WSOP/888 should look at changes to WPT satellites

NJ Online Poker Check-In: Tourneys Drop Off Schedule; Pala Increases Guarantees

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Here’s a look at what’s new in the world of NJ online poker sites, including WSOP NJ / 888 Poker getting rid of a nightly tournament and increased guarantees at Pala Poker.


Major changes/announcements: The nightly $30 buy-in rebuy/$8,000 guaranteed was removed from the schedule last week.

New tournaments: None

Prize pool/structure changes: None

Upcoming online series: TBA

Good news/bad news: The unceremonious removal of WSOP’s main nightly tournament doesn’t feel great. There has not been any indication on whether it will return or if something will take its place.

For some reason, intentionally or unintentionally, they tinkered with the structure for the past few months. I think this was a mistake. The structure was fine as-is, and the tournament did not overlay often, even though it did have exactly the minimum of eight players needed for it to start most nights.

I don’t know what they were trying to accomplish with the unimpressive and questionable structure changes, but I absolutely think that WSOP NJ / 888 Poker lost players because of this.

Their Ultimate Warrior Series which runs every FridaySaturday and Sunday is still intact for now. That is odd because the Friday event seems to overlay more often than the nightly $30r did. The Sunday major guarantees also seem to be intact for now.

Maybe WSOP does not yet have a solution to the software and location issues that have pestered the client for so long. This could be an attempt either to fix or somehow soften the effects on players.

Either way, a decent idea would be for them to implement a nightly $100/$10k alongside the other NJ sites, but being that much of what they have done to date has made little sense, I am not optimistic about this happening.


Major changes/announcements: The Sunday Seconds $162 buy-in/$10,000 guaranteed and the Sunday Wrap-Up $109/$5k 6-max were taken off the schedule. Through Sept. 10, the winner of the Sunday $215/$40k will also win a $3,500 seat to the WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship that starts Sept. 17.

New tournaments: none

Prize pool/structure changes: none

Upcoming online series: TBA

Good news/bad news: There is need for change and improvement with the satellites into the WPT $3,500 main events being offered on Borgata and Party.

Historically, satellites run the week before the event. Keeping up with this pattern, there are currently no satellites being offered for the WPT main that starts in a little over a week . I think it would be a good idea to run satellites for a month in advance of this event, and to also change the timing a bit.

Currently, whenever a $400 buy-in satellite into the $3,500 runs at PartyPoker NJ / Borgata, the $45 buy-in into the $400 runs too close to it. That prevents people from playing both steps on the same night.

A good idea might be to offer a hyper turbo or super turbo $45 into the $400 and then offering the $400 into the $3,500 an hour later, perhaps on a Tuesday or early on a Sunday.


Major changes/announcements: None

New tournaments: The second live offering from PokerStars in NJ since it re-entered the market is a two-event mini-series. It consists of the Sunday Special Live which is a $220 buy-in/$100k guaranteed running Oct. 6-8, and the Cheap and Deep event which is a $120/$25k re-entry event.

The series is being held at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. Online satellites into the $100,000 guaranteed live event continue to run online.

Prize pool/structure changes: The nightly $100/$4k that had previously been lowered to $3,500 guaranteed is now back to the original $4k on some nights.

Upcoming online series: The NJ Championship of Online Poker will be held Sept. 30 through Oct. 16, but the multi-table tournament schedule has yet to be released.

Good news/bad news: Poker Stars NJ has been running a good amount of online satellites into its live event in October, which will hopefully ensure a plentiful turnout.

The $100,000 main event seems to be a single-entry event, which is a little underwhelming, yet the $120/$25k is an unlimited re-entry.

NJ players are still inquiring about PokerStars Caribbean Adventure satellites on Poker Stars NJ. Holding satellites during the upcoming NJCOOP could be a good idea, perhaps in the form of a two-step format reminiscent of the European Poker Tour steps satellites that used to run pre-Black Friday.

The 2018 PCA packages will be worth around $12,000, so a good idea might be to run a $100 satellite into a $1k on the weeknights during NJCOOP, and then run the $1k into the $12k PCA package on a TuesdayThursday and/or Sunday.

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Pala Poker

Major changes/announcements: Pala Poker has increased its nightly guarantee totals $1,600.

New tournaments: There are 14 multi-table tournaments each night, ranging in buy-in from 50 cents to $10. The largest single event guarantee is $250.

Prize pool/structure changes: None

Good news/bad news: It seems like there are substantial overlays each night, which isn’t great in the long run. A good idea to bring players over to Pala would be to offer a nightly $50 buy-in rebuy/$5,000 guaranteed that starts alongside the nightly $10k guarantees on the other sites. It would be too good of a tournament for players to ignore, making the likelihood of overlay small.

- 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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