Two More Million Dollar Winners in PokerStars Spin & Go Promo
As Lloyd Christmas said in the American film making masterpiece, Dumb and Dumber, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance….”
It was just last week that Russian player “sss66666” hit the three in ten million longshot in PokerStars’ special $1 Million Spin & Go promotion, winning…well…a cool million dollars. At the time, the reaction from the poker public was a mixture of awe, jealousy, and relief that a table actually hit the random number generator jackpot, since it proved that the whole million dollar thing wasn’t just a ruse to get people to the Spin & Go tables.
But that was that. The 0.00003 percent shot was not going to come in again for the rest of the promotional period. No way, no how. Wrong.
Over the weekend, two more tables defied the odds and spun the lucky 240,000x Spin & Go multiplier. The first million dollar winner was the Czech Republic’s “Tornádo111,” whose victory was either horrible or amazing, depending on your perspective. He knocked out his first opponent, “newann,” with A-T versus A-K, flopping a Ten for the suckout. Two hands later and heads-up against a short-stacked “RusGreen,” Tornádo111 called his opponent’s all-in with 6-5, making a straight to best RusGreen’s A-2.
Despite the luck involved, it was actually a pretty impressive win by Tornádo111, as at one point, he was down to just three big blinds. He used an aggressive strategy to make his comeback, but even then, he still benefitted a bit from the poker gods. One of the most important hands had him start with about 10 big blinds versus about 14 for RusGreen and 13 for newann. Newann min-raised from the button and Tornádo111 called from the small blind, but then RusGreen shoved. Newann got out of the way and Tornádo111 called, revealing Q-7 of hearts, up against RusGreen’s A-J off. A Queen fell on the rainbow flop, followed by a 7 on the turn, giving Tornádo111 the double-up and leaving RusGreen extremely frustrated (Tornádo111 had sucked out on RusGreen earlier, too).
The next day, the spinner hit big again, pitting Canada’s “anushan_2323,” Germany’s “jukebox72,” and Sweden’s “ChipsMongot” against each other for the million dollar prize. With tiny starting stacks and quickly escalating blinds, players were constantly all-in, but for a while, chips were just trading hands. After a while, anushan_2323 was able to use his A-T to defeat jukebox72’s A-8 to get down to the final two and then he won a race against ChipsMongot, A-K besting 8-8, for the victory.
Not that I would recommend constantly striving to hit the ultra-longshot in life, but this is a lesson that as long as there is not a zero percent chance of something happening, there is always a chance. For those who had no idea what they were reading above, Spin & Go tournaments are PokerStars’ version of the increasingly popular Lottery Sit-and-Go format. The games are three-handed, with just 500 chip starting stacks and a hyper-turbo blind format. In a normal Sit-and-Go tournament, everybody knows what the prize pool is before the game starts; if the buy-in is $10 and there are nine players, the prize pool is $90. In Spin & Go’s, though, the prize pool is unknown until registration closes. Just before the first card is dealt, a spinner appears on the board (hence the name) and randomly chooses a prize pool based on several possibilities. Most of the time, the prize pool will be just twice the buy-in, but it can be four times, six times, on up to 3,600 times the buy-in in the rarest cases. In all, there are eight different prize tiers which get rarer as they grow. The bottom five (up to 25 times the buy-in) result in winner-take-all contests, while the top three pay prizes to all three players. In those, the winner still takes home the entire regular prize pool, but PokerStars adds another 20 percent which is divided equally between the other two players.
In December, PokerStars held its December Festival, which included the $1 Million Spin & Go promotion. For the promo, PokerStars added a special $5 buy-in Spin & Go table (this buy-in is not normally available), which worked the same as always, except that the top two prize levels were increased. The second-highest prize tier was boosted from a 240x buy-in multiplier to 1,200x, while the top prize went from 3,600x to a staggering 240,000x. This meant that the first prize for the highest tier was $1 million and since PokerStars adds money to the top three tiers, the second and third place finishers still received $100,000 each.
Nobody hit the jackpot in December – after all, the odds of the 240,000x multiplier coming up were three in ten million – but PokerStars decided to extend the promotion throughout January. And now, odds be damned, three tables have gotten the lucky spin in the span of a week.