A million-dollar prize pool hit last week on 888poker’s popular BLAST jackpot sit and go. The seven-figure payday was divided among two players from Canada and one from the UK, and each of them walked away with a six-figure payday.
It took just over 12 minutes to determine a champion of the $100 buy-in tournament, and the winner netted a top prize of $700,000. Thanks to the ladder payout for the highest multiplier, the second-place finisher earned $200,000 while the first to bust was consoled with $100,000 for their efforts.
In response, 888 has tweaked some existing BLAST tournaments. The $1 and $5 tournaments both currently sport special edition $1 million top prizes in celebration of the result.
It is rather unlikely these will trigger—the $1 tournament will only pay out the top prize one time in every 10 million tournaments, on average—but it is one of the very few times in online poker that such a top prize can theoretically be one for just adollar.
Million Dollar Jackpot SNG: Final Payouts
- 1st place: Mikaxe ($700,000)
- 2nd place: ayemaxx08 ( $200,000)
- 3rd place: aatorblood13 ($100,000)
The lottery sit and go game was launched in 2016. Back then, it featured a four-handed format, but has since switched to the standard three-handed gameplay.
As with other lottery sit and gos, 888’s BLAST comes with the twist that, at the start of each tournament, a top prize of at least two times and up to 10,000 times the buy-in is determined.
Regular and Fast Blast SNGs are available with seven buy-in amounts. For as little as 10 cents, players can compete for a top prize pool of $1,000. The largest price tag is the $100 stake—and it was here that the $1 million jackpot was hit.
The unique twist with BLASTs is that, based on the prize pool multiplier, a corresponding countdown timer will appear at the table. The first few levels are played as a normal SNG but that all changes once the time is up: at that point, the remaining players will be all-in automatically as of the next hand.
This automatic all-in continues until one player wins all the chips, and the jackpot prize.
Regular Blast SNGs feature a starting stack of 1500 chips and levels of two minutes each. Depending on the multiplier, the automatic all-in stage takes place between the third and up to the sixth level.
For the Fast Blast variant, the starting stack is 300 chips and the all-in stage is reached between the end of the second and fourth level.
Blast Levels and Prize Pool Distribution
|Multiplier||Regular Levels||Fast Blast Levels||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place|
The three lowest multipliers are winner-takes-all tournaments whereas the top four multipliers have ladder payouts. In the two biggest multipliers, all three players earn a share of the money and a potentially significant boost to their bankroll.
Jackpot SNG Popular in the Industry
Almost all major operators in the online poker industry use their own variant of the lottery or “jackpot” SNG. They typically run three-handed and promise large jackpots.
French market leader Winamax was the first to launch the lottery—style format called Expresso, which they later expanded with the introduction of the even faster-paced Expresso Nitro.
It became such a runaway success for Winamax that it soon became a standard for the online poker market. The French giant recently revealed staggering statistics in their milestone promotion. According to Winamax, their last 100 million Expresso games came in just 12 months—which equals three games every second, 24 hours a day.
The iPoker network (as Twister) followed soon after. In 2014, now-defunct Full Tilt implemented their own version called Jackpot and PokerStars followed a few months later with the launch of Spin & Go.
The format certainly gained a lot of popularity throughout the years. Operators such as Unibet (HexaPro) and GGPoker (Spin & Gold) also joined the fray.
A surge in Traffic and Promotions on 888
888 recorded one of the best annual growth rates in online poker in the past 15 years as revenue jumped by an incredible 47.8% in 2020.
The operator carried over the momentum into 2021 and even surpassed partypoker in global cash game traffic.
The rollout of the completely revamped Poker 8 software client for desktop and mobile was heralded as one of the keys to its recent success, according to 888. The initial launch in 2020 was celebrated with a feast and gave away $1 million in prizes via their Made to Play campaign.
Other promotions such as the Turbo Drops and the 24/7 Freerolls followed in the new year.
888 also redesigned and improved its weekly schedule of guaranteed poker tournaments. The operator also teamed up with the WPTDeepStacks tour to host an online festival with more than $3 million in guarantees from April 18 through April 26.
Sixteen events each will run simultaneously on 888poker’s global network, as well as the ring-fenced markets of Spain/Portugal and Italy.
An expansion into the regulated US markets is also on the horizon for 888. They extended the partnership with Caesars Interactive until 2026. The agreement ensures that 888 will continue to power the WSOP software platform throughout the next five years.
Both companies have their eyes set on the launch in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Both states will receive the new Poker 8 client, which will then also be rolled out for WSOP Nevada and WSOP New Jersey.