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PokerStars World Cup of Poker Returns, Goes All Online
It’s once again time for the World Cup of Poker but PokerStars has tweaked the format to make it an all-online affair.
The event will also take place entirely in heads-up No-Limit Hold’em, which should make for some exciting matches between countries.
Also new this year is the switch to play money, which means anyone can log in and support their home nation.
There will be a total of 96 countries divided into eight groups competing in qualifying matches this weekend (Nov. 22-23).
The knockout stages begin on Nov. 29 with the round of 16.
500,000,000 in Added Play Money Chips
The World Cup of Poker final on Dec. 20 will cost 100,000 play chips to buy into but will also have 2m in added chips to give players a massive boost to their play-money bankroll.
Even if you don’t make it to the final there will be over 500m in added play money over the duration of the event.
The World Cup of Poker has a storied 10-year history for PokerStars with Costa Rica winning the first two titles in 2004-05. Since then USA, Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, Taiwan and even Peru have all spent time as world champions.
Here's the complete World Cup of Poker X schedule and finally a look at the groups this weekend:
Group A (Asia Pacific): Matches at 04:00 ET
Favourite - Australia
Main contenders - Taiwan (former champions), China, New Zealand
Underdogs - Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Group B (Central Asia): Matches at 08:00 ET
Favourite - Russia (reigning champions)
Main Contenders - Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, India
Underdogs - Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates
Group C (Europe & Africa 1) - Matches at 12:00 ET
Favourite - Italy (former champions)
Main Contenders - France, Denmark, Hungary
Underdogs - Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Slovenia, Tunisia
Group D (Europe & Africa 2) - Matches at 12:00 ET
Favourite - United Kingdom
Main Contenders - Belgium, Austria, Ukraine
Underdogs - Algeria, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cyrpus, Ireland, Montenegro, Switzerland, Turkey
Group E (Europe & Africa 3) - Matches at 12:00 ET
Favourite - Germany (former champions)
Main Contenders - Poland (former champions), Romania, Lithuania
Underdogs - Armenia, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia
Group F (Europe & Africa 4) - Matches at 12:00 ET
Favourite - Spain
Main Contenders - Netherlands, Sweden, Norway
Underdogs - Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa
Group G (Americas 1) - Matches at 18:00 ET
Favourite - United States (former champions)
Main Contenders - Costa Rica (2 x former champions), Mexico, Argentina
Underdogs - Bahamas, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela
Group H (Americas 2) - Matches at 18:00 ET
Favourite - Brazil
Main Contenders - Canada, Peru (former champions), Colombia
Underdogs - Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guyana, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago