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Fast-fold formats have had trouble finding their footing in New Jersey, due primarily to challenges posed by the market’s hard population cap.
Whether or not PokerStars NJ can buck the trend remains to be seen, but there appears to be reason for cautious optimism.
Initially restricted to $0.05/$0.10, Zoom was quickly expanded to include the $0.01/$0.02, $0.25/$0.50 and $1/$2 stakes. All games are six-handed affairs and the rake schedules are the same as they are for traditional games. A snapshot of current activity reveals some interesting, albeit early, trends:
In the two-and-a-half years that Party/Borgata has supported fast-fold, I can recall just one brief period when the format generated any sort of interest at all – and that was during a fast-fold promotion held in 2014.
Since, the lobby has been a barren wasteland of inactivity.
Given this, and the fact that only a select few similarly sized international sites have had luck with the format, any fast-fold activity should be viewed as a win for PokerStars NJ.
Of course, the format is still a novelty in New Jersey, and it remains to be seen whether or not it has the pull to become a mainstay.
But smart money says it’ll stick around, for a couple of reasons:
According to Poker Industry Pro via PokerScout, 7-day average traffic ballooned 18 percent from May 31 to June 6. Liquidity has since faltered somewhat, but appears to now be stabilizing at just over 130 cash game players.
These figures suggest that the recent changes at PokerStars are proving effective at driving players to the site.
What’s more, is that should the fast-fold format take hold, then the average player on the site will be seeing more hands, resulting in higher player value, and by extension, greater revenue for the operator.
The hope is that at least a portion of this windfall will go toward more recreational-player friendly promotions, like the aforementioned CardHunt.