Facts, Figures, Satellites And Strategy… Everything You Ever Wanted To Know
About The PokerStars Sunday Million!
Update - Some Excellent News: PokerStars have announced that from January 27th, the Sunday Million buy-in will go down from $215 to $109. This is a trial period (to see how the guarantee holds up). It will make the Sunday Million more accessible to recreational players - which should keep the prize pool guarantee in tact. I'm sure a lot more people will be able to win satellite qualifiers too. If you'd like to win career-changing money, now is your chance.
Check out the Sunday Million qualifiers now over at www.pokerstars.com (remember Marketing Code PSPxxxx when you register!)
GL at the tables, Mark
Original Article Starts Here:
The PokerStars Sunday Million is the biggest regularly scheduled online poker tournament by a long way. This article provides a unique overview of the PokerStars Sunday Million, giving you a FAQ, satellites and strategy information and links all in one place. Whether you are still a 'million virgin' who has yet to play, or an experienced tournament grinder, this guide has all you need to know.
This article is divided into 3 sections:
First, you will find the facts, figures and background information - a complete picture of the event.
Second, your options for qualifying for this game in an online satellite, including new options and my picks for the easiest qualifiers.
Third, a high level overview of strategy adjustments required for this game, including links to more detailed articles.
At the end of this article I will show you how you can claim up to 3 'first' deposit bonuses at PokerStars, and for those players who like to have a choice, I have also linked to my article listing some cool alternatives to the Sunday Million too. US Players can not currently play in this game, and you'll find a link to some options at the end of this article too.
#1 – PokerStars Sunday Million – Facts And Figures
Sunday Million Start Time? The biggest online poker tournament takes place each Sunday at 14:30 Eastern Standard Time. For European players this is 19:30 GMT and 20:30 Central European Time. If this feels late for such a long tournament, do not worry - there are 2 earlier 'Sunday Majors' at PokerStars, the
How Long Is The Sunday Million? If you are lucky enough to reach the final table of the Sunday Million you will usually have been playing for between 9 and 10 hours! The money places come after approximately 4 to 5 hours of play.
What Is The Sunday Million Entry Fee? The entry fee is $200+$15, if this is more than your usual poker spend do not worry... there are satellites all week running from just a couple of dollars (or even Pokerstars player points) ensuring that all players get a shot at the prize pool.
How Many Players Enter The Sunday Million? The standard fields are somewhere around 6000 (and still growing). Since many of the participants are recreational players and satellite qualifiers the field in the million is considered to be softer than in many smaller buy-in events!
How Much Does The Sunday Million Winner Receive? Again this varies when the higher buy-ins are running. The guaranteed $1 Million prize pool is regularly beaten, which means that the winner receives around $180,000 to $230,000 – though the final few players often make a 'deal' locking up some of the money and playing for the last $30k
What Is The Payout Structure For The Sunday Million? 15% of the field are paid, however the prize pool is heavily weighted towards the final table. An example of the payout structure (this actually came from the summer months, when the fields are quieter!) can be seen on the right.
Has The Exit Of Pokerstars From The US Affected The Sunday Million? A little, fields were initially down around 15% to 20%, and the guarantee went down from $1.5 million to $1 million. However, the new focus on other countries saw this gap close, and already the fields are pretty much back where they were! When you bear in mind that the Sunday Million is now one of several 'majors' at Pokerstars including the Sunday Warm-up, Sunday Kick-Off, Sunday Rebuy and Sunday 500... this is an impressive result!
I recommend SNG Planet readers take a shot (at least at the qualifiers if you can not stretch to $215). You'll find the fields soft (full of amateurs / recreational players).
You can claim 3 welcome bonuses at Pokerstars.com, choose marketing code PSP3108 when you register, then Bonus code STARS600 for those deposits (up to $600 in total matched at 100%). Take your shot at the big money at PokerStars.com now!
#2 PokerStars Sunday Million – How To Qualify
The great thing about the Sunday Million is that players with all different bankrolls are easily able to qualify for just a small outlay. In fact, with satellite qualifiers starting for 500 “Frequent Player Points” there is no need to make any outlay at all! This has a double-advantage... not only can you win a seat for a small amount, the fact that so many people do exactly that means that the field in the million is soft too!
