Change In Plans: Two Online WSOP Bracelet Events Now Open To NJ Players

Written By Martin Derbyshire on May 6, 2019 - Last Updated on March 3, 2020

Rejoice, NJ online poker players. You aren’t completely cut off from the WSOP online bracelet events this year.

Poker players can play from New Jersey in two World Series of Poker online bracelet events. However, there are nine scheduled and questions remain about the possibility NJ players could be allowed to enter more.

Last week, WSOP Vice President Seth Palansky told pokerfuse the good news for NJ players. He said online events prior to June 14 will be open to players in NJ as well as Nevada. That date marks the end of the Department of Justice’s non-prosecution period for its newly revised Wire Act opinion.

This includes a $400 No Limit Hold’em event on June 2 and a $600 Pot Limit Omaha event on June 9.

The WSOP first released the 2019 WSOP schedule in February. At the time, it claimed eligibility for NJ players in online events had yet to be determined.

Legal online poker in the US

The uncertainty stemmed from the release of the DOJ’s latest reinterpretation of the Wire Act. The DOJ’s new opinion appeared to reverse its previous 2011 opinion. The original 2011 opinion was that the Wire Act applied to sports betting only.

It was the 2011 opinion that led to Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware legalizing online poker. Ultimately, the three states signed an interstate agreement to share player pools.

That led to the launch of the and 888 Poker tri-state network in 2018.

Interstate play opened the four 2018 WSOP online bracelet events to players inside NJ. In fact, one went on to win a WSOP bracelet playing from NJ.

The DOJ’s new opinion is that the Wire Act applies to all forms of interstate online gambling. That would make online gambling that crosses state lines against the law.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein originally gave states 90 days to move into compliance with the opinion. The DOJ extended that deadline to June 14.

Now it seems the WSOP will allow players in NJ to enter the online events scheduled before the compliance deadline.

The seven other online bracelet events scheduled for after June 14 are apparently open to players inside Nevada only.

Possibilities for New Jersey players

However, several scenarios that could play out which would allow players in NJ to enter as well.

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission has asked a federal court judge to invalidate the DOJ’s opinion. The judge could rule in the commission’s favor prior to June 14.

That would make it hard for the DOJ to get the WSOP to comply.

Strong opposition to the DOJ’s new opinion has also surfaced across the country. State attorneys general for New Jersey and Pennsylvania have written to the DOJ asking it to withdraw the opinion.

This could ultimately lead to the DOJ backing off entirely. The DOJ could also decide on June 14 to limit prosecution to unlicensed online gambling operators only.

The four online bracelet events held during the 2018 WSOP all broke entry records. And New Jersey players certainly helped.

In fact, NJ players were responsible for 858 unique entries across the four online WSOP events last year.

The WSOP has scheduled the seven other online bracelet events in 2019 for June 16, 19, 23, and 30, and July 3, 7 and 14.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than 10 years of experience reporting on the online poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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