For just more than three weeks, online poker players in Michigan have had a choice. The March 22 launch of BetMGM Poker MI, coming a couple of months after PokerStars MI‘s debut, has provided another destination for virtual rounders in the upper and lower peninsulas.
BetMGM Poker MI has yet to close the gap on PokerStars MI’s head start. However, the fledgling site has nonetheless enjoyed some early triumphs in Sunday events and its first $100,000 guaranteed tournament.
Now, BetMGM Poker Michigan is looking ahead to its first major tournament series. Starting this Sunday, the site will host the BetMGM Online Series, which runs April 18-25.
Sunday BetMGM Poker tournament fields steadily growing
According to BetMGM Gaming Communications Manager Anthony Mallamaci, the first Sunday (March 28) at BetMGM Poker MI “drew more than 12,000 players on (the) platform.” That number rivaled Borgata Poker‘s online poker volume in New Jersey and represented more cash-game players than all of the NJ online poker rooms combined.
That same day, the site attracted 260 entries into its new $215 buy-in $40,000 Sunday Guarantee. The field for that event has grown each Sunday since, with 375 entries on April 4, then 464 entries last Sunday (April 11). That meant a prize pool of $92,800, or more than twice the guarantee.
Building on that momentum, the site additionally hosted its largest tournament to date, the BetMGM Grand Online Main Event.
The two-day, $109 buy-in tournament sported a $100,000 guarantee. Ultimately the tournament attracted 1,130 total entries (including re-entries), creating a prize pool of $113,000. Winner “Coolriver84” took away a first prize worth just over $15,200, and the final table received live-stream treatment from LearnWPT and hosts Tony Dunst and Andrew Lichtenberger.
Other events, such as the Daily $10K guarantee, have frequently met or exceeded their guarantees as well.
“Overall, our goal is to be inclusive to players of all levels in our event schedule and promo offerings,” Mallamaci said.
First BetMGM Online Series features 10 events, buy-ins from $20 to $535
To that end, the upcoming BetMGM Online Series features a variety of buy-ins to accommodate players with different-sized bankrolls.
Nine of the 10 tournaments are no-limit hold’em, played in a variety of formats with differing table and stack sizes. There is one pot-limit Omaha event as well — a $109 buy-in tournament with a $10,000 guarantee.
Each of the tournaments has a guaranteed prize pool, with $75,000 guaranteed “Sunday Special” tournaments bookending the schedule. The first has a $215 buy-in, and the last costs a series-high $535 to play. There’s also a $20 event, the “8-Max Mini,” with a $10,000 guarantee.
Here’s a look at the full schedule.
|1||April 18 (Su)||5:00 p.m.||$75K Gtd. NLH Sunday Special 8-Max||$215|
|2||April 19 (M)||8:00 p.m.||$20K Gtd. NLH PKO 8-Max Bounty||$215|
|3||April 20 (Tu)||8:00 p.m.||$10K Gtd. PLO 6-Max||$109|
|4||April 21 (W)||8:00 p.m.||$25K Gtd. NLH 8-Max||$215|
|5||April 22 (Th)||8:00 p.m.||$20K Gtd. NLH 40 Stack 8-Max||$215|
|6||April 23 (F)||8:00 p.m.||$25K Gtd. NLH PKO 8-Max Bounty||$320|
|7||April 24 (Sa)||8:00 p.m.||$25K Gtd. NLH 6-Max||$215|
|8||April 25 (Su)||5:00 p.m.||$5K Gtd. NLH 8-Max Mini||$20|
|9||April 25 (Su)||5:00 p.m.||$20K Gtd. NLH Sunday 1/2 Price 8-Max||$109|
|10||April 25 (Su)||5:00 p.m.||$75K Gtd. NLH Sunday Special 8-Max||$535|
With $300,000 in total guarantees, the BetMGM Online Series is more modest in scope than was PokerStars MI’s first major tournament series.
The Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP) that ran from late February through early March featured 60 events with $1 million in guarantees originally. Some later events had their guarantees boosted, and ultimately, MICOOP players won more than $2.2 million.
PokerStars MI continues to enjoy an edge over BetMGM Poker MI in cash-game traffic as well. At last report, online poker traffic site PokerScout notes PokerStars MI is currently enjoying a seven-day average of 400 cash-game players, well above the 75 cash game players at BetMGM Poker Michigan.
But with more sign-ups each day, the BetMGM Poker MI player pool is gradually growing. Meanwhile, tournament series and other special events will likely attract more Michiganders to take a gander at what BetMGM Poker MI has to offer.