PokerStars Sunday Million Grows, Anticipates Anniversary

PokerStars Sunday Million Grows, Anticipates Anniversary

Everyone likes a bargain. It’s natural to seek price breaks whenever possible. But there are certain things that rarely, if ever, go on sale.

The price point of a tournament makes it what it is. The WSOP Main Event costs $10K to play. The PSPC had a $25K buy-in. And the PokerStars Sunday Million costs $215. The guaranteed prize pool may fluctuate, but the buy-in always remained the same.

Until now. PokerStars made a decision to reduce that Sunday Million buy-in, cutting it in half to bring more players into the game. And while there were a few objections from the poker community, it turned out to be a popular decision, as shown by the growth of the tournament in the first week of the new price point alone.

Price Reduction, No Expiration Date

The decision to reduce the buy-in for the Sunday Million was final. The largest tournament on any internet poker site’s weekly schedule officially cut its buy-in from $215 to $109 beginning on January 27.

Other tournaments on the PokerStars Sunday schedule remained the same, as events like the Sunday Storm ($11) and Sunday Warm-Up ($215) saw no changes. But recently, the new $22 Mini Sunday Million proved so popular that the original Sunday Million was reconsidered – not its $1 million guarantee but the players’ ability to take a shot at that prize pool.

The Sunday Million remained a reentry tournament with late registration of more than three hours. While the start time (6pm UTC) and starting chip stacks (10K) also remained the same, a few other changes accompanied the reduced buy-in, including a bit of a faster structure so the playout time of the entire tournament would not be too long.

And on the positive side, more satellites were added leading up to the Sunday Million, with some as low as $0.11.

Success in Week One

It didn’t take long for PokerStars to show the benefit of its decision.

The January 27th Sunday Million was the first with a $109 buy-in, and the numbers were impressive.

–Entries:  15,550

–Prize pool:  $1,555,000

–Places paid:  2,798

–Minimum payout:  $179

–First-place prize:  $136,892.99

The total entries included 12,458 players and 3,092 reentries. The tournament lasted approximately one hour longer than usual. And when all was said and done, Ukrainian player 555AU won the top prize.

As compared to the past week, the improvement was undeniable.

–Entries:  5,837

–Prize pool:  $1,167,400

–Places paid:  1,052

–Minimum payout:  $335

–First-place prize:  $144,114.99

Announcing April Anniversary

Just before that newly-priced Sunday Million ran on January 27, Pokerfuse revealed an exclusive. The 13th anniversary of the Sunday Million is set to run on April 14.

The guarantee has not yet been announced, but there has been a pattern in past years. For the anniversaries leading up to its 10th, the guarantees matched the number of years celebrated by the Sunday Million. For example, the eighth anniversary offered an $8 million guarantee, the ninth a $9 million promise, etc. After the 10th anniversary in 2016 with a $10 million guarantee, however, the Sunday Million anniversaries remained at $10 million in 2017 and 2018.

This year, it could have been assumed that the $10 million guarantee would stand for the 13th anniversary edition, but the newly-reduced buy-in changes it up. With more satellites and more players able to afford the $109 buy-in, it could spur the PokerStars decision-makers to boost the guarantee even higher. The official announcement will likely come within the next month.

 

 

About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including PokerStars.com and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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