Casino City’s Friday Five: Largest prize pool in online poker history edition

7 December 2018

On Wednesday, the partypoker MILLIONS Online tournament came to an end. This week, we also had a jackpot winner, the introduction of a new game zone, a launch of multiplayer tables and a sportsbook that paid out bets in an unusual fashion.

Let’s start with the jackpot:

5. $586,919,64 jackpot at Sycuan Casino
Ricky W. hit the jackpot at Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, California, with $586,919.64 in winnings. The jackpot was won on the 5 Dragons Grand slot machine.

Additionally, there have been several other recent jackpot winners at Sycuan Casino. Preston C. won $25,000 playing the Bonus Times slot machine, Karen H. won $33,921.92 on the 88 Fortunes slot machine and David W. won $20,486.40 playing the Lightning Link High Stakes slot machine.

"To watch a guest hit a major jackpot and win over half a million dollars is an incredible experience," said John Dinius, general manager at Sycuan Casino. "It's been a big celebration every day at Sycuan with all of our recent jackpot winners. Congratulations to Ricky and to all of the lucky winners we've had in 2018."


4. Foxwoods to unveil Play It First game zone
Foxwoods Resort Casino announced on Wednesday that it will open the Play It First Game Zone on Monday.

Play It First is an "innovative gaming area" that allows guests to experience brand-new table games, including industry-first concepts.

Located in the Grand Pequot Tower, Play It First will feature four unique games that rotate on a quarterly basis, including two that are new to the gaming industry. The inaugural games are industry newcomers Dragon Poker and 3 Card Blitz, alongside updated twists on the classics with Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Double Draw Poker.

Play It First will be open seven days a week, with hours Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.


3. EZ Baccarat launches multiplayer tables online
The EZ Baccarat online game is available for the first time in multiplayer tables, enabling players to interact with others at a table.

The EZ Baccarat multiplayer game is the only game on the internet to have a virtual shoe, the JadeShoe, that does not shuffle after every hand, permitting players to follow the five Roads.

EZ Baccarat is available in land-based casinos and on multiple platforms including online as a real-money and simulated game, on live dealer multiplayer terminals, and in development for electronic table games.

2. FanDuel Sportsbook pays out all bets on Alabama for national title
Last Friday, the FanDuel Sportsbook made sports betting history by being the first legal sports betting operator in the U.S. to pay out future wagers on the college football national championship – over a month before the final game is played. In a move that could cost it around $400,000, FanDuel decided the publicity was worth the inherent risk and paid out early all tickets on Alabama to be the last team standing, regardless of what happens in the upcoming playoffs.

Alabama has been a prohibitive favorite to win another national title under head coach Nick Saban all season. The Tide is currently a -280 shot to win and is a 14-point favorite against Oklahoma in the semifinals.

“Alabama’s historic and seemingly inevitable march to Levi’s Stadium deserved a history-making gesture to our customers,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group. “While the college football season has not had too many surprises, we wanted to surprise our customers today, thank them for their loyalty, and prove there are More Ways to Win on FanDuel.”

Since FanDuel was acquired by Paddy Power Betfair in May, this announcement comes as no surprise. Over the years, Paddy Power has been known to pay out wagers early in order to garner some headlines, most famously in 2016 when it allowed punters who wagered on Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the U.S. to cash their tickets more than a month before the election. This stunt, of course, cost the company millions of dollars when Donald Trump prevailed in a shocking upset.

Only time will tell if Oklahoma, Clemson or Notre Dame can do the same and knock off Alabama.

1. Manuel Ruivo wins 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online
Portugal’s Manuel “Sheparentao” Ruivo, living in the Netherlands, is the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online champion, an accolade that came with a massive $2,329,943 first-place prize following a heads-up duel with Pim “ForMatherRussia” de Goede.

The event, which began on 25 November, was guaranteeing a record-breaking $20 million prize pool. When it drew a field of 4,367 players, it became the largest prize pool in online poker history at $21,385,000.

Twenty-nine players returned to the partypoker tables on 5 December, each guaranteed $65,505 for their efforts. With $2,729,376 awaiting the champion, nobody wanted to collect this smaller sum.

With three players left, Scarmak3r’s elimination made the stacks of the final two players almost even, and with a pay jump of $818,813, it was no surprise the pair decided to pause the tournament and discuss a deal. That discussion bore fruit, leaving de Goede to walk away with $2,309,994 and crowning Ruivo the 2018 MILLIONS Online champion with a prize of $2,329,943.


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