What’s PokerStars without a COOP?
We all knew it was coming, and less than two weeks after PokerStars went live in Michigan, PokerStars confirmed everyone’s expectations, announcing the first Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP). The Wolverine State’s “COOP” will run February 20 through March 8 and will have $1 million in total guaranteed prize pools.
MICOOP will have 60 events, more than either PACOOP (Pennsylvania), which had 50 events in its last run, and NJCOOP (New Jersey), which had 54. It is a relatively low buy-in series, with prices ranging from $10 to $500. Upon a quick glance of the PokerStars Michigan lobby, the most common buy-ins seem to be $50 and $100.
The $300 MICOOP Main Event is a two-day affair beginning March 7. It has a $125,000 guaranteed prize pool. Also on March 7 is the Mini-Main Event with a $50 buy-in and a $35,000 guarantee. This one looks like it might only be a single day tournament, as there is nothing mentioned about a Day 2 in the tourney lobby (whereas Day 2 is mentioned for the Main Event).
“As the sole online and mobile poker product in Michigan, our commitment and investment in PokerStars is vital as we aim to bring all aspects of a great customer experience to the poker community,” said FOX Bet CEO Kip Levin. “We are excited for Michiganders to join our most popular series and crown our first big winner who will join in the prestigious footsteps of other Championship Of Online Poker (COOP) champions.”
As PokerStars often does, it is offering Second Chance Freerolls to all MICOOP participants. Anyone who fails to cash in a MICOOP event will earn a free entry into these daily freerolls, which award seats into other MICOOP events.
Michigan online poker a welcome sight
PokerStars surprised a lot of people when it went live in Michigan on Friday, January 29, becoming the first online poker room in the state. A week earlier, the state’s internet gaming industry launched with nearly a dozen online casino and sports betting sites flipping their switches in a coordinated launch.
Stars was not one of those sites and with no online poker rooms taking off that first day, it was assumed that it would be a while before we would see any. Online poker is usually below casino and sports betting on a state’s priority list because it is less profitable than the other games, it attracts fewer players because of the skill barrier to entry, and it is more complicated to setup and test.
But PokerStars knew something we did not and put a pep into Michigan poker players’ steps as the month came to a close.
The two questions are now what other poker rooms will launch in Michigan and when will interstate poker be available? To the first question, WSOP.com has already hinted that a Michigan franchise is coming this year, and partypoker – part of the BetMGM family – seems like a good bet at this point. As for multistate poker, it is permitted by Michigan gaming law, but all we know so far is that Michigan has talked to New Jersey about it. PokerStars has a site in New Jersey, so an interstate network would work.