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Since launching for real money on March 21, PokerStars NJ took control of the cash game online poker market in New Jersey and enjoyed that status for more than six weeks.

As of this writing, that lead has vanished.

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The latest figures from reveal the seven-day average of ring game players at PokerStars NJ to be 140. Traffic numbers at the and 888poker NJ pairing are also currently 140. Trailing those two sites is the Partypoker NJ/Borgata Poker partnership with 85 cash game players.

A Look Back

When March began and before PokerStars NJ arrived, the WSOP/888poker tandem was hosting action for 190 players. Partypoker and Borgata’s seven-day average was 140.

At the beginning of April, just 10 days or so after the launch of PokerStars NJ, the state’s new operator enjoyed an average of 160 ring game players. Its rivals saw traffic slip to 140 for WSOP/888 and 95 at Partypoker/Borgata.

PokerStars NJ managed to boost player traffic in the overall New Jersey market from 330 cash game players to 395 within the first two weeks of launching, an increase of almost 20%. One month later and the three sites/networks combined total 365, which is roughly 10% better than pre-PokerStars NJ.

What’s Ahead?

With the weather beginning to heat up and the novelty of a new poker site showing signs of wearing off, the inflated New Jersey online poker market may lose that 10% increase by the time June rolls around. Still to be determined is the site or network that takes the biggest hit this month.

At the moment, the network most affected by PokerStars’ arrival has been Party/Borgata, as cash game traffic has tumbled 39%. The decrease at WSOP/888 is two-thirds that percentage at 26%.

Big Month for Promos

Party/Borgata may likely continue to feel the pressure as PokerStars NJ will host the New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker from May 15-29. NJSCOOP will guarantee $1,100,000 in prize money over 54 events that include both high and low buy-ins of the same 27 tournaments.

WSOP NJ also has big plans for the month of May (and June) with online qualifiers for various World Series of Poker events beginning on May 5. The Colossus, Millionaire Maker, Monster Stack and Main Event are among the live events that New Jersey online poker players will be gunning for.

Partypoker and Borgata Poker hope to keep pace by offering online satellites to the WSOP Main Event that start at $12.50. The promo takes great pains in avoiding using the “WSOP” acronym, instead calling it the “Las Vegas Main Event.”

While online tournament action is not factored into cash game traffic numbers, players sometimes stick around for ring games after getting bounced from the tournament – or multi-table cash games and tournaments simultaneously.

Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.