The combined online poker network of WSOP.com and 888poker has taken over the lead in terms of revenue generated, according to figures released this week by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Operating under the Caesars license, the network collected more than $770,000 in rake and tournament fees, edging past PokerStars (operating under the Resorts Casino license) which pulled in just under $717,000.
Year-over-year the WSOP.com/888 network grew nearly 42% last month. Overall the market generated just under $2 million.
The changing of the guard in May marks the first time that PokerStars has been surpassed in New Jersey since its first full month of offering online poker in April 2016.
The Shared Liquidity Difference
The biggest difference between May 2018 and the prior two years is the launch of shared liquidity in New Jersey.
On Monday April 30 at approximately 11pm EST, WSOP.com and 888 combined their players in New Jersey with the player pool of Nevada and Delaware to form the first tri-state online poker network in regulated market history.
“This is truly a game-changer for players and we hope is the model blueprint for additional states to join the fray,” stated WSOP.com’s Head of Online Poker Bill Rini at the time.
It is important to note that despite players from all three states play at the same tables, the increased revenue in May was derived solely from those players accessing the network from New Jersey.
The WSOP/888 US network, also known as the All-American Poker Network (AAPN), first became a multi-state network when 888 combined its player pool in Delaware with the player pool of WSOP.com (which runs on the 888 platform) in Nevada.
Because the AAPN is currently the only online poker network operating in the other states that have legalized online poker, the Borgata/partypoker network and PokerStars will have to wait for Pennsylvania to launch its online poker market and then for gaming regulators to sign off on joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) before they can leverage the power of greater liquidity.
Promotions Contributed and Could Extend the Lead into June
But the success of the AAPN in New Jersey last month cannot be entirely attributed to the increased number of players. WSOP.com treated its new player pool to a celebratory tournament series, running the Coast to Coast Classic consisting of 32 events with at least a five-figure guarantee on every event spread over the course ten days during May.
WSOP.com also offered New Jersey players a special $1000 reload bonus during the month, but that move was countered by PokerStars which offered a $1000 reload bonus of its own.
The impressive nature of the network’s performance in May could continue in June as the WSOP Online Championships 2018 began on June 1 and runs for the remainder of the month. The 124-event series guarantees more than $3 million, by far the largest ever held in the US regulated markets. In addition, the operator is spreading four WSOP bracelet events.
The success of the AAPN bodes well for other operators that hope to launch in Pennsylvania later this year and eventually connect their New Jersey player pools with their new customers in the Keystone State.