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Online poker is on an unprecedented high as three of the biggest global online poker sites announced high-value tournaments and series for their loyal player pools.
Celebrating the 13th anniversary of its most-popular online tournament – Sunday Million – PokerStars announced that the tournament guarantee will be increased from $1 Million to $10 Million on April 14.
partypoker too made headlines with its online poker tournament series, POWERFEST, which is scheduled to run from March 31 to April 14, with $30 Million in guarantees on offer.
Meanwhile, 888poker also jumped onto the online tournament series bandwagon and announced the XL Blizzard. Expected to be hosted from April 4-14, the 34-event long series is accessible to players all across the globe.
PokerStars Sunday Million Offers $10 Million GTD on April 14
One of the most popular events on PokerStars’ Sunday schedule is the Sunday Million. Back in January, the iconic tournament had reduced its buy-in to $109 from $215 with an unchanged prize pool guarantee of $1 Million. According to latest reports, on April 14 the event will boost its guarantee from $1 Million to $10 Million, with the eventual champion taking away at least $1 Million in prize money!
This special Sunday Million tournament is in honor of the event’s 13th anniversary, however, for this special event, the buy-in will once again be hiked to the previous $215. The Sunday Million had started on March 6, 2006, and on its very first outing had attracted 5,893 runners creating $1,178,600 in the prize pool. Canada’s “aaaaaaaa” made history by shipping the inaugural event for $173,844. From then on, PokerStars has conducted more than 600 Sunday Million tournaments with over $750 Million awarded in prizes over the years.
Talking about PokerStars celebrating Sunday Million’s 13th anniversary, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at The Stars Group Severin Rasset said, “We’re thrilled to be a part of this poker milestone, but the credit goes to all of the poker lovers out there who have made the Sunday Million happen nearly every week for the past 13 years, so we hope to see them at the tables on April 14”.
On the tournament’s 12th anniversary, PokerStars had celebrated with two tournaments that each guaranteed $10 million each. Brazil’s “Hulk9950” was able to ship the first one in February 2018 for $960,000 after agreeing to a three-way deal on the final table. Two months later in April 2018, Netherlands’ “Daenarys T” won the Sunday Million Anniversary Take 2 for $1,000,043.
partypoker POWERFEST is Back With $30 Million GTD
Another global online poker brand that has been making a splash on the virtual felts is partypoker. After announcing its brand-new Team Online and association with Bill Perkins‘ Thirst Lounge, the brand is now back with the online series – POWERFEST. Slated to run from March 31 to April 14, the series will offer $30 Million in guarantees.
Very recently, Dusk Till Dawn owner and partypoker partner, Rob Yong voiced his opinion on how partypoker copied PokerStars saying, “What we used to do was copy Stars. Stars would hold a festival, and we would hold one at the same time. Being a bigger size, when you do your big series at the same time as your biggest competitor you split the liquidity and hurt each other. When we were small, we would leach off PokerStars, and everything was fine. Now when we do $60m, and they do $60m there is only so much money to go around, and we both suffer. So that’s something we will move away from this year. We will do our Powerfest in April and stay away from their WCOOP. Taking some beatings on festivals, overlays and marketing costs. Taking some beatings trying to match their Sunday Million, we failed at that; we weren’t able to get the liquidity. Trying to compete, really, we took some knocks. I think we also got a lot of data and learned from it.”
partypoker ambassador Patrick Leonard took to Twitter to announce the series.
WE STAND ALONE! With no other series supporting at the end of this month we run an absolutely gigantic Powerfest. Last year was $15m so 100% growth is super strong. I’ve seen the schedule and it’s really exciting. Put these 2 weeks into your calendar pic.twitter.com/l24zhLvbDh
— Patrick Leonard (@plenopads) March 13, 2019
It seems like partypoker is finally ready to step out of PokerStars’ shadow.
888poker Returns With XL Blizzard From April 4-14
The third international online poker site to announce a big tournament series is 888poker. The poker site announced the XL Blizzard which is scheduled to run from April 4-14 and will comprise of 34 tournaments with more than $1.7 Million in guarantees.
Unlike the events hosted on PokerStars, players from all over the world can participate in the XL Blizzard, and with buy-ins ranging from $5.50 to $320, the series is sure to attract players from various economic strata. There are also satellites where players can get into events for even cheaper or even for free.
The four marquee events at the series will be the XL Blizzard Event #1 – $100,000 Opening Event on April 4, the XL Blizzard #16 – $100,000 High Roller on April 9, the XL Blizzard #32 – $500,000 Main Event on April 14, and the XL Blizzard #33 – $50,000 Mini Main Event on April 14.
While the Opening Event and High Roller will feature a $100,000 guaranteed, the Mini Main Event will have a $50,000 guarantee, and the Main Event will offer a $500,000 guarantee.