As of today, the PokerStars Michigan poker client is available in the Wolverine State, making it the third state behind New Jersey and Pennsylvania in which the operator offers legal and regulated real money online poker.
The software client became available after the official approval at 11 am on Friday, January 29. It includes a full array of ring games alongside MTTs, SNGs, and the popular Spin & Go jackpot format. Furthermore, the Stars Casino and the FOX Bet Sportsbook are also available through the main lobby.
PokerStars MI was given the green light to launch today by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), and in partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority (“Odawa”), became the first online poker room in Michigan.
Since going live, we have had the chance to look through the PokerStars Michigan client and take note of some of the important features and offerings that will interest online poker players in Michigan.
PokerStars Michigan, a First Look
Upon opening the client for the first time, players will notice that the Quick Seat lobby feature for ring games is enabled by default, allowing players to jump into cash game action by selecting the game type, buy-in, stakes and maximum number of players at the table.
Players can quickly tab to see all games and even create their own favorites list.
One thing that you will notice upon jumping into or observing a game is that PokerStars MI features the latest Aurora graphics engine allowing users to experience smooth animations, vibrant sound effects and other interactive elements which enhance the playing experience.
Another thing that is immediately apparent is that dark mode has been enabled by default for every user.
The PokerStars MI client looks a lot like its counterparts in New Jersey (PokerStars NJ) and Pennsylvania (PokerStars PA). Like in New Jersey, the software client features an American Flag (the Pennsylvania client features a state flag), and like in Pennsylvania, the name of the land-based casino partner in the state is featured alongside the PokerStars logo.
And as noted earlier, the lobby includes direct access to both Stars Casino games and the FOX Bet Sportsbook.
PokerStars Michigan Cash Games Include Mixed Games
Those familiar with the PokerStars brand have come to expect a wide variety of cash games from the worldwide leader in poker, and its Michigan offering holds true to its reputation.
A first look at the lobby reveals plenty of mixed games that Michiganders can take part in right after making their deposit. Unlike other competitors in the regulated US online poker markets, PokerStars has included a variety of popular mixed game variants.
Available in a variety of stakes and table sizes, the following cash games are being spread at launch:
- No Limit Hold’em
- Limit Hold’em
- Pot Limit Omaha
- Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
- Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
- Seven Card Stud
- Stud 8 or Better
- Pot Limit 2-7 Triple Draw
- Limit 2-7 Triple Draw
All these game types are available as cash games, and the filters in the main lobby indicate that they also may be available in tournament format in the future.
There are also games such as Short Deck (6+ Hold’em) in the lobby filters that are not currently being spread, but it is unclear if this is the result of using code from its .com client or if PokerStars MI has plans to offer these additional games at some point in the future.
The lowest stakes available for cash game are $0.01/$0.02 tables for six-handed No-Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo.
The highest limits available upon launch are $100/$200 at the 8-Game tables. We were also able to observe a $50/$100 Limit Hold’em table and various limit games available at $40/$80. The highest NL and PL stakes observed were $25/$50.
PokerStars MI Multi-Table Tournament Offering Sure to Grow
The scheduled multi-table tournaments (MTTs) for PokerStars MI on opening day were mostly No Limit Hold’em and featured buy-ins ranging between $3 and $50, but there were a couple of PLO tournaments on the schedule too.
Nearly all of the MTTs observed at the time of writing had guarantees that ranged from $50 to $500, and the schedule is certain to grow further as soon as the traffic picks up.
As far as tournament series, nothing has been announced as of launch, but PokerStars MI is certain to have its very own Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP) similar to PokerStars PA’s Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) and PokerStars NJ’s New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP).
A full slate of Sunday Majors is also expected to be announced soon.
Spin & Gos Available in Michigan Along with Turbo and Hyper SNGs
Like in other US states, the Sit N Go (SNG) lobby at PokerStars MI only includes No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha. The SNG buy-ins range from $1 to $500, and the only available formats listed are Turbo 6-Max and Hyper Heads-Up for both game types.
The popular Spin & Go format is also available for Michiganders with four different buy-ins listed: $1, $5, $10, and $25. PokerStars online poker players on US soil can already take part in the popular jackpot format in New Jersey, but Spins are not available in Pennsylvania.
PokerStars Michigan Game Offering at a Glance
- Cash games including a variety of mixed games
- Sit N Gos
- Spin & Gos
- MTTs scheduled
- No Zoom games
No Interstate Online Poker Available in Michigan Yet
For now, all the PokerStars MI action will be ring-fenced allowing Michigan-based players only. However, it is expected that PokerStars will form a shared liquidity pool with its operations in Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer approved a series of bills on December 29, 2020, including SB 991 bill. The bill essentially paves the way for interstate online poker for Michigan once they sign the necessary interstate treaty and approve operators on a case-by-case basis.
If PokerStars US interstate network indeed becomes a reality in the near future, it may also result in the launch of online poker in West Virginia, which has already legalized online poker, but to date, no operator has launched online poker operations yet in the Mountain State.