PokerStars isn’t going to attract thousands or even hundreds of entries for its $51,000 Super High Roller buy-in at the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), but Internet poker’s foremost tournament series is still giving players a way to participate in the most expensive event in WCOOP history through betting on which pro will come out victorious.
For the first time ever, PokerStars is offering a betting line on the tournament, providing its base of players with added reason and excitement to watch the history-making competition.
“We’re excited to offer customers the opportunity to bet on online poker tournaments for the first time and the WCOOP $51,000 Super High Roller event is the perfect place to start,” Stephen Fisk, managing director of sports betting for PokerStars said. “With the added spice that having a bet on it brings, fans and players from around the world can rail their favorite player and win money even if they don’t have a spare $51k lying around.”
Though the chance to participate in the Super High Roller will likely attract a sizeable betting base and provide a nice supplemental revenue boost to PokerStars, the odds for the 20 confirmed players aren’t exactly enticing for the more seasoned sports bettor.
Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier and Chris Moorman are unsurprisingly the favorites, all listed at 12/1 (+1200), meaning a $100 bet would payout $1,200.
In sports betting, the underdog often comes with the best chances of winning big, albeit with more risk, but for the Super High Roller the long shots aren’t that long, with Sorel Mizzi, Ben Sulsky, Jason Somerville and Mike Watson all listed at 16/1.
The competitive nature and talent of the field creates a rather high house edge for PokerStars and rather low odds for bettors.
But the chance to join the event and have a horse in the race is undeniably going to appeal to many players on the rails.
The Super High Roller puts cards in the air on Sunday, September 20th, with $1 million guaranteed on the line.
The hottest buzzword in America is daily fantasy sports (DFS), its legal loophole that has the industry defined as a game of skill paving the way for citizens in nearly all states to place bets on sports through networks like FanDuel and DraftKings.
PokerStars announced it was getting in the DFS game earlier this month after it acquired Victiv, and it wasted no time in relaunching the platform under the name StarsDraft to fall in line with the company’s overall branding.
“We intend to capitalize on what we believe is strong crossover between online poker players and daily fantasy sports,” Matthew Primeaux, Victiv founder said at the time of the merger.
The line on the $51,000 event will be restricted to PokerStars territories where sports betting is legal, primarily European nations, and will not be featured in the DFS lobby.
Should platforms decide to allow players to create poker teams similarly to how participants currently assemble DFS football rosters on a weekly basis, poker tournaments could become commonplace on daily fantasy sports.