PokerStars USA: Operator Touts Success of Its Trio of US SCOOPs PokerStars USA: Operator Touts Success of Its Trio of US SCOOPs

PokerStars’ position in the US has been going from strength to strength for some time now, with the operator dominating all three regulated markets it operates in: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

The latest accolade for the PokerStars USA comes as a product of their highlight successful trifecta of Spring Championships of Online Poker (SCOOPs) that took place on all three regulated sites in May—each one smashed their guarantees and combined they set a high watermark for the industry.

This was the largest combined regulated online series in the US in 2021, producing a total of $6.35 million in prize money, shattering the overall guarantee of $5.2 million. The prize pool was awarded across 324 events, which attracted 117,000 entrants across all three states.

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At the moment, PokerStars sites in the US operate within individual states without the ability to share liquidity across state lines. However, these numbers indicate the operator’s very strong position in the regulated markets and show what might be possible once the company is able to combine its player pools into one.

A PokerStars US network combining players from PA, MI, and NJ would be one of the biggest operators on the global scale, not just in the States.

With the DOJ’s deadline to appeal the most recent Wire Act decision about to expire, this possibility seems likelier than ever, and with its recently concluded SCOOPs, the online poker giant has clearly demonstrated it is ready for this new future.

PokerStars USA SCOOPs 2021 Key Facts

Site No. of Events No. of Entries Total Prize Pool Main Event Entries
PokerStars NJ 163 26,000+ $1,360,000 391
PokerStars MI 120 40,000+ $2,300,000 871
PokerStars PA 123 47,000+ $2,600,000 1015
Total 406 113,000+ $6,260,000 2277

PokerStars US SCOOP 2021 Highlights

With all three SCOOPs now in the books, it is clear the series has been a huge success for PokerStars in the United States. But, it is always interesting to see how the numbers broke down by particular states, with the focus on Main Events, which made US players richer by over $625,000.

NJSCOOP Details

The SCOOP series taking place on PokerStars NJ was the most comprehensive one, featuring a total of 163 tournaments. The original guarantee for the entire series was $1.2 million, but that number was shattered by almost $200,000 by a total of 26,000 entries across the entire series.

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The Main Event attracted 391 entries, generating the prize pool of $109,400. The eventual winner, a player going under the alias ‘TrashNinja00,’ took home $18,183 after making a deal with their last remaining opponent.

MISCOOP Breakdown

The PokerStars MI SCOOP series, or MISCCOP for short, saw a grand total of 120 tournaments and more than 40,000 entries across all events. The initial guarantee of $2.2 million was surpassed by more than $100,000 by the time the last tournament was done accepting new registrations.

The Main Event saw a very respectable number of entries – 871 in total, easily exceeding the $200,000 guarantee. In the end players were battling it out for the $243,880 prize pool, and the winner, ‘Stozypokes’, took home $41,074 for their efforts.

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Another interesting fact about the MISCOOP Main Event is that the third-place finisher, who got a nice bankroll boost of almost $21,000, won their seat into the tournament through a Depositors’ Freeroll.

PASCOOP Overview

PASCOOP, organized by PokerStars PA, was the largest of the three US SCOOPs in 2021. This does not come as that big of a surprise, given Pennsylvania is the largest regulated US state, but the numbers are still quite impressive.

The series attracted a total of 47,000 entries across 123 tournaments. Initially, the operator planned for 120 events (40 tournaments in three buy-in tiers), but they added another PLO event at a later stage. The original guarantee of $2.1 million was surpassed by more than $500,000.

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The Main Event was a two-day affair as it attracted 1015 entries, eclipsing the original $200,000 guarantee by more than $84,000. This was great news for the eventual winner, who got a healthy bankroll injection of $46,410.

Can Other Operators Keep Up With PokerStars USA?

For a long time, PokerStars has been a dominant force on the global online poker market. As time goes by, the operator is shaping up into the same kind of force in the United States, issuing a big challenge for other licensed US sites.

Sites operating under the common name of partypoker US Network, namely BetMGM, Borgata, and partypoker, are PokerStars’ biggest competitors, especially in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Their Online Series is the closest thing to PokerStars SCOOP events, but the sites clearly have some catching up to do.

For example, the MI Online Series in May hosted a total of 11 tournaments and $315,000 in guarantees, which does not come anywhere near to MISCOOP numbers.

In New Jersey, PokerStars has more of a competition in WSOP.com. The operator’s strengths stem from the famous brand and the ability to set up online bracelet and ring events, as well as qualifiers for live WSOP tournaments. WSOP.com saw a great deal of success in 2020, when the entire series took place online, creating a massive traffic surge.

However, WSOP is still to launch in other states where PokerStars has a presence, and the operator has the advantage of the head-start. It will be interesting to see what plans WSOP has up its sleeve when the site goes live in Pennsylvania, which should happen this summer.

Is This the Last Time We See State-specific SCOOPs?

PokerStars USA may still not be a network, but the company has everything it needs to become a dominant force in the US market once all obstacles to shared liquidity are removed. With great traffic in each of the states, top-quality software, and the know-how of running a large network, the operator is primed to take advantage of new legal developments on the horizon.

The clock is ticking on the DOJ, and it seems that they will not be filing a complaint about the most recent verdict on the status of the Wire Act. Once that deadline passes, doors will open for regulated states to enter interstate compacts and start building multi-state networks with shared player pools.

There is little doubt that PokerStars will jump at the opportunity to form a proper PokerStars USA network, which would currently comprise of New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

These three rooms, in addition to any future regulated states, would make PokerStars US a real market giant that other operators would have a difficult time catching up to. With all of this in mind, coming months could be some of the most exciting ones for regulated online poker in the United States.