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The gray season between winter and spring provides some of the best online poker tournament options of the year.
PokerStars is right in the middle of its annual Turbo Series, formerly the Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP), on the dot-com platform.
For the first time, PokerStars NJ will extend that concept to players in New Jersey, too.
The inaugural New Jersey Turbo Series runs for 11 days starting on Thursday, Feb. 22. It’ll be the NJ online poker site’s second large series of the young year.
The NJ Turbo Series features Turbo and Hyper-Turbo events spread across a variety of formats and game types.
There are 28 events guaranteeing a total of $271,000 in prize money. Buy-ins run from $15 to $250, with most of the events near the middle of that range.
The $100 Main Event headlines the schedule. It runs on Sunday, March 4, with $25,000 guaranteed. The Main Event is a deep-stacked event with 50,000-chip starting stacks and six-minute blind levels. Daily satellites starting at just $2 are already running on the site.
Other points of intrigue on the calendar include:
NJ Turbo Series events are open for registration in the PokerStars NJ client. They’re available to account-holding players located within New Jersey’s borders.
Add the Turbo Series to the list of championship events that have been passed down to PokerStars NJ.
It has been running NJSCOOP and NJCOOP events since its launch, mirroring spring and winter championships on the dot-com platform. Last month’s NJ-only Winter Series awarded more than $325,000 in the span of eight days. The Turbo/TCOOP concept hadn’t been offered to NJ players until now, though.
Although (or perhaps because) NJ online casino revenue is wobbling, operators seem to be shoring up their tournament offerings this season.
WSOP NJ / 888 Poker NJ are currently hosting their premier event, the NJ Poker Classic. It’s a 17-day festival with 57 events and more than $800,000 in guarantees. Last year’s schedule consisted of 38 events and about $500,000 in guarantees, so it’s a step forward for the state’s third-place operator.
The NJ Turbo Series overlaps the tail end and carries the action into early March.
These NJ-restricted series are, of course, much smaller than their parent series on the international platforms. For comparison, the primary PokerStars Turbo Series has more than $15 million guaranteed across its schedule of 74 events.
Periodic tournament efforts in NJ have been mostly successful, but there’s only so much operators can do with the limited size of the market. As long as NJ and other states remain ring-fenced, average per-event guarantees will remain in the low five figures.
Fortunately, things might be looking up on that front.
Nevada and Delaware recently added New Jersey to their multi-state poker agreement, which will allow the three states to share liquidity going forward. The available player pool will grow significantly when the markets combine, which should allow for even more aggressive tournament series. A timeline on a launch is still elusive, however.