WCOOP 2016 - Schedule Announcement

It's that time of year again, when after many versions (five, if you're counting along at home) and weeks of feedback, many meetings and loads of individual changes to the schedule for the 2016 World Championship of Online Poker, we're now ready to share the final version (05) of what will be played out on the virtual felt in September.  

From the time that the first version was written on my computer to the time that we've arrived at the final version, over 100 individual changes were made to the schedule.  Some changes were small, things like changing a format from 9-Max to 8-Max or changing a buy-in from $109 to $215.  Some changes were big, like changing Event 11 from $320 7-Card Stud to $320 FL Omaha Hi/Lo [8-Max].  One constant throughout, as it is each year that we go through this process, is that a large number of the changes were driven by feedback from our players.  As I say quite often, we not only listen to feedback from our players, we absolutely depend upon it.  After all, none of those of us who build our Championship series actually play in them (as much as we'd love to).

As well as the invaluable input into the Event schedule, which has led to the scheduling of over 80 Events (12 more than last year), we're also making some other changes with WCOOP 2016, some of which will be popular, some of which less so.  As you may have read in my previous blog entry on WCOOP, we're launching a companion series, Mini-WCOOP, to run alongside WCOOP.  The schedule for Mini-WCOOP will follow the schedule for WCOOP, with the buy-in for each Mini-WCOOP Event being at 1/100th that of the corresponding WCOOP Event in most cases, except when the WCOOP Event eclipses $1,000, at which point the Mini-WCOOP Event is capped at $11.  We're running this companion series to give everyone the chance to take part in the WCOOP experience, while rightfully keeping a respectable distance from the Events of WCOOP proper.  Meanwhile, within WCOOP and at the extreme high end of the buy-in scale, we're running a $102,000 Super High-Roller Event, which is the largest buy-in online tournament in history and right at home, I believe, in the most prestigious online poker series found anytime, anywhere.

There will be no 2nd Chance tournaments for WCOOP 2016.  As WCOOP has expanded over the years, both in number of Events as well as length and availability of late registration, the need for 2nd Chance tournaments has diminished significantly.  Removing the 2nd Chance tournaments has been something that we've been considering for a few years, and with the expansion to 82 Events, it's a decision that we've finally taken.  Also in 2016, we have decided to stop awarding WCOOP bracelets.  As part of an extensive review, we have found that although some players have been highly appreciative and valued the bracelets as the prestigious trophies we intended them to be from the start, the vast majority of players have made it clear that going after a bracelet is not something which motivates them to play the series.  Given the fact that the spending on the bracelets represents a significant cost which is devoted to a very small percentage of the WCOOP population each year, the decision to discontinue them was clearer than it might have seemed initially.  We will of course continue to send all WCOOP final table participants and winners a token of recognition of their achievement, in addition to the massive prize awaiting each WCOOP Champion at the top of each prize table.

This year's WCOOP Leaderboard is going to give away over $70,000 in cash prizes, TCOOP Main Event tickets, and one Ultimate Bahamas Experience.  That last Bahamanian poker holiday-based prize will be won by the ultimate WCOOP Leaderboard Champion, along with the Champion's Trophy, and will include a $5,000+ Main Event entry in Nassau, return Business Class flights for two people, a luxury suite stay for two people in a suite at the Cove Tower on the Atlantis resort, limo pick-up, VIP treatment throughout, a massive room credit, and many extras throughout the winner's stay.

This year's series is going to be seriously exciting!  Keep an eye open for the Players' Choice Events nomination period notification and subsequent voting, appearing soon in the PokerStars client.  See September 17th in the schedule below for more details on the Players' Choice nomination and voting process!  And now, without further ado, here is the final schedule for the 2016 World Championship of Online Poker.  

Note: Guarantees for the Events listed below will be published when the schedule is deployed to the PokerStars client on/about August 17th.


