Record-Breaking MicroMillions 4 Done, PokerStars Announces 2013 SCOOP Schedule
In what has now become a nearly seasonal series, PokerStars’s fourth installment of the MicroMillions finished on Sunday with the final 10 events playing out, including a $22 buy-in Main Event sporting a $1 million guarantee. The popular online series proved the most successful MicroMillions yet for PokerStars, exceeding earlier highs for prize pools and setting a new standard for total number of players in an online tournament series.
This month’s MicroMillions 4 followed a schedule similar to that which has been followed for each of the previous three MicroMillions series from March, July, and November of 2012. A total of 100 events were scheduled over 11 consecutive days, most of which featured buy-ins ranging from $1 to $11 and featuring large guarantees.
As with the first three MicroMillions series played last year, the total guarantees for all 100 events in MicroMillions 4 totaled $5 million, including the $1 million Main Event guarantee. Most of the events have remained unchanged during the four iterations of the MM, with a only a few event guarantees adjusted and the addition of a couple of Zoom tournaments distinguishing this month’s series from previous ones.
However while the offerings remain largely the same, the turnouts and total cash prizes awarded have increased considerably over the course of four MicroMillions, with a significant jump in both total entries and cash awarded having occurred between MicroMillions III and 4.
Following the debut of MM a year ago, MicroMillions II saw 1,288,221 total entries build prize pools totaling $7,966,209.85 for the 100 events. Then in November there were 1,308,994 entries and a total of $8,276,083.13 in cash prizes awarded.
This month’s MicroMillions 4 then saw significant jumps for both figures, with 1,572,760 total entries building prize pools adding up to $9,588,892.60 — nearly twice the overall guarantee for MM 4. As has happened with previous MM series, MicroMillions 4 earns the distinction of being the most popular online tournament series ever in terms of player participation.
Sunday’s MM 4 Main Event saw 68,081 players enter the $20+$2 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament, thereby building a total prize pool of $1,361,620. Both the number of entrants and prize pool exceeded previous highs for MicroMillions Main Events.
Ges26 of Belarus ultimately won on Sunday to claim a $140,468.56 first prize following a five-way final table deal. The largest previous Main Event cash — and largest MicroMillions cash in any event — came in MicroMillions II in July 2012 when SoyDelGlobo earned $157,218.68 for winning after a two-way chop.
Meanwhile, a first draft of the 2013 Spring Championship of Online Poker schedule was released by PokerStars yesterday, currently scheduled to run May 12-26. This year’s SCOOP schedule features 126 events total (up from last year’s 120), again with concurrently-running tournaments being offered with “low,” “medium,” and “high” buy-ins.
Like MicroMillions 4, the new SCOOP schedule includes Zoom tournaments for the first time, with one of the sets of Zoom tournaments being no-limit Omaha Hi/Lo. Also debuting on this year’s SCOOP schedule are tournaments featuring games newly offered on PokerStars, Courchevel, 5-Card Omaha, and 5-Card Omaha Hi/Lo. The new “first draft” SCOOP schedule can be found on the PokerStars blog.
After seeing turnouts and prize pools decline slightly in May 2011 following Black Friday, last year’s SCOOP proved the largest ever in the four years PokerStars has staged the series, with 526,154 entries and prize pools totaling $65,332,179, both figures beating previous SCOOP highs set in 2010. In fact, that latter figure established an all-time high for the “richest online poker tournament series” ever in terms of total prize pools, exceeding the 2010 SCOOP total by a couple of million dollars.