2017 WCOOP One for the Record BooksOctober 3, 2017 1:07 pm
The 2017 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) was the biggest since the series began back in 2002, with its 164 event schedule resulting in a prize pool of $90.6 million, far in excess of the original $60 million guarantee advertised by PokerStars. The huge sum also represents a 16.5% increase from the $77.8 million that was generated at the same series last year.
The latest statistics highlight the growing popularity of the site’s tournament series offerings, with the 2017 WCOOP proving to be the second-largest in the history of internet poker, with the biggest also coming this year at the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), which featured a total prize pool in excess of $93 million.
Furthermore, the 2017 WCOOP set a series participation record, with 107,00 players from all around the globe taking part in the series, including 2,183 entering the showcase $5,200 Main Event, a slight improvement on the 2,091 that did so back in 2006. Nevertheless, the series was not open to those players residing in the US, or a number of regulated, ring-fenced markets in Europe, including those in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal.
Amongst the players then making a splash at the 2017 WCOOP were those from a wide range of countries, such as Russia, Austria, Croatia, UK, and Mexico. Dutchman Steven van Zadelhoff subsequently took down the Main Event for $1.6 million, while US player Nick Petrangelo did likewise at the $25,000 NLHE High Roller for $624,676, playing from a location in Canada.
In a departure from previous years, this year’s WCOOP featured numerous events in the $11 to $25,000 buy-in range, with their numbers split fairly evenly between high-stakes and low-stakes tournaments. Commenting upon the success of this new, innovative approach, Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi explained:
“We are executing on our plans to bring the excitement of live events online while rewarding players of all levels. We’re very pleased to see the reaction at this year’s WCOOP with over 107,000 players taking part, of which over 10 percent were WCOOP first time players and have only had an online account with us for less than a year.”
The 2017 WCOOP also provided more than $1 million by way of promotions and prizes, as well as contributed a further $120,000 from the series to the European-based charity called Raising for Effective Giving.