announces November ‘WCOOP Championship Weekend’ following DDoS attacks

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: September 28, 2022 1:39 pm EDT has announced a replacement series of WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) events for those that were forced to be cancelled by last weekend’s massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack against the site. Dubbed the “WCOOP Championship Weekend,” the mini-series consists of nine major WCOOP events that will be re-offered on the November 5-6, 2022 weekend.

Heading the list of restored events are the three WCOOP NLHE mains, with low/medium/high buy-ins of $109, $1,050, $10,300, which will start from scratch on Sunday, November 6. The same starting date applies for the three cancelled Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) main events, also with buy-ins of $109, $1,050, and $10,300. Rounding out the roster of restored events are the three WCOOP Women’s Championships, with buy-ins of $5.50, $22, and $109.

The WCOOP NLHE Championship is a four-day event that will run through November 9, while the WCOOP PLO Championship runs for two days, ending on November 7. PokerStars has not confirmed the starting times for the three sets of events. Last Sunday, the NLHE mains began at 5:30 p.m. ET and ran briefly before play was frozen. The Women’s and PLO trifectas were scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET and 8:05 p.m ET, respectively.

Boosted guarantees promised for replacement tourneys

PokerStars will be adding some elements in an attempt to make the November WCOOP events at least as large in prize money than Sunday’s cancelled tourneys. “All NLHE Main Events will now include boosted guarantees, ensuring they’re even bigger and better,” reads PokerStars’ latest statement. For example, the three cancelled WCOOP NLHE mains had guarantees of $2.5 million, $4 million, and $6 million, so the November tourneys are promised to at least meet those standards.

PokerStars will also run “plenty of freerolls and added-value satellites in the coming weeks” as feeder tourneys into what will be an important weekend for PokerStars and its WCOOP heritage. The long-running series is a key component of Stars’ online-tournament history, and having official winners to enter into the Stars record books is important for the WCOOP’s heritage. “For both players and PokerStars staff alike, to say we were ‘disappointed’ would be a drastic understatement,” wrote PokerStars.

Besides the acknowledgment that a major DDoS attack occurred, there’s nothing more on that front from PokerStars, nor is any such statement likely to be issued in the near future. The DDoS attack will likely trigger a multi-jurisdictional investigation, which may take months or years to produce results. In the meantime, PokerStars will likely install even more robust defenses and filters to block the flood of unwanted internet traffic that defines a DDoS attack.

Featured image source: PokerStars