This Online Poker Tournament Could Be the Most Valuable in Poker History This Online Poker Tournament Could Be the Most Valuable in Poker History
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The never-before-attempted $1 buy-in tournament with an audacious million-dollar guarantee on the hot new international poker site WPT Global is well underway.

The tournament billed as $1 For $1 Million is structured as a flight tournament, meaning there several Day 1’s are scheduled, and there are multiple opportunities for players to compete for the massive $1 million prize pool.

Exactly 18 Day 1s have been scheduled and four of those have already concluded.

These starting flights run every week, twice on Wednesdays and Sundays, until August 17 — so if anyone has not played it yet, they are missing out on something that is very unlikely to be attempted again.

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The tournament, as the name suggests, guarantees a massive $1 million prize pool, and no matter how many entrants the tournament gets, the operator is obliged to fulfill the seven-figure prize pool. This is the beauty of having a guaranteed amount in a poker tournament.

With the buy-in set at just $1, the tournament would need to attract over 1 million entries to cover such an ambitious guarantee. There is not a one-in-a-million chance that it would end up attracting anywhere close to that requisite. In fact, with a total of 18 flights and each capped at 5000, the maximum number of entrants it could get is 90,000. Even if it manages to attract that turnout, the tournament would end up having an overlay of $919,000.

Now, the question is whether this event could end up having the biggest overlay in the history of online poker?

Currently, the record for the biggest overlay in online poker is held by PokerStars. In December 2020, the $109 buy-in $5 million guarantee Big Blowout tournament attracted 37,673 entries causing a shortfall of a jaw-dropping $1.23 million.

Prior to that, the operator was stung with another $1.2 million overlay, which happened during the 12th anniversary of PokerStars’ iconic Sunday Million tournament.

The $1 For $1 Million tournament at WPT Global, however, guarantees $1 million and, while it would not qualify for the largest overlay ever seen in an online poker tournament, it will still be the most valuable tournament in the history of poker.

No operator has ever slapped a $1 million guarantee on a single-digit buy-in poker tournament before now. Sure, PokerStars has thrown a $100,000 guarantee on a 1 cent tournament a couple of times before, but the overlay was close to $100,000. The $1 For $1 Million tournament on WPT Global will be a massive shortfall.

But How Much Will It Overlay?

Based on the number of players that have qualified for Day 2, pokerfuse estimates that the tournament has drawn close to 7000 runners across the first four Day 1s, an average of around 1750 per flight. Even if we assume each flight attracts an average of 2500 entrants for the remainder of Day 1s, the total turnout would be around 42,000.

If that were to occur, the tournament will have collected $37,800 in tournament buy-ins (42,000 x $0.90), meaning an overlay of a whopping $962,200.

It is an event that has never been attempted before and is unlikely to be repeated again.

An overlay of that amount would equate to an Estimated Value (EV) of approximately $23 per entry. This would mean that for every $1 a player invests, they would be profiting $22 on average — a great deal for such a buy-in.

Still, the tournament would only end up landing as the third-largest overlay in online poker history and the fourth largest across both live and online platforms.

Top Five Biggest Poker Tournament Overlays

Year Operator/Organizer Live/Online Overlay Guarantee Buy-in
2014 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Live $2.5M $10M $5,300
2020 PokerStars The Big Blowout Online $1.23M $5M $109
2018 PokerStars Sunday Million Anniversary Edition Online $1.2M $10M $215
2018 partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event Live $925,000 $10M $5,300
2012 Partouche Poker Tour Live €700,000 €5M €8,500

The operator will be charging 10 cents as a tournament fee. If the tournament indeed gets 42,000 entries, the operator would be making a mere $4200 — representing just 0.4% of the expected overlay.

But this is something the operator is well aware of and will be looking at as a marketing expense. Such a massive overlay means that the operator is literally giving away over $900,000 to players who participate in the tournament and reach in the money.

It is an event that has never been attempted before and is unlikely to be repeated again.

The tournament runs as part of the operator’s ongoing Summer Festival series guaranteeing $3.5 million in prize money. The $1 buy-in tournament is not the only seven-figure guaranteed event on the schedule. Those that are serious grinders can compete in the $330 buy-in Main Event promising $1 million guaranteed.

The $1 For $1 Million tournament runs until August 17. There are fourteen Day 1s remaining, so plenty of opportunities to join the action. New players get even more value, too — from now until July 31st, every player who makes their first deposit will receive a free ticket for the record-setting $1 For $1 Million event, along with various other perks, including the $1200 WPT Global Deposit Match Bonus and free tickets to other Summer Festival tournaments.