2016 World Championship of Online Poker - Final Schedule - all times ET

Sunday, September 4th

08:00 - Event 01: $109 NL Hold'em [Sunday Kickoff SE, Final Day 1]
11:00 - Event 02: $215 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Sunday Warm-Up SE], Max Re-Entries: 3
12:30 - Event 03: $1,050 NL Hold'em [Marathon Event - Four-Day Event], Max Re-Entries: 5 
14:00 - Event 04: $215 NL Hold'em [Sunday Million SE], Max Re-Entries: 2
17:00 - Event 05: $320 NL Omaha Hi/Lo [6-Max]

• The Marathon Event is new to the WCOOP schedule for 2016, with a structure on which we're still working.  The structure will be extremely deep, and will be one in which patience will be key.  Late registration will be very long in this Event, which will play out over four days.

Monday, September 5th

10:00 - Event 06: $215 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Rebuys]
13:00 - Event 07: $700 NL Hold'em [8-Max, Progressive Knockout (50%)]
16:00 - Event 08: $700 PL Omaha [3-Max, Progressive Knockout (25%), Zoom]

• After the success and massive excitement generated by 3-Max NL Hold'em in SCOOP 2016, we've expanded on the concept by adding a 3-Max PL Omaha Event to WCOOP 2016!

Tuesday, September 6th

10:00 - Event 09: $1,050 NL Single Draw 2-7 Championship, Max Re-Entries: 1
13:00 - Event 10: $1,050 NL Hold'em [Super Tuesday SE]
16:00 - Event 11: $320 FL Omaha Hi/Lo [8-Max]

• $320 FL Omaha Hi/Lo makes its return to WCOOP, having been absent for one year.

Wednesday, September 7th

10:00 - Event 12: $1,050 NL 5-Card Draw Championship, Max Re-Entries: 1
13:00 - Event 13: $215 NL Hold'em [Progressive Knockout (50%)]
16:00 - Event 14: $215 NL Hold'em [Big Antes], Max Re-Entries: 3

Thursday, September 8th

10:00 - Event 15: $215 PL Omaha [1R1A]
13:00 - Event 16: $1,050 NL Hold'em [Progressive Knockout (50%), Thursday Thrill SE]
16:00 - Event 17: $320 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo

• $320 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo makes its return to WCOOP, having been absent for one year.

Friday, September 9th

10:00 - Event 18: $320 NL Hold'em [Heads-Up]
13:00 - Event 19: $1,050 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship, Max Re-Entries: 1
16:00 - Event 20: $320 NL Hold'em [3-Max, Progressive Knockout (25%), Zoom]

• The most talked-about Event from SCOOP 2016, 3-Max Progressive Knockout Zoom NLHE, makes its way to WCOOP!

Saturday, September 10th

04:00 - Event 21: $215 NL Hold'em, Max Re-Entries: 3
07:00 - Event 22: $215 PL 5-Card Omaha Hi/Lo [6-Max], Max Re-Entries: 3
10:00 - Event 23: $10,300 NL Hold'em [Heads-Up, High-Roller, No Late Registration]
13:00 - Event 24: $530 NL Hold'em [Progressive Knockout (25%)]
16:00 - Event 25: $1,050 NL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship [6-Max], Max Re-Entries: 1

Sunday, September 11th

08:00 - Event 26: $215 PL Omaha [6-Max, Progressive Knockout (25%)]
11:00 - Event 27: $215 NL Hold'em [Deep Payouts, Sunday Warm-Up SE], Max Re-Entries: 2
12:30 - Event 28: $102,000 NL Hold'em [8-Max, Super High-Roller], Max Re-Entries: 1
14:00 - Event 29: $700 NL Hold'em [Sunday Million SE]
17:00 - Event 30: $109 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Sunday Cooldown SE]

• Deep Payouts, the format which was so talked about - and heavily enjoyed - in SCOOP 2016 makes its way into WCOOP 2016 for one Event only!  For players who have as their singular goal to reach the cash just once in a major Championship Event, this will be the best chance!

• Event 28 will be one of the most exciting poker Events on the calendar, online or offline, as poker's elite battle it out on the virtual felt having paid over $100,000 to do so!  Grab a spot on the rail for this one, you won't want to miss it!

