Thursday, 23rd May 2024 06:13
Home / How to play SCOOP: A guide for poker newcomers

You might have heard of the Spring Championship of Online Poker, but how can you go about taking part? Find out in our ‘How to play SCOOP’ guide.

Did you ever receive a present you were super excited about getting, even if you’d never used the item in question before? Like getting a cool-as-hell skateboard when your only skating experience is in video games. Or being gifted a telescope when you’re a sci-fi fan but have never seen the stars.

We imagine that’s how poker newcomers feel right now with the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) just around the corner. Enthusiastic? Absolutely. Nervous? A little. Unsure of where to start? Perhaps.

Have no fear. Just because you’ve never played online poker before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be very excited indeed.

It might be one of the biggest and most prestigious poker series in the world, but SCOOP is for everyone, with tournaments, buy-in levels and qualification routes designed for players of all backgrounds and bankrolls.

Here’s a guide on how to play SCOOP for poker newcomers, walking you through all the steps you’ll take before beginning your quest towards a title.

It all starts with downloading PokerStars. But first, let’s explain what SCOOP is and why you might want to play in it.


The ‘Spring Championship of Online Poker’, also known as ‘SCOOP’, is an annual online poker tournament series that began in 2009. 

SCOOP is one of the biggest and most prestigious tournament series anywhere online, with thousands of players competing every year and millions of dollars in guaranteed prizes up for grabs. 

Like its counterpart WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker), SCOOP offers Championship-level poker events to players at all stake levels, with buy-ins ranging from $2.20 up to $25,000.

SCOOP 2024 is going to be a big one. There’s $75 million guaranteed across 128 events. 

Quite simply, it’s a series you never want to miss.

Now let’s get on to how to play SCOOP.


The first step to playing a SCOOP event is to download the PokerStars client or app (Apple iStore or Google Play for Android).

Once that’s installed, you’ll need to set up an account.

Aside from ensuring the details you enter are correct, perhaps the most important (and fun) part of signing up for PokerStars is creating your PokerStars screen name.

From “Isildur1” and “Timex” to “Moorman1” and “EasyWithAces”, many screennames have become iconic. You might be at the beginning of your poker journey now, but who knows where you might end up? So pick wisely!

Further reading: How PokerStars keeps its players safe at the tables


Next up is to decide how much you’re willing to deposit into your PokerStars account – or whether you’re willing to deposit at all. SCOOP events are real-money games so to register for them directly you’ll need the necessary funds in your account.

Establishing deposit limits ensures that you’re playing within your financial means, reducing the risk of excessive losses. You needn’t set up this limit officially through PokerStars, but you should have an amount in mind and only deposit what you can comfortably afford to lose.

Budgeting for online poker is akin to budgeting for entertainment expenses. It safeguards you against any temptation to overspend in the heat of a SCOOP session.

Moreover, having a predefined deposit amount you can afford to lose promotes mindful decision-making (ideal for poker players) and prevents impulsive behaviour.

For some players, opting solely for freerolls to begin with is the best way to go. Freerolls offer the thrill of competition without any monetary commitment, making them an ideal choice for casual players or those on a tight budget. By refraining from depositing altogether, players can engage in poker purely for recreation, minus the financial stress.

Ultimately, setting limits empowers players to maintain control over their poker experience.

Remember, all PokerStars players receive a $0.50 Power Path Step 1 ticket every day that they play on PokerStars and these tickets can get you started on your SCOOP journey.


Once you have a bankroll in place, it’s time to look at the SCOOP schedule and pick out the best events for your budget.

The great thing about SCOOP and WCOOP (the World Championship of Online Poker – it takes place later in the year) is that all events come with three buy-in tiers: Low, Medium and High. Plus there are events in a variety of variants and tournament formats.

This means there’s something for everyone.

The SCOOP schedule is put together with players in mind, so you should find a bunch of tournaments you can play in one sitting if you’d like. Alternatively, you’ll find great events at your price point throughout the series.

The smaller the buy-in, the more entries there will be and the bigger the grind becomes. Bigger buy-in events have smaller events and may look tempting, but remember: the bigger the buy-in, the higher the overall standard of play is going to be. So don’t blow through your bankroll chasing glory!

If there are events that you can’t afford but look too good to miss, it’s time to check out satellites.


Poker tournament satellites are tournaments where the main prize is entry to a bigger buy-in tournament. 

So, let’s say there’s a $55 buy-in tournament you’d like to play but you can’t afford to buy in directly. Open up the tournament lobby and in the bottom left corner you’ll find the satellites currently running for that event. 

You might even be able to qualify for big events in freerolls!

Best of luck to all of you playing in SCOOP 2024.


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