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Found 58 results

  1. Just last week, PokerStars NJ announced their fourth annual NJ Championship of Online Poker schedule with $1 million guaranteed through 50 events over a 17-day period in October. By all accounts, PokerStars is the front-runner to become the first online poker site to launch in a Pennsylvania with many speculating Keystone State grinders could be clicking buttons beginning in October. A Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) - could very well be a key component of what is sure to be a much-hyped launch period. With a population of 12.8 million, Pennsylvania is a larger potential poker market than the current inter-state group of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Using the 2019 NJCOOP schedule as a template and keeping in mind that PokerStars is only available in New Jersey, online poker players in PA just might find themselves in the middle of a two-week-long festival with nearly $1.5 million in guaranteed prize money in the very near future. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="PokerStars NJ"] [ptable zone="GG Poker"] Guaranteed Prize Pools For the first time in the four-year history of NJCOOP, the total guaranteed amount across all events took a dive in 2019. The inaugural event in 2016 featured 43 different events and a total guarantee of $1.2 million. In 2017 and 2018, the scheduled expanded to 46 events and the prize pool remained at $1.2 million. For 2019 however, the events increased again, this time to 50, but the total guaranteed amount dropped to just $1 million. This shouldn't be any reason for alarm for Pennsylvania online poker players, however. While the number of events on any potential PACOOP schedule is likely to be in the ballpark of 50, the total guaranteed prize pools will need to reflect the population gap between New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the excitement over the launch of online poker in a new state. Those two factors should push the total guaranteed amount of $1.5 million. Individual event guarantees outside of the Main Event will most likely fall in the range of $12,500 for the smaller events and as high as $90,000 for the Sunday Special Special Edition events. Conversely, given that PA operators have been able to launch their online poker verticals since July 15 and haven't yet done so tells you that PokerStars may take a very cautious approach to the schedule. The Main Event A two-week-long festival with 50 events played on PokerStars is sure to get the adrenalin pumping, but the highlight of every COOP schedule around the world is always the Main Event. Again, a quick look across state lines into New Jersey gives us some perspective on just what to expect. The 2019 NJCOOP Main Event has the lowest buy-in and guarantee in NJCOOP history. For the first three years, the buy-in was $500 with guarantees of $200,000 (2016 & 2017) and $150,000 (2018). For 2019, as part of the overall drop in guaranteed prize pools, the Main Event features a $100,000 guarantee and just a $300 buy-in. It's important to note that in the first three years, the guarantee was never met but fell within a few players of hitting the promised amount. The PACOOP Main Event should feature a $150,000 guarantee with a $300 buy-in. Players looking for bigger buy-in events will need to look to the High Roller events which usually include buy-ins of $500 and $1,000. Game Selection Mixed game players in PA are going to need to show a little bit of patience. A majority of the PACOOP schedule is likely going to be No Limit Hold'em with Pot Limit Omaha players having the second-best schedule to choose from. The PokerStars PA client will probably offer 6+ Hold'em (Short Deck), 7 Card Stud and Duece to Seven varieties, but outside of a single Eight Game event, mixed game players will be on the sidelines watching for now.
  2. The world's largest online poker operator now has a new owner. The Stars Group, owner of PokerStars, has been acquired by Flutter Entertainment, owners of online gaming brands Paddy Power, FanDuel and BetFair, in a deal that creates the world's largest online gaming company. The all-share transaction sees Flutter wind up with 55% of the ownership of the combined group and TSG with 45%. The combined 2018 revenues of the two companies was $4.66 billion. "This exciting combination will allow us to enhance and accelerate our existing strategy. In recent years, we have transformed TSG from a single product operator in poker to a diverse global leader with multiple product offerings across poker, gaming and sports betting," said Rafi Ashkenazi, The Stars Group CEO. "The combination with Flutter will further enhance our company’s core strengths, and position us strongly for the future in this rapidly evolving industry. I’m delighted to be joining the Board of the Combined Group and to serve as its COO." As part of the transaction, Ashkenazi will be one of 14 members of the newly-formed board of directors and moves from TSG CEO to the COO of the combined group. This isn't the first mega-merger involving Paddy Power or PokerStars. In 2016, Paddy Power merged with BetFair to create Flutter Entertainment and in 2017 they acquired daily fantasy sports giant FanDuel. The US-facing opportunities that The Stars Group has is one of the reasons Flutter pursued this merger. The Stars Group acquired Sky Betting in 2018. “The combination represents a great opportunity to deliver a step change in our presence in international markets and ensure we are ideally positioned to take advantage of the exciting opportunity in the US through a media relationship with FOX Sports as well as our development of US sports betting through Flutter’s FanDuel and TSG’s FOX Bet brands. We are committed to these two high-quality brands to drive the growth of the Combined Group in the US," said Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter. PokerStars currently operates only in New Jersey, but are expected to their Pennsylvania online poker product sometime this month. The FOX Bet sportsbook product, which is a rebranded offering of BetStars, the online sports betting offered by The Stars Group, is currently available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
  3. The long wait for PA online poker appears to be coming to an end. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board confirmed Wednesday that PokerStars PA is scheduled to begin real money testing on Monday, November 4. This marks the first online poker room to launch in Pennsylvania since regulated online gaming began on July 15. There are currently three online casinos and five online sportsbooks currently operating in the state. Multiple times various reports have indicated that PokerStars PA was on the verge of launching but neither they or the PGCB would confirm anything. "We are very excited to be bringing our most popular brands to Pennsylvania in the next week, subject to regulatory approval. Stay tuned for more details!" a PokerStars representative said via email. PokerStars is partnered with the Mount Airy Casino in Pocono, PA, and their online sportsbook, FOX Bet, has been available since early September. Despite the confirmation of the date, the PGCB has made it clear that even a minor setback between now and Monday could cause yet another delay in the launch. What Does 'Soft Launch' Mean? The PokerStars PA Soft Launch will last two days, November 4 and 5. Players will be able to set up their accounts play on the site from 2 PM until Midnight each day. The PGCB will use this period to monitor various aspects of the system including the geo-location software used to ensure only players inside Pennsylvania borders will be able to access the client and play. If PokerStars PA makes it through the two-day soft launch period without any issues or concerns from PGCB, they should be given the approval to move into full operation mode the following day.
  4. Online poker players in Pennsylvania had themselves a busy Sunday for the first time since the state first regulated online gaming just over two years ago. Following the launch of PokerStars PA earlier this week, a brand new set of Sunday Majors gave Keystone State grinders something to look forward. The five marquee events on the schedule came with buy-ins from $10 to $100 and a total of $67,500 guaranteed. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] The main attraction, the $100 buy-in Sunday Special, drew 472 Entries from 322 unique players for total prize pool of $43,329.60. Taking home the lion's share of that was 'Catfur77' who earned $7,712.36 and the first Sunday Special title in Pennsylvania history. Runner-up 'remispjr33' had to settle for $5,652.95 while 'Lerxst027' rounded out the podium finishers and walked away with $4,143.60. Team PokerStars Pro Jennifer Shahade finished 12th for $471.07. The day began with the $30 buy-in Sunday Warm-Up which drew 395 runners. That pushed the total prize pool to $10,783.50, well past the $7,500 guarantee. 'MsPumpernickel' wound up on top, earning $1,955.15 for the win while 'Shortstopmills' pocketed $1,432.89 after outlasting all but one player. Third-place finisher 24COB24 also earned a four-figure score, earning $1,050.30. The $10 Sunday Storm Six Max became the first PA Sunday Major to end up in a chop when 'jace15076' and 'JSell1982' made a heads-up deal that earned them $874 and $873.99 respectively. 'LoveMILFs2' earned $499.83 for finishing third. The biggest buy-in of the five, the $250 Sunday High Roller, had 59 total entries from 45 uniques to build a $13,747 prize pool. 'NeolithicFarmer' won $4,902.78 for winning the event and 'kingkendr1ck' pocketed $3,023.40 for finishing second. 'CleggsOnGG' finished in third, earning $1,864.46. While the first four events all easily cleared their guarantee, the final event of the night fell short. The $50 buy-in Sunday Supersonic Hyper-Turbo brought in 92 entries, creating a $676 overlay on the $5,000 guarantee. '22EPL' picked up $1,187.48 for winning the event while 'youngmoney915' got $873.16 for finishing as the runner-up. Buy-in Name Guarantee Entries Re-Entries Prize Pool Overlay $30.00 Sunday Warm-Up $7,500.00 264 131 $10,783.50 N/A $10.00 Sunday Storm $5,000.00 434 220 $5,951.40 N/A $100.00 Sunday Special $40,000.00 322 150 $43,329.60 N/A $250.00 Sunday High Roller $10,000.00 45 14 $13,747.00 N/A $50.00 Sunday Supersonic (Hyper) $5,000.00 71 21 $5,000.00 $676.00   PokerStars PA $30 Sunday Warm-Up 395 Entries, $10,783.50 Prize Pool MsPumpernickel - $1,955.15 Shortstopmills - $1,432.89 24COB24 - $1,050.30 Since a Duck - $769.87 u_bet_i_raise86 - $564.31 atalmatal22lago - $413.64 MarcTIO $303.19 jvgunner - $222.24 PokerStars PA $10 Sunday Storm Six Max 654 Entries, $5,951.40 Prize Pool jace15076 - $874* JSell1982 - $873.99* LoveMILFs2 - $499.93 direharry503 - $348.34 RyanMcCarroll - $242.71 Coachdk3 - $123.16 PokerStars PA $100 Sunday Special 472 Entries, $43,329.60 Prize Pool Catfur77 - $7,712.36 remispjr33 - $5,652.95 Lerxst027 - $4,143.60 MiracleManDan - $3,037.24 tax0022 - $2,226.29 FrosyTheProsty - $1,631.87 Anosmian Dreams - $1,196.15 MacheteColletti - $876.78 aBlurrr - $642.67 PokerStars PA Sunday High Roller Six Max 59 Entries, $13.747 Prize Pool NeolithicFarmer - $4,902.78 kingkendr1ck - $3,023.40 CleggsOnGG - $1,864.46 mbalasa - $1,149.77 AllinWithAJoff - $709.04 Prixzky7 - $618.26
  5. The PokerStars PA soft launch is over and the site’s first full day of play is here. Following what was an exciting, but limited, Monday and Tuesday this week, Pennsylvania poker players are now welcome to fully enjoy all that the site has to offer. There is a wide variety of game types and stakes available, so let’s take a look at what PokerStars PA has to offer. Checking out the PokerStars PA lobby, players can find games sectioned off across three tabs. Those tabs are 'Cash,' 'Sit & Go,' and 'Tourney,' with each offering different options for players. Plenty of Cash Games On Offer Checking out the Cash section first, we can find stakes ranging from as low as $0.01/$0.02 all the way up to $100/200. The PokerStars PA No Limit Hold’em offering is predominantly made up of six-handed tables, although there are a few nine-handed tables available. These No Limit Hold’em games range in stakes from $0.01/$0.02 up to $25/$50. If you’re looking for Limit Hold’em, PokerStars PA has that available as well, albeit in a smaller serving. Limit Hold’em games available in the client started at stakes of $0.10/$0.20 and went up to $50/$100. Other cash games available are a few different Omaha variants, the main Stud variants, and some Triple Draw. For Omaha, we found PokerStars PA offering Pot Limit Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low, Limit Omaha Hi-Low, and Pot Limit 5-Card Omaha. For Stud, there is regular Seven Card Stud, Razz, and Stud Hi-Low. There is also a handful of 8-Game tables available to play, with stakes as low as $0.50/$1.00 up to $100/$200. As one could expect, the most populated cash game tables to start the first fully live day of PokerStars PA were the No Limit Hold’em tables. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] SNGs Are All Turbo and Hyper Formats Checking out the Sit & Go section, it’s dominated by Turbo and Hyper SNGs and we don’t find anything other than heads-up or six-handed formats available. The lowest SNG buy-in available was for $1. On the higher end, bigger players could challenge others at the $500 buy-in level. Both No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha SNGs are available in the lobby. Tourney Schedule Beefs Up After a successful two days of the soft launch, which included quality attendance in PokerStars PA’s multi-table tournaments, Wednesday brought a fuller offering of MTTs, with buy-ins ranging from $2 to $100 and plenty of guaranteed prize pools. The first tournament of the day was scheduled as a nine-handed, $3 buy-in ‘Time Tourney: 45 Minutes.’ Things quickly ramped up at 12:30 p.m. ET with ‘The Lunchtime Hot $20, $750 Gtd’ tournament, though. The real juicy prize pools were slated for later in the day, specifically at 7 p.m. ET. That’s when ‘The Big $20, $1,500 Gtd’ and ‘Nightly Stars, $7,500 Gtd’ tournaments were scheduled for. The Big $20 has a $20 buy-in and $1,500 guarantee on the prize pool, and then the Nightly Stars comes with a $100 buy-in and $7,500 prize pool. There is also a $50 buy-in ‘Wednesday 6-Max, $5,000 Gtd’ scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Below is a screenshot of the MTT lobby about 20 minutes before the first tournament kicked off at 12 p.m. ET. [caption id="attachment_627448" align="alignnone" width="657"] PokerStars PA multi-table tournament offering on first fully live day of action[/caption] The biggest prize pool guaranteed during the two soft launch days was $5,000, so the Nightly Stars will serve as another test of the market. The tournament that had the $5,000 guaranteed prize pool was Tuesday’s ‘Bounty Builder $50, $5,000 Gtd’ and it crushed with a prize pool of $12,103. What's Missing? One noticeable game that's missing from the PokerStars PA lobby is the popular Spin & Go format. Spin & Gos are PokerStars' three-handed Hyper SNG tournaments that feature a randomly drawn prize pool. A second missing game type is PokerStars' Zoom Poker, which groups players at the same game and stakes into a pool and constantly shuffles them around. Once you fold your hand, you're immediately moved to a new table and dealt a new hand, which allows faster gameplay. Spin & Gos and Zoom Poker may be available to PokerStars PA players in the future, but both formats were not available when the site went fully live on Wednesday. There is no 'Events' tab in the lobby, which could be made available in the future should PokerStars PA come out with a Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP). Lastly, Pennsylvania players will have to wait for the Sunday MTT schedule. It's not out yet but will be available soon. Once it's live, we'll let you know what's on offer for online poker's biggest day of the week.
