PokerStars is set to host its biggest online tournament series ever in the US regulated market. The online poker operator is bringing its flagship series, the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) to the Keystone State.
The Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker (PASCOOP) will kick off on April 4, according to a tweet this week by the President of PokerStars USA Matt Primeaux. No further details have been announced yet, but Primeaux said that the upcoming festival will feature a whopping $2 million in total guarantees!
What To Expect?
Running alongside the NJSCOOP (New Jersey), PASCOOP is expected to run for at least two weeks, beginning April 4. The schedule is also expected to include a wide range of formats, such as Omaha and mixed games. The Main Event is easily the main highlight of the series, which could feature a $300 buy-in, and at least $125,000 in guaranteed prize pool. The total number of events on the schedule could be at least 70, and buy-ins are expected to start from as low as $30, all the way up to $1000.
PokerStars is also expected to run a series of promotions throughout the festival, including second chance freerolls which will take place daily, as well as deposit freerolls.
PASCOOP will now become the biggest online tournament series hosted by PokerStars in the US, a record previously held by the NJSCOOP in April 2018, which featured $1.3 million in guarantees.
The largest online tournament in the country is the 2019 WSOP Online Championship Series, which featured $3.5 million in total prize pool. The online festival ran simultaneously with the record-breaking 50th WSOP at the Rio in Las Vegas.
The WSOP/888 network is not yet operating in the Keystone state, but it still has an advantage over other online poker networks as it currently serves three states – New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, all of which are all part of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association. The multi-state agreement allows players from all three states to play in the same pool. Pennsylvania, one of the latest states to legalize online poker, could soon become part of the compact.
PokerStars currently caters to players in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with separate player pools.
Previous Tournaments at PokerStars PA
PokerStars opened the regulated online poker market in Pennsylvania in November 2019. During the same month, it held its first-ever tournament series in the state through PACOOP, which featured a total of 50 tournaments and an initial guaranteed prize pool of $1.225 million. The event was a huge success, attracting more than 12,000 players and ultimately paid almost $1.60 million to winners.
In January, PokerStars hosted a Winter Series, followed by the Bounty Builder Series in February. The Winter Series, though not as big as PACOOP, exceeded expectations once again after it generated more than $800,000 in total prize pool, higher than the initially advertised $675,000. The series featured 30 tournaments spread across one week of poker action.
Similarly, the Bounty Series in February which had 32 events, also turned out successful after awarding $668,241 in total prize money, also higher than the guaranteed $500,000.
Guarantees for the Main Event for each of the previous series were at least $100,000.
The upcoming PASCOOP is expected to be even bigger than the three series, and PokerStars will announce more details as soon as the schedule has been finalized.
COVID-19 Effect
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of several major live poker events across the globe. Online schedules are also not immune as PokerStars was forced to move its SCOOP series much earlier, compared to the normal May schedule.
As the usually busy live poker arena has gone silent nowadays due to the pandemic, the attention shifted online, with PokerStars reporting an increase in traffic in just two weeks. PokerStars PA’s cash game traffic in particular rose almost 75% this month, recording 441 in average concurrent cash game seats, well above the 238 seats recorded in February. Sunday tournaments are also enjoying an increase in traffic.

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