After a rough debut on the New Jersey live poker scene, PokerStars is trying again with a Megastack poker tournament at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City.
Megastack USA catered towards recreational poker players
The Megastack event is aimed to appeal to recreational players. The tournament is a $220 buy-in event, which will run from October 6-8. Resorts Casino, the site’s brick and mortar partner, will host the event.
The tournament is officially called the New Jersey Sunday Special Live. The name draws from the Sunday Special, PokerStars NJ’s flagship weekly online tournament. The online version of the event comes with a $50,000 guarantee. The live tournament plans to best that by a margin though. PokerStars is placing a $200,000 guarantee on the event.
Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker explained in the press release what the goal of the event is for PokerStars:
“PokerStars MEGASTACK is the perfect opportunity for players to enjoy a great live poker experience at an affordable buy-in to see if they can turn a MEGASTACK into a mega prize. Players can expect an awesome poker experience and more importantly get together with friends to play poker while having fun.”
PokerStars launched Megastack in London last year
The New Jersey event is the first US Megastack tournament, but it is not the first tournament under the Megastack banner. PokerStars actually launched the series earlier this year in London. A poker tournament at the Hippodrome drew 520 entries on a £170 buy-in.
There have been four UK Megastack events so far, with several more scheduled before the end of the year. France, Malta, and Belgium all have Megstack tournaments scheduled as well.
The series is essentially the opposite kind of offering as the PokerStars Championship Series. The company abandoned the idea of geographic-based poker tours like the European Poker Tour.
Instead, the live PokerStars events divided by buy-in. The Championship series features higher buy-in events designed for pros. The PokerStars Festivals, on the other hand, are intended for less serious players.
It appears Megastacks are less tournament series than one-off events aimed to draw in the most casual players into the PokerStars Live network of events.
New Jersey PokerStars Festival was lackluster
Last fall, PokerStars ran a multi-event tournament series over Halloween at Resorts. The turnout for the first US PokerStars Festival was not great. The Main Event was a $1,000 buy-in which drew only 208 players. Many side events did not run as a result of a lack of entrants.
Part of the problem with the Festival at Resorts was a lack of guarantees. In the incredibly competitive East Coast poker market, there is too much variety and value for PokerStars to draw a crowd on name alone. The Megastack seems to be addressing this with a lucrative guarantee. Now to find out if it is enough to end up with a different result than the previous PokerStars live tournament in New Jersey.
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