The 2011 WCOOP Main Event attracted 1,627 players, and will be offering almost $5 million total to the top finishers. But while this is one huge online poker tournament, it doesn’t quite measure up to the 2010 WCOOP Main Event. After all, the 2010 WCOOP ME set records for an online poker tournament when over $12.2 million was offered in the prize pool. Another record was set when Tyson “POTTERPOKER” Marks hit the single biggest online score when he earned $2,278,098 for winning.
In any case, the 2011 WCOOP Main Event won’t come anywhere near these numbers since US players can’t enter the event. Sure $5 million is a lot of money, but we can be positive that it’d be worth a lot more if Americans could still play at PokerStars. However, the actions of the US Department of Justice continue to have reverberating consequences on online poker.
When the US DoJ cracked down on PokerStars and three other major sites on April 15th, 2011, it was pretty much expected that the World Championship of Online Poker would never reach its peak numbers again (unless regulation is ever approved and the US issues poker licenses).
But hey, at least PokerStars can still stage a major online poker event like this. Furthermore, at least they can run poker tournaments of any kind since the other three sites that faced the wrath of the US DoJ (UB Poker, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker) aren’t even running. Both UB and Absolute Poker were sunk right from the get-go since they’d already been mired in scandals beforehand.
As for Full Tilt Poker, there was a glimmer of hope in the beginning that they’d survive, and players would get their bankrolls back. However, the Full Tilt Poker brand is all but destroyed now, and a civil suit has been levied against FTP; however, even if the suit is successful, it might only get players pennies back on their dollars.
In any case, it’s nice that PokerStars isn’t totally crippled by the whole DoJ ordeal, and can still run a great poker event.