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How Black Friday Changed the 2011 SCOOP


When the developments of Black Friday broke, the U.S. online poker world was turned upside down. It was in the days after when players really began to analyze how they would personally be affected. The Spring Championship of Online Poker on PokerStars is the one time of year that every serious grinder to happy-go-lucky amateur looks forward to. After debuting in 2009 to excellent numbers, the series saw tremendous growth in 2010. The 2010 SCOOP added 48 events and saw its player pool increase significantly.

*General Information

Year# of Tournaments# of Buy-insTotal Prize Money

Unfortunately, the upward trend will come to an end. After originally offering a total prize pool of $45,000,000, there was no doubt that PokerStars was going to scale back after learning the U.S. poker market would be unable to partake in the 2011 festivities. In the end, the guarantees were dropped by almost 45 percent to $25,000,000. Out of the 114 tournaments that the SCOOP offers, 111 of the guaranteed prize pools were reduced. We broke down the numbers to see what stood out about the changes and what we think the overall turnout will be.

2011 SCOOP–L Prize Pool Changes

TournamentsOriginal GuaranteesNew GuaranteesChangePercent Drop

Affected the least by the overall adjustments, the slash in SCOOP–L guarantees range from zero to 60 percent. Three events (PL Draw, Razz, 8-Game) kept their guarantees the same. The biggest fall came in the NL Omaha H/L event. At first offering a $50,000 prize pool, the guarantee dropped to $20,000. The $109 Main Event, previously set at a $1,000,000 guarantee, shrunk 25% to $750,000.

2011 SCOOP–M Guarantee Changes

TournamentsOriginal GuaranteesNew GuaranteesChangePercent Drop

With drop-offs varying from 20 to 60 percent, the SCOOP–M holds similarities to both it's Low and High counterparts. Like the Low, its biggest guarantee slip is the NL Omaha H/L event, down from $100,000 to $40,000. Like the High, its Main Event promise will fall 50 percent as the once $3,000,000 prize pool is now $1,500,000.

2011 SCOOP–H Guarantee Changes

TournamentsOriginal GuaranteesNew GuaranteesChangePercent Drop

The most substantial of all the modifications came in the SCOOP–H where a whopping 21 of 38 events had their guarantees plummet by 50 percent or more. One of those events is the $3,150 stud affair. Now only guaranteeing $40,000, the tournament would exceed its guarantee with just 14 entrants. Last year, the $10,300 Main Event drew 615 entrants and had a first-place prize of $1,162,350. Unfortunately, those numbers will drop significantly this year because the tournament's guaranteed prize pool is down to $2,500,000 (initially $5,000,000).


The SCOOP will undoubtedly miss the U.S. contingent. In 2009, about 40 percent of entire SCOOP entries were from the US. While the same statistic isn't available to us for 2010, we can't imagine it being much of a gain or drop from 2009. The guarantees this year were dropped by 45 percent, a number that seems reasonable to cover the U.S. portion of SCOOPs past plus a little extra. We envision that as a whole the total prize pool will indeed surpass the guarantees that PokerStars has left. It won't for every event, but in the end the bottom line will read more than $25,000,000.

*More details about SCOOP statistics available at the PokerStars SCOOP statistics page..

We'll find out just how much the numbers will be impacted as the 2011 SCOOP kicks off this Sunday. Stay up-to-date on all the latest news by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

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