PokerStars Holding Just A Slight Lead in NJ Market

When PokerStars launched its real-money product in New Jersey on March 21st, analysts were anticipating an immediate boost to the state’s online poker traffic, with the site then going on to dominate the whole of the industry. While they may have been initially correct, a little over one month later and things haven’t panned out quite as anticipated.
One week prior to PokerStars NJ entering the market, the state’s two operators offering online poker averaged a combined 320 cash game players. That number jumped by a third to 430 players soon after, with PokerStars grabbing 180 players to command a 42% share of NJ’s cash game action, leaving WSOP/888poker (150), and Partypoker (100) licking their wounds.
Fast forward to May 2nd, and New Jersey’s cash poker traffic is currently numbering 375 players, which although 16% higher that the state’s pre-PokerStars market, is still down 13% since its 430 player peak. Furthermore, PokerStars/Resorts has since seen its traffic fall back to 150 players, which is only slightly ahead of WSOP/888 with 140 players, while Party Borgata has been the biggest loser and is currently averaging just 85 players over a seven-day period.
Helping to explain the closer than expected competition is the fact that the WSOP and 888poker are both well-established reputable brands that already enjoy a loyal, satisfied customer base unwilling tojump ship. Another potential factor is the recent controversy surrounding Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov, whose insider trading allegations may have put some players off from joining the site.
Analysts will now be eagerly anticipating next months figures, especially with PokerStars introducing a number of high-profile events in May which should help boost liquidity to the site. This includes the Run It Up Resorts Rumble (RIURR) taking place on May 14th, and the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) running for two weeks from May 15th to May 29th. Commenting upon the upcoming 54 tournament series, PokerStars Team Pro Chris Moneymaker said:
“It’s awesome that [SCOOP is] coming to New Jersey so that players in the region can experience the exciting tournament structures and the thrill that comes with chasing a major tournament title and big prize money. I can’t wait to play in the first NJSCOOP and I plan to stream most of my play live on Twitch. I would love to win a title in its debut year.”

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