Players won’t be able to hide behind their screen names when the virtual cards fly in the World Poker Tour’s $100 million guarantee World Online Championship starting on Saturday.
To cater to all bankrolls, the WPT World Online Championship will play out across three buy-ins levels. Alongside the main championship events with five and six-figure entry fees, there will be “mini” and “micro” tournaments for those wanting to pay between $33 and $320.
Like the WPT’s first lockdown-inspired online series, the championship will take place on Partypoker. When all is said and done, winners will share a total prize pool worth at least $100 million, and the top performers will split a $100,000 Player of the Series bonus.
WPT Keeping Poker Alive
The action will begin on July 17 with an industry invitational (watch out for yours truly) before the open events start on Saturday. In a break from tradition, Hold’em will make way for Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo.
The decision to lead with a non-Hold’em event is a sign of the times. Prior to COVID-19, online championships were uncharted territory for the WPT. However, with lockdowns forcing a change of tact, the WPT went digital.
A collaboration with Partypoker resulted in the WPT Online Series. When the festival’s 94 tournaments were over, more than 111,000 players had anted up. That level of interest pushed the total money awarded beyond the $30 million guarantee to $52.8 million.
Buoyed by that success, and not to be outdone by the WSOP, the WPT put together a second online championship. In addition to a larger guarantee and more events, the WOC will replace screen names with real names.
Season of Value for International Players
In a bid to make the event as feel more like a live tournament, the WPT and Partypoker will reveal the people behind the monikers. Regardless of whether someone is a pro or an amateur, their real name and, therefore, their achievements will be on display for all to see.
The WPT Online Championship marks the start of an important time for poker players outside of the US. In addition to the $100 million series on Partypoker, the second leg of the WSOP’s online extravaganza will be taking place on GGPoker.
Between the two events, international players will have the chance to win two of poker’s most prestigious titles.
Even though COVID-19 has disrupted the poker industry, the industry hasn’t suffered badly. Online opportunities have increased and, in the coming weeks, there will be more prize money and high-profile titles on offer than ever before.