The first partypoker MILLIONS Online, held early this month, was quite successful. The online poker room guaranteed a prize pool of $5 million (with $1 million to the winner) and it was able to attract just enough players – 1,027 – to beat the guarantee and generate a prize pool of $5.135 million. So what is partypoker doing to celebrate? Guaranteeing a $20 million dollar prize pool for next year’s partypoker MILLIONS Online, of course.
Yes, $20 million. $20 million for the $5,300 buy-in tournament, which will run December 1st through December 4th, 2018.
“Running the first MILLIONS Online this year was an exciting time for us, bringing the concept of our live tour online,” said partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters on the partypoker blog. “The feedback we had from our players was overwhelming, so what better way to say thank you than to run it again but this time making the guarantee a whopping $20,000,000.”
Players can of course buy-in directly and there are already satellites running for the event that will take place about a year from now, but partypoker also plans to give away about 500 seats. 60 of those seats will be awarded at partypoker MILLIONS live events. The top ten finishers in each partypoker MILLIONS live Main Event will receive a $5,300 seat into the big online tournament. The poker room is adding this $53,000 to each live event, so players will not be sacrificing any of their winnings to fund the promotion.
Then, starting February 5th, partypoker will run a leaderboard where the top ten players each week will win the $5,300 seats. If a player wins more than one seat, the additional $5,300 will be deposited into their account in the form of tournament dollars. This is apparently for a “high” leaderboard (we don’t have the full details at this time), but there will be “mid” and “low” leaderboard, as well. The top twenty finishers on each of those will receive satellite tickets worth $530, $109, or $22, depending on where they rank.
“I love the concept of a MILLIONS leg on partypoker, it gives us the opportunity to bring together our MILLIONS players from all over the world at the end of the year to compete for an unprecedented prizepool,” said John Duthie, president of partypoker LIVE. “I was a little nervous about trying this concept out, but players supported us this time so we should return the favour and go for a record breaking online prizepool in 2018.”
This is an incredibly ambitious tournament for partypoker to put on. The poker room would need 4,000 entrants to meet the guarantee, but that doesn’t even take into account the money it needs to make up from the free seats it is awarding. PokerStars, which dwarfs partypoker in terms of player traffic, has never had that many players for a similarly-priced event. In this year’s SCOOP, PokerStars drew more than 5,000 players for the “mid” Main Event, but that buy-in was $1,050.
The good news is that partypoker has a full year to run satellites and market the hell out of the partypoker MILLIONS Online. And with such a whopping guarantee, it may be able to encourage more players than usual to pony up the steep price tag. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
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