The first-ever online World Series of Poker open to players from Pennsylvania has come to a close. Having awarded eight gold bracelets and just shy of $1.5 million in cash prizes, the series was a great success for the operator that went live in the state on July 12, barely a month ago.
As soon as WSOP PA went live, there was a question if players playing from Pennsylvania would have a chance to compete for bracelets, and the operator was quick to answer this question, announcing the first-ever online series in the state comprising of eight bracelet-awarding events.
Although WSOP PA had somewhat of a slow start in the state, struggling to keep up with its biggest competitor, PokerStars Pennsylvania, in terms of player traffic, the online series certainly helped pick things up.
Big Turnout for PA Online WSOP
In the weeks prior to the event, the operator struggled with tournament traffic, failing to meet guarantees in some of its biggest Sunday events. So, this was a bit of a risk for WSOP.com but one that paid out handsomely in the end.
Things started on August 8, with the $500 Keystone Kick-off event. The event had a relatively modest buy-in, still the allure of the bracelet opportunity was clearly an attractive proposition as the tournament ended up having 500 entries and creating a prize pool of $225,000. This was also the biggest tournament in terms of player turnout.
Close behind it was Event #4, a $400 6-max NLHE tournament, which attracted 421 players and generated a prize pool of $151,600.
Event #8, dubbed NLH PA Championship (which we could freely translate as the PA Main Event), also saw a decent turnout, despite its somewhat steep buy-in of $1000. There was a total of 311 entries, which helped create the prize pool of $279,900.
The most expensive tournament on the WSOP PA online schedule was the $3200 High Roller. The tournament was supposed to take place on August 10, but it had to moved due to technical difficulties. This created some discontent among players, some of whom even traveled to PA to play in this one. The event did eventually take place on Tuesday, August 17, boasting a field of 86 entries.
|Event||Entries||Prize Pool||1st Prize|
|#1 – $500 Keystone Kick-off||500||$225,000||$48,420|
|#2 – $500 NLHE PKO||327||$147,150||$27,592|
|#3 – $3200 NLHE High Roller||86||$261,440||$66,641|
|#4 – $400 NLHE 6-max||421||$151,560||$35,480|
|#5 – $777 Lucky 7s||226||$158,200||$40,325|
|#6 – $400 NLHE PKO||319||$114,800||$22,213|
|#7 – $600 Monster Stack||288||$155,520||$39,642|
|#8 – $1000 PA Championship||311||$279,900||$65,524|
|Collected by Winners:||$382,317|
First-ever PA Bracelet Series a Big Success
In the end, it seems like WSOP PA made the right move deciding to launch a PA-specific World Series of Poker Online series. Despite some technical glitches along the way, the series turned out to be a big success as it attracted a great number of players and helped the operator establish its foothold in the new market.
At least some of the players were probably additionally motivated by the fact this could be the only opportunity to win a bracelet in relatively small fields. With legal movements currently happening in the US, it is possible that by the time the next WSOP comes around, the operator will have joined player pools from different states together, resulting in much bigger tournament fields across the board.
WSOP PA also made over $150,000 in rake from these tournaments, which is not a small amount, but probably not that significant for one of the biggest poker brands in the world. The series was primarily meant as a promotional tool in the state, and it is fair to say that it served that function.