  6. Online poker players in Pennsylvania have to wait no longer. Monday, November 4 is Day 1 of the two-day soft launch period for PokerStars PA. This story will be updated throughout the day. Update 10:00 PM: Day 1 of the soft launch is in the books. We'll be back tomorrow for more coverage of Day 2! Update 9:25 PM: Time may be winding down for the night but that's not stopping 'breakfastball' and 'pittfan80' from battling heads up in the $4/$8 Eight Game Mix. Update 9:11 PM: Longtime PocketFiver Gilbert 'YourPokerPastor' Thurston was one of the first players to log on today and he's looking forward to everything that PokerStars PA will bring. Read: Gilbert ‘YourPokerPastor’ Thurston Finds Sheer Joy In PokerStars PA Update 9:04 PM: We enter the last hour of Day 1 of the soft launch with the player pool hovering right around 700. Update 8:40 PM: Registration closed in the $20 Moonlight Express with 173 entries making it the biggest tournament of the first day of the soft launch. With a total prize pool of $3,252.40, it surpassed the Hot $20 from earlier with 147 entries and a $2,675.40 prize pool. Update 8:00 PM: Just before 8:00 PM, PokerStars PA saw 700 concurrent players for the first time. After dipping back down for a minute or two, the number climbed back over the mark at the top of the hour. Update 7:30 PM: Taking another look at the player pool, at 7:30 PM there were more than 665 players battling in real money games. Update 7:16 PM: Registration just closed in one of the two $1,000 guaranteed tournaments on Monday's schedule and the event easily surpassed that number. A total of 147 entries in the Hot $20 Turbo created a total prize pool of $2,675.40. First place will pay $557.51. Update 7:02 PM: 604 players. Update 7:00 PM: There were 590 real money players online at 7 PM. If everything stays the course we should see 600 in a few minutes. Update 6:52 PM: Even in PA, PKO’s are popular. The $10 NLHE Progressive Knockout closed registration with 166 entries (119 players, 47 re-entries) and a $1,510.60 prize pool. Update 6:44 PM: PokerStars ambassador Jennifer Shahade held the chip lead with six players left in the Hot $10. In the end, the Women's Chess Champion settled for a third-place finish collecting $158.56...right from her home outside of Philly. Update 6:37 PM: Just cleared 500 players online. Update 6:30 PM: We are keeping tabs on how many real money players are on the PokerStars PA site during peak hours. At 6:30 PM there were 484 players on the site. Update 6:16 PM: The biggest NLHE game running is the $2.50/$5 game. There are currently two tables going with 'ToddLaxmen' and 'FarWomenTellAll' doing a little multi-tabling and 'TeamVillage' currently sitting with over $1,400 behind. Update 6:08 PM: While we were putting together that last update, the number of players playing real money games soared past 400. Update 6:07 PM: The $5 PLO MTT [Six Max, Turbo] had a total of 46 entries (30 players, 16 re-entries) with the top seven placed getting paid. Players were in the money just before the re-entry period expired. Update 6:00 PM: There are 392 players playing for real money as the clock hit 6pm ET. Update 5:48 PM: In the first PokerStars PA MTT ‘SugarDaddyPA’ and ‘Stonks_Are_Up’ agreed to a deal that saw each player turn their $5 buy-in into at least $110.88. Update 5:40 PM: One of the benefits to the PokerStars client is how many games they offer. While the majority of the action on Day 1 has been in NLHE, PLO or in the MTT's, a heads up battle between ‘veedubs23’ vs. ‘cardfan42’ is taking place at the $3/$6 Limit Stud tables. Update 5:33 PM: It's worth mentioning that PokerStars popular Zoom cash games are not a part of the Day 1 soft launch. Update 5:13 PM: The second tournament of the day was The Hot $10 [Turbo] and it easily smashed its $500 guarantee as 111 players (and 37 re-entries) generated a prize pool of $1,346.80. Update 4:57 PM: Online poker is back in Pennsylvania...and so are those bad beats! Update 2:12 PM: Don't worry, Pennsylvania online poker players. None of the sportsbooks in your state managed to launch right on time either. PokerStars PA will be live soon. Update: 2:00 PM: More than two years after online gaming regulations were passed in Pennsylvania, the first online poker site now has cards in the air. PokerStars PA went live at 2 PM for Day 1 of a two-day soft launch testing period required by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. “We’re excited to launch PokerStars as the first and currently the only online poker option available to players in Pennsylvania,” said Matt Primeaux, President, FOX Bet. “Including today’s launch of our highly rated casino product, which is now available in the FOX Bet and PokerStars apps, we’re proud to say we’re currently the only online provider offering all three forms of regulated gaming in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” PokerStars PA is available Monday, November 4 from 2 PM until 10 PM EST and Tuesday, November 5 from 2 PM until Midnight. Players can download the client from PokerStarsMtAiryCasino.com and it is also available for iOS and Android devices. PokerStars is partnered with Mount Airy Casino Resort and they're excited to be working alongside the world's largest online poker operator on a groundbreaking day for the Keystone State. “We’re constantly investing in our player experience, and in 2019 that means going beyond brick and mortar improvements to bring customers one of the most exciting gaming options available,” said Todd Greenberg, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager at Mount Airy Casino Resort, FOX Bet’s partner in Pennsylvania. “Through strategic partnerships like our affiliation with PokerStars, Mount Airy is committed to offering the most cutting-edge gaming experience possible.” Quite possibly one of the most excited with today's launch is PokerStars Ambassador Jennifer Shadade. The Pennsylvania native is finally able to play legal online poker from the comfort of her own home. “Finally, PokerStars is available in my hometown and I couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Pennsylvanian and PokerStars Ambassador, Jennifer Shahade. “Players in Pennsylvania have been looking forward to this day, and I can’t wait to be a part of all the action. Hope to see many of you on the tables!” Update 1:20 PM: PokerStars PA will be available to all online poker players in Pennsylvania from 2 PM until 10 PM EST.  
