STADIUM STORIES: Player Scores Five Figures With Promo Entry; PokerStars Series Tops Guarantee

The 2020 Stadium Series produced big numbers for PokerStars.

The PokerStars Stadium Series turned into quite an event for John “99rocks” Vallis. The 52-year-old was among those who cashed in. His $57,000 score didn’t come from hours and hours at the table, however. 

Instead, this recreational player turned a $22 ticket from a promotional chest into a five-figure online poker payday. That’s just one interesting story coming out of a huge Stadium Series, which wrapped up on Sunday.

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From free money player to PokerStars satellite success story

John Vallis

At home in Surrey, United Kingdom, Vallis works as a compliance manager. Married with two daughters ages 18 and 19, poker isn’t a big part of his routine.

In fact, he usually plays with free tokens rather than real money. Occasionally Vallis might jump in a micro tournament, but real money tables aren’t a regular part of his online life. Before last week, his biggest win was around $70.

Then a $22 promotional satellite ticket popped in his inbox. If he advanced in the satellite it would then be on to another $109 qualifier.

If he advanced in that, an entry into a $2,100 Heat Deepstack was next. Vallis did just that and was primed for the biggest event of his life.

“I hadn’t played a single real money game in over four months going into the tournament,” he tells PokerScout.

The run of his life at PokerStars

Going into the event, Vallis kept his expectations low. Throughout both satellites as well as Day 1 of the tournament, an online quiz game occupied much of his time as well.

He played both qualifiers and the deepstack event, as well as the quiz, on his mobile phone. After reaching Day 2, however, Vallis shifted to playing on his computer but other duties still occupied much of his time.

“I still found time to cook the family supper, steak and chips, while we were closing in on the final table,” says Vallis, who enjoys running and cycling when not playing poker or spending time with family. “I think those distractions actually worked in my favor as I didn’t have time to think about the amount of money at stake.”

Those efforts paid big dividends. Vallis ultimately finished third for $57,229 out of a field of 234 entries. That’s a big score – all from a freeroll.

“Playing in the tournament was an amazing experience – I did not even contemplate the potential outcome until relatively late,” he says. 

How did it feel to turn his promo ticket into such a massive score?

“Extremely strange,” Vallis says. “I have absolutely no experience playing high stakes poker, so I have never really considered the money angle. I think that removed the pressure as I got deeper into the tournament, as I felt absolutely no expectation to actually convert the result into a prize.”

Ever the family man, wife and children come to mind when Vallis considers what he’ll do with the winnings.

“There’s some things I want to get done to the house,” he says, “a car for my kids to use and a spectacular holiday when COVID permits.”

Considering his massive finish, it’s fortuitous that PokerStars email didn’t land in the spam folder. For Vallis, it definitely paid to check his email.

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PokerStars Stadium Series brings out plenty of competitors

Speaking of Stadium Series success, the festival came right after an unprecedented Summer Series. That scorched the $25 million guarantee by paying out $34 million.

The Stadium Series also produced plenty of bang for the buck. Wrapping up on Aug. 2, the festival brought some big numbers. The series paid out $54.3 million – more than $4 million above the guarantee.

The series attracted 698,964 entries across 102 events. In the $10,000 Grand Final, “Lena900” came out on top for a score of $230,435.

The France, Spain, and Portugal version of the series saw 228,799 entries and a prize pool of €6.6 million. Spain’s “Sick2BeatMe” won the €250 Grand Final for €66,882 plus €44,273 in bounty bucks.

In Italy, the series attracted 127,252 players and a €4 million prize pool. “NNWPT” took the €250 Grand Final for €34,792 plus €17,002 in bounties.

The action continues this week with several Stadium Series after party events. PokerStars is offering several phase tournaments featuring these buy-ins with hefty guarantees:

  • $1.10 – $100,000 guaranteed
  • $11 – $250,000 guaranteed
  • $109 – $500,000 guaranteed
  • $1,050 – $1 million guaranteed

Team PokerStars streamers score big, reach impressive Twitch numbers

Along with a massive score by a recreational player, some PokerStars ambassadors also produced during the Stadium Series.

PokerStars streamers Fintan “Easywithaces” Hand and Ben “Spragg” Spragg made deep runs in the $5,200 event on July 29.

Spragg’s stream reached more than 30,000 viewers, who saw him finish third for $70,633. That became the largest score of his career.

Hand took 10th in the event for $14,732. It’s been quite the run for these two poker streamers.

A year ago, both were streaming their play in $5, $11, $55, and $109 events on the main PokerStars channel. Spragg Tweeted his delight at the progress he’s made in his own game.

 

In other action, Stars streamer Jens TheRealKnossi Knossalla broke the Twitch Poker record for concurrent viewers. His stream peaked at more than 91,000 and is part of a growing presence on the platform for streamers during the pandemic.

Knossalla wasn’t playing himself, instead calling the action as his moderator Frank “Knueppel” Stockhaus played for a Platinum Pass. He ultimately finished runner-up in the $1,000 event for more than $117,000.

WSOP ROUNDUP: Player Pools Explode at GGPoker, Colossus Attracts Big Fields, Much More

Now in its third week at GGPoker, the WSOP Online now takes the spotlight with WSOP.com events wrapped up. The series has already awarded 18 bracelets with 36 more to go.

As expected, with players around the world now involved, the series has seen a nice increase in prize pools. That includes massive numbers in some of the smaller buy-in events.

Here’s a look at some bracelet-hunting news from the last week at GGPoker.

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Quest for bracelets drives big numbers at GGPoker WSOP Online

A quick look at the numbers shows players have responded well to the GG events. The series runs through Sept. 16 and has already attracted 67,673 entries.

That more than doubles the entries from the WSOP.com side, which was available only in New Jersey and Nevada. The average winner payout has been about $100,000 more per event at GGPoker.

There has been $29.7 million paid out so far with a total of $4.6 million to winners. Here’s a comparison of the averages from the GGPoker series so far compared to WSOP.com.

GGPoker

  • Total entries – 3,754
  • Prize pool – $1.7 million
  • Winner payout – $255,429

WSOP.com

  • Total entries – 1,427
  • Prize pool – $866,809
  • Winner payout – $152,208

* averages as of Aug. 5

Those trends should continue in the coming days. Here’s a look at statistics and winners so far.

For complete facts and information about the WSOP Online, including Twitch streams, click here.

TournamentBuy-inEntriesPrize poolWinner payoutWinner
#32: The Opener NLHE$10029,306$2,696,152$265,880Marcelo Jakovljevic Pudla
#33: Every 1 for Covid Relief$1,1112,323$2,580,853$343,204Alek Stasiak
#34: Super Turbo Bounty NLHE 6-Handed$5252,214$1,107,000$117,650Shoma Ishikawa
#35 Pot Limit Omaha Championship$5,000328$1,558,000$306,622Juha Helppi
#36 FIFTY STACK NLHE$1,5001,342$1,912,350$297,496Michael Clacher
#37 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha$1,050971$971,000$161,887Hun Wei Lee
#38 Monster Stack NLHE 6-Handed [Asia Time Zone]$6002,007$1,143,990$171,389Aaron Wijaya
#39: NLHE [Asia Time Zone]$1,500922$1,313,850$216,213Roberto Romanello
#40: Pot Limit Omaha$2,500532$1,263,500$224,493Klas Lofberg
#41: COLOSSUS$40012,757$4,796,632$595,930Ranno Sootla
#42: PLOSSUS$4004,356$1,637,856$221,557Yuri Dzivielevski
#43: Short Deck NLHE Championship$10,000301$812,700$276,393Lev "LevMeAlone" Gottlieb
#44: NLHE 6-Handed$2,500892$2,118,500$356,412Kristen Bicknell
#45: Bounty NLHE$8402,382$1,906,500$245,448Patrick "Muddington" Kennedy
#46: Deepstack NLHE$5002,307$1,095,825$189,098Sung Joo "ArtePokerTV" Hyun
#47: Short Deck NLHE$1,000487$462,560$88,202Paul Teoh
#48 MILLIONAIRE MAKER$1,500NANANAevent not completed
#49 Turbo Deepstack$5002,978$1,414,550$192,523Vladas "apuokos" Burneikis
#50: Bounty Championship$2,1001,168$2,336,000$327,319Enrico "GTOExploiter" Camosci
TOTALS67,573$31,127,818$4,597,716
AVERAGES3,754$1,729,323$255,429

Shah, Watson chalk up nice scores; Hellmuth’s wife not happy

Several big US-based players, such as Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth, are heading to Mexico to play the series. However, a lesser-known American player has already made some waves at GG.

