It Could Maybe Happen: 25-Cent Pokerstars Spin & Go’s Have a $1 Million Jackpot Chance This Weekend
The great advantage to being a micro- to low-stakes online poker player, as I was when I was able to regularly play internet poker, is that you almost never lose lots of money. Sure, if you have $200 on a site and you lose $25, that’s a decent chunk of your bankroll, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. Being a small-stakes player is relaxing. Of course, you also can’t win a lot of money in one fell swoop. I won some tournaments, but I don’t know if I ever won more than $200 in a single bite. On PokerStars this weekend, though, micro-stakes players will finally have a chance to turn a few cents into gobs of cash with a special Spin & Go promotion.
Ok, when I say “have a chance,” I mean, “technically have a chance.”
The chances are not good. At all. But it’s still possible! Through Monday morning, the 25-cent Spin & Go’s on PokerStars will feature a $1 million top prize. For whatever reason, the poker room isn’t giving an exact end time, saying on the PokerStars blog that the limited-time jackpot will be available “until 10 ET (roughly)” on January 13th.
Here’s why I say the chances of winning $1 million in a 25-cent Spin & Go are not good. The probability of $1 million coming up as the prize pool is 1 in 50 million. That’s essentially zero. So it’s a non-zero (but really zero) chance to hit $1 million on the pre-game spin. Then you actually have to win the game. Fortunately, in the ultra-rare instance the opportunity presents itself, PokerStars is giving $100,000 to the two runners-up. While I wouldn’t be thrilled that I missed out on $900,000, $100,000 isn’t a bad consolation prize.
To put into perspective how much of a longshot this is, an unusual two-toned lobster, split in half head-to-tail orange and black, was discovered off the coast of Maine in September. Scientists say that it was a 1-in-50 million find.
The odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 10 million, five times better than seeing a $1 million Spin & Go jackpot this weekend. It’s relatively easy to by crushed by a meteor – 1 in 700,000. And it’s way more likely – 1 in 4.4 million – to die as a left-handed person using a right-handed item incorrectly. That’s why I’ve trained my brain to be able to use a right-handed mouse. I’m not taking any chances.
So maybe you’ll find your two-toned lobster!
As always, spinning a prize pool of 2x or 3x the buy-in is by far the most probable. This will happen more than 95 percent of the time in the 25-cent Spin & Go’s this weekend.
As much as I am making fun of the odds, it’s still a cool little promotion. If you normally play 25-cent Spin & Go’s, now you have a sliver of a shot to win a million bucks. Might as well play.
Once the special prize distribution ends with the 25-cent games, it will shift to the $25 buy-in Spin & Go’s. The odds are five-times as good to hit the $1 million spin on those. Perhaps you will get struck by lightning at the same time.
The plan is to continue to move the $1 million jackpot around to the different buy-in levels. PokerStars has not said what the exact timing of events will be as the promotion goes on.
At this point, I would assume that virtually everyone who comes to this site knows what Spin & Go tournaments are, but if you happen to be new to online poker and stumbled across this site, here’s the skinny.
Spin & Go’s are what are known as jackpot sit-and-go’s in the industry. Most poke rooms have them at this point, but because of PokerStars’ popularity, Spin & Go’s tend to garner the most attention. They are three-handed, hyper-turbo sit-and-go’s in which players start with extremely short stacks. The games, as you would expect, move very fast and success is largely based on luck. There is some strategy in the early stages, but overall, players are mostly at the mercy of the cards.
Rather than each players’ buy-in to construct the prize pool, the prize pool is randomly determined by a spin of a wheel before the game starts. As you could probably tell by the discussion above, each prize pool multiplier has a certain probability of hitting. Most of the time, the prize pool will just bet twice or thrice the buy-in, but once in a while, a big one can hit. At all but the highest prize pool multipliers, the games are winner-take-all.