There are two major poker rooms with software clients that run natively within the Mac OSX environment – Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. While Full Tilt Poker runs its Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) about once per quarter, PokerStars only hosts a major tournament series once per year, the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). However, that all changed when PokerStars recently announced a new Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), which is slated to take place in April.
The shift is most likely aimed directly at Full Tilt Poker and has been geared so that players of all bankroll levels can compete. Each of the 22 SCOOP “events” actually consists of three individual tournaments with different buy-in levels: low-stakes, medium-stakes, and high-stakes. Each one of the tournaments will have its own guarantee and all players are invited to compete in as many as they’d like. All three tournaments per event will start simultaneously.
The first event will see furious action among players eager to prove themselves. Event 1 is a No Limit Hold’em Six-Max tournament with Rebuys. The buy-in levels range from $5.50 for low-stakes to $530 for high-stakes rounders. The guarantees are fairly amazing, with $50,000 on the line in the low-stakes game, $200,000 in the medium-stakes game, and a whopping $500,000 in the high-stakes contest.
Beyond the first event, the first four days of April will also see tournaments where players will have to best the competition in Pot Limit Omaha High-Low, Pot Limit Five-Card Draw, a No Limit Hold’em event with a 2X Chance and turbo rounds, and finally a 10-Max No Limit Hold’em Shootout. The high-stakes No Limit Hold’em 2X Chance will boast a $1,575 buy-in and have a prize pool of at least $1 million, making it one of the biggest tournaments in the history of PokerStars not named the Sunday Million.
Since the announcement of SCOOP, PokerStars has been running satellite events non-stop in an effort to push as many people to the series as possible. Whether the satellite is a $2.20 one table affair sending someone to the $11 Pot Limit Five-Card Draw tournament or a $109 satellite sending players to the high-stakes $530 Limit Omaha High-Low affair, everyone has a shot to play in one of these big events.
Some of the more prestigious events of the series will be the tournaments with $5,000 or larger buy-ins for some of the site’s high rollers. The first such contest will be Event 7 (HORSE), which features a $10,300 buy-in and a prize pool guarantee of $750,000. Event 14 will be a No Limit Hold’em Six-Max event with a $5,200 buy-in and prize pool of $1.25 million. Event 18 will have a $5,200 buy-in requirement for Limit Omaha High-Low and a prize pool of at least $400,000. The biggest buy-in event will be the $25,500 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Match Play Event on April 12th, which sports an $800,000 prize pool.
The SCOOP series wraps up on April 12th with a two day No Limit Hold’em Main Event. The low-stakes buy-in is $109 and offers a $1 million prize pool. The medium-stakes event has a $1,050 buy-in and an astounding $3 million prize pool. Finally, for the big guns, the $10,300 buy-in event will offer one of the most massive guaranteed prize pools in online poker history at a jaw-dropping $5,000,000.
The SCOOP schedule combines all stakes together for what amounts to be a $30 million total guaranteed prize pool. This makes it one of the most lucrative tournament series in the history of poker. Many will remember that the WCOOP in 2008 offered the exact same prize pool guarantee and helped give PokerStars a tremendous spike in traffic.
For Mac poker players, tournament play is where a big cash could literally change a life. Visit PokerStars today.