The second annual* WPT Online Series kicks off on Friday on partypoker and organizers have made it bigger than last year’s. Over the course of two and a half weeks, running May 14 to June 2, the 2021 WPT Online Poker Series will feature more than 130 tournaments with buy-ins ranging from just $5.50 up to $25,500.
Created last year to fill the void left when live World Poker Tour events had to be cancelled because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the WPT Online Series was likely more successful than anyone could have hoped. The first version had 94 events and $35 million in guaranteed prize pools. By the time things wrapped up, the Series had fielded 111,170 entries and smashed the combined guarantee, awarding nearly $53 million in prize money.
While there are loads of tournaments for people of all bankrolls, the World Poker Tour is specifically highlighting three events: the WPT Online Series Main Event, the WPT500 Knockout Online, and the WPT500 Online
The $3,200 Main Event will begin on May 23 with Day 1A. Day 1B will follow on May 30. After that, it’s consecutive days through the final table on June 2. The guaranteed prize pool is $3 million.
Christian Jeppsson won last year’s Main Event, banking $923,785 after a heads-up deal with Viktor Ustimov who agreed to settle for $865,542. Keep in mind that this counts as an official World Poker Tour event, so Jeppsson got his name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.
There is also the Mini Main Event Online, which is basically what it sounds like: a tournament similar to the Main Event, but at a lower price point. This one costs $530 (so it’s not really THAT mini) and is also slated to be a four-day event. Day 1A is this coming Saturday, May 15.
The WPT500 Knockout Online begins next Monday, May 17 with the first of eight starting flights. At least one starting flight will run each day through the following Sunday. Day 2 is on Monday, May 25, and the final table is the next day.
The related WPT500 Online is a $530 event with a $1 million guarantee, the same as the WPT500 Knockout Online. In fact, everything is setup the same way as the Knockout version except that it’s not a knockout tournament and it begins a week later.
As one would expect, there are loads of satellites going on around the clock at partypoker so players can qualify for the big events on the cheap. One such qualifier, or rather more a “qualifier-qualifier,” is the Pro Hunt, which will take place this coming Friday. The winner of the tournament gets a seat in the $3,200 Main Event, but that’s not the fun part. Many partypoker pros like Kristen Bicknell and Patrick Leonard will be in the tournament and those who knock them out will win Main Event satellite tickets. The $33 tourney is an eight-max knockout event with a $30,000 guarantee.
*I guess it’s going to be annual at this point?