BetMGM wraps up groundbreaking Michigan series

Jon Pill
Published by:
Posted on 04/26/2021

BetMGM wrapped up its inaugural poker series on its Michigan client this Sunday. Now that the dust has settled, we can get a sense of how the series panned out. The events ran from April 18 to April 25, 2021, and allowed BetMGM to test its server capacity, settle its players in, and run some promos.

The series consisted of ten events, with guarantees ranging from the $10k guaranteed $109 PLO 6-max event up to a pair of $75k Sunday Special 8-Max events that bookended the series. Of the ten events, nine were no-limit hold’em, the holdout being that $10k GTD PLO event. Other variants were the two progressive knock-out events and a 6-max tourney.

The exact state of Michigan’s online poker market remains very much up in the air. The BetMGM client in Michigan is powered by partypoker, but BetMGM is not getting much mileage out of its involvement with one of online poker’s big names.

You can see from the table below just how few of the events met their guarantee. Some of the bigger buy-in events only managed to scrape together a few tens of players. But that might not be the worst thing in the world for a first outing. Overlay, after all, is its own kind of advertising.

State of play for the state’s players

BetMGM launched in Michigan late last month. This was a few months after the Michigan legislature ruled that they would be legalizing online gambling.

When online gambling became legal in Michigan in early 2021, it was a little unclear exactly how things would pan out. PokerStars was quick off the mark, penetrating the market within a few months. Its opening gambit was less conservative than BetMGM’s. Stars’s MICOOP opened with 60 events and combined guarantees of $1 million right off the bat.

Stars upped the stakes last month with the Michigan Classic, days after BetMGM MI launched. This event had a $300 buy-in with a $500,000 guarantee. That is the highest guarantee in Michigan’s brief online poker history.

By comparison, BetMGM’s ten events and combined $300k guarantees don’t seem like much. But PokerStars is a much bigger player and is backed by the enormity of Flutter Entertainment. Stars can afford to bomb a few times in any number of U.S. markets, especially with BetMGM as their rival. At least that’ll be the case until GGPoker gets itself licensed.

BetMGM inaugural poker series results

DateEventPrize pool (no. runners)WinnerFirst prize
Sunday, April 18, 2021
Event #1: $215 Sunday Special 8-Max $75K GTD$75,000 (339)TinCap$10,342.17
Monday, April 19, 2021

Event #2: $215 PKO 8-Max Bounty $20K GTD
$20,000 (91)marioparty$6,776.84
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Event #3: $109 PLO 6-Max $10K GTD$14,300 (143)MiSkins$3,888.20
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Event #4: $215 8-Max NLHE $25K GTD$26,600 (133)Snicklefritz$6,177.50
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Event #5: $215 40 Stack 8-Max $20K GTD$20,000 (92)HiImKAD$4,800
Friday, April 23, 2021
Event #6: $320 PKO 8-Max Bounty $25K GTD
$25,000 (80)BlewHueSpew$6,890.06
Saturday, April 24, 2021

Event #7: $215 6-Max $25K GTD$25,000 (114)BiggY_Blains$6,358.04
Sunday, April 25, 2021

Event #8: $20 8-Max Mini NLH $5K GTD$9,602 (519)ivegotstylekid$1,618.43
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Event #9: $109 Sunday 1/2 Price 8-Max $20K GTD
$50,100 (501)Zzulran$8,442.20
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Event #10: $535 Sunday Special 8-Max $75K GTD$108,500 (217)dpg123$20,072.54

Featured image source: Twitter