The Winning Poker Network is extending its Million Dollar Sunday Encore promotion for a further two weeks on the strength of another successful $1 guaranteed event. The word on the grapevine is that the series of high buy-in tournaments could be further extended next month – possibly up until Christmas.
At the end of last month, the Winning Poker Network announced it was going to run two Million Dollar Sunday Encore events on the 9th and 16th September with buy-ins of $2,650. The higher-than-usual buy-in was based on the BOSS Main Event with its buy-in of $2,100 being the only one of three $1 million guaranteed tournaments during the OSS Cub3d series to avoid an overlay.
The Million Dollar Sunday events were scheduled for the same time as other tournaments with million dollar guarantees hosted by PokerStars and Party Poker as part of their WCOOP and PowerFest series; and whether the Network was gambling or taking a calculated risk, the positioning of the Million Dollar Sunday Encore events paid off, as both easily surpassed their ambitious guarantees.
This week, the Network announced two more Encore events for 23rd and 30th September. It will be interesting to see how these perform now that the WCOOP has come to a close and after the PowerFest series reaches its finale on 23rd September. Should they succeed as standalone tournaments (i.e. not reliant on non-US players playing big money tournaments across multiple sites) the MDS Encore events could become a regular feature of the Winning Poker Network´s tournament schedule.
More Ways to Qualify for MDS Encore Events
As well as giving players the opportunity to qualify for MDS Encore events via an extensive range of sub-satellites, deadline satellites, and mega-satellites, the Network has introduced a three-stage “On Demand” qualification route. The three stages have buy-ins of $10.50, $84.00 and $440.00, and each qualifier guarantees two seats into the next stage – the final qualifier guaranteeing two seats into the MDS Encore tournament.
Each “On Demand” qualifier starts when just eight players have registered; but, unlike regular On Demand tournaments, the MDS Encore qualifiers have a 6-Max hyper-turbo format with only fifteen minutes of late registration. This increases the likelihood of there being some superb value in this qualification route despite players having the opportunity to re-enter during late registration if they are knocked out during the first five levels.
Alternatively, if you have concerns about qualifying through the first two stages, only to miss out on a seat via the final stage, the Network is also hosting two, two-stage On Demand qualification routes into MDS Encore mega-satellites. The first of these has buy-ins of $16.80 and $83.00 and feeds into Saturday evening´s 10 Seat mega-satellite, while the second MDS On Demand qualification route has buy-ins of $21.00 and $57.00 and feeds into Sunday morning´s 20 Seat mega-satellite.
Success of MDS Encore Drives Increase in Traffic
Traditionally the start of September sees an increase in the number of players across all online poker sites; but, at the Winning Poker Network, the success of the MDS Encore events appears to have bumped traffic to loftier heights than usual. It was noticeable last Sunday that all the Network´s scheduled tournaments surpassed their guarantees by considerable margins and that the volume of players at the cash game tables was also above average for a Sunday night.
At Sunday night´s peak, there were nearly 1,200 players at the Winning Poker Network´s cash tables – more than were playing on 888 Poker´s worldwide network, and more than double the number of players on all the US regulated poker sites combined. That is pretty impressive when you consider the volume of events taking place around the world and the competition for players between the world´s leading online poker sites.
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