PokerStars announced its Summer Stacks series will return to the US for the third consecutive year, but this year’s installment will have an increased focus on online casino gaming while featuring a bevy of cross-vertical promotions and bonuses.
The summer months are always brutal for any US online poker operator not named WSOP. But as the World Series of Poker gets underway in Las Vegas, PokerStars is back with its own summer festival — this time with a combination of poker tournaments with low buy-ins and big prize pools.
Guarantees for the series remain unchanged from 2022, with $2.75 million in prizes spread across its three US markets — Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. But this will be the first year with a combined player pool for the first two states on that list.
Michigan and New Jersey online poker players will play for $1.5 million guaranteed on one combined network. That’s an increase year-over-year for players in both states, but it’s a better deal for players on PokerStars NJ, as the guarantee in the Garden State tripled from $500k in 2022.
The series starts on June 9 and runs through June 26.
Higher Average Guarantees for NJ, MI Players
This year’s schedule for Summer Stacks closely resembles the one from last year — with 100 events featuring buy-ins of $100 or less over an 18-day period. But because PokerStars combined its player pools in Michigan and New Jersey, the total number of events across all three states will be 200 this year, down from 300 events in 2021 and 2022.
That changes the average amount guaranteed per event. Two years ago, when PokerStars US guaranteed an average of a little under $2.6 million across all three states, the amount guaranteed per event stood at $8,577. The average amount guaranteed improved to $9,167 per event in 2022 after PokerStars upped the total guarantee to $2.75 million.
Fewer events in 2023 mean the average guarantee will go up to $13,750 for players across all three states. For the players in Michigan and New Jersey, the average guarantee works out to be $15,000.
According to the official schedule for the series, buy-ins start at $10 and go up to $100 — many are priced at $20, $30, and $50.
PokerStars highlighted a pair of events on the schedule — a $100 No-Limit Hold’em (NLH) Summer Special on June 11 (with $80k guaranteed for the MI-NJ player pool and $70k guaranteed in PA), followed by a $100 NLH Deepstack Special on June 18 (with $65k guaranteed across all three states).
A pair of two-day Main Events begin on June 25, and each costs $100 to enter. Players in Pennsylvania will have a shot at $100k guaranteed, but the MI-NJ players will be after $125k.
The series will also feature events in the 8-Game, Badugi, HORSE, PLO, PLO-8, and Razz formats.
PokerStars Also Offering 200,000 Bonus Spins
To get involved, all you have to do is opt-in, play the games you love, and get rewarded with free spins. PokerStars is expanding the fun into the online casino vertical this year.
The operator plans to offer “an extensive selection of games that cater to all preferences.” That includes a Summer Slots tournament and classic table games, including blackjack and roulette.
PokerStars will also headline its Bonus Bonanza promotion from June 13 to June 19. The promo will feature over 200,000 free spins given away to players across all three states (although players in Michigan and Pennsylvania will play for 100,000 free spins while New Jersey players will only get 10,000 bonus spins).
“To get involved, all you have to do is opt-in, play the games you love, and get rewarded with free spins,” PokerStars said, adding that players can complete the challenge by wagering at least $10 on Spins during the week.
“The number of free spins awarded to each player at the end of the week depends on how many players complete the challenge. For example, should only 10,000 players opt-in and complete the challenge, then each player in MI and PA who completes the challenge will win 10 free spins.”
Additional events this summer include a Spin & Go Jackpot. The entire summer festival wraps on July 31.