  7. After a successful first day, PokerStars PA is back for Day 2 of its soft launch. Follow along here as Pennsylvania enjoys the second day of regulated online poker play. This story will be updated throughout the day. Update 12:00 AM: That's a wrap on the second and final day of the PokerStars PA soft launch. PocketFives will be back for one more live blog on the first full day of play on PokerStars PA and many believe that day will be Wednesday! Update 11:30 PM: With just 30 minutes to go on Day 2 of the PokerStars PA soft launch, the crowds are beginning to dwindle a little bit. After peaking at around 1,150 players earlier, there are currently just 659 players seated and no more tournaments scheduled to start for the rest of the night. The biggest cash game running is a five-handed $5/$10 No Limit Hold'em game with almost $6,000 on the table. Update 9:38 PM: What's in a name? Well, in Pennsylvania apparently it's the name of the live casino that you've partnered with. While players in New Jersey head to PokerStarsNJ.com to play, their counterparts in Pennsylvania punch in PokerStarsMtAiryCasino.com to download the software. It's not that PokerStars didn't want to use PokerStarsPA.com, they're actually required by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulations to use this URL (or something like it). Matt Primeaux, President of FOX Bet/PokerStars NJ/PokerStars Pennsylvania, explained in a Tweet earlier today. Update 9:01 PM: Just before the clock struck nine o'clock, another peak was hit for total number of players with 1,143. This far surpasses the peak of 745 from Day 1 of the soft launch and is a great indicator that the first day of full launch - expected to be Wednesday - could see another significant increase as players come back to online poker. Update 7:57 PM: Looks like we have our first Pennsylvania online poker Twitcher! Nick Amicucci, who is playing on PokerStars under the screen name 'cooooooch', is streaming some multi-table tournament play over at twitch.tv/trixter27. He's already cashed in the first tournament he registered for and has a few other tables up and running. Good way for people from outside of Pennsylvania to check things out. Update 7:50 PM: Behold! Some more firsts for PokerStars PA as the $50 Bounty Builder more than doubled it's $5K guarantee becoming the first MTT with a five-figure prize pool and the first tournament to award more than $1k for first-place. Update 7:45 PM: There it is! PokerStars PA as more than 1K concurrent real money online poker players on Day 2 of the soft launch. Update 7:33 PM: We're keeping an eye on the player stat as at 7:30pm PokerStars PA came within a SNG shy of hitting 1,000 players. Update 7:20 PM: With over 850 players on the site, the largest guaranteed tournament so far had zero problem destroying the guarantee in a hurry. The prize pool for the $50 Bounty Builder with a $5K guarantee continues to soar with an over $7K prize pool...and another 40 minutes of late registration. This tournament could offer the first $1K+ payout when all is said and done. Update 6:48 PM: Earlier in the day it looked like the Sit & Go buy-in range was $1 to $20. Unless we missed it earlier, it looked like some higher buy-in SNGs have been added since this morning with offerings of $30, $50, $100, $200 and $500. The majority of the higher buy-in SNGs are offered as Heads Up Hypers. Update 6:35 PM: The $10/$20 table finally filled up as 'TheOneSelf_111' was joined by '22EPL', 'breakfastball', 'GusRobinson' and 'dabigquk1' to splash around in the highest stakes game running right now. Update 6:17 PM: The $5/$10 has been on an off for most of the afternoon with game starters '22EPL', 'ToddLaxmen' and 'youbestnotmiss' trying to keep it going. Update 5:53 PM: Registration is closed for the first guaranteed tournament of Day 2, The Hot $10 [Turbo]. The tournament, which had a $1K guarantee yesterday, increased that guarantee by $500 for Day 2. Just like yesterday, there was no problem with crushing that number. The tournament had 282 entries (199 players, 83 re-entries) and a prize pool of $2,566.20. The winner, provided there's no deal, will walk away with $488.15 for their $10 investment. Update 5:23 PM: The first multi-table tournament of the day is in the books. 'hefnerrrr' topped a 212-player field in the $5 buy-in No Limit Hold'em event and earned $188.83 for the effort. On Day 1, this event drew 140 players giving Tuesday's event a 50% boost in entrants. While 'SugarDaddyPA' took down Monday's first tournament, 'hefnerrrr' won this one outright. 4:30 PM: WIth 678 players online, there's currently only one $2.50/$5 NLHE game running. However, the $1/$2 game is going strong with four full nine-handed NLHE tables and another four full Six Max tables. Update 4:07 PM: The current PokerStars PA Mixed Game top dog appears to be 'TheOneSelf_111' who is sitting by themselves at two tables - $5/$10 Limit Razz & $5/$10 Limit Stud Hi/Lo - each with $111 in front, ready to take on all challengers. Update 4:00 PM: The first MTT of Day 2 was the $5 NLHE Turbo which ended registration with 212 entries (149 players, 63 re-entries) which generated a $964.60 prize pool. The winner will turn their lunch money into over $188. Want to see how yesterday's slate of MTTs fared? Read: PokerStars PA Soft Launch Day 1 MTT Schedule Gives Grinders Hope Update 3:50 PM: The traffic on PokerStars PA continues to impress and is nearly double that of the traffic on PokerStars NJ. The initial excitement and hype around the PokerStars PA launch probably have something to do with that, but the population of Pennsylvania is roughly 1.5 times larger than New Jersey. Now imagine what happens if these two states ever get liquidity sharing figured out! Update 2:54 PM: The biggest cash game on the board so far (in terms of limits) has 'ToddLaxmen', '22EPL' and 'love2playpoker' battling in a three-handed $10/$20 Limit Hold'em game. Update 2:44 PM: Taking a look at the Sit & Go lobby, there is plenty of action with roughly 28 Six Max SNGs running at a time with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $20. Update 2:15 PM: Day 2 of the soft launch is off to a fast start as 440 players are currently online in the first fifteen minutes of the day. Update 2:12 PM: Good news! You can now add your PokerStars PA screen name to your PocketFives account. It takes just a few moments. Results should start showing up by the end of the week! Here's how: Login to your PocketFives account On the top right, click on your PocketFives username and select ‘Profile’ Choose ‘Edit Poker Names’ From the drop-down menu, select ‘PokerStars PA’ and enter your screen name and click ‘Create New’ Please note: It can take up to 24 hours for your screen name to pop up in your profile. Update 2:00 PM: A day after hosting 12 multi-table tournaments, the PokerStars PA lobby has 14 events scheduled for Tuesday. The Day 1 schedule had no problem blowing past their guarantees and the Day 2 schedule see an increase across the board. The Hot $10 went from a $500 guarantee to a $1,000 guarantee and the Moonlight Express also doubled, going from a $1,000 guarantee to $2,000. The big addition to the schedule is the $50 buy-in Bounty Builder event at 7 PM. With $3,500 guaranteed, it will be the biggest prize pool in pa online poker history (until tomorrow!). Start Time Game Buy-in Name Speed 3:00 PM NLHE $5.00 NLHE Turbo Turbo 4:00 PM NLHE $10.00 The Hot $10 - $1000 GTD Turbo 5:00 PM PLO $5.00 PL Omaha Turbo 6:00 PM NLHE $10.00 Progressive KO 7:00 PM NLHE $50.00 Bounty Builder $50 - $3500 GTD 7:30 PM NLHE $10.00 PL Omaha Turbo 7:30 PM NLHE $3.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes Turbo 7:45 PM PLO $10.00 Deep Hyper-Turbo Hyper 8:00 PM NLHE $5.00 NLHE Turbo Turbo 8:30 PM NLHE $3.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes Turbo 9:00 PM NLHE $20.00 The Hot $20 - $2,000 GTD Turbo 9:30 PM NLHE $20.00 Moonlight Express - Early Edition - $2,000 GTD Hyper 10:00 PM NLHE $5.00 Four Max NLHE Hyper 11:00 PM NLHE $10.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes Turbo Update 11:05 AM: Day 2 of the PokerStars PA soft launch begins at 2 PM and will be available to all Pennsylvania online poker players for two more hours than Day 1 with tables closing at midnight.
  8. With the two-day soft launch period now in the books, PokerStars PA is officially now the only Pennsylvania online poker room. PocketFives will be live blogging throughout the day with all the news and happenings from the first day of official play. Update 7:00 PM: The first edition of the PokerStars PA Nightly Stars with its $10K guarantee kicks off as the real-money player total soars to over 1K. This wraps up our three-day coverage of the return of online poker to the Keystone State. Thank you for following along with us! Update 6:03 PM: The after-work crowd is here as the total number of players online rocketed to over 800 at 6 pm ET. Update 5:57 PM: We've been keeping an eye on the Sit & Go tab to see if any high stakes SNGs were able to get off the ground. There was a $100 HU Hyper that took place with 'Fuzzy2525' taking it down and we also caught a six-handed $50 Turbo in action. Update 5:02 PM: The player pool has remained robust throughout the day with over 750 players online at the top of the hour. In other news, the $2/$4 8 Game Mix has been up and running for a little while now. Update 4:27 PM: Another guarantee smashed. The $800 GTD Big 15 had 148 entries (106 players, 42 re-entries) and a prize pool of $2,020.20. Update 3:38 PM: Add an event to your calendar: Scrolling down the MTT schedule PokerStars has included a 'We Are In Pennsylvania Freeroll' with $20,000 added on November 17. No hoops to jump through, no bonuses to clear- simply create an account, log on and register at 1:00 pm ET on November 17 to fight for a piece. Update 2:45 PM: One of the larger Pot Limit Omaha games in the early going is currently active as four players are battling on a $5/$10 PLO table. Update 2:40 PM: PokerStars has loaded up the Tourney tab with tournaments extending through the weekend. Check out what a Sunday grind in Pennsylvania looks like with our First Look at PokerStars PA Sunday MTT Schedule. Update 2:36 PM: Hot Lunch! The first guaranteed tournament of the day, The Lunchtime Hot $20, is close to a final table. It's just another early launch guarantee taken down as the players exceeded the $750 GTD mark with 101 total entries for a $1,838.20 prize pool. Update 1:31 PM: With over 550 players on the site, the six-handed $2/$5 NLHE cash game has been running steady for the past half hour. Update 12:37 PM: PokerStars has released a statement regarding their official launch in the Keystone State. "PokerStars PA is now officially live after receiving full approval from the regulator. We look forward to welcoming players in Pennsylvania around the clock and we’re very excited by the level of engagement and support so far," Rebecca McAdam, PokerStars spokesperson. Update 12:35 PM: Want a closer look at all of the games PokerStars PA has to offer? Read: PokerStars PA Fully Live with Wide Variety of Stakes and Formats Update 12:29 PM: We're keeping an eye on the SNG lobby to see if any of the higher buy-in Turbos take place. Right now, for those looking to play a little higher, the $20 Six Max Turbos are running regularly without players having to wait too long. Update 12:05 PM: Just a few minutes after noon on the East Coast and there are over 400 players on the PokerStars PA client. Three of which are splashing around on the first play money table. Update 11:36 PM: While a lot of people are anxiously awaiting the first Sunday MTT schedule, the first day of tournaments includes 28 MTTs running before Midnight. The biggest tournament is the $100 buy-in Nightly Stars event which has a $7,500 guarantee - the PokerStars NJ version of the same event has a $7,000 guarantee tonight. Time Game Buy-in Name Guarantee Speed 12:00 PM NLHE $3.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes Turbo 12:30 PM NLHE $20.00 The Lunchtime Hot $20 $750.00 Turbo 1:00 PM NLHE $5.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes Turbo 1:30 PM NLHE $15.00 The Big $15 $800.00 2:00 PM NLHE $2.00 $100 Gtd $100.00 2:30 PM NLHE $5.00 $150 Gtd $150.00 3:00 PM NLHE $10.00 Bounty Builder $10 $300.00 3:30 PM NLHE $2.00 $100 Gtd $100.00 4:00 PM NLHE $5.00 The Big $5 $500.00 5:00 PM NLHE $15.00 $250 Gtd $250.00 6:00 PM NLHE $10.00 The Big $10 $1,000.00 6:30 PM NLHE $3.00 $3 NLHE 7:00 PM NLHE $20.00 The Big $20 $1,500.00 7:00 PM NLHE $100.00 Nightly Stars $7,500.00 7:30 PM NLHE $5.00 $500 Gtd $500.00 7:30 PM PLO $20.00 Nightly PLO $400.00 8:00 PM NLHE $50.00 Wednesday 6-Max $5,000.00 8:15 PM NLHE $10.00 The Hot $10 $1,000.00 Turbo 8:30 PM NLHE $5.00 $200 Gtd $200.00 9:00 PM NLHE $20.00 Bounty Builder $20 $1,000.00 9:15 PM NLHE $5.00 The Hot $5 $500.00 Turbo 9:30 PM NLHE $10.00 Deep Hyper-Turbo $500.00 Hyper 10:00 PM NLHE $3.00 $250 Gtd $250.00 10:15 PM NLHE $50.00 The Hot $50 $2,000.00 Turbo 10:30 PM NLHE $15.00 Bounty Builder $15 $850.00 11:15 PM NLHE $30.00 The Hot $30 $1,500.00 Turbo 11:30 PM NLHE $3.00 Deep Hyper-Turbo $100.00 Hyper 12:00 AM NLHE $20.00 Moonlight Express $1,000.00 Hyper Update 11:00 AM: PokerStars PA is now live!
  9. On Monday, PokerStars PA started the first of two days worth of testing before they officially go live in Pennsylvania. It has been over two years since online poker was officially legalized and poker players in the Keystone State were eager for their online grind to return. This time in a legalized, regulated market. One of those players ready for poker to return was 13-year Pennsylvania resident Gilbert ‘pgt4jc’ Thurston. After the long wait, Thurston was one of the very first players to download and log on to PokerStars PA. “I travel a lot to serve in third world countries so in the grand scheme of things these delays were nothing,” Thurston said, “In poker terms though…it was agony.” [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Online, Thurston goes by his ‘YourPokerPastor’ screen name, and for him, it isn’t just a moniker. The 46-year old semi-pro grinder is, in fact, a pastor and this January he will be celebrating 20 years in the role. “I began playing as a kid but then stopped for a brief time after I first became Christian in my early 20s. I wasn’t sure if [playing poker] was something I should be doing. Later though after some research, I began playing again.” He started on the social sites, then graduated to PokerStars after learning about the site from someone at the church where he was a pastor at the time. Eventually, he made an account and PokerStars put $2 in his account for free. He never really looked back. “My entire poker career has stemmed from the $2 PokerStars originally freerolled me with," he said. "I was extremely lucky because I just played recreationally making a few thousand in side money." In 2013, he took the next step. He received coaching from current Thirst Lounge member John ‘BetOnDrew’ Gonzales, Alex ‘TheAssassinato’ Fitzgerald and top-ranked U.S. online grinder Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano. He continued to play online when he could, where he could. Now, he’s ready to enjoy a steady dose of online poker whenever he wants from the comfort of his home. “I have been able to play PokerStars while in AC and Vegas but the sheer joy of playing in my own home is just unreal. After Black Friday I never thought we’d see this day come but here we are and it’s fantastic.” That’s right, online poker is back and Pennsylvania and everything that comes along with it. “Although I busted the first tournament pocket kings vs. ace-jack. So we’ll see how many bad beats it takes before I’m singing a different tune,” he laughed. The first day of the return of online poker was a success as far as Thurston is concerned. “Sign-up was super easy once I was able to find the correct link,” he said. “Deposit was easy too, although I was not allowed to use my Visa even though that was an option. The other two options were a bank account and PayPal, the latter of which I chose.” “Another awesome thing is the shorter late-reg times. On most of the unregulated U.S. facing sites we were looking at three, sometimes four, hours of late reg for every tournament. That is not rec friendly at all and quite frankly made the grind an actual grind for many of us. I’m sure as PokerStars offers non-turbo games or higher guaranteed tournaments there may be some with longer late registration but at least initially the 40 minutes late regs have been quite refreshing.” With PokerStars PA just being the beginning for online poker in the state, there’s plenty to look forward to. “This is going to sound dumb, but having my scores tracked again is what I’m looking forward to,” he said, noting that many offshore sites do not have tournament scores tracked. “I used that as motivation to get to #1 in PA for, I believe, it was 17 consecutive months. I was as high as #11 in the USA and got to #971 in the world.” Being tracked on PocketFives helped Thurston start his PocketFives blog, tally his scores and climb the ranks. However, as serious as the pastor takes the game, he still answers to a higher calling. “Today poker is still just a side hustle, albeit a daily profitable one that takes some financial pressure off my wife and me as we continue to pastor at the church. Currently, I have a lot going on ministry-wise so my poker volume has been reduced quite a bit over the last 12-18 months but I still enjoy learning and growing and using it to keep my competitive juices flowing.”
