PokerStars’ ultra-popular Bounty Builder Series, a tournament series dedicated wholly to progressive knockout tournaments, is set to make its first appearance in PokerStars’ US markets, running separately in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey from Feb 20 to March 1.
In the newly launched Pennsylvania market, the Bounty Builder Series guarantees exactly $500,000 spread over 32 tournaments, with an average guarantee of over $15,000.
It will be the operator’s third online tournament series since its launch in Pennsylvania that took place in November last year.
For those residing in the neighboring state of New Jersey, the same series guarantees $300,000 and also spread over 32 tournaments, averaging about $9375 guarantee per tournament.
The schedule for the Bounty Builder Series in both the markets is almost identical, with buy-ins ranging from $10 to $750 and satellites starting as low as $1. The only differences between the two markets are the total guarantees and the average buy-ins.
Buy-ins are a little cheaper in Pennsylvania, averaging about $100, while in the Garden State, the buy-ins average $115.
The series culminates in a Main Event on March 1 featuring a $300 buy-in in both the markets. In PA, the Main Event guarantees $100,000 while in NJ the guarantee is $65,000.
Bounty Builder Series Comparison PA vs NJ
|Bounty Builder Series||PokerStars PA||PokerStars NJ|
|Main Event||$300 buy-in $100,000 GTD||$300 buy-in $65,000 GTD|
|Series Duration||Feb 20 – Mar 1 (11 days)||Feb 20 – Mar 1 (11 days)|
Each of the events in the Bounty Builder Series is played in the progressive knockout (PKO) format—a popular tournament format where half of the players’ buy-in goes to the bounty prize pool and the other half makes up the regular prize pool.
The bounty increases each time a player is eliminated, resulting in some interesting play towards the end as certain opponents with high-value bounties on their heads become much more valuable “targets” to other players.
The format has already grown to be a huge success in the dot-com international markets, particularly among the recreational players, allowing them to win their buy-in back even without reaching the money.
Some of the standout tournaments of the Bounty Builder Series include:
- February 20 – Event #1: $100 buy-in Kickoff – $20,000 in PA and $12,000 in NJ
- February 23 – Event #11: $200 buy-in Sunday Special – $50,000 in PA and $30,000 in NJ
- February 25 – Event #18: $750 buy-in High Roller – $35,000 in PA and $20,000 in NJ
- February 27 – Event #21: Thursday Thrill – $200 buy-in, $25,000 GTD in PA and $250 buy-in, $15,000 GTD in NJ
- March 1 – Event #29: $300 buy-in Main Event – $100,000 in PA and $65,000 in NJ
This will be the first instance that a series will feature all-knockout tournaments in a regulated US market.
PokerStars has effectively used the format in its dot-com international market, running knockout series multiple times a year. In fact, the operator is currently running the same brand series boasting a massive $50 million guaranteed in prize money.
To accompany the tournament series, PokerStars is offering players a free chance to win seats to the Main Event through a special Main Event Depositor Freeroll.
To become eligible for this freeroll, players must make a deposit of at least $30 using bonus code “BOUNTY” before 13:59 ET on March 1. The freeroll awards the top 30 finishers in Pennsylvania a seat to the Main Event worth $300. In New Jersey, the top 20 finishers get a seat in the Main.
Additionally, PokerStars will also be running an additional KO Series freeroll in New Jersey. Players must eliminate five opponents throughout the series to receive a ticket to this freeroll.
The Bounty Builder Series comes fresh off the back of the Winter Series which was held recently in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The series ended up paying over $800,000 in PA and nearly half of that in NJ.