It’s been roughly three weeks since online poker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania opened for business. At this time, only one operator – PokerStars, along with the Mount Airy Casino as its Keystone State partner – is currently allowing those inside the state to partake of their product. So just how well is PokerStars and Mount Airy Casino doing with their venture? The answer might surprise many in the state and looking on from the outside.
PokerStars PA Outperforming Other Players
According to the latest statistics from PokerScout.com (and, as always, thanks to them for compiling this information), PokerStars PA – the moniker that the online operation has been tagged with – is vastly outpacing the other players in the States of America. Just how big is the edge?
PokerStars PA is currently the 16th ranked online poker site in the WORLD while taking the honors as the most active poker room in the U. S. PokerScout shows them with a seven-day average in their cash games (the industry measure of activity) of 425 players. This ties PokerStars PA with the Indian operation Adda52, puts them ahead of partypoker Europe (400 players seven-day average) and only puts them a short distance behind other European operations like Unibet (450) and PokerStars.it (Italy, 525).
The other operations in the U. S. are paling in comparison. Of the regulated rooms, the WSOP/888Poker operations – which have the advantage of being able to compact players from New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware for action – can only muster up a seven-day average of 220 players, a precipitous drop from PokerStars PA’s numbers. PokerStars’ New Jersey operations and the partypoker/Borgata partnership are struggling from the advantage that WSOP/888 holds, with PokerStars NJ only earning an average of 80 players and partypoker NJ a dismal 12.
Is it Sustainable?
It is entirely possible that the reason for PokerStars PA surge out of the gate is their newness. After having their online casino gaming opened since July, many in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were wondering when online poker would join the party. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was never committal on the subject, simply saying that those casino operations that had purchased online poker licenses were able to go live at their discretion.
There’s also just the sheer numbers game that comes into play. Pennsylvania has a population of roughly 12.7 million people. That is right around the combined number of residents in Nevada (three million), New Jersey (8.9 million) and Delaware (under one million) combined. What might surprise many (including those officials inside of Pennsylvania, to be honest) is that PokerStars PA is nearly doubling the combined numbers from the three-state operations of WSOP/888.
They’re going to try to keep that momentum going with some special promotions. Beginning on November 30, the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) will be conducted on PokerStars PA, and it is expected to draw a throng of players. There is $1 million in guarantees on the 50-event roster of tournaments, with a Main Event that will feature a $100,000 guaranteed tournament with a $300 buy in. Of course, many of the competitors will be getting into that series through satellites, which are currently running on PokerStars PA.
With a tournament series set to seize on their opening, PokerStars PA is certainly looking like it is primed for success. What might be interesting is if/when another online poker room(s) open in the Commonwealth, will it have an effect on PokerStars’ business or will people simply play both rooms. The answer to this question will have a great deal to do with the success of online poker in Pennsylvania.