PokerStars World Series of Poker $40 Million Prize Pool

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The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) returns on September 3, 2009 for its eighth year. The $40 million guaranteed prize pool - $10 million more than last year's tournament series - makes it the biggest online poker tournament series in the world. Players from all over the world will be competing to become World Champions, winning millions in cash prizes and picking up the much-coveted WCOOP gold bracelets.

PokerStars have taken into account feedback from the poker player community when creating the schedule, with each WCOOP event promising a huge guaranteed prize pool, with many exceeding $1 million.  There will be a total of 45 events covering a wide range of poker variants including Hold'em, Omaha, Stud, Razz, HORSE and 2-7 Draw. There are eight brand new events this year including the $320 FL Badugi, $530 Heads Up PL Omaha and big ante NL Hold'em events.

Last year a total of 22,873 unique players from 119 countries competed in the 33 event tournament series, and PokerStars awarded a grand total of $39,958,000 in prize money. The Main Event World Champion ‘ckingusc' won more than $1.2million. Poker player ‘liberace' was the biggest overall cash winner, taking home $1,377,179, while ‘thedonator' made the most cashes - making the money in 10 of the 33 events.

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu said "There are hundreds of exciting tournaments all year round but nothing compares to the [] WCOOP - it's the ‘must play' event of the year for any poker player.  Last year over 20,000 players came together from across the world to compete in the largest ever online poker event - for their chance to become a World Champion."

The WCOOP is hosted exclusively by the world's largest poker room,, and will run across 18 days from September 3 - 21, 2009 starting with the $215 buy-in NL Hold'em tournament. The series will conclude with the two day, $10k guaranteed NL Hold'em Main Event on September 20, 2009.

Team PokerStars Pro had a great overall team success at last year's WCOOP - winning a combined total of over $1.5m. Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand ‘ElkY' Grospellier netted a total of $407,285 with cashes in the NL Hold'em Triple Shootout, 6-max Re-buy events, Main Event and a second place finish in the NL Hold'em High Roller - Gavin Griffin came fourth and Vanessa Rousso fifth in the same event. Chris Moneymaker made two final tables, in the High-Roller NL Hold'em and the PL Omaha [1R1A], while André Akkari was also on form with a second place finish in the $10,300 HORSE Event for $200,000.

"The [] WCOOP is my favourite event - anyone can play at anytime, anywhere, with tournaments running throughout the day. For millions of players, it's the ultimate poker championship and everyone has the chance to become a World Champion!" said Team PokerStars Pro and runner up in the 2007 WCOOP Main Event, Vanessa ‘LadyMaverick' Rousso.

Players can qualify for WCOOP events via PokerStars satellites which will be available in a range of low-stake buy-in's that mean everyone has a chance to qualify, and win an event!