Michigan poker players flocked to PokerStars, making the state’s online poker operations the largest in the US — for the moment, at least.
PokerScout, which measures online poker traffic, reports that PokerStars in Michigan averages 500 concurrent cash game players, besting the 400 players averaged by PokerStars in Pennsylvania. The WSOP triumvirate of Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, which have interstate compacts, average just 230 players combined. (PokerStars’ operation in New Jersey manages just 130 players, on average).
Michigan poker players flock to new site
Although Pennsylvania enjoys a larger population than Michigan – 13 million to 10 million – its online poker operations show fewer players. Newness could certainly be a factor, as games have been running in Michigan for just two weeks. Pennsylvania’s residents have been able to play for about a year. PokerStars Michigan ranks 15th in the world in online traffic, according to PokerScout.
In comparison, PokerStars’ international version services an average of 8,400 players concurrently.
PokerStars enjoyed such immediate success in Michigan that it decided to hold a Michigan Championship of Online Poker, a version of its namesake tournament series. MICOOP began Saturday and features 60 events with more than $1 million in guaranteed prize pools.
PokerStars partnered with FOX Bet to also offer a sportsbook and online casino in the state.
Kip Levin, FOX Bet’s CEO, told CardsChat he is pleased with the response in Michigan.
“As the only online poker operator in Michigan, we are seeing great enthusiasm for poker, and also across casino and sports,” he said.
A PokerStars spokesperson also told CardsChat that the site noted happy table banter in the chat boxes upon the launch of the site, an indication of poker-starved players who haven’t been able to play online legally in their state for a decade.
Competition is coming in Michigan
PokerStars may currently enjoy exclusivity in Michigan, but it won’t last.
Another online poker room should launch in the state soon. BetMGM has been licensed to offer online gaming, including poker, in Michigan, although a launch date hasn’t been announced. 888 is awaiting approval from gaming regulators in Michigan.
When BetMGM launches, Michigan will become just the second state after New Jersey to feature multiple online poker sites for its residents.