After over 24 hours of downtime, the two PokerStars US sites — New Jersey & Michigan — that were temporarily taken down for maintenance are back up and running, and all services have been resumed.
The planned server maintenance was carried out on December 12 and 13 to enable online poker shared liquidity between PokerStars NJ and MI clients. The upgrade was a “necessary milestone to bring our players more games, bigger prize pools & guarantees in poker tournaments in the coming weeks,” the operator announced in a statement issued last Friday.
The downtime didn’t just impact poker but also casino (PokerStars Casino) and sports (FOX Bet) — the other two verticals the company offers to its US players.
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On Monday afternoon, the games went offline, and it took a day for services to resume.
Although the upgrade has been completed, PokerStars NJ & MI clients are still operating separately, and player pools are distinct. While announcing the planned maintenance, the operator stated that the merger would take place “in the coming weeks” and not immediately after the upgrade.
While the exact timeframe for the merger between the two sites is unknown, the player pooling will probably occur once the holidays are over.
“NJ & MI are back up and running! Watch this space for updates, as we work to bring New Jersey and Michigan poker players together in the near future,” the operator tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
It is not immediately clear what PokerStars’ next steps are. It is assumed that the platform upgrade needed to merge the two networks has been completed without a hitch. The operator is waiting for approval from the state regulators to launch interstate online poker.
A PokerStars representative was not immediately available to comment on whether the merger would occur before the end of the year or in the new year.
It would be welcome news for New Jersey and Michigan online poker players as PokerStars will be the second operator in the US to take advantage of the multi-state online poker compact and the first to involve Michigan.
The Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) allows online poker rooms in different states in the US to merge their player pools, creating much bigger combined liquidity and thus the ability to offer larger prize pools in tournaments.
Currently, WSOP is the only operator to take advantage of this agreement — pooling New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware players into a single network. WSOP operates in Michigan but has yet to confirm plans to merge its WSOP MI player pool with its existing three-state network.
BetMGM has also yet to reveal its plans for shared liquidity recent developments, including upgrading its New Jersey client to be in line with its Michigan offering, show that the operator could well be readying itself for the expansion.
In the meantime, PokerStars US will be the first to reap the benefits of Michigan joining the multi-state online poker compact and become the first operator in the US to build NJ-MI shared liquidity. pokerfuse expects the operator to launch such a combined player pool in early January._
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