My Overview Of The Biggest Buy-In Poker Tournaments Online
With so many poker sites offering weekly showcase tournaments that their players can cheaply qualify for, competition for those ‘big money’ headlines has gotten quite intense. This article is set up to show you what the different options are for regular big money poker tournaments, and highlight the easiest fields, biggest prize pools and games with the most qualification options.
Instead of the straight top 10 list of the old version, I have grouped the tournaments this time around. PokerStars still have the biggest number of big buy-in tournaments… but only 1 entry covering them all. Next I have covered those bigger buy-in MTTs still open to US readers, before going on to cover some really great picks from around the small to mid-sized poker sites.
As usual, I’ll give you my pick of the best of the bunch at the very end of this article.
Biggest Poker Tournaments Online – Planet Mark’s Top Picks
#1 - The PokerStars Sunday Million
It would be impossible to have any other choice for regular big buy-in tourneys than the Sunday Million. This game is almost an institution! Every Sunday some 7000 players come together, either through qualifiers or buying in direct for $215, they battle for a $1,000,000+ prize pool which sees the winner with $150,000 or more, enough money to change your poker career for good.
What I love about this game is that so many players qualify via satellites (which run all week). This means the field is full of recreational players, making this easy compared with other bigger buy-in events.
There are many more reasons to check out PokerStars, though for me the Sunday Million is one of the big ones. Choose Affiliate Marketing Code from the menu at registration and enter (redacted), you can then enter bonus code STARS600 when making your first deposit to claim up to 3 welcome bonuses at 100% match (up to $600 in total). Find out for yourself what makes this site the biggest and best online here.
Other Big Buy-In Tournaments At PokerStars.com
- Sunday Warm Up, $215 Entry, $500,000 Guaranteed
- Sunday 500, $530 Entry, $300K Guaranteed
- Sunday Storm, $11 Entry, $300K Guaranteed
Qualifying For The Million: One of the reasons that the Pokerstars Sunday Million + Sunday Warm Up continue to lead the way is that they make it extremely easy to qualify for your seat from just a few dollars (or even frequent player points). With SNGs, tournaments and even hyper-turbo games available you could be playing the big one sooner than you think! Check out Pokerstars.com today. I'll see you in the next Sunday Million.
#2 – Sunday Majors For US Players
US reader’s choices are getting better, with the Winning Poker Network now providing more competition to the Chico Network and Carbon Poker (Merge). The guarantees for these events are a smaller than the global sites since there are fewer players online to support the big events. For bigger tournaments US readers should keep an eye on online poker events which these sites hold regularly.
Here are the Sunday Majors and links to find out more (only one for the moment, see this article for an overview of US online tournaments (including the ACR $1 million guaranteed)
- Americas Cardroom Poker - $109 Entry, $25K Guaranteed.
#3 – Monthly ‘Whale’ Tournament 888 Poker
This game gets promoted to 3rd on my list because it is probably the softest field you will find in any bigger buy-in game. The secret here is that 888 are just as big in the casino and betting world than they are in poker – meaning tons of cross over traffic coming to the poker room with little or no poker strategy knowledge.
The Whale itself is held every 4th Sunday and is a $250k guaranteed event with plenty of satellite qualifiers (these are in different ‘Steps’) or a direct buy-in of $530. This compliments the $100k guaranteed Sunday Event which already attracts big fields.
I recommend you check out 888 Poker – they have really cool software and promos aimed more at regular / occasional players than the ‘pro grinders’… a great choice.
#4 – Party Poker Quarterly Million
Another regular game which attracts big fields and even bigger prize pools. Party Poker already have a $250k guaranteed Sunday event, and once per season they have a $1,000,000 guarantee with a $640 buy-in. Again there are plenty of qualifiers, which run for around 1 month in advance, ensuring that there are big fields.
Party attract many 1st time players with their big brand name, which makes this another game where players with a little strategy knowledge have a positive expectation. You can grab your 100% welcome bonus (max $500) with bonus code SNGPLANET over at PartyPoker.com now!
#5 – Full Tilt Poker $250k Guaranteed
This is another weekly tournament. Full Tilt Poker arrived back from their 14 month hiatus under the ownership of PokerStars, and they already have big enough traffic to host a quarter-million tournament every week with a $215 buy-in. There are other fun big buy-in tourneys, including the $240 ‘Sunday Brawl’ which pays a bounty on every player’s head.
There are plenty of other Sunday Majors to note, Titan Poker on the iPoker Network a have a soft €150k guaranteed Sunday game (called Sunday Special), and OnGame’s RedKings have their own major with a $75k prize pool.
If you are looking for even bigger action, including tournaments with multi-million prize pools or games with $1000+ entry fees – then you should keep an eye on the schedule of online poker events. Most sites now run a tournament festival of their own, some have several different ones – these get big fields and some massive guarantees. You can see the latest events list and background to the biggest and best events in my dedicated Online Poker Events page here.