Back in September of 2014, the first installment of partypoker New Jersey’s Garden State Super Series (GSSS) awarded over $1,000,000 in prize money, but will likely be best remembered for an ill-timed software crash that interrupted the tournament series’ main events, marring what was otherwise a very successful online tournament series.
Still, the series was successful and popular enough to bring it back.
partypoker NJ and their sister site BorgataPoker.com just concluded GSSS II and the series not only avoided the technical issues that plagued the inaugural GSSS, but managed to shatter the $1 million guarantee by nearly 50%, as over 5,000 unique players took part in the 69-event tournament series, generating nearly $1.5 million in prize money.
GSSS II ran from January 11th to the 25th at NJ.PartyPoker.com and BorgataPoker.com. The series featured a total of 69 tournaments, 23 individual events with each tournament type played at three different buy-in levels (Low, Medium, and High).
The series also featured several new poker variants (new to New Jersey anyway) including “Speed Down” tournaments, a Super Bounty event, and the very popular No Limit Heads Up format. GSSS II also featured a revamped payout structure that paid more places.
Like the original GSSS tournament series, GSSS II was coordinated to run alongside a major World Poker Tour (WPT) tournament series at the Borgata. In September it was the WPT Championship, and for GSSS II it was the Borgata Winter Poker Open.
Guarantees & Entrants & Payouts
Like its predecessor, GSSS II boasted a total of $1,000,000 in guaranteed prize money, but in the end GSSS II smashed that number, handing out $1,481,663 in prize money during the 15-day, 69-event series.
In total, more than 5,000 unique players participated in GSSS II tournaments and satellite tournaments, over 2,000 players cashed in the series, of which 160 took home at least $1,000.
GSSS II Main Events
Two of the three Main Events exceeded their guarantees (the Low and High events) with the Mid level tournament offering a $12,000 overlay.
GSSS II Low ($45+$5) Main Event attracted 640 players:
- ohguyana – $4,342.91*
- fnasty97 – $4,117.10*
- zdibevad13 – $2,448.00
- WhatDayIsIt – $1,944.00
- hags021 – $1,569.60
- t0rn4d0 – $1,281.60
- RCM77 – $993.60
- rudine7 – $734.40
- JMangs224 – $547.20
GSSS II Mid ($185+$15) Main Event attracted 755 players:
- TooDue4U – $20,805*
- Dabullz – $17,250*
- Thatgood45 – $17,250*
- PokerChic102 – $9,750
- WarriorPrincess – $7,890
- Jvicious84 – $6,390
- AbNORMalities – $4,890
- shadowonthesun – $3,585
- designateddiver – $2,745
GSSS II High ($950+$50) Main Event attracted 113 players:
- DonDraper – $23,509.68
- HodorHodorHodor – $15,995.15
- JANANGHALIB – $12,345.25
- SuperKING – $10,198.25
- spinach_kale – $8,588.00
- TheGlyph278 – $7,299.80
- Flawlessbinkage – $6,118.95
- conman – $4,938.10
- IMJUSTTHEMAN – $3,864.60
*Denotes a deal was made
Team partypoker in the winner’s circle
Team partypoker’s Scott Baumstein won a GSSS II event, Event #12 -High, the $100 buy-in turbo event with a $15,000 guarantee. Baumstein pocketed $3,229.71 and his second career GSSS title, having won an event at the inaugural GSSS series.
“It feels great to win another GSSS title,” Baumstein said after the win. “I always look forward to these series on partypoker NJ because they feature such a wide range of events in different disciplines and at varying buy-in levels. You can really hit a big score for just a small amount of money.”
Another Team partypoker pro also emerged victorious in a GSSS II tournament, Jamie Kerstetter. Kerstetter chopped Event #23-High – the $50,000 GTD NLH three ways, for a $9,107.02 payday.
“Fought back from a two-outer seven-handed and chopped,” Kerstetter tweeted. “So happy!”
GSSS II by the numbers
- 5,021 unique players participated in GSSS II events, qualifiers, and freerolls
- 1,297 unique players participated in multiple GSSS II events
- 439 unique players participated in 10 or more GSSS II events
- 85 unique players participated in 30 or more GSSS II events
- 5 unique players participated in 60 or more GSSS II events
- 2,087 unique players cashed in events, qualifiers, and freerolls during GSSS II
- 16 unique players cashed for $5,000 or more
- 4 unique players cashed for $10,000 or more
- $3,116 was awarded in freerolls during GSSS II
GSSS II avoided any negative headlines and seems to have exceeded the expectations of even partypoker and Borgata.
While online poker continues to disappoint in New Jersey, the successes of major online tournament series such as GSSS II that have been held at the online poker sites in the state demonstrate the players and the appetitive are there for further growth in New Jersey’s online poker industry.
GSSS II’s High buy-in Main Event exceeded its $100,000 guarantee despite a whopping $1,000 buy-in. Additionally, even though It didn’t meet its guarantee of $150,000, the Mid buy-in Main Event, with a $200 price point, boasted a field of 755 players.
It seems the players are out there in New Jersey, the sites just need to figure out how to tap into these demographics not only for major tournament series, but on a day-to-day basis.