PokerStars’ flagship series, SCOOP will soon be making its debut in Pennsylvania under the brand PASCOOP, an acronym for Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker.

While details are sparse at the moment, based on the President of PokerStars’ USA, Matt Primeaux’s tweet, the first-ever PASCOOP series in Pennsylvania will have $2 million in guaranteed prize money.

Primeaux said that the operator is aiming to kickstart PASCOOP on April 4. It is expected that PokerStars will also run NJSCOOP during the same period.

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PASCOOP Set to be PokerStars’ Biggest Tournament Series in the US Regulated Market

With a total guaranteed prize pool of $2 million, PASCOOP would be PokerStars’ largest tournament series in the US regulated market. PokerStars held its previous biggest series in the country in April 2018 when NJSCOOP had total guarantees of $1.3 million.

However, it would still be behind WSOP/888’s largest online tournament series in the US. In 2019, the network ran a $3.5 million guaranteed WSOP Online Championships Series. It was held alongside the WSOP land-based series for over a month from June to July last year.

Although the WSOP/888 network is not yet live in Pennsylvania, the network holds the advantage of serving multiple states: New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware—all pooled together in a single network. On the other hand, PokerStars serves New Jersey and Pennsylvania—both pooled separately.

What to Expect from PASCOOP?

PASCOOP will be the operator’s fourth tournament series in five months since its launch in Pennsylvania.

Now that we know what the overall series guarantee will be, we can make some speculations on what to expect from the upcoming tournament series in Pennsylvania.

  • PASCOOP is expected to span at least two weeks starting April 4
  • Total number of tournaments is expected to be around 70-85
  • Main Event could possibly feature a guarantee anywhere between $125,000 and $175,000. It may cost $300 buy-in
  • Buy-ins throughout the series are expected to range between $30 and $1000
  • A wide variety of tournament formats are expected to be offered including Omaha and a mixed game variant 8-Game
  • Expect to see multiple promotions accompanying the series including Deposit freerolls and daily second chance freerolls

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A Look Back At All PokerStars PA Tournament Series

PokerStars held its first-ever tournament series in November, . PACOOP, with $1.225 million guaranteed across 50 tournaments. The series attracted over 12,000 total entries and ended up paying nearly $1.60 million.

PACOOP was followed by Winter Series in January and Bounty Builder Series in February. While not in the same league as PACOOP, Winter Series had $675,000 in total guarantees spread across 30 tournaments. After one week of action, the series generated over $800,000 in prize money.

PokerStars PA scaled back a bit further with its knockout-exclusive Bounty Builder Series. The bounty series had $500,000 in guaranteed prize money and it ended up with $668,241 total prize money.

The upcoming series is set to be four times bigger than the previous series held in February.

PokerStars PA Tournament Series History

Month/Year Series Total GTD Total Tournaments Avg GTD Main Event GTD
Nov/Dec 2019 PACOOP $1,225,000 50 $24,500 $125,000
Jan/Feb 2020 Winter Series $675,000 30 $22,500 $100,000
Feb/Mar 2020 Bounty Builder Series $500,000 32 $15,625 $100,000
Apr 2020 PASCOOP $2,000,000 TBA TBA TBA

COVID-19 Impact on PokerStars US Markets

SCOOP series is usually held in May in the dot-com market as well as in PokerStars’ other US market in New Jersey. However, the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) may have forced the operator to schedule the series much earlier.

At the time of writing, more than 215,000 people have been infected with the virus and nearly 9000 deaths have been reported. A number of countries have been impacted including the United States where the number of confirmed cases has gone up sharply to over 8000.

With more and more people opting to stay at home and to self-isolate, online poker traffic across the globe including the US markets is seeing a huge surge.

PokerStars PA’s cash game traffic saw a massive spike this month, growing nearly 75% within a matter of a couple of weeks. The network is now averaging 441 concurrent cash game seats, up from 238 seats seen during the end of February.

Not just the cash game traffic, but tournaments also saw a huge turnout. PokerStars PA bumped the guarantee of its Sunday Special tournament to $50,000 from $40,000. It ended up attracting over 830 entries to build a prize pool of $76,100—the highest outside of a tournament series.

Following the huge turnout, PokerStars PA boosted more guarantees. Nightly Stars now guarantees $20,000 up from $10,000. Wednesday 6-Max’s guarantee has been upped to $10,000 while Moonlight express which runs daily now guarantees $1500.

With most states in lockdown and with local casinos getting shut down, online poker traffic is expected to rise further.