It took nine tries, but the ninth time was the charm for the Winning Poker Network. Continuing to emerge as one of the leading online poker networks available to US players, WPN ran their ninth 'Winning Millions' $1 million guaranteed tournament this past Sunday as the main event of their latest Online Super Series.
A record 2,118 entries grew the million-dollar prize pool to just under $1.06 million, with $211,800 going to the eventual winner 'OIDA!!!'. No deal was reached at the final table, meaning the first place prize money was the richest awarded by a US-facing online poker site since 2011.
This is also the first time the Winning Millions tournament did not produce an overlay. According to WPN, their first seven million-dollar GTD events produced $1 million worth of overlays (the first was cancelled due to a massive DDOS attack). Over $500,000 was generated from buy-in fees in those first seven events, with the latest bringing in an additional $84,720.
But it's well worth the price (around $400,000 in all to date) to host these million-dollar events for WPN. Just two years ago, WPN was a fledgling product trying to compete with industry heavyweights like Bovada/Bodog and the Merge Network. But as the spring months continue and summer nears, WPN is poised to become the legitimate #1 online poker network available to US players.
According to PokerScout.com, cash game traffic averages have jumped from below 600 to nearly 800 players in the last six months. Their 7 day average is less than 500 players away from Bodog – still a ways to go, but nowhere near the distance of years past. Cash players have been coming to WPN in droves, and staying – while tournament traffic has increased tremendously in the same time span.
Recently, WPN added some $300,000 in added guarantees to their weekly tournament schedule. Creating a theme for each day (Micro Mondays, Extreme Tuesdays, High Stake Wednesdays, Thursday Night Fights, and Friday Funday) has increased casual foot traffic, and as overall numbers continue to grow, series such as the OSS and events like the Winning Millions tournament will only grow bigger and increase in frequency.
So too will deposit bonuses. America's Cardroom, flagship of the WPN, has instituted a new deposit bonus system for first-time depositors. $50 deposits or more are matched with $50 worth of "tourney bucks", which are activated as you play. These tourney bucks can be used in select NEWBIE tournaments with $1,000 to $2,000 guarantees at a cost of $1-$2 tourney bucks.
As well, WPN has remained competitive in offering players legitimate and easy to understand methodology behind their rewards systems. A simple 27% direct rakeback deal can be had by those not spending close to $700 in rake each month, while the Elite Benefits programs can reward high-volume players with even more incentives.
It all adds up to WPN becoming the central destination for those looking for a plethora of options to suit their online poker pallet. It's only fitting that WPN's latest Winning Millions tournament took place just days after the five-year anniversary of Black Friday. US players now have a place to play serious online poker, and have ample opportunity to win big in the process.