The 2020 edition of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker will play as the biggest WCOOP ever
PokerStars announced a schedule of 225 tournaments for the 2020 WCOOP, giving players the largest selection of tournaments ever offered in the nine-year history of the series. The 2020 WCOOP awards $81,637,000 in guaranteed prize money, another all-time high for the series.
The 225-tournament schedule represents 75 different events, each with a low, medium, and high tier. Buy-ins for the WCOOP will range from as little as $2.20 for selected low-tier events, up to $25,000 for Event 25-H: 8-Max Super High Roller Sunday Slam. That high-roller tournament comes with a $2.5 million guarantee.
The 2020 WCOOP runs from August 30-September 23. Most of the tournaments on the schedule play as two-day events.
WCOOP Main Event adds a medium-tier tournament
As per usual, The WCOOP Main Event stands as the centerpiece event of the 2020 WCOOP slate. For the first time, however, the Main Event includes three different tournament tiers, matching all of the other events on the schedule.
The WCOOP Main Event starts on September 20, and plays out as a four-day event. The three tiers for this year’s Main Event include Event 72-L ($55 buy-in, $1.25 million guaranteed), Event 72-M ($530 buy-in, $2 million guaranteed), and Event 72-L ($5,200 buy-in, $10 million guaranteed).
Event 72-M is a new addition to the WCOOP Main Event, which in previous years included only a low and a high tier. The $10 million guaranteed prize pool in Event 72-L is the largest across all WCOOP events.
The 2019 edition of the WCOOP Main Event high tier saw Fraser ‘BigBlindBets’ Russell out of Scotland take home the championship, earning a $1,665,962 payday. The tournament drew 2,236 entries, swelling the total prize pool to $11,180,000.
Big guarantees await at the WCOOP
Pot-Limit Omaha players can find a total of six PLO events (including a 5-Card PLO event) on the WCOOP schedule, culminating with Event 73: PLO 6-Max Main Event. The three tiers for the PLO main event include 73-H, with a $10,300 buy-in and $1.25 million guaranteed prize pool. The PLO 6-Max Main Event kicks off September 20.
Other big guaranteed prize pools await in several other WCOOP events, including Event 1: NLHE Phased. This event includes multiple Day 1 flights that run throughout the WCOOP, with survivors advancing to Day 2.
Day 2 of Event 1 actually plays out one of the last days of the WCOOP series, with the restart on September 21. The tiers for this phased event include 1-L ($2.20 buy-in, $250,000 guaranteed), 1-M ($22 buy-in, $1 million guaranteed), and 1-H ($215 buy-in, $2 million guaranteed).
Changes to the WCOOP format for 2020
For the first time in series history, no 2020 WCOOP events begin on a Friday. PokerStars Head of Poker Operations Luke Staudenmaier explained in an official announcement that PokerStars designed the 2020 schedule this way, to give online players natural, regularly-occurring breaks throughout the series.
“It has been a difficult year and with everything that is happening in the world, we are grateful that our players still take the time to play with us and we hope that we are providing an enjoyable and safe playing experience for our players,” Staudenmaier said in the official announcement on the PokerStars Blog.
“Also, with many live poker events canceled and people staying indoors, there has been an increase in online tournament activity this summer,” Staudenmaier said. “Because those who compete in the WCOOP Player of the Series race will likely appreciate a break each week during the series, we will not run official WCOOP events on Fridays. Those who want to play on Fridays? Well, we’d like to run some special side events on these days.”
Other events to watch for at the 2020 WCOOP
In addition to No-Limit Hold’em, the 75-event WCOOP schedule includes poker variants like 5-Card Draw, 6+ Hold’em (aka Short Deck Hold’em), 8-Game Mix, Badugi, and many others.
Omaha 8, 2-7 Single Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Hold’em, HORSE, Stud Hi/Lo, Razz, and a Mixed NLHE/PLO event round out the schedule.
The 2020 WCOOP also includes 66 Progressive Knockout events, as well as three traditional bounty events.