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Million Dollar Sunday Encore. The Beginning or the End?

Posted on by John Lathram

Million Dollar SundaysThe Winning Poker Network has announced two further $1 million guaranteed events will take place on Sunday 9th and 16th September. Intriguingly parceling the dual tournaments under the title “Million Dollar Sunday Encore”, the Network hints at more to come. But could this be the end of Million Dollar Sundays?

The Winning Poker Network (WPN) has been hosting intermittent $1 million guaranteed tournaments for more than three years, either as a series Main Event or a standalone “Million Dollar Sunday”. Some tournaments have been incredibly successful – others not so much – and earlier this year WPN´s CEO, Phil Nagy, said he would like to see them become a permanent feature on the tournament schedule.

However, last weekend´s $1 million guaranteed OSS Main Event – the first tournament to carry a million dollar guarantee since the spring – failed to attract the numbers it needed to reach its guarantee and the Network had to pump in $136,000 to top up the prize pool. This coming Sunday, two further million dollar guaranteed tournaments are scheduled, and the likelihood is that these will overlay as well.

TWO Million Dollar Tournaments this Sunday?

That´s right. This coming Sunday sees the conclusion of the Winning Poker Network´s OSS Cub3d Series, with the BOSS Main Event scheduled for 1:00pm ET (buy-in $2,100) and an additional Million Dollar Sunday getting underway two hours later (buy-in $540). There are satellites running around the clock feeding into these events starting at Freebuy level and our own BOSS Freebuy at ACR and BCP that feeds into a Mega-Satellites for the Million Dollar Sunday event takes place tonight at 6:45pm (ET).

Despite last Sunday´s OSS Main Event overlaying by $136,000, there is not expected to be so much value in the two million dollar events this week. Not only are the buy-ins higher than the OSS Main Event, but the final week of the OSS Cub3d series has seen most of the tournaments reaching their guarantees or surpassing them. Indeed one $1,050 buy-in High Roller event topped its guarantee by 72 percent, so the money is out there – it´s just a question of how much.

Two More Million Dollar Sunday Events Added

As mentioned above, the two new Million Dollar Sunday events are scheduled for 9th and 16th September at 1:00pm ET. The buy-ins for both events is $2,100 and the Network will be supporting the Million Dollar Sunday Encore promotion with nightly satellites that have buy-ins of $320. The satellites are not yet live in the tournament lobby, so it is too early to tell whether there will be lower buy-in sub-satellites or Mega-Satellites supporting the promotion as well.

What´s intriguing about this promotion is the name “Encore” – which implies the end of an event. The Network has stated it is hoping to see a big turnout for these events in order to confirm the demand exists for them. If there is, the Network has hinted Million Dollar Sundays will become a permanent fixture on the weekly tournament schedule – just as Phil Nagy indicated earlier in the year. However, if not? What then? Will this be the end of Million Dollar Sundays as the name “Encore” implies?

Hit or Miss, Either Outcome will be Inconclusive

Probably not. Phil Nagy is a shrewd guy, and the timing of the Million Dollar Sunday events coincides with other million dollar guaranteed tournaments being played at the same time in PokerStars´ WCOOP series and Party Poker´s PowerFest series. WPN is more than likely banking on players simultaneously playing all three million dollar events to bump up the numbers in the WPN´s “Encore” events and – consequently – the outcome of the “Encore” events will be inconclusive.

If fewer players enter the “Encore” events, Nagy can claim they were distracted by the WCOOP and PowerFest tournaments. If the two “Encore” events smash their guarantees, it will likely due to Nagy´s plan of timing them alongside other million dollar events being executed successfully. Only if subsequent Million Dollar Sundays hit or miss after the WCOOP and PowerFest series have finished will we have a clearer indication of whether this is the beginning or the end of Million Dollar Sundays.

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