Two different SCOOPs

PokerStars’ Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) for players in the United States returns next week, with $5 million in combined guaranteed prize pools for players in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Running March 17 through April 3, the schedule has 252 events with buy-ins ranging from $10 to $2,500.

There will be two SCOOP series running parallel to one another. The SCOOP for players on the shared tables of Michigan and New Jersey will have $3 million guarantees, while the Pennsylvania version will have $2 million guaranteed prize pools.

Last year’s total guarantees, before Michigan and New Jersey began sharing liquidity, totaled $4.5 million.

“We’re thrilled to announce our largest series guarantee ever to players in the US,” said managing director of PokerStars in US Severin Rasset in Tuesday’s announcement. “We’ve made a concerted effort to ensure that this series is accessible to all players, by curating an inclusive schedule with a wide range of buy-ins. Our aim is to provide everyone with the opportunity to compete for a coveted SCOOP trophy.”

Early phases underway

With so many tournaments, there are any number of highlights, but naturally, the one the stands out is the two-day Main Event beginning April 2. The $300 No-Limit Hold’em tourney is eight-handed and allows five re-entries. Running along with the Main Event (in half-hour staggered starts) are the Mini Main Event with a $50 buy-in and the High Roller Main Event with a $2,500 buy-in.

And though SCOOP doesn’t officially begin until March 17, there are some tournaments that are actually underway right now. Phase 1 qualifiers for Event 42 (and its three buy-in tiers of $10, $30, and $100) began today. Players who make it through Phase 1 – which ends after Level 18 – take their closing stack through to Phase 2 on April 3. Entry into more than one Phase 1 tournament is permitted; players who survive more than one of these starting days will take their biggest stack into Phase 2.

As is usually the case with a PokerStars tournament series, there are leaderboards. There is one leaderboard for each buy-in level and all SCOOP tournaments (though not satellites) count. At the end of the series, the top ten players on the medium and low leaderboards will win cash, while only the top five will cash on the high buy-in leaderboard.

Speaking of satellites, those are also underway already and have buy-ins as low as $1, depending on their associated SCOOP event.

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