Posted on 22nd September 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Online poker revenue in the state of New Jersey has reached its lowest point since the outbreak of COVID-19 caused Governor Phil Murphy to issue a statewide stay-at-home order on March 21.

According to figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, online poker operators in the state combined to generate $3 million in revenue during the month of August.

Currently, there are three online poker networks operating in the state: PokerStars NJ, the partypoker NJ network and the All American Poker Network (AAPN) which features WSOP.com, the most popular online poker room in the state.

New Jersey Online Poker Revenue by Network:

WSOP NJ – $1,313,066

PokerStars NJ – $971,811

partypoker NJ – $ 750,126

Based on revenue, the AAPN led the market with a 43% share and PokerStars NJ ranked second with a 32% share. The partypoker US Network, which is expected to launch soon in Pennsylvania but without sharing liquidity with its New Jersey operation), was the smallest of the three with a 25% share.

Though the $3 million collected last month represents a 78% increase on August 2019, it also represents a decrease of 37% from July 2020 when the market collectively made $4.8 million in revenue.

In fact, the 37% decline from July 2020 to August 2020 is the biggest monthly decline in history of the market. The next largest decline was in June 2016 when revenue fell 23.4%.

As another point of reference, the decline from July to August last year was just 9.5%.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused online poker revenue in the state (as well as around the world) to rise to levels previously not seen in the market.

So, it wouldn’t be surprising to see online poker revenue drop a bit further in September, but it’s likely the pandemic has created awareness for online poker that will remain well after the public health crisis is over.

Posted on 18th September 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Ever since the World Series of Poker was founded in 1970, it has been going steady while breaking records. To date, the WSOP has paid out over $3.3 billion in prize money, while offering unprecedented television and media exposure for its winners. 

Due to the public health emergency around COVID-19 and the continued delay of live tournaments, the WSOP has launched a new online series celebrating its 50 years of poker action.

The “50th Anniversary Series” online poker festival was launched at the beginning of this month and it will last until September 27.

Altogether, it will feature 50 special themed tournaments including “groovy” freezouts with no re-entry, as was customary in the early years of WSOP. 

Featuring both low-stakes Player Appreciation tournaments and a greater number of “high-rollers,” the 50th Anniversary series aims to replicate the WSOP experience, offering something of interest for every player.

In total $4 million is being given away over the course of this month, with the bulk, $3 million, offered across the 50 themed tournaments. The remainder will be paid out across new daily tournaments and reload bonuses, the company states.

Each Wednesday throughout the festival gives away a “Free Love Freeroll” of $10,000 to reward WSOP.COM players. 

Sundays kick up the action, highlighted by a $100,000 guaranteed tournament for only $50+5 on Sunday, 20 September. And of course, there is a massive $505,050 guarantee Main Event with a $555 buy-in on Sunday, 27 September.

Coming off the record-breaking success of WSOP Online in July, which saw 44,229 entries and a total prize pool of $26.9 million, organizers have jumpstarted the fall campaign with high hopes. 

“It was the biggest summer ever for online poker and WSOP.COM is committed to keeping the momentum going for our US players through aggressive promotions and tournament series,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP.

Posted on 9th September 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

888poker has announced a new set of daily tournaments, called The Classic, that all run as freezeouts.

It is currently being tested out in the dot-com market, with the view of making it permanent if uptake is good. Since launch week, some guarantees have been altered, suggesting the operator is keeping a close eye on turnout.

“We decided to introduce a series of daily tournaments for buy-in levels from $5 to $100 offering classic poker tournaments, with really good, ‘pure poker’ formats,” the 888poker Executive stated, as reported by the Poker Industry PRO.

“While the guaranteed prizes of such tournaments are not going to be as high, we believe the format of these tournaments will have a real appeal for player,”  he added.

Altogether, The Classic will guarantee $12,000 across the five tournaments. Each tournament is run as 8-max event with no re-entry and features reduced rake of under 10%.

The Classic tournaments have rake of 8%, except The $5 Classic which has 9% rake.*

Players are able to late register for tournaments up until 70 minutes after the tournament starts. All players start with 30 big blinds regardless of late reg.