Michelle Shah, from Delray Beach, Florida, has already recorded nine cashes. That includes runner-up in the $1,000 Short Deck for $60,254 and a 10th-place finish in $525 Super Turbo Bounty.

Canada’s Mike Watson took third ($44,166) in that short deck event and is also having a nice series. In total, Watson has five cashes which includes a fourth-place finish in the $5,000 PLO Championship for $115,117.

In a career dating to 2005, Watson has more than $12 million in live tournament winnings including a WPT title. However, he’s still looking for that first bracelet.

Hellmuth is looking for his 16th bracelet. He couldn’t wrangle one while playing in Las Vegas, but is hoping for better results while playing in Mexico.

He’s also fresh off a $50,000 buy-in heads-up battle with Antonio Esfandiari on PokerGO. However, so much time away from home may have Hellmuth in the dog house with his wife.

Colossal turnouts in massive-field events

Two of the bargain buy-in events stood out recently just as at the live WSOP in Las Vegas. Massive-field tournaments like Colossus have become a major part of the annual series.

That’s carried over to the online events at GGPoker and began with the $100 Opener. That event produced 29,306 entries for a $2.7 million prize pool. Brazil’s Marcelo Jakovljevic Pudla took the title for $265,880.

That is easily the largest number of entries so far. But two other events also produced big fields. The $400 COLOSSUS drew 12,757 entries and a prize pool of $4.8 million

The event smashed the $3 million guarantee with Estonia’s Ranno Sootla earning his first bracelet and $595,530.

In the $400 PLOSSUS, another Brazilian scored a big win. Yuri Dzivielevski topped a field of 4,356 entries for $221,557.

This becomes his second bracelet after winning one in 2019. The event drew a $1.6 million prize pool, easily topping the $1 million guarantee.

A look at the WSOP Online leaderboard

Sootla and Dzivielevski now sit atop the WSOP Online Leaderboard after big wins in the COLOSSUS and PLOSSUS. Two other Brazilians are also among the top five. Here’s a look at the complete standings.

  • 1st – Ranno Sootla, 4,719.82
  • 2nd – Yuri Dzivielevski, 4,018.81
  • 3rd – Belarmino De Souza, 3,579.84
  • 4th – Enrico Camosci, 3,539.22
  • 5th – Marcelo Jakovljevic, 3,283.99

Some big upcoming events at GGPoker

GGPoker is offering several WSOP Online events in Asian time zone to cater to its large player pool there. The highlight of that is set for Sunday, Aug. 9

The HK$8,000 ($1,032) NLHE Asia Championship features a HK$8 million ($1.02 million) guarantee.

Also on Sunday, players looking for a bargain buy-in and big payday should check out the $150 GGMasters Special Edition. The freezeout comes with a $1 million guarantee.

One the same day, plenty of high-stakes players should jump in the $10,000 Heads-up Championship. A regular part of the WSOP in Las Vegas, there should be plenty of big names in the mix.

Here’s a look at the complete schedule.

2020 WSOP Online GGPoker Schedule

DateEvent NumberTournamentBuy-inPrize GuaranteeNotes
Sunday, July 19, 2020
** postponed, Day 2 resumes July 26
1$100 The Opener [Final Day], $2M GTD$100$2,000,000 2-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, July 19, 2020
** postponed, Day 2 resumes July 26
2$1,111 Every 1 for Covid Relief [Caesars Cares]$1,111 2-Day Event
Sunday, July 19, 20203$525 Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$525
Tuesday, July 21, 20204$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship$5,000
Wednesday, July 22, 20205$1,500 FIFTY STACK No Limit Hold'em$1,500
Thursday, July 23, 20206$1,050 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha$1,050
Saturday, July 25, 20207$600 Monster Stack No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$600Asia Time Zone
Sunday, July 26, 20208$1,500 No Limit Hold'em$1,500 Asia Time Zone
Sunday, July 26, 20209$2,500 Pot Limit Omaha$2,500
Sunday, July 26, 202010$400 COLOSSUS [Day 2], $3M GTD$400$3,000,000 3-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, July 26, 202011$400 PLOSSUS [Day 2], $1M GTD$400$1,000,0003-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Tuesday, July 28, 202012$10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold'em Championship$10,000
Wednesday, July 29, 202013$2,500 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$2,500
Thursday, July 30, 202014$840 Bounty No Limit Hold'em$840
Saturday, August 01, 202015$500 Deepstack No Limit Hold'em$500Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 02, 202016$1,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold'em$1,000Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 02, 202017$1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER [Day 2], $5M GTD, $1M to 1st$1,500 $ 5,000,000 3-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, August 02, 202018$500 Turbo Deepstack No Limit Hold'em$500
Tuesday, August 04, 202019$2,100 No Limit Hold'em Bounty Championship$2,100
Wednesday, August 05, 202020$400 Pot Limit Omaha$400
Thursday, August 06, 202021$1,000 No Limit Hold'em$1,000
Saturday, August 08, 202022$800 Double Stack Pot Limit Omaha$800Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 09, 202023HK$8,000 No Limit Hold'em Asia Championship [Final Day], HK$8M GTDHK$8,000HK$8,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, August 09, 202024$150 GGMasters WSOP Edition [Freezeout], $1M GTD$150$1,000,000Freezeout
Sunday, August 09, 202025$10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em Championship [No Late Reg, 128 Cap]$10,0002-Day Event, Freezeout
Tuesday, August 11, 202026$5,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Championship$5,000
Wednesday, August 12, 202027$2,500 Double Stack No Limit Hold'em$2,500
Thursday, August 13, 202028$525 Bounty No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$525
Saturday, August 15, 202029$300 Monster Stack No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$300Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 16, 202030$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha$1,500
Sunday, August 16, 202031$500 Mini Main Event [Final Day], $5M GTD$500$5,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, August 16, 202032$840 Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em$840
Tuesday, August 18, 202033$600 No Limit Hold'em Deepstack Championship$600
Wednesday, August 19, 202034$800 Pot Limit Omaha$800
Thursday, August 20, 202035$500 Limit Hold'em$500
Saturday, August 22, 202036$500 Deepstack No-Limit Hold'em$500Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 23, 202037$1,500 Marathon No Limit Hold'em$1,500Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 23, 202038$25,000 NLH POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, $10M GTD$25,000$10,000,0002-Day Event
Sunday, August 23, 202039BIG 50 [Final Day], $1M GTD$50$1,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Tuesday, August 25, 202040$1,500 Limit Hold'em Championship$1,500
Wednesday, August 26, 202041$1,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$1,000
Thursday, August 27, 202042$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha$1,500
Saturday, August 29, 202043$300 Double Stack No Limit Hold'em$300Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 30, 202044$400 FORTY STACK No Limit Hold'em$400
Sunday, August 30, 202045$5,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event [Day 2], $25M GTD$5,000$25,000,0003-Day Event, Feezeout Flights
Sunday, August 30, 202046$1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$1,000
Tuesday, September 01, 202047People's Choice Event [Most Popular]TBATBATBA by Vote
Wednesday, September 02, 202048People's Choice Event [Pros Vote]TBATBATBA by Vote
Thursday, September 03, 202049People's Choice Event [Spin the Wheel]TBATBATBA by Vote
Saturday, September 05, 202050People's Choice Event [Most Popular]TBATBAAsia Time Zone, TBA by Vote
Saturday, September 05, 202051$1,050 Beat the Pros [Bounty]$1,050
Sunday, September 06, 202052$10K WSOP Super MILLION$, $5M GTD$10,000$5,000,0002-Day Event
Sunday, September 06, 202053$100 WSOP MILLION$ [Final Day], $2M GTD$100$2,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, September 06, 202054$500 The Closer [LAST CHANCE]$500

NEED A PEP TALK? Poker Stars Liv Boeree, Fedor Holz Join Startup Coaching Platform

Fedor Holz and Liv Boeree have joined the PepTalk startup.

Video conferencing, Zoom calls, and Facetime have become part of life for many during the Coronavirus pandemic. A new startup is hoping to capitalize on that trend with an easy connection to experts providing some personalized motivation.

PepTalk is a live video coaching and speaking platform connecting interested learners with real-world experts. That includes some of the biggest names in poker.

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Founded on the idea that experience is the ultimate teacher, PepTalk launched this month with 200 coaches and speakers. Those include entrepreneurs, writers, authors, adventurers, athletes, and more.

