Sunday, May 26, 2024

WSOP Upgrades, Michigan Merger and Online Bracelets: What’s the Hold Up?

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WSOP Upgrades, Michigan Merger and Online Bracelets: What's the Hold Up?

The major development that WSOP US players have been waiting for a long time is still in progress, pokerfuse understands, but they may have to wait a few more days.

Late last month, we broke the story that WSOP.com was finally gearing up to upgrade its software in Nevada and New Jersey and connect its player pool with Michigan online poker players, thanks to a leaked online circuit schedule spotted by pokerfuse.

It was expected that WSOP would have taken the first steps or at least made an announcement by now. Yet, as the impending online circuit series approaches which was slated to start on May 11 and the online bracelet series next month, there has been no indication of when WSOP will implement its software upgrade in NJ/NV or integrate Michigan into its existing shared liquidity network.

WSOP has yet to release any explicit statement regarding any of these developments.

Update: WSOP has reportedly confirmed an update is coming. However, no timeframe has been provided. Players will be notified via email.

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The leaked schedule (which has now been removed) provided several telling hints, including the presence of mystery bounty tournaments for players in New Jersey and Nevada (which are only possible on the modern software currently available to Michigan and Pennsylvania players); identical schedules and guarantees between Michigan, Nevada, and New Jersey — further evidence that WSOP expects Michigan to be part of a connected player pool by the time the series runs.

And most telling of all — the terms and conditions of the schedule leak stated events would feature “shared liquidity with Nevada and Michigan (as permitted by law).” All this clearly indicated that WSOP was all set to make software upgrades and expand its shared liquidity network.

But the lingering question on everyone’s mind was: when would WSOP make these moves?

Since we broke this story, WSOP has been slow to deploy weekly tournaments in the client in those three states. Then, on April 30, WSOP announced scheduled maintenance on WSOP New Jersey on May 8, today, suggesting that the operator would implement software upgrades on this day.

However, on Monday, WSOP revised the date for this planned maintenance from May 8 to “later this month.”

Why is this maintenance important? When PokerStars launched the shared liquidity network between New Jersey and Michigan, they conducted a two-day server maintenance update, deemed “necessary” by the operator to enable shared liquidity. This maintenance took place weeks before the actual merger.

It appears WSOP was set to carry out this maintenance today, but it has been delayed. Also, considering that tournaments have been deployed until May 12 on WSOP New Jersey & WSOP Nevada, it is unlikely that the software upgrade or merger will occur before this date.

What is the cause of the delay? We don’t know; it could likely be hiccups with technical or regulatory requirements.

It is worth noting that WSOP still lacks approval from the Michigan regulator (and possibly from New Jersey and Nevada regulators). Without these crucial steps, WSOP won’t be able to link WSOP Michigan with NJ and NV.

So what needs to be done before WSOP can connect Michigan with New Jersey and Nevada player pools?

  • Server maintenance (scheduled for later this month)
  • Software upgrade in New Jersey and Nevada
  • Approval from Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) and likely from regulators in NJ & NV

Is the WSOP Online Bracelet Series Still Happening?

Typically, WSOP reveals the online bracelet schedule months before the series begins. However, as of today, this hasn’t been the case for this year. When officials unveiled the full schedule back in February, WSOP did confirm that online bracelets would make a return.

So, why the delay? It is possible that the delay in the schedule announcement is related to the ongoing developments mentioned earlier. It appears WSOP may be waiting for regulatory approval before announcing a three-state shared liquidity online bracelet series.

Last year, there were 20 online bracelets in Nevada and New Jersey and seven in Michigan. It is reasonable to assume that there will be at least two dozen online bracelet events across these three states this year.

We anticipate WSOP will make announcements in the coming days, so stay tuned for further updates.

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