The Summer of 2020 will go down in online poker’s history books as the craziest ever. With the 2020 World Series of Poker live events postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, online operators have stepped up to fill the void. On Monday, PokerStars threw their hat into the ring with the Stadium Series, a four-week series guaranteeing $50 million.
Running July 5 – August 2, the Stadium Series includes 102 events across three buy-in levels; Low, Medium, and High. These dates give PokerStars a two-week headstart on the competition. The GGPoker World Series of Poker Online Bracelet events begin July 17 and the partypoker World Poker Tour World Online Championships get underway on July 18.
The Stadium Series buy-ins and guarantees will increase each week throughout the series culminating in the $5,200 buy-in Grand Final with a $5 million guarantee on August 2. Buy-ins across the three tiers will range from $5.50 up to $10,300.
Poker enthusiasts around the world will be able to watch cards up coverage of the Stadium Series beginning on July 13 with the familiar faces of James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton hosting the coverage. This marks the first time that PokerStars has offered players at home the chance to watch online events with each player’s hole cards visible.
“It’s a unique summer and we know many of our players like ourselves miss live poker. So we wanted to bring the entertainment and flair of a live event with our cards-up coverage and really put our players at the heart of all the action. There’s truly something for everyone with Stadium Series: big opportunities, mega thrills, and incredible value. We’re very excited about seeing this one unfold,” said Severin Rasset, Managing Director & Commercial Officer, Poker, Product and Innovation.
PokerStars will award more than $2 million in free Stadium Series entries throughout the summer across all events. For each of the three buy-in levels, players can play in a special Heat tournament that will have Sunday Final tickets add to those prize pools. The Sunday Final will have Grand Final tickets, valued at $5,200, added to their prize pool.
Players will also be able to win free Grand Final entries via a Fast Track promotion in conjunction with special Stars Rewards Spin & Go’s or daily freerolls.
PokerStars.it and PokerStars.eu will each have their own Stadium Series running concurrent to the PokerStars.com series. Each schedule runs July 5-26 with €3 million guaranteed in Italy and €5 million for PokerStars.eu, which serves the combined player pools of Portugal, France, and Spain. For those events, buy-ins will go from €5 on the low end to €250 on the high end and there will be €250,000 in free tournament entries awarded to players in each market. The Grand Final on PokerStars.it will guarantee €500,000 with a €250 buy-in while the PokerStars.eu version has the same buy-in with €1 million guaranteed.
A full Stadium Series schedule is expected to be released soon.