Online poker site WSOP.com has taken over as the largest room in the New Jersey Internet market, following a dramatic week that saw a major shift in cash game traffic rankings overall.
Within only a week of a liquidity sharing agreement between WSOP and 888poker finally coming together, traffic has increased at the World Series of Poker-branded site by enough to overtake the Borgata/partypoker network as the top online poker entity in the state.
A week ago, WSOP.com was ranked second in New Jersey by PokerScout, in terms of average cash game players on their site. Meanwhile, the All American Poker Network, hosted at 888poker.com, was in third place.
That’s when the two rooms announced that they would begin sharing their player pools in some games, including most low-stakes cash games and a select group of guaranteed prize pool tournaments.
The results since then have been impressive for both sites.
At WSOP, cash game traffic is up nearly 50 percent since the merger, while 888poker has seen an increase of more than 75 percent. That’s been enough for both sites to overtake partypoker New Jersey to become the top two sites in the state.
It doesn’t appear that the partypoker/Borgata network has lost any traffic because of the merger, however, as its numbers are similar to those reported by PokerScout a week earlier. However, the site now slipped to the third spot in the rankings because of the gains of the other two operators.
It’s not entirely clear just how large the WSOP/888poker combination is, however.Â Simply adding up the numbers from both sites won’t work: the two sites are still treated as independent by PokerScout, since high-stakes games and many tournaments are still segregated.
That means that there’s some double-counting involved: a player in a low-stakes Hold’em game, for instance, is on both WSOP.com and 888poker.com at the same time, and counts for both of the sites’ traffic figures.
But even with that caveat, there is no doubt that the sites have benefitted from the merger.Â Both WSOP.com and 888poker.com are now viable alternatives to partypoker New Jersey, and there will be plenty of interest in the state’s January revenue reports.
In December, partypoker/Borgata held about 54 percent of New Jersey’s online poker revenue; while the WSOP/888 group clearly has more traffic now, it remains to be seen if that translates into profits for Caesars and 888 Holdings, the parent companies of the two sites.
The successful liquidity sharing is just one of a number of positive signs for the New Jersey online poker market over the past month. The most recent revenue report showed an improvement in December, as the sites took in more than $2 million for the month. It was the first time in four months that month-over-month revenues had improved, and could be a sign that the seasonal increase expected by many observers has finally arrived.
New Jersey may also see a bump in January, as the Borgata Winter Poker Open is expected to draw many players to Atlantic City, some of whom might take to the virtual felt as well.
In addition, there have been rumblings that PokerStars could be approved for an online gambling license in the state as soon as March. Many hope that the introduction of the popular brand could attract new blood to online poker and help reinvigorate the market.