The platform even collected a nice roster of poker stars ready to offer some advice and coaching. Two of those, Liv Boeree and Fedor Holz, spoke with USPoker about what to expect in a session with them

A pep talk to improve your poker game

PepTalk was designed for a modern remote workforce. The web-based platform allows individuals and corporate teams to book a session directly with a coach or speaker. 

Entrepreneurs Ant Cauchi and Lloyd Salmons founded the company after careers in the music industry at EMI. After leaving that industry, they launched the digital marketing agency Outside Line.

“In creating PepTalk, we were inspired by our early days in the music industry when we were fortunate to work with some of the most inspirational artists in the world,” they said in a news release.

“In time we became mentors to our own employees, and we realized that coaching and mentoring from a place of experience is invaluable. Our goal is to make that experience available to anyone.”

That could include poker players seeking a mental kick in the pants. Along with Boeree and Holz, the site’s roster of card sharks includes:

  • Maria Ho – poker pro and commentator
  • Jamie Gold – 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event winner
  • Maria Konnikova – author, poker player, and former PokerStars ambassador
  • Joe Stapleton – poker player, commentator, and comedian 
  • Jennifer ShahadePennsylvania-based poker player and PokerStars ambassador

The PepTalk platform can be accessed via computer or mobile device. A pick-me-up session with a poker pro is only mouse click or tap away.

Poker and life lessons from Liv

No stranger to speaking in front of a crowd or offering some insight, Live Boeree took a unique path to poker. Originally from the United Kingdom, she received a degree in astrophysics before launching a successful poker career.

At the tables Boeree has $3.9 million in live tournament winnings including WSOP and EPT titles. She sees her role with the startup as a way to work with others around the world.

Liv Boeree (photo courtesy of Poker Central)

The site allows people from all walks of life to gain some insight from experts in their field. Boeree’s career in science and poker offer a unique opportunity for some inspiration beyond just poker.

“I’ve joined PepTalk as a medium to share experiences and lessons learned in my life and career – including my time as a poker pro – with a broad audience,” says Boeree, who also hosts her own YouTube channel about space and science.

“I believe the principles of success at the poker table have value in life, business, and beyond.”

From TED Talk to PepTalk

Boeree’s coaching focuses on life strategies, improving decision-making, how poker principles can be used every day, and other concepts. She expressed similar ideas on her 2018 TED Talk, “Three Life Lessons from the Poker Table.”

 

“We know poker principles apply effectively to business and other parts of life, and I’m looking forward to sharing those with PepTalk’s customers,” she says. “My background includes speaking and writing on science, logic, math and philosophy, and I’ll be bringing all of that to the table – no pun intended!”

It’s a good bet Boeree might answer a couple questions on table strategy. Overall, however, she sees her PepTalk time as a way to give customers a boost – as the company name implies.

“In these times when we can’t necessarily interact in-person,” she says, “I hope to have a positive impact on people’s lives when they need a boost.”

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Face to face with Fedor

While he may not be an astrophysicist, Fedor Holz brings his own skills to the PepTalk team. The German poker pro has almost $33 million in live tournament winnings including numerous major titles. What’s expected in one of his PepTalk sessions?

Fedor Holz (courtesy Poker Central)

“I’m set to share my experiences and respond to questions they may have or situations they may want to talk through, applying my pro poker lens to it all,” Holz says. “I’m excited to be part of what PepTalk is building – accessibility to coaches with all different experiences and perspectives and wisdom.

“There’s an incredible range of coaches and speakers – there are a few of us from the professional poker world, Olympic athletes, adventurers, entrepreneurs. Experts from obvious and non-obvious arenas and career backgrounds who have a lot to share.”

Lessons learned preparing for poker success

Winning eight figures at the poker table isn’t easy. It takes perseverance and plenty of focus – traits Fedor hopes to drive home in his discussions.

“Building a poker career has been partially about the game and the skill and partially about discipline, preparation, and a ton of other lifestyle strategies,” he says. “They can expect to learn the big picture of poker – the big themes of what it’s about, what it takes to become a pro.”

Currently, Fedor has been playing in the WSOP Online at GGPoker, hoping to win his second career bracelet. The site signed the poker coach as an ambassador in May.

Holz worked his way up to the biggest games around conveys come of what he’s learned on PepTalk.

“It’s an opportunity to share poker wisdom in new ways,” he says, “how to win at work, for example, or how to manage a strong team.”

The startup’s poker team is ready – no cards and chips required.

WSOP ONLINE ROUNDUP: Bicknell Wins Big at GGPoker & Much More

The WSOP and GGPoker have announced a new summer online bracelet series.

The World Series of Poker Online action wraps up on Friday at WSOP.com. However, the action has just gotten started at GGPoker.

International players began the bracelet hunting on July 19 with 54 bracelet events running through Sept. 16. Some big names have already made waves including Juha Helppi and Kristen Bicknell adding their names to the winner’s list.

For complete information about the series including schedule, information, and Twitch streams, visit the PokerScout WSOP Online GGPoker landing page.

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Bicknell bags another WSOP bracelet at GGPoker

For those following the world of poker, Kristen Bicknell’s name stands out. This Canadian poker pro has been Global Poker Index’s Female Player of the Year for the last three years.

Bicknell currently leads that race again and has more than $5 million in live tournament winnings. A member of Team partypoker, she also brings plenty of skills to the virtual felt.

That was on display in the early hours of Thursday morning. Bicknell finished off a field of 892 entries in a $2,500 NLHE Six-Handed event for $356,412 and her third WSOP bracelet.

Fellow GPI Player of the Year and boyfriend Alex Foxen was quick to offer congratulations.

The win moved Bicknell into a tie with Barbara Enright and Vanessa Selbst with three bracelets each. The three are tied for the most bracelets won by a woman.

Beyond the WSOP action at GGPoker, Bicknell has also been playing online in the partypoker WPT World Online Championships. She already has a couple final table appearances there as well.

Can she add a bracelet and a WPT title in two huge concurrent series? Don’t tule it out.

Juha helps himself to a big win

Finnish poker star Juha Helppi started his series off on a good note. He took down Event 35: $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship for $306,622 on July 21-22.

This becomes Helppi’s second bracelet after topping a field of 328 entries. He now has more than $1.7 million in WSOP winnings.

Helppi’s first bracelet came in 2019 when he won the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for $306,622. He also has lifetime live tournament winnings of $8 million.

With big wins and finishes at events around the world, Helppi now has another nice bullet point on his resumé.

A look at the early GGPoker WSOP Online action

It’s been a nice start for Hun Wei Lee as well. This player from Australia already has three cashes including a win in Event 37: $1,050 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha.

That gave him a nice score of $161,887 and the first bracelet of his career.

Robert Romanello, from the United Kingdom, also has three cashes and a title. He won Event 39: $1,500 NLHE for $216,213.

Sweden’s Klas Lafberg now has four cashes including his first bracelet in Event 40: $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha for $224,493.

Here’s a look at the complete list of winners and statistics from the GGPoker half of the series so far:

EventBuy-InTotalPrize PoolTop PrizeWinner
#32: The Opener NLHE$10029306$2,696,152$265,880Marcelo Jakovljevic Pudla
#33: Every 1 for Covid Relief$11112323$2,580,853$343,204Alek Stasiak
#34: Super Turbo Bounty NLHE 6-Handed$5252214$1,107,000$117,650Shoma Ishikawa
#35 Pot Limit Omaha Championship$5,000328$1,558,000$306,622Juha Helppi
#36 FIFTY STACK NLHE$1,5001342$1,912,350$297,496Michael Clacher
#37 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha$1,050971$971,000$161,887Hun Wei Lee
#38 Monster Stack NLHE 6-Handed [Asia Time Zone]$60020071143990$171,389Aaron Wijaya
#39: NLHE [Asia Time Zone]$1,500922$1,313,850$216,213Roberto Romanello
#40: Pot Limit Omaha$2,500532$1,263,500$224,493Klas Lofberg
Event #41: COLOSSUS$400NA$3 millionevent not yet complete
#42: PLOSSUS$400NA$1 millionevent not yet complete
#43: Short Deck NLHE Championship$10,000NAnot yet available$276,393Lev Gottlieb
#44: NLHE 6-Handed$2,500892$2,118,500$356,412Kristen Bicknell

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Quick facts about the WSOP Online at GGPoker

  • Number of bracelet events – 54
  • Dates – July 19 to Sept. 16
  • Locations available to players – Around the world including Canada and Mexico
  • Game formats – No Limit Hold’em, Omaha, Short Deck, Mixed Games, Bounty, Heads-up
  • Buy-in range$50 to $25,000
  • Main Event – The $5,000 championship features a $25 million guarantee with numerous starting flights beginning Aug. 16. Day 2 is set for Aug. 30.

