The PSPC Online Series is PokerStars’ first online tournament series, since PokerStars NJ & PokerStars MI networks merged to form a single player pool. Having kicked off on January 13, PSPC Online will run through January 30, with total guarantees of $2.5 million spread across 85 tournaments.
The series marks one of the operator’s largest-guaranteed tournament series to date and its first series in the US spanning two states.
Three days in, and the participation has been very encouraging. Guarantees have been crushed for many events, with a few events more than doubling.
The opening event, Nightly Stars Turbo Warm Up, has been the star performer in crushing its guarantees. Needing 275 entrants to cover its $12,500 guarantee, the tournament ended up doubling that figure — pulling up 551 entrants for a final prize pool of $25,070.50.
Its equivalent bounty version with the same guarantee was also impressive, attracting 483 entries to amass a prize pool of $21.9k. Event #3, a mixed game HORSE, saw 297 runners pay the $30 buy-in, growing a prize pool of $8.1k — almost tripling its $3k guarantee.
Event #5, a $100 buy-in Big Kickoff boasting $60,000 guaranteed, drew 874 entrants to create a prize pool of $80.2k, while Event #14, a $50 buy-in Sunday Nightly Stars, saw 423 participants for a final prize pool of $19.2k.
At the time of writing, 16 tournaments have been completed, and only three have fallen short of their guarantees. However, the shortfalls have been negligible and have made money for the operator despite falling short of their targets.
For instance, Event #11: Players Special, with an audacious guarantee of $150,000, saw 1608 participants pay $100 to enter the tournament, for total buy-ins of $147,614.4 — falling short by just $2385.60. Considering the tournament fee ($8.20), the operator made over $10k. The Players Special tournament has held the largest prize pool thus far.
The most demanding tournament has been Event #12: Mini Players Special. With the least expensive entry fee of $10, the event had a $20k guarantee. It ultimately attracted 2264 entries, just enough to cover its promised prize pool.
Event #13, a $500 buy-in High Roller Players Special, promising $100,000, is the other tournament that missed its guarantee. The tournament gathered 212 runners, falling short by a mere 0.36%. Event #16 had an overlay of $684.20.
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The prize pools suggest one of two things — PokerStars was conservative with its guarantees, or its expectations have far been exceeded. Indeed, already, $556,992.70 in prize pool has been generated, eclipsing the initial guarantees by 19%.
Another 69 tournaments remain on the schedule, with $2 million guaranteed on the line. The series will produce a minimum of $2.55 million in prize money. With guarantees getting smashed by almost 20%, at this rate, the series could end up close to $3 million and might even become the highest prize pool generated in PokerStars’ history.
The big test is yet to come, with the three Main Events running on January 29. The three Mains promise a combined $500,000, including a $250 buy-in with a $300,000 guarantee.
In Pennsylvania, too, the operator is running the same series separately. The participation in that series has been equally impressive, with eleven completed events producing $280k in prize money.