The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Winter Online Circuit returns this weekend on GGPoker, with 18 ring events up for grabs. Those dozen and a half ring events come with over $26 million in guaranteed prize pools.
The headline number, though, is $100 million. That’s the amount of guaranteed prize money across all of the hundreds of events on the December 12 to January 9 schedule. Thirteen of the ring events have at least a $1 million guarantee. The smallest ring tourney guarantee is $500,000.
Focusing on the ring events, the festivities begin on Sunday, December 12 with two of them: Big 50 MILLION$, with a $50 buy-in and a $1 million guarantee, and the BIG 500 No-Limit Hold’em, which has a $500 buy-in and a $2 million guarantee.
The Main Event costs $525 to enter and has the largest guaranteed prize pool of the Winter Online Circuit at $5 million.
Several of the tournaments have multitudes of starting flights (I’m not counting them, but just trust me when I use the word “multitudes”). These events tend to be the ones with the lowest buy-ins, as they are expected to attract the most entrants. Included in this group is the $400 COLOSSUS with a $2.5 million guaranteed prize pool and the cleverly-named $400 PLOSSUS, with a $1 million guarantee.
Everyone who participates in a ring event or side events (meaning the other non-ring events) can earn leaderboard points based on where they finish. The top 100 players will earn a share of $100,000.
Two ring events will also be live streamed: the $10,300 Super MILLION$ High Roller on December 21, and the Main Event on January 15. Randy “nanonoko” Lew and Kevin “RotterdaM” van der Kooi will provide the commentary.
The WSOP Winter Online Circuit debuted last year. Like many new internet poker events, it was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, as live poker tournaments were shut down for the bulk of 2020. More than 85,000 people entered the 18 ring events, generating over $38 million in prize pools. Like this year’s iteration, the total guarantees across all ring and side events were $100 million.
It will be interesting to see how the 2021 Main Event stacks up to last year’s, as it is significantly less expensive. The 2020 WSOP Winter Online Circuit Main Event cost $1,700 to enter, though it did come with a $10 million guarantee. It drew a total of 6,395 entries (974 were re-entries) and beat the guarantee by more than $300,000. The top 400 finishers made the money, each making at least $4,107.
Paulius Plausinaitis won the Main Event and over $1.2 million.