PokerStars has gone live in Pennsylvania during the first week of November, thus becoming the very first online poker room to get started in the state.
The much-anticipated launch was announced during a meeting presided over by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). PokerStars was not cited by name, but Mount Airy Casino, PokerStars’ brick-and-mortar casino partner, was. However, PokerStars later confirmed November 4 as the go-live date.
PGCB’s executive director Kevin O’Toole commented that he expects more online poker rooms to be introduced in the next four to six weeks.
PokerStars is not offering all game types during the soft launch period. Cash games are restricted to six- and nine-handed No-Limit Hold’em, six-handed Fixed-Limit Hold’em, and six-handed Pot-Limit Omaha. Stakes go from $0.01/$0.02 to $50/$100, depending on the game. Also active are $1 to $100 buy-in six-handed Turbo Sit-and-Go and $1 to $500 heads-up Sit-and-Go.
Several smaller buy-in multi-table No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments are also running. One of the first was a $5 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo tournament that commenced at 3 pm on November 4 and drew 140 players. SugarDaddyPA had the honor of being the first tournament winner in Pennsylvania’s online poker history, banking $121.
Once PokerStars goes completely live, more game kinds such as Triple Draw and Stud may be made available, although that might depend on how much traffic the site receives. The tournament schedule would be expanded, and cash game players should see more choices for Hold’em and Omaha.
Spin & Go and Zoom Poker, two of PokerStars’ most popular games, would not be made available to play just yet, as the site is still waiting for state regulators to give the green light to the games.
PokerStars Pennsylvania can be downloaded at PokerStarsMtAiryCasino.com, and players must be at least 21 years old and located within state borders. Customers do not have to be Pennsylvania residents. Those who have PokerStars New Jersey accounts will need to create a new one for Pennsylvania.
For now, the PokerStars Pennsylvania tables would be filled with just players from within the Commonwealth. It is expected that Pennsylvania would join an interstate compact with New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada eventually, but there are no clear signs as to when that might be.