partypoker, one of the world’s flagship card rooms owned by GVC holdings, has set a new record for guaranteed prize money in an online tournament. How did they manage that?
partypoker Dishes Out $21m in Total Prize Money
When partypoker first broke the news about the MILLIONS Online tournament, everyone was quite excited. Particularly because the event came with $20 million guaranteed in cash prizes. And while some knit their brows in disapproval, seeing no way for the company to deliver on this promise following the slight overlay costs incurred during the Caribbean Poker Party, partypoker stayed true to their statement, delivering a top-notch event which amassed nearly 4,400 players and dished out $21,835,000 in prizes.
In fact, the first 500 players to make the final cut were rewarded. Many competitors came from satellite events, breaking into the finals after having invested just $5 as part of a qualifier.
We did it! With your incredible support we not only hit the $20 million guarantee, we have a #MILLIONSOnline prize pool of $21,835,000! The biggest in online poker history! Here's to the 2019 MILLIONS Online! pic.twitter.com/Kq1phMtCJ8
— partypoker (@partypoker) December 4, 2018
This effectively makes the MILLION Online the largest tournament to have been hosted online. In fact, the most significant event in the past decade or so, in terms of prizing money, has been the WCOOP tournament which was hosted back in 2010 before the Black Friday events occurred, shutting down poker across the United States on a significant scale.
Naturally, partypoker’s bid was a bit of a gamble, as overlay costs were a risk that GVC Holdings’ subsidiary wanted to take. Day 1 saw 1,574 contestants join the fray and pay the hefty $5,300 entry-fee, contributing nearly $8 million to the pot. While Day 1B turned out a little differently with only 430 people signing up, the hosts kept their cool.
It has all paid off, because the participation numbers quickly rose to over 4,300 people, setting minds at rest and contributing towards the $20 million threshold. At long last, we saw the event’s guaranteed prize money surpassed in quite a substantial way.
A huge congratulations to “Sheparentao” and “ForMatherRussia” who chopped #MILLIONSOnline for a combined $4,639,937! "Scarmak3r" finished 3rd for $1,364,687 after qualifying for only $5.50! https://t.co/YtvxV5XpNg 18+. Play responsibly. begambleaware pic.twitter.com/LmHt3NAAXG
— partypoker (@partypoker) December 6, 2018
While partypoker claimed to have expected this, it was still a bit of a gambit, particularly whether the exact sum would be met. Many people walked away from the final table millionaires. Manuel “Sheparentao” Ruivo from the Netherlands landed the big pot of money, adding $2,329,944 to his life earnings.
Pim “ForMatherRussia” de Goede from Malta came as the runner-up, adding $2,309,995 to his own war chest. The players who managed to reach 3rd and fourth place in the grand event also ended up millionaires with $1,364,688 going in the way of Blaz Zerjay from Slovenia and additional $1,091,750 ending up with Pedro Marques from the Netherlands.
Partypoker is finally managing to re-position itself against PokerStars, one of the most successful operators on the market. By bringing out events of significant financial heft, partypoker will be able compete with the operator.
PokerStars have been bringing out a lot of innovative products, launching their virtual reality (VR) solution on a mass scale, allowing regular users to join the virtual card rooms. And yet, partypoker has an important advantage – taking a financial risk that has paid off.
He question remains – can partypoker continue experiment without incurring the dreaded overlay costs?