Winamax is rocking the boat in Southern Europe with a record-breaking series worth more than $20 million.
The 29th installment of the operator’s tournament series has been given a nautical theme for good reason. By setting the guarantee at €20 million ($24 million), Winamax is making waves in important European poker markets.
The first of 198 MTTs got underway on Jan. 3, and the series will conclude on Jan. 14. Among the bevy of tournaments played in that timeframe will be a record-breaking, $4.8 million guaranteed main event that costs just $150.
Winamax Strong in Parts of Europe
The Winamax Series is only available in the regulated Southern European market, meaning that players in France and Spain can take part in MTTs costing between $2.40 and $2,400.
Offering a $24 million guarantee in what’s a relatively small market is a statement of intent, as it matches a record set by PokerStars.
Winamax is the top operator in France. Despite that, PokerStars has been fighting to become the leading poker site in the country.
Stars’ biggest attempt at overtaking Winamax came in 2018 when its Winter Series set a record for the largest tournament series in the Southern European region. That record has now been equaled by Winamax. Not only that, but the Winamax Series main event will go down as the largest single MTT within this particular regulated market.
A $4.8 million guarantee for a $150 MTT is noteworthy in any market. However, in a region that’s noted for its tough restrictions and limited player pools, it’s a feather in Winamax’s cap.
It’s also a sign of poker’s changing dynamics. PokerStars remains the biggest name in online poker but, as the industry evolves, its status is by no means secure.
Rising Ships Challenge PokerStars
GGPoker was the breakout performer of 2020, and Partypoker has been improving its stock for the past two years. Now, Winamax is proving it’s not only capable of matching PokerStars, but of surpassing it.
The rise of other operators has been matched by some unexpected slipups for PokerStars. The 2020 Stadium Series suffered more than $2.5 million worth of overlays during a two-week run.
More recently, the Blowout Series notched up another loss. The $60 million series was brought in as a replacement for the Winter Series, and was mostly successful. However, the $109 Big Blowout missed its $5 million guarantee by $1.23 million.
Attracting almost $4 million in buy-ins is still impressive, but the overlay is the biggest in online poker history.
PokerStars remains the industry leader, but the latest efforts from Winamax show that other ships are starting to rise with the tides.