The $50 buy-in Classic is the only tournament that will play out as a Progressive Knockout (PKO) tournament.

Here are some of the features of The Classic:

  • 5 events run daily
  • Reduced rake
  • 8-max format
  • No re-buys
  • 30 big blind starting stacks
  • Late registration for 70 minutes

The Classic Tournaments:

Tournament               Buy-in            Guarantee

The $10 Classic            $10                 $1000 GTD

The $25 Classic            $25                 $2000 GTD

The $5 Classic              $5                   $1000 GTD

The $100 Classic          $100                $5000 GTD

The $50 PKO Classic     $50                  $3000 GTD

The Classic tournaments are currently live in the 888poker lobby.

However, The Classic is not the only excitement you can get over on 888poker, as the operator will be running the Millions Superstorm series starting on September 10 until October 11.

The online tournament series is guaranteeing $8 million spread across 480 tournaments, with buy-ins ranging from $5.50 to $530.

Posted on 3rd September 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Flutter Entertainment is wrapping the PokerStars brand operations in China, Taiwan and Macau as part of the group’s plan to reduce the enlarged business’ exposure to unregulated markets following its merger with the Stars Group.

In its announcement of the group’s financial results for the first six months of 2020 Flutter said “there were a small number of TSG jurisdictions that [it] had previously determined it would not operate in and in such cases, we have now switched these markets off”.

The group has now set in motion the steps to exit the markets of China, Taiwan and Macau, where online gambling is not permitted. However, it did not disclose whether operations in further markets are closing or will close.

“As confirmed in our interim results statement last week we have been reviewing the compliance standards and market exposures of the combined group following our transaction,” a spokesperson for the operator explained. “While we are yet to fully complete our review, we have identified areas where improvements need to be made.”

The spokesperson added that the combined impact of these measures will have an impact of around £65m (€73.2m/$86.8m) on revenue and said the majority of this “relates to aligning our responsible gambling/compliance procedures and putting Flutter’s enhanced checks in place across the PokerStars business”.

Flutter agreed to purchase the Stars Group in October 2019 and the £3.8bn deal closed in May of this year after approval from shareholders of each business.

In its H1 results, Flutter also announced its intention to migrate all sports betting brands to the platform used for its Paddy Power Betfair division.

Additionally, it said that there had been an “underinvestment” in the PokerStars brand and that it would increase spending on the poker giant, particularly in terms of marketing.

Posted on 26th August 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Bovada Poker, a popular spin off of Bodog Poker, has been going strong ever since 2004. With online poker’s popularity reaching its peak, the site is welcoming new players with a 100 percent deposit bonus of up to $500.

To unlock your bonus, go to its official site to sign up, and then use the code PWB500.

Bovada Poker features a fast, smooth interface, and you can also enjoy the site’s easy-to-use mobile feature which allows players to get their online poker fix from their smartphone or tablet.

With Bovada’s anonymous tables, you don’t have to worry about your opponents tracking your playing style. You’ll start with a clean slate every time you sit down to play.

If you like action, make sure to try out Zone Poker. You no longer have to wait while other players at the table finish out a hand. Every time you fold at a Zone Poker table, you’ll automatically be moved to a new table with new players to be dealt a brand new hand.

What’s more, you can even double up with a second Zone Poker entry and play two tables at once.

Bovada’s software has many other features, such as all-in percentages, table customization options, hand history viewer, and even a rabbit cam. This cam lets you know what the next card would have been even after folding.

Bovada Poker is available for all U.S. players, except those in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, or Maryland.

Don’t waste your time! Visit Bovada today, sign up and get started with a 100 percent deposit bonus up to $500.

Posted on 18th August 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

GGPoker has responded to the last week’s big online poker controversy that involved pro player Tobias Duthweiler alleging that online poker site GGPoker had seized the funds in his account and closed it without justifiable merit.

Tobias Duthweiler has said that he had spun up a $50,000 deposit into $180,000, but, the profits were confiscated after the security team discovered he had been previously banned from GGPoker’s sister site, Natural8.

