Online Poker Events Guide
In a few short years, online poker events have gone from niche interest for tournament fans to some of the most anticipated and trafficked online poker games. These include events such as the World Championship Of Online Poker, Full Tilt Online Poker Series and many more – usually known by one of many acronyms such as WCOOP, FTOPS or ECOOP.
In addition to the big buy-in tournaments, many sites have expanded their events to cover the smaller bankroll poker fans, either with separate ‘mini’ versions of the event or parallel low stakes games. What makes these online poker tournaments so popular is the huge number of satellites. These enable the smallest stakes player to qualify for the big events and have a real chance of genuinely life-changing prize money.
This guide lists the biggest and best online poker events, giving you an overview of what makes each unique and a link to find out more from each of the poker rooms.
Online Poker Events – Pokerstars.com WCOOP and SCOOP
Pokerstars host both of the biggest poker events online, known as the ‘World Championship’ and ‘Spring Championship’ of online poker respectively – these are usually referred to by their acronyms ‘WCOOP’ and ‘SCOOP’. These events are big enough to create a buzz in the online poker community weeks in advance and take place in September (WCOOP) and March (SCOOP) each year.
Prize pools are growing with each event, and currently stand at an amazing $60 million. The winner of the main event at the World Championship is guaranteed a $2 million payout, this is actually more than the majority of televised live poker events pay! Pokerstars events feature parallel buy-ins for different stakes players and a wide number of game types and variations. You will also find ‘high-roller’ events with $10,000+ buy-ins alongside the average $200 to $500 games.
One thing that Pokerstars do really well is to provide a large number of satellite qualifiers. These start at just a couple of dollars and include ‘Steps’ SNGs, hyper-turbo qualifiers and multi-table tournament satellites too. Check out Pokerstars.com now for more information on these world-class online poker events.
Online Poker Events – Full Tilt Poker FTOPS and Mini-FTOPS
Full Tilt Poker host their ‘Online Poker Series’ approximately 4 times a year. Individual tournaments are each hosted by big names from this site’s large number of professionals and feature multi-million dollar prize pools. Guarantees are currently at $25 million and growing as each FTOPS takes place. Many different games and structures are covered including Rush Poker, Knockout Tournaments, Omaha, Stud and Mixed Game poker, all in addition to the ever popular No-Limit Holdem events. Buy-ins start at $109 and go up to more than $2000 for the 2-day super-deep stacked event.
Instead of parallel smaller buy-in games, Full Tilt Poker run a ‘Mini-FTOPS’ around a week after each of the main FTOPS events finishes. This re-runs the same tournament schedule 1-for-1 with buy-ins at 10% of the original price. Since there are many more smaller stakes players online, the fields for this event are huge – leading to some very large prize pools.
Full Tilt do a great job of providing satellite qualifiers, with many ‘guaranteed seats’ games running. In addition you can qualify through Steps SNGs, which provide exit points at common tournament buy-in levels. Tournament dollars won in regular satellites can also be accumulated and used to buy-in to the larger events. One final note on the FTOPS – winners of the main event to use a custom FTOPS avatar at the tables! Check out Full Tilt Poker now for the date and schedule of the next event.
Online Poker Events #3 – Titan Poker ECOOP
Non-US network ‘iPoker’ host the European Championship Of Online Poker. Like the FTOPS, this one runs several times a year – though does not have fixed date. Smaller than the international events, this series of online poker tournaments still manages a healthy $5 million in guaranteed prize money. The main event having a $1.5 million prize pool and $530 entry fee.
Players used to the larger poker sites will be pleasantly surprised at the effect that the high ratio of recreational players has on the games at Titan Poker and the iPoker Network. With softer fields than many of the alternative events an experienced poker player has a realistic chance of making a big cash.
iPoker run 3-stage satellites which include both Sit N Goes and multi-table tournaments for the ECOOP. Stage 3 qualifiers run from around $1 and feed into stage 2 and so on, these allow large numbers of players to qualify for a seat. We expect the ECOOP to continue getting bigger and better. This event already offers significant value to players who understand poker strategy – you can find out when the next event runs at Titan Poker.
Online Poker Events #4 – UB.com UBOC
UB.com’s ‘Ultimate Bet Online Championship’ is a relative newcomer to the online events calendar. Again this one runs multiple times a year without a timetable specified more than one event in advance. Like the FTOPS there is a mini-version of the UBOC for smaller buy-in players. This event also features a leader board contest and a wide selection of satellite qualifiers.
Open to US players, pro sponsorship from Phil Hellmuth and others and offering $4 million in guarantees ensures that this event is popular. We expect the prize pools to get bigger as this event becomes more established. Find out about the latest UBOC at UB.com now!
Online Poker Events #5 – Bodog Poker Open
Bodog are better known for their sports betting and casino operations than for online poker. This makes the tables at their poker site very profitable for those with some poker strategy knowledge. The online event at this site is the multi-yearly Bodog Poker Open, this is a week long event featuring tournaments with buy-ins starting at $109.
As a smaller poker site you can expect fields in the 100’s rather than the 1000’s. While the prize pools are relatively small, the smaller fields are considered a plus for many players who prefer the more reasonable fields. Qualifiers start at just $1 and the main event has a guaranteed $200,000 prize pool. Running in parallel with the BPO is the ‘contender’ series, with buy-ins ranging from $11 to $50 for the smaller bankroll players. Check out details of the next BPO at Bodog Poker now!
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