To showcase both it's capability and popularity, the world's second biggest online poker site, Full Tilt Poker, plans to celebrate its fifth anniversary by holding the biggest ever online poker tournament, breaking the record of 35 000 players set by its main rival Poker Stars.
The attempt will be made this weekend with a $5 buy-in tourney starting at 15h00 Eastern Standard Time on July 19th; regular players can deploy points to buy-in. The company has gone a step further than providing a matching guarantee, sweetening the prize pool pot with an additional $250 000.
The resultant $500 000 minimum pool on a buy-in of $5 is therefore excellent value for money.
A company spokesman said that many top names in international online poker had confirmed that they would be playing in the hopefully historic event, including Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer.
Pulling together 35 000 or more players in one venue would be an almost impossible logistical challenge for land poker rooms, with the almost nine thousand players who turned out for the 2006 World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas the present land record, which strained the Rio's capacity to the limits.
However, the capability of major virtual poker operations is significantly greater, enabling them to accommodate players from around the planet in massive numbers.