The PokerStars Sunday Million 9th Anniversary and its $9 million guaranteed jackpot is being delayed a week for International Women’s Day, a celebration that takes place annually on March 8th.
After receiving plenty of feedback from players in Ukraine and Russia, PokerStars announced the schedule change saying the holiday is “an important cultural event in many of our markets” and the operator didn’t want to force players to choose between family and poker.
“We can’t schedule major events to be convenient for everyone, but in this case a massive number of customers would be affected, and we have enough flexibility in our promotional calendar in March to make the change,” PokerStars Tournament Manager Mike Jones explained in moving the event to March 15th.
Women’s Day? Mother’s Day?
International Women’s Day (IWD) was actually started by the Socialist Party of America in 1909 to honor a strike the year before by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU).
Inspired by their socialist cohorts in the US, a movement in Denmark embraced the concept as well, and the event relocated to Copenhagen for the 1910 celebration, with an annual event being established soon after.
The holiday is a general day to celebrate, respect, appreciate, and love women for their achievements and contributions. Today, the event is largely confined to Eastern Europe and Asian countries. IWD is an official holiday in more than two dozen countries, including Russia and Ukraine, two nations with a strong customer base of PokerStars players.
But Wait, March 15th Is British Mother’s Day
“Should we have thought of this in the first place and scheduled around International Women’s Day? Yes, we should have,” Jones said. “It was clearly an oversight that caught us by surprise.” Ukrainian and Russian players are certainly feeling a sense of relief, but others aren’t, including those close to PokerStars’ Isle of Man headquarters.
While many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, the UK and Ireland celebrate their moms on the fourth Sunday in Lent, which this year just so happens to be March 15th. PokerStars execs are likely pulling out their hair by this point, but they should seriously consider getting their calendars in order.
The Poker Must Go On
Regardless of the holiday, the Sunday Million 9th Anniversary is sure to be well-attended.
Upping the guaranteed jackpot by a million in each consecutive year, players have the chance to turn a $1 buy-in into a six-figure payday. They can also compete for the grand prize through $11 and $33 satellites, or a direct $215 buy-in.
In 2014, more than 45,000 players competed during the 8th anniversary event. The guaranteed $8 million grew to $9.3 million, with 5,997 players cashing. After 15 hours of poker, the Sunday Million went into Monday, with player “DrUPSWING” from Germany coming out on top and taking the first-place prize of $1,038,540.31.
With that sort of money on the line, one would think most moms would be compassionate of their grown kids stepping away from those wild Mother’s Day festivities for a chance at winning a million dollars and getting Mom a belated and even more fabulous gift.
And, after all, mothers play poker, too.