Winter Series Guarantees Over $500k in NJ, $1 million in PA

Late January Brings Cold Weather And PokerStars Winter Series To Players In New Jersey And Pennsylvania

Between incoming cold weather and COVID, residents of New Jersey and Pennsylvania may not need any further reason to stay safe at home. If they do, then starting next week, PokerStars will be supplying one more reason.

Rumor has it that another polar vortex blowing in, and arriving right along with it is PokerStars Winter Series. There are two series to be precise, one in each state.

In the past, PokerStars has tended to stagger its series in the adjacent states. This has presumably been to allow keen players to travel and participate in both. With interstate travel now being discouraged due to the pandemic, however, it has elected to make the two Winter Series concurrent.

Each will start on January 21 and run through the end of the month, with a Main Event and Mini Main Event on January 31. These come with buy-ins of $300 and $50 respectively. Pennsylvania’s Main Event guarantees $200,000, and New Jersey’s $100,000.

Guarantees for the series are also considerably higher this year. The Pennsylvania series promises a minimum of $1,072,000 in prize money, an increase of $325,000 over last year’s. New Jersey’s is, as usual, the smaller of the two, guaranteeing $565,000, up from just $200,000 in 2020.

This, too, is likely related to the pandemic. Poker traffic skyrocketed in the spring when live venues shut down. Although it has come down considerably since, it is still very high. In December, for instance, New Jersey poker rooms pulled in 74% more revenue than they had over the same period in 2019.

Similarities and differences

You’ll find the full schedules for both series at the bottom of this article.

(Jump ahead: PokerStars NJ Winter Series schedule / PokerStars PA Winter Series schedule)

Aside from the difference in guarantees, the two series are more alike than different. Each consists largely of short-handed No-Limit Hold’em events, with about one-third being progressive knockouts, and one-third having turbo or hyper-turbo structures. Excluding the Main Event and High Roller, buy-ins range from $20 up to $200.

Promotions for both sites are also the same. There’s a freeroll with $10,000 worth of Main Event tickets for those who deposit $30 or more, and Second Chance freerolls for those who bust an event without cashing. Both sites are also running $3 special edition Spin & Go satellites which offer the chance to win up to a Main Event ticket.

There are a few other small differences, however:

  • The NJ schedule is somewhat abbreviated, with 40 events to PA’s 45. The “missing” events mostly fall in the first few weekdays of the series.
  • Buy-ins for New Jersey are somewhat higher, averaging $142 to Pennsylvania’s $120.
  • On the other hand, Pennsylvania’s High Roller costs $1000 to enter, while New Jersey’s is a bit more affordable at $750.
  • The lineup of games is more diverse in PA, with two Pot-Limit Omaha events, plus 5-Card Draw, 5-Card Omaha, No-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, HORSE and 8-Game. New Jersey’s series is entirely Hold’em except for two events: Pot-Limit Omaha and 8-Game.

Lots of options for New Jerseyans

The PokerStars monopoly in Pennsylvania continues for the time being. For players in the Keystone State, Winter Series will therefore be the only game in town. The good news on that front is that it looks as if BetMGM is getting ready to roll out its poker room in other states in the near future.

In the meantime, players in New Jersey have considerably more choice. As it turns out, all three of the state’s major poker operators are running overlapping series this month.

WSOP is doing a repeat of its Online Circuit Series this year. In fact, it’s a twelve-leg series going year round, with the first leg underway now. It’s a big one, with over $1.6 million in guarantees, with players in Nevada helping out to reach that target.

At the other end of the scale is Partypoker (as well as Borgata and BetMGM, which operate on the same network). Compared to PokerStars and WSOP, it hasn’t been very active in the tournament series department in recent years. It is nonetheless attempting a minor comeback with a simply titled Online Series, running January 17 to 24 and guaranteeing a total of $250,000.

