PokerStars’ Sunday Million online poker tournament has been on fire. After two weeks of back-to-back record turnouts, last Sunday online poker’s longest-running tournament achieved yet another new high, once again attracting a record turnout.
A total of 23,301 players came to the virtual felt and along with 8325 re-entries created a massive prize pool of $3,135,600, smashing its new $2 million guarantee by more than a million dollars.
This makes it the largest Sunday Million since its buy-in was cut to $109 and one of the biggest regular Sunday Million tournaments in ten years (barring the Sunday Million Anniversary and special editions).
Sunday Million Gets Even Bigger with $2.5 Million Prize Pool
Following the back-to-back record turnouts, PokerStars has upped the guarantee of Sunday Million once again.
On March 12, the Sunday Million will guarantee a whopping $2.5 million with the buy-in remaining at the same $109 price point. This makes it twice in two weeks that the operator has boosted its guarantee.
Last week, PokerStars upped the ante on Sunday Million by doubling its guarantee to $2 million for the first time in ten years. It was in response to two massive turnouts.
Sunday Million Continues to Break Records
On March 22, PokerStars celebrated the 14th anniversary of the Sunday Million, with a record-setting $12.5 million guarantee. It ended up attracting nearly 100,000 entries to build a mammoth $18.6 million prize pool. It also became the largest online poker tournament in the company’s history.
While it was thought that things would settle down post Anniversary week, the Sunday Million with its $109 buy-in and $1 million guarantee on March 29 attracted over 23,000 entries—two times more than its usual turnout.
Seeing such a large turnout, the operator did not hesitate to bump its guarantee to $2 million.
Players responded to its twice-as-big guarantee in record numbers. After three hours and 15 mins of late registration, the tournament attracted 31,356 total entries — an increase of over 8000 entries from last week.
And now, the operator has upped the guarantee again to $2.5 million, going back to pre-Black Friday levels.
The last time the Sunday Million had such a big guarantee was back in 2009 when US players were allowed to play with PokerStars’ global dot-com player pool. Back then, the Sunday Million had consistent prize pools of over $1.5 million and some times the prize pools swelled to over $3 millions too.
However, once Black Friday happened, prize pools dropped significantly, forcing the operator to reduce its guarantee to its original $1 million. For nine years, the Sunday Million’s guarantee remained intact at $1 million.
In early 2019, PokerStars made a drastic change to its buy-in, cutting it in half to $109 from the traditional $215 buy-in. It did well initially, but traffic dwindled as weeks passed by.
More recently, the tournament even struggled to cover its $1 million guarantee. It suffered its first overlays with its halved buy-in in June, December and in February this year.
However, online poker is booming in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic that has plagued the world and forced millions to stay at home.
Cash game traffic has skyrocketed, tournaments are seeing record turnouts with guarantees getting crushed easily, more and more operators are hosting big online tournament series.
Not just PokerStars, but other operators too are seeing a massive surge in traffic.
This trend is likely to continue for the upcoming weeks as long as people remain under stay-at-home orders in many countries.
PokerStars $2.5 million guaranteed Sunday Million takes place on April 12. It will once again be played over two days, with Day 1 pausing after approximately 9 hours of play. Day 2 will resume on April 13.