Anyone ‘in the know’ who’s looking for the largest online poker tournaments with the highest prize pools is already aware that PokerStars is the place to find them. The Sunday Million has been promising a minimum of $1,000,000 every weekend for years now – 9 years, in fact. To celebrate the 9th Anniversary, PokerStars hosted a special $9mm GTD Sunday Million, and the interest from the community was overwhelming.
You might think hosting a tournament with $9,000,000 on the line and a mere $215 buy-in would never attract enough players to prevent an overlay. Anywhere else it would, but this is PokerStars we’re talking about – the world’s most popular online poker site that currently attracts 18,000 players to the cash tables at any given time on a 7-day average. And that doesn’t even include the average number of tournament players online.
PokerStars heavily promoted the tournament, announcing it’s coming in February and hosting a multitude of cheap satellite tourneys into the special Sunday Million event, starting as low as $1 or just 50 Frequent Player Points. Right before the $9mm GTD began on March 15th, two more special ‘deadline’ satellites were hosted, one for $11 with 1,000 seats guaranteed and another for $33 with 333 seats. Add in all the players who paid the direct $215 buy-in, and PokerStars had no trouble harvesting enough participants to meet – and greatly exceed – the $9,000,000 guarantee.
By the time late registration closed, the 9th Anniversary Sunday Million had attracted a whopping field of 50,432. Among them, 8,397 shared in the massive prize pool that amounted to $10,086,400. The final table of nine shared in 37.5% of the overall prize pool; a total of $3,784,645. And the winner, Brayden “BRAYDEN93” Fitzshall, claimed $597,719 of it.
Originally, the 1st place prize should have exceeded the $1 million mark, but being such a massive event, it’s not surprising that a 7-way deal was decided upon long before the final table ended. As a result, the highest payout went to the 2nd place finisher, “kelly_koulis”, who pocketed $725,267. Positions 7th through 3rd earned anywhere from $336k to $567k respectively.
PokerStars 9th Anniversary Sunday Million Results
Largest Sunday Million Prizes in PokerStars History
Surprisingly, the 9th Anniversary of the Sunday Million was not the largest field, or largest overall prize pool, in the history of PokerStars’ biggest weekly event. That honor goes to the $10mm GTD Sunday Million that was hosted in celebration of PokerStars 10th Anniversary as an online poker operator in December 2011. That rendition was the largest of all, guaranteeing $10 million out of the gate, attracting 62,116 players and building a prize pool of $12,423,200.
Prior to that, PokerStars largest Sunday Million occurred during the tournament’s 5th Anniversary. Guaranteeing $5 million, that event took place on March 6, 2011, drawing 59,128 players and resulting in a prize pool of $11,825,600.
That puts PokerStars’ 9th Anniversary Edition of the Sunday Million in line as the third largest edition in the weekly event’s history. And if past performance tells us anything, next year’s 10th Anniversary edition of the Sunday Million will guarantee $10mm, and is quite likely to go down in the record books as the new largest Sunday Million in history.