Why Sunday Million Is Still One of the Most Valuable Online Poker Tournaments
Last Updated: December 29, 2023
Online poker players are spoiled for choice these days, as multiple major poker operators offer a variety of weekly poker tournaments with massive guarantees and tons of value.
However, despite many competitors coming into the ring and offering big poker tournaments of their own, no weekly tournaments hold as much prestige or offers as much value as Sunday Million, the flagship tournament at PokerStars.
Sunday Million has been around since 2006 and celebrated its 17th anniversary in a spectacular fashion in 2023, with 39,500 players entering to play in the epic showdown that saw the champion walk away a millionaire.
While years have come and gone, Sunday Million has remained the most notable online poker tournament anywhere, as the mystique and prestige surrounding this event are unparalleled.
We take a look into the reasons that have kept Sunday Million at the very top for so long and what you can expect from PokerStars’ most prestigious poker tournament going into 2024.
A Long History of Success
The history of Sunday Million is long and paved with success stories. The first ever “Milly” was played back in March 2006, during the day of the Poker Boom, and it shattered its $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool on day one.
Technically speaking, the first Sunday Million was not called this, as PokerStars only came up with the name “Sunday Million” after the event had already been running for a few months.
Back in those days, Sunday Million was a freezeout NLH tournament with a $215 buy-in, and this did not change for many years.
Week in and week out, Sunday Million offered players a chance to turn a $215 buyin into a huge win, with a million dollars up for grabs and top prizes routinely going to over $150k and beyond.
What’s even more, the “Milly” gave players a chance to qualify for much less than the $215 buy-in, with many satellite winners making their way to the final tables of this epic weekly poker tournament over the years.
Sunday Million brought the poker dream to life for thousands of players who would fight every week to qualify for the biggest online event around, giving many of them a reason to keep coming back to the virtual felt every single week.
Each year since 2007, PokerStars has thrown a special Anniversary edition of the event as well, and it was poker pro Vanessa Kade who managed to bag the biggest win in these back in 2021, beating a field of 69,876 players to win $1.5 million in cash.
We just beat a field of 69,876 to win $1.5 Million.
It feels impossible.
This is the best day of my life.
It's not close.
All the pain was worth it, the dream is real. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/D0GKZSRhNl
— Vanessa Kade (@VanessaKade) March 23, 2021
Two dozen players bagged the Sunday Million title twice, while Russian player “veeea” holds the record as the only player with three Sunday Million titles to his name.
With Sunday Million still going strong into 2024, you could become the next champion if you join the platform now and start pursuing those weekly satellites to play the most valuable online poker tournament around week in and week out.
The Softest Million Dollar Tournament Around
The size of the buy-in and the guaranteed prize pool are certainly not the only factors to look at when trying to determine the value of a poker tournament.
In fact, a big guaranteed prize pool would mean nothing if the field was filled up by top pros who play the game at a very high level.
What has always made Sunday Million such a great poker tournament is that it brings together tons of average and even quite a few very bad poker players who are looking to take their one shot for the week, month, or even the entire year.
Sunday Million sees more shot takers enter the field than any other event in its buy-in bracket, which means you get to play for $109 but are facing a field more akin to that you would see in an $11 tournament.
Sure enough, all the pros also play the Sunday Milly, but there are far fewer pros than recreational players out there, and thousands of them make their way into the Sunday Million.
What’s even more, PokerStars throw an ungodly amount of satellites for the Sunday Million every single week, which means hundreds of players make their way into the event after risking just cents, or even qualifying all the way starting from a freeroll.
In the end, out of the 10,000+ players playing in the Sunday Million every single weekend, more than half have never played a million dollar tournament, and many are extremely inexperienced at playing poker tournaments altogether.
All of this makes Sunday Million the softest tournament you will find anywhere with a million dollar prize pool, and you get to play it every single week of the year at PokerStars.
Progressive and Mystery Bounties Galore
Ever since its latest update, PokerStars Sunday Million went from a $215 freezeout to a $109 PKO tournament, which means the buy-in is now more affordable, the prize pool remains at least $1,000,000, and you get to win knockouts every time you eliminate an opponent.
Starting in January 2024, PokerStars will also start throwing special mystery bounty Sunday Million tournaments, which could invite even more recreational poker players looking to take their shot at winning that massive mystery bounty.
The introduction of the bounty formats into Sunday Million was a big win for PokerStars, as the tournament became more popular than ever and now attracts an even more versatile playing field made up of all types and profiles of players.
All of this means there is even more of a reason to play Sunday Million moving forward, and we can only wait and see what new surprises the operator brings us in relation to its flagship tournament in 2024.
Get Ready for Sunday Million Action
The first-ever mystery bounty Sunday Million is coming on January 7 as part of the New Year Series at PokerStars, and it may be the first of many such events we will see in the future.
Whether they will feature mystery bounties or not, Sunday Million are bound to be every bit as juicy in 2024 as they ever were, and the event remains the one you want to play if you will only play one high stakes tournament a week.
Join PokerStars today to give Sunday Million a chance for the first time, and make sure to stay tuned for more information on the upcoming 18th Anniversary Sunday Million which will be coming up in March 2024.