The Garden State Super Series Fall Edition ran Oct. 15-22 and, for the most part, appeared to go off without a hitch. In fact, there were no major technical issues. Plus, all 14 events on the schedule were held on BorgataPoker.com, nj.partypoker.com, and for the first time, the online poker network’s new playMGM Poker site.
Of course, the limited 14-event schedule and $375,000 in guarantees was a step down from the Garden State Super Series in fall 2016. That series featured a massive $1.1 million in guarantees over 75 events. However, it was filled with big overlays and geolocation issues caused the cancellation of the Main Event and seven other tournaments.
The first-ever Garden State Super Series in September 2014 was hit by similar issues. Six events were canceled, including the Main Event.
All these issues forced organizers to scale down the spring 2017 iteration of the Garden State Super Series to 11 events. Plus, just $265,000 in prize money was guaranteed.
Garden State Super Series scaled down
The $375,000 in guarantees in this month’s Garden State Super Series Fall Edition was an effort to begin to grow the series again. However, the NJ online poker network may have bitten off a little more than it can currently chew.
The $320 buy-in $100,000 guaranteed Main Event drew 344 players, creating a $103,200 prize pool that managed to surpass its guarantee. However, the other big Sunday event wrapping up the series did not draw nearly as well. The $215 Welcome MGM To The Party/Borgata Network event had a $50,000 guarantee. Alas, the tournament drew just 234 entries. This forced the network to dip into the tournament fees to cover the event’s $50,000 guarantee.
There was also an overlay in the series’ other $50,000 guaranteed event. The $1,060 buy-in $50,000 guaranteed High Roller managed to draw just 47 entries. Even with the fees put back in the prize pool, the event fell short of meeting its $50,000 guarantee.
One of the bright spots on the series was its opening event. The series kicked off with a $215 buy-in $60,000 guaranteed No Limit Hold’em tournament. This one actually drew a bumper 362-entry field creating a guarantee-smashing $72,400 prize pool. However, there were overlays in the other two events on the series’ Oct. 15 opening day.
Small overlays were also recorded in about half of the series’ mid-week events featuring more modest guarantees.
Competing with PokerStars New Jersey
Last year, the Garden State Super Series went head-to-head with New Jersey online poker market leader PokerStars NJ. The site runs its New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) in the fall. The schedule was altered this time to begin as the $1.2 million-guaranteed 46-tournament NJCOOP series was wrapping up on PokerStars NJ.
PokerStars NJCOOP ran Sept. 30 through Oct. 16 with all but seven events meeting posted guarantees. In fact, more than the total of $1.2 million guaranteed was actually up for grabs and the series saw more than 8,500 total entries.