The first ever tri-state shared player pool online poker games launched in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware on Monday night.
The games were played on the WSOP.com sites in New Jersey and Nevada, 888 Poker in New Jersey, and the 888-powered Delaware online poker network’s Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway sites.
It appeared some of the sites saw a small bump in traffic and the games went off without any technical problems. The tri-state shared liquidity games actually launched one night before they were expected to.
The sites announced in mid-April they had submitted games and software to regulatory bodies in all three states for testing. Approval was anticipated and the online poker rooms sounded hopeful interstate play would go live on Tuesday, May 1.
New Jersey signed on to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) interstate compact in October 2017. Nevada and Delaware online poker sites have shared player pools under the agreement since 2015.
888 Holdings is the long-time software provider for Caesars Interactive Entertainment and it’s World Series of Poker-branded online poker sites. It also provides a similar service to all three sites in the exclusive Delaware racino online poker network.
888 and Caesars are the only organizations with sites in all three states. That made it obvious they would be the first to apply for and launch tri-state shared liquidity games.
Bigger tournament prize pools and more cash game traffic
Now that the games are live and players in all three states are competing against one another, they can begin to look ahead at a schedule promising to bring larger tournament prize pools and increased cash game traffic across the board.
Of course, the immediate uptick in traffic will be more noticeable in the smaller markets of Nevada and Delaware. However, if WSOP’s head of online poker Bill Rini is correct, significant growth will be seen across all three states over time. Particularly as the increasing numbers continue to attract even more poker players back online for the first time in years.
In fact, all signs point to legal and regulated online poker in the US seeing significant growth over the next while. Pennsylvania lawmakers approved online poker legislation in October 2017. The first sites will likely launch in late 2018.
It will likely double the size of interstate online poker if Pennsylvania becomes the fourth state to sign on to the MSIGA interstate compact. Most expect Pennsylvania to sign on at some point.
Plus, it could create a domino effect with other states on the fence about online poker passing legislation once Pennsylvania goes live.
The immediate benefits of interstate online poker
For now, only players in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware can enjoy the benefits of interstate online poker. Including completely revamped tournament schedules with $15 million worth of guarantees from May through September.
The tri-state tri-state shared liquidity tournament schedule now features tournament guarantees worth $250,000 every Sunday. This includes a $320 buy-in $100,000 guaranteed tournament at 7 p.m. every Sunday.
There is at least one tournament with a guarantee of $10,000 or more running every day. Plus, there is a full range of freerolls into guaranteed tournaments and WSOP satellites over the next two and a half months.
WSOP online bracelet events in Nevada and New Jersey
Players in New Jersey and Nevada will also have the ability to play for a World Series of Poker bracelet from either state coming up in June. Delaware players cannot play in WSOP online bracelet events.
Previously, Nevada players were the only ones able to enter WSOP online bracelet events. The WSOP is planning to host four online WSOP bracelet events this June.
The four 2018 WSOP online bracelet events include:
- $365 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em on June 3
- $565 WSOP.com ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed on June 22
- $1,000 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em Championship on June 29
- $3,200 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em High Roller on June 30
Additionally, tri-state shared liquidity has seen the sites update all cash games offerings. Nevada and New Jersey loyalty programs have also been upgraded.
Players in those two states will now take part in the Poker Rewards loyalty club. It offers up to 32 percent rakeback based on the amount of play.
Finally, WSOP.com wants everyone to celebrate the player pooling with a big splashy MTT to kick things off. The Coast to Coast Online Poker Classic. The event features $1 million in guarantees and runs from May 11-May 20. The Main Event will feature a $200,000 guarantee and a $500 buy-in. The full schedule is available on WSOP.com.