From Pennies To Platinum: NJ Online Poker Player Wins NJSCOOP Low-Stakes Event

Posted By Bart Shirley on May 7, 2018

Derik Li may be exchanging pennies for benjamins in 2019. The New Jersey resident won the low-stakes main event of PokerStars New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker, or NJSCOOP, on April 30.

Li outlasted more than 1,150 other players at PokerStars NJ to win the $50 buy-in event. Incredibly, he won his seat via a $10 satellite to the event.

In doing so, he picked up the first prize of $5,305.32. More importantly, he won a Platinum Pass, good for a $25,000 seat at the PokerStars No-limit Hold’em Players Championship.

The PSPC will run at the Atlantis Casino in the Bahamas on Jan. 6-10, 2019. Along with the seat ticket, the Platinum Pass also awards accommodations and $5,000 for travel expenses to recipients.

The tournament carries a $9 million contribution to the pot. In addition, PokerStars will add $1,000,000 to first place.

So, Derik Li may win millions off a $10 investment.

However, another player who had a terrific NJSCOOP may find this narrative to be a familiar story.

Chris Moneymaker won big at NJSCOOP, too

2003 WSOP Main Event champion and PokerStars pro Chris Moneymaker went deep in several NJSCOOP tournaments this year. He cashed in four of the 40 events, including two first-place finishes.

Here’s how he ran:

  • 1st place in the $200 NLHE Final Weekend Kickoff event for $5,445.55
  • 1st place chop in the $200 Stud Hi/Lo event for $2,631.98
  • 2nd place in the $50 + R NLHE 3-Max event for $2,485.20
  • 4th place in the $200 Mixed NLHE/PLO, Progressive KO event for $1,113.86 and $947.44 in bounties

Altogether, Moneymaker put $12,624.03 into his pocket over the course of the series. He also streamed all his events through his Twitch channel, which allowed everyone watching to celebrate with him.

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Other points of interest at NJSCOOP

Li is one of five Americans who has earned the Platinum Pass for the 2019 event. The winner of the high-stakes main event, Michael Page, also punched his ticket to the Bahamas.

Page beat 415 other players to win the $500 buy-in event. His cash, which was just above $36,000, was his largest PokerStars NJ win.

However, the high-stakes event may just belong to him. His largest previous win was a sixth-place finish and an $8,100 score at last year’s tournament.

Poker player “LINSANITYY” also had a good run in the main events. He final-tabled both tournaments and pocketed more than $11,000.

All these results were part of more than $1.5 million that PokerStars paid out for this edition of NJSCOOP. That figure exceeded the $1.3 million guarantee substantially.

Whether the sharing of player pools will affect future event sizes remains to be seen. Regardless, these two winners are set for the Bahamas, and all New Jersey residents should be pulling for Li or Page to bring home the big prize next January.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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