Another major poker tournament series is coming, and it won’t require players to travel halfway around the world. PokerStars will host its World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) series next month, with at least $85 million in guaranteed cash up for grabs.
The WCOOP has come a long way since its inaugural edition in 2002. That year, there were only nine events available, with a total prize pool of $730,000.
Some 20 years later, the series offers 322 tournaments. The prize pool for the upcoming series is massive, adding to the $1.1 billion PokerStars has distributed since holding the first WCOOP tournaments.
WCOOP Just Weeks Away
There have already been a number of awesome tournaments this year, including the World Series of Poker’s Main Event. After a short break in the action, the WCOOP will run from September 4 through September 28, with options on the tables for players of all levels.
There are 104 numbered events and 12 World Championship tourneys. However, buy-ins range from $5.50 to $25,000, giving everyone a chance to make a run for the money.
There will also be six Main Events this year, offering a guarantee of $14.35 million. In typical poker tournament fashion, No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) and Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) will take top billing.
All six are on the schedule for September 25 and offer three levels. Buy-ins are $109, $1,050, and $10,300, with guarantees ranging from $2.5 million to $6 million. The $10,300 buy-in NLHE event offers the top amount, while the $10,300 buy-in PLO event has $1 million guaranteed waiting for the finalists.
In addition, both of those upper Main Events double as Championship Events. Joining them will be 10 others, all of which come with bragging rights to be called a poker world champion.
The lowest Championship Event is the $530 women’s event on September 18, with a prize pool of $65,000. There are also fairly-priced HORSE, 6-Max, Razz, and others comprising the championship series.
Play Fair or Go Home
Last year, there were 102 events in the WCOOP, which offered $16 million in guaranteed cash. PokerStars billed it as the “biggest WCOOP guarantee to date,” but is looking to break the record this year.
In addition, last year’s series offered 306 events that attracted players from 42 countries. There were 1,428,869 registrations, of which 294,277 came through reentries. However, it’s possible that a few of those registrations were fake.
Mark Teltscher, who won a WCOOP Main Event in 2007, tried to do that. The British player allegedly used an account that he created under his sister’s name (his sister later admitted to using an “agent” to play), costing him almost $1.4 million.
PokerStars Sweetens the Pot
As it looks to continue to attract more players, PokerStars is going to offer a number of extras to the WCOOP this year. For example, there will be $100,000 in cash available to those who make it to the final spots on the various leaderboards.
In addition, PokerStars is offering Spin & Go events on the platform. These will offer tickets to different WCOOP events, including entry into the $10,300 NLHE Main Event.
There will also be satellite tournaments available leading up to the series. These will give players a chance to gain access to the same Main Event.
Some regulars already have a free pass into the series. Anyone who won an event last year can participate in this year’s Champions’ Freeroll. The top five finalists will also receive a seat at the $10,300 NHLE Main Event.
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