PokerStars guarantees $10 million in 10th Anniversary Sunday Million
So where were you on Sunday March 5, 2006? I know, it's not easy to remember that far back. But one thing's for sure, you'll want to remember where to be ten years later.
That date was the day of the first ever Sunday Million, won by "aaaaaaaa" from Canada who picked up $173,843.50 from a prize pool of $1178,600. Back then there was a field of 5,893, an enormous number. Let's just say the field will be slightly bigger for the tenth anniversary Sunday Million which was announced today, with a $10 million guarantee and all to play for on Sunday March 20.
Each year PokerStars marks the anniversary of what is the highlight of the online poker week. The largest and richest Sunday Million took place during PokerStars' 10th Anniversary celebration in December 2011, when 62,116 players set a record online poker prize pool of $12,423,200 that still stands to this day. That tournament was won by 'First-Eagle', also from Canada, for $1,146,574.65.
Last year's Sunday Million 9th Anniversary tournament, which took place in March 2015, was won by 'BRAYDEN93' from Mexico, who topped a field of 50,432 players to pocket $597,719.60 after a seven-handed deal was done at the final table. The total prize pool then was some $10,086,615.
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But this is the ten year anniversary of the tournament, which means were in the mood to break records. That's why this time round they'll be a slight change to the format that will allow you to enter not once, not twice, but three times if you need to, boosting the prize pool and leaving at least $1 million to the winner.
It all takes place at 14:30 ET (19.30 GMT/20:30 CET) on Sunday March 20, with the usual buy-in of $215, with late registration for those firing bullets two and three open for the first three hours of play. It's set to be one of the biggest online poker tournaments of the year.
What's more Team PokerStars Pro Jaime Staples will be hosting a live Twitch stream of the tournament while playing himself.
"The Sunday Million Anniversary tournament is one of the biggest events on the poker calendar," said Staples. "And when you throw in a $10 million guaranteed prize pool and more than a thousand free seats as well, it's a tournament that every poker player should aspire to play."
The thousand free seats he mentioned make it within the reach of any player, regardless of bank roll.
Players can qualify for free via weekly Hyper-Turbo Freerolls taking place every Saturday between February 13 and March 19 at 13.47 ET (18.47 GMT / 19.47 CET). Some 1,200 free seats to the 10th anniversary tournament are up for grabs across six freerolls (200 seats per freeroll).
To get a freeroll seat simply make a real money deposit of $20 or more in each qualifying week using the bonus code "MILLIONFREE1" (which come to think of it would make a good username if you need to open a PokerStars account" target="_blank">need to open a PokerStars account. That code changes each week to MILLIONFREE2, all the way to MILLIONFREE6. Full details can be found on the Sunday Million 10th Anniversary homepage.
As well as freerolls, there will be two Deadline Satellites on the day of the tournament. An $11 Deadline Satellite at 13.45 ET will guarantee 1,000 seats, and a $33 Deadline Satellite at 14.05 ET will guarantee a further 333 seats.
Four VIP Bash satellites on consecutive Saturdays from February 27 to March 19 at 15.00 ET will feature 50 Sunday Million 10th Anniversary seats to each of the first three Bash Satellites, with 100 seats available in the final Bash Satellite on March 19. The buy in is just 1,000 StarsCoin.
Then there are the regular cash satellites running around the clock, with buy-ins to suit everyone, with prices starting at $1, all of which can be found on the PokerStars client or app.
Ten years, double figures, with ten figures in the prize pool. Set an alarm, write the date on the wall, and cancel all appointments. In ten years you'll want to be able to say you were there.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow the blog team on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog