WSOP PA knew that it would have a challenge on its hands went it went live in Pennsylvania in July 2021. The online poker market in Pennsylvania is currently dominated by PokerStars who went live in the Keystone state in late 2019 and enjoyed a monopoly over the market for nearly a year.
WSOP PA decided to make a splash in the online poker market by coming out with a number of big tournaments. It launched a WSOP PA Online Bracelet series giving away 8 bracelets exclusively to poker players in Pennsylvania. The tournament was rather successful and the WSOP continued to be bold with its market strategy in Pennsylvania.

Experiment With Fall Online Championships Fails

The WSOP announced the inaugural launch of its Fall Online Championships (FOC) in Pennsylvania. The FOC ran from October 10 to 26 and had a total of 67 events taking place with a combined guaranteed prize pool in excess of $1 million. This was a big guarantee for the PA market but the WSOP was confident that based on its earlier success, its FOC would get a good response.
Based on the numbers from the FOC, it looks like WSOP PA got its predictions wrong as the FOC ended up with close to a 25 percent overlay. The FOC series from the start faced problems as players did not seem very interested in the events on offer. The FOC needed a combined 26,178 player registrations across all events in order to meet its guaranteed prize pool. However, it ended up getting only 18,293 registrations across all events and ended up with nearly $25,000 in overlays.

FOC Numbers Don’t Look Good

Since the response right throughout the tournament was weak, WSOP PA decided to pull one of the events at the last minute and ran only 66 out of the scheduled 67 events. WSOP PA decided to pull its $525 High Roller event that guaranteed $25,000 in prize money. If the operator did not pull this event, their overlays would have been much higher.
WSOP PA guaranteed $1,010,166 in completed events but could only manage to pull in $765,319. This was a 76 percent overlay which amounted to $244,847 which was a big hit for the online poker operator but a big plus for players who took part in the FOC as they were able to make the most of the huge overlays.
One of the biggest disappointments in the FOC series was the Main Event. The $300 Main Event had a $150,000 guaranteed prize pool but only managed to get 347 registrations that brought in $104,100 in prize money. The remaining 45,900 which was close to a 30 percent overlay was met by WSOP PA.
While the operator did lose a big chunk of cash with the Main Event, it was the regular Sunday warm-up games that hurt the operator big time. These games had a $11 buy-in and $22 in add-ons that the WSOP PA was confident would be a big hit with the market as it came with a $22,222 guaranteed prize pool.
All of the Sunday warm-up games ended up with huge overlays that stood between 55 to 64 percent. The total overlays that WSOP PA had to bear due to its Sunday warm-up games was just over $41,000. WSOP PA only saw 14 out of its 66 guaranteed games meet or surpass its guaranteed prize pool.
WSOP PA will now have to study the numbers from its FOC series, put together a list of lessons learned and see if it can do better with its next PA online series.

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