The launch of real-money online poker at WSOP.com is officially still on for September 19, but players who had registered in advance are already playing.
Those players who had signed up during the summer when WSOP.com began allowing play-money online poker received an email recently that contained a link enabling a download to the new WSOP software. A number of Nevada residents and tourists have taken advantage of the opportunity to become the first real-money players at the nation’s second regulated online poker site.
After downloading the new WSOP poker client, players may visit the online cashier cage and make their first deposits via e-check, Mastercard or Visa. From there, a limited number of real-money micro-stakes cash games, SitNGos, and multi-table freeroll tournaments are available.
The real-money action is still sparse at this time, with the official launch set for tomorrow at 9:19 a.m. PST. However, there is no doubt that players who registered while the 44th annual WSOP was underway at the Rio over the summer are enjoying a small taste of what is yet to come in real money online poker from the worldwide-recognized WSOP brand name.
WSOP.com follows Ultimate Poker into one of the legal Nevada poker sites, finally gaining the approval of state gaming officials. UP had enjoyed its lone first-to-market status for about 4 and 1/2 months, but will now have to make way for the new kid in town.
And just like a popular schoolboy who sees the new kid grabbing the attention and limelight that previously had been bestowed on him, Ultimate Poker will likely play second fiddle to the powerful WSOP brand. Many players have not forgotten the problems associated with UP’s somewhat hurried launch on April 30 and it may lead to the transfer of allegiance to WSOP.com.
WSOP is so confident of its product and offering that it has shunned signing any professional players as site ambassadors. This marketing strategy debunks that of many other online poker sites that seem to need to align themselves with a stable of poker pros. But WSOP has decades of the most prestigious live tournaments under its belt, which may be all that’s necessary to establish a strong command of the newly-regulated U.S. marketplace.
With software provided by 888 Poker in a partnership agreement already established in the UK, WSOP.com is poised to take the lead in Nevada online poker player traffic. That will be known for sure following the official debut on Thursday when play commences for all players within Nevada.