** To get in on the action at GGPoker, click here for an exclusive PokerScout bonus.

READY TO GO: Jason Koon Previews partypoker WPT World Online Championships

The WPT ONline Championships kicked off over the weekend.

The WPT Online Championships officially kicked off at partypoker July 17 and players can expect a massive series. The festival includes the biggest overall guarantee in the site’s history – $100 million.

The series, which runs through Sept. 8, is designed to replicate an authentic live WPT experience. That includes adding new players to the WPT Champions Club.

The series comes at a time when online poker is reaching record numbers of players. Series continue to attract massive fields and that should include the WPT series.

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Partypoker ambassador Jason Koon has more than $31 million in live tournament winnings. He’ll be looking to add his own name to the Champions Club and spoke with PokerScout about the series.

Koon sees the WPTOC as a way to replace some big live poker action that’s missing right now. 

“The series has been warmly received, with players being locked up and itching to play some higher-stakes tournaments,” Koon says. “This is of course a difficult year for live poker, and while online poker has seen higher traffic, what poker really needs is that familiarity with the large-scale live events we are used to seeing.”

A chance for WPT glory via partypoker

Players may not be able to play live, but the WPT is bringing some big prestige for winners. The series includes 12 championship events divided into three categories; Micro, Mini, and Main

Jason Koon, a member of Team partypoker

Winners of five of the championship events will receive individual trophies. These players will also win a $15,000 entry and travel accommodations for the WPT Tournament of Champions.

“Winning a big field, high-buy in tournament online versus great players is an excellent accomplishment, deserving of being in the Champions Club,” Koon says. “While it may not quite be the same as it would with TV cameras there in front of you, it still gives an added edge to events and I’m sure players will be going all out to win their place.”

Koon describes the series as “player friendly,” even beyond the championship events. Some buy-ins will be priced as low as $3 and $20.

“It’s important to make players of all levels feel like they are welcome to play in the series,” Koon says. “Having a tiered structure like this means the quality of the festival can still be at a high level without making people feel like it’s too exclusive for them to be involved.”

Another nice bullet point for the series, Koon says, is that players will only be allowed one re-entry for championships. He hopes that is the trend in major online poker events.

“Online operators have gone a bit bonkers with allowing unlimited rebuys and overall, I don’t think it’s good for the poker economy and I don’t think it’s something many players will ever be in favor of,” he says. “Give players an opportunity to re-buy, but don’t saturate the field and make it too easy. It’s meant to be a challenge that rewards only the best players.”

Partypoker enhances Twitch stream for series

As part of the Online Championships, partypoker has upped its streaming game for fans as well. Players can follow the action via Partypoker’s Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook platforms.

Party has teamed with ShareHand, its production partner for live partypoker MILLIONS festivals. The effort is meant to provide an experience as close as possible to watching a live series. That includes:

  • Live streaming of the 12 championship events.
  • All final tables featuring cards up on a short delay.
  • Real names of all final table players will be shown on screen to replicate a live WPT final table.

Partypoker also promises tournament ticket giveaways to viewers.  Commentary will be provided by traditional WPT commentators Vince Van Patten, Tony Dunst, and Mike Sexton.

Others will also be joining in including James Dempsey, Joey Ingram, and Team partypoker pros Koon, Isaac Haxton, Roberto Romanello, Sam Trickett, and Ludovic Geilich. WPT executive tour director Matt Savage will be lead commentator for the five Champions Cup events.

 Several side events will also be streamed. James Dempsey and Henry Kilbane will offer coverage of those events up to four times per week.

Commentary for all streams will be available in English as well as Russian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.

“The WPT World Online Championships is special for so many reasons,” Sexton says. “Give it a go and good luck. I hope to see you on a final table where I’ll be commentating.”

Leaderboards offer an extra $100,000 in prizes 

There are even more opportunities for players to win during the WPT World Online Championships. Two tournament leaderboards will pay out a guaranteed $100,000 to players of all buy-in levels.

The top leaderboard is for events with a buy-in of $320 or more (excluding High Roller week). The winner takes home $50,000 and the top 10 finishers on the leaderboard will cash. Points will be awarded based on:

  • finishing position
  • tournament buy-in
  • number of entries

The series will also feature the WPT Rising Star leaderboard for players in smaller buy-in events. The promotion features a guaranteed $25,000 paid, including $10,000 to the winner.

Players earn points by competing in events with a buy-in of $300 or less. A player’s 10 best scores count toward the leaderboard, meaning everyone has a chance and the outcome isn’t bankroll dependent.

The top 10 finishers will cash with prizes ranging from $500 to $10,000

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Second chance freerolls offer players an extra $400,000 in prizes

Players have extra opportunities to qualify for WPT World Online Championships throughout the series. Partypoker is offering numerous second chance freerolls through Sept. 6.

Any player taking part in any satellite or tournament will win a ticket into one of the two daily freerolls. These events will offer more than $400,000 in WPT World Online Championships event tickets.

The series offers several weeks of big poker action. Here’s a look at the complete schedule.

DateEventBuy-inFeeGuarantee
July 17The Poker Industry Invitatonal [2-Day Event]$300$20$30,000
July 18#01 World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Day 1A [3-Day Event]$3,000$200$500,000
July 18#01 Mini World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Day 1A [3-Day Event]$300$20$150,000
July 18#01 Micro World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Day 1A [3-Day Event]$30$3$50,000
July 19#01 World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Day 1B [3-Day Event]$3,000$200None
July 19#01 Mini World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Day 1B [3-Day Event]$300$20None
July 19#01 Micro World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Day 1B [3-Day Event]$30$3None
July 25#02 World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Day 1A [3-Day Event]$3,000$200$1,000,000
July 25#02 Mini World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Day 1A [3-Day Event]$300$20$300,000
July 25#02 Micro World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Day 1A [3-Day Event]$30$3$100,000
July 26#02 World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Day 1B [3-Day Event]$3,000$200None
July 26#02 Mini World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Day 1B [3-Day Event]$300$20None
July 26#02 Micro World Championship Pot Limit Omaha Day 1B [3-Day Event]$30$3None
July 29Shoo�ng Stars for Charity [PKO, 2-Day Event]$1,100$500,000
Aug. 1#03 World Championship 8-Max Day 1A [3-Day Event]$3,000$200$3,000,000
Aug. 1#03 Mini World Championship 8-Max Day 1A [3-Day Event]$300$20$1,000,000
Aug. 1#03 Micro World Championship 8-Max Day 1A [3-Day Event]$30$3$300,000
Aug. 2#03 World Championship 8-Max Day 1B [3-Day Event]$3,000$200None
Aug. 2#03 Mini World Championship 8-Max Day 1B [3-Day Event]$300$20None
Aug. 2#03 Micro World Championship 8-Max Day 1B [3-Day Event]$30$3None
Aug. 8#04 World Championship Knockout Day 1A [3-Day Event]$3,000$200$3,000,000
Aug. 8#04 Mini World Championship Knockout Day 1A [3-Day Event]$300$20$1,000,000
Aug. 8#04 Micro World Championship Knockout Day 1A [3-Day Event]$30$3$300,000
Aug. 9#04 World Championship Knockout Day 1B [3-Day Event]$3,000$200None
Aug. 9#04 Mini World Championship Knockout Day 1B [3-Day Event]$300$20None
Aug. 9#04 Micro World Championship Knockout Day 1B [3-Day Event] $30$3None
Aug. 15#05 World Championship 6-Max Day 1A [3-Day Event]$3,000$200$3,000,000
Aug. 15#05 Mini World Championship 6-Max Day 1A [3-Day Event]$300$20$1,000,000
Aug. 15#05 Micro World Championship 6-Max Day 1A [3-Day Event]$30$3$300,000
Aug. 16#05 World Championship 6-Max Day 1B [3-Day Event]$3,000$200None
Aug. 16#05 Mini World Championship 6-Max Day 1B [3-Day Event]$300$20None
Aug. 16#05 Micro World Championship 6-Max Day 1B [3-Day Event] $30$3None
Aug. 22#06 Mini World Championship Main Event Day 1A [4-Day Event]$1,000$50$5,000,000
Aug. 22#06 Micro World Championship Main Event Day 1A [4-Day Event]$100$9$1,000,000
Aug. 23#06 Mini World Championship Main Event Day 1B [4-Day Event]$1,000$50None
Aug. 23#06 Micro World Championship Main Event Day 1B [4-Day Event]$100$9None
Aug. 29#07 World Championship Main Event Day 1A [4-Day Event]$10,000$300$10,000,000
Aug. 30#07 World Championship Main Event Day 1B [4-Day Event]$10,000$300None
Sept. 2#08 World Championship Heads Up [No Late Reg, 256 Cap, 2-Day Event]$3,000$200$500,000
Sept. 2#08 Mini World Championship Heads Up [No Late Reg, 512 Cap, 2-Day Event]$300$20$100,000
Sept. 2#08 Micro World Championship Heads Up [No Late Reg, 1024 Cap, 2-Day Event]$30$3$20,000
Sept. 5#09 World Championship Mix-Max Day 1A [3-Day Event]$3,000$200$3,000,000
Sept. 5#09 Mini World Championship Mix-Max Day 1A [3-Day Event]$300$20$1,000,000
Sept. 5#09 Micro World Championship Mix-Max Day 1A [3-Day Event] $30$3$300,000
Sept. 5#10 World Championship Super High Roller Day 1A [3-Day Event]$25,000$500$10,000,000
Sept. 6#09 World Championship Mix-Max Day 1B [3-Day Event]$3,000$200None
Sept. 6#09 Mini World Championship Mix-Max Day 1B [3-Day Event]$300$20None
Sept. 6#09 Micro World Championship Mix-Max Day 1B [3-Day Event]$30$3None
Sept. 6#10 World Championship Super High Roller Day 1B [3-Day Event]$25,000$500None
Sept. 7#11 World Championship Super High Roller [2-Day Event]$100,000$2,000$5,000,000
Sept. 8#12 World Championship Turbo$3,000$200$1,000,000
Sept. 8#12 Mini World Championship Turbo$300$20$300,000
Sept. 8#12 Micro World Championship Turbo$30$3$100,000
*** All events allow one re-entry per Day 1

