PokerStars is inching closer to taking the live high roller events that have quickly grown in popularity over the last several years to the online market, announcing its Super High Roller on September 20th will feature an astonishing $50,000 (+$1,000) buy-in, the largest in the history of Internet poker.
Scheduled a week before the 14th annual World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) $5,200 Main Event, the Super High Roller will guarantee a prize pool of at least $1 million.
“Over the last few years we have seen the emergence of Super High Roller events at live events,” Daniel Negreanu, Team PokerStars member and poker’s all-time career money leader said. “It only makes sense that the world’s largest poker site is also host of the largest buy-in online poker tournament ever.”
Guaranteeing a $1 million prize pool requires PokerStars to attract only 20 players, but that could still be challenging considering the monumental buy-in. However, the event has already drawn at least two players, both legends of the game.
“I’m really excited about playing in the biggest buy-in online tournament ever,” said two-time WCOOP bracelet winner and PokerStars pro Jason Mercier. “It’ll be an awesome challenge to go up against such tough competition for the biggest stakes!”
Though many online players possess a hankering to test their skills against both Negreanu and Mercier, paying $50,000 for the honor doesn’t seem quite so appealing.
PokerStars has estimated at least 40 players will pony up the $51K, and if they’re correct the guarantee will be smashed and double the prize pool.
The vast majority of the PokerStars Super High Roller will assumedly consist of seasoned pros that have the finances to compete in such an event, and with such a star-studded field expected, the casual player regardless of wealth might be smart to try their hand in other tournaments.
While the $50,000 purchase price is indeed the highest in the history of iPoker, it won’t even come close to generating the largest prize pool or largest winning payout.
Those accolades are reserved for the WCOOP Main Event, a tournament that regularly draws more than 2,000 entrants and consistently creates millionaires.
In 2010, 2,443 entries created a $12,215,000 prize pool, with “POTTERPOKER” snagging $2,278,097 for the win. WCOOP has eclipsed $60 million in total money three of the last five years, including in both 2013 and 2014.
The 2015 Main Event commences on Sunday, September 27th, but satellites are currently running with buy-ins as low as a single Frequent Player Point, or $1.65.
PokerStars’ failed attempt to acquire bwin.party was revealed late last week when it was announced 888 Holdings had won the bidding war at a cost of $1.4 billion.
That gives 888poker an even stronger presence in the US market including a near-monopoly in New Jersey considering its liquidity agreement with the World Series of Poker.
PokerStars will be at a distinct disadvantage when it is finally licensed in the Garden State, but when it comes to high roller events the world’s most active online poker room will indisputably remain the champ.