BetMGM is set to host its first online poker tournament series in Michigan, less than a month after the site launched. Simply called the BetMGM Online Series, it will run Sunday, April 18 through Sunday, April 25 and consist of ten events.
The $75,000 guaranteed Main Event is the final tournament on the schedule and costs $535 to enter ($500 for the buy-in, $35 for the entry fee).
As one might expect from an inaugural tournament series on a fledgling state online poker site, nearly all of the events are of the No-Limit Hold’em variety. Nine of the ten are No-Limit Hold’em, while the one that just haaas to be different, the third event of the series, is Pot-Limit Omaha.
Within those No-Limit events is some variety. There are some bounty tournaments and progressive knockout (PKO) tournaments, though there don’t seem to be any freezeout tournaments on the schedule. Every event is a re-entry tourney. Starting stacks of 50,000 chips seems to be the norm, though that can vary. Additionally, a standard, full table at BetMGM is eight-handed, so most of the tournaments have that seating structure.
Most of the events fall into the $109 to $215 buy-in range, but there is one ultra-affordable tournament, the “mini,” which costs just $20.
Of course, the BetMGM Online Series will pale in comparison to PokerStars’ Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP), but that is to be expected. PokerStars’s Michigan site is only about two and a half months old itself, but it was already the biggest name in online poker, so it quickly attracted a solid player base in the state.
MICOOP had six times as many events and guaranteed $1 million prize pools at first, but because the turnout was so strong, PokerStars upped that to $1.4 million part way through the series. It also had a bunch of events in the double-figure buy-in range, giving players more options, though the sheer size of the series makes offering those buy-in levels easier.
It should come as no surprise that PokerStars is much larger than BetMGM in Michigan right now and honestly, barring something unforeseen, Stars will probably be the market leader for a long, long time. According to PokerScout, the seven-day average cash game traffic at PokerStars is 400 players, compared to 75 for BetMGM.
For BetMGM, though, that’s actually pretty comparable to its network in New Jersey, which includes partypoker and BorgataPoker and has a seven-day average of 80 cash game players. PokerStars is much smaller in the Garden State with just 110 cash game players on average.
It remains to be seen what will happen with interstate online poker in Michigan. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill to permit multi-state online poker, but no compacts have been entered into yet. New Jersey is the only other state in which BetMGM has a presence with its aforementioned partypoker network, while PokerStars has sites in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.