On February 20th, the PokerStars Bounty Builder Series kicked off in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. All eyes have been on this series as it is being offered in both states. New Jersey has provided online poker gaming for seven years now and has struggled to gain a stronghold in the iPoker sector. For Pennsylvania, the industry is relatively new having launched just a few months ago. However, they continue to see high numbers regarding player participation. Poker fans and players alike wanted to see how the two would compare when offering the same gaming options.
After launching on the 20th, the Bounty Builder Series will continue to offer poker action through March 1st. So far, Pennsylvania is winning the race, but New Jersey is still seeing a nice turnout of players. For PA, the player participation was so high, the guaranteed prize pools were surpassed in larger amounts and the state saw almost 125% more in entries than the Garden State.
The larger turnout is somewhat expected because online poker is still new in Pennsylvania and PokerStars is the only online poker site on offer. During the first 11 events of the series, PA was able to see more than $256,000 in prize money generated. This was almost 40% more than the guaranteed amount. For New Jersey, they increased guarantees by around 24% with $138,000 in prizes.
For the entries into the events, the PokerStars PA site saw a whopping 5,592 entries within the events. In New Jersey, the number was far less at 2,487. While less players turned out for events in the Garden State, the poker players in the region are more open to rebuys and took part in buying back in more often than players in Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, a few of the online poker events saw huge increases in prize money amounts. Event #1, the Bounty Builder Series Kick-Off had a guaranteed prize pool of $20,000. With 363 in total entries, the total prize money up for grabs increased to over $33,300. This event has seen the largest increase thus far.
When comparing the same event in New Jersey, only 161 players entered to compete, and only $14,779.80 in prize money was generated. The guarantee was surpassed, but not by much, considering the amount was set at $12,000.
So far in New Jersey, the largest increase was seen with Event #13. The Sunday High Roller Bounty Builder Edition had a buy-in of $500 and offered $50,000 in prize money. With 33 entries, the prize pool increased to $15,510.
There are still a few more days to go in the PokerStars Bounty Builder Series. We shall see after the 1st, just how the two states compare when it is all said and done. Pennsylvania looks to be the clear winner but at least New Jersey is seeing a solid turnout and prize pool guarantees are increasing steadily for most events.