$8m GTD as the PokerStars Sunday Million turns 18

A close-up of the PokerStars Sunday Million logo
Author Adam Hampton
Adam Hampton
Posted on: April 03, 2024 15:35 PDT

PokerStars has never been shy about celebrating the anniversaries of its high profile tournaments, and the weekly Sunday Million has long been the biggest regular tourney in its schedule.

That’s why there’s a huge $8m guaranteed for the April 7 running of this iconic tournament, as PokerStars marks the 18th anniversary of its showpiece Sunday MTT.

The buy-in for Sunday’s anniversary tourney, available to the global .com player base, will be $215, with at least $1m set aside for first place. Players can re-enter up to 5 times, and there will be a full 24 hours of late registration.

Daily freeroll satellites are running in most global clients (Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Sweden and Belgium are excluded for regulatory reasons) and free Power Path tickets can also be used to qualify via direct $11 satellites and phased $1 satellites.

SCOOP tickets to be won in Sunday Million Season leaderboards

This weekend’s anniversary tournament forms part of the Sunday Million Season, a selection of tournaments which will award leaderboard points for over $100k in prizes including tickets to play Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) events in May.

Separate leaderboards are available for Low, medium and High buy-in tournaments. You can find the list of eligible tourneys at the PokerStars site.

Your chance to join the ranks of SM anniversary winners

Last year’s SM anniversary winner was Ricardo Nagamoto of Brazil, who banked $1m for his win - as did the 2022 anniversary winner, ‘Blackbeaty’ of Germany. Yet despite those life-changing million-dollar paydays, they’re not the biggest prizes the SM has ever paid out.

The 2021 anniversary edition took place at a time when many countries around the world were locked down due to pandemic precautions, leading to increased participation in online gaming in general, and a record-busting field of almost 70,000 players in the 15th anniversary Sunday Million. A prize pool of close to $14m was created, of which the biggest chunk went to pro player Vanessa Kade. The $1,514,920 she banked that day remains the high water mark for SM payouts.

Many other notable runnings of the Sunday Million have taken place over the years, including in 2010 when PokerStars celebrated dealing its 40 billionth hand with a $4m guarantee in the SM. That year saw ‘RichieRichZH’ taking home $1.1m for first place. The following year, ‘Bdbeatslayer’ banked $671k and a Lamborghini Gallardo for winning the 5th anniversary edition.

Vanessa Kade, pictured at the 2024 Irish Poker Open Vanessa Kade, pictured at the 2024 Irish Poker Open Danny Maxwell/Rational Intellectual Holdings Limited

Several players have chalked up multiple SM wins since the tournament first took place in 2006, but the biggest prizes can be found once a year when the anniversaries roll around.

So, if you’re a PokerStars player in the global .com player pool, set an alarm for next Sunday, April 7, and you could bank one of the biggest prizes in online poker.

Image courtesy of PokerStars/Danny Maxwell