Every day will be hectic
The 2022 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) got underway over the weekend, the beginning of about a month of tournaments and $85 million in guaranteed prize pools.
The series has a three-tiered buy-in structure as always, with low, medium, and high buy-ins for each event, bringing the total number of tournaments to 322.
New this year, though, are 12 “World Championship” events. They run the gamut of poker games like HORSE, Badugi, Pot-Limit Omaha, and 8-Game Mix, but of course there are also No-Limit Hold’em variants such as Heads-Up, Six-Max, and Progressive Knockout.
There are Main Events for both No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha and thus six Main Events in all because of the three price points for each tournament. The two “high” buy-in Main Events fall under the World Championship category:
WCOOP 92-L: $109 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, $2.5 million guaranteed
WCOOP 92-M: $1,050 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, $4 million guaranteed
WCOOP 92-H: $10,300 World Championship of No-Limit Hold’em, $6 million guaranteed
WCOOP 94-L: $109 Pot-Limit Omaha Main Event, $250,000 guaranteed
WCOOP 94-M: $1,050 Pot-Limit Omaha Main Event, $600,000 guaranteed
WCOOP 94-H: $10,300 World Championship of Pot-Limit Omaha, $1 million guaranteed
All-time online money winner claims elusive WCOOP title
With so many tournaments to get through from September 4 through September 28, there have naturally been a slew of events in motion already. Because of their size, many span multiple days, but one is already done, Event #7: Sunday Cooldown Progressive Knockout (freezeout). Other than it being the first one in the books, it is also notable because Simon “C. Darwin2” Mattsson won the $530 buy-in “high” tier of the event.
Mattsson is currently the top-ranked player in PocketFives’ ranking system and, with over $24.3 million in career winnings, is the site’s all-time online tournament earner. But even with all that success, he had never won a WCOOP title until now. He had won a WCOOP “second chance” tournament, finished runner-up in multiple WCOOP events, and has five SCOOP titles, but the official WCOOP win had always evaded him, even with nearly 300 recorded online tournament victories.
The tournament attracted 614 entries and thus did not beat the $325,000 guarantee (combined bounty and regular prize pools). Mattsson won almost $53,000 in combined regular and bounty prizes, just about evenly split between the two.
As I am writing this on Monday afternoon ET, there are currently seven events (with three buy-in levels each, so 21 tournaments in all) running, plus Event 1, which is setup in phases, though none in in progress at the moment. One more event is about to get started.
One of the events underway is the World Championship of Progressive Knockout No-Limit Hold’em. In the $5,200 version (the “high” buy-in), just five players remain. The tournament had a $1 million guarantee and it just beat that, ending up with a $1.085 million prize pool.
Five more PokerStars WCOOP events will begin on Tuesday.