WCP VIII: How it works

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpgThe World Cup of Poker has become famed for its intricate and evolving formats and ranking systems. No one year has the tournament played out using the same rules as before but maybe, just maybe, this is the year the cup has been cracked. A series of turbo sit-and-gos followed by a MTT with a mega-stack principle in Day 1, followed by more turbos and knockout heads up tournaments in Day 2. The format should reward those teams that consistently perform well (most likely the Germans if other World Cups are anything to go by) but retains enough fluidity to keep things fresh and exciting as befits this great event.

Let's try to lay it out as clearly and simply as I can.

pca_wcp 1_floor.jpg

The World Cup of Poker is under way

Day One

1. Five nine-handed sit-and-gos with points allocated according to finishing position
2. Nine five-handed sit-and-gos with points allocated according to finishing position
3. A 45-man multi-table

The sit-and-gos will operate with a 3,000 starting stack and a 15-minute clock, which should get things ticking off pretty quickly. In fact, Costa Rican captain Humberto Brenes is already out. We know this as we could hear him roaring out the keening wail of dying shark.

Single table points
1. 10 points
2. 8 points
3. 7 points
4. 6 points
5. 5 points
6. 4 points
7. 3 points
8. 2 points
9. 1 point

The multi-table tournament has a couple of interesting features. Each team will be allowed one timeout at the final table, assuming you have a player reach it, where you have 60 seconds to confer with your team - under the watchful eye of the tournament director - before returning to the table. Big chunks of points can be earned or lost here with only five teams scoring.

Also, only one player per team is allowed at a table so if you get moved to join a team mate your chips will combine, they will mega-stack, and the players will take turns to play, an orbit at a time.

Multi-table points
1. 40 points
2. 30 points
3. 20 points
4. 15 points
5. 10 points

At the end of Day 1 we will wave goodbye to the lowest ranking team. But they won't leave empty-handed, they take away $1,250 each and a World Cup of Poker goodie bag.

pca_wcp 1_wcp top.jpg

Out in 9th? You get to keep the tracksuit top

Day Two

Play resumes tomorrow with the eight remaining teams which will compete to establish their final rankings

1. Five eight-handed turbo sit-and-gos
2. Ten four-handed deep stack tournaments

At this point the eight teams will split into two brackets.

3. The top four teams and bottom four teams will play a heads up tournament to determine their places within the 1st to 4th bracket and the 5th to 8th bracket.
4. The final round will pitch 1st versus 2nd, 3rd versus 4th etc to determine their final standing.

Team payouts

1st. $90,000 ($22,500 per person)
2nd. $65,000 ($16,250 per person)
3rd. $45,000 ($11,250 per person)
4th. $30,000 ($7,500 per person)
5th. $20,000 ($5,000 per person)
6th. $15,000 ($3,750 per person)
7th. $10,000 ($2,500 per person)
8th. $7,500 ($1,875 per person)
9th. $5,000 ($1,250 per person) (knocked out at the end of Day 1)

It's going to be an epic event and no-one will want to be that first team out. As the captain of France, Arnaud Mattern, just said to me, after locking up a mid-table 5th place finish: "One team goes out. It would suck to be them."

Indeed it would. The full ring sit-and-gos play on (now with plenty of empty seats).

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in World Cup of Poker