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NJ Online Poker Check-In: PlayMGM Poker Launch, The GSSS, And Player Pools Combining

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Here’s a look at what’s new in the world of NJ online poker sites, including the launch of PlayMGM Poker, the Garden State Super Series, and the prospect of player pools combining with Nevada and Delaware.

WSOP / 888

Major changes/announcements: Player pools will eventually be combining for New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware online poker, although the timeline isn’t known yet. Last week, WSOP NJ held an online Fall Poker Festival in Nevada with eight events and $90,000 guaranteed. No information has been found regarding why NJ was omitted from having an online series as well.

New tournaments: None

Prize pool/Structure changes: None

Upcoming online series: TBA

Good news/bad news: The $30 buy-in, $10,000 guaranteed remains off the schedule. And WSOP NJ didn’t have an online series this fall. But player pools combining in the near future is a good thing to look forward to.

Existing players will presumably enjoy larger prize pools, and new players will be drawn to the possibility of a new and healthier online poker landscape. The three states combining prize pools will hopefully also serve as inspiration for other states to follow suit.

There are lots of new questions now such as:

  • How will they handle heads-up displays not being allowed in Nevada but allowed in NJ?
  • What happens to players with accounts in multiple states?
  • Will players in NJ be able to play the WSOP satellites that run every summer online in Nevada?

I am also hoping that this will lead to a better relationship between sites and their land-based partners, so that we will begin to see online satellites into the WSOP Circuit events around the country.

WSOP has a real edge when it comes to capturing the online market because the Caesars / WSOP brand is visible in so many states. There is so much that can be done to bring new players online and into the casinos, but the cohesiveness lacks, and so does the message.

Borgata / PartyPoker / PlayMGM

Major changes/announcements: PlayMGM Poker is launching this week and is running six weeks of satellites Oct. 22 through Dec. 3 into the $10,000 WPT Bellagio 5 Diamond Classic. That event will be held in Las Vegas, Dec. 5-10. The October promotion of a bonus 215 in tournament dollars if you play all five of the Sunday $40,000 guaranteed tourneys at PartyPoker NJ / Borgata in the month is still running. You get 100 tournament dollars for playing four, and 50 tournament dollars for playing three.

New tournaments: None

Prize pool/Structure changes: The Tuesday $215 buy-in/$5,000 guaranteed is now a $215/$7.5k. This Sunday’s $215/$40k is a $215/$50k in celebration of PlayMGM Poker.

Upcoming online series: The Garden State Super Series (GSSS) is running Oct. 15-22.

Good news/bad news: The GSSS schedule is jam-packed and culminates with an impressive Sunday offering of a $320/$100k in addition to (and not instead of) a $215/$50k to celebrate PlayMGM Poker. The $109 (one re-buy, one add-on)/$10k is also a nice addition and would be nice to see in some form on a weekly basis after the series.

The addition of PlayMGM Poker to the NJ market is interesting because the software is newer and has more updates than the current Borgata and PartyPoker clients. I spoke to Borgata ambassador Michael Gagliano, and he said that he liked the software’s “smooth feel and look.”

It’s also exciting that they are kicking things off with an extremely comprehensive satellite series for a WPT $10k event. Starting Sunday and running for six weeks are nightly step tournaments from $10 to $55 to $535 into the $12k package. This is a great example of Borgata/Party/PlayMGM listening to the players’ suggestions and doing what is most beneficial for the poker community, as well as efficiently bringing online and live players together.

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Major changes/announcements: The Sunday Warmup $50 buy-in/$10,000 guaranteed stayed off the schedule through the end of the NJ Championship of Online Poker. Also on Sunday at PokerStars, the $500 NJCOOP Main Event took the place of the $500 High Roller, there was no 2nd Chance $100/$4k. The $100/$12k was replaced by a $100/$15k Win the Button tournament. A $50/35k ran alongside the main event.

New tournaments: None

Prize pool/Structure changes: None

Upcoming online series: TBA

Good news/bad news: The Sunday Special live tournament held at Resorts Oct. 6-8 was a fun event and nice atmosphere. PokerStars NJ ran some great satellites for this event and hosts live events well. I am hoping that we will see more of them here in NJ in the future.

- 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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