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2009 WCOOP starts tomorrow on PokerStars
To say this year's World Championship of Online Poker will be bigger than ever might be an understatement.
This year the prestigious online series will offer a total of 45 events and a guaranteed prize pool of $40 million. The WCOOP main event alone will have a $10 million guarantee.
"I don't think any other online tournament even compares," said last year's WCOOP main event winner Carter "ckingusc" King. "It's definitely the biggest online series of the year. It's like our World Series of Poker and we get pretty excited about it."
Last year Carter outlasted over 2,000 players and then beat a final table that included AKJHoosier1 to take down a first place prize of $1.3 million. The total prize pool contained $10,925,000, which easily eclipses most live tournaments.
This year PokerStars is introducing several new features to the popular series. For the first time ever there will be events in 5-card draw and Badugi.
PokerStars will also offer a new low buy-in "Stimulus" event, which is styled after the WSOP event with the same name. Players will have a shot at WCOOP glory for only $109, complete with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool.
"The Stimulus is a great event," commented King. "I wish they would do more of them. The $1 million guarantee is huge. I remember when my bankroll was still relatively small and wanting to play WCOOP events. This is perfect."
Conversely PokerStars will also be offering three high roller events this year with buy-ins ranging from $10,000 for the No-Limit Hold'em event to $25,000 for the No-Limit Hold'em Heads-Up event.
With increased competition from series like Full Tilt's Online Poker Series (FTOPS) and even PokerStars' own Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) organizers have gone out of their way to make WCOOP the premier online series of the year.
PokerStars management opted not to include the multiple buy-in events that were predominate in this year's SCOOP. Essentially every event in the 2009 SCOOP had a low, medium and high buy-in version.
This decision seems to be sitting well with players.
"I would keep the WCOOP as it is," said King. "It's really something special and the schedule is good. They don't need to do anything crazy with it."
As always there will be multiple ways to qualify for every event in this year's WCOOP and satellite buy-ins start at just $1. Even King, who presumably has enough money to buy-in directly, mentioned he plays satellites occasionally.
"I'll probably play some of the extreme satellites," he said. "They are just too good of a value. There's no reason to pass up a seat in the WCOOP main event."
The 2009 WCOOP begins tomorrow with the first event kicking off at 14:30 ET. The series will then run all the way until Sept. 20 when the $10 million guaranteed main event kicks off.
You can check out the complete schedule here.