The PokerStars 2019 WCOOP Schedule is Out
There are a great many advantages to working at home. One of them is not that I get to be around other adults, but that is something for another day. One of the things that I used to love to do was play online poker. Multi-table tournaments, in particular, were a favorite of mine, as I often had long stretches during which I could commit to them. I was certainly being optimistic, as I often didn’t need a big block of time. Nowadays it’s a different story. Living in the southern United States, I don’t really have much of an outlet for internet poker anymore (though with two kids now of double-digit ages, I also don’t have the time). This is why I am in an extremely jealous mood this week, as PokerStars announced the schedule for the 2019 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP).
It is hard to believe, but we are approaching 20 years of the WCOOP, as it began in 2002, an attempt by PokerStars to try to make an online World Series of Poker of sorts. There were only nine events back then and less than three-quarters of a million dollars in prizes, so the WSOP it was not, but it was pretty cool to have an online poker series. Hell, this was before the poker boom.
Three weeks for 219 tournaments
But now it’s 2019 and the WCOOP is an unstoppable force, the biggest online poker series on the world. This year, there are 73 events with more than $75 million in guaranteed prize pools. The entire 2019 WCOOP will span September 5 through September 25.
Like last year, each event will have three buy-in tiers: high, medium, and low. There are two exceptions to this. The first is the 2019 WCOOP Main Event, which has just two tiers: the $5,200 tourney with a $10 million guarantee, which for all intents and purposes is the “actual” Main Event, and a $55 tournament with a $1.25 million guarantee.
The second exception is a special UFC event on September 15 with four buy-in tiers. The winner of each tournament will nab a prize package that includes tickets, flight, and hotel for UFC 244 in New York.
With three tournaments per event and the two above exceptions, there are 219 total tourneys in the 2019 WCOOP.
“The team at PokerStars has designed the WCOOP that we would like to play and added the biggest guarantee to date,” said PokerStars’ Managing Director & Commercial Officer of Poker, Severin Rasset, in a press release. “We aim to give all our players a chance to find a tournament for them. That’s why we are offering a large range of formats, buy-ins and plenty of routes to qualify. The 20-day tournament series is going to be huge for everyone and we can’t wait to see the results.”
Since this is PokerStars, one knows that there are going to be leaderboards for the 2019 WCOOP. For every cash, players earn points toward the leaderboards. Each buy-in level has its own leaderboard, naturally, with the top three points winners on each winning cash prizes. Here is the breakdown:
Low WCOOP Leaderboard
1st Place: $3,500 + trophy
2nd Place: $1,500
3rd Place: $1,000
Medium WCOOP Leaderboard
1st Place: $5,000 + trophy
2nd Place: $2,500
3rd Place: $1,500
High WCOOP Leaderboard
1st Place: $7,500 + trophy
2nd Place: $5,000
3rd Place: $2,500
And the person who collects the most points across all events at all buy-in levels will win a trophy and $20,000 in cash. Last year’s Player of the Series was “aDrENalin710,” who earned 1,325 points. A tournament win gets a player 100 points, while the minimum points for a cash is 5, so ‘aDrENalin710’ sure got down to business in 2018.
Spin & Go’s, of course
And again, this is PokerStars, so you have to expect WCOOP Spin & Go’s. There are three flavors of Spin & Go: $2, $25, and $75. The top possible prize for the lower two buy-ins is a $5,200 ticket into the WCOOP Main Event. Other WCOOP tickets are available, as well.
The $75 Spin & Go is split into two variations. Before September 11, the top prize is a $25,000 Entry into the WCOOP High Roller event, while the second-best prize is the $5,200 Main Event ticket. After that date, since the event will be over, the top prize is the $5,200 Main Event ticket. Both of the $75 Spin & Go’s have $150 cash as their bottom prize, which is normal, since it is two times the buy-in. All of the other possible prizes at that buy-in level are WCOOP tickets, starting at $215.
Satellites also abound, of course. Keep in mind that if you play in a satellite and win a WCOOP seat, you will not only be automatically registered in the respective WCOOP event, but you won’t be able to unregister. Win a second seat into the same tournament, though, and you will receive tournament dollars.