There is some holiday blockbuster news to share. PokerStars PA has announced the return of its biggest online poker tournament, Pennsyl-MANIA.
The third installment of Pennsyl-MANIA begins this Sunday, Dec. 27, at 5 p.m. EST. Like the previous two runnings, it will be a $200 buy-in, two-day, no-limit hold’em tournament.
There’s one big difference this time, however. The third Pennsyl-MANIA will feature a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool. That’s the largest online poker tournament guarantee ever offered in PA.
Upping the Pennsyl-MANIA ante with $500K guarantee
The first Pennsyl-MANIA took place in May and still ranks as the largest poker tournament in Pennsylvania’s still-brief history of legal online poker.
The 2,774 total entries more than doubled the $250,000 guarantee, making a huge $515,964 prize pool. Winner “D-Low1527” took away close to $70K for winning the title after a heads-up deal.
Round two of Pennsyl-MANIA in August sported a $350,000 guarantee. That time, 2,026 total entries created a $376,836 prize pool to top that total.
That event ended in a four-way chop, with “SlotWinna777” eventually winning to earn nearly $45K.
For Pennsyl-MANIA part three to make its $500K guarantee, nearly 2,700 entries will need to take part. Like previous versions, the tournament allows up to five re-entries during the late registration period.
Schedule includes High Roller side event, satellites, depositor freeroll
Adding to the festivities this weekend is a first-ever Pennsyl-MANIA Side Event, a $1,000 NLHE High Roller.
A one-day tournament, the High Roller also arrives Sunday, Dec. 27, starting at 6:30 p.m. EST. Players are allowed up to three re-entries, and the tournament features a $50,000 guaranteed prize pool.
Satellites for Pennsyl-MANIA are currently running, with buy-ins of $10, $20 and $30.
A special Pennsyl-MANIA Depositor Freeroll offers yet another discounted way into the big one.
Players who deposit $30 or more before 1:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, Dec. 27, receive a ticket to the freeroll starting at 2 p.m. Players must enter the bonus code “MANIA” when depositing in order to receive the ticket.
The top 50 finishers in the Depositor Freeroll will then earn entries into the $200 Pennsyl-MANIA event.
PokerStars PA aims to ‘surprise players in the community with our ambition’
With Pennsyl-MANIA III, PokerStars PA aims to end 2020 in strong fashion as it kicks off its second year as the only online poker site operating in the Keystone State.
The first two Pennsyl-MANIAs highlighted an eventful first year for PokerStars PA in which tournaments and tournament series were a prime focus.
It will be interesting to see how popular the third Pennsyl-MANIA turns out to be. In particular, it will be interesting to see whether it can hit the $500K guarantee, or perhaps even challenge the record prize pool set by the first event.
When we spoke in November to Luke Staudenmaier, head of poker operations for PokerStars, he highlighted the success of the first two Pennsyl-MANIAs in his review of the site’s first year after launching in November 2019.
He also hinted then at Pennsyl-MANIA’s return, describing a plan “to evolve this concept and continually surprise players in the community with our ambition.”
“P3nnsyl-MANIA is coming!” he said.
PokerStars PA ready for competition in 2021
Part of the site’s strategy may be to roll out this event before other sites like WSOP.com and partypoker come online in Pennsylvania as anticipated in 2021. That said, PokerStars PA says it welcomes others joining the market.
“Competition is great for players,” said Staudenmaier. “They’ll have more choice, and operators will need to step up their game in order to remain beloved and preferred.”