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PokerStars Michigan – Online Poker Site Preview 2020

*PokerStars MI online poker is not yet live in Michigan. It is expected to officially launch later in 2020 or early 2021.

If you’re in Michigan and have been waiting anxiously for online poker to become available to you, you shouldn’t have to wait too much longer. PokerStars will soon be live with its flagship online poker platform in the Wolverine State, with hopes to launch by the end of 2020 or early in 2021.

In Michigan, The Stars Group secured a partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority, granting the global gambling giant access to the state’s regulated gaming industry. With PokerStars coming to Michigan, the online poker site will be live in three states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In all three states, PokerStars operates legal real-money online poker in a ring-fenced market.

What bonuses to expect from PokerStars Michigan?

Although PokerStars is not yet live in Michigan, we can make a good guess of where the PokerStars online poker bonus offer will fall. This is because we have NJ and PA to go off of and PokerStars MI should be similar if not the exact same.

In NJ and PA, PokerStars offers two types of welcome offers. The first is a $30 free play bonus and the second is a 100% deposit bonus up to $600. More on how these two bonuses work can be found below.

How the bonus works

With the $30 free play bonus, players who deposit $20 or more using a special bonus code receive a $20 cash bonus plus $10 in tournament tickets. Players may also receive a ticket to a PokerStars MI Depositor Freeroll, which gives you a free chance to boost your bankroll right from the get-go.

The 100% deposit bonus is a welcome offer in which PokerStars will match your deposit up to $600. Deposit $100 and you can get another $100 match from PokerStars. Deposit $200 and you can get a match bonus of $200. The maximum match bonus PokerStars offers with this promotion is $600, but it doesn’t all need to be made at once, which is a good thing for those looking to space out their deposits more. With this bonus, players can make three qualifying deposits in 60 days and receive up to a maximum combined amount of $600.

With the 100% match deposit bonus, you’ll need to earn redemption points to clear the bonus money. For every 140 redemption points earned, $10 of the bonus money will be released. For every $1 that is spent on tournament fees or rake, five redemption points will be earned.

Advantages of playing online poker at PokerStars MI

  • Global online gaming leader: PokerStars is a global gaming leader, and it all started with the company’s flagship online poker product. Over the years, PokerStars online poker has only gotten better. Whether it be software, available games, or safety and security of the platform, there is a reason that PokerStars is the leading online poker platform in the world. All signs point to PokerStars being the first online poker operator in Michigan and they could very well be the only online operator in the state for quite some time, which would be similar to what we see in Pennsylvania. That will allow PokerStars to dominate another market, which leads to more players and more games.
  • Casino, poker, and sports betting all in one: PokerStars online poker is within the portfolio of The Stars Group. That portfolio also includes online casino and sports betting (FOX Bet). With all three legal in Michigan, we expect players to have access to all three verticals under one roof, which is also similar to what can be seen in NJ and PA. This is an extremely convenient part of PokerStars’ offering in Michigan.
  • Great user-friendly software: As we’ve already stated, PokerStars is a global gaming leader and you can’t be a leader without leading software. PokerStars’ online poker software is the best in the world. It’s very user-friendly, intuitive, and allows for a wide variety of games to be offered.
  • Safety and security: As part of PokerStars’ leading software is top-notch safety and security. PokerStars leads the way in this regard and players can confidently feel safe and secure with PokerStars through everything from game integrity to banking.

Which software platforms will PokerStars Michigan be available for?

PokerStars online poker will be available in Michigan via two software platforms. Those are desktop and mobile, and mobile will be available for iOS and Android devices.

Desktop software

The PokerStars desktop platform can be accessed via download to your desktop from the PokerStars MI website. Within the client, players will be able to find all of their favorite cash games, tournaments, and more. Players can also bounce between PokerStars Casino and FOX Bet for sports betting, so all three are under one roof.

One good thing about the PokerStars desktop client is that it automatically issues updates so the software is always the latest available.

Mobile software

With the PokerStars MI mobile app, players will get everything they find on the desktop client but in a mobile version that can be taken anywhere within state lines. Much of the digital world is going mobile-first and PokerStars definitely understands that, which is why the company’s mobile products are top of the line.

Whether you have an iOS or Android device, PokerStars will have a mobile product available for you. The mobile platform utilizes geolocation technology to determine a player’s location. If the location is not within Michigan state lines, the player won’t be able to play PokerStars online poker, and this also goes for playing PokerStars MI Casino or sports betting at FOX Bet in Michigan.

PokerStars MI game selection

When it comes to online poker, PokerStars is often the first brand people think of, which means that’s where people are going to go to play online poker if PokerStars is available in their region. With the brand providing legal online poker in Michigan, we can expect the site to gain a significant portion of the market share and have a wide variety of games running around the clock.

Cash games

PokerStars MI will have cash games running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Limits start as low as $0.01/$0.02 and go much higher. There are different types of limits available, too, including games with no-limit, pot-limit, and limit betting.

One of the best things about cash games is that players can come and go as they please, unlike a tournament or sit-n-go where players are locked into playing until they bust out or win. Whether you have five minutes or five hours, cash games allow players to sit in on the action and get up whenever they would like to do so.

Cash games may also be referred to as “ring games,” but the two phrases go hand in hand.

Tournaments

PokerStars is widely known for its robust multi-table tournament offering, which includes daily tournaments that run on a regular schedule and bigger tournament series that take place at various time periods throughout the year.

Like cash games, PokerStars has levels of tournaments available for everyone, including freerolls that can offer prizes without an entry fee. On a daily basis, we can expect to see PokerStars MI offer daily tournaments with big prize pool guarantees, such as $5,000, $10,000, and even $15,000. On Sundays, which is online poker’s biggest day of the week, we can expect PokerStars MI to offer even larger events.

