Michigan PokerStars Players Can Compete Against New Jerseyans on Jan. 1

Michigan PokerStars players will be able to gamble with New Jerseyans on Jan. 1. That news arrived today along with an announcement about two New Year’s Day online poker tournaments with winnings of $150,000.

PokerStars will unite Michigan and New Jersey player pools for the first time. The only other app that offers multi-state play, WSOP, doesn’t yet include Michiganders.

Currently, PokerStars is more popular in Michigan than it is in the Garden State. Here, PokerStars generated $2.3 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) during November.

In New Jersey, all online poker apps created a combined $2.1 million in revenue during November. That total includes PokerStars and WSOP, as well as 888poker, BetMGM Poker, Borgata Poker, PalaPoker, and PartyPoker.

Michigan PokerStars Players Can Win $150,000

As proof that shared liquidity may mean larger prizes for Michigan PokerStars players, @PokerStarsUSA announced two tournaments on New Year’s Day with $150,000 in possible winnings.

Beginning on Tuesday, PokerStars players in both states can buy into the $100,000 event for $100. That tournament begins at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

Registration also begins on Tuesday for the 6:30 p.m. Jan. 1 tournament. Buy-in is $10 and for the “guaranteed” $50,000 prize.

Michigan Joined MSIGA in April

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) began working on joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) around the time that the state launched its online gambling marketplace on Jan. 22, 2021.

However, the process takes time.

On April 6, MSIGA announced it accepted Michigan.

Even so, an operator would need to unite its player pool.

That wasn’t likely to happen, though, until Sept. 15. That’s when operators could stop being worried about federal prosecution for transmitting player data across state lines. On that date, the US District Court District of Rhode Island decided in favor of US online casino and poker operators and vendors regarding a 2018 interpretation of the Wire Act. 

PokerStars US Managing Director Severin Rasset said today:

Our community will experience more breadth and depth of games, more tournaments with bigger prizes to win, amped-up promotions, and more choice. To kick start, we are offering generous guarantees on our debut multi-state tournaments, that will no doubt provide lots of value for those who take to the tables. We worked closely with the regulators of New Jersey and Michigan, and we hope that more will follow this great example.

Perhaps because of the 2-degree temperatures during today’s blizzard, Michiganders didn’t seem to spend much time on Twitter talking about the news. Instead, most reactions seemed to be from Pennsylvanians disappointed that they’re not yet included in multi-state play.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is a writer for Michigan Sharp with a focus on online casino content. She had her first published byline at age 10, but didn't get paid for her writing until she got her first newspaper job. Heather's work in Suburban News Publications in Ohio and eventually took her to The New York Times, where she's still a contract freelance reporter for the National Desk. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report, which lead her to MI Sharp.