PokerStars brings back PCA format after year hiatus, but it's not clear if NJ will be a part of it

NJ Online Poker Check-In: Borgata/PartyPoker Sunday Major Now Offers WPT Seat

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Here’s a look at what’s new in the world of NJ online poker sites, including the return of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and chances to win a seat WPT Borgata Poker Open.

PartyPoker NJ / Borgata

Major changes/announcements: From July 23 through Sept. 10, the winner of the Sunday $215 buy-in $40,000 guaranteed will also win a $3,500 seat to the WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship that starts Sept. 17.

New tournaments: The Mega Tuesday $500/$15k with one re-entry has been taken off the schedule but replaced with a Sunday $535/$20k with two re-entries.

Prize pool/structure changes: The structures of all of the nightly tournaments recently underwent a few phases of change. The implemented changes were supposed to enable tournaments to finish earlier and feature better structures. However, some of the changes were ill-met with players, which included ending late registration earlier.

Fortunately, the PartyPoker NJ / Borgata people listened to the players and re-instituted the later registration times. Satellites are also now running online for the $2 million opening event at Borgata that starts Sept. 5.

Upcoming online series: TBA

Good news/bad news: Tuesdays in NJ online poker won’t be as exciting now with one less big buy-in multi-table tournament (MTT), but moving it to Sunday with a larger guarantee seems to be the right move as it will likely do much better on that day.

This is the latest change in what has been a pretty consistent schedule alteration for the network, which is something that Party/Borgata seems to do more often and willingly than the other sites. Their roster of poker pros/ambassadors seems not to be just for show and retweets; they consult with them often and actually make changes based on their recommendations. The other NJ sites could definitely learn from them in this regard.


Major changes/announcements: The poker operator recently announced the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) tournament series will return to its original format in 2018. Some positive changes have been made regarding tournament buy-ins, reduced rake and better food options. PokerStars has yet to indicate plans, or lack thereof, for online satellites to the events in New Jersey.

New tournaments: The second live offering from PokerStars in NJ since it re-entered the NJ market: $220/$100k Mega Stack, Oct. 6-8, at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City.

Prize pool/structure changes: The Big $50/$2k lowered to $1,800 guaranteed. The Nightly $100/$4k lowered to $3,500 guaranteed.

Upcoming online series: TBA

Good news/bad news: Several NJ players have voiced their desire for satellites to the PCA in January 2018. They’ve been advised that their voices are being heard and taken into consideration.

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WSOP NJ / 888 Poker NJ

Major changes/announcements: None

New tournaments: None

Prize pool/structure changes: The nightly $30 rebuy is still at the reduced summer rate of $8,000 guaranteed from its usual $10k. Hopefully it changes back in September with the NJ player pool back in the state, post-WSOP. The $10/$5k is now $15/$5k. The $100/$2k was renamed “The 2015” and is now a $100/$2,015. The Sunday $10/$1k is now $11/$1,111.

Upcoming online series: TBA

Good news/bad news: A recent update to the software has been receiving mixed reviews. The client is known to randomly freeze up on players, locking them out of play for several minutes at a time. Players complain that customer service doesn’t help and this has been the consistent sentiment when dealing with WSOP NJ customer service regardless of the issue. The update seems to have helped some but others report the issue is as bad as it’s ever been.

WSOP changing the names and buy-ins slightly of a few of its MTTs seems to be an attempt of branding cohesion, making it resemble some of the featured live tournaments that take place each summer in Las Vegas. These changes are unlikely to attract more players, however, since the changes are of no benefit to anyone.

There are also known issues regarding WSOP’s player-of-the-year points and tallying, with many unexplained and unanswered issues. Weeks will go by without points moving, some players’ points move and others don’t — even if they’ve all been active. Players have complained that customer service again provides no help and also refuses to give players any sort of forensic accounting regarding how the POY points are awarded and calculated. They have admitted “problems” with the process but aren’t willing to offer any information or clarity aside from that. Transparency is important for this sort of thing, but WSOP doesn’t seem to agree.

- Katie Stone is a professional poker player who lives in New Jersey. After moving to Mexico after Black Friday, she returned to her home state of New Jersey in 2014 when online poker became legalized there.
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