WSOP, 888 to combine Internet gambling prize pools in New Jersey

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ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — Two of New Jersey's Internet gambling sites will begin sharing players next week, with bigger online prizes.

WSOP.com and 888poker.com will start sharing players on Monday.

The move is designed to increase so-called player liquidity, a key area New Jersey's year-old Internet gambling market is seeking to improve as it begins its second year.

"Shared liquidity will help create a better player experience that we hope will attract a diversity of players and begin to bring poker to a broader audience once again," said David Licht, CEO of the All American Poker Network, the joint venture between 888 Holdings and Avenue Capital.

Internet gambling in New Jersey took in only about a tenth of the $1 billion supporters had forecast for its first year. The state is looking to increase the size of player pools and jackpots by seeking compacts with other states where Internet gambling is legal.

Online poker is a potential growth area in New Jersey. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement said that in its first year, poker accounted for only 25 percent of New Jersey's Internet revenue, with the 75 percent coming from online casino games.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment says the move will increase prize guarantees for tournaments, and lead to a greater number of players available for cash games.

The sites will begin sharing $130,000 in guaranteed tournaments each week.

Each site will continue to maintain its individual reward and VIP programs.

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