After more than two months of action, the inaugural WPT World Online Championships wrapped up on Sept. 24 at partypoker. The series attracted more than 34,000 players and paid out a total prize pool of $101 million.
The WOCs were designed to replicate an authentic live WPT experience. That meant using real names, limited starting days for championship events, and only one re-entry per day. Organizers were thrilled with the results.
“The WPT World Online Championships have marked a new milestone for the WPT and partypoker, and the response from the players throughout the series has been overwhelming,” WPT Europe Vice President Hermance Blum said in a news release. “We take a lot of pride bringing the unique feel of the WPT to the online felt.”
Bringing players of all types to partypoker
The WPT and partypoker made reaching players of all bankroll levels a big part of the action. That included numerous satellites throughout the festival awarding 45,605 tournament seats.
Of those, 19,655 were unique players qualifying through satellites. In total, the series attracted 285,846 total entries and 34,811 unique entries.
“We are delighted that the WPT World Online Championships created so many success stories,” partypoker managing director Tom Waters said in a news release. “The focus for the series was delivering quality, well-structured events that would give satellite players great opportunities to compete with the best players in the world and the results speak for themselves.
“We look forward to working with the WPT again and sticking to the values that we believe bring the best live poker events online.”
The $10,300 Main Event final table is a nice example of the opportunities available to players. Seven of the nine final table players qualified via satellite.
Victor Simionato pulled off a particularly remarkable feat. He started with a $22 buy-in and moved through three satellites to qualify. He eventually took fifth for $391,257.
Phil Mighall beat Teun Mulder heads-up for the title to win $1.6 million after a deal. Mulder scored $1.4 million for runner-up.
Other WPT satellite winners score big
Along with the Main Event, other players also came through big after winning seats by qualifiers. In the Mini Main Event, five of the final nine players qualified through value-added seats.
Arturs Balodis finished third but won the most prize money in the event after a deal was reached. He won his seat in a $55 Gladiator and banked $535,269. Nichita Verbitchii finished second for $339,607 after winning a seat in an $11 Terminator.
On the last day of the festival, Charlotte Godwin pulled off a similar amazing feat. She qualified for the $102,000 WPT Super High Roller Championship after starting in a $109 feeder event.
Godwin went on to finish third and win $620,000. One moment stood out when she was all in and rivered an Ace to stay alive in the tournament. If not for that river card, Godwin would have been eliminated in seventh on the money bubble.
Wow – I’m so overwhelmed by all of this, I think I’m still in shock! I haven’t been able to read all of the messages yet, but I’d like thank everyone who was rooting for me on the stream and those who took the time to congratulate me – so many of you! TYTYTY 😅 💕
— charlie godwin (@charlie_godwin) September 28, 2020
A few other key highlights from the series include:
- Five players winning prizes of more than $1 million.
- Players from 94 different nationalities cashing in the series.
- More event winners (19%) came from the United Kingdom than any other country.
A look at the WOC leaderboards
Along with a slate of major events, the series also rewarded consistency. The WPT World Online Championships leaderboards paid out $100,000.
Artur Martirosian won the Player of the Championships for an additional $50,000 on top of his tournament earnings. Players earned points by finishing in the money in any tournament with a buy-in of $320 or more.
In the Rising Star competition, Luiz Constantino’s victory in the Micro Main Event helped him top the leaderboard. He picked up an extra $10,000 for his efforts. Players earned Rising Star points for any event with a buy-in of $300 or less.
Team partypoker donates to the freeroll cause
As an added bonus to players, Team partypoker pros pledged their own leaderboard winnings to post-series freerolls. Partypoker is hosting a WPT After Party Freeroll in each player’s name.
Freerolls also include bounty prizes, with each Team partypoker player carrying a $22 Predator ticket on his or her head. Here’s a look at the freerolls all set for this week:
- Tuesday, Sept. 29 (Robert Romanello) – $2,000
- Wednesday, Sept. 30 (Patrick Leonard) – $6,000
- Thursday, Oct. 1 (Mikita Badziakouski) – $1,000
- Friday, Oct. 2 (Kristen Bicknell) – $1,000
There were many other notable performances throughout the series. Six players increased their bankrolls by seven-figure sums by the end of the festival.
Team partypoker’s Isaac Haxton placed as the top on the earnings list with $2.1 million. He was followed by Mighall with $1.7 million and Martirosian with $1.6 million.
Online poker series around the world continue to surge and partypoker’s WOC events are a testament to that environment. It’s a good bet another big series is around the corner.
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