The numbers don’t lie for Michigan interstate online poker.
Player traffic and tournament prize pools are up significantly on PokerStars MI since joining player pools with PokerStars NJ on Jan. 1, 2023.
The merger was PokerStars’ first venture into shared liquidity and Michigan’s first operator to bring interstate poker to the Mitten State. It took nearly two years since launching in January 2021, with eight of those months coming after Michigan was accepted into the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA).
Still, PokerStars gained an advantage toward becoming the top site in Michigan by becoming the first to market. Much the same, it is a month into growing its interstate prowess with a one-month-and-counting head start on having Michigan in its arsenal.
Players are already enjoying the first of many major tournament series and a larger cash game player pool with more games running at all times of the day.
And now, Zoom poker has been added to the list of offerings.
PokerStars MI interstate poker traffic exceeds expectations in January
PokerStars hit the ground running on New Year’s Day, thanks mainly to a pair of tournaments with $150K guaranteed between the two.
The $100K ($100 buy-in) more than doubled its guarantee, with 2,189 entries (1,230 entrants, 959 re-entries) amassing a $200,950 prize pool. The smaller $50K ($10 buy-in) drew 6,378 entries (3,424 entrants, 2,954 re-entries) for a prize pool of $58,039.
At its peak on Jan. 1, traffic hit above 4,000 users between the two states, sights unseen in ring-fenced markets.
Before the merger, peak weeknight traffic reached 900 users on PokerStars MI. Now, the site is getting that number during weekday afternoons. In the evenings, traffic surpasses 2,000 users and more on weekends.
Initial projections from both markets led to the belief that Michigan online poker players would see a 30-50% increase in traffic. Through the first month, it is more than double.
PokerStars does not distinguish between its Michigan and New Jersey players, so we don’t know how much of that is attributable to each market.
Either way, the numbers don’t lie.
Inaugural interstate poker series made splash with $2.5 million in guarantees
Michiganders’ first chance at an interstate poker series came right away, running January 13-30. The PSPC online series ran alongside PokerStars’ flagship live series in the Bahamas, featuring the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) and PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC).
From the get-go, PokerStars was aggressive with its offerings, boasting an 85-event schedule with $2.5 million in guarantees. Previously comparable series, such as the MICOOP, ran around 65 events and guaranteed $1.5 million.
Official numbers are not final, but PokerStars’ sizeable guarantees could result in extra money out of pocket. This was due to a few of the marquee events overpromising on the last weekends of the series:
- $200 PSPC Online Championship Special ($200K guaranteed) – 908 entries, 15.6% overlay
- $20 Championship Mini Special ($30K guaranteed) – 1,467 entries, 11% overlay
- $250 PSPC Online Main Event ($300K guaranteed) – 1,140 entries, 11.5% overlay
- $2,500 Super High Roller Main Event ($125K guaranteed) – 46 entries, 12.5% overlay
The $50 Mini Main Event ($75K guaranteed) did exceed its guarantee, drawing 1,711 runners to generate a $77,850 prize pool.
As for the others, missing guarantees right now may actually be beneficial for PokerStars in the long run. The site is willing to put its money where its mouth is, hoping to continue attracting new players due to attractive guarantees.
Zoom poker available at PokerStars Michigan
PokerStars’ popular Zoom poker is once again available for players in Michigan and New Jersey after a quick start-stop a week ago.
The fast-fold game debuted briefly last week with buy-ins between $2 and $200 but was pulled due to technical issues. PokerStars announced on Twitter Tuesday evening that the game was back up and running.
Zoom poker will bring more players to the virtual felt for tournaments and cash games.
PokerStars running half price Sunday, Feb. 5
This Sunday, Feb. 5, PokerStars is running another fun set of events during Half Price Sunday.
As the name suggests, five events are running at half their regular buy-ins, all with the same guarantees.
- 4 p.m. Half Price Sunday Warm-Up ($15 buy-in, $7.5K guaranteed)
- 5 p.m. Half Price Sunday Storm 6-Max ($5 buy-in, $10K guaranteed)
- 6 p.m. Half Price Sunday Special ($50 buy-in, $10K guaranteed)
- 7 p.m. Half Price Sunday High Roller ($125 buy-in, $50K guaranteed)
- 10 p.m. Half Price Sunday Supersonic Hyper-Turbo ($25 buy-in, $5K guaranteed)