It was recently announced by the office of New Jersey governor Chris Christie that an agreement had been reached with Nevada and Delaware to share player pools. There is currently limited information only available from a single press release. (http://nj.gov/governor/news/news/552017/approved/20171013b.html)
I suspected this day would come, though now that it is here, I’m not sure what to think of it. I played in New Jersey and found the player pool to be tougher than Nevada and with more players, it becomes harder to use game selection to an advantage.
The biggest concern for Nevada players right now should be the consistency of the players’ ability to use a Heads-Up Display, or to even track their own hands. It is written into the law in Nevada that poker sites cannot store the hand histories for the players on their machine specifically to make it difficult to use HUDs and other player tracking software. This software gives an advantage to professional players over recreational players.
New Jersey has no such law and players on New Jersey sites currently use player tracking software. I even used Poker Tracker on a recent trip to New Jersey.
There could be some difficulty here. As it is written into the law in Nevada, it can’t simply be changed in the governor’s office. The law itself would need to be amended. Politicians and Bureaucrats may not really care (or understand) about this advantage. They are more interested in liquidity so they can tax more.
I believe it is important for players to voice their concerns. Besides contacting the regulator, contact WSOP as it may come down to them to make sure their games are fair for all players.
I suspect WSOP can pool their players quickly since their platform is already integrated with Delaware, and I see no reason why they wouldn’t move fast considering they are the only site in Nevada.
When Nevada legalized online poker, they included a bad actor clause, which disallowed licenses to any poker sites that operated in the USA after UIGEA was enacted in 2006. This would effectively limit access for Poker Stars, so I don’t see Poker Stars coming into the market.
With shared liquidity, it is possible another site like Party Poker may try to enter the market. Time will tell.
Personally, I’d prefer to see just the one site, if for no other reason than I don’t want to keep multiple bankrolls. WSOP has been generous with promos as well and keeping all my play on one rewards system allows me to reach top tiers more easily.
Time Zone Considerations
Updated 10/15/17, thanks Bill Rini, Head of Online Poker WSOP
The three hour time difference between the two markets will extend prime playing hours and will help make games available earlier in the mornings. The largest tournaments will also likely be earlier in the evening. Hopefully no more 2am Final Tables!
Tournaments vs Cash Games
If you are a tournament player, this is a great thing for you. Larger prize pools means more fish will play. Although the prize pool itself does nothing to affect your EV, a greater supply of dead money in the tournaments will help.
As for cash games, I don’t expect the games to be any better, there will simply be more of them.