Monday, 6th February 2023 02:23
Home / Features / WCOOP 2021: A deep dive into the schedule

The schedule for the 2021 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) was released yesterday, and players are already preparing themselves for an incredible ride through 25 days of competition.

Our schedule page is fully searchable, so take some time examining everything on offer and find the games and days that suit you best.

If you need some pointers, what follows is a closer look at the schedule. Allow us to pick out some particular highlights.


Assessing the series as a whole, here are some headline stats:

No. of events: 102
No. of tournaments (inc. low, medium & high): 306
Lowest buy-in: $5.50 (23 tournaments)
Highest buy-in: $25,000 (34-H: NLHE 8-Max, Super High Roller)

Total series buy-in: $256,138.50
(Based on one entry, every tournament)

Total series guarantees: $100,805,000

Lowest guarantee: $10,000 (11-L: $5.50 NLO8 PKO and 46-L: $11 FL Badugi)
Highest guarantee: $10,000,000 (91-H: $5,200 NLHE 8-Max, NLHE Main Event)


WCOOP wouldn’t quite be WCOOP without a stonking Main Event, and the 20th Anniversary edition continues a fine recent tradition of enormous guarantees on Main Event tourneys at three price points.

The high buy-in NLHE Main has the traditional $5,200 buy-in, and the guarantee is simply enormous: $10 million. The winner is all but certain to make seven figures.


But there’s also the $55 and $530 buy-in low and medium Main Events to think about, where guarantees are $1.5 million and $2.5 million, respectively. You simply don’t get many online tournaments costing fifty bucks where at least $1.5 million is in the prize pool.

But let’s not forget that there are also three PLO Main Events during WCOOP, giving our four-card friends the chance to claim great riches. The PLO Main Events have buy-ins of $109, $1,050 and $10,300 and the guarantees are $275K, $750K and $1.5K, respectively.

The hold’em Main Events run for four days; the PLO Main Events get done in three.

Main Events:

Sun, 12 Sep, 1.05pm – WCOOP 91-L: $55 NLHE 8-Max, $1.5M Gtd
Sun, 12 Sep, 1.05pm – WCOOP 91-M: $530 NLHE 8-Max, $2.5M Gtd
Sun, 12 Sep, 1.05pm – WCOOP 91-H: $5,200 NLHE 8-Max, $10M Gtd

Sun, 12 Sep, 3.05pm – WCOOP 92-L: $109 PLO 6-Max, $275K Gtd
Sun, 12 Sep, 3.05pm – WCOOP 92-M: $1,050 PLO 6-Max, $750K Gtd
Sun, 12 Sep, 3.05pm – WCOOP 92-H: $10,300 PLO, $1M Gtd


There was a time when the Main Event had the biggest buy-in of the series, but those days are long gone. During this WCOOP, there are five tournaments with a buy-in of $10,300 (i.e., double the Main Event), plus one costing $25,000 to enter. That one is the Super High Roller, the biggest of all 306 tournaments, and will attract the cream of the crop playing for a $3 million guaranteed prize pool.

Those $10K events include the aforementioned PLO Main Event, as well as an 8-Game High Roller. That too promises to appeal to poker’s absolute elite: a huge buy-in and eight variants will truly be a test of class.

WCOOP’s biggest buy-ins:

$25,000: Sun, 29 Aug, 1.05pm – WCOOP 34-H: NLHE 8-Max, Super High Roller, $3M Gtd

Tue, 24 Aug 13:05 – WCOOP 14-H: $10,300 NLHE 8-Max, High Roller, $1M Gtd
Thu, 02 Sep 14:15 – WCOOP 52-H: $10,300 8-Game High Roller, $500K Gtd
Sun, 05 Sep 13:05 – WCOOP 63-H: $10,300 NLHE 8-Max, Progressive KO, High Roller, $1M Gtd
Thu 9 Sep 13:05 – WCOOP 80-H: $10,300 NLHE 8-Max, Progressive KO, High Roller, $750K Gtd
Sun, 12 Sep Sun 15:05 – WCOOP 92-H: $10,300 PLO 6-Max, PLO Main Event, $1M Gtd

There are 10 tournaments with a $5K buy-in.


Close observers of ‘COOP tournament schedules will notice that Event #1 often doesn’t appear at the top of the chronological list. That’s because the first event to get started, the default Event 01, is usually the “Phase” event, which plays out throughout the series as a whole and then only wraps on the final few days.

