In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
PokerStars reveals $100M GTD WCOOP full schedule
The 20th edition of the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is fast approaching with online players now more excited than ever as its full 102-event schedule is finally released. Boasting of $100,000,000 in prize guarantees, the biggest WCOOP to ever come on the platform welcomes players with different levels of bankrolls to play across its great value low, medium and high level buy-in events. The festivities are set to kick off on August 22 and will run through September 15, 2021 for a full 25 days of immense action.
This year’s events will cover six exciting Main Events – three of which will play through a No Limit Hold’em format while the following three will cater to Pot Limit Omaha enthusiasts. $16 million in combined prizes is slated for the Main Events alone, with the most expensive buy-in $5,200 NLHE, posts a whopping $10 million guarantee.
September 12, 2021 (Sunday) – 13:05 ET
#91-L: $55 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event], $1.5M Gtd
#91-M: $530 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event], $2.5M Gtd
#91-H: $5,200 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event, $10M Gtd
September 12, 2021 (Sunday) – 15:05 ET
#92-L: $109 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event], $275K Gtd
#92-M: $1,050 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event], $750K Gtd
#92-H: $10,300 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event], $1M Gtd
Online regulars who are looking to join the annual festivities should already prepare a chunky bankroll as the busy lineup showcases several highlights. Listed below are some key events and a number of other seven figure prize pool tournaments:
August 22, 2021 (Sunday) – 13:05 ET
#04-L: $55 NLHE [8-Max], $1M Gtd
#04-M: $530 NLHE [8-Max], $1.5M Gtd
#04-H: $5,200 NLHE [8-Max, High Roller], $1M Gtd
August 24, 2021 (Tuesday) – 13:05 ET
#14-L: $109 NLHE [8-Max, Mini Super Tuesday SE], $500K Gtd
#14-M: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, Super Tuesday SE], $1M Gtd
#14-H: $10,300 NLHE [8-Max, High Roller], $1M Gtd
August 26, 2021 (Thursday) – 13:05 ET
#22-L: $55 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Mini Thursday Thrill SE], $500K Gtd
#22-M: $530 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Thursday Thrill SE], $1M Gtd
#22-H: $5,200 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, High Roller], $750K Gtd
August 29, 2021 (Sunday) – 13:05 ET
#34-L: $215 NLHE [8-Max], $1.25M Gtd
#34-M: $2,100 NLHE [8-Max], $1M Gtd
#34-H: $25,000 NLHE [8-Max, Super High Roller], $3M Gtd
September 05, 2021 (Sunday) – 13:05 ET
#63-L: $109 NLHE [8-Max, PKO], $1.5M Gtd
#63-M: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, PKO], $1.5M Gtd
#63-H: $10,300 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, High Roller], $1M Gtd
*September 13, 2021 (Monday) – 14:05 ET
#01-L: $5.50 NLHE [Phase 2], $1M Gtd
#01-M: $22 NLHE [Phase 2], $1M Gtd
#01-H: $109 NLHE [Phase 2], $1M Gtd
Visit the PokerStars Blog for the full schedule of events.
Chris Moorman ends partnership with 888poker’s Team Pro
Another high profile poker player’s partnership with a respective online poker site was just made public last week and this time, it’s British pro Chris Moorman leaving 888poker’s Team Pro. Earlier this year, we heard of Swedish pro Martin Jacobson having taken the same path and it could possibly be the brand’s way of shifting its direction to a different audience. Its newly launched band of streamers called ‘StreamTeam’ is made up of less-known, mid stakes players whom regular users can associate with more likely.
The news appeared on the site’s official social media page in which it posted an image of the ex-ambassador with a caption saying “We’re sad to say that our time with @moorman1 as an 888poker poker ambassador is coming to an end. We’ve loved being part of your #poker journey, Chris and we know you will continue to soar. Thanks for the memories. It’s been GR888T!”
While no hints were made known prior to the decision, the poker community can still definitely expect to see the top online pro in the virtual arena. Right before July ended, Moorman captured his second career gold bracelet from the 2021 WSOP Online [USA] leg and took home a sweet US$ 102,406 paycheck for his run.
India: Online poker legislation scores a win in Tamil Nadu
The Indian market has seen an increase in demand across its online poker playing field, with world-class brands such as World Poker Tour and Asian Poker Tour recently showcasing their tournament offerings across the country’s respective platforms. Players geo-located in the state of Tamil Nadu however, are unable to participate in online poker games such as these after the sport was outlawed a year ago. A recent hearing successfully reversed this decision after the court deemed the amendments to the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws Act, unconstitutional.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy ruled that the changes discriminated against online poker as a profession. “[The act] has fallen foul of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution that allows people the right to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business,” noted the judges.
While the latest ruling is a win for online poker players in Tamil Nadu, the judges indicated that new legislation can be passed which bans both online poker and rummy as long as it does not violate the constitution. Law Minister Sevugan Regupathy acted quickly and issued a statement not long after, announcing that he would attempt to ban online rummy (together with poker) without delay.
Flutter records stellar revenue for H1, increased costs leaves overall in the red
Parent company of PokerStars, Flutter Entertainment recorded a 27.8% year-on-year increase in revenue for the first half of 2021 as its sports betting business grew 58.1% to £1.89bn. UK and Ireland were among the top territories bringing in a revenue total of £1.14bn for a 94.2% increase.
“The first half of 2021 exceeded our expectations as we made substantial progress against our operational and strategic objectives while maintaining excellent momentum in growing our player base, Our global sports businesses benefited from further enhancements to our products and the return to more normalised sporting calendars while we sustained our strong performance in gaming despite the challenging comparatives set last year”, stated Flutter Chief Executive Peter Jackson.
US on the other hand, recorded the fastest growth as its market expanded across Virginia and Michigan, listing a revenue up 135.1% to £652m. Higher costs all around (majorly brought by the US segment) however, landed Flutter in the red, with cost of sales alone up 49.6% year-on-year. Marketing costs were on the rise as well, a 71.0% increase to £728m which in total left Flutter with £1.22bn, down by 0.7% from 2020’s H1.
PokerStars US faces technical issues, launches Champions Preseason Series
PokerStars’ US-facing network experienced technical difficulties across operations in states New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan last August 4th. Players reported several issues which resulted in an urgent unscheduled maintenance and halted games for nearly 24 hours.
The site is currently up and running and has just recently launched its Champions Preseason Series in preparation for the upcoming Championship of Online Poker (COOP) series. Players in all three states can join the festivities which kicked off last August 12. The festival is set to cover a total of $850,000 in guaranteed prizes and fulfill a 10-day schedule with Main Events taking place on the 22nd.
- PokerStars NJ: $150,000 in guarantees
- PokerStars MI: $300,000 in guarantees
- PokerStars PA: $400,000 in guarantees