Big-Money Michigan Classic Comes Back to PokerStars MI In October At $300 Buy-In

Written By Martin Harris on October 12, 2021

For the second time in a year, the Michigan Classic will return to PokerStars MI later this month.

The two-day, $300 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament gets going at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24. The tournament comes with a $250,000 guaranteed prize pool.

Guarantee halved from inaugural PokerStars Michigan Classic

The first Michigan Classic came in early April featuring a similar format and a guaranteed prize pool worth twice as much at $500,000.

Late registration will last through the first five hours of the tournament, with players allowed up to five re-entries during the late reg period. Players will start with 100,000 chips (200 big blinds) with levels lasting 15 minutes each. Day 1 will last 7.5 hours. The survivors will then return for Day 2 at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25 and play down to a winner.

Back in April, the event attracted 1,551 total entries. That figure was 235 entries shy of hitting the half-million dollar guarantee, which meant PokerStars MI had to add about $65,000 to the prize pool to make up the difference. With the guarantee this time cut in half to $250,000, it would seem less likely the second Michigan Classic will have an overlay.

Also boding well for PokerStars in the Michigan online poker market is the recently completed Michigan Championship of Online Poker last month. The 68-MICOOP tournament series drew more than 18,000 total entries and awarded nearly $1.79 million.

Satellites, Spin & Go’s, and Depositor Freeroll offer inexpensive paths to Classic seats

As usual, PokerStars MI will run numerous Michigan Classic satellites between now and Oct. 24. These begin at $15, giving players a chance to inexpensively win their way into the $300 event.

There will also be $3 Spin & Go’s at PokerStars MI between now and game day awarding seats into the Michigan Classic.

In addition, players can win entry into the tournament for free by playing in the Michigan Classic Depositor Freeroll scheduled for Oct. 24 at 2 p.m.

Any PokerStars MI player who deposits $30 or more while using the code “CLASSIC21” between now and 1:59 p.m. on Oct. 24 gets an entry into the Depositor Freeroll. The top 50 finishers in the event will all win seats into the Michigan Classic starting later that afternoon. That means $15,000 worth of Main Event tickets will be up for grabs.

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Michigan event to coincide with similar tournaments at other PokerStars US sites

The announcement of the Michigan Classic coincides with PokerStars publicizing similar events at both of its other US sites, PokerStars Pennsylvania and PokerStars New Jersey. All three tournaments will take place Oct. 24-25.

In Pennsylvania, PokerStars will run a similarly-structured two-day tournament also with a $300 buy-in, creatively titled Pennsyl-MANIA. That event has run several times before on PokerStars PA since the site launched in November 2019. The PA event will have a larger $350,000 guarantee.

In New Jersey, PokerStars will likely host another two-day, $300 event called the New Jersey Classic. That event will have a $100,000 guarantee.

Such follows a practice begun by PokerStars over recent months whereby all three US sites run concurrent events. Most recently, all three hosted separate COOP (Championship of Online Poker) series over the same dates in September.

As of now, PokerStars’ US sites are each ring-fenced, meaning no sharing of player pools. However that could change down the road should PokerStars and the states in which it operates enter into a multi-state agreement. In other words, PokerStars’ current strategy of running similar events on each site at the same time could represent a kind of trial for that eventuality.

Photo by PokerStars/Courtesy photo
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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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