PokerStars Pushes to Keep WCOOP Relevant

PokerStars’ World Championship of Online Poker is back and, this time, there will be more action than there’s been before.

WCOOP 2020

WCOOP returns with 225 MTTs, an $82 million guarantee, and a host of additional innovations. (Image: PokerStars)

The festival will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 23 and feature 75 events, which is two more than last year. Each event will have three buy-in levels, taking the total number of WCOOP MTTs to 225.

WCOOP 2020 will also feature an $82 million guarantee, a $1.5 million sweepstakes, and live streams of the day’s best action.

PokerStars Starting Strong

12 MTTs will take place on the first day, including three special editions of the Sunday Slam:

  • $109 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max PKO Sunday Slam – $1.5 million guarantee
  • $1,050 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max PKO Sunday Slam – $2 million guarantee
  • $10,300 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max PKO Sunday Slam – $1.5 million guarantee

The majority of WCOOP events will take place over two days, with the first session lasting for approximately eight hours. In a change to the usual proceedings, Fridays will be designated a WCOOP-free zone, following feedback from players that at least one day off is preferable.

Many of the main events will allow re-entries, but they won’t be unlimited. Moreover, there will be a selection of freezeouts, something that should counter the recent backlash against operators overusing the re-entry format.

Hold’em remains the dominant variant, but 75 of the 225 WCOOP MTTs will offer alternatives such as Omaha and Mixed Games.

Those eyeing up the WCOOP main events can take to the virtual felt on Sept. 20:

  • $55 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Main Event – $1.25 million guarantee
  • $530 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Main Event – $2 million guarantee
  • $5,200 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Main Event – $10 million guarantee

WCOOP No Longer Stands Alone

The schedule is as action-packed as ever. However, WCOOP no longer has a monopoly on the digital MTT scene.

The WPT World Online Championships and WSOP Online have emerged as major players over the last few weeks. Partypoker and GGPoker have also had success with the Millions Online, Poker Masters, and other big-money festivals.

These new events don’t diminish WCOOP’s value, but they have given players more options than ever before. As such, PokerStars has had to go the extra mile this year.

Live streams, complete with commentary, will be available on Twitch. Additionally, anyone who plays a WCOOP event will receive a sweepstakes ticket. Six players from every sweepstakes will win entry to the $25,000 Super High Roller, while three will get a spot in the $5,200 main event.

Finally, there will be a $100,000 Player of the Series race. Players appear to be happy with the latest innovations. Even Chris Moneymaker was willing to open himself up to criticism in response to the announcement.

The test now will be whether MTT fatigue has set in. Online poker players have had a lot to focus on over the last few months and, with lockdown restrictions easing, WCOOP may not attract as many players as before.

However, PokerStars has certainly pulled out all the stops in an effort to keep its festival ahead of poker’s new generation of MTT majors.

Daniel Smyth
Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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