Online poker players in the United States and Canada have the PokerStars North American Championship Of Online Poker to look forward to in September — if they happen to be in one of four places where the online giant operates.
Starting Sept. 15, players in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan, and the Canadian Province of Ontario will be offered a slate of tournaments with guarantees deserving of the “championship” in their titles.
New Jersey/Michigan gets the lion’s share of the prize pool guarantee with $3 million. It’s single sister states of Michigan and Pennsylvania get $2.5 million and $1.5 million in that order.
PokerStars has yet to release a full schedule for the three separate series (Ontario and Pennsylvania have their very own, ONCOOP and PACOOP, as does the market of Michigan and New Jersey, which share player pools thanks to MSIGA).
Looking at last year’s USCOOP (this is Ontario’s first year for the COOP, hence the name change to “NACOOP”), players should expect a load of tournaments with buy-ins starting at $25.
Each market will also have special Championship events with bigger buy-ins and guarantees. Also expect each market to have a group of high roller events capped by a $1,000 tourney. Winners of each of the market’s headliner will also get a gold-plated trophy, as will 20 other winners of “championship” events.
NACOOP will run until Oct. 2
Players should also expect to be in the running for several PokerStars Platinum passes, which are worth $30,000 in buy-ins that can be used at their events around the world, both live and online.
The full schedules should be released within two weeks.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world
Five days before the festivities kick-off in the very small area of the North America, players around the globe will start playing in the guaranteed events of the World Championship of Online Poker.
From Sept. 10, to October 4, players in these countries will play for $80 million in guarantees in tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $5.50 all the way up to the $10,300 championship.
PokerStars has held the Championship Of Online Poker since 2002. Since 2009, a Player of the Series award has been given out. The first was won by Dan Kelly. Shaun Deeb won it in 2015 while playing in Mexico.
So while poker players in 47 of the United States can’t play the COOP’s, players in such poker hotbeds like Moldova, Greenland, Nigeria, and Egypt can.
Put Canada on that list. While players in Ontario are forced to play against each other since the Province tapped the online gambling artery last year, players in other parts of Canada are able to access PokerStars’ global site.
The reason? Ontario’s online gambling rules dictate that sites must only offer their products to those located within its borders, but Canada as a whole doesn’t have such rules, letting the leaders of its Provinces to set rules.
Ontario is the only one that decided to tax and regulate their market, online poker was swept-up in the rule change, and the poker-playing residents of Ontario instantly loss access to the global market.
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