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The GSSS prize pools have followed an upward trajectory, with the GSSS III guaranteeing $800,000 and March’s GSSS IV $1 million. Both series were major successes for the brand.
That trend will continue, as the GSSS V will feature a more than $1.1 million prize pool spread across 75 events, rendering it the biggest MTT series in market history.
Considering the network’s decline in the post PokerStars era, the record-breaking prize pool comes off as something of a surprise. Whether it will result in revitalized interest, or see the network scrambling to fend off overlays, is a question soon to be answered.
Full GSSS V schedule here.
In terms of timeframe, buy-in levels and game variation, the GSSS V isn’t all that unlike the GSSS IV:
The series has also undergone a litany of tweaks, most of which pertain to its sheer size:
Online poker sites, both in New Jersey and internationally, have been relying more and more on the reentry format. The format has allowed operators to maintain their high tournament guarantees despite the industry’s half-decade long decline.
There’s plenty of reason to suspect that the GSSS V will outperform its immediate predecessors.
Still, this is not the same network that hosted the GSSS IV in March. Back then, the Party/Borgata partnership was regularly generating more than $1 million in online poker revenue per month. Since the launch of PokerStars, that number has sunk to roughly $600,000.
And although we pointed out that MTTs haven’t declined at the rate of ring games, that isn’t exactly saying much, considering that cash game liquidity has been effectively halved in the past six months.
In order to make the grade Party/Borgata will rely on its regulars to mass multi-table upwards of eight GSSS V tournaments per day, all while capturing enough recreational players to fill in the gaps.
That could prove a tall order.
Regardless of the final turnout figures, Party/Borgata deserves a measure of credit for nudging the industry into new ground — even if the “over $1,100,000” guarantee the network settled upon was little more than a friendly jab at PokerStars.
Stars’ NJSCOOP, which ran last spring, featured a series guarantee of $1.1 million flat.
Speaking of PokerStars, the operator will get a chance to retaliate when it reveals the schedule for its fast approaching NJCOOP (October 16 -30). It’s plausible that Stars purposely held off on the details until the GSSS V series guarantee was announced.
If PokerStars does opt to one-up Party/Borgata — which we suspect it will — then the NJ online poker market will be tasked with covering at least $2.3 million in guarantees, in addition to its regularly scheduled tournaments.
In that scenario, overlays may rule the day.