Winamax Billion is a Million Hands Bigger than a PokerStars Billion Winamax Billion is a Million Hands Bigger than a PokerStars Billion
Everton Zanella Alvarenga, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Winamax promised to hand out €100k in bonus prizes for its billion hand promotion, but when the milestone hand hit yesterday, all the money had not been distributed. Winamax promptly extended the promotion for another million hands.

The milestone hand was played at a €0.25/€0.50 heads up table and when the first player to act shoved all in, his opponent folded—the replay shows the open shove was done holding 9-2 offsuit, compounding the mistake of folding with a chance for a big payday.

Reinventing the Wheel

To help its players avoid similar mistakes during milestone hands, PokerStars now gives a warning to all of the players involved, without actually telling them how to play their hand.

The promotion has also generated the sort of controversy that marred PokerStars 70th billion hand celebrations. During that promotion, some players cooperated and played up to 24 heads up tables folding every button—thus avoiding paying any rake. The 70 billionth hand was dealt at just such a table, and the players opted to play and won the bonus they had been hoping for.

PokerStars held the prize money pending an investigation but eventually chose to award it, as the players had not breached any terms and conditions—thereafter, heads up tables were excluded from the milestone hand promotions.

A further refinement PokerStars made was to base the prizes awarded on how many VIP player points had been awarded to the player while sat at that particular table, and to cap the number of hands on which the calculation was based. Winamax failed to do this until late in this promotion, leading to widely disproportionate bonus sizes being awarded to players dealt into the same milestone hand.

“laguig” was the player who won the billionth hand, taking a bonus of €30,777 as the reward for his pre-flop shove—his opponent “debutant1” must still be ruing his fold.