From Saturday, November 18 through Monday, November 20, the WSOP.com New Jersey Poker Classic online tournament series will come to a close.
The series began on November 10, offering 38 tournaments and $500,000 in guaranteed prize pools to players in New Jersey’s regulated iGaming market.
But the grand finale takes place Sunday at 5:00 p.m. local time, with a $500 buy-in Main Event sporting a $100,000 guarantee – ensuring the eventual winner will pocket a sizable five-figure score.
The New Jersey Poker Classic Main Event is a No Limit Hold’em (NLHE) tournament, and players are permitted to reenter for another $500 through the reentry period.
For folks working on a tighter bankroll, WSOP.com is also hosting several smaller events on Saturday evening to conclude the series.
Event #28 costs only $50 to enter, and players will be competing for their share of an $8,000 guaranteed prize pool. The format is NLHE with rebuys and an add-on, along with deeper starting stacks.
Event #29, the “Saturday Best” NLHE reentry tournament, ups the ante to $320 while guaranteeing a prize pool of $25,000.
And in Event #30, players will pay $150 to take part in NLHE six-handed reentry action, with a $10,000 guaranteed prize pool up for grabs.
Bill Rini, who serves as head of online poker for the World Series of Poker (WSOP), spoke to Online Poker Report about using a balanced approach when setting the New Jersey Poker Classic schedule:
“Every tournament schedule is part art and part science. We have data to go off of, but the wants and needs of players change over time. So, you have to go into it knowing that a spreadsheet is never going to give you everything.
From the beginning, our positioning has been to be the best place to play poker online. We offer a great experience for players, chances to win WSOP packages, and players know and trust the brand.”
Rini’s last shot at developing an online tournament series in the Garden State occurred last summer, when WSOP.com hosted the New Jersey Online Championships. The schedule for that one featured over twice as many events at 93, but the guaranteed prize pools were halved at $250,000.
Last month saw PokerStars.nj – WSOP.com’s chief rival in New Jersey – host the second annual New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP). That series spread 46 events and $1.2 million in guarantees over 17 days of action, but while overall attendance increased slightly over last year’s edition, seven tournaments failed to meet their guarantee.
The overlays were relatively minor, and tended to affect larger buy-in events, but as Rini told Online Poker Report, WSOP.com carefully observed PokerStars’ progress on the tournament series front:
“As far as the competition, I don’t want to say that we don’t pay attention but they’re often playing off other strengths and weaknesses, so what works for them might not be right for us.
We just try to be very good at what we set out to do.”
Player volume data tracked by the PokerScout site shows WSOP.com and PokerStars.nj are neck and neck in the race for market share supremacy. Both sites show a rolling seven-day average of 80 active players at any given time, good enough to beat out the PartyPoker.nj platform and its seven-day average of 70 active users.
Anybody who busts out of the Main Event can hop in one of seven side events scheduled for Sunday and Monday. The buy-ins for these NLHE events range from just $30 to $250, with guarantees between $4,000 and $25,000.