PokerStars NJ Winter Series schedule

DateTime (ET)Buy-InGameFormatGuarantee
21-Jan7:00 PM$100NLHE$17.5k
21-Jan8:00 PM$200NLHE8-Max PKO$20k
21-Jan8:30 PM$20NLHE8-Max PKO$6.5k
21-Jan9:00 PM$100NLHE7-Max Turbo$8.5k
22-Jan8:00 PM$200NLHE6-Max$12.5k
22-Jan9:00 PM$75NLHE8-Max Turbo PKO$7.5k
22-Jan10:00 PM$30NLHEHyper$3k
23-Jan6:00 PM$100NLHE8-Max Deep$12.5k
23-Jan8:00 PM$50NLHE6-Max Turbo$7.5k
23-Jan8:30 PM$200NLHETurbo Deep$8.5k
24-Jan2:00 PM$100NLHEMarathon$8.5k
24-Jan3:30 PM$150NLHE8-Max PKO$15k
24-Jan5:00 PM$200NLHE$35k
24-Jan7:00 PM$50NLHE6-Max$10k
24-Jan8:30 PM$200NLHE8-Max Turbo PKO$12.5k
24-Jan10:00 PM$75NLHE6-Max Hyper$8.5k
25-Jan7:00 PM$50NLHE8-Max Big Antes$10k
25-Jan8:00 PM$100NLHE4-Max PKO$12.5k
26-Jan8:00 PM$250NLHE$30k
26-Jan8:30 PM$30NLHE$10k
26-Jan9:00 PM$150NLHE6-Max Turbo PKO$10k
27-Jan7:00 PM$200NLHE8-Max$20k
27-Jan8:00 PM$750NLHE6-Max High Roller$20k
27-Jan9:00 PM$50NLHE8-Max Turbo PKO Deep$8.5k
28-Jan7:00 PM$250NLHE8-Max PKO$20k
28-Jan7:30 PM$30NLHE8-Max PKO$5k
28-Jan8:00 PM$2008-Game$10k
28-Jan9:00 PM$150NLHE7-Max Turbo$5k
29-Jan7:00 PM$200NLHETurbo Deep$8.5k
29-Jan8:00 PM$30NLHEHU Turbo Total PKO Zoom$5k
29-Jan9:00 PM$200NLHE7-Max Hyper PKO$8.5k
30-Jan6:00 PM$200NLHE8-Max Deep$12.5k
30-Jan8:00 PM$100NLHE6-Max PKO$12.5k
30-Jan9:00 PM$75NLHE4-Max Turbo$8.5k
31-Jan2:30 PM$100NLHEPKO Big Antes$12.5k
31-Jan5:00 PM$300NLHEMain Event$100k
31-Jan6:00 PM$50NLHEMini Main Event$20k
31-Jan8:00 PM$100PLO6-Max$6k
31-Jan9:00 PM$200NLHE8-Max Turbo PKO$10k
31-Jan10:00 PM$75NLHEHyper$6.5k

PokerStars PA Winter Series schedule

DateTime (ET)Buy-InGameFormatGuarantee
21-Jan7:00 PM$50NLHE8-Max$25k
21-Jan8:00 PM$200NLHEPKO$40k
21-Jan8:30 PM$20NLHEPKO$15k
21-Jan9:00 PM$100NLHE6-Max$8.5k
22-Jan8:00 PM$150NLHE7-Max PLO$20k
22-Jan9:00 PM$50NLHE8-Max Turbo$12.5k
22-Jan10:00 PM$100NLHE8-Max Hyper Deep$10k
23-Jan6:00 PM$100NLHE8-Max Deep$30k
23-Jan8:00 PM$50NLHE6-Max Turbo$15k
23-Jan8:30 PM$75HORSE6-Max$5k
23-Jan9:00 PM$50NLHE7-Max Turbo PKO Deep$12.5k
24-Jan1:00 PM$100NLHE8-Max Marathon$25k
24-Jan2:00 PM$50NLHE6-Max$17.5k
24-Jan3:30 PM$150NLHE8-Max PKO$20k
24-Jan5:00 PM$100NLHE$100k
24-Jan6:00 PM$75PLO6-Max$6.5k
24-Jan7:00 PM$200NLHEPKO$25k
24-Jan8:30 PM$100NLHETurbo$20k
24-Jan10:00 PM$75NLHEHyper$10k
25-Jan7:00 PM$200NLHE4-Max$25k
25-Jan7:30 PM$10NLHE8-Max PKO$6.5k
25-Jan8:00 PM$505C Draw8-Max$3k
25-Jan9:00 PM$100NLHE7-Max Turbo PKO$10k
26-Jan8:00 PM$250NLHE$50k
26-Jan8:30 PM$30NLHE$12.5k
26-Jan9:00 PM$100NLO88-Max Turbo$7.5k
27-Jan7:30 PM$30NLHE6-Max$15k
27-Jan8:00 PM$1,000 NLHE8-Max High Roller$50k
27-Jan9:00 PM$100NLHE8-Max Turbo PKO$12.5k
28-Jan7:00 PM$50NLHE4-Max PKO$10k
28-Jan8:00 PM$250NLHEPKO$50k
28-Jan8:30 PM$30NLHEPKO$15k
29-Jan7:00 PM$75NLHETurbo Deep$8.5k
29-Jan8:00 PM$505C PLO6-Max Turbo$5k
29-Jan9:00 PM$20NLHEHU Turbo Total PKO Zoom$5k
30-Jan6:00 PM$300NLHE8-Max$30k
30-Jan7:00 PM$1008-Game$6.5k
30-Jan8:00 PM$50NLHE8-Max PKO$15k
30-Jan9:00 PM$75NLHETurbo$10k
31-Jan2:00 PM$100NLHE8-Max PKO Deep$30k
31-Jan5:00 PM$300NLHEMain Event$200k
31-Jan6:00 PM$50NLHEMini Main Event$35k
31-Jan8:00 PM$100NLHE8-Max PKO$25k
31-Jan9:00 PM$100PLO6-Max Turbo$7.5k
31-Jan10:00 PM$75NLHE7-Max Hyper Wrap-Up$10k
- Alex is a journalist from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. Now site runner for OnlinePokerReport, he has been writing about poker and the online gambling industry in various capacities since 2014.
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