A few days ago, online poker giant PokerStars announced that it would run its biggest annual poker festival for the 21st time this year. The operator has now released the dates for the 2022 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) as well.
This year’s edition of WCOOP will run from September 4 to September 28, spanning the traditional duration of 25 days that many players will be used to by now.
While the full schedule has yet to be revealed, if you’ve played in WCOOP before, you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Although, compared to last year’s 20th-anniversary WCOOP, this year’s series may be a bit smaller in size and scope overall for several reasons.
Yet, regardless of the relative shrinking, WCOOP will still be one of the most epic online poker events of the year, offering plenty of quality action.
What to Expect from 2022 WCOOP?
Now that the dates of the WCOOP have been announced, we can get a pretty clear idea of the type of online poker festival it will be.
As usual, WCOOP will likely feature close to 300 individual events spanning three buy-in orbits, with each event offered for a Low, Medium, and High buy-in.
Last year, WCOOP was celebrating its 20th anniversary and, as such, had a guaranteed prize pool of $100 million. While the overall guarantee was shattered with over $122 million awarded, the Main Event failed to hit the $10 million guarantee.
Since then, PokerStars has exited several vital markets, including Russia, Ontario, and the Netherlands, which has impacted the overall number of players by a significant margin.
The operator left Russia earlier this year in response to the country’s military operations in Ukraine, while it opened a separate locally regulated site for players in Ontario and was forced to leave the Dutch market for a while.
For all these reasons, we expect the guarantees for this year’s WCOOP to be slightly reduced, likely down to $80 million or so, while the guarantee for the Main Event will almost certainly go down, considering it failed to meet its guarantee for two consecutive years.
Apart from this, it should be business as usual at the WCOOP, with plenty of events across a variety of poker games, formats, and buy-in levels, as well as valuable promotions for all participants, prizes for leaderboard winners, and more.
The $5,200 Main Event, the $25,000 High Roller, and the majority of other popular events are expected to return this year, along with various other well-known events.
Considering PokerStars’ tendency to spread as many different games as possible at festivals like WCOOP, we can also expect variants such as Short Deck Hold 'em, Five and Six Card PLO, and other novelty games gaining popularity in recent years.
Preparing for WCOOP 2022
WCOOP is one of the biggest events of the year for online tournament poker players at all stakes, and, as such, many players out there will look to clear their schedules to focus on the grind.
The full schedule for the series remains to be announced, but we already know there will be plenty more action to get into before the WCOOP even starts.
PokerStars has recently announced its MicroMillions series, which starts July 17. We could also see another MTT series occur between now and the start of WCOOP on September 4.
As for WCOOP, satellite tournaments for the festival will likely start well ahead, allowing everyone to get involved with some of the more extensive and more expensive events of the online poker world’s equivalent of the WSOP.