  10. The first day of the PokerStars PA soft launch seems to have exceeded expectations of many and could be a sign of big things to come for online tournament grinders in the Keystone State. The opening day of play included just 12 multi-table tournaments, but the numbers show that Pennsylvania online poker players are thirsty for online poker. Players looking to get a glimpse of what the normal daily schedule will look like shouldn't read too much into the Day 1 schedule though. Of the 12 tournaments on the schedule on Monday, buy-ins ranged from $3 to $20. There were just three tournaments with guaranteed prize pools on Day 1 and none of them were ever in any danger of an overlay. The Hot $10 Turbo at 4 PM had a $500 guarantee and ended up with 148 runners and a $1,346.80 total prize pool. Both of the $20 tournaments on the schedule had a $1,000 guarantee. The Hot $20 Turbo, which came at 6:30 PM, had 147 entries for a $2,675.40 prize pool. The star of the night however was the $20 Moonlight Express - Early Edition. The 173 entries made it quite easily the largest field of the night and created a $3,252.40 prize pool. Given the eight-hour time limit on Day 1, PokerStars included four "time tournies" on the schedule. Rather than playing down to a winner, these events each ran for just 45 minutes with players still alive after that time being awarded their share of the prize pool based on their chip stack. Running at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 PM, the $3 buy-in events drew 53, 59, and 106 runners. The final tournament of the night was the $10 buy-in Time Tourney and had just 109 players all trying to pick up a score before the closed sign came on. Not all of the events were No Limit Hold'em. There were two Pot Limit Omaha events, one with a $5 buy-in and another with a $10 buy-in. Fans of the Great Game will be saddened to learn these two events were the smallest of the night and represented two of the three that had fewer than 100 players. The $5 buy-in event had 46 runners and 45 showed up for the $10 buy-in event two hours later. Tuesday's MTT schedule should look very similar to Monday's, though given the relative size of the prize pools, PokerStars management may decide to increase the guarantees. PokerStars PA Soft Launch Day 1 MTT Field and Prize Pool Sizes Game Buy-in Name Guarantee Entries Prize pool NLHE $5.00 NLHE Turbo -- 140 $637.00 NLHE $10.00 The Hot $10 Turbo $500 148 $1,346.80 PLO $5.00 PL Omaha -- 46 $209.30 NLHE $10.00 Progressive KO -- 166 $1,510.60 NLHE $3.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes -- 53 $144.69 NLHE $20.00 The Hot $20 Turbo $1,000 147 $2,675.40 NLHE $5.00 NLHE Turbo -- 149 $677.95 PLO $10.00 PL Omaha -- 45 $409.50 NLHE $3.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes -- 59 $161.07 NLHE $20.00 Moonlight Express - Early Edition Hyper $1,000 173 $3,252.40 NLHE $3.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes Turbo -- 106 $289.38 NLHE $10.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes Turbo -- 13 $991.90  
  11. Two years and five days after Governor Tom Wolf made online poker legal in Pennsylvania (along with sports betting and casino), the first-ever online multi-table tournament in state history wrapped up in a somewhat anti-climatic fashion. 'SugarDaddyPA' and 'Stonks_Are_Up' agreed to a deal that saw each player turn their $5 buy-in into at least $110.88. In the end, 'SugarDaddyPA' outlasted the 140-entry field to win $121.67 while 'Stonks_Are_Up' wound up pocketing $110.88 as the runner-up. The two agreed to the deal just after 'LuckyIrishMan1' busted in third place, earning the scheduled $74.99 payout. At the time the players agreed to a deal, 'SugarDaddyPA' held a nearly 2-1 chip lead. The $5 buy-in event had a Turbo structure and drew 88 unique entries plus an additional 52 re-entries. A total of 23 players cashed. Team PokerStars Ambassador Jennifer Shahade managed to sneak into the money, finishing 14th for $10.37. The tournament was one of 12 scheduled for the first day of the PokerStars PA soft launch and took almost 90 minutes to complete. Final Table Payouts SugarDaddyPA - $121.67* Stonks_Are_Up - $110.88* LuckyIrishMan1 - $74.99 slipgrip88 - $56.38 MrMajic03 - $42.38 Diffusedsoul - $3.86 pokerchips8787 - $23.95 Anosmian Dream - $18.00 MutantBadger666 - $13.53
  12. Buckle up Pennsylvania, you're getting your own COOP. The Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) is coming to PokerStars PA later this month with a seven-figure guarantee. The inaugural PACOOP begins November 30 and runs through December 16 with 50 events and buy-ins ranging from $30 to $750 with $1,000,000 guaranteed across all events. The Main Event is a $300 buy-in two-day affair beginning on December 16 with a guarantee of $100,000. “The Championship of Online Poker, or COOP, is one of our most prestigious events and we’re proud to give Pennsylvania its own,” said Matt Primeaux, President, FOX Bet. “Players in PA have already shown their excitement for PokerStars so we took things to the next level with a $1 million series guarantee and plenty of ways to get in on the action.” While a majority of the schedule is No Limit Hold'em, there are five Pot Limit Omaha events, highlighted by the $500 PLO High Roller on December 9 that comes with a $20,000 guarantee. Mixed game aficionados will want to jump into the $300 Mixed Game event on December 6. That event carries a $15,000 guarantee. PokerStars PA launched earlier this month and continues to be the only PA online poker site. PokerStars Ambassador Jennifer Shahade, a Pennsylvania resident, is chomping at the bit to be able to play for a title in her home state. “I’m thrilled to see PokerStars’ COOP coming to Pennsylvania this December, giving PA players the chance to play in a world-renowned poker series and vie for titles," Shahade said. "Having online poker in Pennsylvania has been amazing so far. I felt chills playing my very first Sunday session, and there was such a buzz at the tables. I can't wait to see everyone battling to be the first PokerStars PA champion.” Players who deposit at least $50 using the PokerStars PA Promo Code 'PACOOP' before 1:59 on December 15 will be given entry to the Main Event Depositor Freeroll which is awarding 25 $300 seats to the PACOOP Main Event. There are also daily freerolls for players who get knocked out of WCOOP events before making the money. Each of these 16 freerolls will award $1,250 in satellite tickets and entries to PACOOP event tickets. The 2019 New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) wrapped up in late October with $1,000,000 guaranteed. While the Sunday Majors schedule in PA has been bigger than it's New Jersey counterpart, the PACOOP schedule comes in on the cautious side. The NJCOOP Main Event had an identical $300 buy-in and $100,000 guaranteed. 2019 PACOOP Schedule Event Name Date Time Buy-in Guarantee 1 $100 NL Hold'em [Nightly Stars - PACOOP Warm-Up] Nov-30 6:00 pm $100 $20,000 2 $200 NL Hold'em [Turbo - PACOOP Warm-Up] Nov-30 8:00 pm $200 $15,000 3 $100 NL Hold'em [Deepstack, 8-Max] Dec-01 1:00 pm $100 $15,000 4 $100 NL Hold'em [Big Antes] Dec-01 2:00 pm $100 $15,000 5 $150 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO] Dec-01 3:30 pm $150 $25,000 6 $200 NL Hold'em [Sunday Special SE] Dec-01 5:00 pm $200 $50,000 7 $100 PL Omaha [6-Max] Dec-01 7:00 pm $100 $10,000 8 $50 NL Hold'em [Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo] Dec-01 10:00 pm $50 $10,000 9 $50 NL Hold'em [Battle Royale SE Progressive KO] Dec-02 7:00 pm $50 $10,000 10 $75+R PL Omaha Hi/Lo [8-Max] Dec-02 8:00 pm $75 $10,000 11 $250 NL Hold'em [Super Tuesday SE] Dec-03 7:00 pm $250 $40,000 12 $30 NL Hold'em [Mini Super Tuesday] Dec-03 7:30 pm $30 $10,000 13 $150 NL Hold'em [Escalating Antes] Dec-03 8:00 pm $150 $20,000 14 $100 NL Holdem [DeepStack] Dec-04 7:00 pm $100 $20,000 15 $750 NL Hold'em [High-Roller, 6-Max] Dec-04 8:00 pm $750 $40,000 16 $150 NL Hold'Em Dec-04 9:00 pm $150 $12,000 17 $200 NL Hold'em [Thursday Thrill SE] Dec-05 7:00 pm $200 $25,000 18 $50+R NL Hold'em Dec-05 8:00 pm $50 $15,000 19 $100 NL Hold'em [BigStack Turbo] Dec-05 9:30 pm $100 $12,000 20 $300 Eight-Game [6-Max] Dec-06 7:30 pm $300 $15,000 21 $150 NL Hold'em [Turbo, 6-Max] Dec-06 9:30 pm $150 $12,000 22 $100 NL Hold'em [Deepstack, 8-Max] Dec-07 5:00 pm $100 $12,000 23 $150 NL Hold'em [Saturday Speedway SE] Dec-07 8:00 pm $150 $12,000 24 $100 NL Hold'em [Marathon] Dec-08 1:00 pm $100 $10,000 25 $100 PL Omaha [8-Max] Dec-08 2:00 pm $100 $10,000 26 $150 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Big Antes] Dec-08 3:30 pm $150 $20,000 27 $300 NL Hold'em [Sunday Special SE] Dec-08 5:00 pm $300 $55,000 28 $200 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO] Dec-08 7:00 pm $200 $30,000 29 $100 NL Hold'em [Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo] Dec-08 9:00 pm $100 $10,000 30 $300 NL Hold'em [4-Max] Dec-09 7:00 pm $300 $30,000 31 $500 PL Omaha [High-Roller, 6-max] Dec-09 8:00 pm $500 $20,000 32 $200 NL Hold'em [Super Tuesday SE] Dec-10 7:00 pm $200 $40,000 33 $100 No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo [8-Max] Dec-10 8:00 pm $100 $8,000 34 $30+R NL Holdem [6-Max] Dec-11 7:00 pm $30 $10,000 35 $200 NL Hold'em Dec-11 8:00 pm $200 $20,000 36 $100 Stud Hi/Lo Dec-11 9:00 pm $100 $8,000 37 $250 NL Hold'em [Thursday Thrill SE] Dec-12 7:00 pm $250 $30,000 38 $150 NL Hold'em [Turbo] Dec-12 9:00 pm $150 $15,000 39 $200 FL Holdem [6-Max] Dec-13 7:00 pm $200 $10,000 40 $200 NL Hold'em [Deep, Hyper-Turbo] Dec-13 9:00 pm $200 $10,000 41 $300 NL Hold'em [6-Max] Dec-14 6:00 pm $300 $30,000 42 $75 NL Hold'em [Zoom] Dec-14 9:00 pm $75 $12,000 43 $100 NL Hold'em [Big Antes] Dec-15 2:00 pm $100 $12,000 44 $300 NL Holdem [Main Event, 2-Day Event] Dec-15 5:00 pm $300 $100,000 45 $50 NL Hold'em [Main Event Structure] Dec-15 6:00 pm $50 $20,000 46 $100 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO] Dec-15 8:00 pm $100 $15,000 47 $100 PL Omaha [6-Max] Dec-15 9:00 pm $100 $10,000 48 $75 NL Hold'em [Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo] Dec-15 10:00 pm $75 $10,000 49 $150 NL Hold'em [Nightly Stars SE - PACOOP Wrap-Up] Dec-16 7:00 pm $100 $20,000 50 $100 NL Hold'em [Deep, Hyper-Turbo, 6-Max] Dec-16 9:00 pm $150 $10,000
