PokerStars’ Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker (PASCOOP) is making a return to the Keystone State. Following the success of last year’s inaugural series, PokerStars Pennsylvania is giving the series another run out.
The operator has beefed up the program by adding a third buy-in tier into proceedings. The 40 numbered events now all have a low, mid, and high tier. That is a total of 120 individual tournaments—a 20% increase on last year’s 100. The Low entry fees are generally 10% of the High, with the Mid pitched around 30%.
The series is likely to be the biggest ever in PA online poker history. The guaranteed prize pool is the same as last year—$2 million—but that target was easily surpassed, and this time round there are more tournaments.
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This does make PokerStars’ 2021 guarantees look conservative, with an average just shy of $17,000 per tournament as opposed to last year’s $20,000.
Of course, it remains to be seen how the injection of a third tier impacts field sizes across the board.
Nevertheless, PokerStars PA will be expecting to exceed the figure of $2 million comfortably, Ideally, they would like to improve on the $3.2 million generated in 2020.
Three Massive Mains
The culmination of the series will see three 2-day Main Events: the Mini, with a $30 buy-in and $20,000 guarantee; the Mid, which is $75 and carries a $40,000 guarantee; and the High, with a $300 entry fee and a whopping $200,000 promised.
There are other big highlights during the program. Six events have guarantees of $50,000 or more. Several of these are High Roller events but the $100,000 Gtd Sunday Special has a comparatively small buy-in of $200.
PASCOOP 2021: Schedule Highlights
|#4-H||April 18||6pm||$100 NLHE [Sunday Special SE]||$75,000|
|#11-H||April 21||8pm||$2,000 NLHE [8-Max, High Roller]||$100,000|
|#11-M||April 21||8pm||$500 NLHE [8-Max, High Roller]||$50,000|
|#20-H||April 25||6pm||$200 NLHE [Sunday Special SE]||$100,000|
|#27-H||April 28||8pm||$1,000 NLHE [6-Max, High Roller]||$75,000|
|#33-H||May 1||8pm||$500 NLHE [8-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, High Roller]||$50,000|
2020’s Main Events combined saw a total of 3388 entrants and $462,521 in prizes. This year’s guarantees spread across the High, Mid and Low entry levels total only $260,000 which again seems a relatively modest target.
However, Stars PA’s caution is understandable. This time last year online poker was experiencing a huge boom, as the early stages of coronavirus left lots of people indoors, with time on their hands. PASCOOP 2021 will be a useful barometer for PokerStars to ascertain if that appetite remains undiminished.
A Wide Variety of Games
As you would expect, most of the tournaments are standard No Limit Hold’em events. However, there are a few tweaks to the format. Event #9 sees an Escalating Antes structure, #18 is a Heads Up Zoom Progressive KO, and #32 is a Win the Button Tournament.
There is some provision for fans of games other than Hold’em. PASCOOP will see five Omaha events spread, as well as a couple of mixed game tournaments.
PASCOOP 2021: Non-Hold’em Events
|#5||April 18||7pm||$5/$15/$50||PLO [6-Max, Progressive KO]||$1.5k/$3.5k/$7.5k|
|#17||April 24||8pm||$10/$30/$100||5-Card PLO [6-Max]||$2k/$5k/$10k|
|#21||April 25||7pm||$10/$30/$100||PLO [8-Max]||$2.5k/$7.5k/$12.5k|
|#25||April 26||9pm||$10/$30/$100||PLO [6-Max, Progressive KO]||$2k/$5k/$10k|
|#31||April 30||8pm||$10/$30/$100||HORSE [6-Max]||$1.5k/$4k/$8k|
|#37||May 2||7pm||$20/$50/$200||PLO [6-Max]||$2.5k/$7.5k/$15k|
Something for Nothing
PASCOOP has buy-in levels to suit all bankrolls. Buy-ins range from just $5, all the way up to $2000, and just like last year there is a depositors’ freeroll, which takes place on Sunday, May 2 at 2 pm.
Players making deposits of $30 or more between now and May 2 can gain entry by using the code
PASCOOP . You will then be registered into this satellite tournament, which has 50 seats for the $300 Main Event as prizes.
On top of this, there are also Second Chance Freerolls running daily. Players busting any event before the money bubble will be entered into the following day’s Second Chance. These freerolls will see $15,000 worth of PASCOOP tickets handed out over the course of the series.
PokerStars will certainly be wanting to make the most of PASCOOP 2021. Its poker room has enjoyed a de facto monopoly in the Keystone state since it went live in November 2019, but that will not be the case for much longer.
During that time, the operator has run an unbelievable 11 tournament series, with no other provider in the marketplace. PASCOOP will be number 12, but it might be the last that Stars enjoys unchallenged. Both WSOP PA and BetMGM PA slated to launch poker clients for the state in the coming months.
PASCOOP runs from Saturday April 17, through Monday May 3 on PokerStars PA Players in Michigan and New Jersey will be getting their own dedicated series of spring tournaments although they will have to wait a little longer. The MISCOOP and NJSCOOP will take place between Saturday May 8 and Monday May 24.