Poker tournaments are serious business, and not to be taken lightly. With the latest massive surge in poker popularity, due largely to the online world introducing millions of new players to the game, poker tournaments have entered into a whole new era. Now with television coverage and outrageously high winning prizes, it certainly is a good time to be a professional poker player.
But which are the biggest tournaments in the world, and just how does one go about gaining entrance? We take a look at the most prestigious, and the richest professional poker tournaments currently operating in the world today, and also pay attention to just how a person goes about getting a chance at taking part in them.
World Series Of Poker
The most well-known and highly acclaimed poker tournament in the world is undoubtedly the World Series of Poker, often abbreviated to WSOP. It is not a new tournament by any means, and in fact has been in operation since the 1970s. It is only recently, however, that the tournament has been getting unprecedented amounts of global attention.
The tournament is held annually in Las Vegas, and sees the greatest poker players in the world facing off in multiple elimination matches. The big focus of the tournament is the final event where the remaining players go head to head in a no-limits round of Texas Hold’em poker, the winner of which is crowned the best player in the world.
The winner generally walks away with an amount in the tens of millions, and even the second and third place winners are likely to net a cool few million. So how does one enter the World Series of Poker? Very simply by paying the $10,000 entrance fee. This grants the player a stack of chips that they use to participate in rounds of poker. If you lose your chips, you are eliminated. It’s as easy as that.
World Poker Tour Championships
The World Poker Tour Championships is not as well known as the WSOP, but is rapidly gaining popularity. Started in 2002 once the modern poker craze had started, the events take place in various countries around the world, and aim to attract only the most elite poker players. The buy-in amount is a much more hefty $25,000, meaning that only those who really have faith in their abilities dare take a stab at it. The World Poker Tour Championships are still, however, open to anyone who can up with the cash.
Finals of the World Poker Tour Championships are played in much the same way as the WSOP, with the winner netting a huge championship payout, and a very serious bump to their reputation.
World Championship Of Online Poker
It makes sense that the booming online poker world would have its on equivalent of the WSOP, and that was exactly the intention when the World Championship of Online Poker was created. First created in 2002, the event has been held annually in September, and sees a number of hopefuls stepping up to test their skills.
As with the live version of the WSOP, the online variety likewise follows the same basic rules, awarding winners bracelets and enormous cash prizes. Many of the skilled players who participate in the live version likewise attend the online version, though without the live audience. And, in recent years, many players who started online have moved to the live event. Either way, novice players enter the World Championship of Online Poker in their droves, hoping to make a name for themselves.
European Poker Tour
Much like the other tournaments on this list, the European Poker Tour aims to attract the most skilled and ambitious players, but does so in Europe as opposed to the United States. The European Poker Tour has a number of events that take place throughout the year, with events in France, London, and Barcelona. As of late the live broadcasts have also been seeing enormous popularity, with an estimated 900 million viewers tuning in to watch the championship games.
Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure
Similar to the other tournaments, what makes the Pokerstars Caribbean adventure different is that it takes place in exotic, luxurious locations. In operation since 2004, the tournament was first held on a cruise liner, treating players to incredible luxury while they took part in the games. Later, however, the events were moved to land, but still always held in a holiday paradise. If anything, even losing players were sure to have a great time.
The Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure is not as rich as some other tournaments, but champions are still almost guaranteed to walk away with at least a million in their pockets. Not too shabby for a trip to a sunny paradise with clear oceans and bright blue skies, that’s for sure.