  13. If the opening day of the inaugural PokerStars Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker is any indication, the next two weeks could be massive for online poker players in Pennsylvania. The opening event of the 17-day PACOOP was a $100 buy-in event with a $20,000 guarantee. When registration closed, the guarantee had been left in the dust with 369 unique players creating a total of 546 entries. The final prize pool ended up at $50,122.80. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] 'TeamTess100' topped the field to win $8,850.86. Runner-up 'BUYMEDINN527' wound up earning $6,487.33. Third place finisher 'Unlucky Rabbit' won $4,755.20 for their finish. Last weeks' Sunday Special winner, 'TightisRight570' wound up in fourth place for $3,485.54 after being one of 17 players to fire four bullets. Team PokerStars Pro Jennifer Shahade finished 16th for a $396.26 score. PACOOP Event #1 - $100 Nightly Stars PACOOP Warm-Up NLHE 546 Total Entries (369 Unique Entries, 177 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $50,122.80 TeamTess100 - $8,850.86 BUYMEDINN527 - $6,487.33 Unlucky Rabbit - $4,755.20 TightIsRight570 - $3,485.54 soccerdad29 - $2,554.89 youngmoney915 - $1,872.73 OnlyHope541 - $1,372.70 Jmlorzy - $1,006.19 Mrs Hen69 - $737.53 The other event on Saturday's schedule also sailed past the guarantee. The 90 unique players that entered were enough to beat the $15,000 guarantee, but that group also managed 25 re-entries to push the total prize pool to $21,390. 'dbrinker' won the event outright to earn $4,898.98. Runner-up 'mcmullend17' took home $3,688.74 while 'anamlr' rounded out the podium finishers by finishing third for $2,777.51. Having already won each of the two biggest Sunday Majors on PokerStars PA, 'AllinWithAJoff' finished in fifth place for $1,574.74. PACOOP Event #2 - $200 PACOOP Warm-Up Turbo NLHE 115 Total Entries (90 Unique Entries, 25 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $21,390 dbrinker - $4,898.98 mcmullend17 - $3,688.74 anamlr - $2,777.51 cwsb33 - $2,091.38 AllinWithAJoff - $1,574.74 SQU0ZE - $1,185.73 body7571 - $892.82 HotEuroWife - $672.27 Lowlife1017 - $592.97 The Sunday PACOOP Schedule includes six events with a total of $125,000 guaranteed. Time Buy-In Event Guarantee 13:00 $100 Deepstack NLHE $15,000 14:00 $100 Big Antes NLHE $15,000 15:30 $150 Progressive KO NLHE $25,000 17:00 $200 Sunday Special SE NLHE $50,000 19:00 $100 Pot Limit Omaha $10,000 22:00 $50 Sunday Supersonic SE $10,000  
  14. The inaugural PokerStars Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker is just over a week away, and for the first time ever, online poker players in Pennsylvania will get the chance to go head-to-head over the course of 17 days. The schedule features 50 events and comes with exactly $1 million guaranteed. Players will have choices every day as to which tournaments they want to take a shot in, but PocketFives has identified the five must-play events. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Somebody Gets to Be the First Champ Things kick off on November 30 with Event #1, the $100 buy-in NLHE PACOOP Warm-Up, which replaces the regularly scheduled 'Nightly Stars' event. The $20,000 guarantee is 2.66 times higher than the normally scheduled Saturday nightly tournament. This event will need to draw 218 players if PokerStars is hoping to avoid an overlay (before fees). Along with having a shot at the seventh-largest guaranteed prize pool, winning this particular event means you'll forever get to call yourself the first-ever PACOOP Champ. The structure gives players a 10,000-chip starting stack and 10-minute levels, with antes kicking in from the beginning. Players can re-enter up to three times anytime in the first two hours and 50 minutes. Little Buy-in, Big Reward Event #12, the $30 buy-in NLHE Mini Super Tuesday, is a value-seekers dream. This is the lowest buy-in event on the schedule and comes with a $10,000 guarantee. It's likely going to have little trouble hitting that number as it runs 30 minutes after Event #11, the $250 Super Tuesday Special Edition, begins so you can count on a big prize pool for just $30. The levels are 10 minutes long and players get a 20,000 starting stack. There's a maximum of three re-entries available in the first 2.5 hours of play. Mixing It Up Most of the schedule is No Limit Hold'em - 41 events to be exact. So those who like other games might be hard-pressed to find some action. The one event that mixed game players can't afford to pass up is Event #20. It's a $300 buy-in 8-game mixed event with $15,000 guaranteed. The game rotation includes Limit Deuce-to-Seven, Limit Hold'em, Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, Limit Razz, Limit Stud, Limit Stud Hi-Lo, NLHE, and Pot Limit Omaha. Players get a 5,000-chip stack to start and the game changes every eight minutes. Players can re-enter up to a maximum of three times in the first three hours. Possible Overlay Alert If you're looking for a potential overlay to take advantage of, then you may want to brush up on how to play some No Limit Omaha Hi-Lo. Event #33 is a $100 buy-in No Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event with an $8,000 guarantee. It'll need 88 entries to meet that guarantee which might not be possible given that this will be the first NLO8 tournament in Pennsylvania history. The same event drew 71 runners during the 2019 New Jersey Championship of Online Poker. The event features a 10,000 starting stack and 10-minute levels and players can re-enter up to three times during the three-hour late registration window. This Is the Main Event The marquee event on any series schedule should always be the Main Event and PACOOP is no different. It has a $300 buy-in and the largest guaranteed prize pool of the series at $100,000. The NJCOOP Main Event had an identical buy-in, guarantee, and structure and drew 373 runners for a $104,440 total prize pool. There's a good chance a number of the top New Jersey online poker players make the drive into Pennsylvania to jump into this one. Players can re-enter up to five times during the 5.5-hour late registration window.
  15. The soft launch has come and gone, two sets of Sunday Majors have played out, the first major tournament series in the history of regulated online poker in Pennsylvania has been announced. And that's just the first two weeks in the life-cycle of the first regulated poker site in Pennsylvania history. PokerStars PA launched officially on November 6 after working through a two-day soft launch period required by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. While the soft launch was a necessary regulatory hurdle, for Matt Primeaux, President of FOX Bet/PokerStars USA, it offered an opportunity to get real-time feedback from players who haven't been able to play on PokerStars for over eight years. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] "Generally speaking we tend not to soft launch with our full product offering, as was the case in PA. Instead, this is rolled out gradually over the period. So, although we learn a huge amount from a technical perspective, the real lessons from our customers begin once we’ve received full regulatory approval and we’re up and running with all games, stakes, and titles," Primeaux said. "After that, the learning doesn’t stop. We’ll listen very closely to feedback, monitor play, and tweak things like formats, user journeys, structures and software features over time." In all likelihood, PokerStars PA will remain as the only choice for poker players in Pennsylvania through the end of the calendar year. Primeaux knows that being first is an opportunity to grab precious market share but also comes with some pressure to give a poker-thirsty market a top-shelf product right out of the gate. "We know how passionate Pennsylvania poker players are and being first-to-market allows us to feed their passion and set the tone for online poker in the state. We’ve watched the comments on social media and we’ve been asked plenty of questions online and even at live events. When it came to us soft launching, the numbers spoke for themselves. It’s amazing to work with that level of enthusiasm and to be able to live up to our reputation by being the first site to bring online poker to Pennsylvania." The launch of PokerStars PA had a vastly different feeling to it than the launch in New Jersey where six other sites were already operational before PokerStars NJ went live. That presented a set of challenges that were new for Primeaux and the US-based team. "When we arrived in New Jersey with PokerStarsNJ.com we had months of online poker data and observations from other operations to draw upon and use to inform our offer," Primeaux said. "So we had a head-start knowing which games and formats players preferred. For Pennsylvania, it’s a new set of fun challenges that we are tackling as we monitor player behaviour to serve a massive, engaged and avid fan base." With a population of 12.8 million, there are more people living in Pennsylvania than there are in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware - the three states combined their player pools to increase liquidity - have combined. Despite the fact that Pennsylvania and New Jersey share a border, the two states remain in separate player pools, largely because of the delayed opinion on the newest interpretation of the Wire Act, but Primeaux remains hopeful they can convince the necessary parties to combine into one player pool "We have shared our views regarding the benefits of shared liquidity with various levels of government in Pennsylvania and those conversations are ongoing," Primeaux said. Gaming, whether or online or land-based, continues to be an issue for each state to deal with as their lawmakers see fit. Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang recently made it a point to bring up the possible benefits of offering federal legislation for online poker and allow states to opt-in to one larger network. Primeaux is cautious about not wanting to put support behind any one politician or party and would rather focus on furthering the process of educating regulators at all levels about the various benefits widespread regulation would bring. "We support the regulation of online gaming, including licensing and taxation regimes and pooled poker liquidity, which we believe will promote sustainable online gaming markets that are beneficial for consumers, governments and the citizens of the regulating jurisdiction, operators and the gaming industry as a whole," Primeaux said.
