On Sunday, December 28th, up to 35,000 players will flock to PokerStars, the Internet’s largest online poker room. Fittingly, the goal is to set the record for the world’s largest poker tournament. PokerStars is pulling out all of the stops for this event, which comes with a healthy $500,000 guaranteed prize pool and has just an $11 price tag.
As of Friday night, December 12th, there were 516 players entered. The tournament lobby states, “This is an official attempt at the Guinness world record for World’s Largest Poker Tournament! $500,000 is guaranteed!” Each blind level will run for 10 minutes, making play in the tournament similar to a turbo. Tables will be 10 handed and the official prizes will be announced after the registration period closes. The tournament is capped at 35,000 players, which means, at most, a whopping 3,500 tables would be employed. Players are permitted to sign up until two minutes before the tournament begins, which is at 15:30 ET on Sunday, December 28th.
PokerStars is currently in the process of gearing up for its annual Caribbean Adventure live poker tournament (PCA), which is held every January in The Bahamas. The event, which was previously a World Poker Tour stop, is now a regular destination for the European Poker Tour (EPT). Earlier this year, Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, a card carrying member of Team PokerStars Pro, took down the PCA, pocketing $2 million in the process. A total of 1,136 players descended upon the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island in Nassau in 2008, the site of the annual spectacle. The final table is typically held outdoors.
Satellites for the PCA are running constantly on PokerStars. They start as low as $7.50 or 500 Frequent Player Points (FPPs). The online poker room is doling out $14,000 prize packages, which include entry into the $10,000 Main Event plus hotel accommodations and expense money. After winning the tournament, Grospellier told PokerStars, “There were so many interviews and so many article requests, so I still hadn’t realized I had won. I’m happy I won, but I don’t quite realize how much it means.”
PokerStars is home to the largest weekly online poker tournament held, the Sunday Million. It takes place at 18:30 ET every Sunday and boasts a buy-in of $215. Thousands of poker players regularly take to the felts in this high-stakes $1.5 million guaranteed event, which is considered the premier Sunday major. Two hours prior to the start of the Sunday Million, the $750,000 Guaranteed Warm-Up kicks off. Like the Million, it comes with a $215 buy-in and ties with Full Tilt Poker’s $750K Guaranteed for the second largest online poker tournament held weekly.
The $500K World Record attempt has a Tournament ID of 126551369. Recent additions to the Guinness Book of World Records include the Largest Fruit Mosaic, which was 23,895 square feet and broke the standing record by 372,525 pieces of fruit. Jennifer Gilmour recently set the record for the most number of tattoos inked in 24 hours at 726. The previous record, by the way, was only 415. The record for longest line of pizzas was also just set in Austin Texas. Pizza pies spanned a length of 1,023 feet (one-fifth of a mile) and the record-setting attempt occurred in concert with a restaurant’s 20th anniversary.
Verification of a new accolade takes about six weeks and is conducted out of Guinness’ home offices in London. Last August, PokerStars ran a similar tournament that boasted an $11 buy-in and offered a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. In that event, 20,000 players turned out, which PokerStars claimed was the largest cash tournament ever held at the time. PokerStars member Lynna1 pocketed $20,000 for first place.