BetMGM incentivizes tournament players to register before the start of the tournament by offering them full rakeback.

BetMGM Poker is currently hosting the inaugural Online Championships series in all its US states. The series kicked off on September 15 and concludes this Sunday.

The three separate series across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan guarantee $2 million in total — the largest to date for the brand in online poker. Each series features 26 individual events with buy-ins starting from $100 and up to $2500.

But one incentive that went under the people’s radar is that the operator is offering 100% rakeback to all players who register prior to the start of the tournament.

According to the promotional material on the site, “all events will feature Early Bird Registration — meaning players registered at the start of the event will have 100% of the tournament rake refunded!”

The promotion is a straightforward incentive that encourages players to register early and play the tournaments when they start.

It is a smart move indeed, considering that often tournaments with high buy-ins struggle to attract the required number of players to start — especially in lower liquidity environments. It also indirectly helps in building bigger turnouts. The more players spend time in a tournament when the late registration is on, the higher the chance they are likely to re-enter.

The Early Bird promotion is a win-win for both the operator in helping tournaments start and players buying in the tournament for a 10% cheaper price.

Players Respond Positively to Rake Free Early Registration Promotion

Needless to say, the promotion has been well received by players and many have applauded the operator for offering this perk. Some have said that more operators should implement this tactic.

A New Jersey-based player tweeted that this promotion “has genuinely encouraged me to enter events on time. It was a great solution to dealing with the problem of a small market where tournaments with high buy ins often get cancelled for not meeting the minimum number of entrants at start time. Well done BetMGM!”

These kinds of early-bird promotions to encourage players to register early or build pools are not a new concept. In the dot-com market, many operators have tried similar tactics in order to create hype in both tournaments and cash games.

PokerStars has adopted this idea well in both cash games and tournaments. From time to time, the operator runs such a promotion for its fast-fold cash game Zoom in the dot-com and European segregated markets. Recently, in the Indian segregated market, the operator ran a similar On-Time Rake Refund on select tournaments.

European operators including 888poker, partypoker, Unibet and Sky Poker, have implemented similar promotions in the past. Leading online poker room GGPoker offers the same promotion on some of its tournaments, returning fees if players register ahead of the event’s scheduled start.

However, few US online poker apps offer these promotions. Given that the promotion benefits both the operator and players, operators — especially in a closed, ring-fenced market — should attempt to run more similar promotions in the future.

Inaugural BetMGM Poker Online Championships Concludes this Sunday

The Online Championships series runs on the BetMGM poker app in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and wraps up this Sunday.

It is a prestigious series, featuring many high-roller tournaments. The New Jersey edition boasts the largest guarantee out of the three states — promising $795,000 in prize money. The Michigan series guarantees $680,000 while the series in Pennsylvania sports $540,000.

New JerseyMichiganPennsylvania
Total Gtd$795,000$680,000$540,000
Championship Event Gte$250,000$200,000$150,000
Phase Event Gte$100,000$100,000$100,000

With just two days of action left, there are still plenty of high-value tournaments to look forward to. The flagship tournament of the series is the 2-day 8-Max Championship event on Sunday, featuring $600,000 in combined guarantees across the three states. It costs $1000 to enter.

For those with a tight budget, the $100 buy-in phase tournament would appeal to them as the event guarantees at least $100,000 in prize money in each of the three states.



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