  16. The PokerStars Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker continues to produce big fields and prize pools well past the guarantee and as the Day 2 events all soared past their guarantees, a number of players are beginning to emerge as consistent threats. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] The first event on Sunday's PACOOP schedule was Event #3 ($100 Deepstack Eight Max) that drew 377 total entries to produce a $34,608.60 prize pool on a $15,000 guarantee. 'HeavyLizard' topped that field to win $6,297.59 while runner-up 'suicidezekke' had to settle for $4,659.11. Third place finisher 'Jobrashin55' earned $3,447.02. Aubrey 'RiverMeDaddy' Williams finished fifth for $1,886.80. PACOOP Event #3 - $100 NLHE Deepstack Eight Max 377 Total Entries (284 Unique Entries, 93 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $34,608.60 HeavyLizard - $6,297.59 suicidezekke - $4,659.11 Jobrashin55 - $3,447.02 u_bet_i_raise86 - $2,550.26 RiverMeDaddy - $1,886.80 SILVERBACK412 - $1,395.94 garlicfrmer - $1,032.78 Allin1out - $764.10 18th_&_JFK - $637.50 When Democratic presidential nominee hopeful Andrew Yang came out in favor of online poker regulation, the poker world took notice. One Pennsylvania player went as far as to use it as inspiration for his screenname. Barrett 'AndrewYang2020' Lipkin took down Event #4 ($100 NLHE Big Antes) for a $3,646.44 score on Sunday. Second-place finisher '$tacksMcgee' picked up $2,781.91 while 'FrosytheProsty' earned $2,122.47 for coming in third. The event had 202 total entries to create a prize pool of $18,543.60 against a $15,000 guarantee. PACOOP Event #4 - $100 NLHE Big Antes 202 Total Entries (130 Unique Entries, 72 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $18,543.60 AndrewYang2020 - $3,646.44 $tacksMcgee - $2,781.91 FrosyTheProsty - $2,122.47 AshyL4rry22 - $1,619.34 dpoole7171 - $1,235.48 cpagold17 - $942.61 AllinWithAJoff - $719.17 iamafarmer - $548.69 pigsoverus - $418.63 'MrMonkeyJones' wasn't monkeying around on his way to victory in Event #5 ($150 NLHE PKO) as he picked up $4,195.09 for outlasting the 276 other entries and scooped an additional $3,931.03 in bounties. The last bounty he picked up, 'fubadbeatbob', earned $3,145.77 as the runner-up and had $1,549.54 in bounties of his own. Third-place finisher 'buzzsaw2357' wound up taking home $2,358.99 from the prize pool and just $116.18 in bounties. PACOOP Event #5 - $150 NLHE Progressive KO 277 Total Entries (204 Unique Entries, 73 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $38,142.90 MrMonkeyJones - $4,195.09 + $3,931.03 in bounties fubadbeatbob - $3,145.77 + $1,549.54 in bounties buzzsaw2357 - $2,358.99 + $116.18 in bounties AFrequent ? - $1,768.99 + $1,112.33 in bounties whatsluck7 - $1,326.56 + $715.38 in bounties spechuul - $994.78 + $290.44 in bounties mcmullend17 - $745.97 + $0 in bounties 22EPL - $559.40 + $778.84 in bounties Brikdog2424 - $419.49 + $223.77 in bounties The marquee event on Sunday's schedule each week is the Sunday Special. Normally a $40,000 guarantee, PACOOP pushed that guarantee to $50,000 for the first week and it had little trouble delivering. There were 247 unique entries and 94 total re-entries to create a $ 63,426 prize pool. 'JustBlaze324' outlasted all of them to pick up $11,817.73 - the biggest score in PokerStars PA's brief history - for the win. Runner-up 'BJLUD76' earned $8,682.20 while 'LemonCake122' rounded out the podium finishers and earned $6,378.74. 'ToddLaxmen', the first player to sit in the high stakes cash games on launch day, finished in sixth for $2,529.58 while Aubrey 'RiverMeDaddy' Williams picked up her second final table appearance of the day, finishing ninth for $1,365.40. PACOOP Event #6 - $200 Sunday Special SE NLHE 341 Total Entries (247 Unique Entries, 94 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $63,426 JustBlaze324 - $11,817.73 BJLUD76 - $8,682.20 LemonCake122 - $6,378.74 CleggsOnGG - $4,686.40 ChrundleTheGr8 - $3,443.06 ToddLaxmen - $2,529.58 bonezy1310 - $1,858.46 Clementine101 - $1,365.40 RiverMeDaddy - $1,003.14 The only non-Hold'em game on Sunday's slate, Event #7 ($100 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha) had 182 total entries from 131 unique players to create a $16,707.60 prize pool on a $10,000 guarantee. 'GetRoman' defeated Lipkin heads-up to earn $3,332.52 and deny 'AndrewYang2020' a second win on the day. Lipkin wound up with $2,540.88 while 'youngmoney915' added $1,937.25 to his bankroll for a third-place result. PACOOP Event #7 - $100 Pot Limit Omaha Six Max 182 Total Entries (131 Unique Entries, 51 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $16,707.60 GetRoman - $3,332.52 AndrewYang2020 - $2,540.88 youngmoney915 - $1,937.25 GrandMasterB22 - $1,477.19 Run1tUp12 - $1,126.32 JonaCaron215 - $858.79 The traditional Sunday Supersonic has had trouble meeting the guarantee since PokerStars PA launched. This Sunday was different. The event drew 300 entries for a $13,650 prize pool, beating the $10,000 guarantee. 'LongSpur207' topped that field for the PACOOP title and $2,570.70. Runner-up 'GretschBrooklyn' pocketed $1,910.45 and third-place finisher 'Mr. Robter' earned $1,419.89. PACOOP Event #8 - $50 Sunday Supersonic SE Hyper-Turbo 300 Total Entries (226 Unique Entries, 74 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $13,650 LongSpur207 - $2,570.70 GretschBrooklyn - $1,910.45 Mr. Robter - $1,419.89 Jimb0n3PA - $1,055.29 Allin1out - $784.31 JimTMCL - $582.92 cowboydollars- $433.23 DDunhamAll - $321.99 Dyksa21 - $239.31 PACOOP Day 3 Schedule Time Buy-In Event Guarantee 7:00 pm $50 Battle Royale SE (NLHE) $10,000 8:00 pm $75 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Eight Max $10,000  
  17. It seems that Pennsylvania might have been a popular destination for people going to see family for Thanksgiving week and the Sunday Majors. Numbers across four of the five big events at PokerStars PA were up in a big, big way. The $30 Sunday Warm-Up drew 441 entries with, up from the 369 entries a week ago. 'Jesushadgr8abs' topped the field to win $2,167.50 while '74114' earned $1,588.70 as the runner-up. 'PotCommitted186' finished third for $1,164.51. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] The $10 Sunday Storm went from 622 runners last week to 651 this week. Just like last week, this week's Storm also ended in a chop. 'BMiller11' finished first and took home $811.96 while 'timmy72089' actually earned the lion's share thanks to the deal. He won $927.94 for finishing second. Third place finisher 'hbekanich' earned the scheduled $497.64. The marquee event on the schedule, the $100 Sunday Special, drew 596 entries pushing the prize pool to $54,712.80 - well past the $40,000 guarantee. 'TightIsRight570' walked away with $9,643.95 as the outright winner. Runner-up 'Check 4 U695' earned $6,998.41 while 'TeamVillage' rounded out the podium finishers, earning $5,078.74 for finishing in third place. A familiar face topped the 85-entry field in the $250 Sunday High Roller. One week after winning the Sunday Special, 'AllinWithAJoff' won $4,762.18 for shipping the SHR. 'RiverMeDaddy' won $3,520 for finishing runner-up and 'lilholdem952', who was runner-up in the Sunday Special last week, earned $2,601.90 for finishing third. This event enjoyed the most significant bump, going from 57 entries to 85. The only event that didn't meet the guarantee was once again the $50 Sunday Supersonic. The 92-player field was one runner bigger than last week's but still fell $676 short of the $5,000 guarantee (before fees). 'Aquatin' made his way through the 91 other players and won $1,187.48. A second runner-up finish for '74114' earned that player $873.16. Third-place finisher 'anamlr' pocketed $642.07. PokerStars PA $30 Sunday Warm-Up 301 entries, 140 re-entries, $12,039.30 prize pool Jesushadgr8abs - $2,167.60 74114 - $1,588.70 PotCommitted186 - $1,164.51 nothingbutVvSs - $853.58 SMhawks06 - $625.67 kswartzl - $458.61 HodorHodorHodor - $336.61 YourPokerPastor - $246.40 mrsomeone12 - $180.61 PokerStars PA Sunday $10 Storm Six Max 452 entries, 199 re-entries, $5,924.10 prize pool BMiller11 - $811.96* timmy72089 - $927.94* hbekanich - $497.64 Killerbaby1329 - $346.74 ChrundleTheGr8 - $241.60 bimpliskit - $168.34 PokerStars PA Sunday $100 Sunday Special 428 entries, 168 re-entries, $54,712.80 prize pool TightIsRight570 - $9,643.95 Check 4 U695 - $6,998.41 TeamVillage - $5,078.74 BrianTangg - $3,685.64 Great Daneo - $2,674.67 GOODVibrationz - $1,941.00 uwillmiss - $1,408.59 roustifer - $1,022.21 Yakkub - $741.82 PokerStars PA Sunday $250 Sunday High Roller 56 entries, 29 re-entries, $19,805 prize pool AllinWithAJoff - $4,762.18 RiverMeDaddy - $3,520.00 lilholdem952 - $2,601.90 Di@naPrince - $1,923.25 TeamVillage - $1,421.62 MarcZumoff - $1,050.82 PokerStars PA Sunday $50 Sunday Supersonic 73 entries, 19 re-entries, $5,000 prize pool Aquatin - $1,187.48 74114 - $873.16 anamlr - $642.07 22EPL - $472.14 Phishfan717 - $347.19 T DUMO - $255.30 Anosmian Dreams - $187.73 24COB24 - $164.48 mbalasa - $144.11
  18. PokerStars PA wasted zero time in bringing excitement to the online poker scene in Pennsylvania. Less than two weeks after launching in the Keystone State, the online poker goliath announced that Pennsylvania would be getting its own $1 million guaranteed Championship of Online Poker. The first-ever PACOOP kicks off next week, running from November 30 through December 16. For over two weeks, online grinders will battle over a schedule that features 50 events with buy-ins ranging from $30 up to $750. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] In a bid to attract poker players from across the state, the schedule offers tournaments that cater to bankrolls of every size. However, for those players who are still riding high on the return of online poker and are planning on firing in every event, some serious bankroll management may be necessary as the total buy-ins for all 50 events are just north of $8,000. Satellites For Everyone Luckily, whether you plan on a series-long grind or simply taking a shot in just a couple of events, the PACOOP schedule has plenty of satellite options to help you get into tournaments for the bare minimum. The PokerStars satellite system is plentiful and easy to navigate. Simply launch the PokerStars PA client and select the new PACOOP tab. From there you will see the Events tab on the left, which lists every event and buy-in for the entire series. The Satellites tab is on the right. Once you look inside the Satellites lobby you’ll be presented with an abundance of options for playing your way into the event of your choosing. Another easy way of finding a satellite that fits your schedule is to simply click on the lobby of the event you want to play. Right inside the tournament lobby you can see, and click-thru to, all of the satellites offered of the event. Take for example the satellite options for PACOOP Event #1 ($100 NLHE Nightly Stars Warm Up $20K GTD). At the time of this writing, there are nine total announced satellites. The majority of satellites for Event #1feature a buy-in of just $10 and when all is said and done, no fewer than 25 seats will be guaranteed. If you don’t want to plan too far in advance, each event also features Deadline Satellites. A Deadline Satellite is a turbo or hyper tournament played out just before the featured event. It will end right as the featured event is getting started so should you win a seat, you’ll jump right into the event you were targeting. Main Event Mania One of the must-play events of the series is the $300 buy-in Main Event. With $100,000 guaranteed, it will be the biggest tournament held in Pennsylvania to date and PokerStars is offering up non-stop satellites to help shot-takers of every levels win a seat. Every night, PokerStars is holding at least one event where a seat to the Main Event is guaranteed. Buy-ins for the nightly satellite hover in the $25-$30 range. They are also offering $10 super satellites that give 1 in 5 players a ticket to a $50 Main Event satellite. As the event draws closer, more $50 satellites kick in, each guaranteeing 5 seats. In total, the currently available satellites promise no fewer than 95 seats guaranteed. In addition to the regularly running tournaments, a pair of Main Event Sit & Go’s are consistently available should they fill up. The first is a $107 Six Max Sit & Go that awards two seats. The second is a sixteen player $40 Four Max Sit & Go that also awards two seats to the Main Event. Freeroll The Main There’s one more way to pick up a seat to the Main Event and it doesn’t cost a thing. The PACOOP Main Event Depositor Freeroll is a $7,500 tournament that will give away 25 seats to the Main Event to players who make a deposit of $50 or more on the site using the code ‘PACOOP’ before 1:59pm ET on December 15. For a complete schedule of event for the 2019 PokerStars PACOOP, click here.
