Months ago, the Party Borgata network, the largest of all online poker networks regulated in New Jersey, announced the state’s most elaborate online poker tournament series to date. Entitled the Garden State Super Series, or GSSS for short, it featured 60 events spread across three levels of play – low, medium and high – and more than $1,000,000 in guaranteed prizes. Despite a major hiccup two Sunday’s ago, the GSSS finished with a bang last weekend as the masses logged on to participate in the series’ final 6 events.
Hosted by the shared player pools of Party Poker and Borgata Poker, Events #19 and #20, each delivered in three scaling buy-in/prize pool ranges, all met their guarantees with ease over the weekend. The high version of #19, a $200 ($185+$15) NL Holdem tournament with $20k added to the original $75k guarantee, saw the best turnout of all. A field of 509 registered for the event, bringing the prize pool to $94,165 before Party Borgata topped it off with an extra $20k; paying out $114,165 in all. As such, it became the only online poker tournament of the series to meet its guarantee and pay out 6-figures at the same time.
The only other tournament that paid 6-figures was the $200k GTD high-end GSSS Main Event that almost took place on Sunday, September 14th. That tournament, as well as the middle and low-end Main Events, ended up being cancelled due to technical difficulties. The online poker operator did manage to make up for the blunder as best it could, adding about $66,000 to the prize pool that was not met during registration and paying out prizes based on current chip counts at the time the tournament was halted. That day’s complications – involving events which could not be rescheduled due to the series’ alignment with the live action at the WPT Borgata Poker Open – are what led to the supplementation of $50,000 in added prize money to the final day’s events.
Getting back to the substantial traffic boost over the weekend, even the low-end version of Event #19, which cost $50 to enter for a $10k GTD prize pool, saw 431 entries. That was enough to double the actual prize amount before tacking on an added $5k.
Event #20 High, the final tournament of the GSSS, was not expected to garner a great deal of entries due to its being the only real high-roller event of the series. With a $500 buy-in and $50k GTD, the 137 field that turned out for the last tourney was moderately impressive. With the extra $10k added to the prize pool, the top finishers were looking at a $73k payout.
All told, every single event of the GSSS that played out on Sunday exceeded its guarantee by anywhere from $4k to $24k, and that was before the online poker network added on the additional funds. Considering how upset players were when the previous Sunday’s events were cancelled, I would say the Party Borgata network can write this series down in the books as an ultimately successful one.