Christmas comes a little early this year for online poker players in Pennsylvania, where PokerStars is set to host its first championship tournament series in the state.

Beginning on November 30 and running through December 16, the inaugural Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) series squeezes 50 events into the schedule. Entry fees will span the spectrum from affordable ($30) to high-roller status ($750), with satellite tournaments that feed players into larger PACOOP events beginning as low as the $1 buy-in level.

The series culminates with a $300 buy-in Main Event tournament which will award a guaranteed prize pool of $100,000.

All told, PokerStars will pay out $1 million in guaranteed prize pools across its first ever PACOOP series.

PokerStars Doubles Down on American Presence with Second COOP Series

That setup mirrors the popular New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP), which ran in the Garden State back in October with a 50-event, $1 million guaranteed prize pool schedule.

PokerStars has only been operational in Pennsylvania for less than a month – having launched in its second regulated American statewide market on November 4  – but the site’s player traffic immediately dwarfed that of its New Jersey neighbor.

PokerStars parent company The Stars Group has been making major moves of late. In October, the company agreed to merge with FanDuel parent company Flutter Entertainment, forming the world’s largest iGaming conglomerate in the process. And back in May, The Stars Group partnered up with FOX Sports to rebrand the former Bet Stars sports betting app as FOX Bet.

In a statement issued through the PokerStars Blog, FOX Bet president Matt Primeaux pointed to the immediate popularity of PokerStars PA as a prime reason to rush out its first local COOP series:

“The Championship of Online Poker, or COOP, is one of our most prestigious events and we’re proud to give Pennsylvania its own. Players in PA have already shown their excitement for PokerStars so we took things to the next level with a $1 million series guarantee and plenty of ways to get in on the action.”

In the same blog post, PokerStars Ambassador and Pennsylvanian poker pro Jennifer Shahade proudly celebrated the return of major tournament series like the COOP to her home state:

“I’m thrilled to see PokerStars’ COOP coming to Pennsylvania this December, giving PA players the chance to play in a world-renowned poker series and vie for titles.

“Having online poker in Pennsylvania has been amazing so far. I felt chills playing my very first Sunday session, and there was such a buzz at the tables.

I can’t wait to see everyone battling to be the first PokerStars PA champion.”

Multiple Paths to Qualify for Main Event and Other Big Buy-In Tourneys

PokerStars PA – which can be accessed anywhere within Pennsylvania state lines through PokerStarsMTAiryCasino.com – will be running satellite qualifiers around the clock before and during PACOOP.

Players who make a deposit of $50 or more before 1:59 p.m. (EST) on December 15, while using the bonus code PACOOP, will also receive a free entry to the Main Event Depositor Freeroll. This special freeroll tournament begins at 2:00 p.m. (EST), with 25 Main Event tickets worth $750 each awarded to the top 25 finishers.

Additionally, any player who enters a PACOOP event and goes bust before the money bubble has burst will be entered into the daily Second Chance Freeroll tournament. This freeroll begins at 6:00 p.m. EST on most days between December 1-16, with the Sunday edition taking place at 3:00 p.m. EST.

In either case, the Second Chance Freeroll offers $1,250 in total satellite tickets and PACOOP tournament entries to the top finishers.

Jonathan Zaun

One of Gamble Online's first dedicated reporters, Jonathan has spent well over a decade reporting on the gaming industry. While breaking legal news is his main area of expertise, Jonathan is an avid blackjack player & strategist who follows professional poker closely.

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