Sitting around a poker table with friends, betting, calling bluffs, laughing, and finally reaching a winning hand by one of you, is often an exciting tradition. These friend tournaments, if you will, are sometimes a great building block for getting into professional poker tournaments. And while professional poker tournaments aren’t easy, playing in amateur leagues gives you a taste of what’s to come. With the right training, learning about strategies, and thinking analytically, you can most definitely join those world-class competitions we watch on TV. On that note, let’s take a look at some of the biggest poker tournaments in the world that you might not know about.
What is a poker tournament?
These high-stakes competitions feature fully-fledged professional poker players who have often been playing for years. In these championships, players often play the most popular form of poker, Texas Hold’em, and things can get quite interesting. Even with online poker tournaments, these games are highly competitive and have a cult following. Since online poker has increased in popularity in the last few years, it’s a great idea to check out where you can watch the games.
World Poker Tour
This is one popular gaming and entertainment organization, so if you’ve not heard about it before, where have you been? No worries, we are going to tell you all about it. The World Poker Tour has a presence like no other. They are featured on most platforms, including TV, land-based tournaments, online, and mobile. The World Poker Tour started more than 20 years ago in 2002 and has been a force ever since, bringing us the best in world-class tournaments. These high-stakes tournaments are unique and are often cited as the best in the world.
Broadcast in over 150 countries, the success of the World Poker Tour cannot be understated, and as a result, it is now in its 19th season. But that’s not all, World Poker Tour has partnered with One Drop Foundation to elevate the future of charity gambling – making it an organization committed to helping those in need. So, what can you expect in terms of championships this year?
- WPT Rolling Thunder: 1 April
- WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown: 28 April
- WPT Choctaw: 5 May
- WPT Gardens Poker Championship: 21 May
- WPT Prime Gold Coast: 2 March
- WPT Prime Cambodia: 16 March
- WPT Prime Amsterdam: 28 March
- WPT Prime India: 13 April
- WPT Prime Slovakia: 11 May
- WPT Prime Vietnam: 25 May
- WPT Prime San Remo: 7 June
World Championship of Online Poker
This is one of the most popular online tournaments in the world. Sponsored by PokerStars, the WCOOP takes place in September each year. First launched in 2002, the WCOOP has been dubbed the online version of the World Series of Poker, and we understand why. This is a high-stakes tournament with massive buy-in and cash prizes. It also features some of the best poker players making it highly competitive. Fun fact, one of the biggest cash prizes was back in 2005 when the WCOOP generated over $12 million in prize money. That’s quite some bank for the time.
So, how does it work? Players take part in a series of competitions. These competitions have different buy-ins, as well as different values of cash prizes. Here are some of the games played throughout the tournament:
- Pot Limit
- No Limit Texas Hold’em
- Seven Card Stud
- Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo
- Pot Limit Omaha High
- Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
World Series of Poker
Arguably the biggest and most well-known poker tournament on the planet. All poker players, whether amateur or professional, know the WSOP. And this is why you need to know it as well. What’s more, the tournaments are played online, so if you have poker chips, you can also enter. Or you can watch it in the comfort of your home. Some of the games played include Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Seven Stud.
Fun fact, the World Series of Poker has been around for decades and was first established in the 1970s. Which the WSOP team attributes to its success and popularity. Over $3 billion in prize money has been paid out to date. In 2022, Espen Jorstad won the final table with $10 million in prize money. If you were wondering how some of their games work, here are some notes:
- Close to your opponents: You play with people who live in your region.
- Multitabling: You can play multiple tables at the same time.
- A faster game: You play up to five times faster than traditional poker. This is why you can play multiple games at one time.
- Talking is the way of the game: Another deliberate change from traditional poker is that you are allowed to call a bet verbally. This also means it is binding, so you have to be sure because you won’t be allowed to change your mind.
The full 2023 schedule in Las Vegas has been released, including main event updates.
While these are only some of the poker tournaments you should look out for, many others exist. Remember that this fun yet difficult gambling game can keep you busy for hours. And it’s played by professionals who call this a full-time job.