Last year the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) on PokerStars doled out just short of $40 million in prize money. This year, PokerStars has taken steps to ensure that they will hand out more money than last year with $40 million in guaranteed prize pools across the 45-event series.
This year’s WCOOP gets underway on Thursday September 3rd with at least two tournaments running every day for seventeen days. The action will culminate in the $5,200 buy-in Main Event on Sunday September 20th and the new WCOOP Main Event Champion will be determined on Monday September 21st. The buy-ins for this year’s events range from $109 to $25,500 and offers a little bit of everything including Five Card Draw, Badugi, HORSE, 8 Game, Stud, Omaha, and numerous No Limit Hold’em events.
A new addition to this year’s schedule is a $109 buy-in event with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool. A $109 8 Game event is another opportunity for those with limited bankrolls to participate in the online poker series. For those who don’t have to worry about burning through their bankroll, there will be three High Rollers events with buy-ins starting at $10,000. There will be a high stakes No Limit Hold’em event (Event #10), a high stakes HORSE event (Event #44) and the $25,500 buy-in Heads-Up High Rollers event (Event #27).
The Main Event will once again feature a guaranteed prize pool of at least $10 million. Last year the Main Event drew 2,185 players and exceeded that number by $925,000. The event was chopped five ways with Carter “ckingusc” King, Alex “AJKHoosier1” Kamberis and three other players each taking home six figure paydays. The player who took home the biggest piece of the prize pool was “liberace”, who won $1,375,249. It was King who took home the title of champion though. The five players resumed play after chop negotiations concluded to play it out for $200,000 and the WCOOP bracelet. King was the last man standing and earned $1,265,432 for his efforts.
Satellites to the WCOOP events have been running since August. PokerStars added an additional million dollars to their “Extreme” satellite prize pool, guaranteeing hundreds of seats for those who played in one of the 18 Extreme events that ran during August. Satellites will continue to run on PokerStars throughout the duration of the WCOOP.
Considering last year’s WCOOP exceeded its $30 million guaranteed prize pool by almost $10 million, it is likely that this year’s event will exceed the $50 million mark  On an episode of the PokerStars-sponsored WCOOP radio, PokerStars representative Bryan Slick reported that the satellite events were already performing above expectation. Once the events get underway on Thursday the poker world will have a better sense of how popular this year’s WCOOP will be, but the early indicators suggest it will be the biggest one in the event’s seven-year history.

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