The summer of 2021 was loaded with online poker series, with every major brand throwing a tournament party at some point during the summer. One of the last to complete was PokerStars' World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), and it ended with a bang, racking up more than $120 million in prizes, almost 25% over guaranteed prize pools.
WCOOP ran from August 22 to September 15, and it was always expected to be a huge event. PokerStars put $100 million in guarantees onto the series, already the biggest guarantee for a WCOOP series ever, so right from the planning stage, it was clear the operator wanted a big show, and it got it with $122,582,645 in prizes by the end.
It wasn’t in the green across the whole event. PokerStars was required to pony up some overlay cash in a few events over the series, to the total tune of around $1.2 million. However, based on nearly $8 million in rake collected through the series, the operator still made approximately $6.8 million profit.
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WCOOP 2021 vs 2020 Overview
|Total Prize Pool||$122,582,645||$99,945,330|
|Avg Prize Pool Per Tournament||$400,597||$444,201|
|Buy-ins Range||$5.50 to $25,000||$2.20 to $25,000|
|Total Entries (Excluding Rebuys and Addons)||1,444,678||1,120,911|
|Largest Prize Pool||$10,000,000 (Event 91-H Main Event)||$10,000,000 (Main Event)|
|No. of Overlays||43 (14%)||19 (8.45%)|
|No. of Seven Figure Prize Pool||22 (7.19%)||23 (10.2%)|
|No. of High Rollers (>$1k)||85 (27.78%)||64 (28.45%)|
|Series Duration||Aug 22 – Sep 15 (25 days)||Aug 30 – Sep 23 (25 days)|
WCOOP 2020 vs 2021 Compared
That $100 million guarantee wasn’t enough to be certain it would break records. In 2019, $105 million in prize money was collected (on $75 million in guarantees); so there was some work to do to set a WCOOP record. But it managed it easily, sailing past its guarantees by 23%.
In the end, the latest WCOOP has to be seen as a huge success. With the world coming out of lockdown, and summer weather in full swing, not to mention big series like the international WSOP Online on GGPoker and the World Poker Tour World Online Championship on partypoker running alongside it, the numbers for WCOOP are encouraging.
It may not have been PokerStars’ biggest series ever, but for a post-pandemic end-of-summer online series, the operator will be pleased with the results.