$2M guaranteed on 120 events in Michigan, $1.2M on 165 events in New Jersey

Two SCOOPs Of Raises: PokerStars To Host Concurrent Spring Series In Michigan And New Jersey Starting This Weekend

The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker will begin simultaneously in Michigan and New Jersey on May 8. Pennsylvania’s PASCOOP just wrapped up on May 3, but PokerStars has elected to run its other two US series concurrently rather than one after the other.

NJSCOOP has been a regular favorite in the Garden State since 2016, but in Michigan it’s the newest thing in online poker.

The defining feature of PokerStars‘ Spring championships is their multiple buy-in tiers. The number of these rose increased from two to three this year, with the addition of a Mid tier.

Pennsylvania and Michigan both use a consistent ratio of 10 times the Low tier buy-in for the High tier, and 2.5 or 3 times for the Mid Tier. New Jersey’s ratios are both lower and more erratic. For instance, a $10 Low tier in New Jersey usually leads to a $30 Mid tier and a $75 (rather than $100) High tier, yet there is also one event (#30) with $10 Low, $15 Mid and $50 High.

Full schedules for the two series (NJSCOOP / MISCOOP) are available at the bottom of the article.

New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker

PokerStars NJ is offering a Spring Championship with 165 events running from May 8 to May 24. Total guarantees for the series amount to $1.2 million, $100,000 of which comes from the $300 buy-in Main Event (Mid) starting on May 23. The High tier for the same event has a buy-in of $500, but a guarantee of only $20,000, and is called the Jersey Special rather than a Main Event.

Key promotional events supporting the tournament series include:

  • 50 Main Event tickets are on offer in a freeroll event open to every player who makes a deposit of $30 or more between Apr. 27 and the event starting on May 23.
  • Second Chance Freerolls—players who don’t make the money in a SCOOP event receive a ticket to a freeroll tournament offering $1,000 in SCOOP tickets as prizes.
  • $3 NJSCOOP Spin & Go’s—A SCOOP specific version of the popular Spin & Go format offers the chance to turn the $3 buy-in into a $300 Main Event ticket.

Events are split into low, medium and high buy-in levels, so players can play in the same format events regardless of budget. Most events are No Limit Hold’em (NLHE), but Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) players will find a good selection of tournaments and there even a few, Omaha 8 or Better (NLO8) events.

Tournament formats include a variety of table sizes, plenty of progressive knockouts and turbos, and a smattering of other variations including Win the Button. Many events are special editions of tournaments on the regular weekly schedule, some with half-price buy-ins.

Michigan Spring Championship of Online Poker

MISCOOP is a bigger affair, offering $2 million in guaranteed prize money spread across over 120 events. The High-tier Main Event costs the same $300 as NJSCOOP’s Mid tier, but the guarantee is twice as large at $200,000.

Key promotional events are the same as in New Jersey, save for the the addition of a MISCOOP leaderboard. This offers an extra $10,000 in prizes for the best and most dedicated participants.

Broadly speaking, the spread of tournaments is similar to that in New Jersey. Notably, Michiganders get the chance to play a couple of H.O.R.S.E. events, which are absent from the NJ series. There are also more events at the bottom end of the buy-in spectrum, with Low tier tournaments starting at just $5.

In entering a new market, it looks like PokerStars is using the MISCOOP to achieve several objectives.

The tournaments look designed to appeal to a wider market. The guarantees appear to be stretching; overlays look more likely in Michigan than in New Jersey. PokerStars generally tries to avoid these, but they can be effective as an accidental marketing tool when they happen.

The first MISCOOP will enable PokerStars to fine tune its Michigan product for the market. The patchwork of US states where poker is legal are getting branded products that are very similar, but with little tweaks to secure a local marketing edge.

MI online poker vs. NJ online poker: SCOOP says it all

Michigan online poker, at least in its legal regulated form only began on Jan. 29 2021. In February PokerStars racked up total revenues of $5,723,261, increasing to $5,775,711 in March. That wasn’t much of an increase given the extra three days in March.

Typically, as the weather improves at this time of year, poker revenues slip. That’s one reason why the SCOOPs that PokerStars runs across its global sites are so important. They provide a critical revenue boost.

In the New Jersey online poker market, NJSCOOP sets PokerStars apart from competitors as it usually offers the biggest guarantees.

In a new market like Michigan, such series are also part of a poker room’s pitch to new players. New players see the size of the guaranteed prize money and sign up in droves — at least in theory. We’ll have to wait for the May revenue figures to see how successful the SCOOPs will be at increasing revenue.

Michigan and New Jersey are pretty similar markets. Michigan has around a million extra people with a population a tad under 10 million. However, New Jersey has the higher per capita income.

