New Jersey’s online poker market has seen a rapid shift after WSOP.com and 888poker.com entered into a liquidity agreement last week that now sees the two sites sharing player pools for many cash games and tournaments.
Both sites have seen tremendous gains in their cash game player pools, with WSOP.com becoming the market leader in traffic after the change.
According to figures at PokerScout.com, traffic at WSOP.com in New Jersey is up around 49 percent since the liquidity agreement went into effect.
The site is now boasting an average of 190 cash game players over the past week, making it the largest online poker site not only in New Jersey, but in any regulated American market.
Three Biggest USA Poker Sites Now in New Jersey
In fact, New Jersey is now home to the three largest regulated poker sites in the USA. At 888poker.com, which is also known as the All American Poker Network, the traffic gains have been even more impressive.
Since the agreement, 888poker has seen its cash game traffic increase by more than 75 percent, enough to move it into the #2 spot in the New Jersey traffic rankings with an average of 170 players.
The partypoker/Borgata network has remained steady, averaging about 160 cash game players, but has fallen to third place because of the growth at the other two sites.
Because WSOP.com and 888poker.com do not share all of their players at all times, they are still regarded as independent sites in terms of their traffic numbers.
While low-stakes cash games and selected tournaments share players from the two sites, other games are still independent of each other.
This means that the size of the combined WSOP/888 player pool is almost certainly overstated by PokerScout’s numbers.
Many players are being counted on both sites, despite the fact that there is only one account logged in; were the two sites to be entirely merged as a network, those phantom players would disappear.
Still, the traffic growth is a big win for both sites, and it’s clear that the combined player pools have been enough to surpass the party/Borgata partnership for the top spot in the state.
New Jersey Poker Market Could Be Bouncing Back
The overall cash game market in New Jersey is up around 33 percent since the liquidity agreement, though again, much of that increase may be an artifact of some players appearing on both WSOP.com and 888poker.com.
It is difficult to say just how much of a long-term improvement the state online poker market has improved because of the partial merger.
However, there are signs that the market is bouncing back a bit after a rough second half of 2014.
In December, overall revenues for New Jersey’s poker sites bounced back above the $2 million mark, the first time in four months that the state saw an increase.
While that’s still a far cry from early 2014, when the sites were bringing in $3 million or more each month, it’s still a much-needed positive sign for a market that many feared might never live up to its potential.
More good news could be coming. There are rumors that PokerStars could be approved for a license in the state as soon as March, which could spark new interest in online poker in New Jersey.
Players are also flocking into Atlantic City for the Borgata Winter Poker Open this month, which could provide a revenue boost similar to (if smaller than) the one enjoyed by Nevada during the World Series of Poker.