Inaugural WSOP Online PA Circuit Series Overpromises, Delivers Overlays

Poker players in Pennsylvania are having a good run at the 2021 WSOP Online PA Circuit Series as multiple events have fallen short of their guarantees. The series runs till Sept. 14.


The first four events at WSOP online circuit event in Pennsylvania ended up with prize pool overlays. (Image:

WSOP PA launched operations in Pennsylvania in July 2021 and was keen on making a big splash in the market which was dominated by PokerStars. WSOP PA announced a special WSOP Online Bracelet series for players in the Keystone state and awarded as many as 8 gold bracelets during the series.

WSOP PA also announced a special 2021 WSOP Online PA Circuit that would run from Sep 3 to 14 and feature a combined guaranteed prize pool of $650,000 across 12 events. This was another bold move by the poker operator but they were confident that the series would attract good numbers due to the coveted WSOPC rings and generous prize money on offer.

One of the main features of the WSOPC PA series was that most of the events featured high buy-ins. Five out of the twelve events had a buy-in of $215 while the remaining eight events had buy-ins between $300 to $500. It looks like the WSOP wanted to target mid-stakes and high-stakes players with this festival but things haven’t gone to plan.

First four events fall short of guarantees

The first four events resulting in overlays is good for poker players in PA but not so good for WSOP PA. The WSOP PA is obligated to meet its guaranteed prize pool and has to put in money of its own which is essentially free money for PA players and also lesser competition at the tables since the event failed to attract the expected number of players.

The four events that failed to meet the guaranteed prize pool:

  • $215 Event 1 had a $50,000 guarantee but ended up with a $42,600 prize pool and a $7,400 overlay
  • $320 Event 2 had a $50,000 guarantee but ended up with a $44,100 prize pool and a $5,900 overlay
  • $215 Event 3 had a $75,000 guarantee but ended up with a $68,000 prize pool and a $7,000 overlay
  • $500 Event 1 had a $40,000 guarantee but ended up with a $38,294 prize pool and a $1,706 overlay

The $22,000 in combined overlays incurred during the first four events will not be a big concern to WSOP PA as they are testing the market to see how players respond.

We will have to wait and see if PokerStars PA Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) gets a better response as the ongoing PACOOP has an average buy-in of $136 across its 69 scheduled events which finish on Sep 27.

$1,000 High Roller smashes expectations

Things started to turn around with the $1,000 High Roller event. This event had a $50,000 guaranteed prize pool but ended up bringing in a total of $85,950 in prize money after it received a total of 60 player registrations and an additional 30 reentries. This has so far been the most successful even in the WSOPC PA series.

Two other events also surpassed their guaranteed prize pools with Event 6 registering $58,200 in prize money against a $50,000 guarantee and Event 7 bringing in $52,800 in prize money against a guaranteed prize pool of $50,000.

Written by
Calvin Azuri

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