Champions Cup photo courtesy of WPT

ROUGH START: Server Issues, Disconnections Plague First Day of Play in GGPoker WSOP Online

The GGPoker start to the WSOP Online came with some unexpected problems on Sunday.

After 19 World Series of Poker Online events exclusively at WSOP.com, GGPoker was added to the mix on Sunday. The site’s first efforts at bracelet hunting turned into a rough beginning that saw two events rescheduled.

With three events set for Sunday, GGPoker wasn’t prepared for an unexpected high number of players. That led to server issues which affected gameplay and brought numerous complaints from players.

The issues created a firestorm on social media. The controversy comes at a time when online poker has experienced a mini-boom in recent months.

Players met with server lag, bugs, and more

The WSOP Online features 85 bracelet events with 31 at WSOP.com and 54 at GGPoker. The series was created to fill the void after the traditional WSOP in Las Vegas was postponed to the fall.

The WSOP.com half of the series began July 1 and has played out mostly issue free. The GGPoker side kicked off on Sunday with these three scheduled events (listed officially as Events 32-34, extending the WSOP.com half of the series):

  • #32 – $100 Opener
  • #33 – $1,111 Every 1 for COVID Relief
  • #34 – $525 Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed

Players in the first two events, however, experienced numerous issues throughout the first two tournaments. That included disconnections, lag time, site crashes, and more.

Others noted that they lost a large percentage of their stack after being disconnected. When they tried to log back in, there was a significant delay before being able to get back in the software client.

Events 32 and 33 have now been moved to Sunday, July 26. Players will resume with the stack they had when the tournaments were frozen.

That’s another bone of contention for many players who lost considerable chips while disconnected.

“The two tourneys I entered had constant interruption and I lost a third of my equity in one and the other postponed until next weekend,” one player noted on Twitter. “Good grief. Anyways great news on the numbers. Too bad they weren’t ready for the traffic. Thumbs down.”

GGPoker salvages one WSOP event

Hailed for excellent software, GGPoker has been one of the fastest-growing online poker sites in the world. The company and the WSOP teamed up for the Online Circuit Super Series in March.

That series smashed the $102 million guaranteed, paying out $134 million. Many players were left wondering on Sunday how the site wasn’t prepared for an influx of players looking to win WSOP bracelets.

The site’s official Twitter handle blamed a bug that left the system struggling.

“The bug was caused by an overwhelming number of players joining The Opener and other side events,” GG noted on Twitter. “The tournament servers were unable to resume due to high loads. We will increase more capacity (we just doubled it) to make sure future events run smoothly.”

The site apparently found some solutions to the problems later in the day on Sunday.

The $525 Super Turbo Bounty ran as scheduled with Japanese player Shoma Ishikawa taking home $117,650. Ishikawa became the first player to win an online bracelet outside the US.

Player compensation for issues draws criticism

Despite completing one event, the postponement of two events and software issues was the bigger story. Not everyone was happy about the two events being moved to next Sunday.

Many noted that they had planned for the event and wouldn’t be available a week later.

Other players weren’t pleased with GG’s attempt to compensate players for the issues. Those involved in Event 32 received $100 in tournament dollars.

Event 33 was a charity event, so GG doubled the amount given for the charitable effort. Some saw that as still unhelpful as their spot in the tournament was compromised by the server issues.

Other GG solutions didn’t please some players in the tournaments. Many argued that restarting Day 2 with current chips stacks isn’t fair. Some players noted that they lost a considerable amount of chips during disconnection.

A small number of players not disconnected were able to pick up blinds from their table for at least 30 minutes. Others believed they had gone out in the money during the snafu, later finding out they weren’t.

Some players asked GG for another solution. They wanted the tournaments restarted at the time and with same chips stacks when the issues began.

GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu took to Twitter to offer an apology on behalf of the company.

Looking ahead at WSOP Online at GGPoker

While it was an ugly beginning to the GGPoker side of the WSOP, events resumed on Monday. That included $400 Colossus starting flights and a $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship set for Tuesday.

How will the rest of the series go after the server issues? Many players will certainly  be watching and hoping for better.

At the moment, there is no lack of online poker for international players. There are other events currently underway at competing sites, including the PokerStars Stadium Series and partypoker WPT World Online Championships.

The WSOP.com bracelet action also continues in the US on Monday, with a $400 No Limit Hold’em event. That series is available to players in Nevada and New Jersey.

For a complete guide to the WSOP.com and GGPoker WSOP Online, including schedules and Twitch streams, click here.

Here’s a look at the complete GGPoker schedule.

