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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.
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.
You’ll find the full schedules for both series at the bottom of this article.
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 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.
|21-Jan||8:00 PM||$200||NLHE||8-Max PKO||$20k|
|21-Jan||8:30 PM||$20||NLHE||8-Max PKO||$6.5k|
|21-Jan||9:00 PM||$100||NLHE||7-Max Turbo||$8.5k|
|22-Jan||9:00 PM||$75||NLHE||8-Max Turbo PKO||$7.5k|
|23-Jan||6:00 PM||$100||NLHE||8-Max Deep||$12.5k|
|23-Jan||8:00 PM||$50||NLHE||6-Max Turbo||$7.5k|
|23-Jan||8:30 PM||$200||NLHE||Turbo Deep||$8.5k|
|24-Jan||3:30 PM||$150||NLHE||8-Max PKO||$15k|
|24-Jan||8:30 PM||$200||NLHE||8-Max Turbo PKO||$12.5k|
|24-Jan||10:00 PM||$75||NLHE||6-Max Hyper||$8.5k|
|25-Jan||7:00 PM||$50||NLHE||8-Max Big Antes||$10k|
|25-Jan||8:00 PM||$100||NLHE||4-Max PKO||$12.5k|
|26-Jan||9:00 PM||$150||NLHE||6-Max Turbo PKO||$10k|
|27-Jan||8:00 PM||$750||NLHE||6-Max High Roller||$20k|
|27-Jan||9:00 PM||$50||NLHE||8-Max Turbo PKO Deep||$8.5k|
|28-Jan||7:00 PM||$250||NLHE||8-Max PKO||$20k|
|28-Jan||7:30 PM||$30||NLHE||8-Max PKO||$5k|
|28-Jan||9:00 PM||$150||NLHE||7-Max Turbo||$5k|
|29-Jan||7:00 PM||$200||NLHE||Turbo Deep||$8.5k|
|29-Jan||8:00 PM||$30||NLHE||HU Turbo Total PKO Zoom||$5k|
|29-Jan||9:00 PM||$200||NLHE||7-Max Hyper PKO||$8.5k|
|30-Jan||6:00 PM||$200||NLHE||8-Max Deep||$12.5k|
|30-Jan||8:00 PM||$100||NLHE||6-Max PKO||$12.5k|
|30-Jan||9:00 PM||$75||NLHE||4-Max Turbo||$8.5k|
|31-Jan||2:30 PM||$100||NLHE||PKO Big Antes||$12.5k|
|31-Jan||5:00 PM||$300||NLHE||Main Event||$100k|
|31-Jan||6:00 PM||$50||NLHE||Mini Main Event||$20k|
|31-Jan||9:00 PM||$200||NLHE||8-Max Turbo PKO||$10k|
|22-Jan||8:00 PM||$150||NLHE||7-Max PLO||$20k|
|22-Jan||9:00 PM||$50||NLHE||8-Max Turbo||$12.5k|
|22-Jan||10:00 PM||$100||NLHE||8-Max Hyper Deep||$10k|
|23-Jan||6:00 PM||$100||NLHE||8-Max Deep||$30k|
|23-Jan||8:00 PM||$50||NLHE||6-Max Turbo||$15k|
|23-Jan||9:00 PM||$50||NLHE||7-Max Turbo PKO Deep||$12.5k|
|24-Jan||1:00 PM||$100||NLHE||8-Max Marathon||$25k|
|24-Jan||3:30 PM||$150||NLHE||8-Max PKO||$20k|
|25-Jan||7:30 PM||$10||NLHE||8-Max PKO||$6.5k|
|25-Jan||8:00 PM||$50||5C Draw||8-Max||$3k|
|25-Jan||9:00 PM||$100||NLHE||7-Max Turbo PKO||$10k|
|26-Jan||9:00 PM||$100||NLO8||8-Max Turbo||$7.5k|
|27-Jan||8:00 PM||$1,000||NLHE||8-Max High Roller||$50k|
|27-Jan||9:00 PM||$100||NLHE||8-Max Turbo PKO||$12.5k|
|28-Jan||7:00 PM||$50||NLHE||4-Max PKO||$10k|
|29-Jan||7:00 PM||$75||NLHE||Turbo Deep||$8.5k|
|29-Jan||8:00 PM||$50||5C PLO||6-Max Turbo||$5k|
|29-Jan||9:00 PM||$20||NLHE||HU Turbo Total PKO Zoom||$5k|
|30-Jan||8:00 PM||$50||NLHE||8-Max PKO||$15k|
|31-Jan||2:00 PM||$100||NLHE||8-Max PKO Deep||$30k|
|31-Jan||5:00 PM||$300||NLHE||Main Event||$200k|
|31-Jan||6:00 PM||$50||NLHE||Mini Main Event||$35k|
|31-Jan||8:00 PM||$100||NLHE||8-Max PKO||$25k|
|31-Jan||9:00 PM||$100||PLO||6-Max Turbo||$7.5k|
|31-Jan||10:00 PM||$75||NLHE||7-Max Hyper Wrap-Up||$10k|