PokerStars New Jersey launched a month ago but rose to the top of the Garden State traffic charts in virtually no time. The rise wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone. After all, PokerStars is the biggest brand name in online poker history.
But, despite the common perception, PokerStars actually isn’t dominating the state. In fact, according to updated poker site traffic figures, another site is hanging tough in New Jersey.
WSOP/888, a joint venture between the 888poker and WSOP brands, remains a major player in the state. Partypoker/Borgata, to a lesser extent, is still getting some traffic.
As of Friday the 29th, PokerStars finished the week averaging 140 cash game players in live games. WSOP/888 maintained an average of 130 players. That is a far cry from dominance. Partypoker/Borgata 80 cash game players the past week.
At times, including on Friday night, WSOP/888 actually had more players in games than PokerStars. That’s important to note because Friday and Saturday nights usually have the best action at live and online poker tables.
For Partypoker/Borgata, although it still has a decent amount of traffic, many are left wondering if the site will last. WSOP/888 and PokerStars appear to be taking over the online poker industry in New Jersey.
There is no definitive answer to the question. But there are some potential explanations for why the world’s largest online poker brand hasn’t yet completely dominated the Garden State.
First off, 888poker and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) are strong brands as well. They are more established in New Jersey than is PokerStars. And many of the players on WSOP/888 enjoy the site and likely don’t want to make a switch.
Another potential explanation is the David Baazov factor. Baazov is Amaya Gaming’s CEO, the owner and operator of PokerStars. He is facing some serious allegations of insider trading in Canada, which very well could lure some away from the PokerStars brand.
However, despite the CEO’s alleged funny business, the global PokerStars site is still crushing the competition. Actually, there isn’t really even any competition because PokerStars gets about seven times the amount of traffic of its nearest competitor, 888poker.
A few weeks don’t decide the future. PokerStars very well could end up pushing far ahead of WSOP/888 or vice versa. Time will tell.
But most don’t anticipate WSOP/888 to fall off. Both poker sites have major poker events scheduled for the coming months. PokerStars will be hosting a New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker (NJSCOOP) in May. The series, which features $1.1 million in guaranteed prize pool money, will set the state’s prize pool record.