partypoker has made it official, their record-breaking online tournament MILLIONS Online will return in 2019 with another $20 million guarantee.
The massive online tournament will get underway on Sunday, December 1 and, after multiple starting fights, will reach a conclusion on Tuesday, December 10. While all the details have yet to be released, one major difference is that the buy-in has increased to $10,300, up from the $5,300 buy-in last year.
partypoker will also be surrounding the MILLIONS Online tournament with a full slate of side events which they say will feature “tournaments suitable for players of all bankrolls” and each holding major guarantees of their own.
A Record Shattered
In 2018, partypoker spent the better part of the year promoting and qualifying players in an attempt to shatter the record for the largest online tournament ever held. The record at the time was the 2011 PokerStars $215 Sunday Million 10th Anniversary which, when registration closed, amassed a prize pool of $12,423,200.
At the same time, partypoker was looking to push their own platform. They quadrupled the guarantee from the 2017 MILLIONS Online guarantee of $5 million, a tournament that was won by longtime PocketFiver Jon ‘apestles’ Van Fleet for a career-high score of over $1 million.
The online site pushed their online satellites aggressively, including a campaign of qualifier that promised up to 350 seats over a 10-day span. In order to avoid overlay, 4000 runners needed to buy or win their way into the event. After a Day 1A surge of players, Day 1B was decidedly less popular causing some, including partypoker’s Managing Director Tom Waters, to wonder if there was going to be a substantial overlay in the record attempt.
“I think right now success is hitting [the guarantee]. I think getting 4,000 players in that tournament is a success. I’d think I’d be disappointed with any less, even though it’s not a failure,” Waters said to PocketFives last November. “I think 3,500 players in that tournament is also a success.”
Fears began to subside as the remaining flights saw players eager to get involved, knowing that multiple millionaires would be made when all was said in done. At the close of registration on the final starting flight of Day 1E, the final result was 4,367 players posting the $5,300 buy-in for a total prize pool of $21,835,000. It was far and away the largest prize pool online poker had ever seen.
The final two players quickly made a heads-up deal and with Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruivo being declared the official winner and taking home $2.72 million for first place. Runner-up Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ de Goede also took home over $2.3 million in the deal.
Back For The Challenge
partypoker is putting another $20M guarantee is on the line in 2019, however, outside of the buy-in being doubled to $10,300, details of the event – including the number of starting flights, when and how players can qualify – are not yet available. Details of the tournament and the surrounding online festival are expected to be announced in the near future.