Nevada Online Poker Review: Adelson Gains Support in Reno, Traffic Slides, and more

Posted on March 26, 2014

There is a lot going on in US online poker these days, especially in Nevada where it’s ground zero for the battle over online gambling being waged by Sheldon Adelson; a battle that has recently been kicked into overdrive, as the casino magnate now has a collection of politicians, lobbyists, and as you’ll see below fellow casino owners on his team.

In this installment of the Nevada Online Poker Week in Review we’ll start off by discussing Adelson’s newest ally before moving on to other topics, including, a report by PokerFuse.com detailing how Nevada’s current online traffic matches their population; when we can expect the Nevada / Delaware online poker compact to go live; as well as this past weekend’s tournament results, current traffic numbers, and the latest gossip from Nevada.

Atlantis owner Farahi comes out against online gambling

We are living in strange times people, strange times. On Tuesday the owner of the Reno based Atlantis Hotel and Casino, John Farahi, came out against online gambling according to Jon Ralston’s Ralston Reports column.

What’s so strange about that? Farahi and the Atlantis applied for and received an online poker license in Nevada!

Farahi is the second casino owner with online licenses to come out against online gambling, the first being Steve Wynn. However, Farahi’s objections differ from Wynn’s, with Wynn seeing a bleak economic forecast for online gambling while Farahi is objecting to online gambling on moral grounds—basically echoing Sheldon Adelson’s complaints.

Farahi told Ralston he was 100% (adding a hyperbolic 1,000% for emphasis) against online gambling:

“Morally and for the health of our society, having gaming in people’s homes is not good,” Farahi said. “At least with a casino, you have to make the effort. It would be foolish of us to let this happen.”

Nevada traffic on par with projections

An interesting article on PokerFuse.com last week details how the current traffic levels in the Nevada online poker market are right on par with what should be expected based on the state’s population.

PokerFuse.com used data from pokerscout.com to determine Nevada’s average traffic at 65 players per million residents, which is similar to other regulated markets around the world, where traffic ranges from 55-67 players per million.

The article goes on to explain that while Nevada may be near its peak, there is still room for growth in New Jersey. The article is very interesting, and shows just how detailed the analysis already is (most people would probably assume this type of data is speculative) in regulated markets.

Nevada / Delaware compact timeline

Nevada and Delaware are hoping for a summer launch of their online poker compact according to an article by Howard Stutz. In addition to presenting a potential timeline for the interstate agreement, the article goes on to say that Nevada has been in talks with New Jersey, and both Nevada and Delaware are hoping more states join down the road.

Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada

WSOP.com Sunday $15K Guaranteed

WSOP.com saw a solid traffic increase for its $15k guaranteed tournament this week as attendance went from 80 players to 96 week-over-week. With a prize-pool of nearly $20,000 it was former Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow who took down the event—or maybe it was just some random player using TimTebow for a screen-name, which isn’t as good a story but seems more plausible.

  1. TimTebow – $5,472.00
  2. scross – $3,168.00
  3. brokefinger – $1,920.00
  4. mlawson – $1,536.00
  5. Luck_Equity – $1,324.80
  6. bk1048 – $1,132.80
  7. pgreazy19 – $940.80
  8. cantfakeit – $652.80
  9. SuGaRay71 – $518.40

Another week means another seat to the World Series of Poker Main Event was handed out, and this time around it was “dicma” who won his way into the world’s largest tournament, winning the $215 Qualifier to the 2014 WSOP Main Event ran on Saturday.

With just 42 players the tournament had a nice overlay as well, $1,400.

  • dicma – $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat

The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker

The $10,000 guaranteed at Ultimate Poker had 88 players, producing a nice overlay of nearly $2,000. One beneficiary was Ultimate Poker Pro William Reynolds who finished in 4th place:

  1. gothunder – $2,900
  2. chrisz19 – $2,000
  3. Nani’s Dad – $1,500
  4. William “ReynoldsXO” Reynolds – $1,000
  5. unlvrebel74 – $800
  6. IH8Donk$ – $600
  7. luckboxbryan – $500
  8. Gametime – $400
  9. DonkeyFish32 – $300

Traffic trends in Nevada

Cash game traffic dipped a little bit more this past week as WSOP.com dropped to just 95 average cash-game players while Ultimate Poker’s cash-game traffic dipped to just 65 average players according to www.pokerscout.com. South Point’s Real Gaming is still averaging 0 players.

This is somewhat troubling considering the sites were combining for about 200 players just a few weeks ago.

The word on the street

MGM’s Murren wants AGA to chill

Another Howard Stutz article that is of interest this week was MGM Chairman Jim Murren calling on the AGA to settle down with their online poker rhetoric.

According to the article, Murren wants the AGA to focus on its more historical fights where the association is in complete agreement, and leave the online poker fight to the recently created C4COP.

“I don’t want the AGA to find itself mired in a tremendous amount of controversy and infighting,” Murren said in an interview this week. “I feel like the Internet has become too divisive a topic when there are so many other topics we want to put forward where we can all agree.”

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Steve Ruddock

Steve is a well-recognized voice in the regulated U.S. online gambling industry. He writes for a number of online and print publications including OnlinePokerReport.com, USA Today, and others, with a focus on the legal market.

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