The largest poker tournaments attract some of the best players from all over the world. The increased popularity and interest in poker have many more players take part in these events.
The growth of online poker has also made poker tournaments more accessible as players can now take part from the comfort of their own homes. Some of the largest tournaments in the world are now held regularly and often attract thousands of players with TV coverage and millions to be won in prizes.
How Major Poker Tournaments work?
A poker tournament starts at a designated time, with each participant purchasing an entry ticket at a set price. It is different from cash games that can run continuously with no end. Players also start playing simultaneously, each with the same number of chips. Elimination occurs when players lose all of their chips.
Starting from the winner and descending downwards to a fixed number of players, the remaining players receive their prize depending on their position. Only the set number of top players receives prizes as the rest are left with nothing but memories of the special experience.
Some of the largest tournaments by popularity, prize pool amount and number of participants are:
World Series of Poker (WSOP)
The World Series of Poker is by far the largest and most prestigious poker tournament globally. The event was first held in 1970 at the Horseshoe Casino and has continued to attract more players each year. It has been the top poker event globally for over 50 years, with its popularity still growing.
It has been held in Las Vegas annually from June-July, similar to other gambling events, with Vegas establishing its position as one of the world’s gambling capitals.
WSOP has also grown to include online poker as well. The franchise has become very successful and even branches to the World Series of Poker Circuit and the World Series of Poker Europe.
The tournament features several events each with a large number of participants. Nonetheless, the World Series of Poker main event is the no-limit Texas Hold’Em tournament, with a 10,000 dollar buy-in.
The winner of the game is awarded the tournament bracelet and is crowned the best poker player in the world. There are also huge cash prizes for the winners.
World Poker Tour Championships
The WPT tournament started in 2002 and has grown to become one of the most exciting tournament series in the world. The events are held in various locations around the world and are televised to viewers around the globe. It has thus grown to become an international brand with millions of viewers.
The main event of the WPT tour is the WPT championships which have a 25,000 dollar buy-in. Winners of the WPT Main Tour are awarded membership to the WPT Champions Club and walk away with millions in prize money. Other major tour events include the Five Diamond World Poker Classics and LA Poker Classics held annually.
The Triton Poker franchise holds several poker tournaments in several locations across the globe. The tournaments are very popular, attracting many players each year. The pool prize money and buy-in amounts may vary depending on the tournament.
However, only professional poker players often play the tournament due to the high buy-ins required. The amount can be out of reach for beginners. Nonetheless, the huge prize pool often attracts the attention of the poker community, who enjoy watching the tournament. It is exciting to watch a tournament with such high stakes.
World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP)
The tournament is the largest online tournament and is easily accessible to players from all over the world. It aims to be the online equivalent of the WSOP and features some of the best players in the world. The tournament is held in September annually on the Stars Casino site, which sponsors the event.
The WCOOP features several interesting events, including different poker formats such as no-limit Texas Hold’Em, Pot-limit, Limit, 5-card draw, etc. Even though it lacks the electric atmosphere of a live event, its online availability makes it more accessible to many. Winners also win huge cash prizes.
European Poker Tour
Like the WCOOP, the European Poker Tour is also sponsored by Stars Casino. It is one of the richest series in Europe and is also considered among the largest poker tournaments in the world. It is highly televised worldwide, with over 900 million viewers tuning in to watch the series.
The EPT features major events in several locations across Europe, such as the Irish Winter Tournament in Dublin, the French Open in Deauville and the Barcelona Open. The events are held all year round, guaranteeing nonstop action for players and fans.
What Makes the Tournaments So Special?
Although the buy-ins for the tournaments are often very high, players stand the chance of walking away with millions in prize money. Many professional players also enjoy the challenge of taking part in the tournaments and competing with some of the best players in the world. Some factors that make the tournaments stand out include: