Nevada is gearing up for the WSOP and gearing up for the biggest influx of online poker players in the one-year history of their industry.
So it’s an exciting time for sure, and the 2014 World Series of Poker could very well be a game-changer for Nevada’s online poker industry (a positive change the industry sorely needs right now), and all eyes will be focused on the state for the next several weeks.
There is also a lot going on in the world of legal online poker in the US, as California and Pennsylvania continue to consider joining New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada, while at the same time the fight at the federal level continues to take some unanticipated twists and turns.
In this installment of the Nevada Online poker Review we’ll fill you in on the recent stories that relate to Nevada and the larger national fight for legalized online poker, starting off with Ultimate Gaming’s Tom Breitling year one review of the Nevada online poker industry.
UP’s Breitling blames regulations for slow start
There has been a lot of finger pointing by the people in charge when people ask about the slow start in the newly regulated markets in Nevada and New Jersey.
The first scapegoats (and deservedly so) were the geolocation and payment processing troubles, followed by a lack of awareness (this falls more at the feet of the providers), and now we have yet another culprit, overregulation, which seems like a somewhat strange argument to make when these measures are needed for geolocation and underage gambling detection.
Ultimate Poker’s Chairman Tom Breitling recently posted a video blog where he stated, “When regulations enter the picture there are complications that cut into the size of the market.” Adding, “Each computer click you ask someone to make during the e-commerce process turns away about 10-20% of those customers. Looking at it another way, you lose 1 in 10 customers with every click.”
Breitling then compared these new regulations players have to deal with to the TSA policies enacted at airports following 9/11, something people are very vocal about in the beginning but eventually become accustomed to dealing with.
Still, Breitling sees a light around the corner, and used Amazon and Google as companies that started off slow but grew into mega-corporations.
AGA sitting federal debate out
The fight for legalized online poker (and to stop certain efforts to ban online gambling) took a bit of a hit this week when the American Gaming Association (AGA) publicly withdrew from the campaign, citing a difference of opinion amongst its members.
This decision is not all that surprising for those of us that follow the industry, but was certainly a surprise to many.
Fortunately the pullout by the AGA isn’t as big a deal as it first appears, considering the entities who support online gambling regulation in the AGA are still funding the lobbying group Coalition for Consumer Online Protection (C4COP), so while the AGA is no longer picking sides, the same entities within it have not changed their positions.
Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada
WSOP.com Sunday $15K Guaranteed
WSOP.com saw a very solid turnout of 105 players for its $15k Guaranteed this past Sunday, creating a total prize-pool of $21,000.
This is a good sign for the site with the WSOP right around the corner, and you can expect the Sunday tournaments during the WSOP to smash any previous records in terms of attendance and prize-pools.
It will be interesting to see if WSOP.com raises the guarantee on its Sunday tournaments during the WSOP; perhaps Caesars is waiting to see a week or two of results before deciding on a number.
Here is a look at the final table payouts from this past week’s tournament:
- zentrain $5,880.00
- mnbass1 $3,402.00
- waldo4 $1,953.00
- Guypie $1,533.00
- TEEPS $1,323.00
- AK1688 $1,113.00
- brokefinger $882.00
- allprowi $588.00
- dicma $441.00
WSOP Main Event Satellite
There was just a small overlay in this week’s WSOP Main Event satellite, as 46 players registered for the $215 tournament, which was won by a player using the screen-name SuGaRaY71, who will join over 100 other online qualifiers in the 2014 WSOP Main Event.
- SuGaRaY71— $10,000 seat to the 2014 WSOP Main Event
The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker
For the first time in recent memory Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com both eclipsed the 100 player mark in their big Sunday tournaments, as UP saw 101 players enter their $10k Sunday Guaranteed, just missing the guarantee by about $800.
Here is a look at the final table payouts:
- MattZman $2,500.68
- Upay4MyHJs $1,750.48
- TheOtherDave $1,200.30
- RedMike99 $900.20
- Wealthy360 $700.14
- DatDude $550.08
- GrnSmoothie $450.06
- PottyTrainMe $350.04
- Kristin $248.02
Traffic trends in Nevada
As we gear up for the 2014 World Series of Poker, online poker traffic in Nevada has once again remained fairly constant, with WSOP.com right around 100 average cash-game players and Ultimate Poker in the 50-60 range over the past couple months according to www.pokerscout.com‘s data.
These baseline numbers will be pretty important as traffic is expected to significantly increase during the six-plus week summer tournament series, but the more important question will be; will traffic levels return to baseline, or will Nevada’s poker sites see a long-term boost from the WSOP thanks to the added awareness and new player experiences?
The word on the street
If you want to play in World Series of Poker events this year you best be able to prove you are who you say you are, and in some cases a passport may not even be enough. There is a new policy this year that requires players to prove their address, and some foreign countries do not print address information on driver’s licenses or passports.
So the solution is this: Bring a utility or cell phone bill, or some other means to verify your address with you.
Otherwise this could happen: