PokerStars is bringing back its most popular tournament series for a second time in 2019. Billed as the “ultimate low-stakes tournament series,” MicroMillions 16 features exclusively $1.10, $3.30, and $5.50 tournaments with a $22 Main Event and an $11 Sunday Storm PKO Special Edition. Here’s what you need to know.
Dates: November 10-November 24
Events: 147 (up from 146)
Buy-Ins: $1.10, $3.30, $5.50, and a special $11 Sunday Storm PKO and the $22 Main Event
Total Guarantees: $4.3 million (up from $3.8 million)
Average Guarantee Per Tournament: $29,252 (up from $26,027)
It is clear that PokerStars is going big with MicroMillions 16. 147 events marks the most events offered in the glorious seven-year history of the series, breaking the previous record set this past July. And despite this rare double dosage of MicroMillions in the same calendar year, PokerStars has increased the total guarantees.
What Promotions Are Available for MicroMillions 16?
Micro and low stakes players tend to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to series promotions. But this time around, it looks like PokerStars is finally giving MicroMillions the attention it deserves. On the landing page, MicroMillions is situated prominently right next to WCOOP, SCOOP, and Turbo Series. And it’s coming with a bevy of promotions including:
- Regional $5,000 leaderboards
- A branded $0.35 Spin & Go
- Exclusive Challenges leading to a special MicroMillions Freeroll with over $10,000 in prizes
- Second Chance Shootouts giving away $14,000 in extra tickets.
MicroMillions has often been the odd man out compared to its big brothers. But this time around it’s pretty clear PokerStars values the unique properties of the series and wants to make MicroMillions 16 a BIG deal. And that means more potential money in your pocket.
- Turn your small buy-in into a big win!
- The only online poker room offering a chance to win a Platinum Pass for entry into PSPC 2020.
- Largest player base in the world.
What Makes MicroMillions So Valuable?
For PokerStars, MicroMillions is by far the biggest driver of unique players. No series or promotion comes close. We’re talking 50,000+ unique players alone for the Main Event! MicroMillions is the only series of the year, live or online, where players can win tens of thousands of dollars for buy-ins in the $1.10-$5.50 range. This requires massive liquidity and makes it an extraordinarily unique selling proposition for PokerStars.
MicroMillions 16 Blasts Off with the $5.50 Half Price Sunday Storm With a Massive $250K Guaranteed
With the exception of the iconic Sunday Storm, low-stakes tournaments with 6 figure prize pools are unheard of, with one exception. It’s MicroMillions time, baby! PokerStars continues flexing its massive liquidity edge with this ambitious launch event. A $250K prize pool makes this one of the largest $5.50 prize pools of all time.
A $5.50 $200K Half Price Sunday Storm kicked off MicroMillions 15 this past July 14 and drew 65,000 entries. tamglenn won the tournament for a whopping $27,713.77, according to PocketFives.
The MicroMillions $22 Main Event, with $1 Million Guaranteed, Returns on November 24
Speaking of iconic tournaments, the MicroMillions $22 Main Event is a long-standing institution for PokerStars and is undoubtedly one of the highest value tournaments of the year.
The Main Event on July 28 drew 57,886 entries and 69FABIAN69 earned $100,668.11 after a 2-way deal.
MicroMillions 16 Introduces a $4.40 Phase Event with $500k Guaranteed
For the first time in a long time, MicroMillions features a Phase Event. This may be the largest guaranteed prize pool of all time for tournaments $5.50 and under (excluding freerolls).
There may be a bit of a missed opportunity here. Targeting a $1M prize pool seems well within reach for PokerStars and $500k, while record-breaking, is still a pretty safe gamble. Don’t be surprised if $1M is the next Phase target after this one smashes the guarantee.
MicroMillions is Sticking to the Script
PokerStars is on a tear this year with tournament series. Its Bounty Builder Series just wrapped up a few weeks ago and the second edition of MicroMillions is already hot on our doorstep. It seems PokerStars has streamlined and optimized its series schedule generation with SCOOP, WCOOP, Bounty Builder Series, and MicroMillions all sticking very closely to the buy-ins, formats, guarantees, and time slots of the previous editions.
MicroMillions 16 is bringing back similar time slots to MicroMillions 13, 14, and 15:
05:30, 07:30, 09:30, 11:30, 13:00, 14:30, 16:00, 17:30, 19:00, and 20:00.
The earlier times target the European markets, leading up to peak activity, and the later 19:00 and 20:00 times target the Americas. It is also sticking to the well established MicroMillions buy-in scheme of $1.10, $3.30, and $5.50 and offers similar guarantees in each time slot to prior editions.
MicroMillions Battles the Ghost of its Past Triumphs
During MicroMillions 15, we saw this approach backfire spectacularly with Event 26, a $1.10 6-Max Event with $10K guaranteed, only bringing out 5,829 players. This type of miss just does not happen with the well-oiled PokerStars operations machine.
As PokerStars faces declining poker revenue, regulatory hurdles, and prepares for a merger with Flutter, it will be interesting to see if future editions of MicroMillions can maintain the high benchmarks set by previous editions. Due to the homogenized approach of MicroMillions schedule generation, it’s easy to get a straightforward year on year comparison.
While PokerStars is putting forth a valiant effort maintaining similar performance, the trend lines have not looked great overall. The Main Event went from 85,090 entries and $1.7M guaranteed in July 2017 to 63,817 in July 2018 and 58,126 in July 2019. Overall series guarantees have dropped from $5M for MicroMillions 10 and 11, with $50k guaranteed per event, to the recent trend of event inflation with lower guarantees per event.
Are 147 events, an all time record, masking trouble on the horizon? Will PokerStars knock another series out of the park with sharp execution and strong promotions? All eyes will be on MicroMillions 16 from November 10th to November 24th.