The schedule has now been released for the tenth anniversary edition of PokerStars´ Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP X) and it is a cracker. The 183 tournaments guarantee prize money of more than $65 million, plus the site will be giving away five PSPC Platinum Passes during the series.
One of the great things about the SCOOP X schedule is that there is something for everyone. The wide range of poker disciplines and formats has been split into three buy-in levels – Low, Mid and High – so players of all bankroll levels can take part in the series without having to go qualify via a satellite (unless they want to, of course).
Furthermore, with three phased events running throughout the schedule, players have an opportunity every day to aim for a life-changing win with a minimal investment. An explanation of how the phased events work follows; but first a little more information about the buy-ins ranges and feature events in the SCOOP X schedule.
The Low, Mid and High Buy-Ins Explained
Throughout SCOOP X, the tournaments are scheduled to start in sets of three – one with a “low” buy-in, one with a “mid” buy-in, and one with a “high” buy-in. The guaranteed prize pools for each tournament reflect their buy-in and the number of entries PokerStars is anticipating for each event. For most of the tournaments in SCOOP X:
- A “Low” buy-in is either $5.50, $11.00, or $22.00.
- A “Mid” buy-in is either $55.00, $109.00, or $215.00.
- A “High” buy-in is either $530.00, $1,050.00, or $2,100.00.
There are exceptions of course. Three sets of High Roller tournaments are scheduled for each buy-in group – when the buy-ins will range from $55.00 to $25,000. There are also different ranges of buy-ins for the three Main Events ($109.00, $1,050.00 and $10,500.00) and the three phased events ($2.20, $22.00, and $215.00).
The three Main Events start simultaneously at 4:00pm (GMT) on Sunday 20th May. PokerStars is obviously expecting these to be popular tournaments, as the site has guaranteed the Low buy-in Main Event for $1.5 million (so anticipating 15,000 entries @ $109 each), the Mid buy-in Main Event for $4 million (that´s 4,000 players each ponying up a grand), and the High buy-in Main Event for $5 million.
In addition to the first place prize money, the winner of each SCOOP Main Event will be awarded a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players´ Championship next year. Further Platinum Passes will be awarded to the winner of the SCOOP leaderboard competition and to the winner of a free-to-enter All-In Shootout that will take place after the series has finished.
The Phased Events and Other Tournaments
Bright-eyed players who have already seen the SCOOP X schedule will have noticed the schedule starts with SCOOP #2. This is because SCOOP #1 is a phased event that will have daily Phase 1s starting from Sunday 6th May, feeding into a Phase 2 to be played on Monday 21st May. The event currently appears in the schedule for 20th May, as this will be the last opportunity to qualify for Phase 2.
The plan is for each Phase 1 to continue until just 36 players remain and, for those who do qualify through to the final stage, the prizes are fantastic in comparison to the buy-ins:
- The Low phased event has a buy-in of $2.20 and a guaranteed prize pool of $150,000.
- The Mid phased event has a buy-in of $22.00 and a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.
- The High phased event has a buy-in of $215 and a guaranteed prize pool of $1.5 million.
Looking at the other tournaments in the schedule, although the majority are variants of NL Texas Hold´em, there is plenty of variety for players who enjoy other disciplines of online poker. The usual suspects of Omaha, Stud, Razz, and Badugi are included along with several mixed poker tournaments (HORSE and 8-Game). One event definitely worth having a go at is the 5 Card NL Omaha which promises to be a wild affair, as might the three-handed, progressive KO Zoom tournament.
The full schedule can be found in the PokerStars client under the “Events” tab.