Last week, PokerStars announced its first interstate tournament series, which is also the first ever in which Michigan players can participate. The PokerStars Players Championship Online (PSPC Online) will kick off this Friday, Jan 13.
PokerStars combined its New Jersey and Michigan platforms on Jan 1, allowing players from both states to compete against each other for the first time. It celebrated the occasion with two New Years’ Day tournaments, which paid out over $200,000 in combined prizes.
The PSPC Online will run in the weeks before the in-person Players Championship takes place in the Bahamas. It will be PokerStars’ biggest online tournament series in the US, with $2.5 million in guaranteed prizes.
PokerStars US Managing Director Severin Rasset stated:
It was brilliant to see our communities in Michigan, and New Jersey come out in force on January 1st to celebrate the combining of our player pool and enjoy our special New Year’s Day events and smash the guarantees. We’re now excited to bring players our first multi-state online series and our largest online series to date in the US, where players have the chance to join in the Bahamian fun of the PSPC and play alongside their favorite players as they battle it out on the online tables. There’s plenty more to come for the MI and NJ community, and we look forward to exciting and awarding our players in 2023 and beyond.
Details on PSPC Online
The series runs from Jan 13 to 30 and includes 85 events. No-Limit Hold’em dominates the schedule, but players will also find HORSE, 8-Game, 5-Card Draw and three variants of Pot-Limit Omaha: Hi, Hi/Lo and 5-Card.
The Main Event begins on Jan 29, featuring a $250 buy-in and a $300,000 guarantee. Alongside, there is a Mini Main Event with a $50 buy-in and $75,000 in guaranteed prizes. At the opposite end of the spectrum is a High Roller Main Event with a $2,500 buy-in and $125,000 guaranteed.
The PSPC will have events for all budgets, with buy-ins as low as $10 and satellites starting at $1. Another way to get a seat at the Main Event is through special $2.5 Spin-and-Go satellites.
The full schedule for the series can be found at the bottom of this article.
PSPC Online Compared to Pre-Combination Prize Pools
PSPC Online takes place in the same calendar slot formerly occupied by Winter Series.
PokerStars debuted its Winter Series in Michigan last year with great success. However, it was a much smaller affair than the newly combined player pool allows this year.
Winter Series guaranteed $650,000 in prize pools over 42 events. So, the number of events has doubled for PSPC Online, and combined guarantees have nearly quadrupled.
The Winter Series Main Event guaranteed $100,000, so that has tripled in expected size. In the end, 15,482 participants joined, creating a prize pool of $866,800 or 31% over the guarantee. If the PSPC Online Main Event beats the guarantee by a similar margin, it could exceed $3.2 million in prize money.
Even if we combine New Jersey’s 2022 Winter Series with Michigan’s, we get $1.15 million in guarantees and $1.4 million in prizes. This year’s guarantee of $2.5 million suggests that PokerStars is counting on reaping the benefits of the hype surrounding the merged player pool.
PokerStars’s Path to Shared Liquidity
For poker operators to be able to create multistate networks, they must join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). MSIGA was created by Nevada and Delaware and later joined by New Jersey. After many hurdles, Michigan was able to join in 2022.
So far, PokerStars has been the only operator able to begin networking between Michigan and New Jersey. WSOP.com, which also operates in the Wolverine State, has the country’s longest-running multistate network. However, it hasn’t yet added Michigan. WSOP’s network currently links Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey, but these states use an older version of the 888poker software WSOP uses to power its platform. It will need to upgrade the network to the newer Poker 8 platform before adding Michigan.
BetMGM Poker may be quicker to create a multistate online poker network that includes Michigan. It also had a software disparity between the two states but has already upgraded its New Jersey site to be compatible.
Expectations are that Michigan players should be able to play alongside their New Jersey peers on all three sites before the end of the year.
Separate PSPC Online for Pennsylvania
PokerStars will also run a version of PSPC Online for its players in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State had been PokerStars’ largest market before Michigan and New Jersey combined. Its 2022 Winter Series awarded over $1.3 million, nearly as much as the other two states combined. However, the Pennsylvania regulator has not yet joined the MSIGA, so its PSPC Online must remain separate.
The dates are the same as for the NJ/MI combined series, from Jan 13 to 30. It will feature 72 events and combined guarantees of $1.5 million. The Main Event will be on Jan 29 and have the same $250 buy-in as the other states but only a $150,000 guarantee.
Thus, PokerStars expects PSPC Online to be bigger than last year’s Winter Series, even in Pennsylvania, but not by the same margin as the combined states. PokerStars PA will also feature a main event on Jan 29 with a $250 buy-in and $150k prize pool.
