Note: This article was originally published 8/23/22, but technical issues required it to be re-posted.
A million bucks is a nice incentive
The 2022 World Series of Poker Online is currently underway at GGPoker and while the Main Event is always the tournament people look forward to in any tournament series, the most highly anticipated event of the WSOP Online was clearly the $210 buy-in Million Dollar Mystery Bounty event.
Here’s how the tournament works. There were about a bazillion Day 1 flights so that as many people could participate as possible. After all, GGPoker and the WSOP guaranteed a $10 million prize pool, so they needed lots of players. Half of that guarantee was the bounty prize pool; starting on Day 2, anyone who eliminated an opponent drew a mystery bounty. Thousands of bounties were awarded, with the big prize being $1 million.
As an extra incentive, players could enter as many starting flights as they wanted and if they made it through multiple times, their stacks would be combined for the start of Day 2. And seeing as bounties – many significant ones at that – were in play on Day 2, it behooved players to build up as large a chip stack as possible to wield later as they went for knockouts.
And the carrots worked: the tournament drew 51,003 entries, generating a $10,200,600 total prize pool (again, have goes to the bounty pool).
As yesterday’s Day 2 was about to begin, players around the world were naturally excited, as they not only were close to the money, but bounties were now available. Every elimination gets you cash deposited right into your GGPoker account.
And like that…it’s gone
But then something crazy happened. Within the first few minutes of Day 2, possibly even the first elimination of the day, the $1 million bounty prize was drawn. Normally, the tension and excitement builds throughout the day as players are eliminated and the big bounty prizes are still out there, but not on Monday.
Poker pro Scott “ItsRumcake” Ball, who won two bracelets and the No-Limit Player of the Year award at the 2021 WSOP, hit the $1 million bounty when his A-Q made two pair, busting an opponent who couldn’t hit their flush.
The funny thing is, Ball probably didn’t expect the million bucks to hit so soon and he misread the bounty display, thinking he had “only” won $1,000. A few minutes later the Phil Nagy, the CEO of the Winning Poker Network, called him to ask if it was he who won the million dollars (only Ball’s screen name was displayed at the table). Ball said he only won $1,000, but Nagy’s question was more on the rhetorical side, so he told Ball to check his GGPoker balance. And there it was, $1 million.
The tournament is down to its nine-handed final table and in the glory that is online poker, eight different countries are represented. Play will resume on August 27, as the remaining players compete for eight more mystery bounties and the $348,723.41 first prize. All of the final nine have won at least a couple thousand in bounties and one player, Alexey Solntsev, has amassed an impressive $42,000 in bounty earnings, more than he will win in regular prize money if he is eliminated in ninth place.