With the start of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) less than one month away, there is some good news for poker players residing in New Jersey.
Seth Palansky, Vice President of the WSOP has confirmed to pokerfuse that the online bracelet events that are scheduled to run ahead of the DOJ enforcement deadline on June 14 will be available to NJ poker players.
Earlier this year, the WSOP USA announced that the 50th anniversary of the WSOP will see nine online bracelet events, which is five more than last year. However, there was uncertainty over whether New Jersey-based online poker players would be able to participate in these online bracelet events.
When announcing these events in February, WSOP organizers had stated that these events are open only to players who are physically “inside the borders of eligible states” and that “eligibility for New Jersey players … has yet to be determined.”
However, as of now, it appears that these online events—at least the first two, which are scheduled to run on June 2 and June 9—are now open to both New Jersey and Nevada players. Furthermore, the organizers have updated their promotions page to reflect the WSOP Events #7 $400 NLH and #24 $600 PLO live on the NJ section of WSOP.com.
- Largest player pool in New Jersey
- Compete for World Series of Poker bracelets from New Jersey
- Great Sign up bonus and player rewards
In January, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reversed its opinion on the Wire Act stating that the 1961 law prohibits all forms of interstate gambling, not just sports betting. The revised interpretation reverses the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion made in 2011 under the Obama administration when the DOJ opined that the Act was applicable only to sports betting which led to the advent of an online poker shared player pool between Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, where online poker is legal and regulated.
The latest opinion puts the WSOP.com/888 multistate network in jeopardy as it operates on the All American Poker Network (AAPN)—the only interstate online poker network in the US, with players in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey sharing a common player pool.
Opposition to the DOJ’s U-turn began to surface quickly, with at least 15 US states led by New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan coming together and professing their “strong objections” to the revised opinion. State Attorneys for New Jersey and Pennsylvania even wrote to the DOJ to petition that it withdraw its latest opinion.
In January, the DOJ gave operators and regulators 90 days to bring their online gaming offering in line with the new reinterpretation of the Wire Act. That deadline was further extended by 60 days until June 14, 2019, after which operators could face fines and penalties by the DOJ should they fail to comply with the new interpretation of the law.
Despite the uncertainty, the WSOP will be offering players nine online bracelet events this year. Starting June 2, there will be an online bracelet event on each of the Sundays at 3:30 PM Pacific Time for seven weeks till the end of the WSOP. In addition, two more events are also scheduled mid-week on June 19 and July 3.
Buy-ins for online bracelet events range from $400 to $3200. There are various formats on offer, including a Knockout event, a 6-max PLO event, a turbo event, and a double stack tournament. However, the organizers have rolled back all guarantees on all the online events in what appears to be a cautionary move.
Last year, three of the four online bracelet events carried guaranteed prize pools with each of them smashing their guarantees by almost 50%. The first of the four online bracelet events (Event #10 – $365 NLHE) attracted nearly 3000 entries, making it the largest field ever for a WSOP online bracelet event.
The $1000 buy-in Online Championship event created a record-setting tournament prize pool of over $1.55 million—the biggest ever in US-regulated online poker history. These records were possible thanks to the advent of the shared player pool between Nevada and New Jersey allowing players outside the state of Nevada to compete for an online gold bracelet for the first time in the history of the WSOP.
WSOP 2019 kicks off on May 28 and runs through July 16.