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WPN Brings Back VENOM $5M Guaranteed: April 30 - May 12

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It's time for the sixth running of the Venom tournament at the Winning Poker Network, this time with $5 million in guaranteed prizes. The action begins Friday, April 30 and continues through Wednesday, May 12. You can access this tournament from any participating site on the WPN, including Americas Cardroom, Blackchip Poker, True Poker, and Ya Poker.

The Venom $5 Million Tournament

Millions Guaranteed Is a Venom Tradition

Money Bag

The total guarantee of $5 million is ambitious for most online poker tournaments. However, the first installment of the Venom wound up paying out $6,382,500 while the second distributed $6,740,000. And when you consider that the third one provided a total of $9,680,000, the fourth $6,777,500, and the fifth $9,435,000, there is every likelihood that the $5,000,000 guarantee is achievable.

To be in with a chance of claiming some of the loot, you have the option of buying in to the tournament for the full sticker price of $2,500 + $150. Alternatively, you can gain access to the tournament via satellite qualifiers, and there is an absolute abundance of these satellite tournaments and other ways to gain entry without having to spend a lot of money.

Progressive KO Format

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This instance of the Venom, like the fourth one, will be held in progressive knockout format. This means that of each $2,500 buyin, $1,250 will go toward the prize pool while the other $1,250 will become a bounty on the participant's head.

Unlike in a normal bounty tourney, though, the entire bounty isn't paid to the individual who knocks a player out of the event. Rather, the lucky combatant who delivers the knockout punch will collect only half the bounty value – and the other half will be added on to the bounty on his own head!

Thus, the bounties progress and grow larger as the event unfolds. By the time we reach the final table, it's almost a certainty that some of the contenders will have five-figure bounties attached to them.

Key Details and General Structure

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The most important structural detail of the tournament is that there are four individual day 1 flights. Day 1A is scheduled for Friday, April 30, and the event is set to get underway at 1 PM ET. This is important to note for a number of reasons but principally due to it being at the end of the work week. We foresee a lot of part-time poker players either leaving their day jobs early or calling in sick and making a three-day weekend for themselves.

The next opportunity for joining the Venom comes on Sunday, May 2, and that is when Day 1B will kick off, keeping the same 1 PM ET start time. The third starting day will take place on Friday, May 7 at 1 PM ET, followed by Day 1D on Sunday, May 9 at 1 PM ET.

On all four starting days, play will last for 28 levels of 20 minutes apiece with breaks occurring intermittently at 55 minutes past the hour as you would expect. Late registration is open for 18 levels, and unlimited re-entry is permitted during this period.

It's possible to participate in multiple Day 1s so long as you earn enough entries or are willing to hand over $2,650 for each additional day you wish to play. Your highest chip stack from all Day 1 starting flights will be carried over to Day 2. The remaining chips from your other Day 1 entries will be forfeit. However, you will retain all bounty payouts that you receive from all of your entries.

Subsequent Days

If you make it past the first day, then you’ll find Day 2 springing into action on Monday, May 10 at 1 PM ET. You’ll start this day with the same chips carried over from the number that you finished with on your first day of the event. Day 2 gameplay is scheduled for a full 8 hours. Then should you survive to Day 3, you will begin play at 1 PM ET again on Tuesday, May 11 and continue until there are only eight players remaining.

The Final Table is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 12. In a change from the previous days, the cards will begin to fly at 5 PM ET.

Satellites Available

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A myriad of satellites and other methods are available for you to utilize as a potential way of gaining access to the Venom tournament. These work perfectly for players who don’t have the initial $2,650 buy-in price in hand.

Venom Blitz Steps

Something of particular note as far as satellites are concerned are the Venom Blitz Steps. These take over where the Cyclones of previous tournaments left off and work as Blitz Poker satellites, which means that they’re fast-paced games, transporting you to a new table whenever you fold your hand. At the same time, these function as Step Tournaments whereby you advance through multiple steps until you win your Venom ticket.

