Fight for Flights: PokerGO Unveils ‘Stairway to Millions’ With Unique Twist on Tournament Format

January 11, 2022
Fight for Flights: PokerGO Unveils ‘Stairway to Millions’ With Unique Twist on Tournament Format

Channeling a bit of Led Zeppelin, PokerGO launches the new “Stairway to Millions” on Wednesday at Aria casino in Las Vegas. The series brings something new to tournament poker – allowing players the opportunity to turn $1,100 into some massive paydays the further in the series they advance.

The festival runs through Jan. 20 with eight tournaments featuring a stair-step approach. The format allows players to enter the field in differing events, with escalating buy-ins the later a player buys into the series.

“The Stairway To Millions is unique in the sense that it combines the best elements of a satellite and a regular poker tournament into one,” PokerGO President Mori Eskandani told USPoker.

“It’s the dream of so many poker players to compete at higher price points and the Stairway to Millions offers the perfect opportunity to parlay as little as $1,100 into a much larger tournament ticket all while playing for cash prizes along the way.”

Details on the format

Those entering the field will find tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $1,100 to $102,000. Stairway features eight tournaments, but all are connected with rising buy-ins and guarantees.

Players reaching the money at a certain level will automatically win entry into the next level. The opening event features a $1,100 buy-in, making it possible to turn that into more than a $1 million payout.

For example, players who cash in the first $1,100 buy-in level receive automatic entry into the next $2,150 level. These players who advance also receive any prize money won at the $1,100 level.

To progress up the ladder, players must simply finish in the money. The next level’s buy-in is automatically deducted from the amount a player cashes for.

The series culminates with a $102,000 buy-in event and a $1.2 million guarantee. Someone really playing his cards right can advance to this level for that initial $1,100 with a shot at a massive payday.

Dreaming up a new tournament

In the Stairway to Millions, there is plenty of upside for players competing at the lower buy-in levels. Players can also buy in at later stages, but face larger price points than those advancing from earlier price points.

Eskandani said the idea was hatched by PokerGO founder and owner Cary Katz. The plan was then fine-tuned in collaboration with Aria poker room staff.

While PokerGO regularly streams high roller events, the streaming service hoped to offer something unique allowing players with lower bankrolls to get in the action.

“PokerGO is widely known for its high roller tournaments that make up the PokerGO Tour, but we recognize there is appetite elsewhere within the poker community,” Eskandani says.

“In an effort to both provide an offering at a more accessible price point and give players of all levels more of an opportunity to compete at the elite $102,000 buy-in level, the Stairway To Millions was born.”

Climbing the stairs

Along with some nice cash, those moving up the ladder also have a shot at appearing on the streaming service from the PokerGO Studio.

Starting flights begin in the Aria poker room with final tables heading to the studio for live streaming. Later higher buy-in events will be held exclusively in the studio.

“We truly believe there is no better venue for a poker tournament,” Eskandani says, “and are proud to provide the opportunity to compete on poker’s most iconic stage at the Stairway To Millions festival.”

The entire series comes with a $3 million prize pool and becomes the latest addition to the PokerGO Tour (beginning with Event 5).

The $1,100 opening event comes with a $100,000 guarantee, which escalates throughout the series. Here’s a look at the festival’s complete schedule.

PokerGO Stairway to Millions 2022

DateEvent levelBuy-InFeeOn-time discountGuarantee
Jan. 121$1,000$100$0$100,000
Jan. 132$2,000$150$0$100,000
Jan. 143$4,000$200$100$100,000
Jan. 154$8,000$400$200$200,000
Jan. 165$15,000$800$400$300,000
Jan. 176$25,000$1,000$500$500,000
Jan. 187$50,000$2,000$1,000$500,000
Jan. 198$100,000$2,000$0$1,200,000

PokerGO partners with crypto company

In other PokerGO news, the company announced a new partnership deal with StormX. The cryptocurrency cashback provider becomes PokerGO’s exclusive crypto partner.

StormX is a global cryptocurrency app enabling users to earn crypto rewards through online shopping and poker staking.

US-based users can also utilize the StormX debit card to receive rewards when they shop in-person at 46 million locations worldwide. A European card launches later this year.

As part of the deal, StormX receives premier sponsorship, branding, and commercial inventory across PokerGO shows and events.

“The popularity of poker is widely embraced within cryptocurrency communities,” StormX CEO and cofounder Simon Yu said in a news release. “We partnered with industry leader PokerGO to help increase the brand position of StormX as we strive to reach new users and further the advancement of crypto.”

The multi-year agreement begins with Stairway To Millions. PokerGO and StormX plan to offer sweepstakes and giveaways with opportunities to win cryptocurrency, PokerGO subscriptions, and more.

The companies will also host an annual invitation-only poker event inside the PokerGO Studio. The event will feature top players, crypto executives, and celebrities.

A percentage of sponsorship revenue goes to entrepreneurial and STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) initiatives.

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