First MICOOP Concludes at PokerStars MI With Over $2.2 Million Awarded

Written By Martin Harris on March 9, 2021 - Last Updated on September 20, 2021

The first major poker tournament series on PokerStars MI ended its run yesterday, and by all reasonable measures, it was a resounding success.

Players in the first-ever Michigan Championship of Online Poker won just over $2.2 million across 60 events. Given the site’s decision to increase guarantees throughout MICOOP, it appears the result well-exceeded expectations.

Nearly half of MICOOP events featured boosted guarantees

Following a fast start to MICOOP, PokerStars began upping guarantees just before hitting the series’ midpoint. The increases started Feb. 27-28 with a Double Up Weekend. PokerStars MI doubled the guarantees for all 10 tournaments that Saturday and Sunday.

PokerStars additionally increased guarantees for many of the tournaments during MICOOP’s final week. Most notably, the Main Event for which the guarantee was boosted from $125,000 to $200,000. In the end 26 of the 60 tournaments ran with higher guaranteed prize pools than originally planned.

The increases pushed what had been just over $1 million in total guaranteed prize pools to almost $1.43 million. In the end, only four of the 60 tournaments had overlays, the largest being just over $9,700 in a $200 6-Max Turbo event on Sunday.

In all, there were almost 32,000 total entries in MICOOP, including re-entries and rebuys and add-ons in three rebuy events.

Business at PokerStars Michigan challenging PA and NJ

The $2,208,002.20 awarded to MICOOP players at PokerStars MI well exceeded what the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker awarded during the first PACOOP in November-December 2019. Players won almost $1.56 million. It even bested what PACOOP gave out during its second running in October 2020 when players won almost $2.04 million.

The total also easily exceeds what New Jersey players have been winning in the NJCOOP. Last fall, NJCOOP won just over $1.12 million.

Speaking of comparisons, both PokerStars PA and PokerStars NJ ran Bounty Builder Series during the same Feb. 20-Mar. 8 period of MICOOP.

The PokerStars PA Bounty Builder Series awarded just over $2 million in 75 events. Meanwhile, the PokerStars NJ Bounty Builder Series featured 58 events and awarded a little less than $700,000.

It’s worth noting that PokerStars currently enjoys monopolies in both Michigan and Pennsylvania as the only online poker site up and running in those states. Meanwhile PokerStars NJ has competition from multiple other online poker sites.

MICOOP Main draws nearly 1,300 entries, prize pool of $360K

That $300 buy-in MICOOP Main Event ultimately attracted 1,284 total entries, pushing the overall prize pool up to $359,520 and crushing that $200K guarantee. Player “smftt” walked away with the title, earning a first prize of more than $56,000.

The MICOOP Main Event was obviously the largest tournament yet in the short history of PokerStars MI. It also rivals some of the largest events that have taken place on PokerStars PA since its November 2019 launch.

The MICOOP Main Event topped the PACOOP Main Event from last October, a similarly-structured $300 buy-in tournament with re-entries. The 2020 PACOOP Main Event drew just over 1,000 total entries to build a prize pool of a little more than $283,000.

Meanwhile, PokerStars PA has staged three one-off Pennsyl-MANIA tournaments with large guarantees that have built bigger prize pools.

The first Pennsyl-MANIA in May 2020 ranks as the largest tournament in PokerStars PA history with a prize pool of almost $516,000. The second installment had a smaller turnout and prize pool of about $377,000. Meanwhile, the third had a $500,000 guarantee and ended up having an overlay.

Don’t be surprised to see PokerStars MI offer its own version of a Pennsyl-MANIA-style special event. Then we’ll see if PokerStars MI can stage a larger event than PokerStars PA has thus far achieved.

Here’s a look at the fields and prize pools for all 60 events of the first MICOOP.

