PokerStars Debuts Mystery Bounty Tournaments With $1M Guaranteed New Year Series Event
The PokerStars Sunday Million is one of the longest-running Sunday majors in the online poker world and arguably the most prestigious. PokerStars has hosted dozens of special edition Sunday Millions over the year, but few, if any, have garnered as much excitement and anticipation as the New Year Series Sunday Million special edition, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. GMT on January 7.
The 93rd numbered event of the PokerStars New Year Series is the $109 NLHE 8-max, Mystery Bounty Sunday Million SE. That's correct, mystery bounty tournaments are coming to PokerStars, making their debut in a special Sunday Million that costs $109 to enter and guarantees $1 million. Those of you who find $109 too steep or fail to win yourself a seat via the many satellite and Power Path options can jump into an $11 buy-in, $250,000 guaranteed Mystery Bounty at 5:30 p.m. GMT also on January 7.
How Will Mystery Bounty Tournaments Work at PokerStars?
Mystery Bounty tournaments have taken the tournament poker world by stop, especially in the live poker realm. You may recall Matt Glantz hit the headlines during the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas after he pulled out a mystery bounty payment worth $1 million.
888poker has fully embraced mystery bounty tournaments in its regular schedule, with most of the upcoming XL Winter Series events played in this exciting format. Now, PokerStars is getting in on the action.
Regarding the Sunday Million Mystery Bounty on January 7, $50 of the buy-in goes into the regular prize pool, and $50 is placed in the mystery bounty prize pool. The tournament then plays like a traditional, regular event until the money bubble bursts. At this point, the mystery bounty prize pool is divided up and placed into golden envelopes, and each remaining in-the-money player receives one envelope. Eliminating an opponent allows the player to open the now-busted foe's mystery bounty, and the revealed prize is theirs to keep.
PokerStars' Mystery Bounty Test Tournament
PokerStars ran a Mystery Bounty test tournament on December 4, and it went down a storm. The 200 available seats were snapped up for the bargain price of $1.10.
The Mystery Bounty test tournament bubble burst when the 28th place finisher fell by the wayside, leaving the surviving 27 PokerStars players in the money and with a mystery bounty envelope on their heads. Twenty-three of the mystery bounties were worth $1.04, two weighed in at $13, one at $22, and a jackpot bounty of $28 was up for grabs.
A similar system should be in place for the $1 million guaranteed Sunday Million Mystery Bounty on January 7, although, obviously, the mystery bounty amounts will be far greater because the mystery bounty prize pool will contain at least $500,000 and not only $99.92 that was available in the test tournament.
PokerStars looks to calculate the larger mystery bounty prizes based on that particular prize pool. This differs from how 888poker operates. 888poker advertises the more substantial mystery bounty payments before the tournament begins, and these remain static throughout. Additional entries result in the lowest tier of payments increasing.
With at least $1 million on the line, it would be surprising if the largest mystery bounty payment was not at least $50,000 and as much as $100,000. 888poker is hosting a $1 million guaranteed XL Winter Series Main Event in January, and it has a top bounty of $100,000 waiting to be won.
About the PokerStars Sunday Million Mystery Bounty
Cards are in the air in the $109 buy-in, $1 million guaranteed Sunday Million Mystery Bounty event, part of the New year Series, at 5:30 p.m. GMT on January 7. For your $109 buy-in, you receive 50,000 chips, and play to a 15-minute clock where blinds start at 125/250/30a. Late registration remains open for four hours, during which time, you can re-enter up to four times.
The curtain comes down on Day 1 after 7h 55 mins, with play resuming at 5:30 p.m. GMT on January 8. Mystery bounties come into play once you are in the money. Knocking out a player before then will not result in a bounty.
Satellites costing $5.50 and $11 are in the PokerStars lobby, while those of you with Silver and Gold Passes from the Power Path feature can redeem those for online tickets and New Year Series ticket bundles that contain, among other tickets, between four and 22x $109 tickets.
The launch of a new tournament is always an exciting time, but more so when there's at least $1 million on the line. Stay tuned to PokerNews to discover which lucky player pulls out the largest mystery bounty and who comes out on top during PokerStars' first foray into the mystery bounty world.