It’s a busy week in the online poker world with the Main Event of the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) and the WPT Online Championship wrapping up and the GGPoker WSOP Super Circuit Online Series in full swing. PokerStars, in particular, has had a hell of a lot of action, setting records all over the place.
Massive Twitch poker stream
Starting with SCOOP, two of PokerStars’ top streamers, Lex Veldhuis and Benjamin “Spraggy” Spragg fortuitously ended up making the day three of the four-day, $10,300 Main Event. Returning on Tuesday with just 40 players remaining, the two friends were of course streaming their action. Seeing a fun opportunity for both themselves and viewers, they started a squad stream so fans could toggle between both players.
It got even better when they ended up at the same table. As it turned out, Veldhuis eliminated Spragg when Spragg was forced to move all-in with top pair and short stack, but ran into his buddy’s pocket Aces. Spragg bowed out in 30th place, winning $40,955.25.
“Thank you so much and that’s the worst I’ve ever felt winning a hand,” Veldhuis tweeted.
On Twitch, popular streamers often encourage their audience to “raid” another channel. In other words, the audience rushes over to watch another streamer, boosting that streamer’s numbers. Spraggy did just that, sending his 17,000 viewers to raid Veldhuis.
Veldhuis eventually topped out at 58,799 viewers, a new all-time record for a poker stream. It also put him atop all streams on Twitch at for those moments.
He eventually exited the tournament in 15th place for $62,620.42.
PokerStars isn’t settling for second place
Continuing with SCOOP, SCOOP is continuing. That sounds weird, so let me explain.
SCOOP was supposed to be over by now. There were, of course, a ton of tournaments and $85 million in guaranteed prize pools. That was the highest total guarantee of any online poker tournament series in the history of humanity until GGPoker topped it with the WSOP Super Circuit Online Series. That one is 595 events and $100 million guaranteed.
Things are going so well for online poker and players are coming out in drove for these tournaments, so last week, PokerStars made the surprise announcement that it is extending the 2020 SCOOP through the end of May. 132 more tournaments have been added, along with another $50 in guarantees. Thus, PokerStars now holds the record with $135 million in total guaranteed prize pools.
This last one is more of a PokerStars-specific record. In late April, PokerStars launched a new game called Grand Tour. It is a sort of hybrid Spin & Go, steps, and progressive knockout contest.
The games are four-handed, hyper turbo Sit-and-Go’s called “sprints” with buy-ins starting at $1. There are no prize pools for winning a match. Instead, each player has a bounty on their head. Knock a player out and part of their bounty is added to your own and you win another portion of their bounty for yourself in cash.
But that cash portion is subject to a random multiplier, like the prize pools in a Spin & Go. Most of the time, that multiplier will be just 2x or below, but once in a rare while, it can get really high, up to 6,000 depending on bounty levels.
If you win a sprint, you keep the cash from the bounties and move on to another sprint with your own increased bounty, going against other players with similar bounties. If you win a sprint in which you bounty has grown to at least $100, you win your own bounty and can start anew.
This week, Latvian player “zjuupa” set a Grand Tour record with a $149,220 bounty win.
He skipped some levels and started at the $12 tier, winning it to move to the next sprint with a $24.30 bounty. He won that and advanced with a $60.76 bounty.
He emerged victorious in the next sprint, increasing his own bounty to $135.36, but something else special happened. The multiplier hit big on the bounty he took from the other player, increasing his cash prize to $149,220. Life comes at you fast.