Sorry if you wanted overlays
With just the long weekend still remaining, the Bounty Builder Series at PokerStars Pennsylvania has been killing it. Almost every one of the 20 events that have run so far have beaten their guarantees, some by triple-figure percentages. Altogether, players have flocked to the tournaments to generate prize pools that have exceeded PokerStars’ guarantees by 38 percent through Wednesday.
There have only been two tournaments to this point that have missed their guarantees:
- February 23rd – $100 Sunday Special – Bounty Builder Edition: $50,000 guarantee, $43,146 generated prize pool, $6,854 overlay
- February 25th – $750 High Roller: $35,000 guarantee, $29,110 prize pool, $5,890 overlay
It probably shouldn’t be a tremendous surprise that one of the events with overlay was the one with the highest buy-in in the entire series. The other, the $100 Sunday Special, might be a little more of a surprise, considering Sunday is a big poker day. Then again, perhaps because it is a popular tournament day took people away from the Bounty Builder.
One of Wednesday’s tournaments was the strongest outperformer of the guarantee so far. The $50 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Max event attracted 230 initial entries and 105 re-entries, generating a $15,242.50 prize pool. The guarantee was just $5,000. Thus, the prize pool was 205 percent of the guarantee.
To date, the total guarantees for the 20 tournaments have totaled $267,000. The actual prize pools have added up to $368,682.95, an impressive 38 percent more than the guarantees.
Target everybody at the table
PokerStars’ Bounty Builder Series began on February 20th and will continue through March 1st, with a total of 32 events. The Series Main Event will take place on that final day and will cost $300.
Every event in the Bounty Builder Series is a Progressive Knockout tournament. This exciting structure splits the buy-in (and re-entries) into two parts after the tournament fee is removed. Half of the buy-in is applied to the regular prize pool. That’s the part that everyone fights over normally. The other half is the key portion: it is assigned to each player as a bounty.
When a player is knocked out of a tournament, the person who eliminated them receives half of the bounty in cash, deposited directly into their PokerStars account. The other half of the bounty is added to that person’s existing bounty. All player bounties are displayed below their avatars, so everybody knows what each player’s head is worth.
Bounties make for uniquely aggressive tournaments, as there is a tangible reward for knocking someone out beyond just accumulating chips. It is entirely possible to profit in one of these Progressive Knockout tournaments without even making the money. And as a bonus, the player who wins the tournament keeps their own bounty, along with any other bounties that have been added to it.
PokerStars Pennsylvania launched in early November 2019, co-branded with its licensing partner, Mount Airy Casino. Only people located in Pennsylvania can play on the site. Regulations do permit for Pennsylvania to enter into interstate compacts with other states, but there has been no movement on that yet.