Nice job, partypoker! It's easy to get jaded by the hype and plethora of press releases. But something special happened this week on partypoker that might get lost in the echo chamber of poker media, or drowned out by subterfuge of main stream media. partypoker hosted an online tournament called the MILLIONS Online with the intent of creating the biggest prize pool in history. The gang pulled it off. They dangled a $20 million guarantee, but it was not necessary. A total of 4,367 players took part in the event and they generated a prize pool worth $21,835,000.
The MILLLIONS Online had a $5,000 buy-in and included five opening flights. By the end of Day 1D, partypoker suits were excited because the break-even number (4,000) was well within grasp with 3,877 runners. On Day 1E, the MILLIONS Online attracted nearly 500 more entrants (it was 490 to be exact) to push the total entrants over the magical 4K mark.
Last year, Jon Van Fleet a.k.a. apestyles shipped the MILLIONS Online last year. That only had a $5 million guarantee and apestyles banked a little more than $1 million in cash.
The top 500 places paid out in this year's MILLIONS Online. Most of the cheesecake was at the final table. The top four places would earn at least seven figures with fourth place paying out $1,091,750. The runner-up will take home $1.9 million while the champ will ship more than $2.7 million. Not too shabby, eh?
partypoker eclipsed PokerStars for the biggest single tournament. Back in 2010 (pre-Black Friday), there was a WCOOP event that had a $12.2 million prize pool. The 2010 WCOOP Main Event High had a $5,200 buy-in and it attracted 2,443 runners. POTTERPOKER won the WCOOP Main Event bracelet for a sick score worth $2,278,097.50. That event stood as the biggest single tournament in the short history of online poker.
partypoker beat out one of their long-standing rivals. John Duthie created the European Poker Tour and he's currently at the helm of partypoker MILLIONS Live events. In a jubilant post on Party Poker Blog, Duthie was jubilant over the amazing achievement with the ONLINE Millions attracting 4,367 runners.
"I mean that's very nearly double the size of the largest online MTT before that – DOUBLE!!" wrote Duthie. "Players wanted this to happen and they wanted to do it with us. That's what makes me really happy."
Duthie, a former TV producer from London, dropped an appropriate Italian Job reference.
"Not only did we hit this ambitious (read: insane/crazy) guarantee, we smashed it out of the park. Our competitors are going to be sitting in their boardrooms today, sipping their skinny decaf lattes, trying to work out how the hell this could be happening, and the answer is really pretty simple: total belief, teamwork and just pure hard graft."
partypoker MILLIONS Online
Prize Pool: $21,835,000
Final Table Payouts:
Top 10 Chip Counts:
1. wheatforsheep (Mexico) 566,295,824
2. j2805667 (Malta) 336,914,608
3. Albert_77 (Austria) 299,620,916
4. COL_Moutarde (Canada) 285,730,071
5. Christopher 'Ad_Finem' Kruk (Canada) 258,930,640
6. orginALUS (Lithuania) 250,269,195
7. MilkMan0011 (Austria) 225,345,359
8. ICMslut99 (United Kingdom) 186,956,522
9. senchilko (Ukraine) 185,418,851
10. Chance 'ChanceSeeYou' Kornuth (Canada) 165,392,851
wheatforsheep (Mexico) is the big stack with 566M and the closest player j2805667 (Malta) has nearly 337M. The other two biggest names at the table are North American pros. Canada's Chris Kruk is fifth in chips with nearly 259M. American exile Chance Kornuth is playing north of the border in this one, and he's tenth overall with 165M.