The real difference is in terms of competition. PokerStars is dominant in Michigan at the moment, with only BetMGM Poker attempting to get a toehold against it. Conversely, in New Jersey, it faces competition from both WSOP and the Partypoker Network, and is only the second place operator in the state. If the level of competition it faces in the two states equalizes in time, future SCOOPs might also be more similar in scale.

US series are small compared to international SCOOP

Over in Pennsylvania, the PASCOOP is just ending. It put together a package in between those offered for MI and NJ. $2 million guaranteed over 120 events with $200,000 on offer for the Main Event.

Put New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan together in an interstate compact to share player pools and a combined SCOOP could offer over $5 million in guaranteed prizes as a great marketing incentive. But look abroad and the numbers don’t look so good.

The dot-com market SCOOP has just finished. From Apr. 4 to Apr. 28, PokerStars handed out over $100 million in prize money in the course of 102 online poker tournaments.

If online poker was legal in all 50 states and all shared their player pools, those are the sort of numbers that US players could achieve. That day is a long way off, at the moment, though efforts to expand legal poker in the US are progressing.

NJSCOOP full schedule

Here’s the complete rundown of events in New Jersey.

If you’re looking for the MISCOOP schedule instead, that’s below. Click here to jump ahead.

#DateBuy-in (L/M/H)GameFormatGTE (L/M/H)
1May 8$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$5k/$7k/$12.5k
2May 8$30/$100/$200NLHE8-Max PKO Deep$7.5k/$15k/$20k
3May 8$10/$30/$75NLO86-Max$1.2k/$1.5k/$4k
4May 8/15/24*$10/$30/$75NLHEHU Tb. Zm. PKO$2.5k/$6.5k/$10k
5May 9$20/$30/$100NLHEMarathon$4k/$6k/$10k
6May 9$10/$30/$75NLHEStandard$3.5k/$4k/$5k
7May 9$30/$200/$500NLHE8-Max High Roller$8k/$35k/$15k
8May 9$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$3.5k/$5k/$8k
9May 9$30/$100/$200PLO8-Max$3k/$6k/$10k
10May 10$20/$30/$100NLHETurbo$3.5k/$5k/$8k
11May 10$30/$100/$200NLHE6-Max PKO$4k/$7.5k/$10k
12May 10$20/$30/$100NLHE8-Max Turbo$1.5k/$2k/$5k
13May 11$20/$30/$100NLHE6-Max Win the Button$3k/$4k/$7k
14May 11$30/$100/$200NLHEStandard$7.5k/$12.5k/$17.5k
15May 12$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$3.5k/$5k/$8k
16May 12$30/$100/$200NLHE7-Max$4k/$5k/$12.5k
17May 12$20/$30/$100NLHE6-Max Turbo PKO$1.5k/$2k/$5k
18May 13$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$3.5k/$5k/$8k
19May 13$30/$100/$200NLHEPKO$4k/$7.5k/$10k
20May 13$20/$30/$100NLHE4-Max Turbo$1.5k/$2k/$5k
21May 14$20/$30/$100NLHEDeep$3.5k/$5k/$8k
22May 14$30/$100/$200NLHE4-Max$6k/$10k/$15k
23May 14$10/$30/$75PLO6-Max Turbo PKO$1k/$2k/$4k
24May 15$10/$30/$75NLHE8-Max Rebuy$4k/$6k/$8k
25May 15$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$3.5k/$5k/$8k
26May 15$30/$100/$200NLHE8-Max Deep$7.5k/$12.5k/$17.5k
27May 16$20/$30/$100NLHEDeep$3k/$4.5k/$10k
28May 16$5/$15/$37.50NLHEStandard$3.5k/$4k/$5k
29May 16$15/$100/$250NLHE8-Max High Roller$8k/$35k/$15k
30May 16$10/$15/$50NLHEStandard$4k/$6k/$10k
31May 16$20/$30/$100PLO6-Max$3k/$6k/$10k
32May 17$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$3.5k/$5k/$8k
33May 17$30/$100/$200NLHE6-Max PKO$4k/$7.5k/$10k
34May 17$10/$30/$75NLHE6-Max Hyper PKO$0.5k/$1.5k/$3k
35May 18$20/$30/$100NLHE25% PKO$3.5k/$5k/$8k
36May 18$30/$100/$200NLHEStandard$7.5k/$12.5k/$17.5k
37May 19$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$3.5k/$5k/$8k
38May 19$30/$100/$200NLHE7-Max$6k/$8.5k/$15k
39May 19$20/$30/$100NLHE4-Max Turbo PKO$1.5k/$2k/$5k
40May 20$20/$30/$100NLHEDeep$3.5k/$5k/$8k
41May 20$30/$100/$200NLHEPKO$4k/$7.5k/$10k
42May 20$20/$30/$100NLHE6-Max Turbo$1.5k/$2k/$5k
43May 21$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$3.5k/$5k/$8k
44May 21$30/$100/$200NLHE4-Max Deep$4k/$8k/$12k
45May 21$10/$30/$75NLHE8-Max Turbo PKO$2.5k/$3.5k/$7.5k
46May 22$20/$30/$100NLHE8-Max Deep$3.5k/$6.5k/$10k
47May 22$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$4k/$6k/$10k
48May 22$10/$30/$75NLHE6-Max Rebuy$4k/$6k/$8k
49May 23$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$3k/$4.5k/$10k
50May 23$10/$30/$75NLHEStandard$4k/$5k/$6k
51May 23$50/$300/$500NLHE8-Max MAIN EVENT$10k/$100k/$20k
52May 23$20/$30/$100NLHEStandard$4k/$6k/$10k
53May 23$20/$30/$100NLHE6-Max$2k/$2.5k/$5k
54May 24$20/$30/$100NLHE8-Max$4k/$6k/$10k
55May 24$20/$30/$75NLHE6-Max Deep$3k/$6k/$8k

