Power of three
Michigan poker players have reason to be excited today, as WSOP.com has gone live in the state. The launch breaks up the duopoly of PokerStars and BetMGM.
Online gambling in Michigan began in late January of last year. PokerStars was the first online poker room to launch, doing so a week into the state’s internet gaming era. BetMGM – the joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain – sprouted in late March 2021.
WSOP.com is offering everyone $50 for free for signing up on Monday, split into $25 just for creating an account and another $25 for depositing. That first deposit also comes with an entry into a freeroll for a World Series of Poker Main Event seat.
And that’s where WSOP.com is likely hoping to make hay in Michigan. It can offer World Series of Poker qualifiers, a differentiator between it on its two Wolverine State competitors. And with the WSOP starting in two months, players could be itching to get into some online satellites.
WSOP.com’s big weekly tournament will be a $100 buy-in event on Sundays with a $50,000 guaranteed prize pool.
Interstate online poker hopefully on the way
What Michiganders are likely looking forward to even more than a third online poker room is interstate online poker, which would increase poker room traffic immensely. There is no telling as to exactly when Michigan will join with Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), but indicators are that it could be fairly soon.
One sign is simply that WSOP.com has launched in Michigan. It and its platform provider 888 are the only ones with online poker rooms in all three MSIGA states, linking up players on each site. It is very possible that Caesars chose now to launch WSOP.com in Michigan because it knew it would be able to insert it into the network in short order.
Additionally, a representative from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) told PlayMichigan last week that it has already applied to be a part of MSIGA and is waiting to hear from the participating status. The MGCB also recently published a document laying out the “potential tasks and considerations for operators and platform providers” to operate a multistate online poker room. It certainly appears that the Board is ready.
As mentioned, poker players can play on the WSOP.com/888 network in Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada. In Delaware, that play is on any of three racino-linked 888-powered sites. In the latter two states, that play is on WSOP.com; players in both states also play at the same tables for official WSOP online bracelet events. Until Michigan joins them, the newest WSOP.com will have its own tournaments, unrelated to those in New Jersey and Nevada.
PokerStars and BetMGM also have online poker rooms running New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but they operate separately, as those states are not linked by an interstate poker compact.