One of the most encouraging messages for internet poker enthusiasts in the United States was delivered yesterday evening by Donnie Peters, Editor in Chief at PokerNews. From his Twitter account, Peters announced confirmation from WSOP.com that online poker player pooling has finally begun between Nevada and Delaware.
The shared liquidity compact between Gov. Jack Markell and Gov. Brian Sandoval – more than a year in the making – finally took its first steps yesterday with the soft-launch phase of online poker player pooling between their respective states.
— Donnie Peters (@Donnie_Peters) March 24, 2015
An hour later, Peters tweeted again that “Nevada and Delaware have begun sharing player pools”, and that the “numbers may not instantly be significant, but it will grow. This is very positive for online poker in the US,” he said.
The interstate compact to share liquidity between Nevada and Delaware was signed in February of 2014, and it took a year for all the kinks to be worked. Last month, in an article by Steve Tetreault that appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, it was revealed that Gov. Sandoval expected online poker player pooling between the states to “go live in four to six weeks”. As it turns out, that timeline was an accurate one.
Online Poker Sites that will share in Player Pooling
In Nevada, WSOP.com is the only operator experiencing the networked player pooling, now linked up with all three of Delaware’s online poker rooms, belonging to Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway & Casino. All of those operators are powered by software from 888, therefore will be able to pool their player bases across the new interstate network. Nevada’s RealGaming, operated by South Point and powered by proprietary software, will not be able to participate.
According to PokerScout, Delaware’s online poker rooms have averaged just 7 players over the last 7 days, but that’s going to change very soon. The current 24 hour peak of cash game traffic is already 313, with a total of 73 players at the cash tables this morning. WSOP.com in Nevada is averaging 150 players, peaking at 319 and accommodating 74 at the tables at the time of writing.
Player Pooling: Response from Online Poker Players
So far, the response from online poker players regarding the initiation of player pooling has been a very positive one. PokerNews was able to obtain comments from a few regular players in Nevada.
Mike Ziemba, better known in the online poker realm as “ufo1234”, was once a member of PokerStars SuperNova Elite, the highest rank attainable by a PokerStars VIP. When Black Friday struck 4 years ago, his professional world was torn asunder, but Ziemba clawed his way back and now plays online poker from his home in Las Vegas. “It’s so refreshing to see online poker taking a step in the right direction in the US,” said Ziemba when asked how he felt about the soft-launch of player pooling. “I’m pumped, it’s good news.”
Another regular online poker player from the Silver State, who goes by the nickname “Spew_Artist”, shared his enthusiasm towards player pooling. “It’s nice to see the player pool grow, and it’s cool to sit down and play with someone from Delaware,” he said. “Hopefully more states will join in soon.”