BetMGM’s Las Vegas Ultimate Super Satellites in Michigan and New Jersey, generated a lot of interest as players clamored for the chance to win WSOP seats, after last year’s events were cancelled due to Covid-19.
The Super Satellite in Michigan smashed through its guarantee. Its promise of two packages required 50 entrants to sign up, but by the time registration had closed, 89 players had stumped up the cash to battle for a $25,000 package to Vegas.
This meant that BetMGM Poker MI could provide packages for the top three finishers, plus a tidy $14,000 for fourth—still plenty for a Main Event ticket, with some left over for spending money.
The two BetMGM Las Vegas Ultimate Super Satellites were billed as stand-alone events, but given the turnout, especially in Michigan, it would not be a surprise to see the operator spread similar events as the year progresses and we get closer to the World Series.
It is worth noting that these were not official satellites. WSOP New Jersey and WSOP Nevada are the only sites where players will find bona fide feeder events. But it is common for other operators to run tournaments that are clearly intended as satellites for the WSOP, without explicitly claiming that that is the case.
These type of satellites are usually spread by offshore sites, and we think this is the first time a regulated operator has offered them.
As an unofficial satellite, there is no stipulation from BetMGM as to what the target tournament should be, but the dates specified in terms and conditions corresponded with three of the biggest events on the Las Vegas calendar.
Value for Satellite Specialists
One advantage these unofficial events have, is that there is no imperative for winners to use the prizes as WSOP packages; if players wish to, they can simply pocket the cash. This is great news for Satellite specialists who might just view the tournaments as good value.
This could be especially true in New Jersey, where the Sunday satellite was not quite so popular. The tournament fell short of its guarantee for three $25,000 packages, and BetMGM ended up having to make up a $16,000 overlay.
It is also interesting that BetMGM has decided thus far not to run an Ultimate Vegas Super Satellite in Pennsylvania. Its poker room in the Keystone State has only been live since the end of April and the operator has struggled to attract players in that time.
BetMGM Poker PA is also currently running its debut online series so perhaps it has decided to err on the side of caution. It may be waiting to see how the numbers stack up, or it is just waiting until the series is over so as not to have two separate promotions competing for players attentions.
Excitement Builds for the Long-Awaited WSOP
Nevertheless, the large field in Michigan suggests a good deal of enthusiasm for the upcoming WSOP live events, after last year’s forced hiatus.
The full schedule for the WSOP 2021 has yet to be revealed, and the ongoing coronavirus situation could still affect the size and scope of this year’s series, but tournaments are set to take place from September 30 to November 23.
The iconic $10,000 Main Event runs from November 4 through 30.