Thinking about playing your first Sunday Million? Here’s everything you need to know

January 22, 2021inPoker

The Sunday Million is the world’s biggest weekly poker tournament. That’s not an empty boast. No other regular tournament, either on the internet or off it, has a $1 million prize pool.

The tourney attracts over 10,000 players. If you’re not one of them, then maybe it’s time to join the party? Here’s everything you need to know for playing your first Sunday Million.

The buy-in

For a long time, the PokerStars Sunday Million had a $215 buy-in. That all changed in January 2019 when the buy-in was cut in half to $109. This is how it has since remained. Of course, the tourney still has its famous $1 million guaranteed prize pool.

You can take up to three re-entries during the late registration period (the first 3 hours 15 minutes), but many players choose to take only one entry.

The $109 buy-in makes the Sunday Million more accessible than ever before. The tourney is an excellent choice for recreational players who want to take a shot at one of online poker’s most exciting games, as well as for medium to high stakes MTT players.

Satellites to the Sunday Million

If you want to play the Sunday Million for less, there are literally dozens of satellites available each week.

Head to PokerStars, search “Sunday Million” and click on the tourney. You’ll see the full list of satellites for the event in the tournament lobby. Alternatively, set your tournament filter to “satellites”.

Satellites are available for as little as $1.10. You can also find $2.75 Spin N Gos running with prizes that include Sunday Million tickets.

What’s it like to play the PokerStars Sunday Million?

The Sunday Million has a $1 million guarantee, with over $100k for the first place finisher and five-figure sums for most players who make the final table. It’s an exciting prospect. Heart pumping and nail biting.

Straight away the Millie leaves her impression. You’re playing for the big money now.

Beyond the prize pools, the Sunday Million has a generous structure. You start with 10,000 chips (200bb) and blinds are raised every 12 minutes. After the first ten levels, blinds slows down to 15 minute. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to do what you came to do: play poker.

The Sunday Million is a two-day event. This prevents the tournament from running ridiculous late. The first day is nine hours, so you’ll need lots of concentration to make it through. Make sure you’re well rested, focused, and ready to play your best poker.

If you do make it to Day 2, you’ll be playing for serious money. But don’t think about that right now. Relax. Most of all, enjoy it.

The field and competition

You might expect poker’s biggest weekly tourney would be one of the toughest out there. In truth, the field is made up of a diverse mix of players, from recreational to pro, from multi-entry high rollers to micro-stakes satellite winners.

In the High Roller Club, you’ll often see the same faces battling it out on the final tables every week. This is not the case in the Sunday Million. Only a handful of players have ever taken down the tourney more than once, and casual players regularly break through the field to win the life changing first prize.

That’s not to say the Sunday Million is easy. You’ve got to make it through 10,000+ entries to claim the top spot. You have to win lots of coin flips. The cards have to fall your way. And you’ll need to play your best poker too.

Bring your game face. You’re going to need it.

Strategy for the Sunday Million

Players start the Sunday Million with very deep stacks of 200bb. There are also antes, which justifies slightly more aggressive play from the offset. Aim to understand how this structure plays out and how it should impact your strategy.

In the early game of the Sunday Million, there are two main points of focus. You’ll want to protect yourself from losing huge chunks of your stack with mediocre holdings. At the same time, you’ll be looking for opportunities to accumulate chips and potentially gain a double-up.

By the mid-game, stack sizes will vary from short to deep, and how you play will depend on your own stack size. With a big stack, you may be able to pressure other players, especially around the bubble. If you’re short stacked, you’ll want to make shoves and look for double-ups. Whatever the case, solid, positional poker is key.

The final table of the Sunday Million is not dissimilar to other tournaments. However, the pay jumps are huge, so mistakes here can be costly. On the flipside, moving up the pay ladder can be very lucrative (it helps to have a basic understanding of ICM). You should play to win, but be aware of how these pay jumps factor into your decisions.

Search “Sunday Million” in the PokerStars lobby to play your first Sunday Million this weekend.


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