WSOP.com has leapfrogged party/Borgata as the top poker room in New Jersey in terms of cash game traffic, barely a week after its decision to share liquidity with 888poker.
Just days after the merging of player pools, WSOP.com’s traffic has shot up by 49 percent over the seven-day moving average, while 888poker’s has risen even more sharply, with a 75 percent increase, enough to put it in second place.
Party / Borgata, which has led the race almost since the launch of online poker in New Jersey back in November 2013, now languishes in third, despite not actually having lost any traffic of its own.
WSOP.com, meanwhile, is now the biggest online poker site in New Jersey and Nevada.
The two sites announced last week that they would share liquidity across the vast majority of their cash games, with all NLH tables with stakes up to $0.25/$0.50 and fixed limit games up to $0.50/$1.00 all pooled, as well as SnGs up to $5 and a selected number of tournaments.
The move was facilitated by the fact that 888.com is the software provider for the WSOP.com platform, and it seems that pool-sharing is part of a long-term strategy of 888.com among its partners in the newly-regulated states.
The Bigger Picture
There are already plans to share player bases between WSOP.com Nevada, a separate 888poker room, and a new site from Treasure Island.
888 also provides all three platforms in Delaware, and it’s likely that an interstate network will be created in the not too distant future.
Nevada and Delaware have already signed an agreement facilitating the sharing of liquidity, and the DGE in New Jersey is known to have held talks with both states about the creation of similar compacts.
However, the upsurge in traffic may not be completely down to liquidity sharing; it appears that the market as whole is enjoying a mini-mid-January boom, with the seven day moving average rising to 476 cash game seats, from 356 last week ago.
Meanwhile, party/Borgata is in the midst of its tournament festival, the Garden State Super Series, which may be keeping players away from the cash tables.
This comes at a time when both WSOP.com and 888poker have ramped up their marketing efforts, with 888 offering double VIP points throughout January, while WSOP.com has changed its VIP program to the benefit of high volume players.
It will be interesting to see how party/Borgata reacts to being knocked off its perch.
If PokerStars enters the market in March, as expected, party, top dog for so long, could eventually see itself relegated to fourth best.
What is for sure is that as the marketing battles heat up, New Jersey’s online poker players will reap the (VIP) rewards.