives WSOP.com several days to identify and correct any technical issues that rear their head before the weekend traffic spike.
The increased traffic on the weekend of May 5-6, as well as the first big Sunday tournament between the three states, will serve as a second test for the Coast-to-Coast Classic tournament series that runs from May 11-20.
And the Coast-to-Coast Classic is yet another test — a test to make sure the new three-state WSOP.com network is ready for the even bigger surge in traffic it can expect once the 2018 World Series of Poker at the end of May.
In addition to the increased cash-game traffic the network expects during the WSOP, WSOP.com is running four online bracelet events this year, and for the first time, players in Nevada and New Jersey will be able to participate.
The four online bracelet events are:
- June 3, Event No. 10: $365 No-limit Hold’em
- June 22, Event No. 47: $565 Pot-limit Omaha 6-Handed
- June 29, Event No. 61: $1,000 No-limit Hold’em
- June 30, Event No. 63: $3,200 High Roller
Players should see ongoing traffic gains
Despite its late-night launch, and complaints that the download process wasn’t working, cash game traffic numbers at WSOP.com were up by about 33 percent on Monday night, with peak numbers of more than 300 players.
Average and peak cash game traffic numbers should continue to steadily rise over the coming weeks.
- News of the merger will continue to spread and will hopefully reactivate lapsed players and draw in new ones.
- Account registration issues will be dealt with, and more and more players will register their new Nevada accounts.
- WSOP.com is running a host of promotions, including a new “Poker Rewards” loyalty program with higher rakeback levels, as well as multiple major tournament series to capitalize on the new liquidity sharing agreement.
- Liquidity begets liquidity, and the larger the WSOP.com network becomes, the more appealing it will be to existing and potential online poker players.