Fifth Pennsyl-MANIA at PokerStars PA Posts $33K Overlay, Awards $350K

Written By Martin Harris on October 26, 2021

With Halloween approaching, this past weekend PokerStars PA offered its players a virtual bag of goodies with another running of its popular Pennsyl-MANIA tournament.

Last week a new sequel to the long-running Halloween series topped the box office charts. However this fifth iteration of Pennsyl-MANIA, though well attended, wasn’t quite as popular as earlier installments.

The two-day Pennsyl-MANIA completed Monday night. Though it attracted more than 1,100 total entries, there was still an overlay with PokerStars PA having to contribute money to the prize pool to meet the $350,000 guarantee.

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Tournament attracts 1,130 entries, still has $33,600 overlay

All told there were 1,130 total entries (677 entries, 453 re-entries) for the $300 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament, with $280 of each buy-in going to the prize pool.

With that $350,000 guarantee, that turnout meant there was an overlay of $33,600. Ultimately the top 159 finishers split the prize money. Winner “Paulie_Card$” took away the largest share of just over $56,000 after battling close to five hours last night on Day 2.

It was the second time Pennsyl-MANIA had an overlay out of five tournaments. The last occurrence was in Dec. 2020 when the tournament had a $200 buy-in and $500,000 guarantee, the largest guarantee of any Pennsyl-MANIA. That event had an overlay of just over $70,000.

Lowest prize pool, turnout of five Pennsyl-MANIAs

Out of the five Pennsyl-MANIAs, the one completing last night had both the lowest number of total entries and smallest prize pool. Here’s a look at all five Pennsyl-MANIAs dating back to May 2020:

DateBuy-InGuaranteeTotal EntriesPrize PoolWinner (Prize)
May 2020$200$250,000 2,774$515,964D-Low1527 ($69,671)
Aug. 2020$200$350,000 2,026$376,836SlotWinna777 ($44,642)
Dec. 2020$200$500,000 2,309$500,000*PokerAnomoly ($74,148)
Apr. 2021$300$400,000 1,416$413,280throwitinthebag ($63,084)
Oct. 2021$300$350,000 1,130$350,000**Paulie_Card$ ($56,237)

*$70,526 overlay; **$33,600 overlay

By comparison, the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) in September culminated with a similarly-structured two-day tournament featuring a $200 buy-in and $200,000 guarantee. That tournament attracted 851 total entries to eclipse the guarantee and award $238,280.

Overall, the 69-event PACOOP awarded almost $2.38 million.

PokerStars PA event outperforms Michigan, New Jersey tournaments

PokerStars ran similar events on both of its other US sites on Sunday and Monday. The Michigan Classic on PokerStars MI and the New Jersey Classic on PokerStars NJ each featured the same $300 buy-in and two-day structures, albeit with different guaranteed prize pools. PokerStars’ US sites remain ring-fenced, meaning players in all three events only competed against others in their respective states.

Of those three events, the one on PokerStars PA had the largest guarantee and largest turnout. However in all three cases the tournaments came up shy of their guarantees.

In Michigan, the tournament had a $250,000 guarantee. With 808 total entries, that meant an almost $24,000 overlay. Meanwhile in New Jersey the guarantee was $100,000. There were 350 total entries there, which meant a small overlay of $2,000.

Image via Dreamstime.

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Martin Harris

Martin Harris is a writer and teacher who has reported on poker, online gambling, and sports betting since the mid-2000s. Once a full-time academic (Ph.D., English), he currently teaches part-time in the American Studies program at UNC Charlotte. In 2019, his book Poker & Pop Culture was published by D&B Books.

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