PSPC vs Online MILLIONS - which will be tougher?

Both events are tremendously good value but which event will be the harder one to win?

online live poker
It's an online event vs a live event

Continuing my deep dive into the two recently announced mega events from PokerStars and partypoker, today I wanted to focus on which one of them will be tougher to play.

It’s remarkable how closely matched these events are in terms of scale and value, and the same can be said of the relative toughness of each tournament. Even though one is a $25k live event in the Bahamas and the other is a $5k online event, it’s not obvious which one is softer.

There once was a time when the live event would always be the toughest, then at some point in poker history that switched around as the online regs proved to be the best in the game. These days there really is little difference between the two, as everybody is both an online and a live player.

Live poker newbies playing a $25k 

PSPC PokerStars

The one obvious factor in the PSPC that isn’t relevant in the Online MILLIONS is the live component. Physical tells will be a factor in this event, especially because it will no doubt attract accomplished live players like Daniel Negreanu and maybe even Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey will make an appearance.

For most of the 300+ qualifiers this will be their biggest ever live event and in several cases their first ever live event, so for those players this will see a huge leak in their game exposed.

However, overall the presence of those 300+ freeroll qualifiers is probably the most significant part of this discussion. While many deserving winners of live events will be in the mix who will make the event tougher, there will also be hundreds of players who are there because of pure luck after winning All-In Shootouts. This will make it the softest $25,000 event of all time at the very least, and probably the softer event of the two in this discussion.

The best of the best qualify for free

partypoker millions

Contrast that with the Online MILLIONS, which as I already broke down last week, the many free qualifiers for which will have won their seats for exhibiting poker skill. 10 weekly MTT leaderboard winners and the top ten finishers in each MILLIONS live event will bag seats to this tournament, which is going to equate to about 400-500 players added to the field who make the event tougher.

Assuming that, like last year, this event is a re-entry, that is another factor which will make it tougher overall. The fact of the matter is that professional players are the most likely to re-enter in this event compared to amateurs, especially given the heavy price tag.

I don’t think it is controversial to state that the partypoker Online MILLIONS is, on paper, going to be the tougher event. It’s an event that will be giving packages to more tough MTT regulars throughout the next 12 months compared to PokerStars, who in many ways will be doing the exact opposite.

I also don’t think it is controversial to say that partypoker wont mind this fact, and are probably proud of it. As I have written before it strikes me that partypoker are aiming at online poker history and PokerStars are trying to create an amazing player experience. Both perfectly respectable aims for their respective events and the poker community is better off for both of them.

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