  19. Just weeks after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill that legalized online gaming - including online poker - one of the world's leading online poker operators has announced a partnership with a local tribe. The Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars and FOXBet, announced an agreement with Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority that gives it "first skin market access to operate and brand real-money online betting, poker, and casino" to Michiganders. This makes PokerStars the first online poker operator to announce a partner in Michigan since the bill was signed. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] PokerStars still needs regulatory approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board before launching. “We are excited to announce this agreement with the Odawa tribe, which further strengthens our market access as we work to continue to build our FOX Bet business into one of the leaders in the emerging U.S. online betting and gaming market,” said Robin Chhabra, Chief Executive Officer, FOX Bet. The agreement also allows The Stars Group to offer sports betting and casino games. “The Tribe’s partnership with The Stars Group extends beyond our reservation and places the thrill of world-class sports betting and online gaming under every finger-tip sliding across a touch screen in the State of Michigan,” said Fred Harrington Jr., Tribal Council, LTBB Odawa. PokerStars currently operates two sites in the United States. In New Jersey, PokerStars NJ launched in March 2016 in partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel. In November 2019, PokerStars PA launched in Pennsylvania in partnership with Mt. Airy Casino. The two sites do not share traffic with each other and there is no indication that either site will share liquidity with Michigan. LTBB Odawa currently operates the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey and the Odawa Casino Mackinaw in Mackinaw City. The Petoskey location includes a poker room with six tables while the Mackinaw venue has no poker room or table games whatsoever. As part of this partnership, LTBB Odawa will receive a share of the revenue generated by PokerStars and FOXBet products in the state.
  20. As we move into 2020, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of 2019. December saw one of the largest online poker tournaments ever, a new state regulating online poker, and Pennsylvania players getting their first taste of COOP action. MILLIONS Online Chopped Up Again For the second year in a row, the partypoker MILLIONS Online was chopped up by the final two players. This time, 'frenchsniperrr’ and ‘Lucio’ each ended up with a $2.2 million score. The official winner, ‘frenchsniperrr’, banked $2,259,113.58 for first place while ‘Lucio’ took $2,222,511.43 as the runner-up. After Day 1A finished, all eyes were on 'jiggidyjigjohn', who finished with the chip lead. A partypoker promotion offered the Day 1A chip leader a $1 million bonus if they went on to win the event. Unfortunately for 'jiggidyjigjohn', they had to settle for a 42nd place finish for $52,725. The event drew 2,109 runners to build a total prize pool of $21,090,000 to beat the guarantee and make it the second-largest online poker tournament prize pool of all time behind only the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online event. The buy-in for the 2019 event was bumped up from $5,300 to $10,300 - one of a handful of things that PocketFives Editor in Chief Lance Bradley believes need to be changed for the 2020 event in an effort to break the record for largest online poker tournament ever. Alex Foxen Wins WPT Five Diamond to Clinch GPI POY Alex Foxen captured the 2018 GPI Player of the Year title and spent all of 2019 doing his best to defend it. He ended up doing just that in dramatic fashion. Foxen captured the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic for $1.694 million and more than enough points to lock up a second consecutive poker GPI POY title. The unlimited re-entry event drew 1,035 runners to break the record for largest Five Diamond ever. “It feels, I don’t know… surreal,” Foxen said in the moments following the win. “It’s kind of hard to put into words, but it feels amazing. The last time I got to this spot, I was a little bit disappointed in the way that I played heads up. It’s just incredible to get the opportunity again and be fortunate enough to pull out the win. I don’t have words.” Runner-up Toby Joyce collected $1,120,040 for his efforts. This was the fourth consecutive year that the Five Diamond field saw an increase. Season XV had 791 entries, Season XVI had 812, and Season XVII last year had 1,001. Pennsylvania Online Poker Players Enjoy First Big Series Just weeks after the launch of online poker in Pennsylvania, Keystone State grinders got their first taste of what a big online series was like. The inaugural PokerStars Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker actually kicked off in late November, but most of the events took place in December and PokerStars executives had to be happy with the overall turnout. PokerStars actually bumped up the overall guarantees for the series twice. First on December 2, going from $1 million to $1.125 million, and then again on December 4, with another $125,000 being added to the prize pools. The Main Event was won by 'Gyeao' for $31,335.64. The event had a $150,000 guarantee but the 640 entries in the $300 buy-in event helped the prize pool balloon to $179,200. PACOOP was the first time that some of the best online poker players in the state got a chance to show their mettle. Six players, lead by 'Gyea0', managed to earn more than $20,000 over the course of the entire series. Michigan Legalizes Online Poker - For Real In late 2018, online poker players in Michigan were excited and then heartbroken when the Michigan legislature passed a bill to legalize online poker only to have then-Governor Rick Snyder veto the bill out of spite just days before leaving office. It took nearly 12 months, but another bill was passed on December 10 and then signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on December 28. This made Michigan the sixth state to pass online poker legislation, joining Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
  21. The inaugural Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker may have helped establish PokerStars in Pennsylvania, but thanks to strong consistent results over the course of the 50-tournament schedule, it also helped establish some newfound poker stars in Pennsylvania. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] 'NeolithicFarmer' Dominates PACOOP PLB Leaderboard While PocketFives isn't yet able to track all PokerStars PA results, we were able to put together a PACOOP Leaderboard based on the PocketFives Rankings Formula. The name at the top of the leaderboard will not be a surprise to anybody that followed the daily PACOOP recaps on PocketFives.com. 'NeolithicFarmer' cashed 17 times, including wins in Event #25 ($100 Pot Limit Omaha) and Event #30 ($300 No Limit Hold’em Four Max), to pick up 958.78 PLB points and top the leaderboard by a wide margin. The next biggest total was nearly 100 points behind. 'fubadbeatbob' also had two wins, Event #15 ($750 High Roller) and Event #50 ($100 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Deep Hyper-Turbo), to finish with 860.04 PLB points. Third place went to 'CleggsOnGG', who managed to accumulate 805.09 points despite never picking up a victory. PACOOP POCKETFIVES LEADERBOARD RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 NeolithicFarmer 958.78 2 fubadbeatbob 860.04 3 CleggsOnGG 805.09 4 mcmullend17 714.29 5 AllinWithAJoff 705.01 6 luap215 702.11 7 wolfofbrdst 643.28 8 Allin1out 597.36 9 A Frequent ? 582.37 10 MrMonkeyJones 566.47   Main Event Champ Headlines PACOOP Earnings List It should come as no surprise to anybody that the winner of the Main Event topped the PACOOP earnings flist. 'Gyea08' took down the 640-played, $300 buy-in Main Event for $31,335.64 - the single highest cash in PokerStars PA history. That cash alone was enough to put them on top of the PACOOP earnings list, but they also managed to cash two other times in earlier events to bring their total winnings to $32,042.64. No other player even came close to cracking the $30,000 mark. It's also not a surprise to see 'NeolithicFarmer' near the top of this list. Their $26,577.02 in winnings was the second-highest total for any player in the Keystone State. An impressive $10,228.10 came from their two victories. Right behind 'NeolithicFarmer' was another two-time champ. 'fubadbeatbob' picked up $13,334.40 from their win in Event #15 ($750 Six Max High Roller) and then added an additional $11,935.10 from a dozen other cashes, including a victory in Event #50 ($100 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Deep Hyper-Turbo). Just 30 players managed to cash for at least $10,000 over the 50-event series and only six of them reached the $20,000 mark. PACOOP EARNINGS LEADERS RANK PLAYER EARNINGS 1 Gyea08 $32,042.64 2 NeolithicFarmer $26,577.02 3 fubadbeatbob $25,269.50 4 Clementine101 $24,183.87 5 lilholdem952 $23,652.64 6 king12929 $20,465.69 7 CleggsOnGG $19,586.24 8 luap215 $17,700.40 9 MrMonkeyJones $17,683.54 10 soccerdad29 $17,163.26   'CleggsOnGG' Leads List of PACOOP Cashers Nobody finished in-the-money more often than 'CleggsOnGG'. Picking up 18 cashes over the course of the series, 'CleggsOnGG' beat 'NeolithicFarmer' by just a single cash. Those 18 cashes earned the online poker player $19,586.24. Coming in third on the total cashes leaderboard was 'mcmullend17' with 15. 'Allin1out' had 14 and then four players tied for the #5 spot with 13 in-the-money finishes. PACOOP CASHES LEADERS RANK PLAYER CASHES 1 CleggsOnGG 18 2 NeolithicFarmer 17 3 mcmullend17 15 4 Allin1out 14 5 fubadbeatbob 13 5 AllinWithAJoff 13 5 BDGEJLM 13 5 22EPL 13 9 RiverMeDaddy 12 10 luap215 11 10 wolfofbrdst 11 10 LemonCake122 11   PACOOP Odds & Ends Five players were able to win two tournaments each. Joining 'NeolithicFarmer' and 'fubadbeatbob' in the two-time champion club were 'HeavyLizard' (Events #3 and #13), 'wolfofbrdst' (Event #13 and #33) and 'RevoltingBlob12', who had the rare feat of winning back to events (Events #36 and #37). Two players put together streaks over cashing in four consecutive events. 'KnightsofNight' did it events #43 thru #46. They narrowly missed out on six straight cashes, having found the money in Event #41 before finishing just 11 spots out of the money in Event #42. 'EPL22' also had a four cash streak after finishing in-the-money in events #12 - #15. There were 16 players who had streaks of three.
