WSOP Expands: Michigan Poker Set To Expand With Potential Push In Pennsylvania

Erik Gibbs

An online Texas Hold'em poker table showing the flop

The online poker landscape is set to undergo a significant transformation this week. Gaming industry media site Play Michigan reports that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) could be preparing to merge its Michigan player pool with the shared liquidity markets of Nevada and New Jersey. 

The move, anticipated to occur as early as Wednesday, would expand Michigan’s involvement in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). Since its launch in Michigan in March 2022, WSOP has operated within the confines of state borders, allowing Michigan residents to compete exclusively amongst themselves. However, the impending merger will expand the horizons for players and create a more dynamic and interconnected online poker environment.

The integration of Michigan, which has become a prolific iGaming state, into the shared liquidity pool is not only a technical feat but also a strategic expansion that aligns with the broader trends in the industry. PokerStars established shared pools with New Jersey last year, setting a precedent for multi-state poker networks. 

Moreover, the timing of this merger is particularly opportune, coinciding with the buildup to the 2024 WSOP. The enhanced network is expected to offer a seamless online bracelet series that spans all three states, providing players with an unprecedented opportunity to compete for WSOP awards from the comfort of their homes.

Reports suggest that the updated software will significantly improve the online experience, introducing features such as Mystery Bounty tournaments, previously unavailable on the older platform versions. These developments indicate a substantial upgrade in the quality of online play, aligning with WSOP’s commitment to innovation and excellence.

Pennsylvania next?

Online poker player pooling in Pennsylvania could be next. House Bill 2078 (HB 2078) is hoping to usher in a return of legal interconnected play and heightened competition. 

This legislation, if passed, would empower the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to forge a shared liquidity agreement with other states. Pokerfuse, a prominent voice in the online poker community, is looking to drum up support from players and residents in the state through a meticulously orchestrated social media campaign. 

The #GrowPApoker campaign, set to culminate in a social media blitz on May 7, is a call to action. In addition to raising awareness about the bill, Pokerfuse’s initiative is also about educating the public and lawmakers on the value of HB 2078. The campaign underscores the importance of Pennsylvania joining the MSIGA, a move that would align the state with Michigan, Nevada, and New Jersey.

Pokerfuse has laid out a strategic roadmap for supporters to follow, including engaging with key lawmakers via social media platforms and enlisting others to amplify the message. The list of targeted officials includes Governor Josh Shapiro and Representative Matthew Bradford, among others, whose backing is crucial for the bill’s advancement. The campaign also provides supporters with sample posts and messaging guidelines to ensure a cohesive and persuasive narrative.

In essence, the #GrowPApoker campaign is more than just a push for legislative change; it’s a movement toward modernizing Pennsylvania’s online poker scene to reflect the evolving demands of the digital age. It represents a collective effort to enhance the state’s gaming landscape, bolster its economy, and protect its players. As such, the success of this campaign could serve as a benchmark for other states considering similar legislation, potentially shaping the future of online poker across the U.S.