It’s been a record-breaking year for PokerStars’ World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). The 2019 edition of the popular online poker series was a massive success, awarding a total of $104.7 million, almost $30 million higher than the initial guarantee of $75 million. The online poker festival attracted over 1.2 million total entries, making this year’s edition the largest in PokerStars WCOOP history.
Adding excitement to the series were some UFC-themed tournaments, which took place as part of PokerStars’ recent partnership with the top mixed martial arts brand. Winners of the said tournaments were each awarded a packaged valued at $3,500 that will give them a seat to the highly anticipated UFC244 which features Masvidal vs. Diaz as the Main Event and takes place at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York on November 2. PokerStars UFC Ambassador Johnny Walker will take on Corey Anderson on the undercard.
2019 WCOOP Main Event
Among the highlights of the 2019 WCOOP series, was the Main Event which paid out millions in prize money. A player from the UK with the handle “BigBlindBets” emerged as the champion after outlasting a huge field of 2,236 entries to capture the first-place prize of $1,665,962 plus the WCOOP Main Event title.
BigBlindBets engaged in a heads-up battle with Brazil’s Danilo “dans170” de Lima Demetrio who eventually ended his bid in second place for $1,187,553. Former hedge fund manager Talal “raidalot” Shakerchi also had a great run, turning his $5,200 investment into $846,528 after finishing third.
The 2019 WCOOP Main Event awarded a total of $11.18 million, with representatives from Estonia, Hungary, Belgium, Germany, and Sweden rounding out the Top 9. This year’s WCOOP Main Event is the largest WCOOP Main Event since 2010.
Galactic Series Also Hitting New Records
Over in Southern Europe, the Galactic Series which catered to players based in France, Spain, and Portugal was also hugely successful, hitting new records. This year, €19,419,783 was awarded to winners across 23 days of tournament action. The figure managed to surpass the initial advertised guarantee of €15 million, and also over €2 million higher than the prize pool generated last year. The Galactic Series in Italy also beat its own €3 million guarantee, with the Italian version reaching €3,799,329 in total prize pool.
Record-Breaking Year for PokerStars
PokerStars has had a good run so far and will be looking to finish this year on a strong note. The online poker giant started 2019 with its inaugural PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) which became the largest tournament of its kind. The prestigious event awarded a whopping $26.5 million in prize money, with Spanish Platinum Pass winner and former fitness instructor Ramon Colillas taking home the lion’s share of the prize pool worth $5.1 million.
Three months later, Sunday Million’s 13th Anniversary edition attracted 61,342 entries and generated $12,268,400 in total prize pool, making it the second largest in the series’ history. In May, the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) became the first online poker tournament to ever surpass the $100 million mark, after giving away $105 million in prizes to the winners. The site also dealt its 200 billionth hand this year.
The recently-concluded European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona also broke records and became the biggest stop in the tour’s 16-year history. Players from 95 different countries took part in EPT Barcelona, with the series awarding over €52.9 to the winners.
Although PokerStars received some flak from players and fans over a series of reforms to some of its programs and policies, the world’s biggest poker room has a lot to celebrate. The company is currently gearing up for the second edition of the highly-anticipated PSPC which is scheduled for 2020 in Barcelona.
PokerStars Continues to Dominate
PokerStars continues to dominate the global online poker market and exert its dominance by hosting some of the best online poker events and live poker tournaments as mentioned above. While PokerStars has faced some setbacks in recent times including being hit with a €400k fine by the Dutch regulator for operating without a license, PokerStars looks like it will continue to hold the number on to the number one spot and dominate online poker for the next few years.

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