PASCOOP Bests Guarantees; PokerStars PA Ambassador Mark Foresta Claims 2 Titles, 8 Final Tables

Written By Hill Kerby on April 18, 2022 - Last Updated on April 19, 2022
PASCOOP recap, Mark Foresta two titles

PokerStars PA has completed another successful Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker (PASCOOP), awarding well over its $2 million in guaranteed prizes for the series.

The 2022 PASCOOP, one of PokerStars’ two iconic annual festivals, ran for 17 days between March 25 and April 11, ultimately spanning three weekends’ worth of events that regularly exceeded their guarantees.

Additionally, PASCOOP ran alongside its New Jersey and Michigan counterparts for the first time in site history, and was unsurprisingly the largest of the three. In total, $4.5 million was guaranteed across all three sites and the three series generated nearly $6.4 million in total prize money.

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PokerStars PASCOOP outpaces its sister sites

In addition to PokerStars PA surpassing its individual $2 million in guarantees for the 2022 PASCOOP, it also drew larger fields than MISCOOP and NJSCOOP.

  • PA Prize Pool: $3,116,091
  • MI Prize Pool: $2,065,519
  • NJ Prize Pool: $1,209,447

This may have been somewhat expected, as PokerStars PA routinely has the most online poker traffic, and it also had the largest total series guarantee (MISCOOP had $1.5 million in guarantees, NJSCOOP had $1 million).

However, the site also proved why this was the case, as it had the largest single tournament field of the series too in PASCOOP 07-L: $10 NLHE, which had a massive 1,519 entries.

Additionally, PASCOOP had the largest of the three sites’ $300 Main Events, as 879 entries created a total prize pool of nearly $250,000 and paid out a top prize of $40,900 for the two-day event.

A seven-figure Sunday

Thanks largely due to all three SCOOPs running at the same time, PokerStars set another record on April 10 during Main Event Sunday as over $1 million in SCOOP prize pools was awarded for events starting on that day. On that Sunday, each site offered nine individual events (three events, each at three price points), with a $50 Mini Main Event and $1,000 High Roller Main Event also highlighting the schedule in Pennsylvania.

PokerStars PA was responsible for over $500,000 in prize pools from its slate of events for the day, too, more than 30% greater than the day’s $386.5K in guarantees.

This was the second time in PokerStarsUSA history in which the site awarded more than $1 million combined across three states. The only other time occurred on April 4, 2021 when Pennsyl-MANIA, the New Jersey Classic, and Michigan Classic all ran as one-off events on the same day.

In competition with itself?

Though PASCOOP, MISCOOP and NJSCOOP awarded nearly $6.4 million in combined prize pools, the three series only had $4.5 million in guarantees after offering more than $5 million in 2021. This could be due to the fact that PASCOOP had its own dates last year separate from MISCOOP and NJSCOOP, which shared series dates with each other.

In previous years, it has been possible for players in Pennsylvania to play PASCOOP events and then travel to New Jersey for NJSCOOP events (or vice versa). However, this year’s identical schedules across the two sites made that an impossibility, which was exemplified by a drop in numbers for both sites’ Main Events from 2021 to 2022. The 2022 PASCOOP Main Event’s 879 entries was down more than 13% from 2021’s 1,015 entries, while the NJSCOOP Main Event dipped roughly 10% from 391 to 353.

Nonetheless, the 2022 PASCOOP (and USA SCOOP as a whole) has to be looked at as a success, and it has surely paved the way for the year’s remaining series which players can be on the lookout for in the coming months. Some additional highlights from the US SCOOP series include:

  • Total Entries (includes re-entries): 111,863
  • 345 Spring Champions of Online Poker crowned
  • 90 Spring Championship Trophies awarded

Huge series for PokerStars PA Ambassador Mark ‘NaigoPA’ Foresta

Of all to play in the 2022 PASCOOP, PokerStars PA Ambassador Mark ‘Naigo’ Foresta may have had the most success. Foresta made a whopping eight final tables across the 17-day series and won two PASCOOP titles, the larger of the two being PASCOOP 21-M: $200 NLHE where he topped a field of 696 for the top prize of $20,376. Making matters even better, Foresta did so while streaming to a live audience on Twitch.

PlayPA caught up with Foresta recently to discuss what was the series of his career to date.

PlayPA: Congrats on a great series! How did this PASCOOP and your top scores in the series stack up to your previous bests?

Foresta: Winning the PASCOOP Spring Special is a new high score at $20,300 taking the top spot from the Summer Stacks Sunday Special where I took home $11,200 last year. This is by far the most successful series I have ever had!

PlayPA: To what do you attribute the great series performance/results? Did you do anything different to prepare or stay focused?

Foresta: In the past I tried to improve my game as much as I could at the last minute. However, this time I studied for 5 or so hours a week for months leading up to the series using RaiseYourEdge’s Tournament Master class. Having a more consistent schedule to work on my game seems to really be beneficial. Also, I ran really well!

PlayPA: What were your favorite events of the series and why?

Foresta: PASCOOP 2022 was full of 40 amazing events each with 3 different tiers for each event. If I had to narrow it down to a single favorite it would be the 6-Max Spring Championship event (PASCOOP-13). Firstly, it was a trophy event which always makes it feel special to me. Secondly, 6-Max tournaments allow for players to be more creative, more aggressive and create a ton of fun spots.

PlayPA: What was your favorite streaming moment during the series?

Foresta: Here’s two different examples:

Winning PASCOOP 21-M the Spring Special has to go down as one of the most amazing moments I have ever had on stream. This is hands down my favorite!

Having both my partner in crime (Keith “AccidentalGrenade” Becker) and I make the final 10 of the first Sunday High Roller of the series was a truly special moment. AG and I rarely take a shot at the $500 buy-ins and having us both go deep early in the series was an amazing confidence booster.

Lead image via Naigo1 Twitch channel. Watch Foresta’s reaction to his first PASCOOP title win here.

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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby comes from a background of poker, sports and psychology. He brings all of these areas into his writing, where he feels fortunate to be able to create value in the growing, legalized betting industry.

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