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PokerStars Tournament Draws 61,342 Entries for Epic $12.2m Prize Pool

PokerStars 13th Anniversary Sunday Million

The special 13th-anniversary edition of the iconic PokerStars Sunday Million attracted a staggering 61,342 entries over the weekend to generate a prize pool of $12.2 million.

Chinese player wangli0402 eventually outlasted everyone to take down a first-place prize of $611,944. In a weird turn of events wangli0402 was not the biggest winner, however.

Thanks to a deal that was made between the five remaining players, it was actually the player who finished fifth who earned the most. Greek player t4rz4n_21 took home $625k for fifth place. Every one of the top five players earned over half a million dollars.

The tournament ended up smashing its guaranteed prize pool of $10 million by over $2 million. It ended up becoming the second-biggest Sunday Million in history.

The biggest Sunday Million remains the 10th-anniversary special that took place in December 2011 with a $12.4-million prize pool. Canadian Kyle “First-Eagle” Weir took down the event for an impressive $1.1 million.

Buy-in Bumped for Anniversary Tournament

Earlier this year the regular PokerStars Sunday Million buy-in was reduced from its classic $215 price point to a more affordable $109.

The change in buy-in has had mixed results for PokerStars with the first several cheaper Sunday Millions getting a sudden bump in participation, but over the last couple months participation has been on the decline.

PokerStars decided to increase the buy-in to $215 for the historic 13th-anniversary edition but it’s at least within the realm of possibility that the company will change the buy-in back to the familiar $215 on a permanent basis.

The PokerStars Sunday Million remains the biggest weekly online poker tournament and it’s possible to qualify for the tournament for as little as $1 through the site’s steps program.

Regardless the 13th-anniversary edition of the Sunday Million will go into the record books as the second-biggest one ever.

Here’s a look at the readjusted top five biggest Sunday Millions after this weekend (*reflects five-way chop):

DateEntriesPrize PoolWinnerFirst Prize
04/24/201856,310$11,262,000Daenarys T$1,000,043

PokerStars Follows Up with Record $75m GTD SCOOP

It turns out the 13th-anniversary Sunday Million was just a warm-up for the upcoming Spring Championship of Online Poker.

The 2019 SCOOP will run from May 12-27 with 201 different events and a record $75 million guaranteed in prize pools. The $75 million in prize pools is the most ever offered by PokerStars for an online series. It beats the 2018 SCOOP by over $10 million.

PokerStars has yet to release a complete schedule but the series will assuredly utilize its trademark tiered buy-ins with every event having a low, medium and high buy-in version. Satellites for the series have already begun and you can find more information in the PokerStars lobby.

PokerStars Zeroes in on 200 Billion Hands

The 13th anniversary came close to breaking records for PokerStars and by all accounts the 2019 SCOOP will break prize pool records for the company.

There’s another record, however, that PokerStars is assured to hit in the next two weeks: 200 billion hands dealt.

It sounds ridiculous but PokerStars, which started in 2001, is indeed closing in on 200 billion hands. The company is celebrating with a host of promotions over the next 14 days leading up to a $200,000 freeroll called the Mega Freeroll.

All players have to do is play a single hand of real-money online poker over the next two weeks and they’ll be given a free spin with a shot at winning $2,000 cash or a ticket into the $200k GTD Mega Freeroll.

Then on the day that PokerStars actually hits the 200 billionth hand, every player dealt into the hand will instantly receive $10,000.

PokerStars will amp up the atmosphere by doing random chest drops for players over the next weeks. The site will also crank its Spin & Go jackpots up to a record $2 million. That means that for a $5 buy-in you can potentially win a share of $2 million.

The last time PokerStars ran a 100 billion hand promotion, which was in 2013, traffic saw a significant spike as everyone tried to get lucky and get dealt into the winning hand.