In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
WCOOP 2020 announcement
In last week’s Online Poker news, we wondered how PokerStars will design their prestigious online festival WCOOP (World Championship Of Online Poker), wondering if it was set to fail staying the biggest series of the year.
And PokerStars answered with a clear message: to be the biggest series you do not need the biggest prize pool. You can be the biggest by offering the most events.
The $80 million in guaranteed prize pools is just $5 million more than last year and it is obvious that Stars is treading carefully after their Stadium Series debacle with massive overlays, sticking to the usual prize pool guarantee increase they have applied for the past years.
The event will start on 30th August, run over 25 days and host 225 tournaments.
“WCOOP is a prestigious staple in the poker calendar and this year we are excited to bring players our biggest WCOOP ever, as well as adding extra excitement and value into the mix,” said Severin Rasset, Managing Director and Commercial Officer of Poker at PokerStars. “We want to give players of all levels the opportunity to become a champion, so there will be lots of ways to get in on the action.”
Rasset is obviously talking about a vast satellite offering but WCOOP also uses a three-tiered system, with every event offered with three different buy-ins: Low ($5 to $22), Medium ($50 to $200) and High ($500 an up).
For the first time there will be three Main Events: The standard $5200 buy-in, $10 million-guaranteed High-tier headliner and the $55 buy-in, $1.25 million-guaranteed Low, with a new addition for 2020: a $530 buy-in, $2 million-guaranteed tournament at the mid-level.
Stars shines where a lot of the competition fails with an offer of niche variants like Limit Hold’em, NL Omaha, Stud, Razz, Badugi and mixed games. This truly supports the message from Stars making clear that the once most glorified platform is indeed still a big player in this tournament series game.
First edition of PokerStars INCOOP
PokerStars announced not just the massive World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) as mentioned above, they also announced the first edition of the Indian Championship Of Online Poker (INCOOP) and it is set to run for two weeks starting on 3rd September. It will include over 205 tournaments and a 9.05 Crore ($1.2 million) guarantee.
It’s the largest online tournament series ever run by PokerStars in this segregated market. The previous biggest series was INSCOOP 2020, which guaranteed over 8 Crore ($1.06 million) across 185 tournaments.
The INCOOP Main Event will have a 1 Crore ($133,330) guarantee with a buy-in of INR 11,000 ($147). This will be the third time PokerStars.IN offered a 1 Crore-guaranteed tournament; the previous two were both part of prior INSCOOP series.
888poker presents new Android mobile app
The latest largest ever update to the 888poker mobile app is only available for Android for now.
It is an overhaul of the user experience starting with a complete change to portrait mode layout. The new app also features multi-tabling and a new replayer.
The game selection has been made easier and the popular throwables (throw virtual objects at each other) have been added to the gaming experience.
It has also been made possible now to play up to four tables at once with a preview of the hole cards displayed on the top.
888poker has not yet announced when the rollout will happen to iOS devices.
WPN’s MoMoMo PKO Tournament Championship Series
The US-facing Winning Poker Network only recently started supporting the popular Progressive Knockout (PKO) format and has now announced a full tournament series in this variant including a $5 million guaranteed Main Event.
The series will kick off on 9th September and is oddly named MoMoMo PKO Tournament Championship Series. It guaranteed a total prize pool of $50 million across all events. How many events there will be is not included in the announcement yet, but WPN is titling it as “the world’s biggest Progressive Knockout tournament series in the history of online poker.”
It looks like they are not lying either as no other operator has run a series dedicated entirely to bounty tournaments with guarantees of this scale. Partypoker’s $30 million KO Series last year and PokerStars’ $25 million Bounty Builder Series this year have so far been the largest to date.
“Throughout the history of online poker, no other site has offered a series this big made up exclusively of Progressive Knock Out tournaments,” states the promotion page of the MoMoMo series. “Our multi-day $5 Million GTD Main Event to the series dwarves [sic] any single Progressive Knock Out tournament ever offered.”