PokerStars is well known for its big tournament series. In New Jersey, there is the PokerStars NJCOOP, which is the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker. In Pennsylvania, there is the PokerStars PACOOP, which is the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker. Don’t be surprised to see a PokerStars Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP) soon after the site goes live, which will include a wide variety of tournaments and juicy guarantees.

Sit-n-gos and Spin & Gos

For those that like the tournament style of poker but don’t want to play for long hours against hundreds if not thousands of opponents, then sit-n-gos could be right up your alley. Sit-n-gos, which are often referred to as “SNGs” for short, are single-table tournaments available on-demand rather than on a schedule. Just like other poker tournaments, SNGs start players with a set amount of chips and play until a winner is crowned.

Spin & Gos are PokerStars’ turbo jackpot SNG offering. When players enter, a random draw determines the prize pool that is being played for and prizes can range from 2x to 1,000x the buy-in. Spin & Gos have become very popular due to their fast play and jackpot offering, but they are more gimmicky than regular SNGs.

PokerStars Home Games

PokerStars Home Games is the site’s private poker club offering, where players can set up private games to play against others, both for real money and for play money. With PokerStars Home Games, users can set the game types and limits for what is available in the club, or they can schedule tournaments with other players in the same club. The customization options are plentiful and many players have transitioned their live home games to online with PokerStars Home Games.

What will traffic be like for PokerStars MI?

PokerStars is expected to be the first online poker platform available in Michigan, which gives the operator a great leg up on the competition. Michigan has a population of nearly 10 million, which is between the populations of Pennsylvania (12.8 million) and New Jersey (8.9 million), so it’s likely we’ll see the same sort of traffic we’re seeing from PokerStars PA and PokerStars NJ.

That means PokerStars MI should have anywhere from 250-1,000 players on at a given time and tournaments should attract hundreds of players on a regular basis with the biggest events drawing more than 1,000. With this much traffic, PokerStars MI should have no problem running games around the clock.

PokerStars MI loyalty program

PokerStars has the Stars Rewards loyalty program. Players earn rewards points for playing real-money online poker and those points can lead to personalized rewards from PokerStars. The rewards come in the form of PokerStars Chests and when you play enough to unlock a Chest at a certain level, you’ll be able to open the Chest to reveal the reward. The Chests contain rewards that are catered to your poker play.

With the Chests, players can win StarsCoin, which is PokerStars’ online currency that can be used in the PokerStars Rewards store.

There are a couple of negatives with the program, though. The Stars Rewards program is a little tricky to understand at first. That said, once players get the hang of it it’s pretty simple to follow. Another knock is that the rewards received aren’t going to blow you out of the water most of the time. Every once in a while you might get a very big reward, but that won’t happen most of the time. Still, some rewards, no matter how decent they are, are better than no rewards.

What kind of banking options will be available at PokerStars MI?

PokerStars provides a wide variety of banking options across its verticals, and online poker should fall right in line. Depositing and withdrawing funds is easy and secure with PokerStars, as these are areas of the platform where great emphasis is placed.

Let’s take a look at the banking options we expect to see with PokerStars MI online poker:

  • Instant eChecks
  • Credit/debit card (Visa and MasterCard)
  • PayNearMe 
  • PayPal
  • Stars Transfer (Online Bill Pay)
  • Skrill

As PokerStars is partnered with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan, players will likely also be able to deposit and withdraw cash at Odawa Casino, with locations in Petoskey and Mackinaw City.

Of course, because PokerStars MI is not yet live in the Wolverine State, we’ll need to wait and see exactly which cashiering options are available.

Customer support

If you’re in need of customer support, PokerStars has help available through Live Chat and Email. On the desktop/browser platform and mobile apps, you’ll find the contact information in your player account, located under the “Help” or “Support” section.

The Live Chat option will likely lead to a faster response than going through email, so keep that in mind. Live Chat representatives are frequently available to assist.

More about Odawa Casino and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

As we’ve mentioned, The Stars Group is partnered with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan. The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians owns and operates two brick-and-mortar venues in Michigan, Odawa Casino Petoskey in Petoskey, Michigan, and Odawa Casino Mackinaw in Mackinaw City, Michigan.

Opened in 2007, Odawa Casino Petoskey boasts 50,000 square feet of gaming space that includes nearly 1,000 slots, dozens of table games, a high-limit gaming area, and a live poker room. Odawa Casino Mackinaw, opened in 2016, is smaller at 6,100 square feet of gaming space and features 220 gaming machines.

Conclusion

Although PokerStars is commonly seen as a global brand, the site is expected to make a big splash in the regional Michigan market. PokerStars has an incredible amount of experience with its online poker product, which includes being one of the most veteran operators in the U.S. regulated online poker space.

In New Jersey, PokerStars launched after competitors WSOP and partypoker but quickly made up ground. In Pennsylvania, PokerStars was the only operator with online poker for quite some time. With the head start it got, plus the knowledge of what it learned from launching in NJ, PokerStars has been very successful in Pennsylvania and should be very hard to overtake for market share. Having launched regulated online poker in two different states before Michigan, PokerStars MI should roll out even more efficiently than ever.

As we’ve come to expect from PokerStars in other regions of the U.S. and across the globe, the standard is high because PokerStars is the one who sets the standard. We have high expectations for PokerStars MI online poker and players should, too. Expect good traffic, a wide variety of games for all levels, and plenty of big tournaments to be won.

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Bill has over a decade of experience working in diverse aspects of the online gambling space. He is currently focused on legal, US online gaming, which he has reported on since the industry first became regulated in the country.