Friday, May 11, 2007

A little gift from pokerstars

Pokerstars made an announcement that they are going to have a bit of a blowout as they approach the 10 billionth hand dealt in their history. When I first started playing online poker in 2004 Party Poker who was the big dog at the time had dealt more hands than any other site. In the five years that they'd been in operation they'd dealt 250 million. Pokerstars expects to deal half that many in the next 10 days and has dealt over 5 billion hands in the last year. When they say poker boom the mean BOOOOOOOOM!!!

So what are they giving away? The lowliest thing is they're adding a few thousand dollars in prize money to about a dozen daily tournaments from now until May 22nd. I'm not going to bother squabbling over that money.

More significantly they are adding $100,000 to the prize pool of the $215 buy in "Sunday Warm up" and $250,000 to the prize pool of the $215 buy in "Sunday Million." The first usually draws about 2,000 players and the second usually draws about 7,000 (and I expect they'll get about 50% more players than usual) so the added money isn't that significant.

In my estimation there will be about $50 in extra equity total if I put up $430 and played both tournaments. However this added money should attract players that normally wouldn't play in these tournaments and for many of them it will have no business playing in a $215 tournament. So on top of the small added bonus money, the fact that the field will be much weaker than usual should add some significant additional value.

Another thing which is always nice is they're offering a 25% deposit bonus on deposits up to $600. For me this is a free $150!

The most exciting thing for some players is they are giving away money to the players that are dealt in on every millionth hand starting with #9,900,000,000. The amount varies depending on the size of the game you're playing in as well as your VIP level and the winner of the actual hand gets much more. The lowest amount would be if you had no VIP status and were playing in micro level games. The winner of the hand would get $250 and the other players dealt in all get $100. I won't go through all the permutations, but the bottom line is for me I'll get paid $2,400 if I win one of those 100 hands and $900 if I'm just dealt in. That would be sweet!

No one knows which tables the key hands will be dealt on, but you can see the hand counter going up so I'm going to make sure I'm playing in 10 games when the key hands are going to be dealt as often as I can. Obviously I won't be playing when all 100 hands get dealt since one is going to happen about every 2.5 hours for the next 10 days or so, but I might be able to at least be logged on and playing when 50 of them are dealt. I have no idea what kind of dollar value to put on this part of the promotion, but I sure will be fired up if I get any piece of that money.

Not surprisingly the ten billionth hand will be much more significant. Getting dealt in is worth $10,000 plus a $5,000 seat in the WCOOP main event and winning the hand is worth $100,000! You can bet that when that hand gets dealt pokerstars will have more players logged on than they ever have before. I will personally be in more games than I ever have before. I'm taking my monitor to max resolution and shrinking those games down as much as I can to give myself the best chance.

When I first started thinking about this I thought "Ha ha! I'll have about a 1 in 1,000 chance at hitting this one!" But I think it's actually much better than that. Pokerstars usually has around 10,000 games going, but the majority of them are play money games and some more are multitable tournaments which don't qualify (only SNG's tables and cash game tables count) I'm going to estimate that for the big hand there will around 2500 qualifying tables and if I'm in 15 games that will give me a 1 in 166 shot of being in the big hand. For the lesser earlier hands there might be as few as 500 qualifying tables if it's late at night meaning I'll have a 1 in 50 shot of hitting each one if I'm in 10 games each time. All of a sudden I'm a little more excited about this part of the promotion.

All that stuff is great, but by far the best thing for me is DOUBLE FPP's for 10 days! Normally I get about $32 in FPP's for every 1,000 hands I play. Between now and May 22nd I'll be getting $64 for every 1,000 hands. If I bust my hump I think I can play between 25,000 and 30,000 hands between now and the 22nd. Which means this part of the promotion will be worth close to an extra $1,000 for me. Thanks pokerstars!

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