The online poker industry has just gotten even more competitive following an announcement by PokerStars that it was slashing the buy-in for its long-running tournament from $215 to $109. By doing this, the online poker operator will now need to attract at least 10,000 buy-ins every week so as to avoid an overlay. However, the company has expressed a lot of confidence in the expectation that its current player pool is more than sufficient to support the change. It is still too early to ascertain how true this is but the company did break it all down in the official statement:
“The PokerStars Sunday schedule has always had the players in mind. Events like the $22 Mini Million and the $11 Sunday Storm have proven immensely popular. Meanwhile, the new High Roller Club has quickly become a place for high stakes players to play.”
Despite the big change that the operator made, all the other features of the tournament are expected to remain pretty much the same. Here is a brief breakdown of the conditions that are being maintained to ensure that the weekly MTT does not turn into a crapshoot:
- The guaranteed prize pool will remain $1 million.
- The Sunday Million tournament will kick off at 1800 HRS UTC.
- Late registration will be allowed for no more than 3 hours and 15 minutes.
- The starting stack will still be 10,000 chips.
- The opening blinds will be 25/25 with an addition five-chip ante.
- Each of the levels will be 12 minutes long.
With the $109 buy-in, the event is expected to make at least $90,000 every single week. Also, unfortunately, no announcements have been made with regards to the event’s payout structure and we can only speculate that the first-place prize will remain the same as it has been for previous editions of the tournament. Still, according to PokerStars, all the changes have been made with the welfare of the player’s in mind – the operator’s intention is to open up the online poker flagship event to more players. This has been made possible through the lower buy-in albeit while keeping the game as lucrative as it has always been.
Big Blow to Competitors
The last $215 buy-in Sunday Million event went down on Sunday 20 with Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot, 888poker’s popular poker streamer securing his second largest online score ever. This he did by chopping the event for more than $124,000 alongside “PokerDave476” from the United Kingdom.
The move to slash the buy-in was apparently also motivated by the operator’s desire to take backs its glory by hitting back at Partypoker, its greatest competitor. This rivalry has been quite beneficial to the online poker industry primarily because it has sparked a lot of innovation as well as more value for the players. Does it get any better than that?