PokerStars was slated to put up just over $1 million in guarantees for its first major tournament series in the state of Michigan, but that figure is going up thanks to high turnout.
The poker platform announced earlier this month that it will run what it calls the Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP). There are 60 scheduled events across Feb. 20 to March 8, and there is still plenty of time to compete for the prestige and the cash.
“From the looks of things so far, poker players in the Wolverine State have been hungry for some tournament series action,” PokerStars said in a statement earlier this week. “So far all 16 tournaments have bested their guarantees, with prize pools totaling more than $550,000 already. That’s more than half-way to the roughly $1M worth of guaranteed prize pools for the entire 60-tournament MICOOP.”
PokerFuse reported that events for this weekend have seen their guaranteed prize pools doubled in anticipation of a strong showing from players. Altogether, there are now officially $1.2 million worth of guarantees, with the actual prize money awarded easily crushing the guaranteed amount.
No word on changes to the main event of the series, slated to begin on March 7. It has a $300 buy-in and currently guarantees a prize pool worth $125,000. While PokerStars may be tempted to up the guarantee, it may decide it is better to keep the flagship event of the series at its previously advertised prize pool.
At around one-third of the way through the 60-event schedule, PokerStars had taken more than 10,000 buy-ins for an average field size of 450. That is not unique players, as many events allow rebuys or re-entry.
PokerStars set the bar relatively low with $1 million in total guarantees, making it so it could easily surpass it. In its first championship series in Pennsylvania, PokerStars also offered $1 million in total guarantees and ended up seeing more than $1.5 million in prize pools.
The poker site could easily have offered a bit more in guarantees for its first Michigan series, held during a pandemic when people are stuck at home or at least spending more time there, without fear of having overlays. An overlay is when the site would be forced to make up the difference when a prize pool falls short of the guarantee.
PokerStars is media savvy, as it was able to finagle headlines that suggest its launch in Michigan has been much more successful than expected, when the actual results are in line with expectations prior to the site launching. At any rate, PokerStars has not disappointed.