Spring Championship of Online Poker

PokerStars’ 2013 Spring Championship of Online Poker Starts Sunday

Spring Championship of Online PokerFilling the poker calendar between the close-to-concluding European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo and the soon-to-start 2013 World Series of Poker, PokerStars’ annual Spring Championship of Online Poker begins tomorrow.

On Sunday, May 12 at 11:00 a.m. EDT the first “low,” “medium,” and “high” tournaments of the SCOOP series get underway with Event No. 1 (no-limit hold’em, 6-max.).  Then in the afternoon come the three tourneys comprising Event No. 2 (NLHE, full ring).  In anticipation of large fields, both of tomorrow’s events are scheduled as two-day events.

Beginning Monday, the schedule includes three sets of three “low,” “medium,” and “high” events each day for the next two weeks, with the penultimate Event No. 43 NLHE “Main Event” starting on Sunday, May 26.

Buy-ins for the three Main Event tourneys are $109 (“low”), $1,050 (“medium”), and $10,300 (“high”), with guarantees of $1 million (“low”), $2 million (“medium”), and $3 million (“high”). Guarantees for all 132 events total $40 million, a figure that will in all likelihood be easily exceeded, probably before the middle of the second week of the series.

PokerStars’ tentative first-draft schedule for the 2013 SCOOP in late March included 42 planned-for events with the three distinct buy-in tourneys for each (i.e., 126 tourneys). The finalized version then saw the total number of events increase to 44 (i.e., 132 tourneys), with three events added and one dropped.

Additions included a no-limit single draw 2-7 event (Event No. 12), a pot-limit Omaha 6-max. turbo event with rebuys (Event No. 23), and a no-limit hold’em “3x chance” turbo event (Event No. 44). Meanwhile, a Triple Stud event (razz, stud, stud hi/lo) was excised. The full final draft SCOOP schedule can be viewed here.

That total of 132 tournaments represents an increase from the 120 played during the 2012 SCOOP, the largest ever in the four-year history of the tournament series, featuring 526,154 entries and prize pools totaling $65,332,179.

That total established a new all-time high in online poker for “richest online poker tournament series,” breaking the previous record set during the 2010 SCOOP which saw 114 tournaments featuring prize pools that totaled $63,802,405.

Last year’s total represented a recovery of sorts for the SCOOP series after the total prize pools in 2011 had dipped to $43,165,800 (again, for 114 tourneys). That year’s series came just a month after Black Friday and the exit of PokerStars from the United States.

In 2010, U.S. players represented 147,026 of 461,936 entries in the series (31.8%), with those players earning $31,578,709.58 of the prize money (49.5%) while winning 59 of the 114 events.

Last year Russia was responsible for the most entries in SCOOP events, with Germany next closest. Meanwhile Canada claimed the most titles (20), many earned by U.S. players who had moved across the northern border in order to be able to participate. Players from Canada also claimed the most in winnings among all 156 participating countries with $10,330,331.50.

Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb earned SCOOP Player of the Series in 2012 after winning four tournaments, all of the “high”-stakes variety with $2,100 buy-ins and all involving stud games (Seven-Card Stud, Triple Stud, Stud Hi/Lo, and H.O.R.S.E.). Deeb played in 115 of the 120 events, making eight final tables overall and cashing 27 times.

Meanwhile, Nick “GripDsNutz” Grippo won the $10,300 SCOOP “High” Main Event last year, topping a field of 517 to earn $798,675 following a three-way chop. By way of comparison, only five of the WSOP bracelets won last summer in Las Vegas yielded larger first prizes (including, of course, the Main Event and “Big One for One Drop”).

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