I am truly excited that all three of our Party brands are entering the Ontario market partypoker and sister brand bwin have both launched Ontario online poker apps. The pair have linked up with BetMGM Poker Ontario, which launched a week ago, to form a three-skin online poker network, sharing liquidity across cash games and tournaments.
Including 888poker Ontario, which was the first to go live in the province on April 4, this means there are now four online poker rooms and two networks now active for real money Ontario online poker.
“I am truly excited that all three of our Party brands are entering the Ontario market,” said Vic Walia, Managing Director of Party Brands in a press release. “Both recreational and professional players living in Ontario will be able to experience a world-class gaming product across poker, casino, and sports.”
bwin’s Surprise Poker Launch Makes for a Three-Room Network
The launch of the partypoker Ontario app was expected — pokerfuse revealed as much last week. It was also known that it would connect up with its partner, BetMGM Poker Ontario, with the pair pooling liquidity.
The launch of bwin Poker Ontario, however, is a surprise. While the brand bwin — which, like partypoker, is wholly owned by parent company Entain — had applied for its Ontario online gaming licenses, but one might have presumed that this would be a sport and casino-only launch — bwin is only really notable in certain markets, most notably Germany and Austria.
The trio has certainly been bold out of the gates with their tournament schedule. Previously, BetMGM had revealed some of its plans for MTTs, but no guarantees were posted. The full list of tournaments has been listed in the client and things are ambitious indeed.
Every day, the network plans the Daily C-Note, a CAD $109 buy-in tournament that guarantees CAD $10k. This will require 100 entries to cover (or 92, not counting rake), certainly an optimistic target for a nascent network. On Sundays, this guarantee is boosted to CAD $15k.
BetMGM Poker Ontario Network: Weekly MTT Highlights
- The Daily C-Note: $109 buy-in with $10k guarantee
- Tuesday and Thursday High Roller: $530 buy-in, $10k guarantee
- Sunday 100: $109 buy-in, $15k guarantee
- Sunday High Roller: $530 buy-in, $25k guarantee
Twice a week, there is also a high roller, with a CAD $530 buy-in and another CAD $10k guarantee; on Sunday, this is upped to a pretty staggering CAD $25k — needing to attract 50 high roller entries to cover.
Among all these, there’s a big spread of other daily guarantee tournaments, from the low stakes Brawl (CAD $3.30 buy-in, $500 guarantee) to the mid-stakes $33 Titan (CAD $3000 guarantee). Almost certainly, these tournaments are going to overlay initially, meaning huge value for players who join up early and take advantage.
That scenario has already played out at Ontario’s first online poker room, 888poker Ontario. It has some similar tournaments — like a $109 PKO Rumble ($10K guarantee) and a $215 Big Shot ($4k guarantee). Overlays of 50% to 70% were seen in the opening days. It is providing some massive extra value for its new online poker customers.
Alongside the tournaments, there is also a full complement of other game types. Just as we reported with the BetMGM Poker Ontario launch, there are cash games, fast-fold, SNGs, and Lottery SNGs (called Spins on the partypoker software). Buy-ins and game types are a bit limited right now, but this selection should expand as players start showing up at the tables.
Ontario Online Poker Networks: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Cash||NL10 to NL2500||NL2 to NL5000PL2 to PL500|
|Fast-Fold||NL 10 to NL 200||NL2 to NL25 PL2 and PL10|
|SNG||CAD $1 to $100 Hypers, 6-max and Heads-Up||None|
|Lottery SNGs||CAD$1, $5, $10 (no Ultra)||10c, $1, $5, $10, $20|
|MTTs||Full guaranteed MTT schedule||Full guaranteed MTT schedule|
Four Ontario Online Poker Rooms Will Soon Grow to Six
For a population of just 14 million, four online poker rooms might already feel like too many and the market is certainly going to grow again soon, with both GGPoker and PokerStars planning their regulated market entries.
PokerStars has yet to be approved by the regulatory authorities, but it assured pokerfuse recently that it was “getting closer” to a launch. During this time, it can continue to serve the market from offshore, offering the global player pool. And it expects to do so until SCOOP concludes — which puts a launch in June at the earliest.
GGPoker seems to be further along, having secured its AGCO license. It plans to launch under a partnership with the WSOP. However, it has also announced a delay in its launch.
Ontario Online Poker: April 12 Update
|Operator||AGCO license?||iGO authorized?||Launch|
|888poker||Yes||Yes||Launched on April 4|
|BetMGM||Yes||Yes||Launched April 5|
|Partypoker||Yes||Yes||Launched April 12, connected with BetMGM|
|bwin||Yes||Yes||Launched April 12, connected with BetMGM|
|GGPoker/WSOP||Yes||No||Has delayed launch|
|PokerStars||No||No||Has delayed launch|