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Huge Overlay! PartyPoker Event In Bahamas Misses $10 Million Guarantee By More Than $900,000

Caribbean Poker Party Falls Short Of Guarantee Despite Last-Minute Wave Of Entrants


For the first time ever, the Caribbean Poker Party $5,300 no-limit hold’em main event featured a guaranteed prize pool of $10 million. That meant that the guarantee had doubled in size from the $5 million promised in 2017.

A total of 1,061 entries were made in last year’s event, just barely enough to surpass the guarantee. But despite close call in 2017, partypoker LIVE swung for the fences and offered the ambitious eight-figure guarantee.

In the end, a total of 1,815 entries hit the felt, which although impressive, was well short of the 2,000 entries needed to hit the guarantee (not counting rake). Tournament organizers were ultimately on the hook for an overlay of $925,000.

Of course, that’s the not the largest overlay in live tournament history. That honor belongs to the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. The $5,300 no-limit hold’em main event also had a $10 million guarantee there, one that had been met in 2013 when 2,384 entries were made. The 2017 running of the event, however, saw a marked decrease in turnout, drawing only 1,499 entries to leave the Seminole Hard Rock with a massive overlay of approximately $2.5 million.

A third huge overlay in 2012 was the cause of one tour’s demise. The Partouche Poker Tour guaranteed an ambitious €5 million prize pool for its event in Cannes, France, but after only drawing a field of 580, tournament organizers found themselves looking at shelling out an additional €700,000 (~$884,000).

After initially saying that they weren’t going to honor the guarantee, the CEO of the tour reluctantly paid out the players, but not before insulting them and canceling the tour altogether.

Although Caribbean Poker Party main event organizers missed the guarantee by nearly seven figures, it was looking much, much worse than that heading into the two day 2 flights. At the end of the third and final day 1 flight there had only been 958 entries made.

There were two day 2 flights offered, with each having late registration and re-entry available through the first four levels and a 90-minute dinner break. Day 2A saw another 250 entries made to bring the total to 1,208. That still left nearly $4 million in overlay heading into day 2B.

Players took to Twitter to discuss the possibility of the overlay, including Team partypoker member Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier:

Two-time WSOP main event final tablist Ben Lamb also had some thoughts:

Some players even announced to the world that they were looking to invest an people who might be interested in jumping into the event at the end of registration, including 2013 WSOP main event champion Ryan Riess:

The possibility of multiple millions posted by the tournament organizers drew plenty of last-minute re-entries and late registrations, with 607 entries added by the time registration officially closed for the event. The late surge helped bring the overlay to under the seven-figure mark, but there was still plenty of value added for the players who did participate.

The top 223 finishers will make the money, with the top three finishers all set to earn seven-figure paydays. The eventual champion is slated to take home $1.5 million.

This was not the first guarantee missed during the Caribbean Poker Party series. The $25,000 MILLIONS World high roller event that wrapped up Tuesday also had a $10 million guarantee. It drew a field of 394, which meant an overlay of approximately $150,000.

As Lamb mentioned in his tweet above, the missed guarantees at this series might be a bad omen for partypoker, which is set to host a tournament with an even larger guarantee in the near future.

The 2018 MILLIONS Online $5,300 no-limit hold’em main event will run from Nov. 25 – Dec. 5 and boasts an unprecedented $20 million guaranteed prize pool. That would make it the biggest online tournament ever, with $2.5 million guaranteed to the eventual champion.