PokerStars is reportedly considering holding its Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker (PASCOOP) sooner than later, according to a source speaking to Online Poker Report.
The New Jersey SCOOP could also take place soon, likely during the first part of April.
Possible move to early April for PASCOOP
According to OPR, PokerStars is planning a PASCOOP to begin April 4, with the NJ version starting April 11.
The $2 million guarantee on the PASCOOP will be the biggest ever for a PokerStars series in the states. The NJSCOOP will guarantee $1.2 million in prize pools.
While no formal announcement has been made as yet, a spring series on PokerStars PA has been expected to take place following the popular PACOOP last December.
Poker moves online during coronavirus pandemic
PokerStars’ global site typically runs its annual Spring Championship of Online Poker series each year during the latter half of May.
Those anticipating PokerStars PA and PokerStars NJ to follow a similar timeline see a potential schedule change as a response to the global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and its effect on live poker.
Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization one week ago today, the coronavirus outbreak has swiftly forced casinos and poker rooms to close throughout the United States and around the world.
Numerous live tournament series previously scheduled for the coming months have either been canceled, postponed, or moved online.
As an indication of the global scope of the crisis, over recent days PokerStars has canceled several of its upcoming live series over the next couple of months. Among them are EPT Sochi (originally scheduled March 20-29), the Brazilian Series of Poker in São Paulo (March 23-28), and PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT (April 23-May 2).
Closures and cancelations are happening locally as well. By the start of this week, six casinos in Pennsylvania had already closed. The other six were ordered to do so by yesterday morning by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
As poker rooms close, online traffic increases
In the wake of live poker becoming unavailable, traffic at PokerStars PA has unsurprisingly picked up of late.
According to the online poker traffic tracking site PokerScout, on February 17 there was a 24-hour peak of 813 players on the site, with 446 cash game players.
Yesterday, March 17, saw a 24-hour peak of 1,181 players, including 691 cash game players.
Meanwhile we have seen as many as 2,200-2,300 players logged onto PokerStars PA during the evening hours over the last two days, a substantial increase over the 1,400-1,700 seen just days before.