PokerStars has released the schedule for the 2018 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). The popular online series will run from September 2 – 17 and will have something is in store for players of all levels of skill.
New Three-Tier Buy-In System Introduced
This year’s WCOOP comes with an innovative twist – PokerStars will introduce a three-tier buy-in system (Low, Medium and High) which will give all players the opportunity to participate at the Main Event. This means that the tournaments are not only limited to high-rollers as the buy-in fees start from as low as $2.2, with the highest being $25,000.  There will also be plenty of events at $50 fee or less. The details have been announced on PokerStars’ official blog.
Main Event Will Feature Two Tournaments
The three-tier buy-ins will apply across all tournaments, except for the WCOOP Main Event which will feature two levels – Medium with a guaranteed prize money of $1 million, and High offering $10 million in guaranteed prize pool. The buy-in fees for the two tournaments are $55 and $5,200 respectively. Satellites and Spin & Go’s will run for both buy-ins. The Main Event tournaments will kick off on September 16. The festival will also have a diverse schedule featuring different poker variants such as H.O.R.S.E.
2017 WCOOP Main Event
Malta-based poker pro Steven “SvZff” van Zadelhoff won the 2017 WCOOP Main Event. He reached the final table with 37,957,931 in chips which was a massive advantage over the rest of the players. He competed with poker pros from all over the world and managed to hold his nerve till the end which enabled him to win over $1.6 million.
The 2017 WCOOP Main Event saw a total of 2,183 entries comprising of 379 re-entries and 1,804 new ones. The prize pool surpassed the $10 million mark and nearly reached $11 million.
Jonas Lauck, JC Tran, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Fedor Holz are previous WCOOP winners. PokerStars expects the 2018 WCOOP to be even bigger and better as there is more than $116 million in guaranteed prize money to be won.
More Than $116 Million in Guarantees
The online poker festival will feature 61 events and up to 182 tournaments with guaranteed prize pools of more than $116 million, $70 million of that comes from WCOOP tournaments alone. There will also be six Platinum Passes up for grabs.  The full schedule and details of the online poker festival can be found at the PokerStars website.
Severin Rasset, PokerStars Director of Poker Innovation and Operations said the 2018 WCOOP was designed in such a way that just about every player will be able to enter one or more events and get a chance to qualify for the Main Event.
PokerStars Launches Unfold Hold’em
PokerStars has continued with its plans to keep experimenting and come up with new games and improvements on traditional games. This time around the online poker giant has released a new game called ‘Unfold Hold’em’. This is another unique twist to the traditional No Limit Hold’em cash game that will permit players to unfold their cards once they have been dealt.
In a statement, Severin Rasset said “This has never been done before.  Unfold means more action and opportunities for players, reducing the all too familiar sinking feeling of making the correct pre-flop lay down, only to then find you would have flopped the nuts. We’re very excited to offer something new and completely different”.
PokerStars will experiment with the new Unfold Hold’em game by trying it out via its .com, .eu, .net, dk and .uk domains. Players will be able to find the game in the PokerStars lobby section under its ‘Unfold Hold’em’ tag. The online poker website also has plans to roll out the game to different domains in the coming weeks.
PokerStars will collect player feedback and take into consideration the pros and cons of playing this new game. Should the feedback be mostly positive, the online poker giant will most likely continue hosting the game. If the feedback is not positive, the game will most likely be removed and replaced with another trial. PokerStars has released a YouTube video gives players a glimpse into how the new game works.

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