Online poker operators know that large, lucrative online tournament series bring masses of players to the virtual tables. PokerStars has been proving it for many years with its Championship of Online Poker Series in the form of WCOOP, SCOOP, and TCOOP.
Other sites that want to compete with PokerStars have taken to hosting their own series. 888poker does it with its Super XL Series, and PartyPoker hosts Powerfest. But instead of having different variations, they each host their series multiple times per year. And what has happened over time is that the sites have begun to coordinate the series to run at the same time and overlap somewhat with a PokerStars series.
It is happening again later this month, as PartyPoker, 888poker, and PokerStars are each set to run their own competing series.
Why Compete for Players Simultaneously?
One might think that it would be smarter for online poker operators to host their series at different times from their competitors so as to attract all of possible players. Running competing series makes some players choose one of the three sites for their tournaments.
That may be true for some amateur players who play only one tournament at a time, but most players who will participate in multiple events of an online series expand their focus and play multiple events at the same time. And many of them compete on all three of the major poker sites – PokerStars, PartyPoker, and 888poker.
Hosting three series simultaneously is a benefit for the sites, as they are able to ensure that all serious poker players will be in a place where they are legally able to play and ready – possibly with multiple monitors – to multi-table. Sites can also be fairly sure that they are offering different buy-ins and poker variations at different times, allowing players to find something they like on all of the three sites. The main goal is to make sure that poker players are in tournament mode and seeking as much tournament action as possible – all at the same time.
Players enjoy the overlapping series as well. Many of them live in countries like the United States, in which they are unable to play on the three main sites, so they travel to countries that link to the dot-com networks. Offering series at the same time ensures that those remote players can access all three sites over the course of one poker trip. The variety of tournament options gives them all something desirable during peak poker hours on one or more sites.
Comparison of January Series Offerings
PokerStars’ Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP) was the first series to be announced for January, as player input was requested in the last months of 2017 and the final lineup of tournaments revealed in December. There was to be $15 million in guarantees for the entire series, and the individual event guarantees are now available.
In addition, TCOOP players will compete on the Player of the Series leaderboard, with the top 200 finishers receiving a prize. The overall points winner will win a trophy, $10K in cash, and a 2017 SCOOP Main Event ticket worth $1K.
- TCOOP: January 18-29
- Total of 65 tournaments
- Total of $15 million in guarantees
- $1,000 buy-in NLHE Main Event with $3 million guaranteed
Later in December, 888poker announced its January offering as a Super XL Series with a total of $5 million in guarantees, which is an increase of $1 million over the previous series in November. The series starts on January 19 and runs through the 29th. While there is not as much money available as in the PokerStars series, the buy-ins are relatively more affordable for the average player, and the number of events is competitive.
The bonus event for Super XL is the Champion of Champions event, with the top 18 points earners of the entire series winning seats to the tournament. Every player is guaranteed a prize, with the winner set to receive a World Series of Poker Main Event prize package worth $12K.
- Super XL Series: January 19-29
- Total of 63 tournaments
- Total of $5 million in guarantees
- $1,000 buy-in NLHE Main Event with $1.5 million guaranteed
Just as 2017 kicked off, PartyPoker announced that it would compete as well with its Powerfest series, which offers four different buy-in ranges for players: featherweight, middleweight, heavyweight, and high roller. That makes the number of tournaments available from January 22 to February 5 more than three times that of each competitor. There will be $11 million in guarantees and something for players of every bankroll level.
PartyPoker will run a Millions Leaderboard challenge, with three leaderboards awarding $225K in total prizes and tournament tickets to the upcoming PartyPoker MILLIONS.
- Powerfest: January 22 – February 5
- Total of 224 tournaments
- Total of $11 million in guarantees
- $1,050 buy-in NLHE Main Event with $1 million guaranteed