Friday, May 18, 2012

On SCOOP, and the Stars-FTP-DOJ Scoop

What's the scoop?A ton happening at the moment, both in the poker world at large and for your humble scribbler. As far as the latter is concerned, there’s a bit too much going on for me at the moment to spend too much time here today, I’m afraid.

One of the activities that has occupied me a lot over the last two weeks has been helping report on results of the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker. Not too surprising to have seen this year’s SCOOP consistently draw huge fields for event after event, routinely crushing the conservative guarantees for each.

The overall guarantee for all 120 SCOOP events totaled $30 million. That figure was already eclipsed a few days ago, actually, having tripped up over $40 million for the first 90 events. And there’s $5 million worth of guarantees scheduled for the three Main Events alone (the "low," "medium," and "high") coming up this Sunday.

All of which means this year’s SCOOP series has already beaten the 2011 version in terms of total prize money, and may well ultimately produce a total that comes within shouting distance of the 2010 (pre-Black Friday) SCOOP in which 114 events featured prize pools adding up to $63,802,405.

Speaking of PokerStars thriving, I’m also kind of passively following those rumors about the Stars-FTP-DOJ deal possibly being finalized as early as next week. Like you, I imagine, I’ve clicked on some of those links to sites providing vaguely-collected inside dope regarding the status of the deal, yet in some cases stating in non-vague, even definitive-sounding terms when the announcement of a deal will be made.

I remain in “believe-it-when-I-see-it” mode. For those looking for more in-depth and more informed reporting on the matter, check out Haley Hintze’s two-part article from earlier in the week for the Kick Ass Poker blog titled “The Big Muddy.”

In Part 1, “Mixed Signals Everywhere on Possible Stars / Full Tilt / DOJ Deal,” Haley addresses both the rumors and those reporting them. Then in Part 2, “Fine Print in New Jersey Legislative Pact Emperils PokerStars Deal,” she steps back to consider the fate of the deal within a broader, constantly-changing context of legislative machinations, particularly with regard to recent moves in the Garden state.

And for more on the latter, check out Grange95’s discussion over on the crAAKKer blog as well, titled “A Poison Pill for PokerStars in New Jersey iPoker Bill?

Will be very interesting, obviously, to see if anything comes of the possible deal next week -- or ever -- although as this year’s SCOOP success is once more confirming, one senses Stars is going to be okay either way.

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