Happy New Year! Did everyone enjoy some well-deserved and much-needed time off over the holidays?
If so, excellent, because whether you like to play online poker tournaments, or you just love following the action, you’re going to need your energy over the next couple of weeks.
The PokerStars New Year Series kicked on December 25 (who wouldn’t want to win a big tournament on Christmas Day?) and we’ve already seen some massive fields, enormous prize pools and notable winners so far. But as the series runs until January 17, it’s only going to get bigger.
Let’s take a look at the series highlights so far, then we’ll remind you of the biggest events coming up on the rest of the New Year Series schedule.
Even with 14 days of action remaining in the series, we’re already on the verge of crossing $16 million in total prize pools. More than $2.2 million has gone to the champions after 119 events!
And just as they do in every online series, we’ve seen Brazilians dominate proceedings with 25 victories out of the 119 tournaments played. Incredible, as always.
Tournaments completed: 119
Prize pools: $15,980,453
First-place prizes: $2,274,145
Country leaderboard: Brazil (25 titles), Austria (8), Germany (8)
Stats refer to completed tournaments only
Only one player has become a multiple New Year Series champion so far, and you know what makes it even more impressive?
They not only won both of their titles on the same night…
They won two buy-in tiers of the same event!
On December 29, Lithuania’s “Dainiux” won both the $33 buy-in Medium and $320 buy-in High editions of the Event 29 stud tournaments, banking $1,519 and $4,625 respectively. That’s quite a session.
And here’s where it gets even crazier.
During the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) 2022 back in October, Dainiux did exactly the same thing, winning two WCOOP titles in one evening and three overall during the series! The mixed game master won titles in both 8-game and stud, as well finishing runner-up in a razz event.
Can they win a third New Year Series title before it ends? Watch this space.
BIGGEST WINNER SO FAR
The Sunday Million often provides the biggest weekly prize on the PokerStars schedule, so it’s not surprising that when an event like the New Year Series takes it over to produce a special edition, there was no exception.
Taking place on New Year’s Day, Event #41-M came with a unique 2023 buy-in of $202.30, whilst still boasting the usual $1 million guaranteed prize pool. A total of 5,362 entries took part, but there could be only one winner.
The title and $143,479 first-place prize went to Switzerland’s “Scoops 2022” – a fitting name for a player whose 2023 couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. That’s the biggest win of the series so far.
SPRAGGY’S CLOSE CALL
Speaking of biggest wins so far, PokerStars Team Pro and Twitch superstar Benjamin “Spraggy” Spragg came close to banking the largest score of his career to date last night (January 2).
Spraggy reached the final table of Event #41-H: a $2,023 buy-in New Year Special no limit hold’em tournament with $400K guaranteed. After receiving 254 entries, that guarantee was smashed and the overall prize money stood at $524,054.
In front of thousands of viewers, Spraggy battled his way through an elite field to reach the final table, but alas, his tournament came to an end in eighth place, good for $13,256.
It was successful businessman and feared high-stakes poker player Talal “raidalot” Shakerchi who finished top dog, winning $100,030 for his two nights’ work. Shakerchi, who took down the 2016 SCOOP Main Event for $1.4 million, now has yet another PokerStars title on his CV.
OTHER NOTABLE CHAMPIONS
Event #28-H: $2,100 NLHE [Progressive KO, Thursday Thrill], $250K Gtd
“Internett93o” (Brazil) – $68,097
Event #44-H: $530 NLHE [6-Max], $150K Gtd
Dan “NukeTheFish!” Wilson (UK) – $32,659
Event #47-H: $530 NLHE [6-Max, Deep Stack], $125K Gtd
Christian “WATnlos” Rudolph (Austria) – $39,298
Event #31-H: $1,050 NLHE [6-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO], $150K Gtd 140 $150,000
“Wildace_hun” (Hungary) – $32,238
Event #27-H: $320 NLHE, $125K Gtd
Bruno “great dant” Volkmann (Brazil) – $26,897
Event #19-H: $530 NLHE [6-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Deep Stack], $125K Gtd
Andrew “stato_1” Hulme (UK) – $26,728
Event #10-H: $1,050 NLHE [Progressive KO], $150K Gtd
Alex “Pwndidi” Theologis (Austria) – $41,411
RESULTS SO FAR
*denotes a deal was made
† includes bounties