PokerStars Runs Inaugural NACOOP Series In September With $7 Million Guaranteed

Written By Hill Kerby on September 1, 2023
PokerStars just unveiled its new NACOOP series which includes the PACOOP for PA poker players.

When one poker series ends, another one begins for Pennsylvania poker players. In September, the largest of Pennsylvania’s three online poker sites in PokerStars PA will shine. 

The first-ever PokerStars NACOOP (North American Championship of Online Poker) will run from Sept. 15 through Oct. 2 with $7 million in guaranteed prize pools across its North American platforms.

NACOOP is an evolution of the annual COOP events each September, such as the Keystone State’s PACOOP. Those individual series now fall under the NACOOP umbrella.

  • USCOOP (MI/NJ): $3 million in guarantees
  • PACOOP (PA): $2.5 million in guarantees
  • ONCOOP (ON): $1.5 million in guarantees

2023 PACOOP features $2.5 million in guarantees for PA poker players

PokerStars PA will run 89 events in its PACOOP, publishing an identical schedule on all three North American sites. Because online poker remains ring-fenced in Pennsylvania, its guarantees are slightly smaller than the USCOOP, where New Jersey and Michigan share player pools and liquidity.

Thanks to its advanced software, PokerStars has a full offering of mixed game events, along with the traditional No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha varieties. The schedule also caters to players at all levels, offering buy-ins ranging from $10 to the $2,500 High Roller.

The full schedule awaits release, but highlights include:

  • 20 Trophy Events, signifying the major events of the series
  • $300 Main Event ($250,000 guaranteed in PA) 
  • $2,500 High Roller ($150,000 guaranteed in PA)
  • Mixed game events such as 8-Game, HORSE, 2-7 Triple Draw and Stud variants
  • A series leaderboard with $10,000 in prizes

PokerStars international expansion leads to new NACOOP series

The new NACOOP comes after PokerStars expanded internationally to the north, launching in Ontario, Canada, in late June. Like Pennsylvania, its player pool remains separate, thus leading to ONCOOP’s inception.

PokerStars is taking an aggressive angle at its first-ever ONCOOP, offering 2 million CAD in guaranteed prize pools. It’s also taking an inclusive and forward-thinking approach by folding all of its fall COOP events into one name.

As one of the leading US online poker sites, PokerStars could expand to other states like Nevada, West Virginia and Connecticut when their state governments allow it. The same will go for any new states that legalize online poker.

If any new markets enter the MSIGA (Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement) with New Jersey, Michigan and Delaware, the USCOOP will grow even larger. Worst case, PokerStars creates a new state-specific series that it can still incorporate into the NACOOP brand.

PokerStars Casino also expands its offerings in Pennsylvania

PokerStars may have poker in its name and claim itself as the most popular operator in PA. However, that isn’t stopping the brand from expanding its Pennsylvania online casino offerings, as well.

In the last two weeks, PokerStars Casino PA partnered with game suppliers White Hat Studios and the Bragg Gaming Group

White Hat Studios is a fast-growing developer, especially in Pennsylvania, where it has also partnered with betPARX Casino and Unibet Casino since the summer began. It has a presence in all six states with online casinos, and its titles appear inside nearly every online casino in Pennsylvania.

Its popular games include Peaky Blinders, Masters of Atlantis, Buffalo Megaways and Ted.

Similarly, Bragg Gaming joined forces with PokerStars globally and will introduce games on PokerStars Casino platforms in seven European countries, plus Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan.

Bragg already has domestic partnerships with industry giants like BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings and more. Some titles it will bring to PokerStars Casino include Fairy Dust, Mystery Mine and Sea of Plenty.

The PA online casino market is the largest in the nation, and PokerStars currently sits in the middle of the pack for revenue share under the Mount Airy Casino licensee. Its new partnerships will help boost revenue totals, but it will likely remain well below the state’s top operators.

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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby comes from a background of poker, sports and psychology. He brings all of that expertise into his writing, where he contributes content in the growing legalized sports betting, online casino and gambling industry.

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