Complete details are still to come, but PokerStars has officially launched the Sunday Million 15th Anniversary event. I don’t know what makes me feel older: that I am about to have a high school-aged child or that I was in the poker industry when the first Sunday Million debuted.
Though online poker rooms the last few years have tried to go “bigger and better” which each successive tournament festival, PokerStars is not really taking that leap this year. Yes, there is a little bit of the “bigger” part, but overall, the Sunday Million 15th Anniversary will look very much like the 14th Anniversary. Heck, PokerStars even said, “….eagle eyes will notice that it looks a lot like last year’s biggest ever event.”
The basics are as follows: the three-day event will begin March 21 and will have late registration until the start of Day 2. The buy-in is the regular Sunday Million price of $215 and the guaranteed prize pool is $12.5 million.
The one thing that is definitely bigger and better is $500,000 in giveaways. Specifically, PokerStars plans to dole out $500,000 in tickets to the tournament. If I had to guess, it will be via freerolls, Spin & Go’s, and various other added-value tournaments that players must qualify for via missions or something. So if I’m at all close to being correct, it won’t be anything overly exciting, but it’s still $500,000 in tournament tickets, so that’s cool. I know I certainly wouldn’t pony up $215 to play in the Sunday Million as it’s too rich for my bankroll (if I could play on Pokerstars, that is), but I would very much welcome a free ticket.
Last year’s 14th Anniversary event was pretty spectacular. The $215 buy-in tournament drew 93,016 entries, about two-thirds of which were unique entries, with the others being re-entries. As a result, the prize pool blew past the guarantee by a solid 50%. The $18,602,300 prize pool was the largest ever at PokerStars, which is saying something, considering Stars’ tournament history.
“AAAArthur” emerged as the champ, winning $1,192,802 after a four-way deal at the final table. There was talk of a deal earlier at the final table, but no agreement was made until the game was four-handed. AAArthur had twice the chips of his closest opponent, but was willing to take less than the regular first place prize to guarantee a glorious payday, a normal occurrence in deal-making. The scheduled first prize was a bit over $1.5 million.
The scheduled second place payout was a little over $1 million, so AAAArthur’s thought process makes perfect sense. There was no guarantee he was going to win, so he sacrificed an unrealized $300,000 to protect against a bigger loss of $500,000 or more.
The second place player also accepted less than second place money because he was much closer to third and fourth place than he was to first. The bottom two players got more than their scheduled positions, so it worked out really well for them.
PokerStars said it will release complete details for the 15th Anniversary Sunday Million on March 8.