On a night when Full Tilt Poker’s software went down much to the dismay of players everywhere, PokerStars set the Guinness World Record for largest online poker tournament ever held. The event weighed in at 149,196 entrants.
The mark to beat was 65,000 players, set by PokerStars back in July, meaning that the site trumped the standing record by nearly 85,000. PokerStars was quick to put its record-shattering attendance into perspective, saying, “It would fill the Rose Bowl or Wembley stadiums and still have another 60,000 people with tickets waiting outside in the tailgating parking lot.” In addition, the attendance represented well over 20 times the field of the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event and 30 times the number of rooms at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The Guinness World Record attempt was a $1 buy-in tournament that guaranteed $300,000 in the prize pool. It played out in less than six hours in a Turbo format and oskar69 earned an amazing $50,000 for first place, or 50,000 times his buy-in. Text found on PokerStars’ website admits, “We’re sure oskar69 is happy about the ROI from the win today, as no deal was reached and the entire $50,000.00 was awarded for besting this massive field.” Second place went to Bommel222, who earned a not-so-paltry $30,000. A total of 30,000 players finished in the money.
Others who made the final table in the historic poker tournament included TLWPB (third place for $20,000), willis59 (fourth place for $10,000), kruglay (fifth place for $8,000), madmick62 (sixth place for $6,500), DS1982 (seventh place for $5,250), denmil53 (eighth place for $4,000), and bigsnapper7 (ninth place for $3,000). The top 16 players grabbed at least $1,000 for their 100-penny contribution to the pot.
The PokerStars Sunday Million, the site’s hallmark $215 buy-in weekly high-stakes poker tournament, drew 9,344 entrants yesterday, creating a prize pool of $1.8 million. In the end, PokerStars member coach6999 banked $266,000 for the win, defeating BBOY3110 heads-up. The second place finisher claimed a $196,000 consolation prize and the top 1,350 spots paid out. Others who reached the feature table in the Sunday Million included tsakalias (third place for $139,132), schnaggels19 (fourth place for $93,440), mystinen60 (fifth place for $74,752), OBVAMENTS (sixth place for $56,064), robvleugel (seventh place for $37,376), plusmillion (eighth place for $20,557), and Mr Puckey (ninth place for $13,082).
The Sunday Warm-Up, another $215 buy-in online poker tournament that played out on PokerStars yesterday, generated a field of 4,605 entrants, shattering its $750,000 guaranteed prize pool. In the end, NinjasTyle87 banked $144,000 for first place, while .dmmarquez finished with a $107,000 bankroll boost for second place. The top 675 players finished in the money and others who could be found jumping for joy on Sunday afternoon included JBlaze20 (third place for $75,983), montjeu8 (fourth place for $52,037), Comeback2008 (fifth place for $39,143), Steinapride (sixth place for $29,933), haneferd (seventh place for $20,723), ReadOnYou (eighth place for $11,513), and pokerwille (ninth place for $7,368).
Appropriately, PokerStars is the industry’s largest online poker site, according to PokerScout.com, boasting a seven-day running average of 27,800 real money ring game players. During its peak hours, nearly 50,000 call the site home. PokerScout.com claims that PokerStars’ traffic has grown by 37% year over year and, at the time of writing, which is late morning Eastern Time on Monday, 36,000 cash game players are seated. That figure represents more than double the number of players currently found on Full Tilt Poker, the world’s second largest site.
Full Tilt Poker’s $750,000 Guaranteed, Sunday Mulligan, and Sunday Brawl, among other events, did not play out on Sunday due to a software malfunction. Players were refunded based on their chip counts at the time of the crash.