Competing Series Conclude on PokerStars, BetMGM Poker; They Awarded Nearly $900K

Written By Martin Harris on August 24, 2021

It’s August, which means temperatures are soaring across most of the country. In Michigan, the weather hasn’t been quite so hot over recent weeks. Even so, both Michigan online poker sites gave players a reason to stay inside by running competing tournament series.

PokerStars Michigan‘s Champions Preseason series and BetMGM Poker Michigan‘s latest version of its BetMGM Online Poker series went head-to-head last week. Although PokerStars MI again enjoyed an edge in terms of field sizes and overall prize pools, BetMGM Poker MI managed its best showing yet with the monthly series.

PokerStars MI Champions Preseason series awards $460K

The 24-tournament Champions Preseason series took place on PokerStars MI from Aug. 13-23. The series featured buy-ins ranging from $1 and $2 all the way up to a $300 high roller.

The football-themed Michigan online poker series appears to have scored locally. All 24 events drew fields large enough to eclipse their guarantees. Ultimately the tournaments attracted more than 6,000 total entries with players winning just over $460,000 altogether in the series.

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The $200 buy-in, two-day Main Event, a $12,500 guaranteed tournament, finished on Monday. With 266 total entries, the prize pool nearly doubled that guarantee, topping out at almost $24,500.

In the end, “HarryTheHammer” took the top spot, collecting a prize of nearly $14,500 following a four-way final table deal. In addition to the cash, “HarryTheHammer” also won two tickets to any professional football game (worth up to $1,000).

The free tickets were among the several side promotions that went along with Champions Preseason series events. There was a freeroll early in the series, in which the top 100 finishers each won a $10 “Freebet” to use in the FOX Bet Sportsbook. Players also won free Michigan Championship of Online Poker tickets.

Here’s a look at the turnouts and prize pools for the 24-event PokerStars MI Champions Preseason series.

PokerStars MI: Champions Preseason series by the numbers

EventBuy-inGuaranteeEntriesPrize Pool
1: NLHE Champions Preseason Kickoff$100$12,500221$20,287.80
2: NLHE Champions Preseason Mini Kickoff$30$6,000374$10,210.20
3: NLHE Friday Night Light, Turbo$1$250319$290.29
4: NLHE Spiked! Fast Friday, 6-Max, Turbo$75$5,000126$8,599.50
5: NLHE Pick Six: Win the Button, 6-Max$30$2,500158$4,313.40
6: NLHE $40 Dash: 6-Max, Turbo, Zoom$40$7,500254$9,245.60
7: NLHE Sunday Special, Preseason Edition$100$50,000624$57,283.20
8: NLHE Sunday Second Chance, Turbo$50$5,000190$8,645.00
9: NLHE Two Minute Drill: 6-Max, 2-Min. Levels, Hyper$20$2,000122$2,293.60
10: NLHE Spiked! Battle Royale: Bigstack, 6-Max, PKO$200$20,000130$24,180.00
11: PLO8 8-Max$30$2,000189$5,159.70
12: Mixed NLHE/PLO The Audible: 6-Max$30$3,000118$3,221.40
13: NLHE Spiked! BigStack Super Tuesday$200$25,000164$30,504.00
14: NLHE The Big Game: BigStack High Roller$300$30,000145$40,600.00
15: NLHE $2 Conversion Turbo Progressive Total KO$2$500368$669.76
16: NLHE Spiked! Mini Thursday Thrill PKO$75$12,500322$21,976.50
17: NLHE 4-Max$75$8,000196$13,377.00
18: NLHE Bounty Builder Bowl PKO$200$25,000153$28,458.00
19: NLHE Mini Bounty Builder Bowl PKO$20$4,500523$9,518.60
20: H.O.R.S.E., 6-Max$30$2,000104$2,839.20
21: NLHE Main Event$200$80,000626$116,436.00
22: Preseason PLO$100$10,000152$13,953.60
23: NLHE The Final Cut$100$12,500266$24,418.80
24: NLHE The O.T., 6-Max, Hyper-Turbo, PKO$20$1,500211$3,966.80

PokerStars ran similar series over the same dates on both its Pennsylvania and New Jersey sites. On PokerStars PA, players turned out in even greater numbers than in Michigan, ultimately winning a little more than $592,000 total in 25 events. PokerStars NJ featured a 20-event series in which players won just over $195,000.

BetMGM Online Series awards new high of $432K despite overlays

As PokerStars MI ran its series, BetMGM Poker MI likewise offered its monthly BetMGM Online Series from Aug. 15-22. Tthe series had typically featured 10 tournaments, but this month BetMGM Poker MI added an 11th event. Doing so helped push the total entries close to 3,800 and the total money awarded for the series up over $432,000. That’s the most awarded so far through five installments of the BetMGM Online Series.

That amount eclipsed the previous high of just over $360,000 awarded during the first BetMGM Online Series in April. It also well exceeded the $330,000 in total guarantees, although six of the 11 tournaments did have overlays. Those overlays meant BetMGM Poker MI had to add $46,500 to prize pools along the way.

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The largest overlay came in the last event. The $1,060 buy-in finale that sported a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. But with just 85 entrants, that meant a $15,000 overlay.

Meanwhile, two events smashed their guarantees. One was the first $215 buy-in no-limit hold’em event with a $20,000 guarantee. With 407 entries, the prize pool of $81,400 ended up being more than four times that amount.

Also, the $20 “mini” event once again drew an enormous field. This time, BetMGM Poker MI increased the guarantee for that event to $15,000 (from $5,000 previously). With 2,249 entries, the prize pool ended up being more than $41,000.

Here’s how the turnouts and prize pools ended up for the August running of the 11-event BetMGM Online Poker series.

BetMGM Poker MI: BetMGM Online Series by the numbers

EventBuy-inGuaranteeEntriesPrize PoolOverlay
1: NLHE 8-Max$535$50,00072$50,000$14,000
2: NLHE 1/2 Prize$109$35,000307$35,000$4,300
3: NLHE 8-Max$215$20,000407$81,400n/a
4: NLHE 6-Max$215$20,000135$27,000n/a
5: NLHE 8-Max$215$20,000130$26,000n/a
6: PLO 8-Max$109$10,00082$10,000$1,800
7: NLHE 6-Max Turbo$109$10,000113$11,300n/a
8: NLHE 8-Max Progressive KO Bounty$215$25,00087$25,000$7,600
9: NLHE 6-Max$215$25,000106$25,000$3,800
10: NLHE 8-Max Mini$20$15,0002,249$41,606.50n/a
11: NLHE 8-Max$1,060 $100,00085$100,000$15,000
Martin Harris Avatar
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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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