GGPoker WSOP Online 2020

DateEvent NumberTournamentBuy-inPrize GuaranteeNotes
Sunday, July 19, 2020
** postponed, Day 2 resumes July 26
1$100 The Opener [Final Day], $2M GTD$100$2,000,000 2-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, July 19, 2020
** postponed, Day 2 resumes July 26
2$1,111 Every 1 for Covid Relief [Caesars Cares]$1,111 2-Day Event
Sunday, July 19, 20203$525 Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$525
Tuesday, July 21, 20204$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship$5,000
Wednesday, July 22, 20205$1,500 FIFTY STACK No Limit Hold'em$1,500
Thursday, July 23, 20206$1,050 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha$1,050
Saturday, July 25, 20207$600 Monster Stack No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$600Asia Time Zone
Sunday, July 26, 20208$1,500 No Limit Hold'em$1,500 Asia Time Zone
Sunday, July 26, 20209$2,500 Pot Limit Omaha$2,500
Sunday, July 26, 202010$400 COLOSSUS [Day 2], $3M GTD$400$3,000,000 3-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, July 26, 202011$400 PLOSSUS [Day 2], $1M GTD$400$1,000,0003-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Tuesday, July 28, 202012$10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold'em Championship$10,000
Wednesday, July 29, 202013$2,500 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$2,500
Thursday, July 30, 202014$840 Bounty No Limit Hold'em$840
Saturday, August 01, 202015$500 Deepstack No Limit Hold'em$500Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 02, 202016$1,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold'em$1,000Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 02, 202017$1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER [Day 2], $5M GTD, $1M to 1st$1,500 $ 5,000,000 3-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, August 02, 202018$500 Turbo Deepstack No Limit Hold'em$500
Tuesday, August 04, 202019$2,100 No Limit Hold'em Bounty Championship$2,100
Wednesday, August 05, 202020$400 Pot Limit Omaha$400
Thursday, August 06, 202021$1,000 No Limit Hold'em$1,000
Saturday, August 08, 202022$800 Double Stack Pot Limit Omaha$800Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 09, 202023HK$8,000 No Limit Hold'em Asia Championship [Final Day], HK$8M GTDHK$8,000HK$8,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, August 09, 202024$150 GGMasters WSOP Edition [Freezeout], $1M GTD$150$1,000,000Freezeout
Sunday, August 09, 202025$10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em Championship [No Late Reg, 128 Cap]$10,0002-Day Event, Freezeout
Tuesday, August 11, 202026$5,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Championship$5,000
Wednesday, August 12, 202027$2,500 Double Stack No Limit Hold'em$2,500
Thursday, August 13, 202028$525 Bounty No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$525
Saturday, August 15, 202029$300 Monster Stack No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$300Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 16, 202030$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha$1,500
Sunday, August 16, 202031$500 Mini Main Event [Final Day], $5M GTD$500$5,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, August 16, 202032$840 Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em$840
Tuesday, August 18, 202033$600 No Limit Hold'em Deepstack Championship$600
Wednesday, August 19, 202034$800 Pot Limit Omaha$800
Thursday, August 20, 202035$500 Limit Hold'em$500
Saturday, August 22, 202036$500 Deepstack No-Limit Hold'em$500Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 23, 202037$1,500 Marathon No Limit Hold'em$1,500Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 23, 202038$25,000 NLH POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, $10M GTD$25,000$10,000,0002-Day Event
Sunday, August 23, 202039BIG 50 [Final Day], $1M GTD$50$1,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Tuesday, August 25, 202040$1,500 Limit Hold'em Championship$1,500
Wednesday, August 26, 202041$1,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$1,000
Thursday, August 27, 202042$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha$1,500
Saturday, August 29, 202043$300 Double Stack No Limit Hold'em$300Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 30, 202044$400 FORTY STACK No Limit Hold'em$400
Sunday, August 30, 202045$5,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event [Day 2], $25M GTD$5,000$25,000,0003-Day Event, Feezeout Flights
Sunday, August 30, 202046$1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$1,000
Tuesday, September 01, 202047People's Choice Event [Most Popular]TBATBATBA by Vote
Wednesday, September 02, 202048People's Choice Event [Pros Vote]TBATBATBA by Vote
Thursday, September 03, 202049People's Choice Event [Spin the Wheel]TBATBATBA by Vote
Saturday, September 05, 202050People's Choice Event [Most Popular]TBATBAAsia Time Zone, TBA by Vote
Saturday, September 05, 202051$1,050 Beat the Pros [Bounty]$1,050
Sunday, September 06, 202052$10K WSOP Super MILLION$, $5M GTD$10,000$5,000,0002-Day Event
Sunday, September 06, 202053$100 WSOP MILLION$ [Final Day], $2M GTD$100$2,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, September 06, 202054$500 The Closer [LAST CHANCE]$500
 

 

WORLDWIDE SERIES OF POKER: GGPoker Releases WSOP Online Schedule With $25M Main Event

After the World Series of Poker announced a total of 85 online bracelet events in June, players got an idea of what to expect internationally from GGPoker. On Friday, the fast-growing operator released details of the schedule’s 54 bracelet events.

The series runs July 19 through Sept. 6 and is highlighted by the $5,000 Main Event. That boasts a record-breaking $25 million guarantee the biggest online poker tournament in history.

Players will find multiple Day 1 starting flights beginning on Aug. 16. Day 2 of the Main Event kicks off on Aug. 30.

“We knew GGPoker would go big on the WSOP Online Series, but this is ridiculous,” WSOP executive director Ty Stewart said in a news release. “The single biggest guarantee in the history of online poker is exactly what this once-in-a-lifetime event deserves.”

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A look at the GG Poker WSOP Online schedule

The WSOP Online begins July 1 at WSOP.com, with 31 bracelets awarded each day throughout the month. Those events will be available for players in Nevada and New Jersey.

Series organizers hoped to offer an online bracelet schedule after the traditional summer WSOP was postponed to the fall. On July 19, GGPoker is added to the mix for international players.

The series is the first time players outside the US can win a bracelet online. Many players, including well-known players like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth, have plans to play events on both sites.

Beyond the Main Event, GG players can expect a robust schedule. Buy-ins range from $50 to $25,000. The Big 50 will award a bracelet in an event featuring a buy-in of only fifty bucks.

Players will also find popular events like the Colossus, Millionaire Maker, and Poker Players Championship. Some highlights include:

  • WSOP Event #1: $100 The Opener – July 19 (Day 2), $2 million guarantee
  • WSOP Event #2: $1,111 Every 1 for COVID Relief  – July 19 ($111 from each entry goes to the Caesars Cares fund)
  • WSOP Event #10: $400 COLOSSUS – July 26 (Day 2), $3 million guarantee
  • WSOP Event #17: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER – Aug. 2 (Day 2), $1 million first prize guarantee
  • WSOP Event #25: $10,000 Heads Up NLHE Championship – Aug. 9 (limited to 128 players)
  • WSOP Event #31: $500 Mini Main Event – Aug. 16 (Day 2), $5 million guarantee 
  • WSOP Event #38: $25,000 NLHE Poker Players Championship –  Aug. 23, $10 million guarantee
  • WSOP Event #39: $50 BIG 50 – Aug. 23 (Day 2), $1 million guarantee
  • WSOP Event #52: $10,000 WSOP Super MILLION$ – September 6 – $5,000,000 prize pool guarantee 

Few guarantees, but plenty of big events

GGPoker players have become accustomed to massive guarantees. While the Main Event features a huge payout, only 12 events feature a guarantee.

“We wanted to keep to the format of the live WSOP as much as possible, where the glory of winning the WSOP bracelet was the real highlight,” GG spokesman Paul Burke told PokerScout. “They don’t put guarantees on the events, so barring some of the real standout events, neither are we.”

Players with lower bankrolls and looking to win their way into a bracelet event will have plenty of opportunities. GGPoker will run a series of micro and low-stakes qualifying events leading up to the series.

The site will also hold standard satellite tournaments beginning July 1. 

“This reminds me of poker’s boom years,” said Negreanu, a GGPoker ambassador.  “Anyone who has dreamed of winning a real WSOP bracelet can now do so across the globe. There’s no feeling like winning a WSOP bracelet, and GGPoker is opening that opportunity to the masses.”

Players will find several poker variations including Pot Limit Omaha and Short Deck. Organizers have also added a few other unique elements as well.

The Asia Championship will be held on Aug. 9 for players in that part of the world. There will also be four People’s Choice events from Sept. 1-5.

A $1,050 Beat the Pros Bounty is also planned for Sept. 5. Unlike the recent WSOP Online Circuit Super Series, however, there won’t be non-bracelet side events.

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Real names at the table please

Along with the move to offering international WSOP bracelets, GG is adding another interesting element to the series. Players who make a final table will be required to play using their real names.

This is something new to the industry. Players will know who they’re up against and allows for better media coverage as well. It also allows final tables to mimic live WSOP final tables.

Viewers on the site’s Twitch stream, GGPoker.TV, and PokerCentral will be able to follow their favorite players. The real names of all players who earn cash prizes will also be made available.

“The ability to compete for WSOP bracelets – the ultimate prize in poker – from home is so amazing,” GGPoker ambassador Fedor Holz said. “The big events will be full of players from all over the world: Europe, Canada, South America, and everywhere else. The WSOP action will be scorching hot this summer.”

Here’s a look at the complete GGPoker WSOP Online schedule.

