In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
PokerStars’ Sunday Million takes on PKO format
Top gaming site PokerStars is adapting to the ever-changing online poker scene with a surprising change to one of its most attractive weekly offerings. The popular Sunday Million took on a Progressive Knockout (PKO) format last Sunday as part of its KO Week and will continue to do so here on out. The announcement was made last June 7 on its official blog post noting that the site’s iconic flagship tournament will take on the budding format permanently beginning June 12, 2022.
In its 16-year history, the Sunday Million festivities has played through the traditional route with a few special adaptations here and there. Aside from the new PKO gameplay, the operator has also added a couple new changes to the tournament’s structure. Maintaining its $109 buy-in, the following listed below will also be effective immediately.
- Tables will change from 9-Max to 8-Max
- 50,000 starting stack (currently 10,000)
- 200 big blinds to start (as it is today)
- 15-minute levels during the late registration period (ending on 20 big blinds)
- 12-minute levels for the remainder of Day 1
- 15-minute levels for Day 2
- Day 1 will now end one hour earlier at 01:05 CET (currently ends at 02:50 CET)
- 1400 and 3500 levels cut (but reintroduced after level 40 for more play late on)
- More timebank at the final table
Latest Sunday Million PKO winner “Canyoh” took home $58,058 in top prize money plus an additional $22,956 in bounties for a combined $81,104 in winnings. The champion hailing from Germany outlasted a 9,957-entry field and beat Brazil’s “Sorjak” in heads up play to bag the title and the biggest payout of the night.
888poker’s Royal Quest Promo
The next three months is a fun-filled affair at 888poker with its newest promotion a great way for players looking to boost their bankrolls. The Royal Quest Promo is a series of freeroll tournaments available daily, weekly, and monthly with seats won via completion of a variety of challenges. Broken down into three segments, all players are welcome to join the promotion by claiming their tickets as highlighted below.
$500 Noble Kingdom Freeroll (Daily)
- Sovereign Challenge: Win a hand in cash games with a King or Queen card
- Joust Challenge: Play poker tournaments (incl. BLAST) with buy-ins totalling $5
- Royal Luck Challenge: Place bets totalling $5, all in casino games or all in sports events
$5,000 Majestic Kingdom Freeroll (Weekly)
Completing nine of any of the challenges listed above throughout the week will automatically qualify you for a ticket to the $5,000 Majestic Kingdom Freeroll. More than that, the top 100 winners of the said freeroll will be given a chance to compete in the Battle of Knights freeroll scheduled every end of the month where the champion is entitled to a royal package to the upcoming 888poker LIVE Bucharest. Other winners of the monthly offering will also receive tournament tickets and exclusive brand merchandise for their efforts.
$50,000 Imperial Kingdom Freeroll (Monthly)
- Regal Race: Win 80 hands in cash games with any royal card
- Regal Contest: Win 3 poker tournaments with any royal card
- Regal Gala: Win 10 games of blackjack with any royal card
Dutch market to welcome Unibet
As part of its compliance with Netherlands’ enforced directives last October 2021, unlicensed major operators including PokerStars, partypoker – Bwin, and 888poker exited the market as part of the government’s bid for stricter implementation of its policies. Over seven months has passed and Unibet is back on track to launch in the country having secured a gambling license by the Netherlands Gambling Authority.
“Kindred Group (Kindred) has received an approval from the Dutch Gambling Authority (Kansspelautoriteit, KSA) to offer commercial online gambling and betting under the Dutch Remote Gambling Act. The licence grants Kindred Group permission to operate in the Dutch market as of 8 June 2022. The approval from the KSA follows an extensive process to secure Kindred’s 20th local licence and represents an important step in the Group’s ambition to increase its share of revenue from locally regulated markets.” cited parent company Kindred Group, in its press release three days ago.
With its announcement, the Group likewise made known its plans to “launch its Unibet.nl site in the coming days and a Capital Markets Day will be hosted on 14 September.” The CMD is suggested to be a thorough introduction of the brand’s long-term strategies to support growth and profitability across the local regulated market.
”The Netherlands is a large and important European market and one that we look forward to operating in with a local licence. We have been advocating local licence schemes for the past decade, and are thrilled that our newly awarded licence in the Netherlands will allow us to deepen and develop our involvement in the Dutch society, as well as actively contribute to a fair and sustainable gambling market. As part of our long-term ambitions and strategy, we are eager to provide a safe, secure and entertaining gambling experience for Dutch customers”, says Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred Group.
“We are fully committed to establish Kindred’s role as a responsible, trustworthy and valuable gambling operator on the Dutch market through our flagship brand Unibet. Our corporate purpose to ‘transform gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society’ sits at the heart of our ‘Unibet Impact’ programme which is solely dedicated to foster a safer and more responsible online gambling industry. We want to convey entertainment to the Dutch society and are very keen on bringing the joy and excitement of sports to everyone”, added Anne-Jaap Snijders, Chief Commercial Officer, Kindred Group.
Doug Polk triumphs over Dan “Jungleman” Cates in HU match
High stakes heads up matches were all over poker headlines especially last year where superstars Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Galfond took on center stage to battle it out against the industry’s best. Adding to the collection of completed heads up duels, the friendly duo Doug Polk and Dan “Jungleman” Cates recently engaged in a six-hour match at the former’s card room The Lodge, Texas.
The $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em cash game was live streamed on the room’s official Youtube channel for all poker fans to tune into. As a silly bid to the venue, both pros goofily dressed up, Polk as a sheriff and Cates as a deputy as they jokingly played the part on camera. However, as real money remained in play, the 284-hand session saw its share of six-figure pots and monster pre-flop all-ins. At the end of the day, Polk booked the win, leading a profit of $53,000 which was a little over a buy-in.
If you want a condensed version of my 6-hour $200/$400 match vs Jungle, here it is: https://t.co/yFHUSYhHBV
Only the big hands and best moments. pic.twitter.com/cukoE3Mq1t
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) June 7, 2022