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The achievements just keep rolling in for PokerStars.

Just days after winning approval to operate legally in the U.S. by way of New Jersey, the industry’s top poker site set the world record for the largest number of players to ever enter a poker tournament.

pokerstars infographic

A massive 253,698 runners registered for the event, spurred on by a one cent ($0.01) buy-in that featured a a $100,000 guarantee and a first place prize of $10,000. The result was a huge overlay of $97,463.02 and a whopping return on investment (ROI) for a player from Austria who topped the record-breaking field and netted $9,999.99 after deducting the entry fee from his winnings.

‘DaDumon’ was that player, spending six hours and 38 minutes of his life to make PokerStars history. The tournament was played under a turbo format, listed at PokerStars as the $0.01 Common Cents Kick-Off. It’s a new series hosted by PokerStars that will continue the entire week with the teeniest of micro stakes from $0.01 to $0.99. All told, $250,000 is guaranteed during the 14-event festival.

Old Record Smashed

The previous largest tournament before Monday night’s Common Cents Kick-Off saw 225,000 players enter for $1. That record was held by – you guessed it – PokerStars, the poker room that’s head and shoulders above the pack in terms of popularity.

The ‘100 Billion Hands Celebration’ on June 16, 2013 was when the old record was set. PokerStars attempted to break that 225,000 total in February 2014 but fell short of the goal of 230,000 when “only” 211,619 players ponied up a buck to participate. PokerStars sort of jinxed the outcome of that effort by not permitting late registrations.

Latecomers were not excluded on October 5’s record-breaking feat. Nor were they needed. PokerStars Blog reported that 238,000 players had entered when the first flop of the Common Cents Kick-Off was dealt. A one-hour late registration period allowed the total to bloom to 253,698.

An added bonus to the Common Cents Kick-Off, as well as 12 other events on the series’ schedule, is the distribution of 500 tickets to the Common Cents Main Event that’s set for Oct. 11 and features a 99-cent ($0.99) buy-in, $25,000 guarantee, and $2,500 to the winner. Those 500 tickets are doled out randomly during the first hour.

U.S. Players Can Only Watch

It’s buy-ins and tournaments like those featured in the Common Cents series that make U.S. online poker players wish that PokerStars was operating throughout the U.S. For more than four years now, those of us who are U.S. citizens must remain on the outside looking in when history is made time and again at PokerStars.

Hopefully, that will change in the future. The first step was approval in New Jersey. The next step is regulation in more states, with licensure of Amaya and PokerStars included.

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.