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Partypoker Offers $5 Million-Guaranteed Alternative to WSOP Main Event

Aria Hotel & Casino

It’s shaping up to be a summer to remember for poker players in Las Vegas and partypoker has officially entered the arena with a $5 million-guaranteed tournament set to take place at the end of June.

The $10,000 buy-in tournament, which fits under the partypoker MILLIONS brand, will take place at Aria Resort & Casino as part of the 2019 Aria Poker Classic festival from June 28 to July 2.

You might realize there’s a little festival called the World Series of Poker going on at the same time at the Rio Resort & Casino.

Fortunately partypoker staggered the event so players will still be able to play the WSOP Main Event, which begins on July 3. The final table of the partypoker Vegas MILLIONS event also takes place on July 3 but the WSOP Main Event offers three starting days so everyone will be able to get in on the action.

MILLIONS Brings Illustrious Tour to Vegas

This marks the first time that partypoker is bringing the MILLIONS Live brand to Las Vegas but it’s already made its mark around the world.

MILLIONS Live has awarded millions of dollars to players around the world with tournaments in locales such as Montreal, Rio de Janeiro and the Bahamas. There was even an online version of the MILLIONS that broke records this winter.

So far the biggest MILLIONS Main Event tournament on record is the €10,000 buy-in event that took place at Casino Barcelona last April. Canadian poker pro Pascal Lefrancois cut a path through 1,175 entries to take home a first-place prize of just over $2 million.

Partypoker has already started running qualifiers for the upcoming Vegas tournament with satellites starting at just $1.10. Because the Vegas tournament falls under the MILLIONS banner, there are actually a variety of ways to play in the event without paying the full $10,000 buy-in. The qualifying programs offer buy-in levels of $1.10, $11, $109 and $1,050.

The big question is whether MILLIONS will meet its guarantee. The tournament will need somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 entries to make the guarantee. If it fails to attract that many players, partypoker will be forced to chip in to the prize pool, making the event an even better value for players.

MILLIONS to Conflict with Certain WSOP Events

While the Vegas MILLIONS was carefully scheduled to avoid competing directly with the WSOP Main Event, there are going to be some WSOP events running at the exact same time.

Take a quick look at the schedule and you’ll see the following popular events would be extremely difficult to play if you’re in the MILLIONS.

  • $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
  • $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Max
  • $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em
  • $400 Colossus

The $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship is popular among pros and has the exact same buy-in as the MILLIONS so we’ll see if that affects field size. The $5,000 6-Max is also very popular among elite poker pros.

Finally the $888 Crazy Eights and $400 buy-in Colossus are focused more on amateur players so there shouldn’t be a lot of crossover between them and the Vegas MILLIONS.

That’s not including several big buy-in Hi-Lo tournaments including Seven-Card Stud and PLO.

WSOP Main Event Still in a League of Its Own

While the Vegas MILLIONS might have a $10,000 buy-in and a guaranteed prize pool of several million, it’s not really in the stratosphere of the WSOP Main Event.

While the WSOP Main Event famously does not have a prize pool guarantee, it’s always the richest live tournament of the year. Last year the Main Event attracted 7,874 players to create a prize pool of $74 million. The eventual winner, John Cynn of Indianapolis, took home a staggering $8.8 million.

In the end the Vegas MILLIONS could conceivably even boost the field of the Main Event as players who make big scores in the tournament at Aria are likely to take a quick cab ride over to the Rio and let it ride on the biggest tournament in the world.