PokerStars New Jersey Soft Launch Begins Today

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Today is a historic day in the United States as it is the first day in which PokerStars is up and running as a legal, regulated online poker room. Wednesday marks the start of the “soft launch” for PokerStars in New Jersey, when the poker site will host live internet poker games on a limited basis for testing purposes. Assuming everything goes as planned, the full launch will be on March 21st.

As this is just a testing period, PokerStars is capping the number of players that can be on at one time at 500. We are not quite sure, however, if this means 500 individual accounts can be logged on at once or 500 instances of players can be seated at once (for the latter, this would mean that, say, 250 players could be sitting at two tables each). We’re guessing it is the former, but either way, if you live in New Jersey and can’t logon, it is probably because the poker room has reached its maximum capacity.

For the first three days, PokerStars will not be accessible around the clock. On Wednesday, March 16th and Thursday, March 17th, PokerStars will be live only from 4:00pm to midnight (Eastern time, of course). On Friday, March 18th, that time frame will expand from 8:00am to midnight. Then, over the weekend, on Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th, PokerStars New Jersey will run 24 hours a day. It is as gradual breaking-in period for both PokerStars and the New Jersey regulatory authorities to make sure everything goes smoothly, from the dealing of cards to the speed of the tables to the functioning of the cashier.

One would assume, given PokerStars extensive experience hosting the largest online poker traffic in the world, that there won’t be any hiccups as far as their software is concerned. The biggest thing the site probably needs to test is geolocation in order to make sure that nobody from outside New Jersey is able to logon and everybody within state borders who should be allowed to play is, in fact, detected properly and permitted entry.

PokerStars is allowing those who want to resurrect their old accounts from before Black Friday to do so. Players just need to either login to or PokerStars NJ with their old credentials (if they remember them) and click “Quick Account Creation.” The old will be closed and all play money and StarsCoin (which have been converted from FPP at a rate of 1.6 StarsCoin per FPP, better than the international 1.2 per FPP) will transfer over. Players will also be given the VIP status that they had as of Black Friday.

Those who have a current and want to create a separate PokerStars NJ account while still maintaining the dot com account, should avoid the “Quick Account Creation” process, since it will delete the dot com account. In this case, the VIP level will be the higher of the level at Black Friday or the level as it currently stands.

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