The announcement of the dates for PokerStars 2021 World Championship of Online Poker or WCOOP has gotten poker players everywhere excited. The move has seen people working on scheduling their work and social calendars. The WCOOP this year will be running from the 22nd of August till the 15th of September, guaranteeing a prize pool worth 100 million dollars. This is the largest guarantee ever recorded in the history of this two-decade-old series. The guarantees amounted to 80 million dollars for WCOOP held last year. A record 1,120,910 entries eclipsed the figure of the guarantees that spanned through the 75 events. The total prize pool generated a whopping 99.9 million dollars. The Covid-19 pandemic hit hard, leading to people spending most of their time at home while online poker ruled the roost working in tandem. Hence it is to be seen how the figures match up in 2021.
The total number of entries recorded the last year made it the second-largest WCOOP event, which numbered at 958,717. This excludes any re-entries and only boasts unique entry figures. The Main Event of 5,200 dollars saw an overlay despite the popularity of the WCOOP the last year. The total entries drawn numbered at 1,977 and came to a notch below the stipulated 10 million dollars as guarantees. The guarantee record was broken by the medium tier of the Main Event the first time, valuating at 530 dollars.
Looking back the past Two Decades
2002 saw the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker’s debut much before poker saw the big boom. The initial stages saw a line-up of nine events that fetched 2452 entries in total. The prize pool was valued at 800,000 dollars. The United States had five champions, Sweden had two, while France and Canada had one winner each. A few events were added on each year, while a massive rehaul was seen in 2008. This was when the events grew in number from 23 to 33 for WCOOP. While the prize pool guarantees breached a record high valuating at an impressive 17 million dollars. 2010 saw the events jump to 62 in number, which continued in the run-up till 2014 and ranged in the low to the high ends of the ’60s. Affordability was kept in mind in 2017 when WCOOP introduced a low buy-in for PokerStars targeting a wider populace. This was mirrored from the high WCOOP traditional events. A three-tiered structure for buy-ins was introduced by WCOOP the following year that was categorized from low, medium, to high.
A total of 1433 tournaments have been witnessed since the launch of WCOOP in 2002 till 2020 that saw a whopping 5.2 million entries. The prize pools have been valued at 973 million dollars which are supposed to surpass the 1 billion dollars mark this year. 156 titles have been clinched by Russia, 144 by the United Kingdom, 136 by the U.S., followed by 114 titles each by Brazil and Canada.