Pennsyl-MANIA Round Two: PokerStars PA Marquee Event Returns With $350K GTD

Written By Martin Harris on August 20, 2020

The name was just too good not to use again. PokerStars PA will be running a second installment of Pennsyl-MANIA starting this Sunday, August 23.

The first Pennsyl-MANIA in May had a $250,000 guarantee and created the largest tournament prize pool ever in the fledgling history of PA online poker. This time, the no-limit hold’em tournament comes with a $350,000 guarantee and the possibility of setting a new record.

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Pennsyl-MANIA sequel hopes to challenge record set by original

Like before, Pennsyl-MANIA will be a two-day event featuring a $200 buy-in. Five re-entries are available during the almost five hours’ worth of late registration.

The first hands will be dealt Sunday, Aug. 23 at 5 p.m. ET. The event has a slow structure with 15,000-chip starting stacks and 16-minute levels. On Day 1, play will last seven hours and 45 minutes. The Day 2 restart will then commence Monday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. ET.

The first Pennsyl-MANIA in May crushed its guarantee, drawing 2,774 total entries (1,760 entries, 1,014 re-entries) to create a $515,964 prize pool.

That broke the record for the largest prize pool in an online poker tournament in Pennsylvania. The previous best had come a month before in the “High” version of the Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker Main Event. That $300 buy-in tournament had a prize pool of $368,200.

“D-Low1527” won the first Pennsyl-MANIA, taking away more than $69,000 following a heads-up deal.

Satellites and Depositor Freeroll provide inexpensive paths to entry

Satellites for this Sunday’s Pennsyl-MANIA are running all week on PokerStars PA. Most have $10, $20, or $30 buy-ins, with PokerStars advertising some $5 satellites as well.

PokerStars PA is also awarding $10,000 worth of buy-ins to Pennsyl-MANIA via a special Depositor Freeroll.

The Depositor Freeroll will begin a few hours before the event on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 2 p.m.

To play the freeroll, players must deposit $30 or more by 1:59 p.m. ET on Sunday using the bonus code “MANIA” when doing so. The top 50 finishers in the Depositor Freeroll will earn seats to play in the $200 Pennsyl-MANIA event. The freeroll is open to all PokerStars PA players.

PennsylMania 2

PokerStars PA seeks summer boost before competitors launch

PokerStars PA remains the only online poker option for Pennsylvania players, having been so ever since its launch in November 2019.

The site especially thrived during the spring months, giving PA poker players a place to play while the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of live poker rooms in the state. The 100-tournament PASCOOP series in April paid out more than $3.2 million, easily exceeding its $2 million in guarantees.

As a result, PokerStars PA enjoyed its highest monthly revenue in its short history in April with more than $5.2 million. May also saw almost $4.6 million in revenue, the second-highest mark for the site.

Despite hosting additional tournament series such as the Summer Series (in June) and the Bounty Builder Series (in July), PokerStars PA traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

In June the site had a little over $3.2 million in revenue, and in July just under $3 million. While poker revenue has declined, online casino revenue in PA has increased, nearly reaching a new high last month.

Pennsylvania online poker players might have some additional options soon as PokerStars PA finally faces some competitors. Several Pennsylvania casinos are licensed to operate online poker rooms, with partypoker and appearing the closest to launching.

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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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