It’s here! Prepare for a magnificent WCOOP 2020

August 17, 2020

It’s the time you’ve all been waiting for: the official announcement of the 2020 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP).

PokerStars’ Head of Poker Operations Luke Staudenmaier has the full details in his announcement post, but here’s even more information as you prepare for online poker’s biggest month of the year.

The 2020 WCOOP features 75 events, two more than last year. All of them have the customary three distinct buy-in levels: low, medium and high. It means there will be 225 tournaments in all, with total guaranteed prize pools of close to $82 million.


Find WCOOP in the client

PokerStars players of all abilities and bankrolls can enter, with the lowest buy-in set at $2.20 (for WCOOP-1-L, the phased event) all the way up to $25,000 (for WCOOP-25-H NLHE Super High Roller, this year known as the Sunday Slam). There are satellites running for all tournaments, including some freerolls.

Find the WCOOP tournaments in the PokerStars client by clicking the red WCOOP 2020 tab. Satellites appear in the bar below.

Every tournament has a guaranteed prize-pool. It means that even if players’ combined entries do not reach that figure, PokerStars will add the extra money.

Most events are played over two days, which means around eight hours play on the first day, followed by play to the conclusion the next day. The notable exceptions are WCOOP-1, which is a phased tournament (see below) and WCOOP-73, which is the Main Event and played over four days.

Many events allow for a limited number of re-entries, so check the tournament lobby. There are, however, plenty of freezeouts too, which are specified on the schedule.

All the structure information for a specific tournament, including starting chips, payout structure, re-entry details, can be found by clicking the “Structure” tab inside the specific tournament section in the client.


One very significant change to this year’s WCOOP is that players are being given a day off. No tournaments will start on a Friday. Obviously, if you’ve made Day 2 of an event that began on Thursday, you’ll play it to its conclusion. But in response to player feedback, this WCOOP schedule also has a regular break built in.


That said, at least nine tournaments (three at each buy-in level) start Sunday through Thursday every week. Here are some particular highlights:

Sunday Sept. 20
NLHE Main Event
Buy-ins: $55, $530, $5,200
Guarantees: $1.25 million, $2 million, $10 million
Every year we say it, and every year it’s true: the WCOOP Main Event is the best online poker event on the calendar. This year, there are three buy-in levels (previously there have been only two), which means $55 can get you entered for a share of at least $1.25 million. But even that seems tiny in comparison with the $10 million guarantee on the $5,200 high buy-in version.

The world’s best are certain to be out for the Super High Roller

Sunday Sept. 6
Sunday Slam Super High Roller
Buy-in: $25,000
Guarantee: $2 million
Although most of us will have to enjoy this one from the rail, the $25,000 Super High Roller is going to be one of the most eagerly anticipate events on the WCOOP calendar. All of the world’s top online talents will surely play. There will be a load of satellites running, allowing some more low-stakes players to take a shot, but there’s absolutely no doubt that the field will be a constellation of the game’s brightest stars.

WCOOP-1 – NLHE Phased
Buy-ins: $2.20, $22, $215
The first event on the schedule actually only plays to its winner on the final weekend. This is a “phased” tournament, permitting multiple entries to various “Phase 1” tournaments earlier in the series, with survivors qualifying for “Phase 2”, which then progresses to a winner as normal. It’s best to think of Phased tournaments like major live events, which have Day 1A, Day 1B, etc., combining for Day 2. The best thing about the WCOOP version is the number of runners, which is always enormous, and the gigantic prize-pools that result. There’s a $2 million guarantee on the $215 high buy-in and a $250,000 guarantee on the $2.20 buy-in event.


As usual, most of the tournaments played during this WCOOP will be no limit Texas Hold’em. But also as usual, there are also many WCOOP events that cater to the mixed-games aficionados. In all, there are 17 variants this time around, breaking down as follows:

No Limit Hold’em: 150 tournaments
Pot Limit Omaha: Event #3, #14, #37, #60, #73

5-Card Draw (no limit): Event #22
5-Card PLO: Event #26
6+ Hold’em: Event #17
8-Game: Events #34 & #69
2-7 Single Draw (no limit): Event #9
2-7 Triple Draw (fixed limit): Event #57
Badugi: Event #45
Limit Hold’em: Event #11
Omaha 8 (limit): Event #64
Omaha 8 (no limit): Event #67
Omaha 8 (pot limit): Event #7 & &53
HORSE: Event #20 & #55
Mixed NLHE/PLO: Event #43
Razz: Event #40
Stud Hi/Lo: Event #62

Also check for Progressive Knockout (PKO) events, where the prize pool is split between knockout bounties, earned for eliminating an opponent, and a regular prize pool. There are 66 PKO tournaments, plus three played with a total knockout (TKO) format, where only bounties are paid.

Ready to sign up for PokerStars and play WCOOP? Click here to get an account.


No. of events: 75
No. of tournaments (inc. low, medium & high): 225
Lowest buy-in: $2.20 (WCOOP-1-L: Phase 1 NLHE)
Highest buy-in: $25,000 (WCOOP-25-H: $25,000 NLHE, $2.5m guaranteed)

Plan for a busy September

Total series buy-in: $210,729.20
(Based on one entry, every tournament)

Lowest guarantee: $10,000
#45-L: $11 FL Badugi
#9-L: $11 NL 2-7 Single Draw

Highest guarantee: $10 million
#73: $5,200 NLHE Main Event

Total guaranteed: $81.637 million


Details of the leader board contests will appear here when confirmed.


The full WCOOP series has grown from nine events in 2002 to the 73 that are now on the schedule. But there’s always been a Main Event. Here’s a list of the winners of that most prestigious tournament — ie, the 18 previous World Champions of Online Poker.

Click player’s name for tournament report of their victory.

Year Entries Prize pool Winner Country Prize
2019 2,236 $11,180,000 BigBlindBets UK $1,665,962
2018 2,044 $10,220,000 eze88888 Argentina $1.529 million*
2017 2,183 $10,915,000 Steven “SvZff” van Zadelhoff Netherlands $1,624,502
2016 2,091 $10,052,879 Jonas “llJaYJaYll” Lauck Germany $1,517,541
2015 1,995 $10,000,000 Coenaldinho7 Belgium $1,300,000
2014 2,142 $10,710,000 Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz Germany $1,300,000
2013 2,133 $10,665,000 PlayinWasted Germany $1,493,499
2012 1,825 $9,125,000 Marat “maratik” Sharafutdinov Russia $1,000,907
2011 1,627 $8,135,000 Thomas “Kallllle” Pedersen Denmark $1,260,018
2010 2,443 $12,215,000 Tyson “POTTERPOKER” Marks USA $2,278,097
2009 2,144 $10,720,000 Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko USA $1,715,200
2008 2,185 $10,925,000 Carter “ckingusc” King USA $1,265,432
2007 2,998 $7,495,000 ka$ino* USA $1,378,330
2006 2,510 $6,275,000 J.C. “area23JC” Tran USA $670,194
2005 1,494 $3,735,000 Panella86 USA $577,342
2004 843 $2,100,000 Edgar “Ragde” Skjervold Norway $424,945
2003 891 $891,000 DeeOhGee USA $222,750
2002 238 $238,000 MultiMarine Sweden $65,450

Main Event buy-in was $1,100 in 2002-03; $2,600 from 2004-07 and $5,300 thereafter.
*”eze88888″ and “ka$ino” originally finished second in 2018 and 2007, respectively, but were awarded first place after disqualification of original champion


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