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 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.
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.
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)
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.
|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|
|2014||2,142||$10,710,000||Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz||Germany||$1,300,000|
|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|
|2006||2,510||$6,275,000||J.C. “area23JC” Tran||USA||$670,194|
|2004||843||$2,100,000||Edgar “Ragde” Skjervold||Norway||$424,945|
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