Phase events are the tournaments that have multiple starting days, known as “phases”, running many times per day, even before WCOOP proper begins. Players are permitted to play as many Phase 1s as they want. If you bag chips, you’re through to Phase 2, which essentially plays as a freezeout starting Monday September 13. This multiple-entry format ensures tens of thousands play the lower buy-in versions, which cost $5.50 and $22 to enter this time. The guarantees sit at $1 million for both the low and medium buy-in event, as well as the $109 high buy-in. So, yes, you can play for a $1 million prize pool for just $5.50.

The Phase events almost always attract the highest number of entries of the series, and it’s not one to miss.

WCOOP 2021’s Phase events:

#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

Phase 1s begin before August 22 (check client), and Phase 2 begins 2.05pm, Monday September 13.


No limit hold’em reigns supreme in WCOOP, as ever, with 219 tournaments taking place using the world’s most popular variant. Even so, that leaves 87 tournaments of other games, and we run the full gamut from razz to stud to draw to 6+ (short deck), plus numerous Omaha variants.

In fact, Omaha these days packed of variety and we have four-card and five-card PLO, plus some hi/Lo, plus some five-card hi/lo. We have some no limit Omaha hi/lo too, which should make for chaos, and some PLO PKO, which adds the knockout dimension to the four-card game. There’s variation within the variations.

The pick of the mixed

WCOOP 05: PLO [6-Max]
Buy-ins: $22, $215, $2,100
Gtd: $100K, $175K, $275K
Sun, Aug 22 – 2.15pm

WCOOP-15: NL 2-7 Single Draw
Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
Gtd: $12,500, $25K, $50K
Tue, Aug 24 – 2.15pm

WCOOP-39: Razz
Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
Gtd: $15K, $40K, $75K
Mon, Aug 30 – 2.15pm

WCOOP 41: FL 2-7 Triple Draw
Buy-ins: $22, $215, $2,100
Gtd: $15K, $40K, $85K
Tue, Aug 31 – 12.05pm

WCOOP 43: PLO8 [6-Max]
Buy-ins: $22, $215, $2,100
Gtd: $40K, $100K, $150K
Tue, Aug 31 – 2.15pm

WCOOP 46: FL Badugi [6-Max]
Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
Gtd: $10K, $20K, $50K
Wed, Sep 1 – 2.15pm

WCOOP 52: 8-Game
Buy-ins: $109, $1,050, $10,300 (High Roller)
Gtd: $50K, $100K, $500K
Sat, Aug 28 – 2.15pm

WCOOP 72: Stud
Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
Gtd: $15K, $40K, $75K
Tue, Sep 7 – 2.15pm

Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
Gtd: $20K, $50K, $100K
Thu, Sep 9 – 2.15pm


Not everyone has the two days spare it usually requires to win a WCOOP event. For this reason, 39 tournaments (i.e., 13 events) in this series are turbos, and will wrap in a single evening. Many of them are the final event of the day, giving everyone one last chance to make a mark before heading to bed.

If you’re particularly interested in this kind of event, then Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays are for you.

Sundays host the Sunday Cooldown Special Edition, on Aug 22, Aug 29, Sep 5, and Sep 12. These are usually at the $5.50, $55 and $530 price points, but include a high roller on Aug 29, when the buy-ins become $55, $530, $5,200.

On Saturdays and Thursday, there are a variety of freezeouts with buy-ins varying through the series. Also look out on the final day, which is Wednesday September 15, for a 7-Max Hyper-Turbo PKO, billed as the Series Wrap-Up.

The turbos:

WCOOP-7 (Sunday Cooldown PKO), WCOOP-25 (PKO Freezeout), WCOOP-31 (7-Max PKO Freezeout), WCOOP-37 (Sunday Cooldown inc. $5K High Roller), WCOOP-54 (PKO Freezeout), WCOOP-60 (NLHE), WCOOP-66 (7-Max Sunday Cooldown), WCOOP-83 (7-Max PKO), WCOOP-87 (6-Max Freezeout), WCOOP-88 (PKO Freezeout), WCOOP-93 (7-Max Sunday Cooldown), WCOOP-96 (Freezeout), WCOOP-102 (Series Wrap-Up).

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