PokerStars announced the return of its popular World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) this week. The series will run from September 7 to 28 and feature 66 events and $40 million in guaranteed prize money.
The $5,200 buy-in Main Event will play out on September 28 and 29 and see players battling for $10 million in guaranteed cash and a $1.5 million first place prize. In a WCOOP first, railbirds will be able to watch the final table action in a delayed, cards-down webcast on PokerStars.tv. EPT regulars like James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton will be on-hand along with other Team PokerStars pros to give a play-by-play commentary.
The series offers a huge selection of games including Draw, Stud, and Razz in a number of different formats like Ante Up, Big Antes, Four-Max, and Shootouts. Stars has also brought back its Progressive Super Knockout events, which proved popular after being introduced last year.
In the first day alone, players can expect $3 million in guarantees, with $1.5 million offered in a special edition of the Sunday Million. Event buy-ins start at $109, but players have the chance to win entries through online qualifiers for as low as $1 or through FPP satellites.
There is plenty of action for high-rollers as well, with four- and five-figure buy-in events being spread throughout the series. A $10,300 NLHE tournament kicks off on September 14 and a $10,300 NLHE High-Roller Heads-Up event is scheduled for September 21. After that, three $2,100 events in NLHE, PLO, and HORSE will be offered followed by a $10,300 Eight-Game tournament and culminating in a $5,200 NLHE Main Event.
Apart from the individual events, players will also be fighting for the title of the WCOOP Player of the Series. Any runner who cashes in an event will receive points that go toward their Player of the Series ranking. The first place finisher will walk away with the coveted Champions Trophy, a 2015 PCA and EPT Grand Final package, and a 2015 TCOOP Main Event ticket.
Created in 2002, the WCOOP is the longest running online poker championship, giving away over $350 million in total prize money. In the inaugural series, $730,000 was awarded, with 238 players buying into the Main Event to create a $238,000 prize pool. MultiMarineof Sweden took the title of first series champ and went home with $65,450 for the victory.
Since then, the tournament series has grown exponentially. Just two years later in 2004, total prize money reached $6 million, with over 10,000 players taking part. In 2007, the total prize pool shot up to $24 million and saw almost 3,000 runners buy into the Main Event. Last year, that number increased again, with $62 million being awarded, and Germany’s PlayinWasted taking down the Main Event for nearly $1.5 million.
According to a press release, PokerStars has dealt over 115 billion hands and boasts over 65 million members. The online poker behemoth was recently acquired by the Canadian gambling supplier Amaya Gaming, which shelled out $4.9 billion to complete the surprising purchase.
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