DateEvent NumberTournamentBuy-inPrize GuaranteeNotes
Sunday, July 19, 2020
** postponed, Day 2 resumes July 26
1$100 The Opener [Final Day], $2M GTD$100$2,000,000 2-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, July 19, 2020
** postponed, Day 2 resumes July 26
2$1,111 Every 1 for Covid Relief [Caesars Cares]$1,111 2-Day Event
Sunday, July 19, 20203$525 Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$525
Tuesday, July 21, 20204$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship$5,000
Wednesday, July 22, 20205$1,500 FIFTY STACK No Limit Hold'em$1,500
Thursday, July 23, 20206$1,050 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha$1,050
Saturday, July 25, 20207$600 Monster Stack No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$600Asia Time Zone
Sunday, July 26, 20208$1,500 No Limit Hold'em$1,500 Asia Time Zone
Sunday, July 26, 20209$2,500 Pot Limit Omaha$2,500
Sunday, July 26, 202010$400 COLOSSUS [Day 2], $3M GTD$400$3,000,000 3-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, July 26, 202011$400 PLOSSUS [Day 2], $1M GTD$400$1,000,0003-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Tuesday, July 28, 202012$10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold'em Championship$10,000
Wednesday, July 29, 202013$2,500 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$2,500
Thursday, July 30, 202014$840 Bounty No Limit Hold'em$840
Saturday, August 01, 202015$500 Deepstack No Limit Hold'em$500Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 02, 202016$1,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold'em$1,000Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 02, 202017$1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER [Day 2], $5M GTD, $1M to 1st$1,500 $ 5,000,000 3-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, August 02, 202018$500 Turbo Deepstack No Limit Hold'em$500
Tuesday, August 04, 202019$2,100 No Limit Hold'em Bounty Championship$2,100
Wednesday, August 05, 202020$400 Pot Limit Omaha$400
Thursday, August 06, 202021$1,000 No Limit Hold'em$1,000
Saturday, August 08, 202022$800 Double Stack Pot Limit Omaha$800Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 09, 202023HK$8,000 No Limit Hold'em Asia Championship [Final Day], HK$8M GTDHK$8,000HK$8,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, August 09, 202024$150 GGMasters WSOP Edition [Freezeout], $1M GTD$150$1,000,000Freezeout
Sunday, August 09, 202025$10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em Championship [No Late Reg, 128 Cap]$10,0002-Day Event, Freezeout
Tuesday, August 11, 202026$5,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Championship$5,000
Wednesday, August 12, 202027$2,500 Double Stack No Limit Hold'em$2,500
Thursday, August 13, 202028$525 Bounty No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$525
Saturday, August 15, 202029$300 Monster Stack No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$300Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 16, 202030$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha$1,500
Sunday, August 16, 202031$500 Mini Main Event [Final Day], $5M GTD$500$5,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, August 16, 202032$840 Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em$840
Tuesday, August 18, 202033$600 No Limit Hold'em Deepstack Championship$600
Wednesday, August 19, 202034$800 Pot Limit Omaha$800
Thursday, August 20, 202035$500 Limit Hold'em$500
Saturday, August 22, 202036$500 Deepstack No-Limit Hold'em$500Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 23, 202037$1,500 Marathon No Limit Hold'em$1,500Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 23, 202038$25,000 NLH POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, $10M GTD$25,000$10,000,0002-Day Event
Sunday, August 23, 202039BIG 50 [Final Day], $1M GTD$50$1,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Tuesday, August 25, 202040$1,500 Limit Hold'em Championship$1,500
Wednesday, August 26, 202041$1,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$1,000
Thursday, August 27, 202042$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha$1,500
Saturday, August 29, 202043$300 Double Stack No Limit Hold'em$300Asia Time Zone
Sunday, August 30, 202044$400 FORTY STACK No Limit Hold'em$400
Sunday, August 30, 202045$5,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event [Day 2], $25M GTD$5,000$25,000,0003-Day Event, Feezeout Flights
Sunday, August 30, 202046$1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$1,000
Tuesday, September 01, 202047People's Choice Event [Most Popular]TBATBATBA by Vote
Wednesday, September 02, 202048People's Choice Event [Pros Vote]TBATBATBA by Vote
Thursday, September 03, 202049People's Choice Event [Spin the Wheel]TBATBATBA by Vote
Saturday, September 05, 202050People's Choice Event [Most Popular]TBATBAAsia Time Zone, TBA by Vote
Saturday, September 05, 202051$1,050 Beat the Pros [Bounty]$1,050
Sunday, September 06, 202052$10K WSOP Super MILLION$, $5M GTD$10,000$5,000,0002-Day Event
Sunday, September 06, 202053$100 WSOP MILLION$ [Final Day], $2M GTD$100$2,000,0002-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, September 06, 202054$500 The Closer [LAST CHANCE]$500

Photo by Tomas Stacha/WSOP

RAISING THE STAKES: World Series of Poker Offers Online Bracelets Via GGPoker, WSOP.com

The WSOP and GGPoker have announced a new summer online bracelet series.

Whether in Europe, Asia, or somewhere else around the world, poker players can compete for a World Series of Poker bracelet this summer. The series announced a partnership with GGPoker on Monday, offering 85 bracelet events internationally and on WSOP.com in the US.

The “WSOP Online” includes WSOP.com offering 31 events July 1-31 with GG events getting started on July 19. This becomes the first time players outside the US will be able to play for a bracelet online.

The annual live series in Las Vegas has been postponed until the fall because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Organizers hope the WSOP Online helps bridge a gap as players await the return of live tournament poker.

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“It wouldn’t be summer without WSOP” series executive director Ty Stewart said in a news release.

“While we are thrilled to be reopening our venues and optimistic about future offline events, we couldn’t be more excited about deepening our relationship with GGPoker and watching some history unfold online this summer.”

What to expect from GGPoker WSOP events

The Coronavirus pandemic has led to a mini-boom in online poker with massive prize pools around the world. That included the recent GGPoker WSOP Super Online Circuit Series.

That series was the first partnership between the two entities. The series awarded 18 championship rings and featured more than 500 events. Those offered buy-ins for every bankroll and numerous game variations.

The Super Series originally promised a massive guarantee of $102 million, but paid out almost $135 million. The series featured 485,851 entries including a Main Event of almost 10,000 entries with $1.2 million to the winner.

“With over $100 million in guarantees during the WSOPC Super Series in May and more than $134 million in awarded prizes, it’s clear that GGPoker and the WSOP make a good pair,” GG head of poker operations Steve Preiss said.

“We’re excited to create bracelet events that the worldwide poker community will embrace, as well as innovative programming with PokerGo.”

WSOP and GGPoker promise a similar schedule with numerous events, game types, and buy-ins. The GG events for international players kick off on July 19 and run through Sept. 6.

GGPoker plans to unveil its bracelet schedule on a rolling basis, WSOP officials said. GG hasn’t announced any events yet.

Players can expect numerous qualifiers and starting flights as seen in the Super Series. The WSOP Online should be another massive event for the site.

“There’s nothing in the world like winning a WSOP bracelet,” GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu said. “Bringing this experience online will open the door for a new generation of poker players to feel the rush of competing for the game’s biggest prize.”

WSOP.com also hosting online bracelet tournaments in the US

Players in the US have a lot to look forward to as part of the deal as well. WSOP.com will offer 31 events, one each day from July1-31.

In the US, WSOP.com is available in Nevada and New Jersey. The site is promising several special promotions with satellites starting as low as $1.

WSOP.com will also throw in an extra $100,000 for the series leaderboard awards. GGPoker may offer a similar leaderboard, but that hasn’t been announced yet.

Like the summer WSOP, the series plans on keeping events in the news. Poker Central, the series’ official production partner, plans to create original content around the festival utilizing its Las Vegas studio. That includes:

  • live streams
  • highlight packages
  • program episodes earmarked for traditional television distribution.

Poker Central also plans to stream virtual bracelet ceremonies and interviews with bracelet winners. There should be plenty of action and PokerScout will continue to track the series as well. Here’s a look at the complete WSOP.com schedule:

2020 WSOP Online Series (WSOP.com)

EventDateTime (PT)EventBuy-In
1July 1 (W)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Kick-Off$500
2July 2 (Th)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em 8-Handed Deepstack$1,000
3July 3 (F)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em$400
4July 4 (Sa)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Super Turbo$500
5July 5 (Su)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Freezeout$1,000
6July 6 (M)3:00 p.m.PLO8 6-Handed$600
7July 7 (Tu)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Knockout Deepstack$800
8July 8 (W)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Freezeout$500
9July 9 (Th)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em 6-Max$1,000
10July 10 (F)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em MonsterStack$600
11July 11 (Sa)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Turbo Deepstack 6-Handed$500
12July 12 (Su)3:00 p.m.The BIG 500 No Limit Hold'em$500
13July 13 (M)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em High Roller Freezeout$1,500
14July 14 (Tu)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em High Roller$3,200
15July 15 (W)3:00 p.m.PLO 8-Max HR$1,000
16July 16 (Th)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Turbo$500
17July 17 (F)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'emÊ$777
18July 18 (Sa)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em 8-Handed Turbo DeepStack$1,000
19July 19 (Su)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em$400
20July 20 (M)3:00 p.m.PLO 6-Handed$500
21July 21 (Tu)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$777
22July 22 (W)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Turbo Deepstack$500
23July 23 (Th)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Knockout$500
24July 24 (F)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em 8-Handed$400
25July 25 (Sa)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Summer Saver$500
26July 26 (Su)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Grande Finale$500
27July 27 (M)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Freezeout$400
28July 28 (Tu)3:00 p.m.Omaha 8 6-Max$1,000
29July 29 (W)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Turbo Deepstack 6-Handed$600
30July 30 (Th)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Senior's Event$500
31July 31 (F)3:00 p.m.No Limit Hold'em Championship$1,000

For a complete GGPoker review and exclusive PokerScout bonus, click here.

