Snowy day nets yllams PokerStars' 65 billionth hand, $68,420
Two thousand years. That's how long it would take to deal 65 billion hands of poker, even if you could deal one hand per second. It's taken PokerStars nearly ten years to deal out that many hands. Today, all it took was a snowy night and a little game of poker for New Zealand's yllams to step right into the big PokerStars milestone.
In that part of the world, Sunday had already turned into Monday. Snow fell from the dark skies, and yllams was up late playing a little wintertime .10/.25 six-max no-limit hold'em. He had $27.84 sitting beside his avatar, a latter-day photo of the great Stu Ungar. On almost any other day, he would've been happy to leave that table with a hundred bucks.
But on this night, yllams was in the middle of the PokerStars Road to 100 Billion promotion. A little ticker told him and the 230,000 other players at the 34,000 active PokerStars tables that something big was about to happen. A big splash-banner in the middle of his little poker game told him something big was about to happen to him.
The six people around that table immediately knew that for the few bucks they had in front of them, they were going to make at the very least $1,700. At the most? More than $65,000.
The first three letters in the chat box said it all: OMG.
There is a great railbird tradition of mocking people at these milestone tables. There always seems to be at least one person who makes the mistake of folding his hand pre-flop to the inevitable all-ins. PokerStars' HostBob did the best he could to help the players out. Before pressing the big green button that sets the milestone in motion, he imparted these words of wisdom: "You can't win a hand by folding."
With that, the wheels were in motion. Somebody at the table was about to win big. One player lamented that he'd already looked at his cards. He held a nine and a three. They weren't even suited.
But for yllams, the future looked positively bright. Right next to that $27 and picture of Stu Ungar, yallms held big slick. Ace-king. That had to be good, right? Little did he know at the the time that modesty1705 sat across the table with pocket tens. The race was on.
Nobody folded. All six players moved all-in for a pot worth a little more than $107 net to the winner. The first two cards told the story. Two aces.
The board ran out A♦A♥9♠4♣7♥. The K♥A♣ in yllams' hand was good all day and twice on Sunday. Or, in the case of New Zealand, Monday.
The winner sat silent. Everybody at the table had won at least $1,710. Yllams had picked up $68,420. Congratulations came in from everywhere. He accidentally deleted his email inbox. He was able to utter the word, "Unbelievable." The only thing else he could think about was this: " I have work in a few hours."
No matter what he does for a living or how much money he will make during his shift today, the scene below will be playing out in his head until the close of business and beyond.
In all, PokerStars dealt 301 milestone hands in the big run-up to the 65 billionth. Here's how it all broke down.
Total hands : 301
Total prize money: $770,588.88
Prizes per hand: $2,560.10
Prize per player: $449.59
When all the money is counted, however, that one man wiping the snow off his windshield in New Zealand will be the one who remembers this day the most.
Now, the 65 billionth hand is just a memory. This is, after all, the PokerStars Road to 100 Billion. There are still many miles to go before the big one.
Congratulations to yllams. Here's to hoping $68,000 makes a tired Monday at work a little more bearable.