PokerStars Smashes Guarantees in Michigan, Main Event Scores Big

March 15, 2021
PokerStars Smashes Guarantees in Michigan, Main Event Scores Big

PokerStars recently concluded the Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP), the state’s first legal online poker series. The festival ran Feb. 20 through March 8 with more than $1 million guaranteed and attracted some major numbers.

The site went live at the end of January and didn’t waste time rolling out a major series. Poker players seem to have embraced the action and company officials were pleased with the turnout.

“Throughout the series, we were blown away by the overwhelming support from the poker community in Michigan,” PokerStars associate director of consumer engagement and public relations Rebecca McAdam Willetts said in a news release. “We are very encouraged by the success of our inaugural MICOOP and look forward to hosting future poker events for Michigan players.”

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Michigan PokerStars players turn out big

Michigan’s first online poker series turned out to be quite a success. The festival included 60 events and crushed the guarantee with a total prize pool of $2.2 million.

PokerStars quickly saw the demand and even increased guarantees as tournaments overwhelmingly topped original expectations. 

On Feb. 27-28, Pokerstars ran a double-up weekend to boost prize pools. The company saw the rising number of registrations and awarded players by increasing the guaranteed payouts. Overall, 58 of 60 events met guarantees.

PokerStars announced Wednesday that it has raised the Michigan COOP Main Event guarantee from $125,000 to $200,000.

Main Event hauls in plenty of players

The $300 Main Event ran on March 7 and brought in 1,284 entries. That swelled the total prize to $359,520, almost double the initial guarantee of $200,000

After two days of play, “smftt” took the title and $56,398 for the victory. This player becomes the state’s first major online championship event winner. Here’s a look at the top payouts.

PokerStars MICOOP Main Event

FinishPlayerPayout
1smftt$56,399
2zscoro$40,202
3cbauer6789$28,657
4LayThePipeDream$20,428
5nldoublej$14,562
6GigglyGrizzlies$10,380
7PuntnStacks$7,399
8Ryan Haury$5,274
9sexycaitlyn$3,760

MICOOP proved a success and even outscored the Pennsylvania COOP in overall totals. In October, PokerStars ran a similar series in the Keystone State.

That $300 Main Event brought in a $283,640 prize pool. The Michigan Main Event produced more than $75,000 above that total.

Mixing it up in MICOOP

PokerStars MI took an aggressive game plan with Michigan’s first major tournament series. The schedule included more events than the COOP series in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

MICOOP also topped those in number of events, just 54 for NJCOOP and 50 PACOOP. The Michigan series included No Limit Hold’em freezeouts, re-entries, and progressive knockout (PKO) tournaments.

PokerStars also mixed it up by offering Pot Limit Omaha and some less frequently spread forms of poker. This included Five Card Draw, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, HORSE, and Eight-Game Mix. 

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PokerStars remains only operator in Michigan

Currently PokerStars is the only online poker site live in Michigan so far. All three Stars markets currently feature “ringed-in” poker environments, meaning players can only play others in the state.

There is no timeline for a merged shared liquidity market. However, the January ruling on the Wire Act issue could clear the way eventually for grouping players in those states. 

Players are anticipating much larger prize pools when this occurs. All three states create a population of 31.7 million for PokerStars to market its product.

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