PA Might Be Winning The War, But NJ Online Poker Is Holding Its Own

Posted on February 25, 2020

The first New Jersey online poker tournament to compete with Pennsylvania’s online poker market is underway.

The Fox Bet and PokerStars Bounty Builder Series dealt its first cards on Feb. 20 to players in both PA and NJ online poker rooms. The event, which consists of 32 progressive knockout events, will conclude March 1.

After the first weekend, the clear winner is PA. Surprisingly, though, New Jersey held its own.

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NJ online poker holding its own

When comparing the results of the two online poker markets, side by side, it is clear that PA outperformed NJ. It exceeded its guarantees by larger margins and had nearly 125% more total entries.

That should not be a surprise, though; it is a bigger market. Online poker is still “new” in the state, and PokerStars is the only live online poker app in PA.

On the surface, it is easy to see that PokerStars knows the NJ market thoroughly, as the majority of the tournaments barely exceeded the posted guarantee. PA, on the other hand, is a bit all over the place, with some tournaments crushing the guarantees by more than double.

PokerStars PA collected over $256,000 in prize money through the first 11 events, 38% above what was guaranteed. However, PokerStars NJ also performed well, securing $138,000 in prize money, eclipsing its posted guarantees by 24%.

When it comes to total entries, PA (5,592) wins the category by producing a staggering 125% more sign-ups than NJ (2,487).

It seems as if New Jersey online poker players are showing up to the virtual felt ready to rebuy more than PA players, though. Re-entries in NJ accounted for 35% of the total entries, while it was only 30% of the total in PA.

Notes from the PokerStars Bounty Builder series

Both online poker markets launched their respective series with a strong opening event, event No. 1 Bounty Builder Series kickoff.

PA welcomed 266 players rebuying 97 times for a total prize pool of $33,323.40. The guarantee for this event was $20,000, which set the stage for a strong tournament turnout.

NJ also started strong — not nearly as strong as PA — but strong, nonetheless. There were 103 NJ online poker players took to the felt. Paired with the number of rebuys (58), the NJ version exceeded its guarantee ($12,000) by $2,779.80.

It didn’t take long for the dreaded overlay to rear its ugly head. Well, it was ugly for PokerStars anyway.

Both online poker markets had one event that failed to meet its guarantee.

In NJ, event No. 10 Storm, the $10 Bounty Builder edition, missed its $4,000 guarantee by $481. Unfortunately, PA had to cough up a more sizeable overlay of $6,854 for event No. 11 Sunday Special, the $200 Bounty Builder edition.

Overall, while there was some initial concern at running simultaneous events in NJ and PA, it seems as if both markets are holding their own.

It is, however, too early to call it a success even though we want to. The biggest disparity in guarantees will come on the final Sunday.

There are five events on the calendar, including the main event. PA is offering $165,000 in guarantees during the day with a $100,000 guaranteed main event. On the other hand, NJ has only $97,500 in guarantees, with a $65,000 guaranteed main event.

Where players show up on the final Sunday will be telling. Maybe online poker players aren’t necessarily chasing the money; maybe they are just happy to play from home.

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Bounty Builder Series results

EventNameBuyinNJ GuaranteeTotal EntriesNJ Prize Pool (Overlay)PA GuaranteeTotal EntriesPA Prize Pool (Overlay)
1Event 1: Bounty Builder Series Kick-Off$100$12,000161$14,779.80$20,000363$33,323.40
2Event 2: Mini Kick-Off$20$3,500319$5,805.80$5,000690$12,558.00
3Event 3: Bounty Builder $30$30$5,000283$7,725.90$8,000628$17,144.40
4Event 4: Turbo$75$5,00095$6,483.75$8,000199$13,581.75
5Event 5: DeepStack$100$10,000111$10,189.80$20,000319$29,284.20
6Event 6: 4-Max$30$5,000234$6,388.20$5,000618$11,247.60
7Event 7: Hyper-Turbo$50$3,00073$3,431.00$5,000152$7,144.00
8Event 8: Marathon$150$10,00097$13,356.90$20,000250$22,950.00
9Event 9: Warm-Up - Bounty Builder Edition$50$5,000136$6,188.00$10,000450$12,285.00
10Evetn 10: Storm - Bounty Builder Edition$10$3,000391$4,000.00 ($400)$5,000586$5,332.60
11Event 11: Sunday Special - Bounty Builder Edition$200$30,000165$30,690.00$50,000470$50,000 ($6,854)
12Event 12: Mini Special$25$6,000292$6,643.00$10,000619$14,082.25
13Event 13: Sunday High Roller - Bounty Builder Edition$500$10,00033$15,510.00$15,00088$20,504.00
14Event 14: SuperSonic - Bounty Builder Edition$75$4,00097$6,838.50$5,000160$7,520.00
15Event 15: Bounty Builder $50$50$8,000154$8,000.00 ($977)$15,000472$21,476.00
16Event 16: PL Omaha$100$5,00060$5,508.00$8,000124$11,383.20
17Event 17: Bounty Builder $75$75$7,500157$10,715.25$10,000297$20,270.25
18Event 18: High Roller$750$20,00038$26,980.00$35,00041$35,000.00 ($5890)
19Event 19: 6-Max$50$4,000158$7,189.00$5,000335$15,242.50
20Event 20: NL Omaha Hi/Lo$100$4,00039$4,000.00 ($419)$8,00091$8,353.50
21Event 21: Thursday Thrill SE$250$10,00065$15,145.00$25,000194$36,084.00
22Event 22: Mini Thrill$30$5,000247$6,743.10$12,000593$16,188.90
23Event 23: 6-Max, Turbo$50$3,500113$5,141.50$5,000291$13,240.50
24Event 24: Hyper-Turbo$100$5,00061$5,795.00$8,000127$12,065.00
25Event 25: 25% KO$100$7,500122$11,199.60$10,000201$18,451.80
26Event 26: Turbo$50$3,500114$5,187.00$5,000188$8,554.00
27Event 27: 8-Max, Turbo$10$2,000271$2,466.10$3,00087$4,804.80
28Event 28: Warm-Up$30$3,000194$5,292.20$10,000492$13,4361.00
29Event 29: Main Event$300$75,000234$65,520.00$100,000405$113,400.00
30Event 30: Mini Main Event$50$12,000313$14,241.50$25,000640$29,120.00
31Event 31: Bounty Builder $100$100$10,000104$10,000.00 ($452)$20,000203$20,000.00 ($1,364)
32Event 32: Series Wrap-Up$75$7,500103$7,500.00 ($465)$10,000192$13,104.00
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Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl has been covering the US online gambling market since 2013. Her work is featured on various sites and covers sports betting, online casino gambling, and online poker. Kim is a full-time traveler and vlogger and is currently slow traveling to 60 countries. You can follow her travels at and on YouTube at kimandway.

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