Compared to previous events, the GSSS III will feature a condensed schedule and a smaller total guaranteed prize pool, yet a higher average buy-in and per tournament guarantee.
More details here.
Players who have engaged in GSSS events before will notice a number of resemblances to previous series, and even more dissimilarities.
Here’s what remained the same:
As for the differences:
Also worth noting, this is the first time in GSSS history that Party’s representative on the network’s dedicated Two Plus Two forum did not ask players to chime in with their thoughts regarding the schedule.
Although touted as “the biggest online poker series to date in New Jersey,” the GSSS III is anything but. Yet the decision to “go small” may result in big dividends for the operator.
For one, the sparser scheduling strengthens the odds of individual tournaments reaching their guarantees, an area in which both the GSSS II and the more recent NJCOP II struggled.
During the GSSS II, Party/Borgata averaged 4.6 events per day, resulting in an overlay prevalence of approximately 30 percent. This time around, no one day will feature more than five events, and on weekdays the cap has been set at just two.
Moving forward, prior editions of the GSSS were marred by technical gaffes, presumably due (at least in part) to the server’s inability to handle the inflated workload. By adopting a more conservative schedule, Party heightens its chances of running a smoother series.
A fluid roll-out will almost undoubtedly result in renewed player confidence. Given Party’s past failings, not to mention the recent announcement that its dot-com tournament extravaganza PokerFest will be delayed due to performance issues, any opportunity to regain player trust simply cannot be overlooked.
While I’d ultimately like to believe that the decision by Party/Borgata to abridge the GSSS is motivated by the aforementioned, it could simply be a sobering reflection of the shrinking New Jersey market.
I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, and call it a shrewd strategic move.
Somewhat lost in the shuffle is the microstakes player.
Buy-ins for GSSS I and II events ran the gamut from as little as $5 all the way up to $1,000. Since, Party/Borgata has changed gears, now exclusively targeting the mid-to-high stakes player.
Only 23 percent of GSSS III feature a direct price of entry below $55, and none below $20.
All of which wouldn’t be a problem if Party/Borgata regularly hosted a series designed with the budget-conscience player in mind, but as of right now, the only other regularly occurring series on the network (NJCOP) sports even higher average buy-ins.
That being said, recreational players can parlay their way into GSSS III events for as little as 10 player points (achieved by paying $5 in rake and tournament fees) or under $1.