The most anticipated launch of the year is one step closer to finally happening, and we can share some previously unknown details about the pending launch of PokerStars in Pennsylvania.
What will likely be the first legal and regulated online poker room in PA is about to go live, and pokerfuse has had a sneak peek behind the scenes at PokerStars PA which is currently undergoing what we believe to be internal private testing.
As a result of our sleuthing, we have obtained some details about the PokerStars offering in Pennsylvania that we expect to be a part of the pending launch, including which games will be offered and the available stakes, a portion of the potential MTT schedule and more which will be revealed in upcoming articles.
Be aware that the details provided consist of educated predictions based on the information we have gleaned. None of the information obtained has been provided by PokerStars, and things may very will change prior to launch.
While PokerStars has yet to reveal the dates for the official soft launch (a limited testing period that precedes a full 24/7 offering), the recent progress we have seen in Pennsylvania indicates to us that the public soft launch of PokerStars PA is not too far away.
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A First Look at PokerStars PA
Beyond a few cosmetic tweaks like the Pennsylvania flag emblazoned across the lobby, the PA online poker room looks much like its counterpart in New Jersey.
At the top of the main lobby, a Mount Airy Casino logo is visible right next to the PokerStars logo.
Under Pennsylvania gaming regulations, it is mandatory for operators to display the branding associated with their primary land-based casino partner. Last year, PokerStars parent company, The Stars Group (TSG), inked a deal to operate in Pennsylvania in conjunction with Mount Airy Casino Resort and was subsequently approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
Also visible on the main lobby is the logo of the PGCB along with a link to a web page outlining the company’s Responsible Gaming efforts.
Like in other markets, the PA online poker client also includes an integrated casino, offering a spread of table games, slots and video poker, all just a tab away from the poker tables. Also integrated into the poker client is the newly launched sports betting platform.
Last week, TSG officially entered Pennsylvania (the company’s second state in the US) by launching FOX Bet, the company’s newly branded sports betting platform in partnership with FOX Sports. FOX Bet also replaced the BetStars brand that was already live in New Jersey.
What Poker Games will PokerStars PA offer?
Based on the screenshots of the client that we obtained, the main lobby consists of four tabs. Along with the standard Cash Game, Sit & Go and Tournaments tabs, PokerStars will also be bringing its runaway-success lottery-style Sit & Go games Spin & Go to the Pennsylvania market. From what we can tell, Spins will be initially offered with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $25.
Notably, Zoom games (PokerStars’ fast-fold cash game) is missing from the lobby. The absence of Zoom is not surprising given that the game is also not part of PokerStars’ offering in New Jersey. Fast-fold games are typically believed to require more liquidity to be run successfully than regular cash games, so we may see Zoom make its US debut once traffic ramps up in Pennsylvania or if/when the company is able to join its two US player pools.
It also appears that cash games will adopt the traditional lobby system just like in New Jersey, allowing players to choose their own tables and seats. There looks to also be a Quick seat option that automatically seats a player once they have chosen their game type and desired stakes.
Cash games are likely to be available at various stakes starting from the $0.01/$0.02 and going up to $100/$200. As seen in New Jersey, PokerStars PA appears set to offer a wide variety of poker formats such as 8-Game, Stud, Lowball, Omaha Hi/Lo, etc.
PokerStars Home Games also appears to be part of the Pennsylvania offering. The popular feature is free ti use and allows players to set up their own private games to play with friends.
Exactly when PokerStars will enter its second US state is currently unknown. However, the recent activity observed in PA by pokerfuse suggests that the launch could happen by the end of this month.
Keep watching this space for more information on PokerStars launch in Pennsylvania including additional details on its poker offering, its casino games and more.