The PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is well underway, but that does little for players in the United States, as they are shut out of the global poker network. Fortunately for PokerStars customers in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey, the US Championship of Online Poker (US COOP) has returned and kicks off this weekend.
Running in all three states at the same time from September 9 through September 26, US COOP features a combined $4.5 million in guaranteed prize pools. Pennsylvania (PACOOP) is the richest, with $2 million in guarantees, Michigan (MICOOP) is next with $1.5 million, and New Jersey (NJCOOP) has $1 million in guarantees.
The Main Event costs $300 to enter in each state with a $225,000 guarantee in Pennsylvania, $150,000 in Michigan, and $100,000 in New Jersey.
PokerStars has also made some of the tournaments more enticing this year. In the WCOOP on the global site, some events are dubbed “Championship Events.” The US COOPs are doing a similar thing, awarding trophies to the winners of 18 specific events in each state. The state leaderboard winners will also receive a trophy, and the Main Event champs will get special 24-karat gold-plated trophies.
The poker room is also giving out six Platinum Passes for the 2023 PokerStars Players Championship, valued at around $30,000. The players who earn the most points across all “poker game segments” during the US COOPs, which we are guessing means any games on PokerStars, not just COOP tournaments, plus casino and sports betting, will earn the Platinum Passes.
Last year, PACOOP awarded $2.38 million in prize money and attracted over 25,000 entries. Michigan drew 18,000 entries and awarded nearly $1.79 million in prizes. New Jersey gave out over $1.1 million in prize money and drew close to 10,600 entries.
This year, both PACOOP and MICOOP will have 77 events, while NJCOOP is a bit smaller, with 61 events.
Three tournament types are new to the US COOP lineup in 2022: Last-Man Standing, Adrenaline, and 3-Max.
Remember, you do not have to be a resident of one of the three states to play in their respective COOP series, but you do have to be located within state borders while you are playing. So, if you live in Rockland County, New York and want to drive a couple minutes over the border and play in New Jersey, that is just fine. I would suggest creating and funding an account ahead of time if you don’t have one already, just to make sure there aren’t any hiccups on the day you want to play.