The inaugural PokerStars Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP) came just three weeks after Michigan launched its first legal online poker site, PokerStars. The tournament series ran from Saturday, February 20 to Monday, March 8, 2021, and numerous US online poker records were set over the 17-day, 60-event series.
Buy-ins ranged from $10 to $500, with most in the $100 range.
A combined 28,830 entrants across all tournaments set a PokerStars US COOP record formerly held by PokerStars Pennsylvania’s 2020 PACOOP (21,326 total entrants).
The inaugural MICOOP also generated a US COOP record-setting $2,208,002 in total prize money, surpassing 2020 PACOOP’s former record of $2,040,033.
Setting Records from the Start
Huge turnouts were the norm for MICOOP 2021, beginning with Event #1’s $100 NLHE Kick-Off ($30K Gtd).
Records for this tournament alone included:
- Largest inaugural guarantee for Event #1: MICOOP Event #1 featured a guaranteed prize pool of $30,000, more than the first-ever PACOOP (in 2019) which had a $20K guarantee for its $100 Kick-Off event.
- Field Size and Prize Pool: The $30K guarantee was shattered to a tune of 883 entries and an overall prize pool of $81,059. Both of these were also $100 Kick-Off COOP records for US-facing PokerStars sites, surpassing PACOOP 2020’s Event #1 (50K Gtd), which drew 632 entries for a prize pool of $58,017.
The only tournament of its kind that drew a larger turnout came in the spring edition of Pennsylvania’s PASCOOP 2020, a different series that features both low and high buy-in versions of events. That $100 high-stakes Kick Off had a massive 1,117 entries and created a six-figure prize pool of $102,500. Similarly, 2020 PASCOOP events drew larger guarantees and turnouts across the board than its PACOOP counterpart, which traditionally occurs annually each fall.
It’s important to note Pennsylvania has a population of 13 million, while Michigan’s population is around ten million.
Doubling Weekend Guarantees and More Increased Prize Pools
Within a week of the series getting underway, PokerStars announced ten upcoming tournaments would see their guarantees increased. This included the $250 Sunday Special, which drew 461 players and had no problem topping its new $100K guarantee, with $107,413 paid out in total for the event.
As the series wore on, guarantees were raised for many other remaining events to a tune of nearly 50% overall. The series started with $1 million in guarantees, and PokerStars ultimately raised that number by almost 50% to $1,429,500. By the end of the series, over $2.2 million was awarded in total prizes.
Almost No Overlay
Only four events out of 60 (6.7%) in MICOOP 2021 failed to meet their guaranteed prize pools throughout the series. That also was a COOP record: the inaugural PACOOP 2019 saw 10 of its 50 events (20%) experience overlay, with that number being cut in half (10% or five of 50) for last year’s PACOOP 2020.
Of the four events to overlay, three were on Sundays. The first two overlays occurred on Sunday, February 28, when the guarantees were doubled, and the final overlay occurred on Sunday, March 7, the night of the Main Event.
All four events that overlaid had turbo structures, and one of them was a hyper-turbo, which might provide some market analysis for PokerStars.
MICOOP Main Event Records
The MICOOP 2021 Main Event featured a $300 buy-in and $200K guaranteed prize pool, better than the initial 2019 PACOOP’s $125K guarantee. It drew a whopping 1,284 entries and generated a prize pool of $359,520, both of which were also COOP records previously held by the PACOOP 2020 Main Event (1,013 entries, $283,640 prize pool).
Of the 1,284 entrants, 179 made it into the money, and 43 of them made it to Day 2.
A user named “smftt” was the chip leader after Day 1 and found themselves to be the last player standing at the end of Monday’s Day 2, earning the top prize of $56,398.93. The payday was also a record, topping the $46,319.13 top prize for the 2020 PACOOP Main Event.
The Main Event turnout also challenged PASCOOP 2020 for the largest $300 Main Event in PokerStars US series history, falling just 31 entries shy of tying its total 1,315 entries and accompanying prize pool of $368,200.
However, the overall record came from the PokerStars PA 2020 “Pennsyl-MANIA” tournament, which had a $200 buy-in and got 2,774 entrants for a total prize pool of $515,964.
2021 SCOOP Announcement Coming Soon?
Spring is right around the corner, and April 2020 played host to both the PASCOOP and New Jersey’s NJSCOOP series last year. No official word has come for the 2021 version yet, though year’s announcements for those series came out during the second half of March.