Nearly eight years ago when French online poker room Winamax debuted Expresso tournaments, not many would have guessed that it would change the face of online poker tournaments.
The format immediately became a runaway success—so much that other operators were in a flurry to develop and add this jackpot-style fast-structured sit and go to their own game offerings. Today we have Spin & Go at PokerStars, Spin and Gold at GGPoker, SNG Select at Run it Once Poker, plus offers from ipoker, Partypoker, Unibet and more.
It has become an essential part of the online poker room’s game offerings, as much as the cash games and the traditional MTTs.
Winamax, the inventor of this format, is on course to hit a major milestone. It will soon be running the 300 millionth Expresso tournament on its site.
To celebrate this landmark, Winamax is randomly dropping Gold Bars every 10,000 games. If a table is hit with a Gold Bar, the prize pool boosted—from 10 times to 5000 times, depending on the milestone.
Three Expressos Every Second in the Past Year
But the promotion reveals an astonishing statistic: The popularity of the Expresso tournaments has increased threefold in the past year.
This is the third time that the operator is celebrating the Expresso million milestone. Its 100 millionth game came in March 2017, three and a half years after the game was introduced. The next 100 million games took another three years, with the 200 millionth celebration coming in March 2020.
|Winamax Expresso Milestones||Date||Pace|
|100 million||March 2017||3.5 years|
|200 million||March 2020||3 years|
|300 million||March 2021||1 year|
However, the last 100 million Expresso games came in just 12 months—an extraordinarily high speed compared to the previous two milestones.
To put that into perspective, 100 million tournaments in a year means that Expressos ran approximately 275,000 a day, 11,000 every 60 mins, or 180 every minute.
To put it another way, on average, three Expresso tournaments have fired off every second, every minute of every hour, 24 hours a day throughout the past year.
No doubt, the Coronavirus-fueled online poker mini-boom has played a part in its huge growth. But, the launch of Expresso Nitro in late 2019—an even-faster version of the game—must have also led to many more games being played as well.
Indeed, out of eight €1 million prize pools that have been triggered in Expressos since the beginning of 2020, seven of those were in the faster Nitro variant, pokerfuse has learnt, showing just how popular this ultra-fast format has become.
Winamax Expresso Million Prize Pools Breakdown by Year
|2019||5 (1 on Nitro)|
|2020||7 (6 on Nitro)|
Expressos Generating At Least 2 Million Yearly Revenue
If assuming each and every Expresso tournament that ran was a 25 cent buy-in, Winamax would be profiting 2 cents per tournament, considering the 8% tournament fee at this price point. This would mean, the operator would be netting around €5500 per day and €2 million yearly.
However, Expressos on Winamax come in nearly a dozen different buy-ins ranging from 25 cents to €500. The rake is fixed at 8% for buy-ins at €0.25 and €0.50; 7% for €1 to €500 so tournament fee would range from 2 cents to as high as €35.
Winamax Expresso Buy-in and Rake
|Buy-in (€)||Rake %||Tournament Fee (€)|
A reasonable estimation of 7 cents per tournament on average to Winamax’s pocket would mean revenue of €19,250 per day and €7 million in a year. Putting it even higher to 12 cents would give a figure of a staggering €12 million.
Winamax Profit on Expressos Breakdown
|Winamax Profit Per Tournament (€)||Per Day Profit Assuming 275,000 Games (€)||Yearly Profit (€)|
|2 cents (Minimum)||5500||2,007,500|
From this, it is fair to conclude that Expressos contribute a decent portion of the operator’s revenue. It is no wonder why the format is ubiquitous across the industry.
The format is mobile-friendly, both recreational and professional players love it, and the game lasts only a few minutes—thus providing quick entertainment to those who only have a few minutes to spare.
300 Millionth Expresso Nearing
The 300 millionth Expresso celebration kicked off Monday, March 15 starting with 297 millionth Expresso tournament. At the time of writing, over 165 milestones have been hit, thus completing 55% of the lead-up to the big one.
“So far, the promotion is a massive success,” Aurélien Guiglini Head of Poker Product at Winamax, told Poker Industry PRO, our premium news and data analytics platform for poker industry insiders. “The scheduled milestone jackpots are coming at an even faster rate than before, and the countdown displayed on the lobby is an added thrill for the players.”