Borgata‘s Garden State Super Series Spring ’18 came to a close on Sunday. Looking back on the series, we can say it improved upon the fall version of the tournament and provided a solid bump to Borgata and partypoker online poker traffic for the week.
The GSSS Spring ’18 went off without a hitch, which hasn’t always been the case. After tallying the prize pools, Borgata found itself on the right side of the balance sheet.
It’s nice to have some positive results to report about New Jersey online poker, for a change.
GSSS Spring ’18 Recap
The popular online poker tournament series gathered a total prize pool of $436,150 from the 17 events on the schedule. That figure more than covered the $365,000 in guarantees set before the series began.
Of the 17 events, 11 exceeded their guarantee, leaving six that didn’t. Even so, the 11 that exceeded the guarantee did so by a good margin.
Analyzing the series, we found:
- The series started strong when Event #1 – $109 Six-Max No-Limit Hold’Em exceeded its $10,000 guarantee with a $15,400 prize pool.
- Both of the $55 buy-in events, the lowest buy-in on the schedule, struggled to meet their guarantees. Pot Limit Omaha (Event #12) missed its guarantee by $400, and NLH Turbo (Event #5) missed it by $950.
- Pot-limit Omaha continues to struggle to generate interest. In the Spring ’17 series, the PLO event posted a 20% overlay. And even though last fall the event barely made its guarantee, falling back into overlay territory during this series does not bode well for the one NLH event on the schedule.
- Both of the $535 buy-in events (the highest buy-in except for the high roller) smashed their guarantees. Event #6 – Mega Tuesday Six-Max NLH exceeded its guarantee by $13,500 and Event #9 – Mega Thursday NLH exceeded it by $11,500.
- The series ended strong with three of the four events held on the final day exceeding their guarantee. The High Roller being the one tournament that missed the mark.
The GSSS Spring ’18 Major Events
On Sunday, the final day of the series, Borgata held four final events, two of them with massive guarantees.
Event #15 – $320 NLH Main Event with a $100,000 guarantee had 369 entrants, producing a prize pool of $110,700. The number of entrants was a 24% increase in registrations compared to last week’s major tournament. It also surpassed last fall’s Main Event by 25 entrants.
The event lasted just over 11 hours and concluded when the tournament reached heads up. The remaining two players, ‘Jenger’ and ‘TULLYTIME31’ made a deal, the details of which aren’t public yet. We know ‘Jenger’ finished in first place and likely claimed the larger portion of the $34,084.54 that was left to be divided.
Event #16 – $1060 High Roller with a $60,000 guarantee fell short of its guarantee by $5,000. This was the largest overlay of the series.
Last fall this event was on the opening Sunday of the series and drew 47 entrants compared to just 45 entrants this year. It seems the move to the final Sunday and competing with the Main Event was an experiment that didn’t pay off.
After nearly five and a half hours, winner ‘pay4medsch00l’ collected $15,500 worth of medical school tuition.
Some Final Thoughts
Yes, the series exceeded its guarantees and appeared to have had a strong showing. It’s not hard to appear strong in a struggling online poker market like the one New Jersey has been experiencing.
It seems as if Borgata was hedging its bet a little when creating the schedule. Compared to the series held last fall, GSSS Spring ’18 offered three more events and yet there were $10,000 less in guarantees for the entire series.
While New Jersey players love their big, bold tournaments, the online poker rooms are not quite ready to bank on them to reverse the declining revenue trends we have been seeing.