3 Stories To Watch In Michigan Online Poker For The Rest Of 2021

Written By Matt Schoch on August 19, 2021
Michigan Online Poker Launch August 2021

The Michigan online poker world is in a state that we’ve become accustomed to lately: a holding launch pattern.

But the end of summer should soon bring more events to the forefront. Another operator is on the way soon, and the biggest remaining domino to boost the industry still has a vague timeline.

That domino, of course, is interstate compacting, the ability for Michiganders to go head to head against players in other states.

For now, like a player enduring a run of cold cards and checking to an opponent, it’s best to put patience into practice.

(And of course, keep checking PlayMichigan.com.)

Here are three things we’re tracking, though, as the industry is now more than six months old.

Interstate poker compacting will include DE, NJ, NV

We’ve been following the news about interstate compacting closely here since the Jan. 29 launch of Michigan online poker. But in reality, there hasn’t been much news.

Former Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Richard Kalm said then that the hope was to have interstate play rolled out by the end of the year.

His successor, Henry Williams, has described a similar timeline, though he has also mentioned the MGCB is reviewing agreements with other states.

This month, Williams took it a step further during the regular board meeting on Aug. 10. He said that Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey are the states the MGCB is in discussions with.

“Discussions with Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada are under way to complete that agreement,” Williams said.

Now, to those who follow the industry closely, these states mentioned are not a surprise.

These states are in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association, while Michigan and Pennsylvania could be the next states to join.

But for casual or new players who will learn in time about the ability to compete against players in Wilmington, Atlantic City and Las Vegas, that’s newsworthy.

World Series of Poker coming to Michigan soon

The only online poker operator that currently takes advantage of the MSIGA is World Series of Poker.

WSOP launched in Pennsylvania on July 12.

The latest on the prospects of a Michigan launch were slated to be sometime in summer, and we know those days are dwindling.

But if there’s anything followers of the Michigan online gambling scene know about, it’s launch delays. Much of 2020 was spent speculating on launch dates, with much more speculation occurring by stakeholders behind the scenes.

It should be relatively soon for WSOP to join PokerStars and BetMGM Poker as the state’s third online poker operator.

WSOP Michigan should award bracelets quickly

We’re following the Pennsylvania launch of WSOP, and the bracelets are finding wrists in the Keystone State quickly.

The first WSOP PA Online Bracelet series handed out eight bracelets to players in PA.

Eight WSOP events there attracted nearly 2,500 entries and also handed out nearly $1.5 million in prize money.

Not surprisingly, these numbers were modest when compared with the WSOP Online Bracelet Series that featured players from WSOP NJ and WSOP NV.

That series ran from July 1 through Aug. 1, featured 33 events and handed out more than $18.2 million in prizes.

When WSOP launches in Michigan and when interstate play is allowed are the two major stories we’re following here.

When those developments come through, there will be big money out there available for Michigan online poker players.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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