PokerStars Player Wins $1 Million in Spin & Go Promo
PokerStars’ Spin & Go tournaments have been a source of controversy since they debuted on the world’s largest online poker room in September 2014. Many long-time, high volume “regulars” hate them, as they are seen as mostly exercises in luck and have drawn traffic away from games that said regulars play for a living. There is no denying the popularity of the lottery Sit-and-Go format, though; they are lightning fast, low-cost, and give players the opportunity, however slight, to win much more money than they would otherwise be able to with a small buy-in. Three players can now certainly attest to the latter point, as the largest Spin & Go jackpot was hit on PokerStars yesterday.
Before getting to the details, let’s review quickly how these Spin & Go’s work. They use a rather unusual format for Sit-and-Go’s: three-handed, hyper-turbo (three minute blind levels), and very short, 500-chip starting stacks. They are quite affordable for most players, with buy-ins of $1, $3, $7, $15, and $30. The big difference, though, between these tourneys and regular Sit-and-Go’s is that the players do not know what the prize pool is going to be until the tournament starts. Once all three players are registered, spinner appears on the table and displays the prize pool. Most of the time (about 70 percent of the time), the prize pool will be just twice the buy-in. There are seven other prize pool multipliers, though, going all the way up to 3,600 times the Spin & Go buy-in (the multipliers were slightly different before the New Year).
For most of the prize pool multipliers, the winner of the tournament takes all. At the highest three levels, though, PokerStars adds another 20 percent to the prize pool. That 20 percent is divided between the second and third place finishers, while the entire regular prize pool goes to the winner.
Last month, PokerStars run a series of promotions during its December Festival, one of which was the $1 Million Spin & Go promo. For the promotion, PokerStars added a special $5 Spin & Go tier that dramatically increased the multipliers for the top two prize tiers, highlighted by the grand prize of a 240,000x multiplier. And because PokerStars adds 20 percent to the top three tiers, that meant that should a table spin the big one, the winner would receive $1 million while the other two players would cash in for $100,000. The chances of getting lucky, though, were essentially zero, as that top multiplier was programmed to be hit an average of only three in every 10 million times. That is .00003 percent of the time.
Nobody hit the jackpot in December, but fortunately for players, PokerStars decided to extend the $1 Million Spin & Go promotion party of the December Festival through the entire month of January. Lo and behold, that was just what three players needed to make it happen.
Yesterday, players “sss66666” from Russia, “geldduvel” from Belgium, and “Nonko999” from Bulgaria put down their $5 and were shocked to see the spinner land on the longest of long shots, 240,000x the buy-in. The winner of the tournament was going to cash in for a million bucks.
The game lasted about thirteen and a half minutes and in the end, it came down to sss66666 and geldduvel for the million; Nonko999 had to sit on the sidelines either content with $100,000 or kicking himself that he couldn’t hold on. Sss66666 had knocked out Nonko999 just two hands earlier and had a ten chip lead on geldduvel. The two didn’t do much pre-flop, content with seeing the flop of A-8-9, all spades, on the cheap. Sss66666 check-raised and then moved all-in when the J♦ was dealt on the turn. Geldduvel called with A♦-5♥, but to his great disappointment, saw he was drawing very thin when sss66666 turned over A♣-8♥ for two pair. The million dollars went to the man from southern Russia while geldduvel had to slink away with only enough money to pay off my mortgage.
So, that’s over. But no it’s not. Remember, PokerStars has extended the $1 Million Spin & Go promotion until the end of January, so there is still time to win. Really, there is no time to win, since the chances of hitting the jackpot are nil, but hey, it happened once, and if you like Spin & Go’s, might as well play the $5 version for a shot at glory. If it makes you feel any better, you probably aren’t going to hit a multiplier of 10x the buy-in or higher, either, as the probability of spinning any of the top five multipliers is less than half a percent…COMBINED.