PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world has dominated the global poker market for years because it puts together some of the highest guaranteed prize pools in the iGaming market on a regular basis. The online poker room is constantly looking to shake things up and is not afraid to experiment as it looks to maintain its dominance in the online poker sphere.
PokerStars has just announced an exciting new change to its iconic Sunday Million tournament. The original buy-in was $215 buy-in but that will all change from this Sunday as the buy-in has now been reduced to $109 going forward. This is the first time that the iconic weekly tournament has undergone a major change, though occasionally it features buy-ins at half the price during anniversary editions.
The last $215 buy-in Sunday Million on January 20 was chopped by “PokerDave476” from the UK and Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot from Canada.
$1 Million Guarantee Stays
The online poker giant has announced though that all the other details of the tournament will remain the same. The event will still commence at 6 pm and the starting chipstack will stay at 10,000 with 12-minute levels. Late registration still runs for three hours and 15 minutes. The most important aspect that players will be interested in is that the Sunday Million will stick to its $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool, despite reducing the buy-in.
To be able to cover the total prize pool, the tournament will now need to attract 10,000 players on a weekly basis or else PokerStars will have to make up the difference.
The other Sunday events will stay the same, such as the $22 buy-in Mini Sunday Million featuring a $150,000 guarantee, as well as the Sunday Storm and the Sunday Marathon.
There are no announcements yet on the tournament’s payout structure, but there are speculations the top prize will remain the same as the previous $215 version. Last Sunday, approximately 13.5 percent of the total guarantees went to the first-place winner, the second placer got 9.5 percent, while 6.6 percent went to the third.
With the buy-in being cut to $109, PokerStars will generate a weekly rake of $90,000, a slight increase from the $75,000 in the original buy-in. These changes come about as PokerStars wanted to give more players the opportunity to take part in the iconic tournament with the new reduced buy-in.
History of the Sunday Million
The Sunday Million has been running since March 2006, and the first ever tournament was won by a poker player using the screen name “aaaaaaaa” for $173,843.50. In its 13-year history, the tournament managed to get through some challenging moments in the online poker industry, such as the passage of the UIGAE in 2006, PokerStars exiting the US market, Black Friday, the segregation of the poker markets in Europe and the closure of PokerStars Australia.
The Sunday Million has had a number of famous winners, including Nick “caecilius” Petrangelo, Luke “lb6121” Schwartz, Anton “antesvante” Wigg, Dan “Danny98765” Smith, Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko, and Tobias “PokerNoob999” Reinkemeier.
Will the New Sunday Million Attract 10,000 Players?
With PokerStars taking a leap of faith with the new buy-in, it will now need to host more satellite events in order to meet the required 10,000 players. The poker giant has been hitting tournament targets on a consistent basis – its Bounty Builder knockout tournaments for example have been generating five-figure player counts.
The Sunday Storm also did not disappoint when it comes to hitting the guarantee. The $200,000 guaranteed event attracted more than 25,000 players with the prize pool reaching $250,000.
But it is worth-noting that PokerStars events featuring buy-ins of more than $22 has not quite hit the five-figure player numbers. It remains to be seen whether the new $109 buy-in for the Sunday Million running on Jan 27 will become the first to do that.
PokerStars still dominates the online poker tournament scene being the only operator to come up with a weekly tournament that features a $1 million guarantee. Other websites like Partypoker also have its own version, but it’s a monthly event and the buy-in is much higher at $5000. The US online poker network WPN has also stopped running its $1 million tournament.

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