Michigan Online Poker: More Than 5,000 Entries In Two Big Easter Events

Posted By Matt Schoch on April 6, 2021 - Last Updated on April 7, 2021

Ahh, Easter. Egg hunts, candy, a family gathering, maybe one of the first days of grilling season. Oh, and Michigan online poker.

Michigan’s pair of poker operators could be angling to make the holiday weekend a poker staple here.

But for now, there was both evidence of growth in the sector, along with what could be characterized as a disappointing Michigan Classic online poker turnout for PokerStars.

More than 5,000 entries in Easter Sunday MI events

There were more than 5,000 entries into two high-profile online poker tournaments over the weekend.

The Michigan Classic online poker event at PokerStars drew 1,551 entries as 1,025 players (plus 526 re-entries) sidled up to the $500,000 guaranteed event. The tournament started on Sunday afternoon for 7½ hours, then picked up Monday evening to decide the title as 63 players survived until Day 2.

At BetMGM Poker, there were 3,919 entries into the one-day $50,000 Freeroll Invitational Tournament, which offered tournament tickets to other events as prizes.

However, don’t read too much into the entries disparity between the events. The freeroll component compared against the buy-in factor is significant here. All the same, we are setting up for some future battles between the operators to monitor the early balance of power for Michigan online poker.

Michigan Classic had $65k overlay

PokerStars set the buy-in at $300 for the inaugural Michigan Classic.

With $280 of each entry going to the prize pool, that means the event was a $65,720 overlay short of the guarantee. The guarantee was Michigan’s largest since the Jan. 29 PokerStars launch. That means Stars Casino bankrolled prizes and may have overshot expectations for signup.

The holiday weekend, great spring weather and BetMGM’s simultaneous event were likely factors in the guarantee miss.

On Monday night, player moneydijon won the $76,319.05 first prize. fuenteslogan took second ($54,874), Chancellor Kam was third ($39,454.85) and 251 finishers were paid. Places 198 through 251 were paid $658.80 apiece.

PokerStars overlays nets $16,340 weekend loss

The overlay was the biggest for PokerStars three main weekend events.

At PokerStars PA, the Pennsyl-MANIA made its $400,000 guarantee ($300 buy-in) over the same two days.

PokerStars NJ hosted the New Jersey Classic. The $500 buy-in event fell short of its $100,000 guarantee, with a $16,340 overlay.

Subtracting the rake, which was $20 per entry in Michigan, the three events combined for a net loss of $16,180 for the operator.

BetMGM event hands out tournament entries

Sunday’s BetMGM event had no real wagered or earned.

The top five winners earned the following prize allocations (in addition to a free $109 entry into the Grand Online Series Main Event):

  1. Benny11 ($500 tournament dollars)
  2. DavidKayePoker ($400 tournament dollars)
  3. jwagnerj11 ($300 tournament dollars)
  4. dirtyfo ($200 tournament dollars)
  5. Zenyatta19 ($100 tournament dollars)

Players who finished sixth though 250 earned the $109 entry, while places Nos. 251-500 earned $50 in tournament dollars. Those finishing Nos. 501-750 earned $25 in tournament dollars, and Nos. 751-1,000 earned $10 in tournament dollars.

More big MI poker events coming this spring

BetMGM’s next big event is the Grand Online Main, a $100k event on Sunday. As of noon Tuesday, 444 players had signed up for the $109 buy-in.

Then there’s the BetMGM Online Series, which runs April 18-25 with a $305k total guarantee. The week opens and closes with $75k Sunday Special events.

At PokerStars, there is a $60k Half Price Sunday Special coming this weekend with a $50 buy-in. More big events are sure to follow.

The platform also announced on Wednesday the Spring Championship of Online Poker, which guarantees more than $5 million in prizes for MI, NJ and PA in April and May.

Details for the Michigan Spring Championship of Online Poker will be announced in the coming weeks, but the series will run May 8-24. In the winter, the Michigan Championship of Online Poker distributed $2.2 million in prizes.

The Pennsylvania spring event, which opens April 17, will have $2 million in guaranteed prizes over 120 events. Buy-ins in PA range from $5 to $1,000.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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