PokerStars back in the USA

World's biggest poker site made a return to the US market with a soft New Jersey launch this week.

PokerStars US Screenshot

As expected, Wednesday saw the soft launch return of PokerStars for New Jersey players as the gaming giant re-introduced its online poker menu to testers keen on playing on the site for the first time since April 2011.

The soft launch period lasted for eight hours, in which real money poker hands in cash games, sit and gos, and trade marked spin and gos were all played by a pre-selected 500 players.

The trial comes after the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced that PokerStars would be permitted to begin real money play with a pool of guests which, if successful, would see PokerStars given the green light to begin full operations once more.

Initial reports seem to believe that the ongoing trial, designed for regulators to evaluate equipment and protocols in real conditions, while not without some issues, does indeed look like a success, paving way for a full scale roll out on March 21

There were some teething issues, mainly around bonus codes and downloading of software, particularly on a MAC, but these were quickly allayed by PokerStars staff.

The move to reintroduce the site comes after five years of player frustration in the state, having twice unsuccessfully applied for a licence in 2013 following a total shutdown of operations post black Friday two years previously.

A video of the very first real money hands being played can be viewed below.

What players can expect

The site,, will become the 18th online gambling site in the state and is exclusively for Jersey based players. It will use the PokerStars 7 client to offer all the usual NL, Pot Limit Omaha and Limit Hold’em Stud games plus Badugi, fast-fold Zoom Poker and Triple Draw.

As with the soft launch, there will be a host of ring games with stakes up to $10, Spin & Go tournaments with buy-ins between $1 and $10 as well as the familiar Sunday roll call of tourneys including the Sunday Warm-Up and the Sunday Storm.

Similar to other markets, the site will also go beyond its poker remit to offer online table games and slot machine games, as well.

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Comments (13)

newest first
  • KoeNe4U


    I like this a lot!! Hope pokerstars will make one big player pool within couple of years. This may be the birth of the new poker bubble (or am I asking for too much :p )
  • martinstids


    more monopoly = more fck ups from amaya, its super bad news
  • PokarFace


    If I was CFO of Poker Stars, I would create bots to lose at least $1 million to New Jersey players to get the hype-train going and get approved ASAP
  • Marian21x


    Great news, however as KoeNe4U I hope for a global market as it was before Black Friday. Splitting the poker community doesn´t help anyone. I know it is a more complex problem, because of different regulations and laws, but hopefully one day it will be as it was before :)
  • Agiz19


    global pools are nowhere near.....
  • mred1337


    some good news for some ;)
  • Naixy


    I hope for a global pool in a future, at least is progress in usa.
  • rog011


    And i hope they are all fishes. :D but unlikely
  • domeex


    they are fishes. but im very glad. cant wait ;D
  • chrisgroen


    Welcome Amerika


  • cardinhand


    My Friend told me cash game in PS NJ is soft now.
    His using a HUD(HM2) and playing 9 table cash games since the beta start in NJ.
  • zuksters83


    Welcome USA. "Las Vegas" is now even closer :)