PokerStars has returned to the US after a six-year hiatus, featuring three live poker events at Live! Casino & Hotel in Philadelphia. This was a major cornerstone for the operator, and the poker community in the United States and beyond was interested in seeing if the PokerStars Summer Series would be successful.
The series was set to run for three consecutive weekends, starting with August 24. At the moment of writing this article, two of those three events are in the books, while the third one is about to get underway.
PokerStars took a somewhat cautious approach and did not go overboard with guarantees, but, as it turned out, the caution was not necessary. Both events went well beyond their initial promises, and there is no reason to think the final one will be any different.
PokerStars Summer Series 2023 in Numbers
Summer Series Starts With a Bang
The first event of the PokerStars Summer Series 2023 kicked off on August 24, featuring five starting flights. This was the cheapest of the three planned tournaments, featuring a buy-in of $550 and a guarantee of $200,000.
By the time it was all said and done in terms of registration, the tournament clock was showing 1020 entries, blowing the initial guarantee out of the water. In fact, the guarantee was more than doubled, with the final prize pool of $479,400.
The number of players sharing in on that prize pool was 128, with everyone making it past the bubble taking home at least $700 for their efforts. Those who made it in the top eight all banked five figures, with the eventual winner, Matthew Gross, capturing just shy of $70k.
From Strength to Strength
Event #2 of the Summer Series featured twice the buy-in ($1100) and a prize pool of $300,000. Things got underway on August 31, and by the time the registration closed, the number of entries was far above the original expectation.
After three initial flights, the second event of the PokerStars Summer Series 2023 attracted 714 entries, which was enough to generate the prize pool of $685,440, once again more than doubling the originally promised amount.
A total of 90 players made the money in this event, with the smallest cash being $1700. Two players ended up banking six figures, as Soukha Kachittavong and Cheng Xu made a heads-up deal that saw them both lock up just over $105,000. Kachittavong also got to take home the trophy after getting the best of his opponent in the final skirmish.
- Online Qualifiers now running, including Freerolls
- PokerStars’ first-ever EPT stop in Cyprus!
- EPT Main Event October 16 – 22
- Includes Mystery Bounty, High & Super High Roller Events
PokerStars Returns in Style
The final event of the series is a $2200 tournament with $500,000 guaranteed, and after the first two events, there is no reason to think that the third one will not be just as successful. We can already say that PokerStars has done it again, showing that organizing big live tournaments is one of their specialties.
With two of three tournaments going massively over their guarantees, it is safe to say that the interest in live poker in the US is as big as ever. We have already seen it during the 2023 World Series of Poker, which broke all sorts of records, and this is just another confirmation.
If there are no surprises for the final event of the Summer Series and it mirrors the success of the other two, PokerStars’ return to live poker in the United States will be a major success.