The full real money launch of PokerStars NJ has passed the two-week mark with New Jersey’s newest online poker operator holding down a 42% share of the ring game market.
As of this writing, PokerStars NJ averages 180 cash game players, while the WSOP.com and 888poker NJ partnership plays host to 150 players, and the Partypoker NJ and BorgataPoker.com tandem trails the field with 100.
PokerStars NJ jumped to the lead almost from the outset of its March 21 launch, giving weight to the theory that American players sorely miss the action on the virtual tables of the world’s top poker site. The ring-fenced New Jersey market is the next best thing for those fortunate enough to be traveling to or residing in the Garden State.
The early numbers in favor of the red spade’s New Jersey edition raises the question of whether or not PokerStars NJ can maintain its grip on the largest share of the state’s online poker market. Will the novelty slowly wear off, resulting in players making their way back to the competition such as WSOP.com and Partypoker NJ who have been in operation for more than two years?
A look at overall traffic numbers as reported by PokerScout.com reveals that cash game player traffic at the beginning of March (before PokerStars NJ launched) averaged 330 players between the two networks – 190 at WSOP/888 and 140 at Party/Borgata. That total as of this writing and including PokerStars NJ now stands at 430, a 30% boost in ring game action.
Those numbers do not take into account the Spin & Go tables at PokerStars NJ, the jackpot-style SitNGos that have been a huge success at PokerStars dot-com. New Jersey players have gotten their first taste of the hyper-turbo action, which may cause some to remain loyal to ‘Stars even when they perhaps tire of Spin & Go and meander over to the cash game tables from time to time.
Speaking of Spin & Gos, PokerStars NJ is hoping to maintain its momentum as market leader by running a $100,000 Spin & Go promotion. Such marketing efforts may go a long way in staving off the competition, provided that the insider trading allegations faced by Amaya CEO David Baazov don’t derail PokerStars’ aspirations of making an indelible footprint in New Jersey and other potential U.S. markets.
Read More: Bye Baazov: Amaya Needs His Absence
PokerStars NJ’s competitors have launched promos of their own with the goal of keeping pace with the newcomer. A Spring Fever Giveaway by 888poker NJ will dish out $300,000 before summer arrives. WSOP.com also has a number of promotions running, including the Road to the WSOP, which allows New Jersey players to win their way to WSOP events.
Online satellites to the prestigious WSOP are a huge attraction for players everywhere and New Jersey is no exception. As the summer months draw nearer, players in the Garden State may make their way over to the likes of WSOP.com, eschewing the Spin & Go action at PokerStars NJ for a shot at even bigger scores.
PokerStars NJ’s rise to the top of the online poker market is certainly not a surprise to most. However, I would venture to guess that in a couple of months from now the average number of ring game players in the state will be less than the current total of 430. Also, that 42% share will likely decrease somewhat, citing the novelty factor as well as the promotional efforts of the competition.