PokerStars Attracting Cash Game Players with Millionaire Month Promo
It looks like PokerStars is all aboard the recreational player promotion bandwagon. Not that the world’s largest poker room never caters to casual players, but its current Millionaire Month promo is quite clearly an attempt to get as many people as possible to commit to cash games in April without worrying about what sort of stakes they play for or how skilled they are. And there is nothing wrong with that at all.
The Millionaire Month promotion actually started last Monday, but its first phase continues through this Friday, April 17th. It is a really, really simply promo. During the first Qualification Round, there are six distinct challenges that players can attempt to accomplish, most of which involve winning cash game hands using specific hole cards. Once a player meets one of the challenges, he is automatically given a seat in the corresponding $150,000 All-In Shootout. The winner of each of the six Shootouts moves on to the Millionaire Final, a six-player tournament in which the winner banks $1 million.
Aside from the deposit challenge, each of the qualifying challenges is related to a PokerStars Pro and the hand they used to clinch a big tourney or otherwise achieve a significant milestone in their careers. For instance, the Chris Moneymaker Challenge requires players to win a regular cash game hand with the five of diamonds and four spades as hole cards, which are the cards Moneymaker was holding when he defeated Sammy Farha heads-up for the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event title, igniting the poker boom.
Here is the complete list of challenges for Qualification Round 1:
Deposit Challenge: deposit $10 or more from April 6th through April 17th.
Chris Moneymaker Challenge: win a real money cash game hand with 5♦-4♠ as hole cards.
Jake Cody Challenge: win a real money cash game hand with pocket Kings.
Mike McDonald Challenge: win a real money cash game with A-K as hole cards.
Liv Boeree Challenge: win a real money cash game with pocket Fives.
First-Eagle Challenge: win a real money cash game hand with A-3 as hole cards.
Keep in mind that these challenges must be accomplished at regular cash game hold’em tables, not Zoom Poker or any other variant. The rules do not specify if both hole cards must be used in the winning hand, so we are guessing that as long as the hole cards requirements are met, it doesn’t matter if both, one, or none are used to make the best five card hand.
As mentioned, players who complete a challenge are entered into the All-In Shootout that follows. There is no need to be present during that tournament, as it is just a luckfest. The software puts everyone all-in pre-flop on every hand and repeats until there is a winner. That winner, again, moves on to the Millionaire Final. Other players in the All-In Shootout win a piece of the $150,000 prize pool.
The winner of the Millionaire Final, which takes place on May 10th, wins a million bucks. Second place wins $50,000 plus a million FPPs, third place gets $40,000 plus a million FPPs, and fourth through sixth win $30,000, $20,000, and $10,000, respectively, with no FPP awards.
April 19th through April 30th is the second half of the Millionaire Month promotion, with the Shootouts on May 1st and a separate Millionaire Final on May 10th. It works exactly the same way as the first half of the promotion, just with different challenges:
Deposit Challenge 2: deposit $25 or more from April 19th through April 30th.
ElkY Challenge: win a real money Zoom Poker cash game hand with pocket Eights.
Jason Mercier Challenge: win a real money Zoom Poker cash game hand with K-Q as hole cards.
Eugene Katchalov Challenge: win a real money Zoom Poker cash game hand with pocket Fours.
“Maratik” Challenge: win a real money Zoom Poker cash game hand with pocket Aces.
Harrison Gimble Challenge: win a real money Zoom Poker cash game hand with pocket Tens.
As you can see, the challenges are changed to Zoom Poker tables this round, but again, must be completed only in hold’em games. Everything else is the same as before, with each challenge feeding into the All-In Shootouts, which, in turn, feed into the second Millionaire Final.
As is the case with many PokerStars promotions, the poker room is making players “opt-in” to the promotion in order to qualify, which is really just a player-unfriendly way of getting players who don’t read the rule carefully to give PokerStars a bunch of cash game play without having a chance to win promo prizes. To opt-in, players need to open the “Challenges” window in the software client and “Start” a hand challenge. All six challenges can be started at the same time. It is only after the challenges are started that PokerStars will actually track a player’s progress.