PokerStars NJSCOOP Offering NJ Players A $1.1 Million Prize Pool

PokerStars NJSCOOP Offers Players $200k Guaranteed Main Event, $1.1 Million Total Prize Pool

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PokerStars New Jersey has finalized the schedule for its first-ever New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker (NJSCOOP).

The NJSCOOP represents a clear statement of intent – to dominate the New Jersey online poker tournament market. This is evident in the inclusion of a $200,000 guarantee for the NJSCOOP High Main Event.

The buy-in is $500, with a low-priced version to be played on the same day at a more affordable $50 with a $30,000 guarantee.

Both Main Events are two day tournaments. Players will get most of the play out of the way on Sunday, May 29. Play will be scheduled to restart for Day 2 at a time when most New Jersey residents have got back home from work.

In total there are 54 tournaments scheduled for the series, split into high and low buy-in versions of the same event. Events start on May 15 and run for two weeks until May 29.

As with all PokerStars’ major tournament series, players can compete in a leaderboard competition. $10,000 in prizes will be given away, and the overall leaderboard winner will receive a trophy, a special live event ticket and $2,000 cash.

“The global PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is one of the must-play poker events of the year,” said former WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker.

“It’s awesome that it’s coming to New Jersey so that players in the region can experience the exciting tournament structures and the thrill that comes with chasing a major tournament title and big prize money. I can’t wait to play in the first NJSCOOP and I plan to stream most of my play live on Twitch. I would love to win a title in its debut year.”

Remarked Team PokerStars Pro Jason Somerville:

“It’s great to see PokerStars running a full-fledged SCOOP series for the fans here in New Jersey. Only on PokerStars can you find such a variety of tournament formats with huge prize money on the line along with buy-ins for players of all types.

I look forward to the day where more of my fellow Americans can compete for SCOOP gold!”

Innovative schedule includes Zoom

Unusually, the PokerStars press release announcing the schedule has been released before the schedule is up on the site.

The original draft schedule presented a broader range of tournaments than has yet been seen in a major New Jersey tournament series. PLO, 8-Game, Stud and PLO H/L events accompany the NLHE events which make up the majority of the tournaments.

One innovation that PokerStars is bringing is event#24 (in the draft schedule), which will be played in the fast-fold Zoom format.

PokerStars challenges partypoker/Borgata

PokerStars immediately became the New Jersey cash game market leader after its launch in March. Until now, the Borgata/partypoker partnership has put on the biggest online tournament series.

The last Garden State Super Series (GSSS) ran with a total prize pool guarantee of $1 million. The Main Event offered $150,000 guaranteed at comparatively low $215 buy-in. The re-entry format of the event not only provided players with the chance to recover after busting, but also gave partypoker a better chance of making the guarantee.

The first PokerStars NJSCOOP is offering $1.1 million. There is more than symbolism in that extra $100k of guaranteed prizes.

Tournaments are critical revenue drivers

PokerStars’ owner Amaya understands perhaps better than anyone the importance of dominating the tournament market as a means of protecting revenues.

In its dot-com business, PokerStars has seen the decline of cash games, and successfully prevented that turning into a revenue decline. The tools that made the difference were the Spin & Go lottery SNGs, and the marketing power of its huge tournament guarantees.

Amaya’s Q2 results for 2015 showed an 11 percent year-on-year increase in online poker revenues, and a 90 percent increase in the number of tournaments spread during the quarter. In Q2 of the previous year, Spin & Go tournaments had not yet been launched.

With the NJSCOOP, PokerStars is stepping up to the plate and telling everyone that this is its territory. It will be fascinating to see how partypoker NJ responds in the next GSSS.

- A former founder of Poker Industry Pro and Head of Content at PokerNews publisher iBus Media, Joss Wood is a graduate in English from the University of Birmingham. Joss also holds a master’s degree in Organisational Development from the University of Manchester. His career path has taken him from the British Army, through business and finance to seven years as a successful professional poker player.
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