PokerStarsUSA will merge its Michigan and New Jersey player pools at some point in the next several weeks, according to email notifications sent to customers by PokerStars and its sister sports betting site, FOX Bet, in the last several days.
As a result, PokerStars and FOX Bet customers in Michigan and New Jersey will be sidelined on Monday and Tuesday, December 12 and 13, as a major software upgrade is put into place. The upgrade will also involve Stars Casino services.
Though all services in Michigan and New Jersey will be interrupted for up to 48 hours, language in the sites’ communications makes clear the downtime is needed to merge the poker-player pools at an as-yet-unspecified date. Neither sports betting services nor casino-style games generally require player pooling, but they will also be put on hold as the complete PokerStarsUSA upgrade is made operational.
A tweet from PokerStarsUSA on Friday noted that the upgrade is a “necessary milestone to bring our players more games, bigger prize pools & guarantees in poker tournaments in the coming weeks.”
As the message noted, PokerStarsUSA players in Pennsylvania are not affected by the upgrade-based downtime. This also means that PokerStars’ player base in Pennsylvania will not be merged with those in Michigan and New Jersey in the same timeframe, but will have to be added in at a later date.
Michigan signed an agreement to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) in May. New Jersey is also a MSIGA member, and the months since then involved a fine-tuning of the processes and protocols to be used between Michigan and the other MSIGA member states. Nevada and Delaware are also MSIGA members, but at the present time PokerStarsUSA is not available in those states. The next several weeks are likely to see a behind-the-scenes live testing of all the software involved to ensure that all automated processes are working as planned, including the rake-based reconciliation through which each state receives its fair share of tax revenue generated by players.