When PokerStars returns to New Jersey, which seems virtually assured at this point, there’s a good chance that they’ll immediately compete for the top spot in the state’s online poker market. It feels like PokerStars realizes that as well, as the company has reportedly shown some players in the state an ambitious proposed schedule for tournaments on their New Jersey Internet poker site.
According to Two Plus Two forums poster Dan Burns, that schedule was released at one of the PokerStars meetings that were held last week. The poster said that they attended the meet and greet in Jersey City, where PokerStars officials looked for input from local poker players who had accounts on the site before Black Friday.
“They were trying to get a feel for what NJ players prefer,” he wrote in his post, which he said was a copy of an email he sent to friends after attending the event. “Turbos? Deep stacks? Gimmicky tournaments like Fifty50s and knockouts/bounties? Six handed or nine handed cash games? What should the min. and max buy ins be for cash?”
Perhaps most significantly, players were also treated to a sneak peek at what could become the regular weekly schedule at a future PokerStars site in New Jersey. Based on what Dan Burns posted, it appears as though they are taking cues from the other major sites currently operating in the state in order to immediately compete for players there.
“I took a look at their proposed tournament schedule and there is some variety, but no real sexy guarantees during the week,” he wrote. “On Sunday they will have a $50 Sunday Warm Up freezeout with a 10K guarantee and a $200 Sunday with a $50K guarantee.”
That $50,000 guarantee would likely make that Sunday tournament one of the two largest events in the state, as it has the exact same specifications as the largest tournament on the Borgata/partypoker site. This could set up a situation in which both sites are running “Sunday Majors,” directly competing for high-stakes players. Right now, the partypoker tournament often has an overlay, meaning PokerStars would have to surpass partypoker’s traffic or accept the tournament as a loss leader until their numbers came up.
While the tournament schedule may have been the most interesting new information to come out of Dan Burns report, that wasn’t the only topic he said was discussed at the meeting. During the event, which featured about 25 players and two “management guys” from PokerStars, the issue of geolocation came up. The failure of this technology to allow all New Jersey residents to play on the state’s gambling sites has been a major issue.
“They said the NJ law forces them to use one of the two or three Geolocation technology providers specified, so they really can’t do a lot that is different from the other sites in that regard,” he wrote. “That being said, they are doing everything they can within that framework to be the best in the state at it.”
Other topics, such as the VIP loyalty program on the site and the company’s plans for hiring in New Jersey, were also broached during the event. In addition, the poster said that the PokerStars representatives gave comments that suggested they could be back in the state quite soon.
“There’s no definite information yet, but they say depending on how smoothly their licensing process goes, cards can be in the air anywhere from six weeks to six months from now,” he wrote.