Reflections On First Year Of PokerStars In New Jersey
New Jersey was years into establishing itself as the United States online market leader by the time PokerStars entered the fray in March of 2016. Though PartyPoker/Borgata and 888poker/WSOP had already established themselves as the lifeblood of the small yet growing online poker industry, but the approval of PokerStars in late 2015 led to much speculation that the largest poker site in the world would change the game.
When it launched on March 21 of last year, PokerStars did so with a few glitches in the software but a team of employees eager to work out the bugs and strive to become the new market leader. There were a wide range of limit games – from $0.02/$0.04 to $10/$20 – and a number of poker variations available, as well as SNGs starting at $0.25 and soaring up to $500 buy-ins. Of course, there were big Sunday tournaments and the lottery-style Spin & Go games, in addition to a corresponding online casino site.
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Players immediately took to the new offerings, and cash game traffic rose quickly for PokerStars, while PartyPoker dipped 20% and 888poker 30% on the first day. Action evened out over the coming weeks and months, however, and while PokerStars mostly stayed atop the three-player race for players, 888poker/WSOP stayed strong in second position, and PartyPoker/Borgata suffered the most with a dip to little more than 20% of the market.