The World Poker Tour Online Series is returning to partypoker beginning on May 14, giving players another online shot at a Main Tour title with its $3 million guaranteed Main Event.
Running from May 14 through June 2, the 2021 WPT Online Series is anchored by a a $3,200 Main Event that promises online players the experience, and paydays, similar to competing in any WPT Main Tour event.
The $3,200 WPT Online Series Main Event includes a $3 million guarantee and, for the winner, their name engraved on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. The Main Event will feature two starting flights, the first taking place on Sunday, May 23, with Day 1B playing out one week later on Sunday, May 30.
The two fields will combine the very next day for Day 2, with players who survive that playing Day 3 on Tuesday, June 1. The final table will be played on Wednesday, June 2.
Additionally, the series will feature a Mini Main Event with a buy-in of $530 which gets underway on Saturday, May 15, as well as a Micro Main Event with a $55 buy-in and a $150,000 guarantee.
“The inaugural WPT Online Series back in 2020 was the first purposely-designed WPT festival to be run fully online at partypoker and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to do this all over again,” said partypoker’s Head of Poker Room Management Chris Donnachie. “The hallmark $3 million guaranteed, $3,200 buy-in Main Event is complimented by an extensive range of exciting events such as the Mini Main Event and not one, but two of the world-renowned WPT500 events.”
While the entire schedule has yet to be released, players can expect a similar schedule to that of 2020 when the WPT and partypoker offered events that included a $25,500 Super High Roller, $10,300 High Roller, a WPTDeepstacks event, and the aforementioned WPT500 events.
Last year’s WPT Online Series was a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under those conditions, the series flourished with the 2020 WPT Online Main Event breaking the WPT record for the most entries ever into a Main Tour tournament with 2,130 entries. In the end, after a heads-up deal with eventual runner-up Viktor Ustimov, former #1-ranked online pro Christian Jeppsson took down the first-ever WPT Online title for a $913,783.99 payday.
That was back in May of 2020 and since then, a pent-up demand to play in live poker tournaments helped the WPT to break its entry record yet again. April’s WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Florida saw 2,482 entries crush the $2 million guarantee and produce a prize pool of $7,446,000. The final table for this event is set to be played out on May 18 at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas with the eventual winner collecting $1,261,095.
For the 2021 WPT Online Series Main Event to push those boundaries and set a new record, it would need to see a roughly 17% increase from the 2020 numbers. While the World Poker Tour would certainly enjoy seeing another massive turnout for the Online Series Main Event, it should be noted that the guarantee for 2021 has been pulled back to $3 million from the $5 million guarantee that was attached to the Main Event of last year. A field of 1,000 entries is needed to meet this year’s guarantee.
Despite that, the World Poker Tour and partypoker have designs on qualifying as many players as possible for the Main Event with feeder satellites starting at just $0.01 into Phase tournaments which play into weekly tournaments that offer 15 guaranteed seats into the $3,200 event. Additionally, mega satellites will be running right before both the Main Event and Mini Main Event will award a minimum of 50 seats for each.
“There are a few series that are unmissable because of their prestige and the WPT Online Series absolutely falls into that category,” said partypoker ambassador Patrick Leonard. “Christian [Jeppsson] winning almost $1,000,000 last year stands out to me. The festival is amazing and you get to play for big, big money but with structures that give you good play.”