Americas Cardroom, the most well-known brand on the Winning Poker Network, has announced that it will be hosting 12 weekly poker tournaments with guarantees of $1,000,001 apiece starting on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. Each event will begin at 3 p.m. ET and requires a buyin of $250 + $15.
About the MTTs
These new tournaments will be the largest “Sunday Major” tourneys available to players in the United States, eclipsing the Sunday Special, ACR's weekly $200 + $15 tournament that guarantees $150,000 in prizes. Not only that, but they will actually be larger than any other regularly scheduled poker tournament at global, non-U.S. poker sites. The odd extra dollar in the guaranteed amount suffices to place these events a notch above the PokerStars Sunday Million, which costs $200 + $15 to enter and awards no less than $1M every week.
While poker room management has indicated that there will be 12 such tourneys in total, there's nothing stopping them from hosting more. They're probably just launching a dozen of them as a trial balloon to gauge participation levels. Assuming all goes well, they could become a regular fixture at Americas Cardroom and its WPN partners, giving them a competitive edge against their rival poker sites.
Million Dollar Sunday History
The Winning Poker Network has an extensive history of hosting events with $1 million prize pools. The first such tournament cost $500 + $40 to enter and was called the Winning Millions. It was scheduled to run on Dec. 14, 2014, but server problems led to player disconnections and other issues, so it was canceled and rescheduled for Feb. 22, 2015. It fired off without a hitch on this latter date although there was a considerable shortfall of $100,500 that the site had to cover because there were only 1,799 entries: less than the 2,000 needed to avoid an overlay.
The Winning Millions was thereafter rebranded the Million Dollar Sunday, and over the next couple years, Americas Cardroom offered them once every few months. The earliest attempts habitually overlayed by five- or six-figure amounts. The low point came on Sept. 13, 2015 when the poker room had cough up $224,500 to meet its promised $1,000,000 prize figure.
However, the eighth running of a million-dollar event at the Winning Network on April 24, 2016 was a success as it attracted 2,118 participants. All subsequent Million Dollar Sunday tournaments have been able to meet their stated prize pool goals, so ACR's tenacity has certainly paid off.
The success of the Million Dollar Sunday contests is mirrored by the overall growth of the Winning Poker Network. The inaugural OSS Cub3d series in fall 2016 guaranteed $4.5 million. The next one in spring 2017 featured guarantees of $5.7 million. The third installment in summer 2017 was set to pay out no less than $6.7 million, but it had to be canceled partway through due to DDoS attacks, which interfered with play.
The Winning Poker Network implemented infrastructure upgrades to counter the threat posed by the DDoS strikes and decided to reschedule the series for a few weeks later while bumping up the prize guarantees to $14 million. Two Million Dollar Sundays were thrown into the mix, and one of them had a special low-priced $250 + $15 buyin, about half the price of all previous MDS occasions. It was a resounding success as 4,368 players took to their virtual seats on Oct. 15, 2017 to battle over the $1,092,000 prize pool. This event was probably the inspiration for the identically priced tourneys that will run starting in January.
Whet Your Appetite With High 5
While you look forward to three months of weekly $1M+ tournaments next year, Americas Cardroom has something planned for November 2017 so that you can get your fix of poker action. The High 5 series runs Nov. 22 - Nov. 26 and will pay out no less than $1.4 million in prizes. This mini-series only has 25 tournaments, so it's more of an amuse-bouche than a main course, but it should get you in the mood for the lucrative MDS events coming in 2018.
The Main Event of the High 5 will start at 4:20 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 26. It costs $420 + $30 and has a $420,000 guarantee. The first-place winner will receive, in addition to the normal prize money, a special sterling silver bracelet to mark his or her achievement.
The remaining tourneys on the High 5 lineup range from $2 + $0.20 to $1,000 + $50. While they're mostly NLHE affairs, there are a few listings for PLO and NLO/8 games. In keeping with the smoky theme of the series, every event will have a break at 4:20 p.m.
Big Tournaments Await You at Americas Cardroom
Americas Cardroom has long been arguably the best U.S.A. poker site for tournaments, and the decision to hold $1,000,001 events for 12 weeks in a row is a nice addition to the MTT tab. If you've yet to try out the games at ACR, then now's a fine time to do so. With your first deposit, you'll get a 100% up to $1,000 poker bonus, worth 20% rakeback. Furthermore, you'll collect $50 for free to use on the unique Jackpot Poker SNG games. Check out our Americas Cardroom review for comprehensive information on why this site deserves to be your poker home. If you'd rather explore your other options for American-friendly online poker, then our guide to U.S.A. online poker rooms may be helpful.