The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is one of the most important tournament series on the online poker schedule. That means that players are always anxiously awaiting to see what new wrinkles will appear on the schedule each year.
Specifically, Bryan Slick, the Senior Manager, Tournament Schedule & Online Championships for PokerStars, offered up an early version of the schedule to the Two Plus Two MTT Community board last month.
Since then, Slick has been incorporating feedback from players in order to improve the schedule, and while he has not been able to post a final schedule yet, there are some emerging trends that are giving players a good idea of what to expect when SCOOP begins on May 10.
Even from the very first schedule posted by Slick, it was clear that the general format of SCOOP was going to be similar to years past. There are a total of 135 events, but only 45 starting times, over the two week festival, as every tournament will be offered in a low-stakes, mid-stakes and high-stakes format simultaneously. For instance, the SCOOP Main Events are likely to have buy-ins of $109 for low stakes, $1,050 for mid-stakes, and $10,300 for high-stakes.
Beyond that, however, Slick was open to feedback, and even offered up a few questions for discussion.
“We are considering putting a 3-Max tournament on the schedule,” Slick asked. “What do you think of this?”
“Generally speaking, do you think that the shootout format is overplayed, underplayed, or played just about right in SCOOP?” he added.
Feedback to those questions and others helped Slick report back to PokerStars and work on several versions of a schedule. At the moment, Slick is reportedly working on the fifth such schedule for SCOOP, though he hasn’t been able to post it as it has yet to be finalized, among other reasons. In one of his most recent posts, Slick reported on several notable changes.
“We’re slashing the number of Turbos, eliminating some and replacing some others with tournaments that have variable level times, starting out fast and slowing down as the tournament progresses,” he wrote. “Ante Up is on the chopping block…it is likely to go away for SCOOP 2015.”
Slick also reported that Saturday schedules in general were going to be strengthened, a move requested by many players, as it is the easiest time of the week for many players to participate in SCOOP. Slick also said that there will likely still be more changes before the series is finalized.
“There will be more calls, more discussions, before the schedule is set in stone,” Slick wrote. “I just thought that you all might like to know that your feedback is under heavy consideration, and that we’re making serious modifications which are largely based on what we’ve heard from our players.”
The final schedule is expected to have a wide variety of tournaments, including a new format known as “n-stack,” in which players are given 1,000 chips and four free “rebuys” of 1,000 additional chips. Players have the option of taking those chips all at once, or adding them to their stack at any time throughout the rebuy period.