Though it is disappointing that it has taken this long, New Jersey has finally begun sharing its online poker player liquidity with Nevada and Delaware. On May 1st (technically April 30th, as things got started a few hours earlier than expected), WSOP.com became an interstate poker site, no longer limiting Nevadans and New Jerseyites to separate online poker rooms.
So what we have now are players in Nevada and New Jersey on WSOP.com, while those in Delaware are still on the three sites associated with the state’s racetracks, which all use the 888 Poker platform. 888, of course, is what WSOP.com and is why Nevada and Delaware were able to form an interstate pact in 2015. Players on those sites in all three states are now playing together.
And though online poker players in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada can all cross virtual borders, the Party Borgata Network and PokerStars in New Jersey are notable left out. The reason for that is simple: Party and PokerStars don’t have sites in Nevada or Delaware. Thus, there is no network to be had. It will be interesting to see if PokerStars and Party lose customers to WSOP/888 as the WSOP/888 grows with the interstate merger.
The liquidity sharing agreement resulted in the WSOP/888 servers being located in New Jersey, which means that Nevada and Delaware players are required to both download a new version of the software and create new accounts. It might be an annoyance, but players will have their cash balances, tournament tickets, and loyalty points transferred to the new accounts. Plus, on the bright side, players who weren’t satisfied with their screen names can start fresh. Players in Nevada and Delaware are also eligible for new player bonuses.
The benefit to those in Nevada and Delaware is clearly a larger player pool, as the addition of New Jersey should nearly double player traffic on the network. With more players, there will be larger tournament prize pools and more active cash games. Plus, busier poker rooms tend to snowball and get even busier as players who were sitting on the sidelines see the poker room as more attractive than before and decide to make a deposit. And, as mentioned, the increased activity could (and I would say probably will) draw players from Party Borgata and PokerStars.
New Jerseyites will also finally be able to compete in the official online World Series of Poker bracelet events, tournaments which were previously limited to only those people in Nevada.
To celebrate the launch of shared liquidity, WSOP.com has created the “Coast to Coast Classic” tournament series, running May 11th to May 20th. It will consist of 32 tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $11 to $1,000 and will have more than $1 million in guaranteed prize pools. The Main Event, held on the last day of the Classic, will boast the “U.S. regulated online poker cash record” prize pool of $200,001. Yes, that extra dollar is in there on purpose.