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When New Jersey ushered in its Internet gambling industry last November, many assumed that the state’s newly-minted poker sites would quickly capitalize on the vast cross-promotional opportunities afforded by their ties to AC’s brick and mortar casinos.
Yet, to date, promotional events linking sites to their land-based counterparts have proven few and far between. And of the ones that have launched, most turned out to be underwhelming.
But with Atlantic City hosting two of the most prestigious live tournament events of the year, the Garden State’s iGaming market has stumbled upon the equivalent of cross-promotional gold.
In the past week New Jersey’s big guns – Party / Borgata and WSOP – rolled out new promos, all of which grant players pining to win their way into the WPT Championship or WSOPC National Championship on the cheap with an opportunity to do so.
Both NJ.PartyPoker.com and BorgataPoker.com are offering players multiple opportunities to win entry into the first NJ-based WPT Championship, albeit via slightly different means.
Party is currently hosting daily satellites into a 64 player HU Shootout Tournament to be held on April 13th.
The first place finisher of that tournament will receive an automatic bid into the $15,000 Championship. Direct satellite buy-ins start at $20, but players can also qualify through less expensive sub-qualifiers.
Additionally, step ticket holders can exchange their Step 4 or higher tickets for entry into one of three direct qualifiers, each of which will also be held on the 13th.
And rounding out Party’s menu of WPT qualifiers is April 17th’s Last Chance tournament – bringing the minimum number of WPT seats won on Party to five.
Borgata Poker has opted for a more straightforward approach.
Players willing to pony up either $2,000 in cash or a Step 6 ticket can participate in a 12-handed SNG. First place finishers will receive immediate entry into the WPT Championship with second through fourth place finishers granted a second chance at direct entry.
WSOP.com has taken a two-tiered approach to its latest cross-promotional foray.
Via its Knockout Series mini-series, players who win one of 14 small-to-mid buy-in events will be entered into an exclusive Champions Freeroll, with the winner rewarded automatic entry into the WSOPC National Championship Event.
The Knockout Series is set to launch on April 20th, a mere one day after Party / Borgata hosts the inaugural NJCOP event. Tournaments will be held daily until the series culminates on May 4th.
The site will also be awarding a second WSOPC seat via a promotional freeroll. To be held on May 17th, any player that makes a deposit from now until April 30th will be bestowed a tournament ticket (max 8,000).
It’s still slightly unclear as to whether the WSOPC National Championship freeroll will award more than one seat, but my assumption is that it will not.
While WSOPC Championship entry is typically reserved for players who either win a Circuit Main Event, or qualify through exemplary play, WSOP’s Knockout Series provides players who would otherwise be refused admission with a rare alternative entry outlet.
Unique to this year’s WSOPC Championship is that it will be held at Bally’s newly-branded 42-table WSOP poker room. The event will kick off on on May 22nd.
Should an online qualifier win either the WSOPC National Championship or WPT Championship, it could spark a miniaturized Moneymaker effect in New Jersey – more so if the winner qualifies via a freeroll or micro buy-in event.
Furthermore, the stock of any site that facilitates the winner will invariably rise, potentially leading to a shake-up in the marketplace.
Currently, Party /Borgata holds a slight edge over WSOP.com for the market lead.