PokerStars Releases Full Tournament Schedule For Its Upcoming New Jersey Festival
Online Poker Report

PokerStars New Jersey Festival Schedule Targets More Than Just Serious-Minded Poker Players

PokerStars has published the full schedule of the forty tournament events it is presenting for the first ever PokerStars New Jersey Festival.

The operator is partnered with Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, and all events will be held at the casino.

This will be the first PokerStars-sponsored live event ever held in New Jersey, and has been eagerly awaited ever since PokerStars entered the NJ online poker market in March this year.

Low buy-ins dominate schedule

The Festival takes place between October 29 and November 6, and includes a five day Main Event priced at $1,100 and a High Roller with a relatively low $2,200 buy-in.

There are plenty of events at lower price points. The inaugural PokerStars Cup is $340 and the PokerStars Open costs $230. The majority of events cost between $200 and $500.

The majority of events are of the No Limit Hold’em variety, but there are also a swatch of alternative events, including O8, PLO, and HORSE tournaments. There is even an event that blends No Limit Hold’em with the ultimate skill game, Chess.

The day before the Festival officially gets underway, there will be an “Onlive Freeroll.” This introductory event on 29 October is a satellite tournament offering five Main Event seats as prizes. Players play in the casino, but the tournament is being run online.

Entry is completely free but players must have a valid and active PokerStars NJ account, and either register for or already have a PSLive Card.

Also, participants must bring their own mobile device or laptop pre-installed with the software.

StarsFun adds skill games with cash prizes

A development of events used in other PokerStars sponsored tournaments around the world is the StarsFun Skills Zone.

Located inside the Atlantic Ballroom, from October 31 to November 4, visitors can play a range of fun games such as: Miniature Golf Hole-in-One Progressive, Hoops Fever Progressive and Pinball Progressive, each carrying cash prize pools.

In addition there will be free-play games such as table tennis, air hockey, foosball, cornhole, and darts.

PokerStars Casino is being promoted to poker players

PokerStars is a relatively recent entrant to the NJ online casino market, and the company is putting some effort into enticing poker players to try out casino games.

During the first week, players will be offered the chance to play tournaments based on casino games. They will get the chance to take “a first look at our brand new PokerStars Casino Festival events, featuring an innovative take on traditional blackjack, roulette, video poker and slot tournaments.”

The PokerStars Festival follows the NJCOOP

New Jersey poker players are getting a heady few weeks of promotions from PokerStars. The New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) begins on October 15, and continues to October 31.

The two days when both the NJCOOP and PokerStars Festival are running concurrently should not make for many difficult choices.

The $200,000 guaranteed NJCOOP Main Event should finish late on October 30 or early the following morning, while the first flight of entries for the Festival Main Event doesn’t start playing until November 1.

Out-of-state visitors coming early for the PokerStars Festival will be able to play online in the NJCOOP Main Event, but if they do, they will miss the “Onlive Freeroll.”

PokerStars is fighting for market share

The NJCOOP is guaranteeing $1.2 million in prizes, a direct response to the over $1.1 million guaranteed by the Garden State Super Series (GSSS V) run by Party Poker NJ and Borgata Poker from October 9 to October 23.

Since establishing an immediate market lead in the New Jersey market, PokerStars has seen cash game traffic decline. WSOP NJ and 888poker NJ are now the leading network in terms of cash game traffic.

The more important measure is revenue numbers, and at the moment PokerStars and Resorts Casino remain ahead of their competitors.

Figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show August revenues of $865,150 for Resorts, with WSOP/888 second at $699,526 and Borgata/Party placing third with revenues of $608,812.

The combination of the higher prizes at the NJCOOP with the brand projection PokerStars is making with the Festival should help to shore up, if not increase PokerStars’ market share.

Either way, New Jersey poker players are getting the benefit of the additional competition PokerStars has brought to the market.

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Joss Wood
- A former editor of Poker Industry Pro, Joss Wood is a graduate in English from the University of Birmingham. Joss also holds a master’s degree in Organisational Development from the University of Manchester. His career path has taken him from the British Army, through business and finance to seven years as a successful professional poker player.