One of online poker's biggest tournaments kicks off Friday (Sept. 5) when the seventh edition of the Poker Stars World Championship of Online Poker starts, with nine new events in the overall 33 event program that will culminate with the $10 million guaranteed No Limit Texas Hold'em Main Event between September 21-22.
Looking back to the start of this popular tournament, in 2002 the entire program featured nine events over 8 days mid-year. Only one event, the $109 Limit Hold'em, drew more than 500 players, whilst the $1 090 buy-in Main Event attracted 238 entries and saw Swedish player 'MultiMarine' take hom $65 540 as the winner.
Back in 2002, the total player involvement over the eight days was 2 452 players, and the consolidated prize pool was only just under $800 000. By the following year, the prize pool had increased to $891 000, the buy-in remained unchanged, but the program extended over 11 days and had 11 events which pulled in a total of 6 796 hopefuls. And the main event winner's purse had gone up to $222 750.
Since then WCOOP has continued to break its own records, seemingly expanding in every way with each edition, and the prize pools have rivalled those of the big land tourneys
When the cards hit the virtual air this week, it will no doubt be the start of another record breaker - last year a total of 40 280 players took part, and since 2002 the events have seen 106 739 players compete in 88 events.
From $215 buy-ins to the high end $5 200 buy-in Main Event and a $10 300 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tourney, there's pretty much something for everyone in a program that features a variety of game styles...and the advertised prize pool on every event is guaranteed, with at least $1 million prize pools in seven events on this year's schedule, and the Main Event appropriately carrying a minimum prize pool of $10 million.