The fall push has begun for NJ online poker sites, with the major operators either hosting or preparing to host flagship tournament series.
Here’s a quick look at what’s happening across the industry over the next few weeks:
Major changes/announcements: First-ever online Circuit series features 13 ring events in 13 days
New tournaments: $320 WSOP Europe satellites (Sept. 30 and Oct. 7; $15k package)
Upcoming online series: WSOP.com Online Circuit (Sept. 18-30) w/ over $700k in guarantees
Upcoming live events: TBA
The buy-in ranges and guarantees are on point for US online poker right now (with room to grow), and mixing in a number of deeper-stacked events makes them even more attractive. I’m happy to see WSOP continue to offer events that merge the online and land-based product, as much of the online growth in the future will take place at a scale that cannot be matched in the live environment.
Additionally, the site is giving US players two chances to satellite into the €10,350 WSOP Europe Main Event next month in Rozvadov. A pair of $320 satellites award packages that include a seat, a five-night stay at King’s Casino and $2,000 in cash. Seeing this on the WSOP website means there’s a chance it will offer satellites to their other international tour stops in the future, too — potentially giving US players the opportunity to compete in Canada, Holland, Brazil, Australia and/or Uruguay.
It’s an encouraging sign during this period of prospective expansion.
New tournaments: $35+R w/ $1,500 guaranteed at 10 p.m.
Upcoming online series: Garden State Super Series (Oct. 14-21) w/ $450k in guarantees
Upcoming live events: October Monster Stacks (Oct. 15-19) w/ $110k in guarantees; Saturday Series (Oct. 20) w/ $100k guaranteed
Good news/bad news: The Quarterly Leaderboard Freeroll ran this past Sunday, and among the approximately $20k in prizes were two $3,500 seats into this weekend’s World Poker Tour event. The Summer Splash Invitational also awarded another seat. The Summer Splash was a promotion that rewarded Borgata players who entered multiple Sunday $215 events with entries into a $10k invitational. A third promotion also ran, offering $600 seats to online players who entered multiple Mega Tuesday $535 events.
There is a theme here, and it’s one that I hope helps shape the way other online poker sites operate as the player pool expands. More than 50 entries for land-based events were awarded to online players. Having a site where online and land-based events work in harmony, with the details clear to players, encourages growth and trust in online gaming. Recreational players and professionals alike have much to gain from a symbiotic relationship like this, including better tournaments, structures, staff, satellites and player rewards. These events help foster the player community, and everyone benefits when that community feels valued.
Borgata’s GSSS online series starts soon, and while the schedule hasn’t been published, a few highlights I can share are new micro-qualifiers to the $320/$100k Main Event as well as Purple ($500), Black ($100) and Double Green Chip ($25 x 2) bounty tournaments.
Major changes/announcements: Three Platinum Passes up for grabs during NJCOOP
New tournaments: None
Upcoming online series: NJSCOOP (Sept. 29-Oct. 15) w/ 47 events and over $1 million in guaranteed prize pools
Upcoming live events: TBA
Good news/bad news: PokerStars NJ announced the addition of two more Platinum Pass giveaways during NJSCOOP.
The first one takes place on Sept. 30, an $86 buy-in event that’s part of the new Moneymaker Poker Tour. The second is an All-In Shootout for players who enter the NJCOOP Main Event, played on Oct. 16. The final chance for NJ players to win their way in happens later that day, another All-In Shootout open to players who have played at least one NJCOOP event. Adding two extra Platinum Passes is quite a move from PokerStars. It shows that they’re not afraid to spend money here, boosting the optimism surrounding online gaming regulation and expansion.
International Mind Sports Ambassador Jennifer Shahade is also running a unique promotion herself, offering a Platinum Pass to the person who creates the best new game using elements from poker and chess.
Shahade is no stranger to either game and has a history of combining gaming and art to create entirely new formats.
PokerStars is also offering a Main Event Depositor Freeroll just in time for the start of the series for players who deposit $50 or more using code: NJSCOOP.