When the 2017 edition of PokerStars’ popular Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) kicks off on April 30, online poker players will be treated to the largest such series ever held.
With over $55 million in combined guarantees across 57 events, the 2017 SCOOP will eclipse last year’s record for largest online poker series by $15 million.
In a press release announcing the full SCOOP schedule, PokerStars’ director of poker innovation and operations Severin Rasset referenced the record-setting guarantees:
“Every year, we strive to push the boundaries of our branded series. This is a particularly enjoyable time where we have the opportunity to review the structure, the buy-in and integrate the latest and most popular tournament formats.
This year, the Series guarantee is $55 million – which is a huge sum of money. We aim to beat a few records, including the total prize pool for a series – but taking into account other signature tournaments over the series period, we actually award closer to $200 million. During SCOOP, we have a tournament for every type of player so give it a try.”
The largest guaranteed prize pool on offer stands at $5 million. And while SCOOP #55-H, the $10,300 Main Event, naturally carries that massive incentive – along with a $1 million guarantee for first place – the series opening event also boasts the same generous payout structure.
The action begins on April 30 with SCOOP #1, one of PokerStars’ so-called “Phased Tournaments,” which essentially spreads the tournament out over a series of starting flights.
Like each of the 57 SCOOP events, this one is divided into the usual Low (L), Medium (M), and High (H) tiers – with SCOOP #1-L priced at $11, #1-M at $109, and $1-H at $1,050.
Those three events offer guarantees of $1 million, $1.5 million, and $5 million, respectively – putting $7.5 million on the line for SCOOP enthusiasts to chase on the series’ opening day.
SCOOP #1 is a Phased Tournament, however, so players can expect the events to be divided into multiple days, with the various finals playing out on May 21.
PokerStars has maintained its preferred L / M / H buy-in structure, with Medium-tier tournaments typically priced at 10 times higher than Low-tier events, while High-tier tournaments cost 10 times more than the Medium-tier on average.
As such, the smallest buy-in point for each of the tiers is $5.50 (L), $55 (M), and $530 (H).
The three-tiered structure also triples the tournament count for SCOOP, turning a 57-event series into a 171-event extravaganza featuring an average of seven tournaments per day.
The festivities will be capped off by SCOOP #55, with the L / M / H buy-ins set at $109, $1,050, and $10,300, respectively.
Each of the Main Events will take place on May 21, and the guaranteed prize pools will be $1.5 million (L), $3 million (M), and $5 million (H) across the three tiers.
Main Event (H) is expected to draw a wide cross-section of the game’s greatest high-stakes online players, and Team PokerStars Pro representatives like Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Jason Mercier, Chris Moneymaker, and Jason Somerville have all confirmed their attendance.
As for the Team PokerStars Online contingent, Randy Lew, Jamie Staples, and Lex Veldhuis will be among those taking to Twitch to live stream their SCOOP sessions.
Grospellier, Mercier, and Somerville will also be treating Twitch fans to extended live streams of their SCOOP exploits.
Other schedule highlights include the return of “Win the Button” tournaments (SCOOPs #10, #42, and #5), and High-Roller events (SCOOPs #15, #26, and #40) which raise the stakes considerably.
Satellite tournaments awarding entry to every event on the SCOOP schedule are running around the clock on PokerStars.