  22. After seeing players win a second PokerStars Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker title on both Monday and Tuesday, the Wednesday slate featured three Pennsylvania players working their way into the winner's circle for the first time. 'ArdentCensor' Wins Big in Small Buy-in Event The smallest buy-in event on the 2019 PACOOP schedule, Event #34 ($30 Six Max NLHE w/rebuys) had 334 players who fired 389 rebuys and another 94 add-ons to blow past the $15,000 guarantee and build a $22,304.10 prize pool. 'ArdentCensor' outlasted everybody and their rebuys to win the event and earn $4,185.57. 'luap215' continued their strong PACOOP with a runner-up finish for $3,016.05. That makes nine cashes for 'luap215' including a runner-up finish in Event #18 and a win in Event #26. Third place finisher 'kswartzl' won $2,173.41. PACOOP Event #34 – $30 Six Max NLHE w/rebuys 334 Total Entries (334 Unique Entries, 389 Re-buys, 94 Add-ons) Prize Pool: $22,304.10 ArdentCensor - $4,185.57 luap215 - $3,016.05 kswartzl - $2,173.41 BDGEJLM - $1,566.19 Bummluck47 - $1,128.62 SCORPI0N WINS - $813.30 [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] 'Boomer24709' Ok in Defeat of 'MoscowMueller' The biggest prize pool from Wednesday's schedule came from Event #35 ($200 No Limit Hold'em as 173 entries built up a $32,178 prize pool, well past the $25,000 guarantee. 'Boomer24709' picked up $6,478.78 and the title after beating 'MoscowMueller' heads up. 'MoscowMueller' had to settle for the runner-up score of $4,937.68. 'CleggsOnGG' finished third for their 13th cash of the series. PACOOP Event #35 – $200 No Limit Hold'em 173 Total Entries (114 Unique Entries, 59 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $32,178 Boomer24709 - $6,478.78 MoscowMueller - $4,937.68 CleggsOnGG - $3,763.25 iamafarmer - $2,868.16 Turniptruck39 - $2,185.98 TheOGLifecooler - $1,666.04 StraightButter - $1,269.77 Jexbananer - $967.76 JKimSr - $737.58 'RevoltingBlob12' Takes Home Stud Hi-Lo Title While most of the schedule is No Limit Hold'em, there is a sprinkling of other games and Wednesday's schedule included the only Seven Card Stud tournament of the series and it was the Hi-Lo variety. 'RevoltingBlob12' topped the 111-entry field to win $2,496.57. Runner-up 'tommyh1022' earned $1,732.26. Aubrey 'RiverMeDaddy' Williams finished third for $1,324.67. PACOOP Event #36 – $100 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 111 Total Entries (81 Unique Entries, 30 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $10,189.80 RevoltingBlob12 - $2,496.57 tommyh1022 - $1,732.26 RiverMeDaddy - $1,324.67 jETHROE bODINE - $917.08 HeavyLizard - $662.33 Kozielectricity - $509.49 idafoldbitch - $407.59 PrisoneMike73 - $305.69 PACOOP Day 13 Schedule Event # Time Buy-In Event Guarantee 37 7:00 pm $250 Thursday Thrill Special Edition $35,000 38 9:00 pm $150 No Limit Hold'em Turbo $20,000
  23. While a lot of people might have been had their attention on the college football Conference Championships on Saturday, some of the best online poker players in Pennsylvania were chasing a championship of their own. Day 8 of the PokerStars Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker featured two events, both No Limit Hold'em, with over $50,000 in prize money. ChasingDonkeys Chops Deepstack The final two players of Event #22 ($100 Deepstack NLHE) decided to chop up over $12,000 in prize money after outlasting 415 other entries. 'ChasingDonkeys' took home $6,343.72 and the title after beating 'MrChillibin' heads-up. Runner-up status earned 'MrChillibin' $5,593.72 while 'NeillyAA74' banked $3,472.28 as the third-place finisher. PACOOP Event #22 – $100 Deepstack No Limit Hold'em 417 Total Entries (281 Unique Entries, 136 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $38,280.60 ChasingDonkeys - $6,343.72* MrChillibin - $5,593.72* NeillyAA74 - $3,472.28 CleggsOnGG - $2,762.50 tyfense6 - $2,039.24 Davethetyrant - $1,505.34 The168 - $1,111.22 GimmyTheLoot1 - $820.29 IMadeAWheel - $676.29 'An0ldLady' Flies Down Speedway While the first event on the day had little trouble hitting the guarantee, the second event just squeaked past the posted number. The $150 Saturday Speedway drew 113 total entries to create a $15,560.10 prize pool, just past the $15,000 guarantee. 'An0ldLady' beat everybody to win $3,563.78 and their first PACOOP title. Runner-up 'johnyewest37' picked up $2,683.36 and 'AllinWithAJoff' posted another strong result, coming in third-place for #$2,020.49. PACOOP Event #23 – $150 Saturday Speedway 113 Total Entries (86 Unique Entries, 27 Re-entries) Prize Pool: $15,560.10 An0ldLady - $3,563.78 johnyewest37 - $2,683.36 AllinWithAJoff - $2,020.49 kjdoyle03 - $1,521.37 mcmullend17 - $1,145.54 luap215 - $862.56 BDGEJLM - $649.48 ohhhhJAYbird - $489.04 LemonCake122 - $431.36 PACOOP Day 9 Schedule Event # Time Buy-In Event Guarantee 24 1:00 pm $100 Marathon NLHE $30,000 26 3:30 pm $150 Big Antes NLHE $30,000 28 7:00 pm $200 No Limit Hold'em PKO $35,000  
  24. Just a day after increasing prize pool guarantees for the ongoing Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker by $125,000, PokerStars PA went ahead and added even more guaranteed money to the series. Twenty-one events saw a bump in the prize pool guarantee. Some of those events had already undergone a guarantee increase, while others were seeing a boost for the first time. All told, an additional $100,000 was added across the events, bringing the total guarantees on the first-ever PACOOP to $1.225 million. The $300 buy-in PokerStars PACOOP Main Event did not see a second prize pool guarantee bump, although the guarantee was raised from $100,000 to $125,000 on the first round of enhancements. But, five other events on the day the PACOOP Main Event kicks off, December 15, saw their prize pool guarantees grow. Event #43 ($100 NL Hold’em Big Antes) went from $15,000 to $20,000, Event #45 ($50 NLHE - Main Event Structure) went from $25,000 to $35,000, Event #46 ($100 NLHE Progressive KO) went from $20,000 to $25,000, and Event #47 ($100 Six Max PLO) and Event #48 ($75 Sunday SuperSonic SE) both went from $10,000 to $12,000 on this latest round of increases. The largest increases on this latest round came in the form of three $10,000 bumps. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Online poker players in Pennsylvania can start taking advantage of these new guarantees beginning on Wednesday, December 4, with Event #16 ($150 NL Hold’em). The guaranteed prize pool for that tournament was bumped by $3,000, going from $12,000 to $15,000. Event #17 ($200 Thursday Thrill SE) went from $30,000 to $40,000 after originally going from $25,000 to $30,000. Event #22 ($100 Deepstack Eight Max NLHE) was pushed up to $30,000 from $20,000 after it was originally scheduled with a $12,000 guarantee. Event #45 ($50 NLHE Hold’em - Main Event Structure) first had a guarantee of $20,000 and it was bumped to $25,000 on Tuesday and now to $35,000. Below are the events that saw their prize pool guarantee increased with Wednesday's announcement. Event # Date Buy-in Tournament Previous New Difference 16 December 4 $150 NL Hold’em $12,000 $15,000 +$3,000 17 December 5 $200 NL Hold’em [Thursday Thrill SE] $30,000 $40,000 +$10,000 18 December 5 $50 NL Hold’em $15,000 $20,000 +$5,000 22 December 7 $100 NL Hold’em [Deepstack, 8-Max] $20,000 $30,000 +$10,000 24 December 8 $100 NL Hold’em [Marathon] $25,000 $30,000 +$5,000 25 December 8 $100 PL Omaha [8-Max] $10,000 $12,000 +$2,000 26 December 8 $150 NL Hold’em [6-Max, Big Antes] $25,000 $30,000 +$5,000 31 December 9 $500 PL Omaha [High-Roller, 6-max] $20,000 $25,000 +$5,000 33 December 10 $100 No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo [8-Max] $8,000 $10,000 +$2,000 34 December 11 $30 NL Hold'em [6-Max] $10,000 $15,000 +$5,000 35 December 11 $200 NL Hold’em $20,000 $25,000 +$5,000 36 December 11 $100 Stud Hi/Lo $8,000 $10,000 +$2,000 37 December 12 $250 NL Hold’em [Thursday Thrill SE] $30,000 $35,000 +$5,000 39 December 13 $200 FL Hold'em [6-Max] $10,000 $12,000 +$2,000 40 December 13 $200 NL Hold’em [Deep, Hyper-Turbo] $10,000 $15,000 +$5,000 43 December 15 $100 NL Hold’em [Big Antes] $15,000 $20,000 +$5,000 45 December 15 $50 NL Hold’em [Main Event Structure] $25,000 $35,000 +$10,000 46 December 15 $100 NL Hold’em [Progressive KO] $20,000 $25,000 +$5,000 47 December 16 $100 PL Omaha [6-Max] $10,000 $12,000 +$2,000 48 December 16 $75 NL Hold’em [Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo] $10,000 $12,000 +$2,000 50 December 16 $100 NL Hold’em [Deep, Hyper-Turbo, 6-Max] $10,000 $15,000 +$5,000 Entering Wednesday, December 4, 13 events on the 2019 PokerStars PACOOP schedule had been completed. Of those 13, 12 had very easily surpassed the guaranteed prize pool amount. The only event to fall short of the guarantee was Tuesday's Event #13 ($150 Escalating Antes NLHE). That event had a $20,000 guarantee and needed 146 entries to get there. It ultimately fell 14 entries short, so while it missed the guarantee, it wasn't a massive way off. Below is a look at how the PACOOP events have performed to date. Event # Date Buy-in Tournament Guarantee Prize Pool 1 November 30 $100 Nightly Stars PACOOP Warm-Up $20,000 $50,122.80 2 November 30 $200 NLHE Turbo PACOOP Warm-Up $15,000 $21,390 3 December 1 $100 Eight Max Deepstack NLHE $15,000 $34,608.60 4 December 1 $100 Big Antes NLHE $15,000 $18,543.60 5 December 1 $150 NLHE Progressive KO $25,000 $38,142.90 6 December 1 $200 Sunday Special SE $50,000 $63,426 7 December 1 $100 Six Max PLO $10,000 $16,707.60 8 December 1 $50 Sunday SuperSonic SE $10,000 $13,650 9 December 2 $50 NL Battle Royale SE $10,000 $30,803 10 December 2 $75 PLO Hi-Lo Eight Max $10,000 $15,492 11 December 3 $250 Super Tuesday SE $40,000 $47,532 12 December 3 $30 Mini Super Tuesday $15,000 $22,495 13 December 3 $150 Escalating Antes NLHE $20,000 $20,000  
  25. The first set of Pennsylvania Sunday Majors of the new decade featured some overlays and some familiar faces putting up some deep runs. After cashing 10 times in the PokerStars PA Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker without a victory, 'deadtosolve' picked up the first Sunday Special win of the year by outlasting 393 other entries to win $7,251.48. Right behind them was 'ButtonM@sher' earning $5,315.15. Third-place finisher 'tobykeith121' proved they were as good as they once were to take home $3,895.98. The 394 runners made for a $3,830.80 overlay on the $40,000 guarantee. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] 'Pablooooooooooo' topped the 386-entry field to win the Sunday Warm-Up for $1,910.61. 'MDeals' finished in second place or $1,400.25 while 'LilWholesome' took home $1,026.37 for finishing in third place. The prize pool of $5,924.10 blew right past the $5,000 guarantee. One week after winning the Sunday Warm-Up, 'naveyesu' beat out 586 other entries in the Sunday Storm for $940.20. 'Lady Stray 1' finished as the runner-up for $654.68 and 'JuiceCrew17' took hom $456.16 as the third-place finisher. This event also had little trouble reaching the guarantee, beating the $5,000 guarantee by $924.10. The $250 High Roller drew 47 total entries off of 37 unique players and 'Allin1out' beat them all to win $4,576.05. 'wongsic' and 'anamlr' picked up the silver and bronze medal finishes for $2,516.37 and $1,383.77 respectively. 'Straight$Homie' closed the day down with a victory in the Sunday Supersonic for $1,173.35. They beat out 107 other entries for the win. Finishing one spot short of the title earned 'and_porter' $868.38 while 'PasswordIsTaco' picked up $642.73 for finishing in third. PokerStars PA $30 Sunday Warm-Up 386 entries (276 entries, 110 re-entries) $10,537.80 prize pool Pabloooooooooo - $1,910.61 MDeals - $1,400.25 LilWholesome - $1,026.37 JSell1982 - $752.33 kmudge - $551.45 Pitifulwheels - $404.21 cpagold17 - $296.29 yougotfelted717 - $217.17 hbekanich - $159.19 PokerStars PA Sunday $10 Storm Six Max 587 entries (404 entries, 183 re-entries) $5,924.10 prize pool naveyesu - $940.20 Lady Stray 1 - $654.68 JuiceCrew17 - $456.16 EpsteinDKH - $317.84 realbigtymer15 - $221.46 Jfetz31 - $154.31 PokerStars PA Sunday $100 Sunday Special 394 entries (287 entries, 107 re-entries) $40,000 prize pool ($3,830.80 overlay) deadtosolve - $7,251.48 ButtonM@sher - $5,315.15 tobykeith121 - $3,895.98 donnygyo - $2,855.74 6KeepEmLow4 - $2,093.25 EmptyPockets00 - $1,534.35 JonAltTab - $1,124.67 Fook3 - $824.38 MrChillibin - $604.27 PokerStars PA Sunday $250 Sunday High Roller Six Max 47 entries (37 entries, 10 re-entries) $10,951 prize pool Allin1out - $4,576.05 wongsic - $2,516.37 anamlr - $1,383.77 2ndBestNoGood - $760.94 aldrich801 - $656.97 amishfire - $567.20 PokerStars PA Sunday $50 Sunday Supersonic 108 entries (89 entries, 19 re-entries) $5,076 prize pool Straight$Homie - $1,173.35 and_porter - $868.38 PasswordIsTaco - $642.73 crs245 - $475.72 anamlr - $352.10 AndrewYang2020 - $260.60 keller22687 - $192.89 A Frequent ?- $142.76 gslow1 - $126.23
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