The PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP)

PokerStars WCOOPThe PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) plays host to the biggest online poker tournaments in the world. The WCOOP is a "tournament series", meaning that it is a collection of poker tournaments that run back to back at the same location - in this case, PokerStars' WCOOP happens to be the largest and most popular online tournament series in the world, with the biggest prize pools and toughest fields.

This article is going to discuss the history of the WCOOP, recent WCOOP results, and how to qualify for WCOOP tournaments (without paying the high priced buy-ins!).

History of the WCOOP

The first WCOOP ( ran in September of 2002, featuring a total of nine tournaments with over $730,000 in combined prizes. In 2002 the WCOOP Main Event had a first place prize of $65,450, and was won by "MultiMarine" from Sweden. In 2003, "DeOhGee" took down $222,750 for winning first place, and in 2004 it was "Ragde" who claimed the $424,945 first place prize. In 2005 "Panella86" won a whopping $577,342 for his/her first place score, and in 2006 "J.C. Tran" earned a $600,000 payday for his/her efforts.

In 2007, the WCOOP Main Event featured the biggest prize pool of any online tournament ever, as first place winner "Ka$ino" won $1,378,330.50. The 2008 WCOOP saw a slight reduction in entrants, as Main Event winner "ckingusa" took home $1,265,432.23 for his/her first place finish. The 2009 WCOOP Main Event set another record, as winner "Jovial Gent" took home $1,715,200 for the first place prize.

Since the WCOOP ran its first tournament, there have been a total of 166 WCOOP events, with almost 100,000 unique players competing. PokerStars has paid out $155 million in prize money to WCOOP tournament winners. Also, each first place finisher in a WCOOP event receives a gold bracelet, similar to World Series of Poker event winners.

The 2009 WCOOP

The most recent World Championship of Online Poker had a total prize pool of over $50 million spread out over forty-five events. Besides the standard Hold'em and Omaha tournaments, PokerStars added a bunch of new variations to the series, including Stud, Razz, HORSE, 2-7 Draw, Mixed Hold'em, Mixed Omaha, 4-max Hold'em, and an 8-game mixed event. Plus, there were two "High Roller" events - a $10,300 No Limit Hold'em tournament, and a $25,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em Matches tournament.

Some notable winners in the 2009 WCOOP include ElkY, who won Event #38 for $1,369,000 as well as Event #43 for $1,844,000, and Jovial Gent, who won the Main Event for $1,715,200.

PokerStars was pleased to see the WCOOP rebound nicely after a down year in 2008, largely due to the poor economy and scattered deposit options for USA players. Also, the Full Tilt Poker FTOPS series has been gaining steam lately, so it is even more impressive that the WCOOP was able to set new records this year.

2010 WCOOP Qualifiers

One common complaint about the WCOOP series is that the tournament buy-ins are so large that they exclude casual players from participating. PokerStars has set out to alleviate this complaint by offering hundreds of satellites every year for each of the WCOOP events. Players can qualify for major WCOOP events with as little as a $1 investment, or by using their PokerStars Frequent Player Points to earn a seat. WCOOP satellites at allow casual poker players the chance at a life-changing tournament score.

Qualifiers for the 2010 WCOOP are Running Now » Win a Seat at!

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