Monday, September 12th

10:00 - Event 31: $215 NL Hold'em [Rebuys]
13:00 - Event 32: $320 PL Omaha Hi/Lo [8-Max]
16:00 - Event 33: $320 NL Hold'em [6-Max], Max Re-Entries: 3

• PL Omaha Hi/Lo changes to 8-Max from 6-Max, based on player feedback.

Tuesday, September 13th

10:00 - Event 34: $215 PL Omaha [6-Max, Progressive Knockout (50%)]
13:00 - Event 35: $1,575 NL Hold'em [Super Tuesday SE]
16:00 - Event 36: $1,050 PL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship [8-Max], Max Re-Entries: 1

• This year's PL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship should be a bit different from last year's, as it's now 8-Max in response to feedback from our players who pointed out that it should have been 8-Max or 9-Max all along.  We took a look at the data, agreed, and a change was made.

Wednesday, September 14th

10:00 - Event 37: $215 NL Hold'em [2R1A]
13:00 - Event 38: $320 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Shootout, No Late Registration]
16:00 - Event 39: $1,050 FL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship [8-Max], Max Re-Entries: 1

• This year's shootout should be bigger than ever, as the buy-in has been reduced from $530 in 2015 to $320 in 2016!

Thursday, September 15th

10:00 - Event 40: $320 NL Hold'em [8-Max]
13:00 - Event 41: $1,575 NL Hold'em [Progressive Knockout (50%), Thursday Thrill SE]
16:00 - Event 42: $320 Eight-Game

• The Thursday Thrill Special Edition enjoys a new buy-in level, with the opening Knockouts being worth $375 each!

Friday, September 16th 

10:00 - Event 43: $1,050 Triple Draw 2-7 Championship, Max Re-Entries: 1
13:00 - Event 44: $320 NL Hold'em [Ante Up, Progressive Knockout (33%)]
16:00 - Event 45: $320 FL Hold'em [6-Max]

• Ante Up gets spruced up a bit, with the addition of Progressive Knockouts!

Saturday, September 17th 

04:00 - Event 46: $320 NL Hold'em, Max Re-Entries: 3
07:00 - Event 47: $1,050 Badugi Championship, Max Re-Entries: 1
10:00 - Event 48: $215 Players' Choice Event #1 [NL Hold'em]
13:00 - Event 49: $700 NL Hold'em [Mix-Max, Part 1, 8-Max]
16:00 - Event 50: $215 Players' Choice Event #2 [non-NL Hold'em]

• September 17th is Players' Choice Saturday!  TWO Players' Choice Events highlight this extremely exciting day on the WCOOP calendar!

o Process Details:

1. The nomination period will be announced.  
i. During the nomination period, we will ask interested players to write to us at wcoop@pokerstars.com, nominating the types of Events they would like to see in Event 48 and Event 50.  We will limit the nominations to two per player.

2. Once the nomination period is over, we will count up the nominations and create tournaments representing the top nominations.

3. The top nominated Event types will be placed into Voting Booth tabs in the PokerStars client, under the WCOOP tab.

4. We will announce that voting is open.  Players will vote for their favorite tournament among those in the Voting Booths by registering for the tournaments among those in the Voting Booths, which will each have a buy-in of $215.
i. Players will each only be able to register for one tournament per Voting Booth.

5. After a period of one week, voting will close and the Events with the highest numbers of registered players will have won.

6. The formats of the winning Events will become the formats for Events 48 and Event 50, respectively.

7. The Voting Booth tournaments will be destroyed and all of the buy-ins used to vote will be returned to all players.

• Event 49 will be the first three-part Mix-Max Event in our Championship history, as players go from 8-Max, to 4-Max, to Heads-up!

Sunday, September 18th 

08:00 - Event 51: $1,050 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Ultra-Deep]
11:00 - Event 52: $215 NL Hold'em [Sunday Warm-Up SE], Max Re-Entries: 2
12:30 - Event 53: $10,300 NL Hold'em [8-Max, High-Roller], Max Re-Entries: 1
14:00 - Event 54: $2,100 NL Hold'em [Sunday Million SE]
17:00 - Event 55: $530 NL Hold'em, Max Re-Entries: 3

• September 18th will likely be one of the richest days on the entire calendar other than Main Event Sunday, with millions being awarded!

