There is a lot to cover in this week’s look around the licensed Nevada online poker market, from WSOP.com’s online satellite schedule to the World Series of Poker, to a new poker variant that will soon be available on Ultimate Poker.
We’ll detail both of these stories plus take a look at the results from the Sunday Majors in Nevada, breakdown the latest traffic numbers in the state, and fill you in on the latest gossip on who might be joining UP and WSOP.com in 2014.
The WSOP.com Scoop: World Series of Poker satellites now running
Nevada online poker players can now find a robust World Series of Poker Main Event satellite schedule at WSOP.com, which I guess is not all that surprising when you think about it.
Every Saturday WSOP.com will be hosting a $215 buy-in satellite where at least one Main Event seat will be up for grabs, and on July 5th the site will host what it is calling the WSOP 25 Seat Main Event Scramble, where at least 25 seats to the Main Event will be given away.
You can find more details about WSOP.com’s satellites to the WSOP Main Event as well as information on how you can qualify for these satellites for as little as $1 here.
The best guesses at this point have WSOP.com in Nevada sending at least 50 players to the WSOP Main Event via online satellites, and if WSOP.com in New Jersey can do the same (they will probably send close to double the number Nevada does considering the larger player pool) there will be at least 100 US poker players in the Main Event courtesy of legal online poker in the United States.
The Ultimate Poker Scoop: Two Street Holdem
In the coming days Ultimate Poker will unveil its latest innovation, a new poker format called Two Street Holdem. Two Street Holdem is expected to debut in test/beta form on February 14th (Valentine’s Day) from 7 PM to 11 PM, and on February 15th and 16th from 1 PM to 5 PM.
A special invite only testing period is set to take place on February 10th. www.USPoker.com’s John Mehaffey will be in attendance and you can expect a write-up sometime on the 11th at the site.
As the name implies, the game will feature only two betting rounds, one preflop, followed by a second and final betting round after all five community cards are dealt.
The game should create some very loose pre-flop play for two reasons:
- Two Street Holdem will feature larger blinds and antes
- With 72% of your cards revealed on the flop only the very worst hands become unplayable
The game’s creator, Chris Danek gives a complete rundown of it in this blog post at Ultimate Poker.
Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada
WSOP.com Sunday $15K Guaranteed
WSOP.com’s biggest tournament of the week, the $215 buy-in, $15k Guaranteed easily eclipsed its guarantee, with the final prize-pool topping off at over $20,000 thanks to the 103 entries.
Here is a look at the final table payouts from the tournament:
- Butters – $5,768.00
- ValueTown – $3,337.80
- BeTheLight – $1,915.80
- Kudos88 – $1,503.80
- Legume – $1,297.80
- R8RH8R – $1,091.80
- mnbass1 – $865.20
- GrnSmoothie – $576.80
- Mikelos – $432.60
A pair of $10K Guarantee tournaments at Ultimate Poker
Meanwhile, at Ultimate Poker, the site hosted a pair of $10k guaranteed tournaments with a $100 buy-in and rebuys and add-ons available.
Both tournaments just squeaked past their guarantees, but it was the second of the two that would be the more interesting due to the big names at the final table.
The final table of the tournament featured Dan O’Brien, former November Niner Phil “USCphildo” Collins, and WSOP bracelet winner Brent “bhanks11” Hanks. Here is how they fared at the final table:
- juantoo3fore – $2,539.24
- Rprops – $1,751.20
- Dan OBrien – $1,313.40
- AB26 – $875.60
- USCphildo – $700.48
- maddogjim – $525.36
- M. Kampmann – $437.80
- CtrlAltDel – $350.24
- BHanks11 – $262.68
Traffic trends in Nevada
Total traffic in Nevada was fairly static this week, with Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com combining for an average of roughly 200 cash-game players according to www.pokerscout.com. After a slight uptick Ultimate Poker Nevada is once again losing ground to WSOP.com which now controls about 60% of the traffic in Nevada.
Peak traffic is also stagnant at both sites (which can be seen as good or bad), with WSOP.com peaking somewhere between 240 and 270 players and Ultimate Poker in the 140 to 190 player range.
The word on the street
The poker world is still waiting for more online poker rooms to join the fray in Nevada, not because the online poker industry can support three rooms (it really can’t based on the traffic numbers I listed above) but to bring some fresh blood into what is becoming a stale environment, with New Jersey stealing the lion’s share of the iGaming headlines.
But just who these new players in the market will be is still up in the air. Some companies that have indicated they’d like to launch in 2014 include the Siena Casino and Z4, which hopes to launch their HDPoker Room in 2014; South Point Poker, which at one time had designs on being the first online poker room in the state; and 888, which would become the first site on the All American Poker Network in Nevada.