PokerStars Ups the Ante by Announcing INSCOOP in India PokerStars Ups the Ante by Announcing INSCOOP in India

The world’s leading online poker operator, PokerStars, has announced its third online tournament series in India, INSCOOP.

Officially called the India Summer Championship of Online Poker, INSCOOP spans two weeks starting May 13. It features 92 events including a Main Event dubbed “The Mammoth” boasting a 1 Crore ($143,370) guarantee, the operator’s first-ever eight-figure guaranteed prize pool in the country.

With a total of 4.16 Crore ($596,480) in guaranteed prizes, INSCOOP will be PokerStars’ biggest online tournament series in India since its launch in the market a year ago. The average guarantee per event stands close to 4.5 LAC ($6450).

“We are very excited to announce the first ever India Summer Championship of Online Poker,” Ankur Dewani, CEO of Sachiko Gaming, PokerStars’ partner in India, told pokerfuse.

“It is our largest online prize pool yet, featuring India’s first ever phased freezeout 1 CR GTD Main Event, the Mammoth! We are constantly trying to push boundaries with online poker and will continue to do so,” Dewani added.

Key Highlights

The Indian version of SCOOP will host a variety different formats, including freezeouts and re-entries, rebuys with addons, hypers, and progressive knockout (PKO) tournaments as well as the operator’s novelty formats such as Win the Button, Bubble Rush, 3-Stack, and others. All tournaments will be played as No Limit Hold’em. Buy-ins range from INR 330 ($4.73) up to INR 12,000 ($172).

The biggest highlight of the series is, of course, the 1 Crore guaranteed Main Event. It carries a buy-in of INR 5500 ($78.85) and will be played as a Phased freezeout event, featuring 15 starting flights running throughout the series.

The Mammoth will be the room’s biggest tournament in terms of prize pool. To put that into perspective, the next largest prize pool ever hosted by PokerStars.IN was approximately one third the size of Mammoth back in December during the Winter Series when it scheduled a 35 LAC ($50,185) guaranteed Main Event. The event drew 467 total entries but fell short of its guarantee by little over 2 LAC ($2865).

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Apart from the Main Event, there are several other events lined up, many with large prize pools relative to the small Indian market. Each day there is one special event with a guarantee of at least 10 LAC ($14,340).

A 30 LAC ($43,015) guaranteed Sunday Special Edition has been scheduled to take place on May 19. Also included are two high rollers carrying an INR 12,000 buy-in with both boasting 20 LAC ($28,680) guarantee.

Freerolls Worth 18 LAC ($25,810)

To add to the huge guaranteed tournaments, PokerStars.IN will be giving away a further 18 LAC in special promotions via dozens of daily freerolls and deposit offers. To begin with, the room will be giving away 1.4 LAC ($2005) in INSCOOP series tickets added to the INSCOOP freerolls. Furthermore, there will be daily second chance freerolls worth 6.5 LAC ($9320) for players who fail to cash in these tournaments.

And lastly, PokerStars will be giving away five APPT Manila Main Event packages each worth 2 LAC through a special wrap-up freeroll for players who play at least eight events in INSCOOP. The freeroll has been scheduled to run on May 27.

In addition to the freerolls, the room will also be offering deposit incentives giving players a chance to win a seat to the 1 Crore guaranteed Main Event worth INR 5500.

How INSCOOP Compares to the Competition

In terms of overall tournament series guarantees, PokerStars’ INSCOOP is almost on par with some of its biggest Indian competitors, PokerBaazi and The Spartan Poker.

PokerBaazi, which sits in the second position in terms of cash game traffic in the country, is currently running its flagship tournament series, PokerBaazi Premier League (PPL) boasting a guarantee of 5 Crore ($714,700) spread over 38 tournaments. It is the room’s biggest online tournament series so far, and recently it hosted India’s biggest single online tournament “Game Changer” guaranteeing 2 Crore ($200,150).

The fourth ranked Indian online poker room, Spartan Poker, hosted Spartan Super Series (SSS) last month. The series had a total guarantee of 3.5 Crore ($500,325) across 46 events. In the past, the room has hosted some of the biggest online tournament series in the market. In January, it hosted IOPC which had a total guarantee of 8.5 Crore ($1.2 million). It holds the record for the country’s biggest tournament series ever held.

Adda52, which is India’s leading online poker room is surprisingly not known to run online tournament series as frequently as its competitors. It did recently host a 1 Crore guaranteed tournament, but it was a standalone event.

Indian Operator’s Biggest Online Tournament Series

Operator Event Month/Year Biggest Guarantee No. of Tournaments
The Spartan Poker IOPC Jan-19 85,000,000 55
PokerBaazi PPL Apr-19 50,000,000 38
PokerStars.IN INSCOOP May-19 41,600,000 92

However, what is impressive about PokerStars is that it took only a year to come up with a tournament series of this scale. Conversely, rival sites like PokerBaazi and Spartan Poker took years to grow their tournament series to around 4 Crore guarantees.

At the same time, it is not that surprising, as much was expected from PokerStars which is the leading online poker room in the world. It still ranks third in terms of cash game traffic, sitting behind Adda52 and PokerBaazi. However, in the past few weeks, the room has made a significant stride in growing its brand in the country.

The operator recently signed a Bollywood actor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui as its brand ambassador. It launched India’s first-ever poker television commercials featuring the Bollywood actor that were aired across all major TV networks in the country. The signing of Siddiqui had an immediate effect on its cash game traffic. Within the first month, the traffic tripled its average from the month before.

The room also increased the guarantees of its weekly tournament schedule to 1.4 Crore ($200,150) and added several new Spin & Go stakes with one of them awarding 2 Crore ($285,960) as the top prize. It has also been running several promotions in the form of leaderboards for both cash games and tournaments.

INSCOOP will be PokerStars’ third online tournament series in the Indian market and its first of this year. Compared to the previous two series, INSCOOP is a notable increase in both the overall guarantees and size of the schedule. It is three times bigger than the previous series held in December which had a total guarantee of 1.48 Crore. Prior to that, the operator hosted Diwali Rush, the operator’s first-ever online tournament series boasting 1.5 Crore in guaranteed prize money.

PokerStars India Tournament Series History

When Name Events Gtd (INR) Avg. Gtd. (INR) GTD (USD) Avg. Gtd (USD)
Oct-Nov 2018 Diwali Rush 34 15,000,000 441,176 204,780 6023
Dec 2018 Winter Series 37 14,800,000 400,000 206,575 5583
May 2019 INSCOOP 92 41,600,000 452,174 596,045 6479

Across its international player pool, PokerStars has scheduled its Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) boasting $75 million in guaranteed prize money. It kicks off on May 12 and will run for over two weeks. In the New Jersey market, PokerStars has scheduled NJSCOOP featuring a total of $1 million in guaranteed prize pools spread across 82 tournaments.

INSCOOP in the Indian market will run from May 13 to 27.