Monday, September 19th 

10:00 - Event 56: $215 NL Hold'em [Progressive Knockout (25%)]
13:00 - Event 57: $1,050 FL Hold'em Championship [6-Max], Max Re-Entries: 1
16:00 - Event 58: $320 Razz

• $320 Razz makes its first appearance on the WCOOP schedule.

Tuesday, September 20th 

10:00 - Event 59: $320 NL Hold'em [Win the Button], Max Re-Entries: 3
13:00 - Event 60: $2,100 NL Hold'em [Super Tuesday SE]
16:00 - Event 61: $1,050 Razz Championship, Max Re-Entries: 1

• Win the Button, a new format for PokerStars, makes its first appearance in our Championship series!

Wednesday, September 21st 

10:00 - Event 62: $530 NL Hold'em [Rebuys]
13:00 - Event 63: $2,100 PL Omaha Championship [6-Max], Max Re-Entries: 1
16:00 - Event 64: $320 HORSE

Thursday, September 22nd 

10:00 - Event 65: $700 NL Hold'em [Ultra-Deep], Max Re-Entries: 3
13:00 - Event 66: $2,100 NL Hold'em [Progressive Knockout (50%), Thursday Thrill SE]
16:00 - Event 67: $1,050 7-Card Stud Championship, Max Re-Entries: 1

Friday, September 23rd 

07:00 - Event 68: $320 PL Omaha [6-Max, Rebuys]
10:00 - Event 69: $700 NL Hold'em [6-Max, 5-Stack]
13:00 - Event 70: $21,000 PL Omaha [6-Max, High-Roller], Max Re-Entries: 1
16:00 - Event 71: $2,100 HORSE Championship, Max Re-Entries: 1

• The first $21K PL Omaha High-Roller in WCOOP history takes place on September 23rd!

Saturday, September 24th 

07:00 - Event 72: $109 NL Hold'em [Final Day 1]
10:00 - Event 73: $700 PL Omaha [Heads-Up]
13:00 - Event 74: $10,300 Eight-Game Championship, Max Re-Entries: 1
16:00 - Event 75: $700 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Progressive Knockout (50%)]

• The second of two massive multi-day Phase tournaments draws to a close on September 24th, as the final Day 1 for Event 72 takes place!

Sunday, September 25th - Main Event Sunday

08:00 - Event 76: $320 PL Omaha [Mix-Max, Part 1, 9-Max]
11:00 - Event 77: $215 NL Hold'em [8-Max, Sunday Warm-Up SE], Max Re-Entries: 3
14:00 - Event 78: $5,000 NL Hold'em Main Event - $1.5M Gtd to Champion!, Max Re-Entries: 1
17:00 - Event 79: $320 NL Hold'em, Max Re-Entries: 3

• The first PL Omaha Mix-Max Event in our Championship history takes place on Main Event Sunday!

• The Main Event - with a $10,000,000 guarantee and $1.5M guaranteed to the Champion!

Monday, September 26th 

10:00 - Event 80: $700 NL Hold'em [1R1A]
13:00 - Event 81: $320 PL 5-Card Omaha [6-Max], Max Re-Entries: 3
16:00 - Event 82: $1,050 NL Hold'em [WCOOP Wrap-Up], Max Re-Entries: 1

• WCOOP wraps up with three exciting Events which start during the Day 2s in progress from Main Event Sunday!

The schedule posted above is final as of 8 August 2016.  PokerStars reserves the right to make changes as deemed necessary up to the start time of any individual Event, without prior notification if necessary.  We welcome any feedback our players have to offer on the 2016 World Championship of Online Poker.  Players may contact WCOOP staff directly by writing to wcoop@pokerstars.com; please allow up to 72 hours for a reply.

Bryan Slick is Senior Manager of Online Championships for PokerStars.
Bryan Slick
@PokerStars in WCOOP