Rob Yong Shares New Vision for recent partypoker MILLIONS UK Main Events

MILLIONS UK at DTD was a big disappointment for me personally, 1000 entries vs 1300 in 2017. This was the first MILLIONS with no direct qualifiers and we relied on players choosing DTD with their PP Live Dollars, but less than 200 players used them, compared to the 500 online direct qualifiers last year. The instant reaction is; ‘We need to go back to locking players in with satellites.’ But long term, offering players full flexibility is the way forward for building a sustainable and attractive global tour. Also, let’s get real, who can blame any player who prefers to use their PP Live Dollars next month for the online $20M Guaranteed MILLIONS event or the $30M MILLIONS Caribbean Poker Party in the Bahamas – DTD is a shed on a retail park in Nottingham, there is no beach.

MILLIONS Main Events, let’s remove re-entry…

I’ve probably stopped re-entry at DTD at least 5 times in the past few years, only to give in to player moans. I get it, we had re-buys, then freezeouts and now re-entry + Day 2 buy-in. But, I remember playing the original EPTs, the excitement sitting down at the start with hundreds of other hopefuls and famous faces, hearing ‘shuffle up and deal’ – the relief when I swerved an opponent’s nut flush draw, knocking out a top pro and him really being ‘out’,  the feeling of accomplishment making day 2, chatting at the bar with friends about all the hands I played and the anticipation of getting a good table draw on Day 2. Apart from the WSOP Main Event, most players don’t experience this nowadays, you can wander in anytime and register, if you have deep pockets or are staked you don’t worry about busting, and you can easily make Day 2 – just skip Day 1 and buy-in on Day 2! You don’t often get seated with a famous player as they tend to late reg, sometimes you can start with less than 10% of the field, and it must be soul destroying to bust Fedor Holz and have to bust him again…and again! 

Our 4 year partnership with WPT for 3K-5K Main Tour events starts at Playground this month and at 1K-1.5K we have our WSOP Circuit partnership. I love partnering with friends and we won’t compete with our friends at WPT and WSOP with MILLIONS at the same buy-ins.

MILLIONS was created at 4am over a beer at DTD with Simon Trumper and I asked EPT Founder, John Duthie, to join us to make it a reality, but I am not so precious to need it to continue unless we can really improve and make the event more prestigious – I am very happy to just work with WPT and WSOP at 1K – 5K. I sat down with John during MILLIONS UK and discussed a different format for MILLIONS Main Events next year; what we agreed was very close to his original EPT format:

10K buy-in, 5M – 10M GTD depending on venue

Qualify 60% of the field online and live

Freezeout, reduced late registration

One Day 1 [no multi-day 1s]


Double Chance option where players can take 100BBs at start but obviously needs debate and input from players

10K Second Chance Tournament for DBI players that bust Main, and 500-1K Events for qualifiers

Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for re-entry, it’s a good format to create a big prizepool, makes it worthwhile for players to travel, no one likes getting busted AA v KK level 1. It was great for MILLIONS North America to win the GPI Award for Tournament of 2017, but in my heart of hearts was I really proud of the format of the Main Event? The honest answer is no. I want players, especially newer players, to experience what I experienced at the original EPT’s, the tension, the disappointments and the adulation. Without these experiences I would not still love the game. I still think about the Jack on the river.

WSOPE King’s, $500K value added to direct qualifiers…

My next poker trip will be to King’s for the WSOPE. We want to support this event as WSOP and King’s are good friends. I don’t want to take the risk that our players may not use their PP Live Dollars for this Main Event, although we do have a cool $200K sponsorship promotion for PP Live Dollar players – but I cannot risk letting these guys down, so we are running additional direct Mega Sats from this Sunday 14th Oct with a minimum of 10 x €10k Main Event Seats every night. As a thank you to players for all their support over the past 12 months for partypoker LIVE, we will add $500k of value to these online satellites over the 2 weeks, at all levels, from €0.01 up to €1050 buy-ins. We took a lot of DTD players last year to King’s and want to do the same this year. These Sats are in the partypoker Lobby under Live Events / King’s Casino / WSOPE.

Knives are out for partypoker. Inevitable and predictable

partypoker has worked hand in hand with players to make improvements in all areas and sought to reward players across all products for supporting the site. Understandably, some operators are not best pleased by a resurgent partypoker, nor are they happy with better benefits for poker players, or the fact that there is increased competition in the industry. Some operators will continue to use the press, their own media, social media and their high profile influencers to try and damage partypoker, but it is actually fine, it’s just part of the game, I guess. 888 used to market themselves as the ‘World’s Second Biggest Poker Site’ – they are now third, PokerStars used to market themselves as ‘We Are Poker’ – they are now ‘not’.  

Normal Business will resume at DTD from 2019. sorry….

I would like to apologise to the UK poker community for DTD not being the #1 focus for the last few years, we used to have four/five major championships – PokerStars UKIPT, Sky Poker UKPC, UKPC 6-Max, WPT 500 and WPT Main Event. Reason, pretty much everyone who ran these events has been working all over the world on partypoker Live – sorry about that. However, we will be back in 2019, with UKPC, WPT and hopefully a WSOP, I am not sure whether DTD is ‘big enuf’ to host a MILLIONS at 10K buy-in, as international players may prefer the other ‘more glamorous’ stops, but we will discuss with players. Perhaps it’s possible if we ensure we qualify more of the field. I know 10Ks have never attracted massive fields in the UK since EPT London stopped. We need to add some more resources in the Club, especially Online Support. Of course, I will be spending a lot more time at DTD because of…

Cheers, thanks for all your support as always.


Keep The Faith.


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