PokerStars PA Wraps Strong First Year, Paying Out $1.18M in 1st Anniversary Series

Posted on November 17, 2020 - Last Updated on November 22, 2020

Marking one full year in operation in the Keystone State, PokerStars PA last night wrapped up its celebratory PokerStars 1st Anniversary Series. The 35-event series — plus one late-addition $1K side event — awarded over $1.18 million to exceed its overall $1M guarantee.

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Series tops total guarantee despite overlays

A little over a third of the events did have overlays, including the $100 buy-in, two-day Main Event that finished Monday night.

Despite 1,966 total entries, the Main Event came up shy of the needed total to reach its $200,000 guarantee, ultimately having an overlay of just over $19,500.

“GB1409” won the event early this morning, taking away a nice first prize of over $27,000 following a heads-up deal with “despicable_you.”

The Main Event had the largest overlay of the 13 events that didn’t reach their guarantees. The next-largest came in the first Sunday Special event. That $100 buy-in event had a $100K guarantee and an overlay of close to $13,000.

Meanwhile, other events with overlays came much closer to hitting their marks. In fact, one of them, the first $50 Sunday Supersonic with a $10K guarantee, missed hitting its target by just a single entry.

Big buy-in ‘Side Event’ helps boost final numbers

Near the end of the series, an extra $1,000 buy-in “Side Event” was added to the schedule on Sunday. That was twice the price tag of the highest buy-in event of the series, the $500 High Roller.

While the High Roller had an overlay, the Side Event did not. The tournament drew 86 entries to create a $81,700 prize pool, well over the $50K guarantee.

Adding in the Side Event, total guarantees for the series added up to $1,055,000. Total prizes won totaled $1,185,664.70.

Ultimately, there were 18,267 entries across the 36 tournaments, an average of just over 507 entries per event. See detailed numbers for all events below.

A strong year inspires further growth, innovation going forward

PokerStars PA heads into its second year of operation having averaged close to $3 million per month in revenue thus far. We spoke to Luke Staudenmaier, department head of poker operations at PokerStars, about the site’s first year and its plans going forward.

“The results in Pennsylvania so far have exceeded our expectations in terms of both reception and traffic,” says Staudenmaier. “The size of the market allows us to run attractive tournaments that generate buzz, and there is also enough liquidity for cash games at numerous stakes.”

Tournament series have indeed been prominent throughout PokerStars PA’s first year of operation.

That said, the two stand-alone Pennsyl-MANIA events in May and August proved highlights as well. The first generated the largest prize pool of any online poker tournament ever in PA, $515,964.

Staudenmaier described those events as “fantastic” while suggesting we’ll likely see similar events in the coming year. In fact, it sounds like PokerStars PA already has a branding idea in place for a third installment of Pennsyl-MANIA. Staudenmaier said:

“It is our hope that we can evolve this concept and continually surprise players in the community with our ambition. P3nnsyl-MANIA is coming!”

After a year on its own, PokerStars welcomes competition in 2021

PokerStars has enjoyed a monopoly thus far in Pennsylvania, although competition from WSOP.com and partypoker may be coming as soon as early 2021. Staudenmaier says PokerStars looks forward to other online poker sites coming to PA.

“Competition is great for players,” he says. “They’ll have more choice, and operators will need to step up their game in order to remain beloved and preferred.”

“Regardless of whether or not PokerStars is facing competition, we’re going to listen to and invest in our players,” adds Staudenmaier. “We believe this will result in us maintaining a strong position in Pennsylvania.”

PokerStars PA 1st Anniversary Series by the numbers

EventBuy-inGuaranteeEntriesRe-EntriesPrize PoolOverlay    
1: NLHE (8-Max, Series Kickoff)$100$25,000 20799$28,090.80n/a
2: NLHE (8-Max, Progressive KO)$20$15,000 452247$15,000.00$2,278.20
3: NLHE (6-Max)$150$20,000 10749$21,481.20n/a
4: NLHE (Sunday Special SE)$100$100,000 615334$100,000.00$12,881.80
5: NLHE (Mini Special)$15$10,000 469214$10,000.00$677.05
6: NLHE (8-Max, Progressive KO)$200$30,000 12333$30,000.00$984.00
7: NLHE (Sunday Supersonic SE)$50$10,000 18336$10,000.00$35.50
8: NLHE (4-Max)$200$30,000 12067$34,782.00n/a
9: NLHE (Progressive KO)$10$7,500 597280$7,980.70n/a
10: NLHE (6-Max, High Roller)$500$50,000 7330$50,000.00$1,590.00
11: PLO (6-Max, Turbo)$100$10,000 8023$10,000.00$544.60
12: NLHE (Super Tuesday SE)$200$50,000 215117$61,752.00n/a
13: NLHE (Mini Super Tuesday)$20$15,000 593291$16,088.80n/a
14: NLO8 (8-Max)$100$10,000 8939$11,750.40n/a
15: NLHE (6-Max)$30$15,000 485291$21,184.80n/a
16: 8-Game$50$7,500 10334$7,500.00$1,266.50
17: NLHE$200$25,000 9939$25,668.00n/a
18: NLHE (8-Max, Prog. KO, Thursday Thrill SE)$200$40,000 18690$51,336.00n/a
19: NLHE (8-Max, Prog. KO, Mini Thrill)$20$17,500 677395$19,510.40n/a
20: NLHE (Turbo)$150$20,000 13144$24,097.50n/a
21: FLHE (6-Max, Turbo)$200$10,000 4718$12,090.00n/a
22: PLO (6-Max, Progressive KO)$100$10,000 12459$16,799.40n/a
23: NLHE (Hyper-Turbo)$200$15,000 6813$15,390.00n/a
24: NLHE (6-Max)$300$40,000 10148$41,720.00n/a
25: NLHE (Progressive KO)$50$10,000 330153$21,976.50n/a
26: NLHE (6-Max)$75$20,000 16166$20,000.00$4,393.75
27: NLHE (Turbo, Progressive KO, Deepstack)$100$25,000 266138$37,087.20n/a
28: NLHE (Main Event)$100$200,000 1,027939$200,000.00$19,521.20
29: NLHE (Mini Main Event)$20$25,000 786510$25,000.00$1,412.80
Side Event: NLHE [6-Max]$1,000 $50,000 6026$81,700.00n/a
30: NLHE (Progressive KO)$100$25,000 20383$26,254.80n/a
31: PLO (6-Max, Turbo)$100$10,000 8539$11,383.20n/a
32: NLHE (Sunday Supersonic SE)$75$12,500 13936$12,500.00$556.25
33: NLHE (8-Max, Phase 2)$10$30,000 2,9070$30,000.00$3,546.30
34: NLHE (8-Max, Phase 2)$50$50,000 1,2720$57,876.00n/a
35: NLHE (6-Max, Hyper-Turbo, Series Wrap-Up)$100$15,000 16146$19,665.00n/a
TOTAL$1,185,664.70

Lead image via Dreamstime.

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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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