Earlier this month, partypoker hosted its first online version of its already-popular MILLIONS event. The $5 million guaranteed tournament was a hit, as over one thousand players registered, generating a $5.1 million prize pool. Jon Van Fleet won the event, banking just over a million dollars. Players will have to wait a year for the next MILLIONS online, but their patience will be rewarded, as partypoker is quadrupling the guaranteed prize pool.
Yes, I had to re-read it at first, too. I’m not normally impressed by tournament guarantees, as they come in all sizes and we have seen plenty of them at a million dollars or more for some of the more significant online poker series. But holy hell, next year’s MILLIONS online guarantee is going to be $20 million? I don’t really even know how that’s possible.
The $20 million guaranteed MILLIONS online will run December 1st though December 4th, 2018 at partypoker and will feature the same $5,300 buy-in that it did this month.
Players can start ramping up as early as February, as the MILLIONS online leaderboard will kick off on Monday, February 5th. The top ten players on the leaderboard every week will be awarded a $5,300 seat in the December event. Players who win more than one seat will receive the additional $5,300 prizes in tournament dollars. Mid and low leaderboards will also exist, with the top 20 players on each winning smaller denomination satellite tickets.
Of course, MILLIONS is primarily a live tournament series, so partypoker is making sure that live players aren’t left out of the fun. The first through tenth place finishers in every live MILLIONS Main Event will also receive a $5,300 seat into the Millions Online tournament.
This is impressively ambitious. The $5.1 million prize pool for the recent MILLIONS Online was the largest tournament prize pool in partypoker’s history and partypoker has been around for a long time, at least in online poker terms. The poker room will need to attract a field of 4,000 to meet the guarantee, but even if it hit that number on the nose, there would still be a hidden overlay because a good number of seats are being given away. Now, there is an entire year for players to compete in satellites to earn their seats, so I suspect achieving a no-overlay $20 million prize pool might be achievable (the guarantee alone will likely drive traffic to partypoker and encourage players to register who might not have otherwise done so), but it will still be an uphill climb.
John Duthie, President of partypoker LIVE, said in a partypoker blog post, “I love the concept of a MILLIONS leg on partypoker, it gives us the opportunity to bring together our MILLIONS players from all over the world at the end of the year to compete for an unprecedented prizepool. I was a little nervous about trying this concept out, but players supported us this time so we should return the favour and go for a record breaking online prizepool in 2018.”