After a great deal of hype this summer during its namesake event, Caesars Entertainment and 888 Holdings rolled out their World Series of Poker branded online poker site on Thursday, becoming only the second regulated online poker site to open its doors to Nevada residents.
At 9:19AM on Thursday (September 19, hence the start time), WSOP.com officially opened up to the public after a two-day “dry run” that netted some interest from players. Once the official opening was complete, the players seemed to come out of the woodwork to give the WSOP poker site a spin. By late in the evening on Thursday, WSOP.com peaked out at 113 players in its cash games (according to PokerScout.com), boding well for a significant increase as the weekend begins.
“This is a historic moment for our company,” said Caesars Interactive Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Mitch Garber as the site began operation. “A state-of-the-art poker offering from one of the most established and regulated operators in the United States, is finally here. We have taken the 43-year-old World Series of Poker brand and combined it with the Caesars Entertainment portfolio of assets to provide consumers with what we believe will be an unrivaled poker offering to satisfy today’s technologically savvy consumer. We will bridge land-based and online gaming in ways that have never been seen before.”
The site, which is available to those on normal PCs as well as Mac users, is going to offer a wealth of action for its customers. Besides the usual cash games (starting at $.01/$.02), sit and go’s and multi-table tournaments, WSOP.com will also offer Omaha and Seven Card Stud alongside Texas Hold’em. Deposit methods include e-Checks, Visa and MasterCard (both debit and credit), while withdrawal methods can be done through e-Checks and physically mailed checks to players.
“As a long-standing World Series of Poker employee, it is gratifying to see this day upon us,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “Our players have played an important part in the success of the World Series of Poker the past decade, and we will work very hard to cultivate a strong poker community and positively represent the game of poker in the online world as we have in the land-based environment.”
Several promotions are planned for the opening few weeks of the site, but the one that is getting perhaps the most attention is the WSOP.com Online Championships in October, which were teased heavily also during this summer’s WSOP. A series of nine tournaments with $500,000 in added money, the tournament series will conclude with those nine tournament champions coming together for the “Online Nine,” a tournament that will run alongside the “November Nine” finale of the 2013 WSOP Championship Event in November.
The opening has not been without some issues, however. Some players commented on the geolocation software that wouldn’t allow them access, even though they were physically located in the state, while others did point out issues with the actual functions of the site during play. Overall, however, players seemed to be happy with the debut of another site in Nevada (especially Mac users) and have indicated that bonus offerings and deposits went flawlessly.
WSOP.com joins Ultimate Poker as the only two sites that have taken part in the newly regulated online poker industry in Nevada. The two sites have made their mark already in the online poker industry rankings, with Ultimate Poker sitting in 33rd place in the ratings and the newly-released WSOP.com hitting in 53rd place after less than 24 hours of operation. Other sites have been rumored to come online (in particular the MGM Resorts International/bwin.Party offering) but, as of yet, there have been no firm dates announced for any further expansion of online poker in the Silver State.