Duthweiler claims that he didn’t know Natural8 is part of the GGPoker Network, and he says that he verified his identity months ago upon signing up for GGPoker, but now, the poker site required him to verify his identity again. This made the online grinder questioned if the poker site purposely waited until he ran up a sizable profit before taking his money.

And now the emerging poker giant responded by saying that Tobias was only banned because (after being warned years ago) he came back under a different account name and behaved in the same predatory manner as before.

Here is the official statement from GGPoker:

“We acknowledge that this case became complicated as the player signed up on multiple skins, where the GGNetwork security team does not have access to personal information including email addresses. Therefore, our security detection was limited to IPs and Mac Addresses when it comes to detecting trespassers. We will enhance our system so that we can request email addresses and personal information from our Licensee Operators.

We also acknowledge that our P2P transfer was too easy for the players. We have already removed P2P transfer for our UK customers and will be placing a strict KYC verification process and limits for all future P2P transfer. 

We have already shown our good will with a gesture to the player by returning the funds he has received from his friends. All of his winnings have been re-distributed to the affected players.

We would like to apologize for the concerns that were brought up by this incident and will make sure that our security measures are more tight.”

The poker community hasn’t had positive response to any player being banned from an online operator for simply being bad for the ecology.  Others have pointed out these are changing times, and this may be a change to which many will simply have to get used to.

The World Series of Poker will continue to hold events on the GGPoker until the Series wraps in September.

Posted on 13th August 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

As a consequence of its casino shutdown of more than three months, the Pennsylvania government lost about $424 million in tax revenue.

The shutdown cost Pennsylvania brick-and-mortar casino operators $968.8 million in revenue, according to research done by the Allegheny Institute. With the current structure of Pennsylvania gaming taxes, that would amount to $424.4 million in taxes.

The analysis looked at the three key revenue sources for casinos: slot machines, table games, and internet gaming. The third category, which became available last year after it was made legal by state lawmakers, was the only glimmer of light, though not nearly enough to compensate for the losses in the more traditional categories.

“Call it intuition or just plain luck that internet gaming made its debut in Pennsylvania casinos in July 2019,” the authors wrote. “While not all casinos in Pennsylvania offer online gaming options, for those that do, total internet gaming revenue (including online table games, internet slot machines and online poker) jumped from $13.9 million in January 2020 to $50 million in June, an increase of 258.6 percent.”

They noted a slight decline in internet gaming revenue from May to June this year after casinos began to reopen, but it remained well above the pre-pandemic numbers.

“[A]lthough online gaming revenue from slots, table games, and poker rose to record-setting highs, the total intake from January through June ($206.6 million) doesn’t even cover a quarter of the estimated losses from slot and table games.”

For slot machines, a significant source of tax proceeds, the numbers were looking more grim. From the time they closed in mid-March to the beginning of reopenings in June, casinos missed out on a period when they’d typically see some of their biggest income numbers. March, in particular, has been a peak month for Pennsylvania casinos, according to the study.

It was estimated that casinos missed out on $143.5 million in revenue in March and another $415 million over the course of April and May. Even with the reopenings in June, there was another $140.3 million in lost revenue. Ultimately, the total losses come in at $699 million, with $381.1 million of that representing lost tax proceeds.

Posted on 4th August 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

GGPoker has announced that the worldwide poker community raised $257,853 through the “Event #34: Every 1 for COVID Relief”, one of the poker tournaments in its WSOP Online 2020 series. GGPoker pledged an additional $96,903, resulting in a total donation of $354,756 to Caesars Cares.

The tournament brought in 2,323 participants, who each donated $111 of their buy-in to the Caesars Cares assistance fund. This fund supports Caesars Entertainment team members across the U.S. who have suffered unanticipated hardships as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“We are incredibly grateful to our partner GGPoker for their contribution to Caesars Cares,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. 

