Positive Start for Online Poker in Pennsylvania Courtesy of PokerStars PA Launch

November 13th, 2019 | by Jason Reynolds

Hopes are high for online poker in Pennsylvania following a positive opening week for its first active operator, PokerStars PA.

PokerStars PA

Online poker in Pennsylvania has got off to the perfect start thanks to PokerStars PA. (Image: Philadelphia Business Journal)

Posting the highlights from its first few days of real money action, the operator has given away over $950,000 in prize money.

According to the statistics, more than 15,000 sit n’ go tournaments were played in the days following the November 4 soft launch. Those games have already paid out $500,000+, while MTTs have yielded prizepools exceeding $450,000.

PokerStars PA Starts Strong

In tandem with tournaments, PokerStars PA has welcomed hundreds of cash game players. JeremyBearimy etched his name in the history books by winning the first real money pot worth $3.82 but many others have since followed.

By all accounts, two days of testing and the grand opening have gone extremely well for PokerStars.

Other highlights from the first week of action, include:

The first $100 Sunday Special attracted 472 entries and was won by Catfur77 who banked $7,712.

Day 2 saw the first five-figure prizepool generated thanks to the $50 Bounty Builder.

The most popular tournament on Day 1 was the $20 Moonlight Express, which was won by TallnessBink who scooped $651.

Although the initial excitement may subside in the coming months, the latest stats are encouraging for online poker in Pennsylvania.

After months of uncertainty regarding the launch date for online poker, the Keystone State is poised to become one of the largest gaming markets in the US.

Online Poker in Pennsylvania Could be Set to Boom

With a population of almost 13 million, Pennsylvania has more potential than New Jersey in terms of total players. While the reality may not reflect that in time, the numbers are stacked in its favor.

In the short-term, this should help online poker in Pennsylvania gain some traction. However, an initial surge won’t guarantee a sustainable economy.

As New Jersey has demonstrated in recent months, poker doesn’t always follow the trend. Despite online casino and sports betting revenue blooming in the Garden State, poker has struggled to maintain any positive momentum.

Even a liquidity sharing pact with Nevada and Delaware hasn’t prevented a continued downswing.

With Pennsylvania a lone wolf at this point, maintaining a buoyant online poker economy could be tough. The opening week has proved interest in the game is high but that may not be enough.

Federal regulation would provide the best solution to any potential liquidity issues. But with no suggestion that’s going to happen any time soon, state-based agreements might be necessary.

For now, online poker in Pennsylvania is in a positive place. With PokerStars PA performing well and other operators set to go live in the coming weeks, activity should remain high well into 2020.

The tricky task for all involved will be to innovate and ensure the current upswing continues.


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