Monday, October 05, 2015


Today 253,698 people played a poker tournament. No shinola.

The tournament cost just one penny to play, the kickoff event of PokerStars’ “Common Cents” series that runs through Sunday. It started just after two o’clock this afternoon Eastern time, and with a turbo structure played all of the way down to a winner in six hours and 38 minutes.

The starting stack was 1,500, so after the final hand winner DaDumon of Austria had collected 380,547,000 chips to earn the $10K first prize. Omitting freerolls, it’s probably safe to say winning 1 million times the buy-in equals the best ROI anyone has ever enjoyed in a poker tournament.

The total prize pool was $100,000, the tournament’s guarantee. This was one instance where a tournament’s organizers well knew the field would not come close to reaching the number needed to match the guarantee, as PokerStars knew there wouldn’t be 10 million players taking part. (They capped the sucker at 300,000, actually.) In fact, the whole event was practically a big donation to PokerStars players, as $2,536.98 in buy-ins meant a $97,463.02 overlay.

Still, over a quarter million is quite something -- a new record, in fact, breaking the earlier one set on PokerStars in June 2013 when 225,000 played a $1 buy-in tournament featured as part of PS’s 100 Billionth Hand celebration.

How many other games can be played with just two players or more than a quarter million?

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