PokerStars global online poker dominance was clearly visible during this year’s World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). The Main Event paid out over $10m in prize money with the final three players taking home over $1.1m each.
All three were German, with the winner “PlayinWasted” being a 23 year old recreational player, economics graduate and psychology student. The biggest online poker tournament in the world, but not a single US resident allowed to play.
Now state regulated poker is coming to New Jersey in November, and PokerStars is fighting for a share of the new US market. To succeed it needs a partnership with a bricks and mortar casino, and approval from the New Jersey regulators.
The $10m investment is dependent on the partnership with the Resorts Casino receiving an online gambling license from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. The land based casino lobby group, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has opposed PokerStars’ ambitions at every step.
It remains laughable that US citizens are denied full access to online poker. Thankfully, some sites such as Americas Cardroom have remained defiant throughout and continue to allow US players on their site.
Some commentators have argued that the absence of US players from the global online tournament series has led to a skill gap between US and rest of the world tournament grinders. US players are out of date and lack the experience to be big winners in the modern online game.
With the vast sums of money up for grabs at the big PokerStars online events like the Sunday Million and WCOOP, it’s time US players started to play catch-up, and got some practice in.
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By Matt Marietta, Rakeback.com Executive Editor
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