The Pokerstars Sunday Million Is The Biggest Weekly Poker Tournament.
Find Out How To Win Your Seat For Just A Few Dollars!
The Pokerstars Sunday Million has become a poker institution. It boasts the biggest prize pool of any weekly online poker tournament, attracting an average of 7,000 players and giving away more than $1,5 million in prize money each week… Including life changing money for eventual winner.
For many players, the $215 entry fee to this tournament is high, which makes satellite qualifiers a very popular way of getting a seat. This article looks at some of the many different forms of Sunday Million satellite qualifiers, covering the pros and cons of each. I'll give you my personal pick at the bottom of the article – hope to see you in the Sunday Million soon!
Side Note On Tournament Dollars: Pokerstars allow you to unregister from the Million (unless you win a seat when it has already started) and exchange your entry into 'Tournament Dollars' or 'T$'. These can be used for entry into any tournament or SNG or exchange into cash (with a fee of around 5%). If you take the time to become an expert on strategy for Poker Satellites – you can build a nice bankroll in Sunday Million qualifiers, which naturally fill with recreational players.
Pokerstars Sunday Million Satellites – Double Shootout Satellites
These games are set up like 2 Sit and Go tournaments. Those who win their first table go forward to a 2nd 'final' table where the seat(s) are awarded. The Standard setup for Sunday Million tickets is a 10-handed $11.70c game, up to 100 people can join with 1 seat being guaranteed in each game… 4 seats and some cash runner-up prizes are distributed at the final table when full. You can find both Turbo (5 minute blinds) and regular (15 minute blinds) games and also triple-shootout variations with lower buy-ins.
Pros: Cheap way of winning a seat, attract a lot of players with no SNG type experience – which keeps the standard soft.
Cons: Those same bad opponents tend to make these games high-variance!
Pokerstars Sunday Million Satellites - Hyper Turbo SNG Qualifiers.
With 500 chips to start and 3 minute blind levels, the hyper turbo SNGs are not for the faint of heart! Add to this the short-handed games (the $74 games are popular and featured on the top of the tournament lobby) and you had better know your push-fold ranges before getting involved.
Pros: Quick way to win a seat, guaranteed seat games.
Cons: Specialists do grind these games – you will sometimes see a single player waiting at 10 tables for unsuspecting fish!
Pokerstars Sunday Million Satellites - Rebuy Tournaments
There are now 2 distinct categories of rebuy tournament qualifiers available. The 'old' games at $3+R, $8.80+R and $11+R still exist, and can be found in turbo and standard blind format – with the number of seats determined by the prize pool.
In addition you will now find '2x turbo' and '3x turbo' games, which are a lot crazier. These keep the rebuy period going for 1 or 1.5 hours, combining this with turbo blinds means that people are quickly rebuying for just a couple of big blinds. To stay ahead you need to accumulate early and then keep pushing those edges. These are excellent qualifiers, though you will need a bankroll of many times the $1 or $3 advertised. Unless you get very lucky, trying to do these qualifiers on the cheap quickly turns you into dead-money.
Pros: Fun games and very easy to beat compared to the normal poker tournaments.
Cons: Make sure you have the bankroll to afford these, especially in the 2x and 3x games.
Pokerstars Sunday Million Satellites - Standard Multi-Table Tournaments
You can find games without rebuys, the reason for covering them second is that these are the minority these days. Starting with a few dollars, and going up to around $39 the number of seats is determined by the prize pool. There are also some stage-by-stage events, where you can win seats in a bigger satellite (I'll save that for another article, as there are enough direct qualifiers to fill this page!). Finally, there is a 100 seat guaranteed super-satellite which costs just $11 to enter – this is very soft and the big bubble means that there are plenty of novice mistakes for you to benefit from.
Pros: Fun games, try again places reduce your variance.
Cons: Can take a while to get a game outside of evenings / weekends
Sunday Million Satellite Qualifiers - Mark's Summary / Top Pick
Pokerstars have an interest in getting as many people into their flagship tournament as possible (and of course the other majors) and do a great job with the variety of games. In 2013 the main shift is towards the hyper-turbo SNGs and the 2x + 3x turbos. While these are beatable, they are also high variance – so I'm going to recommend a different game for players attempting to qualify for the first time.
Standard rebuys at $3 / $8.80 and $11 with either 5 or 15 minute blinds give away a nice ratio of seats + have 'dead money' from the occasional crazy players and lots who will take a shot with just one buy-in. These are soft games and should be profitable over time for SNG Planet readers!
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