Players have one final chance to play in the Winning Poker Network´s Venom tournament and compete for a share of the $5 million guaranteed prize pool.
When the Winning Poker Network announced plans last December to host an online poker tournament with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool, a lot of people said it couldn´t be done. Although the Network has a history of running successful tournaments with million dollar prize pools, even I was a little surprised by the level of ambition; but it looks as though the Network is going to pull it off.
Over two opening flights last Sunday and Tuesday, the Venom attracted 1,298 entries – nearly two-thirds of what it needs to beat its guarantee.
With the final opening flight – Day 1C – getting underway at 1:00pm on Sunday (all times ET), and dozens of satellites feeding into it right up until the end of late registration, there´s a strong possibility the final prize pool could well exceed $5 million.
About Sunday´s Venom Day 1C
The structure of the Venom tournament is that, on each of the opening flights, play continues for twelve hours. Once you take breaks into account that means each Day 1 is going to last a little over 13½ hours. At the start of each Day 1, players have 300,000 chips with blinds of 800/1,600 (ante 240). The blinds increase every twenty minutes; and, due to the slow structure, players buying in or qualifying for the Venom at the end of late registration (Level 18) still have thirty Big Blinds to play with.
Players surviving the thirty-six levels of action carry forward their chip stacks into Day 2 which takes place on Monday starting again at 1:00pm. Play is scheduled to continue for a further twelve hours or until the Final Table of eight players is reached. If, as I suspect, there are more than eight players remaining at the end of Day 2, a Day 3 is provisionally scheduled for Tuesday at 1:00pm. The Final Table will start at 5:00pm on Wednesday and play down to a winner.
What´s Happened so Far in the Venom?
With so much hype surrounding the tournament, it was not surprising that last Sunday´s Day 1A attracted 859 entries. Of those, 117 players survived to play in Monday´s Day 2, along with 52 players from last Tuesday´s Day 1B. The current chip leader is Thomas Cannuli (HolyCannuli), who amassed 9,641,417 chips during Day 1A, but only after being knocked out early and having to fire a second bullet. Cannuli currently has an advantage of 1.8 million chips over Day 1B chip leader “pro.moe92”.
Dividing the current number of chips in play by the number of players still left in the tournament shows that the average chip stack is a little over 2.3 million chips.
Players who have already qualified for Day 2 have the option of playing in Day 1C and, if they finish the day with more chips than they already have, they can discard their below-average chip stack and carry forward the better stack. It´s an expensive game to play, but there´s a million dollars up top if the gamble pays off.
Plenty of Satellites Scheduled for Sunday
Despite it being the last chance to play in WPN´s $5 million Venom tournament, there are dozens of satellites scheduled for Sunday including two mega-satellites:
- The first at 11:00am has a buy-in of $215.01 and guarantees twenty seats in the Venom.
- The second at 4:00pm has a buy-in of $630.01 and guarantees fifty seats in the Venom.
The reason for the unusual buy-in amounts is because there will likely be plenty of players with Step 5 and Step 6 tickets left over from the Venom Steps promotion that finishes Sunday. Players with Steps tickets of lower values can use their tickets to enter sub-satellites feeding into the mega-satellites, or to enter any of the Deadline satellites running until the end of late registration.
Where to Find the Venom Action
Whereas the Venom event is accessible to players on most Winning Poker network sites, not all of them provide access to the full range of satellite opportunities or accept players from the US. Therefore, if you would like to take part in the Venom, be sure to play at one of these WPN sites: