PokerStars was forced to eat a $1.2m overlay in their 12th Anniversary Sunday Million Special as Hulk9950 overcame 43,975 entrants to win the $970,000 first prize.
When 34,274 people pay $215 to play in your poker game, and 9,701 of them stump up another $215 after hitting the rail, it has to be a success, right?
This weekend was paradise for the poker community. partypoker hosted some big buy-in POWERFEST events, there was a certain sporting event called The Super Bowl, and PokerStars guaranteed $10m in prize money for the 12th Special Anniversary Sunday Million.
The Sunday Million is THE flagship Sunday spectacular, and in the past, the loyal faithful have turned out in their droves to ensure $10m Guarantees are eaten alive.
In 2016, PokerStars celebrated a decade of Sunday Million brilliance by promising $10m in prize money, and 55,059 people came out to play. Last year, 55,835 people did the same thing. But not this year.
On Sunday, the third $10m Guaranteed Sunday Million on the tamp attracted 34,274 entrants of which 9,701 re-entered. All told, the largest online poker room this side of the baby that’s tapping her foot like a teenager on speed suffered a $1.2m overlay.
But that’s a word associated with partypoker, not PokerStars.
So what happened?
Is this another sign that partypoker is close to sticking a racing spike into the Achilles heel of Stars? Are the poker community, who once sought divinity in clouds shaped like spades, now looking for a different mass of cumulus?
Was it an own goal to host the event on Super Bowl Sunday? The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) have stated that in Las Vegas alone gamblers spent $158m trying to predict the outcome of the Philadelphia Eagles versus the New England Patriots, and over a billion bucks is expected to have been blown globally. Were PokerStars’ faithful in the bar watching the egg-chasers?
Or, is this a sign that PokerStars’ move to a more recreational player ecosystem is going to mean a reduced number of people who can’t justify spending $215, and wasting an entire day, playing a video game? After all, the $1m GTD 7th Anniversary Sunday Storm (with an $11 buy-in), beat its guarantee by $420,990.
One person who couldn’t give a rats arse why the final field ended up 6,000 players short of the target was Hulk9950. The Brazilian low stakes player rose to the top of a final table that included two previous Sunday Million finalists to win the $960,000 first prize after a three-way deal. And when you’re giving that kind of money away at the top it has to be a success, right?
Final Table Results
1. Hulk9950 – $960,000*
2. kapchin – $707,574*
3. Sasuke234 – $640,000*
4. moutsoun75 – $391,554
5. kiwis1966 – $284,150
6. zelikzelik8 – $206,207
7. FrCnnctn1960 – $149,644
8. Botteonpoker – $108,596
9. Oddscompile – $78,808
*Indicates a three way deal