For an online poker series with $1.2 million in guarantees, the 2017 PokerStars New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) did not exactly make a lot of noise. It made the guarantees for most of the events on the 46-event schedule.

However, headlines were few and far between.

2017 NJCOOP Main Event just misses guarantee

One of the seven events PokerStars NJ did miss the guarantee on was the $500 Main Event, though it is not exactly anything Stars management is overly concerned about. With a $200,000 guarantee, the NJ online gambling site needed 426 players to cover it, but came up with just 420.

PokerStars had to eat $3,000 of rake to cover the difference.

The winner of that tournament was Dan Dizenzo, who played under the screenname “RazzleDazz1e.” Dizenzo pocketed just over $36,000 for the win. After the tournament ended, the champ sent out a rather subdued Tweet about his success.

Really, PokerStars never had to put up more than a couple thousand dollars to make up the difference in events that missed the guarantee. For example, the High Roller event, which was a $1,000 buy-in, missed the guarantee by a single entry.

Here are the rest of the events that missed the guarantee:

  • Event #11: $300 Heads-up ($20,000) – 56 entries; needed 72
  • Event #28: $500 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller ($30,000) – 58 entries; needed 64
  • Event #29: $150+R [one re-buy, one add-on] ($20,000) – 136 entries; needed 146
  • Event #30: $1,000 High Roller ($80,000) – 84 entries; needed 85
  • Event #32: $25+R ($15,000) – 628 entries; needed 660
  • Event #41: $500 Main Event ($200,000) – 420 entries; needed 426
  • Event #44: $75 Sunday SuperSonic SE ($15,000) – 207 entries; needed 213

Will PokerStars NJ run out of cash fire power once WSOP.com pools players?

Granted, part of the reason the overlays were not a big issue is because the guarantees were not particularly big. With WSOP.com pooling players in New Jersey and Nevada soon, the online poker site will inevitably bump up its guarantees. If PokerStars NJ can only muster up the small sums of NJCOOP, one has to wonder if it is still going to be able to compete.

As we previously noted, the live PokerStars event arguably suffered because of a lack of substantial guarantees. In a market where poker attendance goes where the big guarantees are, the site runs the risk of being an also-ran if the competition starts offering substantially more lucrative Sunday tournaments.

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WSOP.com

WSOP.com NJ, and its partnership with 888Poker, means the two sites can share a player pool. That’s a huge positive for poker players looking for a game. Yes, WSOP.com’s interface is a bit outdated, but it’s reliable and stable. And now that WSOP integrated its player rewards program with Caesars Total Rewards, players have every reason to sign up at WSOP.com NJ.

There were some NJCOOP highlights

That is not to say this year’s NJCOOP was not without merits. In fact, attendance actually surpassed last year’s numbers, with over 8,500 entries.

Total prize pools also surpassed the promised $1.2 million. While PokerStars put up some overlay in a few spots, the site more than made up for losses in other events.

But over the course of a two-week series, there was little chatter about NJCOOP. Team PokerStars Pro and former WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker did manage to win the $500 High Roller PLO event. However, with a mere 58 entries and a $9,000 payday, the news of his good fortune did not travel too far.

Right now, PokerStars NJ is not the only site in the Garden State with uneventful numbers. All the sites are struggling, and revenues are on a slight decline. The hope is the NJCOOP will result in a spike in October revenue numbers, but it will be another couple of weeks before we will find out if that is the case.

Jessica Welman

About

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media and online gambling world. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com. Welman has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.