Sunday Million Satellites come in many formats. There are SNGs (Step 4 tickets can be used for entering), Multi-table tournaments, turbo re-buy tournaments and ‘double shootouts’, hyper-turbos are now also available for those who like their satellites fast and furious. If you are not familiar with the strategy adjustments for satellite tournaments (or SNGs) compared to standard games then I recommend you spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with them - there is no need to let a bubble mistake cost you your seat!
My Satellite Picks: I recommend the 'deadline' qualifier, which is an $11 game which guarantees 200 seats to the big event and runs a couple of hours before it starts. So many recreational and amateur players take a shot at this, that it feels like people are literally giving away their chips. The standard or turbo rebuys games at the weekend are also good, though if you are a newcomer to these satellites, I would recommend avoiding the 2x and 3x turbos until you are more familiar with the different games.
I have covered Satellite Qualifiers to the Pokerstars Sunday Million in a separate and detailed article:
#3 PokerStars Sunday Million – Strategy Tips
This section contains a strategy overview + links to many articles here at SNG Planet that will fill in the gaps for areas you do not understand.
The first thing to say about Sunday Million strategy is not to be intimidated if you do not usually play tournaments with such large buy-ins! The field is very mixed with a majority either qualifying through satellites or leisure players in their one weekly poker tournament. Anyone with a little knowledge of poker has the opportunity to go deep in this tournament without being concerned about their experience relative to the opposition. If you play 'scared money' you might lose the opportunity to accumulate chips! This article covers Playing In Your First Sunday Major for more on this topic.
With starting stacks of 10,000 chips and a 50 chip big blind the stacks are much ‘deeper’ than in many other poker tournaments. This leads to many strategy adjustments more generally concerned with deep stacked play. These include the importance of ‘implied odds’ and more post-flop play than you would find in other tournaments. For more information of deep stacked play see our detailed article on Poker Strategy For Deep Stacked Online Tournaments.
Simply playing ABC poker against the kind of opponent you will find in the million will keep you out of trouble. Avoiding calling with easily dominated hands, playing more hands from later position and keeping the pot small when you are uncertain of where you stand are things to keep in mind. Remember to value bet when you have a hand, there are enough poor players in the field to pay you off, so you can avoid getting 'tricky' and go directly for the chips!
I strongly recommend you get 'HUD' software, which will collect Statistics on your opponents and display in on-screen next to their avatars, this gives you amazing insight into what their bets mean - and has saved my bacon in bigger tournaments many times. The leading HUD is called Holdem Manager - you can read more about how it will keep you out of trouble (and allow you to win more pots) in this article.
You will find many more quality articles in our section dedicated to Multi-table tournaments, from the basics right through to advanced strategy. These cover everything from starting hand selection, pro strategy, specific moves and the final table - you will also find advice on some cool poker tools (which are on the Pokerstars approved list) which will help you make good decisions.
Any player with a little poker strategy knowledge can have a positive expectaion in the Sunday Million, the recreational field make this significantly softer than many of the regular tournaments online.
#4 – Alternatives To The PokerStars Sunday Million
The PokerStars Sunday Million may be the biggest regularly scheduled weekly poker tournament – however it is far from the only one! Many of the top rated poker sites run big weekly tournaments at a range of start times and with a range of buy-in levels and prize pools.
Information on the very best alternatives to the Poker Stars Sunday Million can be found in our dedicated article via the link below and include the earlier 'Sunday Warm Up' and some other games on Party, Titan, OnGame and more:
• US Poker Tournaments Guide (this one is for US players and covers the current 'Sunday Majors' at BetOnline, WPN and Merge)
#5 – Act Now, Someone Unknown Wins A Sunday Major Every Week (Oh, And Here Is How You Can Claim 3 'First' Deposit Bonuses!)
Each week one online poker player walks away with a large prize thanks to the PokerStars Sunday Million and their many other 'Majors'. The next recipient could be you – but only if you take action.
Here is how you can claim up to 3 welcome bonuses (within 90 days). First download PokerStars, when you register your account there will be a pull-down menu of 'Where Did You Hear About Us?', choose Affiliate Marketing Code from this list and a new box will appear on your screen - you should add PokerStars Marketing Code PSPxxxx into this… Next you'll need to make those deposits, head to the cashier, choose your method and add PokerStars bonus code STARS600 underneath where you specify the amount. This code is good for 3 deposits, within 90 days up to a combined total of $600 - a great way to get you off to the best possible start!
Check out www.pokerstars.com now, because you'll never win the Sunday Million if you do not try!