Players flocked to the tables immediately after its launch, and within a few hours, hundreds of them had occupied seats on the PokerStars Michigan client, with many active games up to high stakes.
There were some teething problems—issues with downloading and installing the client, geolocation software not detecting correct location, payment processing—but these have been mostly resolved and the response from players has been quite positive.
As per the traffic numbers tracked by observers, the opening day saw over 500 players fill up the tables. Over the weekend, this grew up to more than 2000 occupied seats.
PokerStars Michigan Traffic: First Weekend Success
The official cash game numbers are also now being tracked from independent monitor GameIntel and are available live on the Poker Industry PRO platform.
In the first days, PokerStars MI edged ahead of the combined network of WSOP and 888 to rank second in the US regulated online poker market, with a seven-day moving average of 362 and is just shy of its own PokerStars PA. The latest data as of Wednesday downgraded this slightly, and it now just sits behind WSOP/888 in third place.
However, it is too early to draw any conclusions—traffic figures only include a few full days. Rest assured, we will have more analysis of the traffic later in the week once the dust has settled.
PokerStars’ first weekend in the newly launched Michigan online poker market went smoothly. 6-max cash game tables of No Limit Hold’em were naturally the most popular by far, with dozens of games running at the same time. There was also a decent spread of Pot Limit Omaha tables.
There were some Stud and mixed game tables also running, but only during peak hours.
The traditional single table Sit & Gos also filled up quickly, with both 6-max and heads-up games running around the clock.
Three-handed Spin & Go’s, PokerStars’ lottery-style sit and go tournaments, were also up and running, though it was not certain how popular these games were due to the blind lobby.
Strong Tournament Turnout, But Modest Guarantees
The weekend tournament schedule did not break new ground. The operator was cautious with guarantees.
Four Sunday Majors were deployed for its first Sunday with combined guarantees of $16k. The Sunday Warm-Up was the first of the lot, boasting a $5000 guarantee for a buy-in of $30. 317 entries joined, easily surpassing its guarantee to reach $8.6k prize pool.
The $10 buy-in Sunday Storm, the cheapest offering of the four, attracted 270 entries to eclipse its $1.5k guarantee by $900.
The Sunday Super High Roller, its biggest tournament of the day, also had no trouble in covering its guarantee. The $250 buy-in tournament with a $7500 guaranteed prize pool drew 63 entries to nearly double its guarantee for a final prize pool of $14.6k.
The hyper-turbo Sunday Supersonic ($2k guaranteed) pulled in 47 runners, awarding $2.2k in prize money.
Daily tournaments also did well. The $100 Nightly Stars with a guarantee of $10k attracted 169 entries for a prize pool in excess of $15k. The Bigs, Bounty Builders and Hots also had a decent turnout.
First Tournament Series at PokerStars MI Expected Soon
However, one tournament that did not feature was the *Sunday Special*–the operator’s biggest Sunday tournament in PokerStars NJ and PokerStars PA.
However, this tournament has been added in the Michigan client for the coming Sunday, It boasts a $20,000 guarantee, the site’s largest yet. It comes for a buy-in of $100, meaning it will need to attract over 200 entries to cover.
The operator is expected to announce its first tournament series soon. It could very well be the state’s own Championship series, expected to be called the Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP).
While no dates are set, we think that the series will make its debut this month with guarantees between $750,000 to $1,000,000. The series is expected to span at least two weeks and culminate in a $100,000-guaranteed Main Event.
Meanwhile, to get players familiar with the software and game offerings, PokerStars MI is running a series of “We are in Michigan” welcome freeroll tournaments, dishing out $50,000 worth of prizes.
These freerolls are awarding between $2500 to $7500 depending on the day.
In addition, the operator is also running Depositor Freeroll for players who made a deposit.
And of course, the site is also running Welcome bonuses as well as giving away a bonus package worth $30 to players who make a minimum deposit of $20 using the code FREE30.