GGPoker has recently released initial details of the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Online Main Event. The online poker site has announced that the tournament’s guarantee has been reduced to $20 million, although the buy-in still set at $5,000.
2020 WSOP Online Main Event
The first-ever WSOP Online Main Event, which took place in August 2020, featured $25 million in guaranteed prize money, which was ultimately smashed when it attracted 5,802 entries to generate more than $27.5 million in total prize pool.
The event did not happen without challenges though. Players encountered technical glitches during the initial stages of the game, but that’s understandable given that it was the first time for GGPoker to host such a massive WSOP event.
The issues were eventually sorted out and the tournament ended successfully, with Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev being crowned as the first-ever WSOP Online Main Event winner, taking home $3.9 million in top prize.
Online Traffic Decline
The inaugural WSOP Online Main Event ran at a time when most people across the globe were confined to their homes due to government-mandated lockdowns. This led to a massive spike in online traffic, with live poker players also transitioning to the virtual felts to continue playing. Needless to say, this contributed to the record-breaking success of the tournament.
But things are so much different now. Casinos and live poker rooms have reopened, and pandemic-related restrictions have been eased or lifted altogether in most jurisdictions.
It’s almost business as usual all over the world and online poker operators are now seeing an inevitable decline in online traffic, which is why the reduced 2021 WSOP Online Main Event guarantee comes as no surprise. But that’s not to say that the tournament would just pass by without creating a mark. It will still be a huge event, and will most likely become one of the biggest in online poker history.
Fourth Largest?
The upcoming event is still poised to generate significant interest among players, given the bracelet prestige that comes with it. If we try to look at the largest online poker tournaments ever held, it’s safe to say that the 2021 WSOP Online Main Event would probably be the fourth largest, based on available figures.
As mentioned earlier, the inaugural WSOP Online Main Event in 2020 is the biggest tournament ever held online. The $5,000 buy-in, $20M GTD tournament drew 5,802 entrants, and awarded $27,559,500 in total prize money.
It broke the record created by partypoker’s 2018 MILLIONS Online tournament which is now the second-largest online poker tournament. It featured a $20M guarantee (similar to the guarantee on offer in the upcoming WSOP Online Main Event).
The $5,300 buy-in tournament attracted 4,367 entries to generate $21,835,000 in total prize pool. The tournament’s 2019 edition ranks third. It also featured a $20M guarantee, though the entry fee was increased to $10,300. The 2,109-entry field generated $21,090,000 in total prize money.
The 2021 WSOP Online Main Event on GGPoker will most likely secure the fourth spot. This means that even with the guarantee being reduced, the upcoming tournament will still make it to the top 5 biggest online poker tournaments ever held. It will be much bigger than PokerStars’ Sunday Million 14th anniversary event in 2020 which generated $18,603,200 in total prize pool.
Final Schedule, Structures Still Being Finalized
GGPoker will soon announce further details in relation to the final structure of the WSOP Online Main Event, and it wants players to have an input on certain aspects, such as the number of Day 1s that they can play. The operator launched a Twitter poll on this, and majority of the responders prefer to be allowed to play just one Day 1.
GGPoker has also yet to release the official schedule of the international portion of the 2021 WSOP Online Bracelet Series which will kick off on August 1.

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