2021 MICOOP by the numbers

EventBuy-inGuaranteeEntriesRe-EntriesPrize Pool  
1: NLHE [MICOOP Kick Off, Nightly Stars SE]$100$30,000 597286$81,059.40
2: NLHE [Rebuy]$20$10,000 7471,153**$34,580.00
3: NLHE [8-Max]$50$20,000 548229$35,353.50
4: NLHE [8-Max, Deepstacks]$100$25,000 430226$60,220.80
5: NLHE [Progressive KO, Sunday Warm Up SE]$50$10,000 430206$28,938.00
6: NLHE [Sunday Special SE]$200$40,000 289141$79,980.00
7: NLHE [Sunday Special Mini]$25$12,500 820409$27,959.75
8: PLO [8-Max]$100$10,000 14672$20,012.40
9: NLHE [Second Chance]$75$7,500 22376$20,406.75
10: NLHE [8-Max, Hyper-Turbo, Sunday Supersonic SE]$50$5,000 19951$11,750.00
11: NLHE [4-Max]$100$15,000 206106$28,641.60
12: NLHE [6-Max, Progressive KO, Battle Royale SE]$50$20,000 443203$29,393.00
13: PLO8 [8-Max]$50$7,500 19387$12,740.00
14: NLHE [Super Tuesday SE]$200$30,000 189109$55,428.00
15: NLHE [Super Tuesday Mini]$30$15,000 624326$25,935.00
16: PL 5-Card Draw [Turbo]$50$3,000 8114$4,322.50
17: PLO [6-Max]$100$7,500 11444$14,504.40
18: NLHE [6-Max, High Roller]$500$35,000 9041$61,570.00
19: NLHE [6-Max]$50$20,000 382180$25,571.00
20: NLHE [Progressive KO, Thursday Thrill SE]$200$30,000 17185$47,616.00
21: NLHE [Progressive KO, Thursday Thrill Mini]$30$15,000 556276$22,713.60
22: 5-Card PLO [6-Max, Turbo]$30$3,000 13563$5,405.40
23: FLHE [6-Max]$100$5,000 7116$7,986.60
24: NLHE [Big Antes]$100$7,500 230112$31,395.60
25: NLHE [6-Max, Turbo]$150$10,000 10927$18,727.20
26: HORSE [Turbo]$50$6,00019484$12,649.00
27: NLHE [Rebuy]$50$20,000394439**$37,901.50
28: NLHE [Turbo, Saturday Speedway SE]$100$20,00022265$26,346.60
29: NLHE [8-Max, Marathon]$100$50,000382193$52,785.00
30: NLHE [Sunday Warm Up SE]$50$25,000442160$27,391.00
31: NLHE [Sunday Special SE]$250$100,000332129$107,413.00
32: NLHE [Sunday Special Mini]$30$30,000768369$31,040.10
33: PLO [8-Max, Turbo]$50$10,00015635$10,000.00*
34: NLHE [6-Max]$100$20,000215104$29,284.20
35: NLHE [Hyper-Turbo, Sunday Supersonic SE]$75$20,00016841$20,000.00*
36: NLHE [4-Max]$50$15,000301151$20,566.00
37: NLHE [6-Max, Progressive KO, Battle Royale SE]$100$25,000 273141$38,005.20
38: NLHE [Super Tuesday SE]$250$50,00017186$59,881.00
39: NLHE [Super Tuesday Mini]$50$25,000437207$29,302.00
40: Stud Hi-Lo$50$5,000 11222$6,097.00
41: PLO [6-Max, High Roller]$250$20,0007830$25,164.00
42: PLO [6-Max]$30$5,000 255130$10,510.50
43: NLHE [6-Max, Turbo]$100$20,000215107$29,559.60
44: NLHE [Progressive KO, Thursday Thrill SE]$250$50,00017898$64,308.00
45: NLHE [Progressive KO, Thursday Thrill Mini]$50$25,000444190$28,847.00
46: NLHE [Turbo]$20$15,000 538235$15,000.00*
47: NLHE [6-Max, Rebuy]$10$15,0007601,565**$21,157.50
48: NLHE$75$15,000 381177$38,083.50
49: NLHE [6-Max, Turbo]$20$5,000 408190$10,883.60
50: 8-Game$50$10,00019977$12,558.00
51: NLHE [6-Max, Turbo, Zoom]$50$15,000 331189$23,660.00
52: NLHE [Turbo, Saturday Speedway SE]$50$10,00029183$17,017.00
53: NLHE [8-Max, Marathon]$50$35,000533238$35,080.50
54: NLHE [Progressive KO]$100$40,000336124$42,228.00
55: NLHE [Main Event]$300$200,000882402$359,520.00
56: NLHE [Main Event Mini]$50$50,000813388$54,645.50
57: NLHE [6-Max, Turbo]$200$30,0008425$30,000.00*
58: NLHE [Hyper-Turbo, Sunday Supersonic SE]$100$15,00018661$23,465.00
59: NLHE [Nightly Stars SE]$100$30,000 358182$49,572.00
60: NLHE [Heads-Up, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom]$20$10,000 484388$15,870.40
TOTALS$1,429,50020,34411,643$2,208,002.20

*Events with overlays: Event No. 33 — $1,309.05; Event No. 35 — $5,265.50; Event No. 46 — $931.40; Event No. 57 — $9,726.00; **total rebuys and add-ons; bold = increased guarantees

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Martin Harris

Martin Harris is a writer and teacher who has reported on poker, online gambling, and sports betting since the mid-2000s. Once a full-time academic (Ph.D., English), he currently teaches part-time in the American Studies program at UNC Charlotte. In 2019, his book Poker & Pop Culture was published by D&B Books.

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