MICOOP and WSOP Online Coming to Michigan in September, But Still No Multi-State Poker

We’ve got a bit of a good news/bad news story for tournament poker players in Michigan.

On the positive side of things, the Wolverine State’s got two great online poker tournament series coming up this fall.

First, the World Series of Poker announced that its WSOP Online is back again this year. In 2020 and again in 2021, WSOP ran this series in the summer to make up for the lack of its usual live series in Las Vegas.

Despite the return of the Vegas WSOP to its usual timeslot, the company has decided to keep the standalone online bracelet series. It has simply been moved later in the year.

Second, PokerStars has announced the dates, though not yet the schedule, for its 2022 Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP).

What’s the bad news? Both series will still have Michiganders playing separately from those in other states. That would seem to pour cold water on any hopes of multi-state poker launching within Q3.

What to Expect From WSOP Online in Michigan

The Michigan component of WSOP Online consists of six events, with buy-ins ranging from $365 up to $1000 for the Championship event.

In other words, this is a series for serious players. That’s as it should be because each of the events awards a WSOP Gold Bracelet. These are the most coveted non-cash prizes in all of poker, with anyone who wins one instantly becoming a part of poker history.

The events will take place each Sunday at 6 PM from Sep 11 through Oct 16, one event per week. Here’s the full schedule:

# Date/Time Buy-In Name/Format
1 Sep 11, 6 PM $500 Monster Stack
2 Sep 18, 6 PM $365 Standard
3 Sep 25, 6 PM $400 Ultra-Deep PKO
4 Oct 2, 6 PM $777 Lucky 7s
5 Oct 9, 6 PM $500 Big 500
6 Oct 16, 6 PM $1000 Championship

Want to win a WSOP bracelet? Sign up for WSOP.com today.

What to Expect from MICOOP 2024

So far, PokerStars has not revealed much at all except the dates for the series. It will run from Sep 9 through Sep 26, with the Main Event beginning on Sep 25.

Beyond that, the best we can do is look at last year’s series for clues. MICOOP 2021 likewise took place in mid-September. The Michigan poker market hasn’t changed a whole lot since then, so chances are that this year’s series will have a lot of similarities beyond just the dates.

Here are some key facts about the 2021 series:

  • There were 68 events on the schedule, with buy-ins ranging from $10 to $1000
  • Total guarantees for the series were $1.5 million, including $150,000 for the Main Event
  • There was considerable variety in the events, including 5-Card Draw, Stud Hi/Lo, HORSE and 8-Game, as well as several variations of Omaha

In other words, expect something for everyone from MICOOP 2024.

Want to warm up for MICOOP? PokerStars has tournaments running round-the-clock.

When Will Michigan Poker Sites Begin Sharing Traffic With Other States?

There was a brief period of excitement for Michigan poker players this spring, when the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) announced that it was prepared to enter the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). Since then, however, it has been crickets.

MSIGA is a deal between New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. It allows poker sites operating in those states to share traffic from one state to another. However, while New Jersey is a competitive market, Nevada and Delaware are monopolies for the All-American Poker Network operated by a partnership of WSOP and 888. In practice, then, the US still has only that one tri-state network, while all other sites are limited to a single state.

Michigan joining MSIGA means, in principle, that WSOP can expand its network to four states. Meanwhile, BetMGM Poker and PokerStars should be able to form two-state networks comprising Michigan and New Jersey.

The question everyone wants answered is: When?!

Unfortunately, neither the MGCB nor any of the sites are willing or able to provide an answer. However, these tournament schedule announcements do tell us that WSOP and PokerStars both think it won’t happen in the next month, and probably not before late October at the earliest.

After all, these series are still a month away, and poker operators often don’t commit to schedules until a couple of weeks before the series kicks off. That they’re announcing stand-alone series in Michigan with this much lead time means they’re fairly confident they won’t be able to run multi-state series.

On the other hand, as slow as regulatory processes can be, it would be surprising if it took more than a year between the release of the MGCB’s guidelines for multi-state poker operators and the launch of such networks. Smart money, then, is probably on interstate networking debuting sometime in Q4 2024 or Q1 2023.

About the Author

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon is the Casino News Editor for Michigan Casino Review Bank. He’s a former semiprofessional poker player and has been writing about online gambling professionally since 2014. Alex provides insightful content on the regulated online casino and poker industries, with an emphasis on legislation, regulation, responsible gambling and business strategy. His writing about poker has earned him multiple nominations for the American Poker Awards over the years.