Both BetMGM Michigan and BetMGM NJ played host to Online Series this month, with ten events in each jurisdiction. Guarantees were set high, with more than $300,000 guaranteed in each state, and both series ended up paying overlay on many events.
With the newly opened Michigan online poker market only a few months old, BetMGM was rather ambitious in hosting a second series so soon after launch. Both it and same series in the established New Jersey online poker market were eight-day, ten-event affairs with buy-ins ranging from $20 to $1,060. Both concluded this past Sunday.
There was more than $300,000 guaranteed in each series—so BetMGM had set their sights high. Standout events were a $1,060 Main Event with $100,000 guaranteed and a $109 game with $35,000 guaranteed.
The guarantees proved to be a bit optimistic, with most games missing the promised guarantees by a large margin. Michigan had slightly more overlays, and earned less in fees, versus the Garden state games, but both series missed by a total of more than $50,000.
Even with fees collected factored in, they still gave away around $40,000 on average for each series.
NJ vs MI BetMGM Series Comparison
|Total Overlay||Total Fees|
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Most games across both series ended with some amount of overlay. In fact, only one tournament in each state managed to grow its prize pool beyond the stated guarantee.
In Michigan, it was Event #3, a $125 8-Max game with $20,000 guaranteed that collected $21,400, while in New Jersey, Event #4, a $215 PKO with $20,000 guaranteed collected $20,600.
In every other case however, the prize pools fell short of guarantees. With the biggest guarantee, it is no surprise that the two Main Events suffered from the most overlay.
Michigan did a little better in that department, only falling $29,000 short of the $100,000 guarantee. New Jersey, on the other hand, only managed to collect $66,000 for the $100,000 guarantee, so had to add $34,000 to make up the difference.
BetMGM Michigan Online Series Schedule
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #1: $50K GTD 8-MAX NLH||$535||75||$50,000||$37,500||-$12,500|
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #2: $35K GTD $109 1/2 PRICE NLH||$109||298||$35,000||$29,800||-$5,200|
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #3: $20K GTD 8-MAX NLH||$215||107||$20,000||$21,400||$1,400|
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #4: $20K GTD 6-MAX NLH||$215||87||$20,000||$17,400||-$2,600|
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #5: $20K GTD 8-MAX NLH||$215||97||$20,000||$19,400||-$600|
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #6: $10K GTD 8-MAX PLO||$109||97||$10,000||$9,700||-$300|
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #7: $25K GTD 8-MAX PROGRESSIVE KNOCKOUT BOUNTY||$215||84||$25,000||$16,800||-$8,200|
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #8: $25K GTD 6-MAX NLH||$215||99||$25,000||$19,800||-$5,200|
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #9: $10K GTD MINI CHAMPIONSHIP NLH||$20||360||$10,000||$6,480||-$3,520|
|BETMGM ONLINE SERIES #10: $100K GTD 8-MAX NLH||$1,060||71||$100,000||$71,000||-$29,000|
New Jersey BetMGM Online Series Results
|#1: $50K GTD 8-Max NLH||$535||95||$50,000||$47,500||-$2,500|
|#2: $10K GTD 8-Max Mini NLH||$20||413||$10,000||$7,434||-$2,566|
|#3: $20K GTD 8-Max NLH||$215||85||$20,000||$17,000||-$3,000|
|#4: $20K GTD 8-Max Progressive KO||$215||103||$20,000||$20,600||$600|
|#5: $20K GTD 6-Max Progressive KO||$320||57||$20,000||$17,100||-$2,900|
|#6: $20K GTD 6-Max NLH||$215||90||$20,000||$18,000||-$2,000|
|#7: $25K GTD 8-Max Progressive KO||$215||108||$25,000||$21,600||-$3,400|
|#8: $25K GTD 6-Max NLH||$215||94||$25,000||$18,800||-$6,200|
|#9: $35K GTD $109 Half-Price NLH||$109||336||$35,000||$33,600||-$1,400|
|#10: $100K GTD 8-Max NLH||$1,060||66||$100,000||$66,000||-$34,000|
Are Overlays Always Bad?
While operators can not sustain big overlays over the long term for obvious reasons, there are sometimes strategic reasons why overlays may b good in the short term.
Especially in the case of a new market like Michigan, which only opened in late March, overlays can inject cash into the ecosystem and attract new players who are eager for value.
Even in a mature market like New Jersey, there can be value in adding money to the system through high guarantees that the operator does not really expect to see met. In both states, an injection of cash to attract players might be a positive step.
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The Borgata brands, which in New Jersey include BetMGM and partypoker, saw revenue in New Jersey drop in April by $200,000 over March. While they held on to their second place market position, they fell closer to third place operator, PokerStars NJ.
Adding some cash to their ecosystem could help attract some more players to solidify that second place spot.
In Michigan, the financial picture is less clear. BetMGM leads the casino market overall there, but they don’t break out numbers for poker specifically, so it is unclear how much of their revenue comes from poker.
However, since their launch they’ve seen significantly less cash game traffic than rival PokerStars, and more cash in the system could help boost their traffic.
While tens of thousands of dollars of overlay is not the best result the operator could have hoped for in either state for this series, it may also not be terrible. If extra cash in the market can generate traffic and bring in new players, it may well be worth the money.