Publish: 2023-05-08 10:48:45
It’s the time of year again for players to get ready to join the highly popular PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) tournament. However, despite the long history of this tournament and its winter companion, PokerStars regularly changes the number of events and prize money involved. In this article, we look at what players can expect in 2023.
While the regional tournament occurs earlier in the year, the international event starts on May 7 and runs until May 31. PokerStars separates the events into three categories of low, medium, and high buy-in, so players of all budgets can enjoy the events.
One of the draws leading up to the main events in May has already started -- players can join the $2.20 buy-in tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $125,000 to help prepare for the main events.
This tournament has a long history, starting in 2009. Recent years have seen the prize money become more significant, with the largest one coming in 2020, which had a guaranteed prize pool of $135 million. But since then, it has dropped to $100 million in 2021 and $78.5 million in 2022.
This year, PokerStars is offering a $75 million guaranteed prize pool, which is down from last year’s figure, so does that mean players will have the same chances? The answer is a resounding no.
This year, the event has more tournaments, with 363 events held during the tournament terms. That’s around 14% more than last year. As such, the average guarantee has significantly dropped to about $206,000 per event. For comparison, the average prize money was about $250,000 in 2022 and more than $300,000 between 2017 and 2021.
So not only has the overall prize money dropped, but each event also has lower earnings.
The overall prize pool isn’t as vital for the average player, as the average-per-event amount has a bigger impact on their possible winnings. However, since this figure also dropped to the lowest it has ever been, it doesn’t predict good tidings for players.
The only other year that came close to this year’s low average prize money per event was 2011, and even then at least the overall prize pool matched the low figures.
While there are more events to participate in this year, that doesn’t mean you’re likely to get higher winnings, as you have more chances to lose money playing against multiple opponents in different matches. Overall, it feels like this year’s rendition of the iconic SCOOP doesn’t match up with previous years, leaving disappointment in its wake.
While we’re not saying the PokerStars Spring Championship is now obsolete, it does leave much to desire. It’s common to expect a famous tournament, especially one offered by a leading online poker brand, to match the previous years or become even better. However, the same cannot be said for the 2023 SCOOP, especially if you compare it with events like GGPoker’s $100 million WSOP in March.