“PokerStars Launches Christmas Festival Promotion”

PokerStars launched its annual Christmas Festival on Monday, running a series of promotions and giveaways that promise to award players more than $5 million over the course of six weeks.

$1 Million Freeroll

The first phase of the Christmas Festival is the qualification period for the final $1 Million Poker Freeroll of the year. From November 21st through November 29th, players are given a “simple” challenge. Complete challenge, qualify for a daily All-In Shootout Qualifier. Players can complete one challenge per day to be granted entry into the next day’s All-In Shootout Qualifier.

Now, don’t get TOO excited about these All-In Shootout Qualifiers, as they are all luck. In an all-in shootout, the poker software automatically puts every player all-in pre-flop each hand until just one player remains at each table (one might assume that this will take only one hand to accomplish, but of course there could be chopped pots). When all tables have a “winner,” those players are combined into full tables and the process starts again. Rinse, repeat until all prizes are awarded.

Each All-In Shootout Qualifier will award 8,192 seats to the $1 Million Poker Freeroll. As is usually the case with PokerStars, players must opt-in to the promotion – challenges will not be offered up automatically.

Everyone who fails to make it through the shootout can qualify for a Last Chance Skill Qualifier on December 1st by completing a challenge that day or the previous day.

The $1 Million Poker Freeroll will be held at 2:04pm ET on December 1st.

Christmas Calendar

Beginning December 1st, PokerStars will launch the Christmas Calendar, a take on the advent calendar, in which players can open up a door each day to reveal a special poker offer. The first offer will be the $1 Million Poker Freeroll as described above. On December 11th, the poker room will host a MicroMillions Marathon day with 21 separate events. The Main Event will have a $1 million guaranteed prize pool for just a $22 buy-in.

Beyond that, we don’t know what the exact offers will be. As I read about the promo, I guessed that they will be some sort of array of bonuses, cash prizes, tournament tickets, and freerolls, likely in exchange for accomplishing some sort of mission. Sure enough, PokerStars says that among the offers included will be “CardHunt, Challenges, Freerolls, Christmas Giveaways and Mega Bonuses.”

$2 Million Guaranteed Monday Million

To finish out the Christmas Festival, PokerStars will host a special edition of the Sunday Million: a $2 million guaranteed Monday Million with the winner receiving at least $200,000. Now, this one isn’t free – it costs $215 to enter – but, as usual, PokerStars is offering all sorts of satellites to allow players to qualify on the cheap. The Monday Million will be held at 2:30pm ET on December 26th.

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