Time to show off the new 888poker platform
It’s an embarrassment of riches in Pennsylvania and Michigan! It appears that both states will soon have a third competitor in the race for online poker supremacy. In a recent investor conference call, 888 CEO Itai Pazner said that WSOP.com, which runs the 888poker platform, will soon be entering the two markets.
“We are excited about the US,” Patzer said, “where we plan to roll out sports into further states in the next few months, and launch our upgraded poker platform into further states in partnership with Caesars and their leading and hugely popular WSOP brand.”
That “upgraded poker platform” is called Poker8, which has been a hit so far in other countries. Patzer said it was a catalyst for increased poker revenue, explaining, “Poker revenues increased by 10%, and were consistent with the fourth quarter of 2020, with ongoing strong customer reaction to the award-winning Poker8 product, and sustained successful marketing with the ‘Made to Play’ marketing campaign.”
The Poker8 software very much caters to the types of people who play poker for fun and includes social features like gift drops, throwables, and emojis. One key features is that it employs portrait mode on the mobile app, making it easier for players to play one-handed on their phones.
PokerStars was lonely for a while
Currently, the only two online poker offerings in each state are PokerStars and BetMGM. PokerStars was first in both states. It had a massive head start in Pennsylvania, launching in November 2019, whereas BetMGM – along with partner skin Borgata Poker – opened for business only about two weeks ago. Stars launched in Michigan in late January, beating BetMGM to the punch by less than two months.
WSOP.com/888 should be some stout competition in each state, particularly because it will allow Pennsylvania and Michigan players to finally participate in World Series of Poker online events. Right now, only those located in New Jersey and Nevada can play on WSOP.com.
Still waiting on an expanded interstate network
It still remains to be seen what Michigan and Pennsylvania will do about interstate online poker. Cross-border poker is permitted in both states, but neither has inked a compact with any of the three other states with online poker. 888 is in a unique situation, as it is the only poker operator with an interstate network, called the All-American Poker Network (though that name is rarely used).
888, as mentioned, provides the platform for WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey. It also powers the three racino-based online poker rooms in Delaware. Those three states signed the Multi-State Internet Gambling Agreement (MSIGA), allowing them to share player pools. As such, players on the 888-based poker rooms in all three states sit at the same tables. The one drawback to the setup is that the Delaware sites are not actually WSOP.com, so those players can’t compete in WSOP online events.
Both PokerStars and BetMGM have sites in New Jersey, so if Pennsylvania and Michigan join MSIGA, there could be some really fun interstate network competition.