2017 PokerStars NJSCOOP Schedule Ready to Go

The 2017 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) begins in a week and a half and thousands of poker players will flock to the world’s largest online poker room to play in the most popular tournament series of the year. Unfortunately, whenever I write about anything like that, I die a little inside because I live in the United States, the home of the free, where I can’t play online poker (well, I mean, I CAN, but we won’t discuss that right now). Those of you in New Jersey, though, ARE able to play and guess what? You guys have your own SCOOP coming down the pike: the appropriately named New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker. PokerStars has published the schedule for NJSCOOP, which will begin May 6th and run through May 22nd.

There will be 35 total events in the 2017 NJSCOOP, but unlike in the “regular” SCOOP, where there are three buy-in levels to each event, there will only be two buy-in levels for NJSCOOP. Thus, with a “high” and “low” buy-in for 35 events, there will be 70 total tournaments during the two-plus weeks in May.

Guaranteed prize pools total more than $1.2 million, one-sixth of which ($200,000) will be in the $500 Two-Day No-Limit Hold’em Main Event (High), scheduled to start on May 21st. The low buy-in version will have a $50 buy-in and a $30,000 prize pool.

While most of the events will be some form of No-Limit Hold’em, the game types do run the gamut from Pot-Limit Omaha to Eight Game to Stud Hi/Lo to HORSE. There is even a 5-card Omaha event mixed in there somewhere.

PokerStars is giving players a few ways to qualify for the high buy-in Main Event without having to plunk down $500. The first way – and this might not have the best odds, but might also be one of the better ways to try AND still win money – is a special NJSCOOP Spin & Go. This special $4 Spin & Go only offers four possible prize pool multipliers, but the top one is 125x, which equates to a $500 ticket into the high buy-in NJSCOOP Main Event.

Here is a breakdown of the different prize tiers and the odds of hitting each:

2x multiplier – $8 prize pool – 741,425 in 1 million
4x multiplier – $16 prize pool – 232,225 in 1 million
6x multiplier – $24 prize pool – 24,500 in 1 million
125x multiplier – NJSCOOP Main Event High Ticket – 1,850 in 1 million

As you can see and likely expected, the chances of spinning the Main Event ticket prize is excessively low – less than two-tenths of a percent – but if you normally play Spin & Go’s, anyway, it may be worth a shot, as you can still profit without winning the seat. In a regular multi-table satellite, it is very easy to come away with nothing except hurt feelings and lost time.

If someone is fortunately enough to win more than one Main Event seat, the extra ticket(s) will be converted to regular tournament dollars.

Speaking of satellites, PokerStars is also holding a number of freerolls that award tickets to both the high and low Main Events. Players must qualify for each of the four freerolls, though.  The good news is that it is trivially easy to do so. The NJSCOOP Main Event Freeroll Challenge Schedule is split up into four week-long “Challenge” periods. During one of those weeks, all a player has to do is play one (ONE) real money cash game hand or play in one real money tournament. Do that, and one is granted entry into the weekly freeroll. Rinse and repeat for four weeks to earn a ticket into all four freerolls.

Players must opt-in to the challenge by opening the Challenge window in the poker client and clicking “Start” next to one of the available NJSCOOP challenges.

There is one more way to win a seat into the Main Event, but this one offers kind of an oddball, circuitous route to the Main Event. PokerStars is giving away $8,000 in satellite tickets, but to earn one, the first step is to play in any of these five NJSCOOP events:

Event 03 – $30 (L)/$300 (H) NLHE
Event 06 – $25(L)/$200 (H) NLHE Win The Button
Event 18 – $50 (L)/$350 (H) NLHE
Event 21 – $20 (L)/$300 (H) NLHE 4-max
Event 27 – $15 (L)/$100 (H) NLHE

Anyone who enters one of those events will receive a ticket for an All-In Shootout (low or high, depending on the NJSCOOP event entered) which takes place at 8:00pm ET the following day. Each of the five “low” All-In Shootouts will award 40 $10 satellite tickets, while the five “high” All-In Shootouts will award 12 $100 satellite tickets.

Of course, let’s remember that All-In Shootouts are all luck. The poker software automatically puts everybody all-in pre-flop every hand until one person remains at each table. Those table winners are then combined and the process starts again until the field is narrowed to 40 or 12 places, depending on the tournament.

Then, after that, the prize winners still have to do well enough in their satellites to win the Main Event ticket.

The complete schedule for the 2017 NJSCOOP can be found at http://www.pokerstarsnj.com/njscoop/.

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