PokerStars is now officially live in Pennsylvania. This follows a two-day trial conducted by the online poker giant last week.
PokerStars PA has launched fully on November 6, opening the regulated online poker market in the Keystone State.
Pennsylvanians have long been waiting for the first digital cards to be dealt since the state approved a bill allowing online gaming two years ago. Online casinos and sports betting successfully launched in July 2019, however poker players had been left in the dark on when they could actually play online.
All of the doubts and anxious waiting have finally been put to rest after PokerStars confirmed during the last week of October that it was scheduled to soft-launch online poker in the state on November 4.
During the first day of the soft launch, PokerStars tested just 12 multi-table tournaments and received a great response from players with all of the tourneys surpassing the initial guarantees. One tournament even managed to triple a $1,000 guarantee to create over $3,200 in total prize pool.
The full client has a wide range of offerings to players, including $25/$50 cash games, as well as tournaments featuring as much as $7,500 in guarantees. The Sunday majors offer a much bigger prize, starting with the $100 buy-in Sunday Special, which carries a prize pool worth $40,000. These offerings are largely similar with what are currently being offered at the PokerStars global client, though the prizes have been reduced accordingly.
Bright Days Ahead for Online Poker in PA
Looking at the initial numbers, it appears PokerStars PA has got off to a good start, with more than 700 players recorded during the launch week. The highest figure recorded was 784, significantly higher than PokerStars NJ which attracted just 178 players. Player numbers at PokerStars PA also surpassed WSOP.com, despite benefiting from a multi-state internet gaming agreement (MSIGA) between New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.
Pennsylvania is among the most populous states in America, bringing in huge potential for liquidity if it eventually decides to take part in the MSIGA. The PA market could further be boosted by a possible player crossover, considering that online poker revenue in neighbouring New Jersey has suffered a continuous decline over the past few years.
Other casinos, such as Parx, are expected to also launch their own online poker room in Pennsylvania very soon.