Michigan & New Jersey joining forces is excellent news for our players in these two states … it promises a better experience & even more value, all with the confidence provided by a trusted, licensed operator. PokerStars NJ is less than one week away from taking a big step against its online poker rivals in the Garden State.
On New Year’s Day, the operator will fuse its player pool in New Jersey with its counterpart in Michigan — creating a two-state online poker network with the benefits of shared liquidity, bigger prizes, and more tournament action.
The move will also provide a much-needed boost to PokerStars NJ. Since December 2020, the operator has trailed its rivals in monthly revenue for most of the period.
“Michigan and New Jersey joining forces is great news for our players in these two states, and poker, more generally, as it promises a better experience and even more value, all with the confidence provided by a trusted, licensed operator,” PokerStars US Managing Director Severin Rasset said in a statement Friday.
NJ Has Enjoyed Multi-State Poker Since 2018
PokerStars US announced last Friday that it would combine its player pools in Michigan and New Jersey on January 1, 2023. The move was expected — the operator took down its online poker rooms in both states for two days in mid-December to perform the server upgrades necessary to support multi-state online poker.
New Jersey is no stranger to multi-state poker. The state has been a member of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), a multi-state compact for online poker and some casino gaming, since October 2017. MSIGA currently includes Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, and New Jersey.
WSOP was the first to connect its player pool in New Jersey with other states, combining its NJ player pool with those in Delaware and Nevada in April 2018. For nearly five years, that three-state network made possible under MSIGA — an arrangement called the WSOP/888 US Network — has been the only multi-state online poker network in the US.
But that all changes on Sunday when PokerStars NJ merges with PokerStars MI. That will make it the second multi-state network under MSIGA. Michigan officially joined MSIGA in May.
In its Friday announcement, PokerStars said it hoped other states would launch multi-state online poker. Pennsylvania has an extensive online poker market and is widely considered the next state that could join MSIGA, but other possible entrants include Connecticut and West Virginia.
“We worked closely with the regulators of New Jersey and Michigan, and we hope that more will follow this great example,” Rasset said.
Sunday will be a historic day for real money Michigan online poker and online poker in the USA as a whole. PokerStars will be the first operator to connect its Michigan poker room with a room in another state. It’s unclear if PokerStars’ rivals will also connect their player pools in Michigan and New Jersey. BetMGM Poker NJ — which operates on the Borgata license in the Garden State, along with Borgata Poker NJ and partypoker NJ — could make a similar move. WSOP also runs online poker rooms in both states.
Special Tournaments to Kick Things Off on New PokerStars NJ-MI Network
PokerStars said poker fans in Michigan and New Jersey have much to look forward to after their player pools are combined. That includes more tournaments and bigger prizes.
With that in mind, the operator wasted no time in getting the party started in both states. It announced two special tournaments on New Year’s Day, with a combined $150,000 guarantee from both events.
“Our community will experience more breadth and depth of games, more tournaments with bigger prizes to win, amped-up promotions, and more choice,” Rasset said. “To kick start, we are offering generous guarantees on our debut multi-state tournaments that will no doubt provide lots of value for those who take to the tables.”
The first tournament will be held at 6 pm ET on Sunday. Players on PokerStars MI and PokerStars NJ can join with a $100 buy-in and $100,000 guaranteed.
A second tournament will follow at 6:30 pm ET on Sunday, with a buy-in of just $10 and $50,000 guaranteed. Registration for both events opened on Tuesday, December 27.