13th Anniversary Sunday Million Going Big with $10 Million Prize Pool and $1 Million First Prize

PokerStars‘ vaunted Sunday Million tournament will mark its 13th anniversary on April 14. To celebrate, PokerStars is bumping the guarantees into the stratosphere.

For the milestone edition of the tournament, the guarantee will increase by order of magnitude to $10 million. Part of that bump will be a first-prize guarantee of $1 million.

In other words, the Sunday Million’s 13th birthday will create a brand-new millionaire. Needless to say, there’s a lot of excitement surrounding the upcoming event.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this poker milestone,” said Severin Rasset, PokerStars Director of Poker Innovation and Operations, in a statement. “(B)ut the credit goes to all of the poker lovers out there who have made the Sunday Million happen nearly every week for the past 13 years, so we hope to see them at the tables on April 14.”

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Sunday Million has lived up to its name for more than a decade

PokerStars’ Sunday Million has been one of the more prominent online tournaments since before Black Friday. The simple promise of a big tournament for a relatively small price has generated a loyal following for the weekly event.

The inaugural Sunday Million occurred on March 4, 2006. Since then, PokerStars has hosted more than 600 iterations of the tournament.

That first tournament eclipsed the guarantee and generated a prize pool worth $1,178,600. The alliteratively named Canadian player “aaaaaaaa” took first prize in that event for $173,843.50.

The anniversary tournament in April is hardly the first time that PokerStars has raised the prize pool to nosebleed heights. The tournament to commemorate PokerStars’ 10th anniversary remains the largest in Sunday Million’s history.

In that event, more than 62,000 entrants combined to create a $12,423,000 prize pool. Kyle “First-Eagle” Weir took the grand prize on that day in 2011, winning more than $1.1 million for his $215 investment.

PokerStars recently halved the price, but not for the usual reason

The Sunday Million’s $215 buy-in has become part of the tournament’s signature over the years. So, PokerStars’ decision to cut the price in half in January seemed quite shocking.

For most businesses, a price reduction would tend to suggest that the product was not selling at a high enough level. However, that seemed not to be the case for the Sunday Million.

In actuality, the price drop occurred for a different reason. As part of its new recreational player-centric ethos, PokerStars wanted its marquee tournament simply to be more accessible to the public.

Naturally, slicing the buy-in in half means that twice as many players must compete to meet the guarantee each week.  So far, PokerStars has not had trouble doing so, but making a $10 million promise will be difficult, regardless of the buy-in level.

Still, PokerStars is the worldwide leader for traffic for a reason. So, if any site were to eclipse that figure, it would be PokerStars.

Make sure to play the upcoming anniversary tournament if you can. There’s going to be a ton of money floating around.