Nine steps exist in the Blitz Steps, and you’re able to buy in to any of them depending upon how much you’d like to spend and how many chips you’d like to start with. These begin at a buy-in of $0.10 + a $0.01 fee and increase up to the maximum level of $850 + a $30 fee. In all circumstances, you’re looking to reach a total of 5,000 chips in order to access the next level. You’ll automatically move up to the next level when you obtain such a number of chips, and once you make it past Step 9, you’ll be the recipient of a seat in the Venom tournament.

That’s not all either because if you finish with over 5,000 chips on your last hand, you are awarded with a step ticket to the very next step and will also be automatically re-seated on the step you’re currently playing with the extra chips from the last hand. So, in theory, you have the ability to win an unlimited number of Venom seats with just a single Blitz Step satellite entry.

One cool feature of the Blitz Steps is that you can leave at any time, preserving your stake for when you return. This is ideal for people who don't have enough continuous free time to partake in traditional satellite tournaments. Another interesting twist is the “For the Win” feature, which evaluates the current cash value of your stack and permits you to buy up to the next level ticket for a discount off the full price.

SNG On Demand Steps

More traditional sit-n-go step tourneys also permit you to work your way toward a coveted Venom seat. These follow generally the same arrangement as the Blitz Steps, with Step 1 costing a mere $0.10 + $0.01 and the buyins increasing up to $850 + $30 for Step 9. Prevail in Step 9, and you'll be the recipient of an entry for the Venom.

These are On Demand satellites, which are similar to sit n' goes in that they begin once a certain number of people have registered, but they also have a late registration period during which additional players can enter.

A set of On Demand skips exists too. These are like the steps except that they allow for quicker advancement through the steps. For example, the $11 + $1 Skip 3 tournament is priced the same as the normal Step 5 SNG, but it awards tickets for Step 7 rather than 6.

MTT Qualifiers

The time-honored multi-table qualifiers that the WPN has run in the past are back again for the Venom. From now through May 9, there are at least three such MTTs every day although there are many days with quite a few more MTT satellites scheduled.

Buyins for these satties range from $11 + $1 to $600 + $30. The number of seats awarded in each of them ranges from 1 to 10.

Beast and Sit & Crush Leaderboard Venom Seats

The Winning Poker Network hosts The Beast weekly leaderboard for cash gamers and Sit & Crush for single-table tournament grinders. It's typical for these contests to award the top finishers with tickets good for entering satellites to prestigious events. For the past few weeks, those who have placed highly on the leaderboard have received entry into Venom satellites.

The final one of these Beast & SnC Venom satellite qualifiers pays out 20 Venom seats and is scheduled to run at 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 4. Even if you haven't placed on one of the leaderboards, you can instead buy in for $90 + $5.

Multiple Tickets Allowed

Unlike the policy at many other poker sites, the Winning Poker Network permits you to win multiple seats into the Venom. This is useful because the Venom is a re-entry event, and also you can play multiple Day 1s.

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Start Planning Today

All things considered, this is bound to be one of the biggest online poker tournaments of the year in terms of number of users participating and total prize money up for grabs. You only need to look at the outcome of the prior Venom tournaments to realize that. With so many opportunities to gain entry happening on a daily basis, it makes sense to take a crack at it and see if you can emerge from the season hundreds of thousands of dollars richer.

Of course, in order to do so, you must have an account in good standing with Americas Cardroom or another reputable site on the Winning Poker Network. We advise our readers to register for ACR with our exclusive bonus code PRB10FREE. This will enable you to receive $10 with no deposit required. For a limited time, you’ll also get a 100% up to $2,000 bonus on your initial deposit. Read our detailed ACR review here.

If you’d rather head elsewhere, then Americas Cardroom has several sister sites that provide the same access to the Venom and the rest of the tournament schedule although some of their welcome promos might be different. Check out our reviews of BlackChip Poker, True Poker, and Ya Poker (non-US) for information about these alternate WPN skins.

Previous Venom Details

2021Jan. 22 – Feb. 3$8 Million
2020Oct. 23 – Nov. 4$5 Million
2020July 24 – Aug. 5$7 Million
2019Nov. 27 – Dec. 11$6 Million
2019July 14 - 24$5 Million