Wow, time flies, eh? It's wild to think about what has happened in the world and poker world since PokerStars initially launched the Sunday Million tournament in March, 2006. It was the apex of the glorious online poker boom in North America before the shady US government made it illegal for their citizens to enjoy their freedom and pursuit of happiness to play online poker. The world was still a big smaller in 2006 before Twitter and Facebook became a part of everyday life and everyone carried smart phones everywhere they went.
In 2006, Sundays were a special day to play poker because it was a time when both amateurs and pros took a shot at a steady diet of Sunday tournaments that would become known as the Sunday Grind. Pros loved t because Sunday events would be filled with amateurs and weekend warriors donking off chips on Sunday night before they had to go to bed and wake up early to return to work/school/life on Monday morning.
The Sunday Million became the go-to event to play for both sharks and fish. For aspiring pros, winning the Sunday Million helped boost their profile and bankroll. For established pros, the Sunday Million became a challenge for them -- a weekly tournament to test their skills and provide them with a constant beacon during the unstructured and hectic life as a poker pro.
Last year during the onset of the pandemic, PokerStars didn't have to sweat about an overlay because the 2020 Sunday Million bash, aka the 14th anniversary of the Sunday Milly, attracted 93,016 runners and a prize pool worth $18.6 million.
Alex 'AAAArthur' Brito from Brazil banked $1.1 million after he qualified from a Sunday Million seat via a 25-cent Spin&Go. Yup, you can't ask for a better story than that! The guy who turn a quarter into a seven-figure score worth a million bucks. He could've banked even more if he didn't work out a three-way money chop, which is crazy to think.
Brazil has won two out of the last three Sunday Million anniversary events, according to a "by the numbers" article at PokerStars Blog. In 2018, Luis 'Hulk9950' Felipe faded a field of 43,975 runners and won just shy of a cool million with a $960K score.
In 2017, Panama's Xavi666 faded a field of 55,835 runners to win a seven-figure score worth a tad over a million bucks.
In 2014, Germany's DrUPSWING banked over a million when they outlasted a field of 46,586 runners in the eighth anniversary event.
If you like specific milestones for the Sunday Milly... back in 2011 a good month before Black Friday, the fifth anniversary Sunday Million fiesta attracted 59,128 runners and a prize pool worth $11.8 million. American pro Luke 'Bdbeatslayer' Vrabel went the distance and banked $671K for the win. In 2016, the tenth anniversary event attracted 44,059 runners and a prize pool worth $11 million. Canada's a.urli won just under a million bucks in the tenth b-day bash.
In case you were wondering, Zeddor from Denmark binked the first-ever Sunday Million anniversary event in 2007. There was a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool, which seems silly compared to the $12.5 million today. Overall, the first b-day bash attracted 10,508 runners and a prize pool worth $2.1 million. Zeddor banked $132K in the chop.