Coronavirus Crisis Could Super-Size PokerStars’ Anniversary Sunday Million

March 20th, 2020 | by Kaycee James

PokerStars is gearing up for its biggest ever Sunday Million this weekend as self-isolation becomes the norm in many parts of the world.

PokerStars Sunday Million

PokerStars is gearing up for another big-money Sunday Million as players are forced to stay home because of coronavirus. (Image: PokerStars)

With the new coronavirus putting businesses, casinos and people on lockdown, the need for online entertainment is starting to peak.

For PokerStars, the current crisis could lead to a bigger 14th anniversary Sunday Million than expected. Set to get underway on March 22, the $215 MTT will mark another milestone for the industry leader.

Live Lockdown Means Sunday Million Could Prosper

Although a record-breaking $12.5 million guarantee was designed to inspire the masses, the current situation means many players can’t play live. With online poker being the only viable alternative, the tournament could produce an unprecedented prizepool

As its stands, Partypoker holds the record for richest online MTT in history with a total payout topping $20 million. To achieve that, however, Partypoker had to host multiple starting days over the course of a week.

PokerStars’ anniversary Sunday Million will be a three-day event and entry will only be open until the start of Day 2. To surpass Partypoker’s Millions Online based on those dynamics would be hugely impressive. However, even if the MTT gets somewhere close, it would be considered a success.

As poker events around the world suffer in the wake of a global pandemic, players are turning to online tournaments as an alternative. To address the uncertain times and cater to a community on lockdown, operators a finding new ways to engage players.

PokerStars and Partypoker Offering Salvation

In the last week, Partypoker has launched three innovations. In addition to helping launch the first ever WPT online series, it will host the 2020 Irish Poker Open.

It followed this up on March 19 with a partnership with Poker Central. That deal will see it run the first Poker Masters Online, a high-stakes stopgap for pros unable to ante up in a live casino.

PokerStars’ 14th anniversary Sunday Million will slot into this emerging market. With no end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, the time is right for online operators to push the envelope. For PokerStars, March 22 will put that theory to the test.

If attendance figures far exceed expectations, it could lead to more big-money tournaments in the coming weeks.

A glut of tournaments won’t make up for the devastation caused by coronavirus in the grand scheme of things. However, the current wave of online activity is another example of poker’s resilience in times of adversity.


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