In the online poker community, September might as well be Christmas. That’s when PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room, hosts the World Championship of Online Poker, the world’s largest online poker series. This year, the WCOOP events will be even bigger than ever, boasting a $40 million overall guaranteed prize pool with $10 million reserved for the Main Event alone.
The 2014 WCOOP will feature 66 events. As a suitable frame of reference as to just how large the online poker series is, that’s one more event than the 2014 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The action will get underway on Sunday, September 7, with the first three events, guaranteeing nearly $3 million combined, and ending on Sunday, September 28, with two events, including the 2014 WCOOP Main Event. All told, a minimum of $40,000,000 will be paid out before the series is over.
The WCOOP Main Event seems to get bigger and bigger with each passing year. In its first rendition (2002), the main event didn’t have a guarantee, but the $1,050 buy-in drew 38 players for a $238k prize pool. Jump ahead ten years and the 2012 WCOOP Main guaranteed $5 million, boosted to $8 million in 2013, and now $10 million in 2014. Set to take place at 2:30pm on the final day of the series, the WCOOP Main Event features a $5,200 buy-in and guarantees $1.5 million to 1st place (barring any final table negotiations). Also for the first time in the history of the twelve-year-old WCOOP series, the Main Event will be broadcast live (minus a 10-minute delay) on Pokerstars.tv.
The full scope of the online poker series will see buy-ins ranging from as low as $109 to $10,300. The WCOOP Kickoff event will be one of the smaller $109 buy-ins; a NLHE tournament with $700k GTD. One week later on Sunday, September 14, the first of three $10,300 events will take place (one each Sunday throughout the series). The first is an 8-Max NLHE with re-entries and $2mm GTD. On September 21st, the $10,300 high roller will be structured as a NLHE Heads-Up match with $1mm GTD. The final high roller will take place on September 28, just four hours before the WCOOP Main Event, as an 8-Gam Mix with re-entries and $500k GTD.
Satellites to the WCOOP can be entered for as little as $1, or even for free by using Frequent Player Points (FPP). For players who’ve racked up T$ (tournament dollars), they can be used to enter any WCOOP satellite, or just about any tournament on the PokerStars menu for that matter. Steps tickets can also be used to enter some of the WCOOP satellites.
Players can earn additional rewards in the WCOOP Player of the Series Leaderboard competition. Every time a player cashes in any WCOOP event, they receive points on the leaderboard. When the World Championship of Online Poker is over, the top five players on the leaderboard will receive special prizes as follows:
1st – WCOOP Champion’s Trophy, 2015 PCA Package, 2015 EPT Grand Final Package, 2015 TCOOP Main Event Ticket
2nd – 2015 PCA Package, 2015 TCOOP Main Event Ticket
3rd – 2015 TCOOP Main Event Ticket
4th – 2015 TCOOP Main Event Ticket
5th – 2015 TCOOP Main Event Ticket