The long wait is over. Mitten State poker players will get a third online poker room in Michigan next week, as WSOP MI has confirmed its plans to go live on March 28.
The launch has been in the cards for at least a year, but the regulatory process proved to be more time-consuming than expected. But the dust has finally settled and WSOP MI will deal its first real money poker hand on Monday at 10 AM EST, per the information provided by WSOP.
WSOP MI will be utilizing the license of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and its Turtle Creek Casino. William Hill is the license partner of the tribe and offers online sports betting and online casino gaming through this partnership. Last year, Caesars, the parent company of WSOP, purchased William Hill for $4 billion, giving Caesars and WSOP access to the Michigan iGaming market.
The Turtle Creek logo will be displayed on WSOP MI poker software.
WSOP MI to Run on New Poker 8 Software
MI Gaming Review has access to the WSOP MI poker client and, as was expected, WSOP MI will be powered by 888’s modern Poker 8 software, just like its counterpart WSOP PA.
The new WSOP software represents a significant improvement in terms of layout and functionality to enhance the poker playing experience. Players will have access to Omaha games on mobile phones, will be able to play four tables simultaneously, enjoy portrait layout, take part in multi-day tournaments, and a lot more.
A full slate of game offerings is expected to be available including BLAST — the operator’s lottery sit and go product — alongside the standard offerings such as Sit and Gos, Cash games, and Tournaments.
Segregated Player Pool for Now
Like in Pennsylvania, WSOP MI will be ring-fenced initially and Michiganders will only be able to compete with others within the state. However, this is expected to change as recent developments indicate that the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has taken steps to speed up its process in joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) which would allow operators to connect their player pools in Michigan with those they operate in other states that are also part of the pact — Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.
While its application to join the interstate poker compact is currently under review, it recently sent an email to licensees,outlining the potential tasks and considerations that operators and platform providers must take before the state authorizes multistate poker.
No timeframe has been provided on when can Michigan join the agreement, but it is certain that in the future — whether three months or six months from now — Michigan players will be able to share games with the WSOP US Network (WSOP NV, WSOP NJ, and 888/WSOP DE) and become the very first online poker network with shared poker liquidity across four states.
Welcome Offers, Promotions, and WSOP MI Exclusive Series
MI Gaming Review has already seen the promotions that will be offered to celebrate WSOP’s launch in Michigan, its fourth US state.
A 100% Deposit Match Welcome Bonus of up to $1000 and $50 in free play will be offered to new players just like in Pennsylvania.
Furthermore, there will be a Depositors Freeroll with prizes of up to $100,000. The Depositors freeroll takes place on April 19 and guarantees $50,000. For every deposit a player makes, WSOP will be adding $100 to the prize pool up to $100,000.
WSOP MI players will also be able to qualify for the WSOP 2022 live series in Las Vegas including the iconic $10,000 Main Event. These satellites will take place on Sundays at 6:30 PM ET and players can win their way for as little as $1.
On top of that, Michiganders will also get to compete in their first Online Circuit Series. The inaugural Michigan WSOP Online Circuit is slated to run from April 20 through to May 11. A total of 12 Gold Rings will be up for grabs with total guarantees of $350,000.
And lastly, WSOP is also expected to run a Michigan-exclusive WSOP online bracelet series just as it runs in Pennsylvania.
Long Wait for WSOP to Arrive in Michigan Comes to an End
It has certainly been a long wait for poker players in the Mitten State to get their third MI online poker room. WSOP MI will compete with the likes of PokerStars MI and BetMGM MI who have been operating in the state for over a year.
PokerStars MI was the first room to launch regulated online poker in Michigan in late January. Eight weeks later, BetMGM Poker MI joined the bandwagon and ended PokerStars’ short de-facto monopoly.
However, since then, the pair have been operating with no further competition. PokerStars owns a market share of close to 70% as per the cash game traffic data, tracked by GameIntel and available on the Poker Industry PRO Data platform. Meanwhile, BetMGM has a 31% share.
With WSOP MI’s entry, the duo’s share is naturally expected to go down as WSOP will be a formative competitor.
First, Michigan. Then WSOP Ontario is Next.
The announcement comes just a day after WSOP, in association with GGPoker, announced its plans to go live in the newly regulated market for online poker, casino gaming, and sports betting in Ontario, Canada. The launch is set for early April and the WSOP Ontario site will operate under the domain WSOP.ca.
But curiously, WSOP.ca will not be using 888’s Poker 8 software to power its online poker room in the largest province of Canada. Rather, WSOP’s Ontario online poker room will be powered by GGPoker’s top software, deepening WSOP’s ties with GG.