After two weeks of intense action, partypoker’s bounty-exclusive Knockout Series has come to an end, turning out to be a great value for players as the operator had to shoulder some massive overlays throughout the series.
As many as 62 tournaments failed to meet their guarantees, resulting in an overlay of $974,350.
Despite some huge overlays, the series ended on a high, paying out $37.6 million across 226 tournaments. The last day was a huge one for the operator as nearly $8 million was paid out which included four Championship events-all surpassing their seven-figure guarantees comfortably.
Having kicked off on May 12 and running alongside PokerStars’ Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), partypoker’s KO Series returned for its second iteration this year, boasting $30 million in guaranteed prize money—double the size of the previous edition held in February.
The opening day was quite ambitious for the operator as over $5.5 million was guaranteed across 22 tournaments. Three Championship events with seven-figure guarantees were scheduled but unfortunately for the operator, each of them fell short of their guarantees—some of them by a big margin.
The $5200 buy-in Championship event missed its guarantee by over $100,000; the $2100 fell short by nearly $150,000 and the $320 Championship event missed its guarantee by over $200,000. In total, over half a million was overlayed on the first day alone.
This trend continued for the next few days, with almost every day the operator having to bear an overlay. By the end of the series, 27% of the tournaments saw an overlay totaling nearly $1 million.
Party Doesn’t Mind Overlays
Overlays are nothing new for partypoker: Last year during its Powefest series, the operator had to bear an overlay of over $650,000 throughout the series. And in the September edition, 151 tournaments fell short of their guarantees.
In fact, partypoker welcomes overlays. In an interview with Poker Industry PRO a couple of years ago, Head of Poker Tom Waters classed online overlays as a planned marketing expense. More recently, partypoker partner Rob Yong said that half of the overlay amount ultimately makes its way back to the operator.
“I never mind overlaying because it’s putting money into customer’s pockets,” said Yong, in an interview with Calvin Ayre’s Lee Davy. “In reality, 50% of the money you put back into your customers’ pockets ends up back in your pocket, that’s what nobody admits.”
Highlight of the Series
While there may have been some overlays, partypoker should consider this series a great success as the overall guarantees were exceeded by 25%.
Mid-stakes and high-stakes tournaments were among the most successful. Event #11-H with a buy-in of $109 attracted 1397 entries to smash its guarantee by 45%. $320 buy-in “Mix-Max” event saw 941 entries to generate $289,828 prize pool. *The standout was Event #28 ($11 8-Max) which drew 4793 total entrants*—the biggest turnout of the series to build a prize pool of little over $50,000.
Some of the high-roller tournaments also did reasonably well. The $5200 buy-in Super High Roller event on the final day of the series generated the biggest prize pool. With a guaranteed prize pool of $2 million, the tournament attracted an impressive 411 entries to amass a prize pool of $2,096,100.
The series culminated with four Championship events—three of which boasted $1 million guarantees and one $2 million. Each of them surpassed their guarantees with ease.
The room is now gearing up to host Monster Series, the operator’s low-stakes series starting June 2. Aimed towards recreational players, the series boasts a modest $2.5 million in prize money spread across 108 tournaments. Buy-ins range from $1.10 and go up to $55.
The series culminates in f*our Championship events with combined guarantees of $460,000*.
Then in August, partypoker’s flagship series, Powerfest will be returning for its second edition this year. The room has yet to announce overall guarantees and other details.
Finally, the room will wrap up the year with its record-breaking event, MILLIONS Online. It will return in December with a double sized buy-in of $10,300 boasting yet another ultra-ambitious $20 million guarantee.
Unlike last year which saw 5 starting flights, this year, there will only be two Day 1 flights each played as freezeouts. Day 1A has been scheduled on Sunday, December 1 and Day 1B on Sunday, December 8. Day 2 will take place on December 9 and the final day will be held on December 10.
The operator is also gearing towards banning all kind of tracking tools including HUDs. However, the details are yet to be officially announced by the operator. As a part of its ecology changes, all players will be asked to create a new alias, a new hand-replayer will be provided and players will no longer be able to use HUDs.