Three weeks, 219 tournaments, $75 million
PokerStars released the schedule for the 2019 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) on Monday.
The WCOOP started in 2002 as a sort of online answer to the World Series of Poker and is the largest poker tournament series on the internet. This year’s version will run September 5-25. There will be 73 events with more than $75 million in guaranteed prize pools.
Most of the events will have three buy-in tiers; the exception is the World Championship of Online Poker Main Event, which will have two tiers. All told, there will be 219 tournaments. This format is relatively new for the WCOOP. Up until 2017, each event was just a single tournament.
The Main Event, Event #70, will begin on September 22. The “high” buy-in, the tier that is considered the WCOOP Main Event, costs $5,200 to enter and has a $10 million guarantee. The “low” buy-in runs concurrently and has a $55 buy-in with a $1.25 million guarantee. The complete 2019 World Championship of Online Poker schedule can be viewed on PokerStars.com.
Commenting on how the series caters to players of all bankroll levels, Severin Rasset, the managing director and commercial officer of poker at PokerStars, said:
We aim to give all our players a chance to find a tournament for them.”
He continued: “That’s why we are offering a large range of formats, buy-ins and plenty of routes to qualify. The 20-day tournament series is going to be huge for everyone and we can’t wait to see the results.”
Bonus prizes up for grabs
In addition to the regular tournament prizes, players can compete for additional cash via the WCOOP leaderboards.
PokerStars is also awarding extra prizes in a special UFC event on September 15.
This event has four buy-in levels (which is why the total number of tournaments adds up to 219 when the Main Event only has two tiers), each named after a fight weight class. The winner of each tournament will receive a prize package for UFC 244 in New York, including flights and hotel.
Deal-making in the cards
With the amount of money involved, things can get tense during the end-stage of tournaments. As such, PokerStars is permitting deals to be made at final tables, like it does in most regular tournaments.
PokerStars will also help facilitate deals. Players must leave some money on the table for which to play to maintain the integrity of the game, typically not more than 5 percent of the remaining prize pool.
Deals are not available in the many qualifiers for the 2019 WCOOP, including special Spin & Go’s. Players who win a seat in a WCOOP event will be automatically registered in the event and cannot withdraw. Those who win multiple seats into the same event will be credited with PokerStars tournament dollars.