PokerStars PA Caps Off Successful Winter Series With $126K Main Event

Written By Martin Harris on February 3, 2020
PokerStars PA Winter Series a success

The PokerStars PA Winter Series has completed, finishing up over the weekend prior to yesterday’s Super Bowl LIV.

Following the successful PACOOP or Pennyslvania Championship of Online Poker (Nov. 30-Dec. 16), the Winter Series appears to have been a hit as well among online poker players in the Keystone State, with most events exceeding their guarantees.

Payouts total $828,205 across 30 events

Run alongside Fox Bet‘s “Road to Miami” that culminated with the Big Game on Sunday, the football-themed Winter Series featured 30 events playing out over eight days from Jan. 25-Feb. 1.

Seven of those 30 events had overlays, although ultimately the $828,205 in total payouts well exceeded the $675,000 in total guarantees. In all there were 9,314 total entries (counting re-entries) in 30 tournaments, meaning an average of about 310 entries per event.

Among the seven events with overlays, the largest all came during the first half of the series. Most also came in tournaments with above-average buy-ins such as the $250 buy-in The Sack – Super Tuesday Special Edition (with a $4,584 overlay) and $200 The Blitz – Sunday Special Edition (with a $4,244 overlay).

All but two of the events during the second half of the series exceeded their guarantees. The Touchdown – Thursday Thrill Special Edition ($200 buy-in) came up four entries short of meeting its $35,000 guarantee, and the Deep Hyper-Turbo ($100 buy-in) needed 10 more entries to hit its $15,000 guarantee.

Main Event features $126,560 prize pool

Unlike the PACOOP there were no instances of any prize pools in Winter Series events doubling or tripling their guarantees. A few did eclipse the guarantees by especially large margins, however. Those included the first event, The Warm-Up ($50 buy-in, $20K guarantee, $36K-plus prize pool) and The Onside Kick – Vanilla ($100 buy-in, $10K guarantee, $19K-plus prize pool).

On average the 23 events that exceeded their guarantees did so by just over 33 percent.

Culminating the series on Saturday was The Big Game – Main Event, a $300 buy-in tournament that attracted 452 entries (313 uniques, 139 re-entries) to build a $126,560 prize pool. It was the largest of the series, easily clearing the $100,000 guarantee.

After just over eight-and-a-half hours of play, “youbestnotmiss” won the event and the $22,565.73 first prize. PokerStars PA Ambassador Jennifer Shahade was among those taking part as well, falling in 92nd place and thus outside the top 63 who made the cash.

Multiple winners stand out in Winter Series

There were two players who won two Winter Series events. “cabby1234” won both The Return – 6-Max ($50 buy-in, $3,843.88 for first) and Hail Mary – Turbo ($50 buy-in, $2,334.23 for first). “CL911129” won both The Spin – Battle Royale Special Edition ($50 buy-in, $2,464.25 for first) and The Comeback – Progressive KO ($100 buy-in, $5,160.70 for first plus bounties).

Another player, “Phishfan717,” followed up a victory in a PACOOP event with another in the Winter Series (both in $150 buy-in events).

Pennsylvania again outpacing New Jersey

The PokerStars PA Winter Series followed the completion of the PokerStars NJ Winter Series in January, a nine-day, 21-event series that featured $300,000 in guarantees.

In PokerStars NJ’s version of the series, every event exceeded its guarantee except one that was canceled, with the total payouts adding up to $393,863.45. That included a $81,375 prize pool in the Main Event. Average participation in the 20 events that ran in the PokerStars NJ Winter Series was just over 178 entries per event (3,563 total entries).

PokerStars PA Winter Series by the numbers

EventBuy-InGuaranteeEntriesRe-EntriesPrize PoolOverlay
Event 1: The Warm-Up - NLHE$50$20,000530266$36,218N/A
Event 2: The Anthem - Nightly Stars SE$100$30,000259112$34,057.80N/A
Event 3: The Coin Toss - Turbo PKO$200$15,0009027$21,762N/A
Event 4: Kick-Off - Deepstack$100$25,00023189$29,376N/A
Event 5: The Return - 6-Max$50$20,000341134$21,612.50N/A
Event 6: Play Action - PKO$150$30,00015240$30,000$3,561.60
Event 7: The Blitz - Sunday Special SE$200$50,00017571$50,000$4,244
Event 8: First Down - Mini Sunday Special$30$15,000532208$20,202N/A
Event 9: The Handoff - Pot-Limit Omaha$100$12,0009337$12,000$66
Event 10: The Block - Supersonic SE$75$12,00015741$13,959N/A
Event 11: The Juke - 4-Max$100$15,00015878$21,664.80N/A
Event 12: The Spin - Battle Royale SE$50$20,000405211$28,028N/A
Event 13: The Tackle - Variable Levels$150$15,0008016$15,000$1,780.80
Event 14: The Sack - Super Tuesday SE$250$40,00010943$40,000$4,584
Event 15: The Punt - Mini Super Tuesday$30$15,000483216$19,082.70N/A
Event 16: Half-Time - Turbo PKO$100$15,00013735$15,789.60N/A
Event 17: The Turnover - High Roller$500$35,0006838$49,820N/A
Event 18: The Drive - Pot-Limit Omaha, 6-Max$50$8,00013971$9,555N/A
Event 19: The Redzone - Turbo$150$15,0009135$17,350.20N/A
Event 20: The Touchdown - Thursday Thrill SE$200$35,00013154$35,000$590
Event 21: Extra Point - Mini Thrill$50$20,000388183$25,980.50N/A
Event 22: Deep Hyper-Turbo$100$15,00012226$15,000$940
Event 23: The Onside Kick - Vanilla$100$10,00015752$19,186.20N/A
Event 24: The Snap - PKO, Big Antes$150$15,00013044$23,959.80N/A
Event 25: Hail Mary - Turbo$50$8,00020861$12,239.50N/A
Event 26: The Catch - Deep Hyper-Turbo$100$10,0009721$11,210N/A
Event 27: The Comeback - PKO, 8-Max$100$15,00016978$22,674.60N/A
Event 28: The Big Game - Main Event$300$100,000313139$126,560N/A
Event 29: Overtime - Mini-Main$50$25,000506264$35,035N/A
Event 30: Victory Parade - Turbo PKO$100$15,00013142$15,881.40N/A
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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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