* NJSCOOP-04 bucks the usual trend and has the three tiers spread out across three weeks

MISCOOP full schedule

Here’s what awaits Michiganders in May:

#DateBuy-in (L/M/H)GameFormatGTE (L/M/H)
1May 8$10/$30/$100NLHEStandard$7.5k/$20k/$40k
2May 8$10/$30/$100NLHE6-Max Tb. Zoom$5k/$10k/$20k
3May 9$10/$30/$100NLHEMarathon$6k/$15k/$30k
4May 9$10/$30/$100NLHEStandard$7.5k/$20k/$80k
5May 9$5/$15/$50PLOPKO$1k/$3.5k/$7.5k
6May 9$5/$15/$50NLHETurbo$1k/$2.5k/$7.5k
7May 9$5/$15/$50NLHE6-Max Hyper$1k/$2.5k/$7.5k
8May 10$10/$30/$100NLHE6-Max PKO$5k/$15k/$30k
9May 10$10/$30/$100PLO86-Max$1.5k/$4k/$10k
10May 11$20/$50/$200NLHEStandard$10k/$25k/$40k
11May 12$200/$500/$2000NLHEHigh Roller$30k/$50k/$80k
12May 12$20/$50/$200NLHE8-Max Turbo$5k/$12.5k/$17.5k
13May 13$20/$50/$200NLHEPKO$10k/$22.5k/$35k
14May 14$5/$15/$50NLHERebuy$3k/$7.5k/$15k
15May 14$10/$30/$100NLHE4-Max$4k/$10k/$17.5k
16May 15$20/$50/$200NLHE8-Max PKO Deep$8k/$17.5k/$25k
17May 15$10/$30/$1005-Cd PLO6-Max$2k/$4k/$7.5k
18May 15$5/$15/$50NLHEHU Tb. Zm. 100% PKO$2k/$5k/$10k
19May 16$10/$30/$100NLHEDeep/Marathon (H only)$6k/$15k/$30k
20May 16$20/$50/$200NLHEStandard$12.5k/$30k/$100k
21May 16$10/$30/$100PLO8-Max$2k/$5k/$10k
22May 16$10/$30/$100NLHETurbo$2.5k/$7.5k/$15k
23May 16$5/$15/$50NLHE6-Max Hyper PKO$1k/$3k/$7.5k
24May 17$20/$50/$200NLHE6-Max PKO$5k/$15k/$30k
25May 17$10/$30/$100PLO6-Max PKO$2k/$5k/$10k
26May 18$30/$75/$300NLHEStandard$10k/$25k/$40k
27May 19$100/$250/$1000NLHE6-Max High Roller$15k/$30k/$50k
28May 19$20/$50/$2008-GameStandard$3k/$7.5k/$15k
29May 20$30/$75/$300NLHEPKO$10k/$25k/$40k
30May 21$20/$50/$200NLHE25% PKO$5k/$10k/$20k
31May 21$10/$30/$100HORSE6-Max$1k/$3k/$6k
32May 22$10/$50/$100NLHEWin the Button$3.5k/$10k/$20k
33May 22$50/$200/$500NLHE8-Max Turbo PKO HR$15k/$30k/$40k
34May 22$5/$15/$50NLHE4-Max Turbo PKO$2k/$5k/$10k
35May 23$10/$30/$100NLHEDeep$5k/$15k/$30k
36May 23$30/$75/$300NLHEMAIN EVENT$20k/$40k/$200k
37May 23$20/$50/$200PLO6-Max$2k/$6k/$12.5k
38May 23$10/$30/$100NLHE6-Max Hyper Deep$2k/$6k/$10k
39May 24$10/$30/$100NLHEStandard$5k/$10k/$25k
40May 24$5/$15/$50NLHE6-Max Hyper PKO$1k/$2.5k/$6k
- 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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