Inaugurated in 2020 PokerListings awards the best Poker Operators of the year and presents the pack leaders in the industry. This time it's time to take a look at the nominees for the Best Online Tournament Series.
Best Online Tournament Series 2021
Which Online Tournament Series takes the cake for overall event management, structure, promos, entries and prizes?
This PokerListings Operator Award goes to the poker room judged to have given us the best tournament series event this year. Following the iconic Moneymaker win in 2003, I think we can all agree that online tournament series are essential to the community. You can turn a small-entry satellite into a big win, from the comfort of your own home. So this automatically increases player pools and inflates prize pools.
We’ve had lots more online series events than usual this year, for obvious reasons - with some giant guarantees. These nominated events ran over one week, one month or several months. Some had huge Main Event turnouts or guarantees, and featured satellites, side events and promos alongside them.
For the PokerListings Operator Awards: Best Online Series category, we have four nominees this year and only two operators made the cut: WCOOP (Stars), Spring Festival (GGPoker), Micro Millions (Stars) and the WSOP Online (GGPoker).
Winner: WSOP Online at wsop.com and GGPoker
This year's final nominee is the Online WSOP. Two operators offered WSOP Online events this year: wsop.com with 41 events for US players and GGPoker with 33 events for all international players.
Since the international version was much larger than the US version our nomination and title is mainly for GGPoker. The operator offered a $5k main event with a $20m guarantee which was the largest single online tournament of 2021.
Nominees: Best Online Tournament Series 2021
WCOOP at PokerStars
This year's World Championship of Online Poker (short WCOOP) in August and September was the 20th anniversary of the Series and PokerStars ran a truly impressive series with 306 events with buy-ins ranging from $5,50 up to $25,000.
With a hefty $10m guaranteed Main Event and over $1m added value in various promotions PokerStars offered a feast for all poker players. A total of $126m prize money was distributed and a total of 1.4m entries made this WCOOP one of the biggest online series ever held.
Spring Festival at GGPoker
In April this year GGPoker went ahead and ran a 330 event tournament series with a total guarantee of 150 million Dollars. The GG Spring Festival was almost a carbon copy of PokerStars' successful SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online Poker) concept with enormous guarantees.
Two events had a guaranteed prize pool of $10m and several dozen other events had guarantees of $1m or more. The Spring Festival was a bold move by GGPoker, and a few tournaments had significant overlays, but overall the series was a huge success and briefly propelled GGPoker into the #1 spot in terms of player traffic overtaking PokerStars for the first time.
MicroMillions at PokerStars
While the other series nominated in this category are all rather expensive with huge guarantees, we also want to highlight a tournament series with much more affordable buy-ins: The PokerStars MicroMillions. With buy-ins ranging from $1,10 up to $22 the MicroMillions offers affordable tournaments with a great structure in various variants, including Omaha, Draw and Mixed Games.
The PokerStars MicroMillions is one of the only online series where players with limited bankrolls can enjoy deep tournament structures and have the chance to play serious events outside of NLH tournaments.