Poker World Readies for 2011 WCOOP Kick-Off

ElkY Grospellier
The 2011 WCOOP begins tomorrow with the $10k High-Roller event.

The 2011 World Championship of Online Poker starts tomorrow on and online poker players across the globe are getting ready for the biggest event in online poker.

The series, which runs September 4 to 25, boasts the biggest paydays and the most prestigious titles available to the online grinder.

Last year Tyson Marks won over $2.2 million when he took down the WCOOP main event, the biggest score in the history of internet poker.

$30 million in prize pools is guaranteed over the 62 events that make up this year’s WCOOP and while that is down from the $50 million total guarantee we saw in 2010, not everyone is convinced the drop will be that pronounced.

“To be honest I didn't really feel any difference when playing SCOOP and that was right after [Black Friday],” said Team PokerStars Pro Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis.

“It’s been a long time since Black Friday and the dust has settled, so I don't expect too many changes,” Veldhuis added.

The Spring Championship of Online Poker, held less than a month after Black Friday, generated over $43 million in prizes, far in excess of its $25 million guarantee.

Expected decreases in that series were seriously mitigated by growing international markets like Russia and Greece, which generated roughly two and three times as many tournament registrations over 2010, respectively.

Decorated live tournament pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier points to other potential benefits Black Friday might actually have for the WCOOP.

“The fields will probably be a bit softer, and less players in the higher buy-ins,” said ElkY, indicating that US rounders on average actually increased the level of difficulty.

So while the prize pools may be smaller, winning players can expect a bit more raw equity during the 2011 WCOOP.

In addition to the cash, players are also vying for what has become the most prestigious title in online tournament poker.

“It’s a huge accomplishment and any online player’s dream to win WCOOP,” said Grospellier.

“It’s the online equivalent of WSOP for sure.”

And that means something coming from ElkY, one of the only players to win open titles at the WSOP, WPT and EPT.

Like many, Lex Veldhuis cut his teeth in the online arena before transitioning to live tournaments, and he agrees with ElkY that WCOOP titles carry serious weight.

“I would go as far as to say winning the Main Event of the WCOOP is more prestigious than most of the live events,” argued Veldhuis.

The 2011 WCOOP kicks off tomorrow with the $10,000 High Roller event, a $215 Six-Max event and a $215 No-Limit Hold’em event. will be providing daily coverage of every 2011 WCOOP winner so keep an eye on our Poker News section to stay on top of things.

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