Live poker rooms may remain closed in Pennsylvania, but players have another major online option beginning Sept. 19. The second edition of PokerStars’ Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) runs through Oct. 5 with an overall guarantee of almost $1.6 million.
That’s a nice increase over last year’s PACOOP, which guaranteed $1.2 million. PokerStars PA smashed that total with $1.6 million awarded.
With so many players at home, that is now the starting point and it’s a good bet that may be beaten as well. The series includes 50 events with buy-ins ranging from $20 to $300.
A few PokerStars PACOOP highlights
The $300 Main Event highlights this year’s PACOOP on Oct. 4, with a guarantee of $200,000. That’s twice the guarantee of last year’s Main Event.
Ryan “Gyea08” Gerber, of Alburtis, PA, won the first PACOOP for $31,335. He outlasted a field of 639 entries, which produced a prize pool of $179,200.
The road to the championship came with an interesting route for Gerber. He earned a $30 tournament ticket in a Second Chance Freeroll and then parlayed that into a Main Event seat.
“It feels pretty awesome,” he told USPoker after the win. “It definitely took a little bit to settle in, but I think it’s finally hit me that I won. It’s funny, I joked with some of my friends that I don’t know what’s cooler, the money or the title of first PACOOP Main Event champion. I’ll take both.”
Players with lower bankrolls have a nice highlight to look forward to as well. The $50 Mini Main Event is also set for Oct. 4 with $40,000 guaranteed.
Other highlights include the $100 Sunday Specials on Sept. 20 and 27, each with a guarantee of $100,000. Satellites for these events start for as little as $2.
Players will find plenty of No Limit Hold’em action, but there are also some other options including:
- Pot Limit Omaha
- Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better
- No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better
- Limit Hold’em
- Pot Limit Five-Card Draw
- Eight-Game Mix
Here’s a look at the complete schedule:
2020 PokerStars PACOOP
Promotions offer extra chances to get in action
Once again, PokerStars is bringing plenty of promotional efforts for Pennsylvania players getting in on PACOOP. Players eliminated from any event before making the money receive an entry into a Second Chance Freeroll.
These run daily Sept. 20 to Oct. 3, and award $1,250 in satellite tickets and entries into PACOOP events.
A Main Event Depositor Freeroll on Oct. 4 will also be awarding 25 Main Event tickets worth $7,500.
PokerStars remains sole PA operator; Beer & big bucks for Pennsyl-MANIA winner
For players in Pennsylvania, PokerStars remains the only game in town. The site launched in November 2019 and continues offering players plenty of major tournament series.
Numbers have surged during the Coronavirus pandemic. The site has regularly seen 900 cash game players and as many 1,100 in recent weeks, according to PokerScout.
In May, the site launched its Pennsyl-MANIA tournament with a $200 buy-in and $250,000 guarantee. The event was so successful that it returned in August with a $350,000 guarantee.
The two-day tournament beat expectations again and awarded $376,836. The tournament attracted 2,026 entries with “SlotWinna777” winning the title and taking home $44,642 after a four-way deal.
SlotWinna777, aka Jason (he didn’t want to reveal his name), spoke with USPoker about his victory. The win came after having to re-enter the tournament once.
“It feels great, I was eating well and drinking some excellent beers, and then bam – five-figure payday,” he said. “I was a little tired so I was equally excited about being able to go to bed.”
Jason became interested in poker after seeing some ESPN broadcasts of the World Series of Poker.
“Some years later when I found some pool hall poker games, I started playing and never looked back,” he said.
What’s Jason’s outlook on the US and Pennsylvania online poker market? He echoes the thoughts of many players.
He notes: “It’s not a great future until every state can play and player pools are shared.”