For a complete WSOP.com review and exclusive bonus, click here for New Jersey. Click here for Nevada.

BLACK BELT BETTING – PokerStars Unveils Poker Dojo Training App

PokerStars recently released a new online poker training app.

A big part of growing the poker world is bringing new players into the game. Twitch has been a part of that as well as efforts to reach more female players. PokerStars is hoping its new free poker-training app helps in those efforts to become a black belt on the poker felt.

Poker Dojo offers players of all levels the chance to learn, test, and perfect their skills. Players can work to perfect their online game or for battling at the live tables. 

“We wanted to provide an entry point for new players to have fun while improving their confidence in their own skills,” PokerStars associate director of public relations Rebecca McAdam Willetts told PokerScout.

“Poker Dojo can help players develop some important poker skills quickly. It also provides an opportunity to introduce poker to new players or help more experienced players stay sharp and improve in an entertaining, gamified format at home or on the go.”

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Mastering skills in the PokerStars dojo

Those entering the dojo will find three fast, engaging mini-games. They’re designed to help learn the game or just have fun with a training app.

The app was created to feel like a mobile game, with score history and leveling systems to challenge users. There are also leaderboards allowing players to challenge each other.

The app teaches players to quickly recognize strong hands and make decisions under pressure. Players can also learn when to go all in when appropriate. Available games include:

  • Grid Poker – Trainees select five cards on a grid to make a poker hand. The goal is to score as many points as possible before time runs out. The stronger the hand, the more points scored.
  • Strongest Hand – Players pick the best hand out of three or rate their hand to earn points.
  • All-in or Fold – Dojo students fold until they’re confident enough in a hand to go all in against an unseen hand.

App timed well with growing online poker market

Online poker has seen a boom during the Coronavirus pandemic. New players have gone online as more players begin hitting the virtual tables.

Initially, the Poker Dojo app is only available in the United States and United Kingdom. Users can download the free app at the App Store and Google Play Store for mobile phones and tablets.

In the US, PokerStars is available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. March and April produced record revenue numbers for online poker in those states as well as Nevada and Delaware.

Poker Dojo’s appeal to mobile gamers comes as operators tweak their apps to appeal to social players. Throughout the design process, a simple game that could help players was the goal.

“Poker Dojo was named after a space for immersive learning, which informed the creative process throughout,” Willetts said. “Our dedicated innovation team, with the support of others across the business, took the project from concept to roll-out.

“Once we’d developed an iteration we were happy with, we rolled out a beta product and invited everyone in the company to join in and compete for prizes while sending feedback. That final stage was vital and provided us with invaluable feedback and insights. It meant we could hone in on what makes the app genuinely useful to players of all levels.”

Fighting it out on the PokerStars felt

Those looking to win some money on Poker Dojo will be out of luck. The app only offers training. A quick test drive of the app by PokerScout finds a fun social game that new players may enjoy.

Along with learning traditional poker game play, players can fine tune their speed in recognizing hands. The All-in or Fold feature is nice at working on speed calculating at strength and draws.

Grid Poker mimics puzzle games and allows players new to the game to focus on making hands. As they create hands, poker recognition skills become easier and faster.

While players won’t win any cash via Poker Dojo, users can earn a free PokerStars Sit and Go voucher. The goal is to battle it out in the dojo then put that poker black belt to work.

“Poker Dojo is a very engaging poker mini game app that helps users develop key skill sets that any poker savvy player should know, like hand rankings, hand strength, and how to assess an all-in decision,” Willetts said. “As a bonus, the game-like format of the app makes it fun and accessible for all levels.”

For complete PokerStars review and exclusive PokerScout bonus, click here. For PokerStars New Jersey and Pennsylvania reviews and bonus codes, click here

ISLANDS IN THE STREAM: PokerStars Twitch Efforts Show Industry’s Focus on Platform

PokerStars' Twitch exemplify the industry's efforts at growth on the platform.

Not only has online poker been on the rise during the Coronavirus pandemic, Twitch Poker has also seen an increase in streamers and viewers. PokerStars recently added some extra incentive to get in the action by giving away $50,000.

The site gave away chests worth up to $215 every day to players watching PokerStars streamers. This promotion is part of a growing trend toward the platform over the last few years.

“We’ve always been extremely passionate about Twitch,” associate director of public relations Rebecca McAdam Willetts says. “It allows a true window into the mind of professional players and enables viewers to join in for the ride.

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“We will continue to invest in Twitch and our Twitch community. Really, even after years of pushing the boundaries with this platform, we’re only just warming up.”

That sentiment could go for much of the industry as well.

Winning with PokerStars Twitch

To take part in the promotion, viewers had to link their PokerStars and Twitch accounts. They then needed to have their stream chat open while watching a PokerStars-affiliated streamer.

The promotion ran throughout much of the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP). The goal is to allow players to experience their own winning moments while also watching content produced on Twitch.

Content primarily focuses on online events, including cash games, and European Poker Tour stops. However, Twitch users can also find other streams including: 

  • PokerStars School – Providing tips and lessons as well as new game format tutorials. • PokerStars ambassadors GJ and Pye – The pair’s regular dual stream showcases low buy-in events accessible to low-stakes players.

“PokerStars Twitch is the host channel for an abundance of different types of poker content,” Willetts says. “There’s always something on to entertain or educate on our channel and our Twitch audience is very active and engaged. It’s a fun place to be for any poker fan.”

That includes incorporating the PokerStars Twitch channel into the new “Rail” feature. The Rail offers players a personalized online experience and to incorporate some of their own poker interests. Some of those include:

  • Social media
  • PokerStars School
  • Multimedia content
  • Upcoming major events
  • Recent games played
  • Personalized videos
  • Recent big wins
  • Challenges and promotions

The new feature can also incorporate the PokerStars Twitch stream as well as those of site ambassadors. Beyond that, some non-affiliated streamers will also be included.

“It’s a great place for any poker fan to find video content to watch while they play,” Willetts says.

Record breaking poker streaming

PokerStars ambassador Lex Veldhuis streamed much of his action during the SCOOP series. He and fellow ambassadors Fintan Hand and “Spraggy” made impressive runs for viewers on Twitch.

Hand won an event live on stream, and Lex and Spraggy both made the final 40 of the $10,000 SCOOP Main Event. These finishes live on Twitch may be an example of how poker streamers can bring new players and fans to the game.

Veldhuis peaked at 58,0000 viewers, breaking the Twitch record for concurrent viewers on a poker stream. He also briefly reached the top spot watched channel on Twitch, beating 125,000 other streamers.

More viewers, players, and poker sites going to Twitch for poker

Beyond online events, Twitch has become the place for other “live” events as well. PokerStars recently ran its “Stars CALL for Actioncelebrity game charity initiative using the platform. 

Viewers could tune in and check out the action with a host of big names battling it out. Those checking out the action could also donate themselves to the $1 million Coronavirus relief effort.

In recent years, PokerStars moved beyond its Twitch channel being a standalone offering. The site makes use of content formats, tools, and widgets on the Twitch platform itself for a more immersive experience.

The Twitch channel also facilitates more promotional opportunities to reach out to players. Those linking their accounts can take part in community giveaways and exclusive challenges only available to Twitch viewers.

“Integration is important to us,” Willetts says, “and an area we intend to spend more time on.”

Others in the industry are also focusing on Twitch. Longtime poker pro Jason Somerville was a bit of a pioneer making use of the platform. Jeff Gross and Jaime Staples have also been streaming their action for years.

Both are ambassadors for partypoker, which also makes major use of the platform. Party recently streamed action from the online Super High Roller Bowl.

GGPoker also recently launched its own Twitch channel and hopes to create a following for its tournament series. The World Poker Tour has also made use of its Twitch channel for its new celebrity fundraising game in partnership with Budweiser.

The WPT also spotlights its own ClubWPT sweepstakes poker site on Twitch as does Global Poker.

With growing numbers of viewers and streamers, Twitch remains an important part of the poker world. With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down major tournament poker, it also remains a nice alternative for fans to find some live poker to watch.