“This donation will provide needed support to Caesars Entertainment team members experiencing unexpected setbacks as we work towards resuming operations and restoring normal business conditions. As if GGPoker’s idea to direct a portion of the buy-in from each player to Caesars Cares wasn’t generous enough, we are absolutely floored and elated by their decision to contribute nearly another $100,000 to the fund.”

GGPoker ambassador, Daniel Negreanu added: “The international poker community really stepped up this time, and GGPoker was there to push the effort forward.” 

“We will continue to raise funds for worthy causes in the future, and I’m grateful to be part of something that’s helping to make such a difference.”

The flagship World Series of Poker (WSOP) live poker tournament in Las Vegas was postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In order not to be completely canceled, the event went online

GGPoker is hosting an online series of WSOP events, with 54 gold bracelets to be claimed in GGPoker’s WSOP Online 2020 series. The tournaments at GGPoker mark the first time that players located outside the U.S. have been able to compete for official WSOP bracelets online.

In the past six months, more than $600,000 has been donated by GGPoker and the worldwide poker community. In addition to the latest pledge, over $250,000 was also raised to fight COVID-19 via earlier GGPoker charity tournaments.

Posted on 28th July 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

As we know, there is still no live poker events, however, this no problem for six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu. He has been spending his time away from physical tables at digital ones and practicing his live game. 

One method he’s used to perfect the in-person play is the streaming service PokerGO®. 

“The good news is, not just the World Series, but PokerGO® has an extensive library of footage that I use often as sort of training for playing against, specifically, a lot of the higher roller players,” Negreanu said.

“I will collect data using [PokerGO®] because you have tons of footage that I can cut up and kind of create game plans against specific players. So absolutely, yeah. I use it for the World Series as well.”

Daniel finds the online game to be very convenient.

“You’re playing online, it’s very comfortable, I’m playing in my underwear. I’ve spent all month in my underwear. Why put pants on? There’s no point. So there’s comfort and ease. And you can keep notes on players. 

As for the popular opinion that there’s an algorithm in poker sites juicing individual and community cards at times, Daniel says that’s not the case. 

“Actually, no offense, but that actually doesn’t make much sense because when you play live poker, the cards are shuffled and anything can happen… When you play online, the cards are shuffled, completely random, even more random frankly, so anything can happen. There is no algorithm that’s designed to say, ‘Oh, this hand we’re going to screw [someone]… we’re going to make 9-3 beat aces, it doesn’t work that way,” Negreanu stated when asked about potential online algorithms. 

“It can’t work that way. Completely random. In fact, actually, you could say that online is more random because sometimes when you have a dealer that isn’t shuffling the cards all that well, some of the cards may be closer together or you’re not getting a completely random shuffle. Whereas online it is completely pure and absolutely random.”

Posted on 20th July 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Recently, there has been a serious online poker boom amidst the COVID-19 crisis. 

Online poker market has seen the record numbers past few months, however, as things are returning to normal, we can see that the numbers are also going back to how they used to be before the global lockdowns.

The New Jersey online poker has dropped 22% from May to June. Online poker operators brought in $3.5 million in revenue. Even though that total is down month over month, this is still double the revenue this time last year.

WSOP.com still holds the first place in the highest poker revenue. The site totalled $1.3 million in June, up 61% year over year but down 17.7% from May.

The site’s bracelet series, WSOP Online is expected to bring big numbers for WSOP.com in July’s report.

PartyPoker and its BorgataPoker.com and BetMGM skins combined for $914,503 in June. Even with the lowest revenue of the poker operators, the site saw the highest percentage growth year over year.

The site also saw the smallest decline month over month. Partnering with the World Poker Tour in June for a big series surely added to the site’s totals.

PokerStars ended the month with $1.2 million in revenue, which is a 129% increase year over year.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported that PokerStars brought in $3.2 million in revenue in June.

PokerStars is currently the only operator Keystone State, but that looks to be changing soon. Partypoker looks to enter the market in August, with WSOP.com also debuting by the fall.

As for Delaware, online poker had its first $1 million since launching in 2013. 

June numbers declined, but still ended up at $964,606, the second biggest month of online poker revenue to date. 888poker offers the only online poker platform through an agreement with the state.