PSPC Online Full Schedule – Michigan-NJ Network
|#||Date||Buy-In||Game / Format||Name||Guarantee|
|1||Jan 13||$50||NLHE||Nightly Stars Warm-Up||$12,500|
|2||Jan 13||$50||NLHE KO||Nightly Stars Knockout Warm-Up||$12,500|
|3||Jan 13||$30||HORSE||Mixed Game Warm-Up||$3,500|
|4||Jan 14||$20||NLHE||Afternoon Warm-Up||$7,500|
|5||Jan 14||$100||NLHE||Big Kickoff||$60,000|
|6||Jan 14||$10||NLHE||Mini Kickoff||$12,500|
|7||Jan 14||$25||NLHE Turbo||Mini Stars Turbo||$10,000|
|8||Jan 14||$25||NLHE Turbo KO||Mini Stars Turbo Knockout||$10,000|
|9||Jan 15||$50||NLHE Slow||Marathon||$20,000|
|10||Jan 15||$30||NLHE||Sunday Warm-Up||$12,000|
|11||Jan 15||$100||NLHE||Players Special||$150,000|
|12||Jan 15||$10||NLHE||Mini Players Special||$20,000|
|13||Jan 15||$500||NLHE||High Roller Players Special||$100,000|
|14||Jan 15||$50||NLHE Turbo||Turbo Stars||$12,500|
|15||Jan 15||$50||NLHE Turbo KO||Turbo Stars Knockout||$12,500|
|16||Jan 15||$30||NLHE Hyper KO||Bounty Builder Adrenaline||$12,500|
|17||Jan 16||$250||NLHE||Battle Royale||$40,000|
|18||Jan 16||$10||NLHE Turbo||Turbo Battle||$5,000|
|20||Jan 16||$30||NLHE Special||Heads-Up Zoom Prog. Total KO||$10,000|
|22||Jan 17||$10||NLHE 6-Max Zoom||--||$5,000|
|23||Jan 17||$100||NLHE||Super Tuesday||$40,000|
|24||Jan 17||$30||5-Card Draw||--||$3,000|
|26||Jan 18||$10||NLHE Turbo||Storm Turbo||$5,000|
|28||Jan 18||$30||PLO KO||--||$7,500|
|29||Jan 19||$10||NLHE Turbo||Stars Turbo||$5,000|
|30||Jan 19||$50||NLHE 4-Max||--||$10,000|
|31||Jan 19||$50||NLHE 4-Max KO||--||$10,000|
|32||Jan 19||$100||NLHE||Thursday Thrill||$40,000|
|35||Jan 20||$100||NLHE KO||Friday Night Fight||$30,000|
|36||Jan 20||$10||NLHE Turbo KO||Turbo Fight||$5,000|
|37||Jan 20||$30||NLHE 6-Max Zoom KO||--||$10,000|
|38||Jan 21||$10||NLHE||Players Championship Big $10||$5,000|
|39||Jan 21||$250||NLHE Deep||Deepstack Saturday||$35,000|
|40||Jan 21||$100||NLHE Turbo||--||$20,000|
|41||Jan 21||$30||NLHE Deep||Mini Deepstack Saturday||$10,000|
|42||Jan 22||$30||NLHE KO||Sunday Warm-Up||$12,000|
|43||Jan 22||$200||NLHE Two-Day||Championship Special||$200,000|
|44||Jan 22||$20||NLHE||Championship Mini Special||$30,000|
|45||Jan 22||$1,000||NLHE||Championship High Roller Special||$100,000|
|46||Jan 22||$100||NLHE Turbo||--||$12,500|
|47||Jan 22||$50||NLHE Turbo KO||--||$12,500|
|48||Jan 22||$50||NLHE Hyper KO||Bounty Builder Adrenaline||$15,000|
|49||Jan 23||$50||NLHE KO||Big KOs||$10,000|
|50||Jan 23||$50||NLHE KO||Mini KOs||$10,000|
|51||Jan 23||$10||NLHE Turbo KO||Total KO||$5,000|
|52||Jan 23||$100||NLHE||Battle Royale||$30,000|
|53||Jan 23||$30||NLHE Turbo||--||$8,500|
|54||Jan 24||$250||NLHE||Super Tuesday||$50,000|
|55||Jan 24||$10||NLHE Turbo||Turbo Tuesday||$5,000|
|57||Jan 24||$30||NLHE Deep KO||Big Stack||$10,000|
|59||Jan 25||$50||NLHE KO||Freezeout||$12,500|
|60||Jan 25||$10||NLHE Hyper||Adrenaline||$5,000|
|62||Jan 25||$30||5-Card PLO||--||$6,000|
|63||Jan 26||$250||NLHE||Thursday Thrill||$50,000|
|64||Jan 26||$10||NLHE Turbo||Turbo Thrill||$5,000|
|65||Jan 26||$100||NLHE Zoom||--||$25,000|
|66||Jan 26||$30||NLHE||Last Man Standing||$7,500|
|67||Jan 27||$250||NLHE||Friday Night Fight||$40,000|
|68||Jan 27||$10||NLHE Hyper||Adrenaline||$5,000|
|69||Jan 27||$100||NLHE 6-Max Turbo||--||$25,000|
|70||Jan 27||$30||NLHE Hyper KO||Bounty Builder Adrenaline||$5,000|
|71||Jan 28||$250||NLHE||Main Event Walk Through||$35,000|
|72||Jan 28||$10||NLHE||Main Event Run Through||$5,000|
|73||Jan 28||$100||NLHE Deep||Deepstack Saturday||$30,000|
|75||Jan 29||$50||NLHE Slow||Marathon||$25,000|
|76||Jan 29||$30||NLHE||Main Event Warm Up||$15,000|
|77||Jan 29||$250||NLHE 2-Day||** MAIN EVENT **||$300,000|
|78||Jan 29||$50||NLHE||Mini Main Event||$75,000|
|79||Jan 29||$25,000||NLHE||Super High Roller Main Event||$125,000|
|80||Jan 29||$100||NLHE||Main Event Second Chance||$30,000|
|81||Jan 29||$75||NLHE Hyper KO||Bounty Builder Adrenaline Big KOs||$20,000|
|82||Jan 30||$100||NLHE||The Closer||$40,000|
|84||Jan 30||$10||NLHE||Mini Closer||$10,000|
|85||Jan 30||$300||NLHE 6-Max KO||Last Chance Big KOs||$50,000|