$250 Million Showdown: PokerStars, GGPoker, and Partypoker to Host Rival Spring Festivals

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PokerStars, GGPoker, and Partypoker will battle for MTT dominance in April with three rival festivals, two of which will guarantee at least $100 million in prize money.

PokerStars, GGPoker, Partypoker
PokerStars, GGPoker, and Partypoker will all be hosting major tournaments and festivals in April. (Image: CardsChat)

PokerStars made the headlines this week with the announcement of its first-ever nine-figure guarantee.

Not to be outdone, GGPoker quickly countered with a record-setting prize pool of its own. Their Spring Festival will run from April 4 to April 25 and have a $150 million guarantee.

Partypoker also jumped into the mix with an April Powerfest featuring $1.10 MTTs and a $1 million guaranteed main event.

3 series, $250 million+ in guarantees

Each online series will offer hundreds of MTTs across a range of buy-ins. Those, coupled with record guarantees, is cause for celebration.

What’s more significant about the recent announcements, however, is that they set up a three-way showdown between poker’s biggest brands.

PokerStars SCOOP Vital Stats

  • Dates: April 4 to April 28
  • MTTs at three buy-in levels: Low, Medium, and High
  • $100 million guarantee
  • 306 total MTTs

GGPoker Spring Festival Vital Stats

  • Dates: April 4 to April 25
  • MTTs at three buy-in levels: Low, Medium, and High
  • $150 million guarantee
  • 300 individual events

Partypoker Powerfest Vital Stats

  • Dates: April 9 to April 27
  • $1 million guaranteed main event
  • Schedule TBD, but buy-ins will start at $1.10

PokerStars has long held the monopoly when it comes to online festivals, particularly in April. This has been the case ever since it hosted the first Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) in 2009.

It’s not 2009 anymore and times have changed: PokerStars no longer has the monopoly when it comes to MTT series.

A major reason for this is COVID-19. Last year’s restrictions meant that live poker had to be put on hold. The WPT, WSOP, and other tournament organizations adapted with the help of online operators, including GGPoker and Partypoker. These enforced changes not only kept the MTT bandwagon rolling, but showed what’s possible when it comes to hosting major events online.

That’s caused an epistemic shift. Poker rooms, tournament organizations, and players now know that offering $100 million+ guarantees online is viable.

Online poker festivals may have overtaken live events

It’s gotten to the point where tournament pro Patrick Leonard is questioning whether or not live events are ever going to be the same again.

While it’s unlikely that live poker tournaments will fade into the ether anytime soon, Leonard has a point. PokerStars, GGPoker, and Partypoker are offering action the likes have never been seen before online. In April alone, there will be more than $250 million in guaranteed prize money.

Online poker has entered a new post-COVID era and PokerStars is no longer the only company that can offer record-breaking prize pools. GGPoker is pushing its guarantees to levels no one expected, and Partypoker is fighting to remain part of the big three.

It’s a win for players that three poker sites are offering big events in April. However, it’s a bigger win for the industry because it means the market is more competitive and, therefore, more lucrative than ever.

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