The World Poker Tour has confirmed that its Season XIX WPT World Online Championships will return to partypoker for a five-week festival beginning on August 13. It’s the first of multiple World Online festivals the WPT will run in partnership with partypoker during the WPT’s soon-to-debut 19th season.
A $5 million main event highlights the World Online Championships series. The series format has been adjusted as well. The main event will begin on Sunday, August 29, with the first of three starting flights. Two more “Day 1” flights run on the following Sundays, September 5 and 12. The survivors of each flight then combine for three more days of online action.
The winner will be determined on Day 4, which falls on Wednesday, September 15. Last year’s main event featured a $10 million guarantee, claimed by England’s Phillip Mighall. Mighall earned a career-best $1,715,667 in capturing the online title.
Festival trimmed back from 2020 edition
Though the WPT’s World Online Series is one of online poker’s premiere offerings, it’s been trimmed back for 2021 in other ways, too. Compared to 2020, WPT and partypoker are offering a much shorter, five-week festival. The 2020 version stretched over more than nine weeks, from mid-July to late September. Last year’s series also featured a $10,300 main event, while this year’s main has had its buy-in chopped to $5,300.
Compressing the series and keeping it out of July and early August also keeps the WPT World Online Championships from running squarely against the heart of the WSOP Online series, another huge late-summer offering. Another giant online series, PokerStars’ World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), runs from August 22 through September 15 as well. These three major series and several offerings on smaller networks during the same general timeframe create fierce competition for players’ entries.
“We are excited to bring the WPT World Online Championships back after last year’s record-breaking success,” said Hermance Blum, the WPT’s vice president in charge of its European operations. “We can’t wait to see the next name placed on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.”
‘Pro Hunt’ PKO bounty tourney kicks off festival
The WPT and partypoker have yet to release the series’ full schedule of events. However, they have offered details on the “Pro Hunt”, the series-opening progressive-knockout (PKO) bounty event on August 13.
The Pro Hunt’s affordable $33 buy-in gives recreational players a chance to take on several of partypoker’s brand ambassadors. Knocking out a Party pro gives the player not only the PKO bounty, but an extra prize as well. Prizes include several $109 satellite tickets to the WPT World Online main event. One lucky bounty recipient will win a direct-entry seat to the main, valued at $5,300.
Partypoker-sponsored pros scheduled to take part in the Pro Hunt include Jaime Staples, Courtney Gee, Patrick Leonard, Joao Simao, Joni Jouhkimainen, and Mikita Bodyakovskiy.
Featured image source: partypoker.com