PartyPoker / Borgata Garden State Super Series Marks Start of Fall Season For NJ Online Poker

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Time for another test of New Jersey’s nascent regulated online poker market, as the inaugural Garden State Super Series kicks off its 60-event schedule this Sunday at PartyPoker NJ / Borgata Poker.

Inside the Garden State Super Series

Schedule overview

The Garden State Super Series (GSSS) spans 60 events and two weeks of play, with $1,000,000 in guaranteed prize pools.

The GSSS employs a tiered buyin schedule structure that has become popular with major online poker tournament series. Each event comes in three iterations: low, medium and high buyin.

For example: GSSS Event #3 is a PLO 6-max rebuy tournament. The low iteration is a $5 buyin, the medium is a $20 buyin and the high iteration is a $50 buyin.

Complete schedule available here. PartyPoker NJ is running a number of GSSS-related promotions via their blog.

Borgata Poker Open

The GSSS runs in loose conjunction with the WPT Borgata Poker Open, which goes from September 2nd through the 19th. Main Event play begins on the 14th.

Online qualifiers to the BPO are available at Party / Borgata.

Follows major software upgrade

The start of the GSSS comes only days after a major software overhaul at Party / Borgata, much of it focused on the tournament lobby. Get a full breakdown of the changes and new features here.

PocketFives leaderboard

Another twist for the GSSS: The network is sponsoring a leaderboard promotion in conjunction with PocketFives that will add several thousand dollars to the mix.

All players qualify. Events with buyins of $50 or greater contribute to leaderboard position. You don’t have to be a P5s member to take part.  Complete details on the PocketFives leaderboard here.

Will the GSSS Main Event overlay?

The Main Event of the Garden State Super Series – a $200k guaranteed tournament with a $185+15 buyin – is scheduled for Sunday, September 14th.

That guarantee means Party / Borgata will need to attract 1081 players in order to meet the guarantee (excluding entry fees).

The network faced a similar challenge with the Main Event of the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker, held back in April of 2014. That time around, Party / Borgata managed 892 players – resulting in an overlay of $34,000.

Working in the network’s favor of a better turnout the second time around:

My best guess is that they’ll meet the guarantee, or get near as it makes no difference.

Indicator of seasonal rebound – or lack thereof

The prevailing assumption among industry watchers is that New Jersey’s online poker market will follow the typical seasonal trend for an online poker room: rebound from the summer slump during the fall months before ramping up to a winter peak.

But, given the lack of direct historical precedent in New Jersey, that remains an assumption.

The turnout for the GSSS at Party / Borgata will provide some clues as to whether or not New Jersey can expect a surge now that the summer months are moving into the rear view, and also some clues as to the the general strength and intensity of said surge.

While turnout for the GSSS Main Event will be an easy shorthand for measuring the success of the GSSS, it will be turnout across the board – especially for the lowest buyin tier of events – that will tell the truer story of what the GSSS presages for the New Jersey online poker market at large.

- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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