Following two days of intense action, the PokerStars Sunday Million special 13th anniversary tournament numbers are simply staggering.
All told, 45,929 unique players from around the globe ponied up the $215 buy-in to take their shot at a massive $10 million guaranteed prize pool. Throw in an additional 15,413 reentries and the final field swelled to 61,342, generating an absurd prize pool of $12,268,400 to easily eclipse PokerStars’ ambitious guarantee.
That eight-figure tally marked the second-largest tournament ever hosted by PokerStars. In fact, it fell just short of the $12.4 million prize pool awarded in the site’s 10th anniversary celebration of the Sunday Million back in 2011.
At the time, that 2011 Sunday Million was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest online poker tournament of all time. But that record has since been smashed by rival platform PartyPoker, which awarded a prize pool of $21,385,000 in its MILLIONS Main Event late last year.
Ahead of the 13th anniversary Sunday Million, Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations for PokerStars parent company The Stars Group commented on the milestone moment for online poker’s leading provider. Referring to the PokerStars Sunday Million tournament held between April 14-15, Rasset explained:
“We’re thrilled to be a part of this poker milestone, but the credit goes to all of the poker lovers out there who have made the Sunday Million happen nearly every week for the past 13 years, so we hope to see them at the tables on April 14.”
Before the most anticipated final table in recent memory kicked off, several well-known pros and PokerStars personalities made deep runs before falling short of the finish line.
The top 10,196 finishers from the sprawling field would make the money to earn a minimum cash. But members of Team PokerStars like Lex “L. Veldhuis” Veldhuis certainly had their sights set on the $1 million guaranteed first-place payout. Unfortunately for Veldhuis – a live streaming sensation on Twitch – his Sunday Million was cut short in 741st place for a $1,345 score.
Martin Jacobson – who famously pocketed $10 million for winning the 2014 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event – guided his “M.nosbocaJ” account to a 500th place finish for $1,582.
As for the final table, play began with nine relative unknowns entering the fray in the following seating arrangement:
|3||Sergei “sega1989” Shakov||Russia||48,183,574|
The “RMarland” account from the U.K. busted “ZoMbiE2808” of Georgia to claim the first final table elimination. However, the Brit fell next to “idzake” of Romania.
The Russian Sergei “sega1989” Shakhov was the next to fall, as “wangli0402” of China sent him to the rail in an A-K over A-J all-in preflop confrontation.
Next to go was “pantherwang2019” of China, whose K-Q lost a coin flip cooler to “idzake” when the flop came down K-Q-3.
At this point, the five remaining players were each guaranteed $250,000 in winnings, with $1 million waiting up top for the winner. But after running an independent chip model (ICM) calculation to see how the remaining prize pool would be split up if they agreed to a chop, all five immediately entered “I Agree” to effectively end the tournament.
The players left $50,000 to play for, and in the end, “wangli0402” wound up winning the last hand to collect every chip in play.
Due to the ICM chop arrangement, however, “t4rz4n_21” of Greece actually won the most money with a $625,073 payout to $611,944 for “wangli0402.”
Check the table below to see how the final nine players stacked up:
|7th||Sergei “sega1989” Shakov||Russia||$125,493|
*Denotes a five-way deal to chop the prize pool based on current chip counts
PokerStars began hosting the Sunday Million tournament and its $1 million guaranteed prize pool on a weekly basis back on March 6 of 2006.
That inaugural edition attracted 5,893 entries to generate a total prize pool of $1,178,600, with Canadian player “aaaaaaaa” claiming the $173,843.50 lion’s share.
All told, PokerStars has paid out more than $750 million in prize money over the course of 600+ Sunday Million events.