PokerStars Extends SCOOP, Increases Guarantees to $135m

  • 2020 SCOOP adds 132 tournaments, $50m in guarantees through end of May
  • Seven more events with seven-figure guarantees
  • Breaks online poker series guarantee record set by GGPoker
woman using laptop, holding cash, with cash floating down
PokerStars has extended the 2020 SCOOP through May, tacking on 132 events and upping the guarantees to $135m. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Tournaments now running through May

PokerStars has announced that it is extending the 2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) nearly two additional weeks and boosting the total guarantees an additional $50m.

Originally scheduled to end May 19, SCOOP will now run all the way through the rest of the month. Another 132 tournaments have been added and there are now $135m in total guaranteed prize pools.

SCOOP is one of PokerStars’ two largest online poker tournament series each year, along with the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). With poker players housebound because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, its popularity has surged along with global online poker traffic. As such, PokerStars likely felt now was the perfect time to keep a good thing going.

more than 1.2m entries and over $80.5m in total prize pools across all completed events

Nearly every tournament has eclipsed its guarantee so far, with many doubling or more than doubling it. Just a handful of events have had overlay. Through May 14, 177 SCOOP tournaments have been completed and a dozen are still running. There have been more than 1.2m entries and over $80.5m in total prize pools across all completed events, with $11.5m in first place prizes handed out.

Seven more $1m guarantees

The highlights of the new tournaments include seven with guaranteed prize pools of at least $1m. Of those, three of the most notable are the three different tiers of the “Second Chance Main Event” on Sunday, May 24. With buy-in levels of $55, $530, and $5,200, they cost about half of what the original Main Event does. The guarantees are lower, as well, but they are still $1m, $1.5m, and $1.5m, respectively.

On the new final day of the 2020 SCOOP, there is a two-tiered Sunday Million special edition. The $109 “medium” buy-in is “the” Sunday Million, an eight-max, Progressive Knockout, No-Limit Hold’em tournament with a $2.5m guaranteed prize pool. The “high” tier costs $1,050 and has a $1.5m guarantee.

With 132 new events, there are price points for everyone, down to $5.50.

All of the remaining events on the original schedule are still in place, as planned.

Escalating guaranteed prize pool war

With online poker traffic booming because of the COVID-19 pandemic, an arms race has emerged with PokerStars and GGPoker serving as the two primary players.

two weeks later, the schedule was revealed: 595 events and $100m in guarantees

PokerStars initially announced the full 2020 SCOOP schedule a month ago, boasting a record $85m in guaranteed prize pools. At about the same time, however, GGPoker announced a partnership with the World Series of Poker to launch the WSOP Super Circuit Online Series. Just two weeks later, the schedule was revealed: 595 events and $100m in guarantees.

Now, PokerStars has one-upped GGPoker, increasing the guarantee record by 35%. In extending the duration of series, as well, PokerStars has made it so SCOOP will end on the same day as the WSOP Super Circuit.

partypoker is also in the midst of a sizeable online tournament series. Working with the World Poker Tour to bring make up for cancelled live tour stops, partypoker is hosting the inaugural WPT Online Series. The 40-event series has $35m in guarantees and wraps up next week. After an initial flight this past Sunday, the phased $5m WPT Online Championship resumes this weekend.