What a weekend it was for the New Jersey online poker market. In one corner, the second Party Borgata Garden State Super Series (GSSS II) went off without a hitch, wrapping up most tournaments with enough entries to avoid an overlay. In the other corner, the merger of guaranteed tournaments on WSOP NJ and 888Poker NJ garnered enough attention to raise the newly-termed Bigger Sunday to $40k GTD.
Party Borgata GSSS II Main Events
Party Poker and Borgata Poker held three GSSS II Main Events over the weekend, at Low, Mid and High stakes levels. Two of those events – the low and high stakes levels – easily met the guarantees of $25k and $75k respectively. The Mid Main Event came up a little short, making it the most valuable GSSS II event of the weekend for members of the Party Borgata network.
Boasting a $150k GTD prize pool, a field of 755 took to the virtual felt to participate in the Mid stakes GSSS II Main Event. Party Borgata scoops 5% of the entries as tournament fees, leaving $143,450 in the pool (an overlay of $6,550 from the online poker network’s pocket). When the dealing ended, Scott “TooDue4U” Blumstein emerged victorious, adding $20,805 to his bankroll.
Topping the list of highest scores, however, was “DonDraper”, who went on to win the $1,000, $75k GTD High stakes GSSS II Main Event for $23,510 after surviving a field of 113. The $50, $25k GTD Low stakes GSSS II Main Event awarded $4,343 to “ohguyana” for finishing 1st after a making a final-two deal with the runner up, “fnasty97” ($4,117).
WSOP NJ & 888Poker NJ Bigger Sunday
Perhaps the most notable story of the weekend comes from WSOP NJ and 888Poker NJ, both of which superseded the Party Borgata network this month for highest average cash game traffic in New Jersey thanks to their partial merging of player bases. Although the overall prize pool was not so immense as their Party Borgata rival, the $40k GTD Bigger Sunday was up from $35k GTD in the previous week’s rendition.
On Sunday, January 18th, the combined online poker operators presented the Bigger Sunday at $35k GTD. When 216 players entered the $200 buy-in poker tournament, it drove the prize pool up to $39,960. That convinced WSOP NJ and 888Poker to increase the guarantee to $40k for the January 25th Bigger Sunday tourney, and once again, players turned out in droves to cover the guarantee.
Last weekend, a field of 230 entered the mix, bringing the prize up to $42,550. “DcircaC07” went on to win the poker tournament for $11,276 after defeating “Jakep474” (2nd, $6,595).
The participation levels weren’t exactly impressive enough to encourage another week-over-week increase in the guarantee, but they certainly reveal a pattern of appreciation from the New Jersey online poker community.
Unfortunately, the Bigger Sunday will actually be significantly ‘Smaller’ this weekend, but with good reason. WSOP NJ and 888Poker NJ will be combining their players for a $25k GTD on February 1st; 37.5% less than last Sunday’s running. But considering the poker tournament coincides with the broadcasting of the most popular sporting event the entire world has ever known – the 2015 Super Bowl – it’s understandable. Simply avoiding an overlay on that evening might be considered a miracle.
It will be very interesting, however, to see just how many players take to the Bigger Sunday on the following weekend, when the GSSS II at Party Borgata is no longer a factor.