PokerStars Michigan Announces New $500K MTT on the Same Day BetMGM Launches

The battle for dominance in the biggest regulated US poker market is on. On the day BetMGM Poker went live in the Great Lakes State, PokerStars MI launched a $500,000 MTT known as the Michigan Classic.

PokerStars Michigan Classic

The battle to control Michigan’s online poker market has started thanks to a new $500,000 guaranteed MTT from PokerStars. (Image: PokerStars)

The inaugural two-day event will get underway at 5pm local time on April 4. The tournament team has set the buy-in at $300, but there are $30 satellites currently available on PokerStars MI.

The Michigan Classic follows a successful Championship of Online Poker, but it’s the timing of PokerStars’ announcement that’s interesting.

PokerStars MI raises the stakes

BetMGM stole the headlines on Monday when it became Michigan’s second licensed poker site. PokerStars’ promo team released details about a new $500,000 guaranteed MTT on the same day.

Two poker sites announcing something on the same day isn’t particularly noteworthy. However, it is in this instance because Michigan has quickly become the most active poker market in the US.

PokerStars MI got out of the gate first on Jan.. 29 and had the monopoly until March 22. It used this advantage to host the inaugural Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP).

A surge of interest meant the original $1 million guarantee was more than doubled. That was good news for PokerStars, and proof that Michigan is a hotbed of potential.

It’s likely that PokerStars’ tournament team was already planning to parlay this success into another big event. However, the launch of BetMGM Poker means there’s a greater need to keep things moving.

The Michigan Classic is the next innovation, and it sets the bar high. Although the $500,000 guarantee can’t match the majors on PokerStars.com, it’s a significant amount in context.

The battle for Michigan has begun

The regionalized structure of regulated online poker in the US means player pools aren’t as deep as they are in Europe. As such, prize pools and guarantees are smaller.

However, Michigan has already shown its potential and PokerStars has responded by offering its largest local prize pool to-date.

As a comparison, the largest guarantee currently offered by BetMGM Poker is $40,000. This is what makes the timing of PokerStars’ announcement so significant. It doesn’t have the monopoly in Michigan any longer, but it still has the resources to offer guarantees that few can match. In essence, it’s game on.

PokerStars MI has put in a raise and now BetMGM has to respond. Given that legal online poker in Michigan is less than six months old, it’s great to see a battle like this developing already, as it means players should be able to get some unprecedented value from both sites in the coming months.

Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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