GSSS IV Is In The Record Books And Is Also One For The Record Books

GSSS IV Delivers Big For New Jersey Online Poker Players

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After two weeks and a total of 62 tournaments, the fourth installment of the Garden State Super Series (GSSS) at and is now in the books, and it will be a chapter the two partner companies will want to highlight, and hopefully recreate in the future.

Even with an aggressive schedule of events (over four per day), and a very aggressive $1 million in guaranteed money, GSSS IV was a resounding success, with virtually every tournament exceeding its guarantee, and in many cases, by a healthy amount. For a comparison, GSSS III featured 43 tournaments and $800,000 in total guarantees.

Of the 62 tournaments, only two failed to reach their guaranteed prize-pool, both at the tail-end of the series:

  • Event #56, a $50 buy-in No Limit Holdem Turbo tournament with a $7,500 guarantee. Event #56 tallied just 132 entries, missing its guarantee by $900.
  • Event #57, the GSSS IV Main Event, which featured a $200 buy-in and a $150k guarantee. The Main Event narrowly missed its guarantee by just $1,200.

In total, the 62 tournaments paid out over $1.3 million to New Jersey online poker players.

Key events

Over the course of GSSS IV, four of the series’ tournaments produced very sizable prize pools.

On the opening day of the series a $200 buy-in No Limit Holdem event was held (Event #2), and the tournament cruised past its $75,000 guarantee, as 472 entrants produced a total prize pool of $94,400.

Midway through the series (Event #30) saw Party and Borgata host a similar $200 buy-in tournament, but this time with a $100,000 guarantee. The larger guarantee proved to be no problem, as 533 players generated a total prize pool of $106,600.

The final weekend saw two key tournaments take place, both with impressive prize pools:

  • A $1,000 buy-in High-Roller event with a $75,000 guarantee
  • The $215 buy-in GSSS IV Main Event with an impressive $150,000 guarantee

The high-roller tournament easily exceeded its guarantee, pulling in 88 entries, and as noted above, the Main Event came up just short of its guarantee, but only by six entries.

The evolution of the GSSS series

When it comes to hosting a major tournament series, Borgata and partypoker have come a long way in a short period of time.

The inaugural GSSS tournament series that took place in September of 2014 was an experience Borgata and partypoker would like to forget, as the series’ Main Events had to be cancelled because of technical difficulties.

Unlike the inaugural GSSS, GSSS II didn’t have a massive system failure that forced the Main Event to be cancelled, but the second running of the GSSS tournament series was a complete dud in terms of traffic, as a third of the tournaments failed to meet their guarantees. It also wasn’t without widespread connectivity issues.

Things started going right on the third go round of the GSSS, which took place in November of 2015. The scaled-down, 43 event series went off without a hitch, with only seven events failing to reach their guarantee, setting the stage for partypoker and Borgata to go all-in on GSSS IV.

GSSS IV is definitive proof that not only can New Jersey operators host a major online tournament series, but they can drive traffic to the site and push the boundaries of what’s possible in the relatively small market. GSSS IV increased the number of events by over 30 percent, and awarded well over $1 million in prize money, while paying out only $2,100 in overlays.

- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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