- PokerStars has announced shared liquidity for poker players in New Jersey and Michigan.
- PokerStars is the first online poker platform to launch shared liquidity in these two states.
- To celebrate the shared liquidity, PokerStars will host a tournament for Michigan and New Jersey players on New Year’s Day.
Gambling freedom for Americans continues to crawl along at a glacial pace. Adding to the mess is the unwillingness of states to work together for the benefit of players. There’s at least a bit of good news on this front, with the announcement of shared liquidity between New Jersey and Michigan. PokerStars is the first online poker platform to offer combined player pools, but hopefully more will follow suit.
In most cases, bettors in states with online poker platforms have a closed ecosystem. Players must play on a server exclusive to that state against other players from the state. You don’t have to be Doyle Brunson to understand the stupidity of this arrangement. There are fewer options for players with smaller prizes and pots up for grabs. It’s more difficult for gaming companies to make money since they have to ‘keep ’em separated’. Poker is already a low margin game for casinos, and this absurd hyper-regulation just adds to the overhead cost.
Players in smaller states and jurisdictions get screwed the most. They have fewer poker platform options with fewer players competing there. That means fewer tournaments, less competition, smaller pools, you name it. In many cases, companies throw in the towel realizing they can’t make any money there. On a macro level, it hurts everyone involved in US poker. If the goal of state regulators was to maximize revenue, this is the last thing they’d want. A more active and vibrant US poker market would mean more revenues flowing into state treasuries. Ultimately, the desire for power and control–combined with a profound lack of understanding about the gaming industry– exceeds their greed.
Here’s the announcement of the shared liquidity in New Jersey and Michigan from a PokerStars press release:
PokerStars has today announced plans to combine player pools in Michigan and New Jersey on January 1, 2023. Poker fans from both states can expect more choice, more tournaments, more players, and bigger prizes as PokerStars becomes the first online poker operator to announce shared liquidity in these states.
As well as the benefits that come from bringing together players from Michigan and New Jersey on a shared platform, players can also enjoy the easy-to-use lobby which offers fast withdrawals and same day pay-outs, and the most generous rewards programme in the US poker market with ‘PokerStars Rewards’, all backed by PokerStars’ leading security and gaming integrity.
PokerStars US Managing Director, Severin Rasset had this comment about the merged liquidity:
“Michigan and New Jersey joining forces is great news for our players in these two states, and poker, more generally, as it promises a better experience and even more value, all with the confidence provided by a trusted, licensed operator. Our community will experience more breadth and depth of games, more tournaments with bigger prizes to win, amped-up promotions, and more choice. To kick start, we are offering generous guarantees on our debut multi-state tournaments, that will no doubt provide lots of value for those who take to the tables. We worked closely with the regulators of New Jersey and Michigan, and we hope that more will follow this great example.”
The press release also outlined some of the special events to celebrate the liquidity merger:
To celebrate the coming together of Michigan and New Jersey tables, and to ring in the New Year, players are invited to kick off the shared action with two special tournaments, with a total of $150,000 guaranteed. On January 1, 2023, on 18:00 ET, PokerStars will have its debut Michigan and New Jersey online tournament with a buy-in of $100, and featuring $100,000 on the line.
This will be followed by a special $50,000 guaranteed tournament with a buy-in of only $10, starting at 18:30 ET, guaranteed to provide massive value for those taking part. Players can register on December 27 for both events.
Got to feel bad for players in Pennsylvania–a state that PokerStars serves but isn’t part of the liquidity arrangement.