Partypoker has successfully exceeded the $20 million guarantee of its most ambitious tournament— MILLIONS Online —to officially make it the biggest tournament in the history of online poker.
In total, 4367 entries were made across five starting flights (each costing $5300) to build a humongous prize pool of $21,835,000 and smash its original guarantee by almost $2 million. 687 players made it to Day 2 and 500 players will be paid the minimum cash prize of almost $11,000.
Day 2 is already underway and the final day will take place tomorrow after Level 18 ends. Four players are expected to become millionaires on Wednesday night with the winner taking home a guaranteed prize of $2.5 million, which will be another record for the biggest individual prize in online poker history. Second, third, and fourth place finishers will be pocketing $1.75 million, $1.25 million, and $1 million respectively. No online poker tournament has created four millionaires in a single tournament.
MILLIONS Online got off to a record-breaking start as the first flight contributed almost $8 million to the prize pool (one-third of the guaranteed prize pool) alone. It attracted an impressive 1574 total entries of which 1332 were unique and 242 were re-entries. It also became the biggest-ever starting flight across both partypoker’s online and live events.
230 players made Day 2 including partypoker team member Philipp Gruissem from Germany with a massive chip stack of 26 million. Former PokerStars Team Pro Viktor “Isildur1” Blom also survived the first flight with a stack of over 6 million.
After a strong start on Sunday, the second starting flight could gather only 484 total entries to add an additional $2.4 million to the prize pool. Team partypoker members Sam Trickett and Dzmitry Urbanovich were among the 73 players to reach the second day.
The third flight on Sunday proved to be a sigh of relief for partypoker as 1112 entered the Day 1C field, adding $5.5 million to the pool. By this time, it already had become the biggest online poker tournament in history with buy-ins of over $15 million.
The tournament still needed 830 entries in its next two flights to meet the guarantee. Day 1D saw the addition of 707 total entries and by this time it was almost certain that MILLIONS would hit its $20 million mark. The final flight needed 123 players to make the $20 million guarantee. Instead, it ended up with 490 entries to smash its guarantee by 9%.
According to the operator, there were 2081 unique players in its first four flights and there would be another 400 unique players in its last flight. Each of the starting flights allowed two re-entries and players were permitted to play in as many Day 1s as they wished, but they could only take their largest stack through to Day 2.
|Date||Flight||Total Entries||No. of Players to Make Day 2||Total Prize Pool|
|Sunday November 25||Day 1A||1574||230||$7,870,000|
|Thursday November 29||Day 1B||484||73||$2,420,000|
|Sunday December 02||Day 1C||1112||162||$5,560,000|
|Monday December 03||Day 1D||707||104||$3,535,000|
|Tuesday December 04||Day 1E||490||119||$2,450,000|
A majority of players made their way into the $5300 buy-in MILLIONS Online through Mega Satellites and other satellites which the room had been running very aggressively since September. Over 1000 seats were guaranteed (worth $5.5 million) from November 25 until today.
Ahead of the start of the tournament, almost everyone expected that MILLIONS would fail to reach its eight-figure guarantee and by a big margin—the question was by how much? Even partypoker’s own Mike Sexton suggested there was a huge value to be had and Tom Waters, partypoker Managing Director told to PocketFives that he thought even a field of 3500 entries would be a success.
Now with MILLIONS exceeding the $20 million guaranteed prize pool, it has ended the decade-long dominance of PokerStars. All the previous ten largest online tournament records belonged to PokerStars, including the tenth anniversary of Sunday Million which saw a record turnout of over 62,000 players in December 2011. MILLIONS has exceeded that tournament’s total prize pool by almost $10 million.
Day 2 of MILLIONS Online is already underway with the final day taking place on December 5.