The inaugural WPT® World Online Championships made dreams come true this year, with over 34,000 players buying into events across more than two months of action.
The series ran from Friday, July 17, 2020, to Thursday, September 24, 2020. A theme of the series was that players of all bankroll levels would have the chance to win huge payouts. This was showcased in the number of opportunities players were given to qualifying for events through satellites. There were 45,605 tournament seats won via this route, with 19,655 unique players qualifying through satellites.
A total of $100,746,175 was paid out to players across the duration of the festival, with five players winning prizes of more than $1,000,000.
The series proved to be incredibly popular with players, with 285,846 total entries and 34,811 unique entries logged across the series.
Events were enjoyed across the world, as 94 nationalities cashed in the series. More event winners came from the UK than any other country, with over 19% of event winners being based there.
The perfect example of the opportunities the series offered to all types of players was the WPT World Online Championships Main Event. Seven of the nine players that reached the final table qualified for the $10,300 buy-in event via satellites. Victor Simionato pulled off a particularly remarkable feat, as he started with a $22 buy-in and came through three satellites to qualify for the Main Event. By the time he was eliminated in the tournament itself in fifth place, he had earned a life-changing $391,257.
Main Events Were Amazing For Satellite Winners
The event was won by Phil Mighall, who beat Teun Mulder heads-up to win $1,550,298.47, after a deal had been agreed. Mulder took the runner-up prize of $1,396,968.73.
There were also uplifting stories in the WPT Mini Main Event, where five of the final nine players qualified through value-added seats. Arturs Balodis, who finished third but won the most prize money in the event after a deal was agreed, won his seat in a $55 Gladiator before going on to bank $535,268.80. Nichita Verbitchii, who won $339,606.77 after finishing second, won a seat from an $11 buy-in Terminator. The Mini Main Event was won by Renan Carlos Bruschi for $504,582.46.
This came after Luiz Constantino won the WPT Micro Main Event for $148,985 from a $109 buy-in. There was also time for one more underdog story on the last day of the festival, as Charlotte Godwin qualified for the $102,000 buy-in WPT Super High Roller Championship after starting in a $109 feeder event, before going on to finish third and win $620,000. One of the most exciting moments of the festival happened when Godwin rivered an ace to survive in the tournament when she was all-in and set to be eliminated in seventh on the money bubble.
On top of the many great individual performances, the series also rewarded consistency through the WPT World Online Championships leaderboards, which paid out $100,000.
Artur Martirosian finished first in the WPT Player of the Championship leaderboard with 430.87 points, winning an additional $50,000 on top of his tournament earnings. Players could win points by finishing in the money in any WPT World Online Championships tournament, including side events, with a buy-in of $320 or more. Points were awarded based on the player’s finishing position, the tournament buy-in and number of entrants.
Martirosian finished more than 50 points ahead of second-placed Scott Margereson. Margereson still had a strong chance of winning the leaderboard going into the final event, when he was just 18.25 points behind, and both players made it to day two of the WPT Mini Super High Roller. Martirosian sealed the title in style by winning the event for $239,500.
WPTWOC Player of the Championship Final Standings
Meanwhile, Constantino’s victory in the WPT Micro Main Event helped him towards winning the WPT Rising Star leaderboard, where he picked up first prize of $10,000. Players could earn points by competing in any WPT World Online Championships tournament or side event with a buy-in of $300 or less. A player’s 10 best scores counted towards the leaderboard, meaning everyone had a great chance of winning and the outcome was not bankroll dependent.
WPTWOC Rising Star Leaderboard Top 10
Get Ready For The WPT After Party Freerolls
Team partypoker pros pledged to give players even more chances to win, agreeing that all winning players from Team partypoker in a WPT World Online Championships leaderboard would give their prize money back to players. There will be a WPT After Party Freeroll in their name, and the player will take their leaderboard prize into the freeroll for players to win. There will also be bounty prizes, with each Team partypoker player carrying a $22 Predator ticket on their heads.
The freerolls will take place on consecutive days this week. Roberto Romanello’s freeroll will kick off proceedings at 8pm BST on Tuesday, September 29, offering a $2,000 prize pool. Following this will be Patrick Leonard’s freeroll with a $6,000 prize pool, starting at 8pm BST on Wednesday, September 30. Mikita Badziakouski’s freeroll follows at 4pm on Thursday, October 1 with a $1,000 prize pool, and Kristen Bicknell’s freeroll rounds things off at 8pm on Friday, October 2, also with a $1,000 prize pool.
There were many notable performances during the series, and six players managed to increase their bankroll by seven-figure sums by the end of the festival. Team partypoker’s Isaac Haxton placed top of the earnings list with $2,078,490. He was followed by Mighall with $1,695,010 and Martirosian with $1,556,746.
An Authentic Live Poker Experience
The WPT World Online Championships were designed to replicate an authentic live poker experience. Players’ real names were used at the tables and there were a maximum of two Day 1s for the championship events in the series, with a maximum of one re-entry allowed per day.
partypoker Managing Director, Tom Waters, said: “We are delighted that the WPT World Online Championships has created so many success stories. The focus for the series was delivering quality, well-structured events that would give satellite players great opportunities to compete with the best players in the world and the results speak for themselves. We look forward to working with the WPT again and sticking to the values that we believe bring the best live poker events online.”
Hermance Blum, WPT VP Europe, said: “The WPT World Online Championships have marked a new milestone for the WPT and partypoker, and the response from the players throughout the series has been overwhelming. We take a lot of pride bringing the unique feel of the WPT to the online felt.
“partypoker promised to cater for all bankrolls, offering micro, mini and main events for all championship events, as well as an extensive satellite program. It was incredible to witness so many amazing life-changing stories, where people turned low buy-ins into six and sometimes seven-figure prizes; that is poker truly at its best!”
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