Most of us here in the United States feel left out when it comes to all things online poker. PokerStars’ Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is about to start and I sit here in the Bible Belt, sad that I can’t struggle to min-cash in any of the events. Residents of New Jersey can’t play in it, either, but they will be getting their own version of SCOOP, logically called the NJSCOOP. NJSCOOP will run May 6th through May 22nd.
The international SCOOP has three different buy-in levels for every event. New Jersey’s edition is similar, but perhaps because the player pool isn’t remotely as large, the events will only have a “high” and “low” buy-in option. With 35 events, that means there will be 70 total tournaments with guaranteed prize pools of over $1.2 million.
The Main Events will be two-day tournaments beginning May 21st. The high Main Event will cost $500 and will have a $200,000 guarantee, while the low Main Event will be $50 and have a $30,000 guaranteed prize pool.
As one would expect, PokerStars is making various options available for players to qualify for the NJSCOOP events for less than the posted buy-in. One of the more interesting ways is via a special $4 Spin & Go. There are only four possible prize pool multipliers, the top one of which is 125x. Do the math and you will see that it comes out to $500; the top prize is, naturally, a ticket into the $500 high Main Event. The other multipliers are 2x, 4x, and 6x with cash prizes. Let’s take a look at the probabilities for each prize pool multiplier.
2x multiplier – $8 prize pool – 741,425 in 1 million
4x multiplier – $16 prize pool – 232,225 in 1 million
6x multiplier – $24 prize pool – 24,500 in 1 million
125x multiplier – NJSCOOP Main Event High Ticket – 1,850 in 1 million
The chances of hitting the 125x multiplier and then actually winning the Spin & Go are virtually nil, but for those who play Spin & Go’s anyway, it could be worth the effort.
PokerStars is also hosting one freeroll per week leading up to the Main Event. These freerolls will award a ticket into both the high and low versions of the Main Event. Players do have to qualify for the freerolls, but the good news is that the requirement is insanely easy. Players qualify simply by playing in a real money cash game hand or tournament; with that, they earn entry into that week’s upcoming freeroll.
The other way to win a seat into one of the Main Events requires more of a cash outlay and is a bit wonky. Anyone who plays in NJSCOOP Events 3, 6, 18, 21, or 27 – all No-Limit Hold’em tourneys – will earn a seat into an All-In Shootout tournament held the day after the respective NJSCOOP event. Each of the “high” All-In Shootouts awards 12 $100 Satellite tickets for the Main Event and the each of the “low” All-In Shootouts awards 40 $10 satellite tickets. So players will still have to win their satellites to make it into the Main Event.
At least nobody has to be logged in to play in the All-In Shootout, so that’s something. The complete NJSCOOP schedule can be viewed on the PokerStars NJ website.